Additional Notes on Discus Classification

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Additional Notes on Discus Classification

Two ways to classify discus have been used: classification by heritage and classification by physical characteristics. 

Classifying discus by heritage is an attempt to tie the classification to parental lineage as with cats, dogs, or horses. However, this method is impractical because you often cannot know what strain the parent fish belong to. For those who do classify discus by heritage, however, a hybrid fish (crossing two different lineages) is considered a negative quality. 

Classifying by physical characteristics allows experimentation and the creation of many different specimens and varieties. Of course, when this is done, classification by heritage becomes almost impossible. On the bright side, many different types of discus are available today. In the photo below, check out our cross between a red panda discus and Marlboro red discus.

Cross of a Red Panda Discus and a Marlboro Red Discus

Most breeders of discus fish today want to see the variety that classification by physical characteristics can provide. Discus fish enthusiasts are looking for exceptional and stylish specimens. They want fish that look good or are unique to their aquarium tanks.

An Aquarium Full of Diverse Discus


  • Do you think it’s efficient to classify discus based on physical characteristics?
  • What are some of your favorite discus cross breeds?
  • Are you interested in learning more about different types of discus species throughout the History and Science section on our Learning Center?

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