Red Marlboro Discus

Red Marlboro Discus
Latin name:
(Symphysodon sp.)

Care Level





Red, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

79-86° F, KH 3-8, pH 6.1-7.5

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

55 gallons


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Are you fascinated by the vibrant colors and graceful movements of Red Marlboro Discus? These captivating freshwater fish have captured the hearts of aquarists worldwide. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of Red Marlboro Discus, exploring their unique characteristics, ideal tank setup, breeding tips, and more. Get ready to embark on an exciting journey into the realm of these stunning aquatic creatures.

Red Marlboro Discus: An Overview

Red Marlboro Discus, scientifically known as Symphysodon discus, are a mesmerizing species of cichlid fish native to the Amazon River basin. They’re renowned for their striking coloration, which can range from vibrant reds to deep oranges. These fish possess a flattened, disk-like body shape, with long, flowing fins that add to their elegance. Red Marlboro Discus are highly social and thrive in groups, making them an excellent choice for community tanks.

Characteristics of Red Marlboro Discus

  • Coloration: Red Marlboro Discus typically display a vibrant red or orange coloration, with intricate patterns and markings.
  • Body Shape: They have a flattened, disk-like body shape, which allows them to navigate through dense vegetation.
  • Fins: Their long, flowing fins add to their graceful appearance and help them maintain stability in the water.
  • Temperament: Red Marlboro Discus are generally peaceful and social fish, making them suitable for community tanks.
  • Lifespan: With proper care and maintenance, Red Marlboro Discus can live for up to 10 years in captivity.

Creating the Ideal Habitat for Red Marlboro Discus

Providing a suitable habitat is crucial for the well-being and longevity of Red Marlboro Discus. Here are some key considerations for setting up their tank:

Tank Size

Red Marlboro Discus require a spacious tank to thrive. A minimum tank size of 55 gallons is recommended for a small group of these fish. Larger tanks are ideal for larger groups or if you plan to breed them.

Water Parameters

Red Marlboro Discus prefer warm, soft, and slightly acidic water conditions. Aim for a pH between 6.0 and 7.0, a temperature range of 82°F to 86°F, and a hardness level below 10 dGH.

Filtration and Water Quality

Excellent water quality is essential for the health of Red Marlboro Discus. Invest in a high-quality filtration system that can handle the bioload of your tank. Regular water changes are also crucial to maintain water quality and remove harmful toxins.

Substrate and Decorations

Red Marlboro Discus prefer a soft, sandy substrate that won’t irritate their delicate fins. Add driftwood, rocks, and live plants to create a natural and stimulating environment for your fish.

Feeding Your Red Marlboro Discus

Red Marlboro Discus are omnivorous and require a varied diet to meet their nutritional needs. Here are some suitable food options:

  • Live Foods: Offer live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms as occasional treats.
  • Frozen Foods: Frozen foods, including mysis shrimp, krill, and chopped seafood, are a convenient and nutritious option.
  • Commercial Foods: High-quality commercial foods specifically designed for discus are available in various forms, such as pellets, flakes, and granules.

Breeding Red Marlboro Discus

Breeding Red Marlboro Discus can be a rewarding experience for experienced aquarists. Here are some essential steps to consider:

Selecting a Breeding Pair

Choose a healthy and compatible breeding pair. Look for fish that display vibrant coloration and good body shape.

Preparing the Breeding Tank

Set up a separate breeding tank with similar water parameters to the main tank. Add spawning substrates, such as flat rocks or slate, to encourage egg-laying.

Inducing Spawning

Gradually increase the water temperature by a few degrees to stimulate spawning behavior. Provide live or frozen foods to condition the breeding pair.

Caring for the Eggs and Fry

Once the eggs are laid, remove the parents from the breeding tank to prevent them from eating the eggs or fry. Keep the water quality pristine and monitor the eggs closely.

Common Diseases and Health Issues

Red Marlboro Discus are susceptible to various diseases and health issues. Here are some common problems to watch out for:

  • Ich: This parasitic infection causes white spots on the fish’s body and fins.
  • Fin Rot: Bacterial or fungal infections can cause the fins to become ragged and deteriorate.
  • Hexamita: A protozoan infection that affects the digestive system, leading to weight loss and poor appetite.
  • Dropsy: A bacterial infection that causes the fish’s body to swell with fluid.

FAQs About Red Marlboro Discus

  1. Q: How often should I feed my Red Marlboro Discus?
    A: Feed your Red Marlboro Discus small amounts several times a day, rather than one large meal.
  2. Q: Can I keep Red Marlboro Discus with other fish?
    A: Yes, Red Marlboro Discus can be kept with other peaceful and compatible fish species.
  3. Q: How can I prevent diseases in my Red Marlboro Discus?
    A: Maintain excellent water quality, provide a balanced diet, and avoid overcrowding the tank to help prevent diseases.


Red Marlboro Discus are captivating and rewarding fish to keep in an aquarium. By understanding their unique characteristics, providing a suitable habitat, and offering proper care, you can create a thriving environment for these stunning creatures. Whether you’re a seasoned aquarist or just starting, the Red Marlboro Discus is sure to captivate your heart with its beauty and grace.