Dr.J.J. Heckel was the first scientist who wrote on the wild discus, Symphysodon discus, back in 1840. After that, various varieties are discovered. It lasted until 1903 before the "green" discus Symphysodon aequifasciata aequifasciata was documented by J. Pellegrin. In 1960 L.P. Schultz names the sub-species "brown" discus Symphysodon aequifasciata axelrodi and the "blue" discus Symphysodon aequifasciata haraldi. Literature mentions that Harald Schulz discovered this sub-specie in 1955.
The first known import of the Discus in Europe is in 1921. This single example lived, for a very short while, in the tank of the German Importer Eimeke. In 1928, Scholze & Potscke from Berlin tried to import the discus but failed the effort. Not until 1932, H.Härtel succeeded in importing this, at that time, very sensitive fish in Europe.
The oldest breed result is by H. Härtel and dates from 1936. There is no literature available of this effort. The first published story in Holland, about discus hatching, dates from 1960. The extensive report from Dr.E. Schmidt-Focke, and the Dutchman Prof.Dr.E. Van Slogteren is of undeniable value for the successful breeding of the discus on a large scale.
One of the first color varieties, based on examples from nature, are the turquoise discus fish. The worldwide publisher of these results in 1969 was the American Jack Wattley. After this, immense varieties in color followed, such as the "Royal Blue", "Pompadour Discus" and the latest "Pigeon blood". What the future holds for us, after very weird colors like "Ghost", "Blue Diamond", "Marlboro Red" and "Panda", has to be a mystery.