The Rio Nanay is a large, left-bank tributary of the upper Amazon River. It is considered a blackwater river. The Rio Nanay is home to Green Discus, which have always been sought after in the hobby. In the past, in the 1950s and 1960s, these precious animals came to us via the Colombian city of Leticia, which is still a major hub for South American ornamental fish. This is because Leticia is located in the triangle of Peru, Colombia and Brazil. In fact, the Colombian city of Leticia and the Brazilian city of Tabatinga are one municipality and you can get from one to the other without border controls.
Discus are and have always been relatively expensive fish, which is partly due to the fact that they have to be packed and transported individually and therefore there is only room for a few animals per box. This results in a high freight price. In addition, however, discus of all varieties and locality forms are also sorted in the country itself. Depending on rarity and demand, different prices for animals from the same locality arise. In the case of green discus from the Rio Nanay, specimens with many spots on the flanks are particularly sought after and therefore significantly more expensive than their cousins in which these spots are less numerous or missing. The number of spots says nothing about the sex and is not necessarily inherited. And, of course, the animals with numerous spots are, according to their status, a bit more reserved towards the paparazzo in front of the glass who wants to photograph them, than their bourgeois cousins …
For our customers: the animals are 10-14 cm long and have code 749944 (spotted) and 749934 (few spots) on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
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 color red is the dream color of many animal breeders. Red canaries, red swordtails, red guppies, red angelfish – wherever this was genetically possible, it was realized. With polychromatic fish species, e.g. with Apistogramma, where in nature always several color variants occur together, the red ones were preferred in breeding. And with the discus? Here, too, red is the trump card. With turquoise discus the red-turquoise ones are seen as the most beautiful, with the brown ones one looked – particularly with Alenquer fish – also on red color elements. So it is only logical that among the Asian Discus also a red fish is the best seller: Marlboro Red.
Marlboro Red is descended from Pidgeon Bloods, and breeders are working hard to push back the smoky black color elements that appear in Pidgeon Bloods. They have succeeded quite well with the current strains. The closest you can see to where the genetic roots of Marlboro Red lie is in the smoky gray tail fin.
For our customers: the fish have code 702502 (5-7 cm) on our stock list. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
The Asian discus cultivars enjoy great popularity, because on the one hand they color very early (wild forms all look similarly unspectacular in 5-7 cm length) and on the other hand they are not very shy, so they can be presented well even in unfamiliar surroundings.
Of the solid blue discus, the Blue Diamond, which was created in the 1990s, is the most popular. Breeders also pay a lot of attention to the brilliant red eye in this fish, which contrasts nicely with the blue body color. The modern discus breeds are much less sensitive than wild-caught fish, but even with them one should absolutely observe the three basic pillars of successful discus care: good water hygiene, keeping in schools and a varied diet. Then you will experience much joy with these fish.
For our customers: Blue Diamond 5-7 cm have code 709602 on our stocklist. Please note that we supply exclusively to wholesalers.
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.
A few weeks ago we received a shipment of hald grown wild collected discus via Manaus. The animals acclimatised very well. As soon as they showed the normal coloration we found that there was one very special animal among them. It was blotched. Initially we thought that the animal would be sick, but it feeds well and interacts with its conspecifics. If the fish is disturbed it becomes dark, and sometimes the regular stripes are visible. In situations the animal is relaxed the basic colour tends to orange. There are only little doubts left that the fish indeed represents a so-called „Orange Blotch“ (= OB) morph.
The OB phenomenon can e observed in serval species of cichlid from Africa and South America that are not closely related to each other. The most popular OB fishes come from lake Malawi, the so called „marmelade cats“, but OB morphs are also found in Tropheus moorii from lake Tanganyika, in species of Oreochromis from Central and Western Africa and in species of Amphilophus from Central America. The biological sense of this phenomenon is not understood yet.
We can say that we never heard so far that the OB phenomenon also appears in wild discus. From an aesthetic point of view the fish is not very spectacular. But the phenomenon as such is remarkable and we are very curious if this fish will become the ancestor of a new strain of bred discus sport.
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