Common Discus Strains & Abbreviations

Slug

You might see me use these in my posts concerning Discus. Its good to know that some of these strains are either the same or very similar, and that each breeder tends to name their fish differently, but this is a good overview.

Blue Strains
BD - Blue Diamond
**** - Blue Scorpion
BDSS - Blue Diamond Snakeskin
Cobalt - Cobalt

Red/Orange/Yellow Strains
MR - Marlboro Red
PB - Pigeon Blood
CPB - Checkerboard Pigeon Blood
CNPB - Carnation Pigeon Blood
GM - Gold Melon
Y/W - Yellow White
MG - Millennium Gold
GB - Golden Butterfly
YC - Yellow Crystal
RGD - Red Golden Diamond
3R - Royal Ruby Red
SM - San Merah
RP - Red Passion
SRP - Super Red Passion
MP - Mandarin Passion
3R - Royal Ruby Red
R/W - Red White
RM - Red Melon
SRM - Super Red Melon
RR - Rose Red
RRI - Rose Red Intermediate

White Strains
WD - White Diamond
SW - Snow White
WB - White Butterfly
WBtb - White Butterfly "Throwback"
WS - White Scorpion

Striated Strains
SS - Snakeskin
TSS - Tiger Snakeskin
AF - Altum Flora
FLSS - Fine Line Snakeskin
TT - Tiger Turquoise
CBT - Checkerboard Turquoise
RT - Red Turquoise
BT - Brilliant Turquoise

Spotted Strains
RSG - Red Spotted Green
LSS - Leopard Snake Skin
GLSS - Golden Leopard Snake Skin
GL - Golden Leopard
PE - Penang Eruption
SE - Super Eruption
EL - Eruption Leopard

Albinos
AG - Albino Golden
AS - Albino Snake
AA - Albino Alenquer
AT - Albino Turquoise
AR/W - Albino Red/White
AY/W - Albino Yellow White
ASW - Albino Snow White
ACP - Albino Checkerboard Pigeon
ARGD - Albino Red Golden Diamond (Solid and Striated)
APD - Albino Pearl Diamond
AC - Albino Cobalt
ABD - Albino Blue Diamond
AP - Albino Pigeon
ARB - Albino Royal Blue
ARSG - Albino Red Spotted Green
AMG - Albino Millennium Gold

Other Abbreviations
BH - Beefheart
BW - (Hikari) Bloodworms or (California/Live) Blackworms
BB - Barebottom
X - A cross.. usually seen between two strains of discus
f1 - First generation of a cross
 

Jess

Thanks Matt, very helpful. : ) I'm bookmarking this one for reference.

Matt, can you tell me what "F10" means or F6, F3. . . . .
Is it the generation away from wild parents?
 

Slug

Usually the numbers don't get past about F4 or F5. But yes generally its from wild parents. They are basically generation numbers so you could technically use it for domestic pairs.
 

fish_newbie

Hey Slug. If you can, can you post pictures of the common strains so newbie like me can tell the differences
 

Slug

Haha, i'm working on doing that actually. Gotta get some permission to post other people's photos though since I have never owned many of those strains!
 

ATKINSON

Very helpful!
 

Slug

Photo Credit is given under each picture. Photos are mine unless noted. Some strains are synonymous so they will be grouped together. It gets tough at Red and Spotting, so I will continue to work at getting photos of each strain up for viewing.

Blue Strains:
BD - Blue Diamond (Ocean Greens and Blue Sapphires are basically the same strain)
A Classic Strain and one of the first and most popular ever created. A solid blue fish that can range in color from a light sky blue to a darker deep blue. No striations or spots are in this strain. May show a metallic green color when turned at the right angle.

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*Photo courtesy danziger-discus.com*

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*Photo Courtesy of Kenny at Kenny's Discus*

**** - Blue Scorpion / BDSS - Blue Diamond Snakeskin
This strain is the result of a Blue Diamond and a Snakeskin cross. It will usually show a majority blue base with a snakeskin pattern found throughout its body. The pattern varies widely. It can be on the face, fins, or body.

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*Photo courtesy Eddie Simply Discus*

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*Photo courtesy Eddie Simply Discus*

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Cobalt - Cobalt
This strain is a blue based strain with more striations then snakeskin look. Its another very classic strain. Cobalts will usually be very Turqoise-like at a younger age, showing bars vertically on their body and some striations along their fins. It is common for them to keep a bar through their eyes. The bars along the body fade with age.

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*Photo courtesy of Dan at GulfCoastDiscus*
 

Slug

White Strains:
WD - White Diamond / Saltwater - Snow White
These 2 strains are the same with different names. This is an entirely white fish. There should be no other marks on the fish, however color can vary. The body will be solid white, as well as the eyes, however you may see some with a yellow or pink tint to them. These fish will often have a blue sheen to their fins and a yellow face.

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*Photo courtesy of Kenny at Kenny's Discus*

*Photo courtesy of NADA - North American Discus Association*

*Photo courtesy of NADA - North American Discus Association*

WB - White Butterfly / WS - White Scorpion
These 2 strains are usually synonomus. Even though there are slight differences. White Scorpions, like Blue Scorpions have snakeskin type patters on them and/or in their fins. White Butterflys are usually fairly clean white fish with striations on their face and fins, sometimes extending briefly into the body. You can see in the 2nd picture below, the left is a scorpion the right is a regular butterfly. The scorpion has finer markings.

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*Photo courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

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*Photo courtesy of Steve_Gurule Simply Discus*

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*Photo courtesy of moik Simply Discus*

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*Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*
 

Butterfly

Beautiful pics Matt. Thanks for posting them and taking the time to get permission for pics.
congrats to all who own those beautiful fish.
Now waiting for the red ones
carol
 

Slug

Red ones will come soon haha. The reds will hurt your eyes I assure you and wonder how on earth a freshwater fish gets like that. Just updated the first post with Albino strains.

Striated Strains
SS - Snakeskin
The Snakeskin is the base for some of the strains here.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

TSS - Tiger Snakeskin
This is a very nice strain, its fairly new to the hobby. It is distinguished by the vertical striations right behind its forhead. This determines a "Tiger" strain.

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*Photos above courtesy of Kenny of Kenny's Discus*

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AF - Altum Flora
Altum Flora is a high body strain of Turqoise.

*Photo courtesy of Vss Simply Discus*
*Both Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

FLSS - Fine Line Snakeskin
This is much like the original snakeskin, but it has a much finer pattern on the body.
*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

Striated Strains Cont.

TT - Tiger Turquoise
A Turquoise with the same properties as a Tiger SS, the vertical striations behind the forehead. This is a very intense looking Red Turq.

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*Photo courtesy of Dan - Gulf Coast Discus*

*Photo courtesy Nadiscus Simply Discus*


CBT - Checkerboard Turquoise
A Red Turq with vertical and horizontal striations creating a Checkerboard type effect on the body of the fish.
*Photos Courtesy Kenny of Kenny's Discus*

RT - Red Turquoise
The original of the Turquoise, these form the base for many of the fish above. Usually will have longer head to tail striations.
*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

*Photo courtesy of casw Simply Discus*

BT - Brilliant Turquoise
This strain is a turquoise with blue striations and a blue sheen to it.
 

Slug

And the moment most of you have been waiting for. The Red Strains. Let me explain first. The reds are pretty difficult because so many look alike. Many breeders have the same fish but call it something different so it can get confusing at times, I am doing just the most common, basic strains that you might see. And even then they all look similar. Also with regards to the Pigeon Blood strains listed here, some look very very similar. I've grouped some together because they are so close. You'd really have to know line lineage to really put a specific name to some.

Red/Orange/Yellow Strains
MR - Marlboro Red
The Marlboro is a red or orange colored Pigeon Blood with few white striations.


CPB - Checkerboard Pigeon Blood
This strain is a Pigeon Blood with full body striations forming a checkerboard type of pattern. Some may consider them spotted fish, but you will see real spots soon.


CNPB - Carnation Pigeon Blood
Much like the Checkerboard, this has a full body pattern but will usually show more white and its striations are more lengthy compared to the smaller spotting on the Checkerboard.


GM - Gold Melon
A mostly orange fish despite its name, with few striations.

Red/Orange/Yellow Strains Cont.
Y/W - Yellow White
This strain is a Snow White, but half of its body is yellow. There is a red version of this strain as well.

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*Photo courtesy Hawaiidiscus.com*

MG - Millennium Gold
A solid yellow fish. Should show no striations. Will sometimes have a white, or lighter face.

