Brachychalcinus: Greek, brachys, eia = short + Greek, chalkos = brass
Discus tetras have jaws like mini piranhas but they are entirely peaceful. They need to be kept in a shoal numbering at least five individuals of their own kind. Discus tetras are quite large by tetra standards and they are also very active so they need quite a bit of open swimming space. Other than that they are very easy undemanding fish to keep. Juvenile Discus tetras (video above) bare a striking resemblance to black widow tetras Gymnocorymbus ternetzi but as they grow they become more disc shaped and much larger than black widows.
Discus tetras are true omnivores with an equal preference for plants and small prey. In the wild they eat aquatic plants, worms, crustaceans and insects. In captivity they are easy to please and will accept flake, pellets, live or frozen food. Their diet should include some fresh greens.
There are no external differences between the sexes.
Discus tetras are quite rare within the hobby with most specimens coming from the wild. There are no records of this fish being bred by hobbyists.
Wild populations have never been studied and so the size and health of the wild population is unknown.
pH: 5.5 - 7.5
dGH: 4 - 25
Temperature: 18 - 24°C (65 - 75°F)
Size: 9cm (3.5in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels
Origin: South America, Guyana and Suriname
Habitat: Coastal rivers
Species: B. orbicularis, (Valenciennes, 1850)
Synonyms: Tetragonopterus orbicularis, Poptella orbicularis, Ephippicharax orbicularis, Brachychalcinus guianensis