The “Pidgeon Blood” discus, which appeared in the early 1990s as a mutation in Asian discus breeding, revolutionized discus breeding. It combined two characteristics that discus breeders had previously only dreamed of: an early coloration, i.e. already 5-7 cm long juveniles look essentially like adult fish in terms of color. And a second advantage of the mutation: even when in unfamiliar surroundings, the animals do not show the discus dress consisting of vertical stripes, nor do they darken.
The original Pidgeon Blood – the name, by the way, refers to a gemstone (ruby) of the same name – no longer exists. It had too many “freckles”, black speckles irregularly distributed over the whole body. By crossbreeding other discus breeding forms, like red-turquoise etc., the freckle pattern was displaced more and more. Today’s Pidgeon-Blood varieties show them almost not at all.
There is no uniform naming of the many dozens of Pidgeon-Blood varieties. Each breeding farm assigns its own names. A “Pidgeon Blood Panda” is usually understood to be a Pidgeon Blood discus in the color red-turquoise (i.e. red body base color and turquoise pattern elements), in which the turquoise pattern elements form a pattern of unconnected spots (= checkerboard pattern) and parts of the dorsal and anal fin are blackish in color.
For our customers: Pidgeon Blood Panda in 5-7 cm length (as shown in the pictures) have code 714952 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The approximately 300 km long Nhamundá River, one of the smaller left hand tributaries of the Amazon, forms the border between the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Pará. Near the mouth of the Nhamundá River into the Amazon lies the city of Nhamundá. The estuary is basically a large lake district. One of these estuary lakes is Lago Tureré.
The Nhamundá discus have long been famous and sought-after aquarium fish. They differ from the majority of the other brown and blue discus in that males and females are often of different colours. There are especially many females here, which correspond more to the type of the brown discus and – especially in the front third of the body – show an intensive red coloration. Many males, however, correspond to the blue discus, often they are so-called Royal Blue. Although this distinction is not very sharp (there are also females of the blue type), it is striking and characteristic.
We currently have wonderful wild catches of the Nhamundá discus from Lago Tureré in our stock. The animals have grown perfectly and look like painted – a dream!
For our customers: the fish have code 731444 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.
The real or Heckel discus is maintained considerably more rarely in the aquarium than brown, blue or green discus and their sports and becomes as good as not at all bred. It is therefore only regularly available as a wild collected fish. At the moment we have some very nice, well-adjusted Heckel varieties in our stock.
The Heckel is just as color-variable as the other discus-types also, basically it looks like a Royal Blue with a broad center vertical bar. The animals are of course not beginner fish, but do not pose any unsolvable problems for advanced aquarists. They should be cared for in shoals of at least six, better eight to twelve animals. The aquarium must not be too brightly lit and should at least have fine sandy soils in places, so that the discus can pursue their typical search for food, the “blowing out” of food animals from the sand. Very important are humic substances from peat, alder cones, dead leaves etc., which strengthen the immune defense of the fish enormously.
For our customers: we currently have Heckel from Rio Negro (code 73400), from Suncunduri (code 73406), blue-headed heckel from Rio Nhamunda (code 73408), from Mari Cross (code 73506), from Rio Madeira (code 73508) and Nova Olinda (code 73510).
Here, as promised, another remarkable Heckel variety we currently have in stock: Blue Head Tumbira. One should not think that every specimen of that variety has a solid blue opercle; Tumbira (the name refers to a Tukano community at the bank of the Rio Negro, below Sao Gabriel de Cachoeira) are still wild collected discus and this means: each indvidual fish has a pattern on its own. But the number of Blue Heads is very high among „Blue Head Tumbira“. Another typical feature of that variety is the broad „Heckel bar“, the vertical bar in the middle of the body.
For our customers: the fish have code 735004 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
We are now in the last third of the current discus season. A particular charakter of this season is the comparably great number of extremely beautiful Heckel discus. We currently have a number of varieties in stock and want to feature them for you. But of course it is not that easy to take pictures of these beauties in their regular tanks in the fishhouse that have the quality these fish deserve; so it takes time…
But here nevertheless is the result of a first session: „Nova Olinda“. These gorgeous animals are also termed sometimes as „Heckel Cross“, because they exhibit features of Heckel discus as well as of Blue Discus. But it is rather unlikely that the fish are really hybrids. Much more likely the population is simply highly polychromatic, a well known phenomenon for example in dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma).
So each „Nova Olinda“ is an individiual beauty on its own. Many specimens have a canary yellow forehead, others are typical Blue headed Heckel, again others look almost like solid turquoise discus – amazing animals!
For our customers: Heckel Cross Nova Olinda 12-15 cm have code 735105, Heckel Nova Olinda 9-12 cm code 735084. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholsale trade.
There are so many varieties of discus known, but none of the wild collected fish are as variable as the ones from the Rio Madeira. Basically speaking, the Madeira discus is a brown-blue one. The brown morphs of that variety very often exhibit a high degree of red and/or yellow colour on the body, while in the blue morphs often exhibit a „gypsi“-pattern. That means that the blue markings are irregular – this makes the fish very attractive! Another special feature of the Madeira discus is the fact that comparatively often specimens can be found that have a broad central vertical bar, the so-called Hecke bar. The best size for Madeira discus is 9-12 cm. At that size the fish are often breathtaking beautiful. We depict here a selection of our fish we currently have in stock; they all have been imported together.
For our customers: the fish have code 732014 (brown) and 731194 (blue) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
The high season for wild collected discus starts around October and ends in April. Nevertheless, good wild collected discus are available the whole year throught! Some varieties are in general very rarely offered, a good example are the so called Heckel Cross from the Rio Jatapu. They are real beauties! The out-of-season summer discus have a great advantage: they are even healthier and even more stable than the comparatively fresh collected animals available during the high season!
For our customers: the Heckel Cross from the Rio Jatapu have code 735046 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer