10 Types of Discus Fish Ranked by Beauty

Written by Sarah Psaradelis
Updated: June 30, 2023
© Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock.com
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Discus fish are the jewels of the aquarium hobby, boasting brilliant colors, patterns, and disc-shaped bodies that make them an appealing centerpiece in aquariums. They are freshwater fish that are native to the Amazon River Basin in South America. Here, they inhabit the tropical and slow-moving waters and take shelter around fallen trees in the water.

This is our top 10 list of the most beautiful discus fish in the world!

There is a wide variety of discus fish, each with unique and vibrant colors such as reds, blues, yellows, oranges, and white. They can also be found in different patterns or combinations of colors with an adult size of 9 to 12 inches. These fish look striking in aquariums!

While there are many variations of discus, this article will focus on the 10 types of discus that are ranked according to their beauty.

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1. Red Turquoise Discus

Red Turquoise Discus Fish
These discus have a combination of vibrant turquoise and red colors, with turquoise or a reddish orange being their base color.

©PAUL ATKINSON/Shutterstock.com

Cost:$250 to $550
Colors:Red, blue

The red turquoise discus is by far the most beautiful discus on the list, and they also happen to be one of the most expensive discus you can buy. These discus have a combination of vibrant turquoise and red, with one of these two colors being their base shade. The red turquoise discus usually has a tiger pattern that consists of thick, squiggly lines. Their eyes are blackish-red, and they have red-tinged, patterned fins. In bright aquarium lighting, the red turquoise discus stands out and looks spectacular alongside other colorful discus varieties.

2. White Dragon Discus

White butterfly discus fish isolated in a black background
The stunning white dragon discus is solid-colored, with a small part of the body having stripes.


Cost:$90 to $350
Colors:White, blue, red, and orange

The stunning white dragon discus has a predominantly white or cream-colored body with either slight red, blue, or orange colors and markings. They are solid-colored discus, with a small part of their body having stripes. These stripes are generally found on the head and fins, with some white dragon discus having less noticeable patterns. In some cases, a white dragon discus may have a white base color with fading orange or red patterns.

3. Golden Calico Discus

discus​ fish​ calico​ color​ strain​ in​ fish​ tank
Some golden calico discus fish may have reddish-orange markings covering the yellow.


Cost:$100 to $300
Colors:White, yellow, orange, red

The golden calico discus has an unusual coloration with a white or cream base color and calico gold markings. These markings are not uniform and appear uneven as if the discus is changing its color. Some golden calico discus fish may have reddish-orange markings covering the yellow, but it is less noticeable than the gold. The transparent fins may have a slight turquoise color in bright lighting, although this might not be noticeable unless you look at the fish from a certain angle.

4. Heckel Cross Discus

Hybrid Heckel cross discus swimming in aquarium
One of their most prominent features is the heckle bars that run through their bodies.

©Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com

Cost:$60 to $250
Colors:Blue, orange, red, yellow

The heckel cross discus is a beautiful variety of discus fish with the vibrant color combinations you commonly see in marine fish. Heckel cross discus is a yellow or orange and turquoise color with red-tinted anal and dorsal fins. However, they can also have yellow fins with slight spotting. Their heads are either the same as the rest of their bodies or a deep orange color.

One of their most prominent features are the heckel bars that run through their bodies. These stripes or bars are thick and black, but they can have a brownish tint at times. Overall, the heckel cross discus adds true beauty to an aquarium if you are looking for a patterned and multicolored discus.

5. Mercury Discus

Discus fish (Pompadour), Symphysodon Discus in aquarium.
These discus fish have off-white or cream bodies with shades of turquoise.


Cost:$30 to $200
Colors:Cream and blue

The mercury discus fish has both an interesting name and appearance. These discus fish have off-white or cream bodies with shades of turquoise. This gives them a simple yet striking appearance that makes them stand out against other varieties of discus fish. The combination of off-white and blue can give a mercury discus a slight greenish tint that can appear iridescent at times. Mercury discus can have a deep turquoise color on their fins, along with a cream-colored face with red and black eyes.

6. Cobalt Blue Discus

Blue Fish - Blue Discus
Cobalt blue discus were created between 1970 and 1980 to make more colorful discus.

