Discus | Snake Skin Discus

Discus | Snake Skin Discus

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Scientific Name: Symphysodon Aequifasciatus

Common Name: Snake Skin Discus, Discus

Adult Size: 6-7 inches

Habitat: Amazon basin of S. America

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons 

Ideal Tank Conditions: 

  • Temperature Range: 82-86°F
  • pH Range: 6.4 -7.2
  • Hardness Range: 1-3

    Temperament: Peaceful

    Diet & Nutrition: Carnivore; frozen blood worm, beef heart, live black worms

    Breeding & Spawning: Discus will lay their eggs on broad leaved plants like Amazon Swords or almost any vertical flat surface that is to their liking. Fry are best kept with the parents as they will eat the slime that the parents secrete. At two weeks of age they will start to accept finely ground flake food or baby brine shrimp.

    Gender: Venting is the best way to sex Discus.

    Compatible Tank Mates: See Compatibility Chart


    The Snake Skin Discus is most commonly found with a subtle blue appearance set to a stunning red background. The overall coloration of Discus will vary depending on mood and overall health of the fish. The shape of the Snake Skin Discus is traditional to most discus — a slender, oval body with flowingly graceful fins.

    As most discus fish, the Snake Skin Discus is found in freshwater areas ranging from the Amazon to the Rio Negro regions of South America.

    The Snake Skin Discus requires an advanced level of care due to its feeding habits and water filtration requirements. If you’re an established fish hobbyist, the Snake Skin Discus is an excellent choice for those who love the detail and care that comes with discus fish.

    While Snake Skin Discus are schooling fish and mostly harmonious with others in an aquarium, they can become territorial during spawning. During breeding season, they can become especially aggressive and the best course of action is providing a pair with a larger tank or separate aquarium. Snake Skin Discus’ enjoy a family unit and will form a family, especially if they’re with or around their siblings.


    The Snake Skin Discus will vary in size and are seen anywhere from 2” to 2.5” (small), 3” to 3.5” (medium), and 5” to 8”+ (large) so they require a tank size of at least 50 gallons, bigger if you’re planning on trying to breed them.

    Their care level is more advanced because, like all discus fish, they require specific tank conditions including water conditions with a temperature ranging from 78 to 86 degrees F, a hardness of 1 to 3 dH, and a pH ranging between 6.4 and 7.2. The nitrite and ammonia levels should always be maintained at 0 ppm with the nitrate levels staying steady at 20 ppm.

    For spawning purposes, slightly acidic and soft water is ideal, in addition to a clean, flat surface to lay eggs — a broadleaf works well. Once the fry are out and about, it’s important to keep the discus parents with them because they provide sustenance as they feed on their mucus.


    Temperature: 78-86 degrees F

    pH: 6.4 - 7.2

    Hardness: 1 to 3 dH

    Tank size: 50 gallons

    Nitrite: 0 ppm

    Ammonia: 0 ppm

    Nitrate: ≥20 ppm

    Though Snake Skin Discus thrive in a school of their own and with other discus, they are compatible with a small cohort of fish including Tetras, Cory Cats, Danios/Minnows, Guppies, Mollie, etc.


    The Snake Skin Discus is largely carnivorous including a variety of fish food such as tubifex and freeze-dried bloodworms, pellet food, high-quality fish flakes, and meaty foods such as brine shrimp and organ meats.

    Frequency of feeding can range from up to five times a day, with two to three times being the most common. It is also recommended that mature adults eat at least twice a day while feeding younger Snake Skins at least three times per day.

    Apart from including a few feedings a day, it’s important to note that discus fish are notorious for being slow eaters and will sometimes take up to an hour to eat! This can potentially pose a problem if you’re not diligent in cleaning the tank — the food will often sink to the bottom and create a foul and dirty tank.

    Snake Skin discus are a variety of freshwater fish that are great for established fish hobbyists ande provide stunning movement and color to the aquarium.

    Important Snake Skin Discus Acclimation Recommendations

    Once your Snake Skin Discus arrives, it’s important to follow the acclimation process and to never rush it.

    As your Snake Skin Discus acclimates, it’s important to keep the aquarium light to a minimum with the recommendation of keeping them completely off at least four hours into its arrival.

    Avoid feeding your Snake Skin Discus right away. Instead, give them some time to adjust and resume normal feeding within a 24-hour window. They may look hungry, but it’s critical to give them this window before their first feeding.


    Best Friends of the Discus Fish: Other Discus, Mollies, Platies, Plectostomus, Rainbow Fish, Plants, Sharks, Swordtails, Tetras, Cory Cats
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