Jerry Baer
John Erdman August 2003

John Erdman (JE), Reporter for SimplyDiscus Forums
Jerry Baer (JB), Discus Hobbyist and Fanatic

JE: Well, Jerry, you are the first member I have interviewed for a spotlight whose house I have been to and I have an idea about what to ask, so this should be fun. I have to say, I was extremely impressed with your fish, your set up and your knowlegde about the fish.

Please tell us all a little about yourself. I know you are married and have a couple of dogs in addition to the fish. By the way, say 'Hi' to Lori for me. Do you have any other hobbies? Any significant non-discus achievements you want to brag about?

JB: I'm married and my wifes name is Lori. We have no kids, but we do have 2 dogs and 1 cat. The dogs are German pinchers which are in between a doberman pincher and a miniture pincher in size. If you call the Grateful Dead a hobby I have seen them over 100 times in concert. Growing up in Philadelphia I played a lot of ice hockey. I'm now giving back as a local roller hockey coach. In eleven seasons I have taken 8 teams to the championship. I have won the championship 5 times. I also want to mention that August 22 is my birthday.

JE: How did you get into discus? Where was the first discus you saw? How long had you been into fish first?

JB: My father bought our family our first fishtank in 1969 when I was 10. I saw my first discus at Martins Aquarium in Philly, and they were browns. I bought my first 2 discus in 75 or 76. They lasted less than a month. They were browns about 2 inches and cost $2 a piece. This is back when cardinal tetras were selling for 10 for a buck retail. There was no information available to me at the time on how to care for them.

I kept fish tanks even after I moved to Florida for college. I was even into salt water tanks for about 5 or 6 years. In 92 I saw an ad in the newspaper for discus. I called and went to visit. The persons name was Bruce and he was Jack Wattleys partner. He told me to make my tank at home 86 with a ph of 6.6 and then call back. He also told me about frequent water changes. I bought 10 red-turquoise for $15 each and he gave me 2 extra. They had pandas at that time for $100 each, I didn't buy any. I've kept discus ever since.


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