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*Both photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

GB - Golden Butterfly
A golden to yellow fish in the body, with striations in its anal and dorsal fins, extending down its forehead.

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*2 Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

YC - Yellow Crystal
Another solid yellow to gold fish that has some but very little striations on its fins.

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*Both photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*
 

Slug

Red/Orange/Yellow Strains Cont.
RGD - Red Golden Diamond / 3R
Very bright solid red fish. These are golden based and will not show any peppering. They will also not turn dark/black when stressed, they keep their red color. They will have yellow to white faces and can develop a black bar through their fins as they age. Females tend to be more solid colored then the males. The 3R (Royal Ruby Red) is a very similar fish to the RGD and its hard to tell apart. 3R's are a little more red.

132.jpg
*Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

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138.jpg
*All Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

SM - San Merah
A much darker red solid red fish. It will have black in the fins, sometimes a green sheen to its face, and possibly a white flame at the top of its dorsal fin.

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*All Photos courtesy of dizkuz Simply Discus*

RP - Red Passion / SRP - Super Red Passion / MP - Mandarin Passion
These strains are all very similar with minute differences. Some are a bit brighter, others have more of a white face, etc. The Mandarin Passions tend to be a bit more orange in color. Reguardless, these are all solid colored Red - Orange body fish, sometimes having white faces.

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*Both Photos courtesy of Lawrence Soon - Lucky Tropical Fish Farm*
 

Slug

Albino Strains
AG - Albino Golden
A mostly solid golden or creme colored fish. Some striations might be present in the face/forhead and through the fins. This fish is mostly void of any patterns. A red pupil certifies it an albino.

150.jpg
*Photos courtesy of acroken - Simply Discus*

152.jpg
*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*


*Photos courtesy of Mike Beals - Central Ohio Discus*

AS - Albino Snakeskin
The Albino Snakeskin has a much finer pattern to their light striations then the Albino Turqs. Otherwise they are very similar in color.


AA - Albino Alenquer
Much like the Albino Golden, this is a mostly solid colored golden/creme colored fish with striations on its face and fins.
 

Slug

AT - Albino Turquoise
Much like the Albino Golden and Albino Alenquer, the Albino Turq will have the same colors, but more striations then the other two.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

166.jpg
*Photos courtesy of Jeffery Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

AR/W - Albino Red/White
The same as the normal Red/White, just an albino. Usually about half red, half white.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

AY/W - Albino Yellow/White
Albino Yellow Whites are the same as the Albino Red Whites except they have yellow where the red is. And of course a red pupil.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

ASW - Albino Snow White
Albino Snow Whites are the same as their normal counterparts, apart from their red pupil.

178.jpg
*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

AMG - Albino Millennium Gold
Mostly solid yellow fish, this is much like the Albino Pearl Diamonds but will stay a more lemon yellow rather then golden.

180.jpg
*Photo courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*
 

Slug

ACP - Albino Checkerboard Pigeon
Albino Checkerboard Pigeons are majority spotted fish with a red base around the spotting. The spots and red color can vary covering half of the fish or all of the fish.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

ARGD - Albino Red Golden Diamond
The Albino Red Golden Diamond is a solid red fish with a lighter, sometimes white face and some white in the fins. Its very much like the normal variety. This is one of the nicer and higher priced Albino strains, created by Ung Seng Lip. This also has a striated form.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

ASM - Albino San Merah

*Photo courtesy Mike Beals - Central Ohio Discus*
 

Slug

APD - Albino Pearl Diamond
This strain is almost a yellow form of the Albino Red Golden Diamond. It has a very clean yellow hue, white in its fins, and a red pupil. This also has a striated form.

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*Photos courtesy of Kenny - Kennys Discus*

AC - Albino Cobalt / ARB - Albino Royal Blue
Much like an Albino Turq, just not as many striations

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*


ABD - Albino Blue Diamond
One of the first Albinos to come out, and a very popular but rare one that demands a very high price, this fish is pure white with a light blue sheen when light hits it a certain way.

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*Photos courtesy of Dan - Elite Aquaria*

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*Photos courtesy of Elcid "Sandeep" - Simply Discus*
 

Slug

AL - Albino Leopard

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

ALSS - Albino Leopard Snake Skin Fine spots rather then the larger widespread spots the plain leopards have.

