The Pigeon Blood Discus was first introduced in the early 1990s. The fish was named “Pigeon Blood” because of its distinctive coloration, which includes a bright red or orange body with small white or light blue spots. These spots are reminiscent of the ‘peppering’ seen in some pigeon breeds, hence the name. This strain was developed by Mr. Kitti Phanaitthi from Thailand, which led to Thailand becoming known as a Discus fish powerhouse in the years that followed.
Pigeon Blood Discus
Pigeon Blood Discus are a selectively bred or man-made species of Discus that typically have a creamy yellowish to the orange base color, highlighted by bright red eyes and trimmed off in black stripes and spots. Created in 1991 by Thailand breeder “Kitti Phanaitthi” (www.kittidiscus.com), Pigeon Bloods have a bright white, sometimes cream-colored body with bright red striations and, most notably, a solid black tail. Named for its blood red-colored eyes, the pigeon blood discus was named after rubies found inside the Mokok Mine in Myanmar.
Quality and new generation of Pigeon Blood Discus are red eyes, less black dusting, richer reds, more white on the body. Over the years, the pigeon blood phenotype has become more and more refined through the use of selective breeding. Most notably, through selective breeding, breeders were able to phase out the black peppering observed in Kitti’s original strains of pigeon blood. Some aquarists note that by raising young pigeon blood discus in a tank with very bright lighting, fewer black spots will be present in future generations. Removal of this dark peppering resulted in more vibrant coloration and allowed the base color to be accentuated against other, more aesthetic patterns.
Pigeon Blood Discus, however, has its share of controversy. Due to the strain’s heavy peppering (dark spots), breeders have often used a hormone called methyltestosterone to suppress this characteristic. This practice has raised ethical and health concerns among aquarists, as it can shorten the lifespan of the fish and result in other health issues.
Pigeon Blood Discus was a result of Striped Turquoise male originally from Schmidt-Focke lineage (this fish was unusual with a golden base, violet stripes, and black dusting ‘peppering’ all over). bred it with a Red Turquoise female. 50% of the initial breeding resulted in Red Turquoise individuals and the other 50% was the Striped Turquoise. These individuals had the ‘pigeon blood’ phenotype from the father which included a lot of black spotting (peppering) on a pale orange / yellow base with noticeable yellow or occasionally red eyes. The true pigeon blood strain was never stabilized (it didn’t breed true). A stabilized ‘strain’ must produce 100% of the young identical to the parents, but many many individuals harboring the pigeon gene were shipped worldwide and the almost amelanistic gene was spread across the globe after Kitti exhibited the fish at Aquarama 1991. These hence manifested in multiple locations thereafter. For Pigeon Blood, if you plan on having a dark background as they will develop a dusting of black spots (peppering) as a result.
The Pigeon Blood Discus is the result of selective breeding by fish breeders to achieve its distinct coloration. This breed of Discus is known for its hardiness compared to other Discus breeds, making it a popular choice among both novice and experienced aquarists.
The pigeon blood discus was a game-changer in the discus hobby due to its striking color and patterns, which were unique and unlike any other discus at the time.
Despite this, the Pigeon Blood Discus remains one of the most popular strains of Discus fish in the hobby due to its unique and vibrant colors. It’s one of many examples of how selective breeding has been used to enhance certain desirable traits in aquarium fish.
Discus Care Facts
Care Level: Moderate
Maximum Size: 8″
Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons
Water Conditions: 78-86° F, KH 1-3, pH 6.0-7.5
Aquarium Type: Community
Feeding is essential for having healthy and beautiful fish in your aquarium. Discus fish can be trained to accept almost any type of food readily. Tankmates that eat the food that you want them to eat will encourage Discus to eat it also. They will eat a broad range of foods from flakes, small pellets, frozen, and live worms, brine shrimp, but not always on the first attempt. It is advisable to add to these also feeds vitamin supplements, which are very important for the fish’s health. Smaller fish can also be fed 5-6 times a day for their growth, while adults are sufficient three times a day.
Discus Fish tankmate
The ideal is to bring together groups of at least 4-6 fish because discus is animals used to living in schools. They have a peaceful disposition and can share the aquarium with other fish, such as Neon, Cleaners, or Cardinals. The important thing is that the tank is large enough and spacious to accommodate everyone, considering that Discus fish can measure up to 20cm or 8″ in length.
Even Discus fish have their internal structure regulated by a hierarchical scale: the leader, male or female who is, has the most bright colors, without vertical black bands, and occupies the central part of the tank. If there are fights for a female, it may happen that the two contenders put themselves in front of each other, and after taking each other by the mouth, they start a sort of arm wrestling, which lasts until one of the two springs the grip by surrendering.
The discus tank
The first fundamental problem to face when planning to breed these fish is the size of the tank. The discus can be quite large: usually grow up to 13-15 cm in length, but can reach up to 20 cm, and need room to move and grow, not only in length but also in height. If you do not have the possibility of having a tank of at least 150 liters, with a length of 120 cm and a height of at least 40 cm, forget it. In any case, these are the minimum dimensions: with an aquarium of this size, you should leave the tank almost entirely bare, to leave the discuss the ability to move freely. Furthermore, in these conditions, you could breed only one pair, while the idea is to bring together groups of at least 4-6 fish because the discus is animals used to living in flocks. Better still would be to have a dozen. If you want a beautiful tank with a set of plants and furniture woods that reproduce the natural environment in which these fish live, you should aim for an aquarium of 250 liters and up.
Among aquarists, we often hear a general rule that every discus should have 50 liters available. It is not incorrect, but like all the rules, it must be applied with common sense. Much depends on the shape of the tank (especially its height), the presence of obstacles inside it, the quality and type of the filtering system, and your availability to make regular water changes.
Video of Checkerboard Pigeon Blood, Checkerboard Red Map, and Checkerboard Turquoise discus in perfect breeding age of about 14-16 months. The discus are about 18-20cm in size
Here Below is the next generation of Pigeon Blood Discus.
Pigeon Blood Discus still have dust in body