Do angels and Discus live together in the wild?

859a129e-b79f-4b77-a9b5-4f48eb0830d5

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021

Many people say you shouldn't keep Discus with Angels because they're not found together in the wild, but is this really true?

Angelfish are frequently mates of Discus in nature. Normally they are in a minority within a large Discus group, but I was recently very surprised to get 400 Green discus and nearly 250 angelfish together in one netting.

Pterophyllum scalare are found normally in smaller groups of five to ten within a large Discus group and are, after Geophagus/Satanoperca/Biotodoma species, the most frequent mates of Discus.

P. leopoldi can only be found as mates of Heckel Discus (Rio Negro system), but less than with P. scalare, which also lives in the Rio Negro basin.

P. altum is never found with Discus, as it does not live in their habitats. It is restricted to the upper Orinoco tributaries where no Discus has been found.

This item was first published in the October 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.