©Ivan Roth/Shutterstock.com

Cost:$90 to $200

The cobalt or neon blue discus is a common favorite of discus lovers. This variation of discus was created between 1970 to 1980 by Dr. Eduard S. Focke in an attempt to create a more colorful discus. This fish has a solid blue coloration that can either appear turquoise or dark blue. They may have some small patterns or striations on their bodies, but they are typically a solid color. The blue seems to shimmer in the water, making their coloration look spectacular, even though they are considered common discus.

7. White Diamond Discus

discus fish  white diamond strain
The top parts of the white diamond discus fish’s fins are transparent.


Cost:$90 to $200

While many people are used to discus with color and patterns, the white diamond discus is simple yet beautiful. White diamond discus has a white to off-white color with slight pearling on the fins. This means that the fins can have a slight tint of blues, yellows, pinks, or green in certain lighting. The top parts of the white diamond discus fish’s fins are transparent, and the overall beauty of the fish makes them the perfect addition to many discus aquariums.

8. Albino Millennium Gold

yellow discus fish in freshwater aquarium
They have a solid body colorful that primarily consists of a deep yellow color with shades of orange at the base of their fins.

©Gayleen Froese/Shutterstock.com

Cost:$75 to $250
Colors:Yellow, gold, orange, and white

The stunning albino millennium gold discus adds sunshine to discus aquariums with its golden coloration. They have a solid colorful body that primarily consists of a deep yellow color with shades of orange at the base of their fins. The yellow and off-white color fades in the center of their disc-shaped bodies and darkens near the edges and base of their fins. They can either have red or black eyes, which look fascinating on their golden bodies.

9. Blue Scorpion Discus

A group of Blue scorpion fancy discus swimming in group
Their body is mainly a turquoise color with brownish green discoloration.

©Pavaphon Supanantananont/Shutterstock.com

Cost:$50 to $250
Colors:Blue, red, brown, green

The blue scorpion discus has a brilliant turquoise coloration with darker blue on the edges of their fins and on their heads. Their body is mainly a turquoise color with brownish-green discoloration in the middle. The head and fins have red spots, and in some cases, most of the body can be covered in light red markings. To be considered a blue scorpion discus, it has to have one solid-colored parent, such as a blue diamond or cobalt blue, and one snakeskin parent.

10. Pigeon Blood Discus

discus red pigeon in aquarium
Some pigeon blood discuses can have a combination of red and orange markings which darken on the anal and dorsal fins.


Cost:$40 to $200
Colors:Red, white

Last on our list is the pigeon blood discus. This brightly colored discus fish features striking thick squiggles and lines. These markings are a deep red color, and the rest of the body is white. Some pigeon blood discus can have a combination of red and orange markings which darken on the anal and dorsal fins. It’s also not uncommon for pigeon blood discus to have a slight blueish tint at the edge of their fins that can be seen in good lighting.


How Many Types of Discus Fish Are There?

There are over 50 different varieties of discus with different patterns and colors. The three recognized species are Symphysodon aequifasciatus, Symphysodon discus, and Symphysodon tarzoo with the green, blue, heckel, and brown discus as subspecies.  

How Big Do Discus Fish Get?

Most captive bred discus reach an adult size of 9 to 12 inches, and they can weigh between 3 to 4 pounds. However, some discus can grow larger.

What is the Minimum Tank Size for Discus?

Discus are social fish that need to be kept in a group of three or more discus. If they are kept in small groups or singular, they can become stressed. To successfully raise and care for a group of adult discus, you will need to ensure that they have a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. The more discus you want to keep, the larger the tank needs to be.


These are just a few of the wide varieties of discus, from the beautiful yet pricey red turquoise to the fascinatingly patterned pigeon blood. While all discus fish have beautiful colors and markings that make them unique, some of the varieties seem to stand out more than others.

Summary of 10 Types of Discus Fish Ranked by Beauty

RankType of Fish
1Red Turquoise Discus
2White Dragon Discus
3Golden Calico Discus
4Heckel Cross Discus
5Mercury Discus
6Cobalt Blue Discus
7White Diamond Discus
8Albino Millennium Gold
9Blue Scorpion Discus
10Pigeon Blood Discus

The Featured Image

Symphysodon discus in an aquarium on a green background
© Andrey Armyagov/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am an animal lover that not only enjoys owning and getting to care for them, but also writing about them! I currently own fish, a crested gecko, an adorable hamster, fancy rats, and a docile tarantula. Writing has become my passion and I enjoy writing about the animals I love so dearly so that I can share my knowledge and expertise in my work.

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