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

AEL - Albino Eruption Leopard An eruption leopard in albino form, not much difference between the two except pigments of color.

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*Photo courtesy Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

ARSG - Albino Red Spotted Green Another strain much like the Albino Turqs, this strain will incorporate spotting into the pattern.

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*
 

Slug

Spotted Strains
Leopard - This is the base to which most of the strains under this category originate from. Its a highly colorful, spotted fish that will sometimes display a dark band through its eye and light bars across its body. The spotting can range from very fine to larger splotches.

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*Photo courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

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*Photo courtesy Kenny - Kenny's Discus*

GL - Golden Leopard - While this strain might appear to be a Pigeon Blood based strain, it is definently not. Its again based with leopard genes and is a different colored Leopard Snake Skin. The fish itself holds true to its name and has an overall golden color.

30.jpg
*Photo courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

GLSS - Golden Leopard Snake Skin - This strain is much like the Golden Leopard but with much finer spotting throughout the body, fins, and face. The fish itself holds true to its name and has an overall golden color.

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*

SE - Super Eruption - A very very fine spotted fish, has much more spotting and color then a fish like a Penang. It will usually have a fully spotted face and gillplates with very distinct spots.

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*Photos courtesy Jeffrey Yang - Fish Trade Zone*
 

Mike

Incredible fish. Some of these discus, like the brilliant turqs, look huuuge.
 

Slug

Incredible fish. Some of these discus, like the brilliant turqs, look huuuge.

I agree Mike, really incredible fish. I've tried to find the best representations of each strain. That brilliant turq I got to see in person, that's my photo. The discus was an entry in the ACA 08 convention show by Discus Hans. Its one of those big german Stendker discus. It was easily 8" if not pushing 9", biggest discus i've ever seen. It was offered for sale to me by Hans, but I decided to turn it down. Guess whos kicking themselves now? The 3rd Tiger Turq down is another 7-8", and the Albino Pearl Diamonds are also about 7".

I'll post more soon, finish up the Albinos and move on to the spotteds. If you arn't impressed already, I guarantee you the spots will get your attention. Its amazing what modern breeding programs can produce.

Bump! Added the rest of the Albinos and started the spotted!

Let me know if anyone wants any more description on the strains or any other pictures. Feel free to post/discuss/whatever.
 

joshua 74

wow man I know now I won't a white 1 like that thanks bt I still need help 2 breed my discus.
 

Lucy

This thread makes me want Discus. They're so pretty and graceful when they swim.
Thanks for this thread Matt, it's great!
 

Slug

Its my master plan in the works. To convert everyone possible to a Discus fanatic!
 

cakers13

WOW!!! I just found some new fish to obsess over. I want them all!!!
 

Slug

Now you know how I feel.
 

yusufm52

Slug you have already made me a discus fanatic...
one down.. ; )
 

Jayfeather9

Are those some in a frying pan!?!?!?
 

Butterfly

Are those some in a frying pan!?!?!?
I believe that is an example of how their shipped , on their sides in a container.
carol
 

Slug

When you see them like that, its usually from the breeder or distributor. Its just a plastic tub. Its the best way to show buyers the shape and color of the fish. Then once chosen they are put in normal bags and shipped.
 

seanyuki

Great write up for the discus.
 

fishingdeep

Now you know how I feel.
Well Slug, do you own these fish or is this another c/p? I have seen these photos already online since I love discus. Just asking and waiting ???
 

Slug

A lot of these pictures are of my old fish, and some are from friends of mine in the discus hobby that are either suppliers or other hobbyists. I developed this original list, i'm sure its been copied onto other places. You have likely seen most of the photos elsewhere as well. I go by Discus-n00b on Simplydiscus.
 

fishingdeep

Yep - been there also, thanks!

Were you at the NADA ?
 

Lucy

Well Slug, do you own these fish or is this another c/p? I have seen these photos already online since I love discus. Just asking and waiting ???

A fairly good indicator is the date of the original post (2008) here vs the dates on the copy and pastes you see elsewhere.
 

Slug

Were you at the NADA ?

Yes I was at the NADA show. I take all of NADA's official photos of the showfish. Not sure I've posted those here from this year, maybe I will do that tomorrow.
 

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