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JE: How did you decide to take the plunge into breeding as a significant part of your fishkeeping?

JL: I bought my first Discus in Canada in 1969. They were wild discus and it was a disaster. Information was almost impossible to get. Everybody treated it as top secret. I didnt even know the difference between hard and soft water. No heater and no water change. They were wiped out in a few months. It was so easy when I had them back home. It was the challenge to keep them alive drove me into discus. I kept killing them day after day for several years until I met Jack Wattley in Florida where I bought 6 Turquoise discus and that made a big difference in my fish keeping until today. Its just a hobby for me. I have no intention to breed professionally. Maybe when the government and my Professional College decide that Im too old and take away my license to practice, then, I may breed professionally.

JE: What were the major obstacles involved in setting up as a breeder? Any advice for aspiring breeders?

JL: Cost is a major obstacle in setting up as a breeder. Discus being a high maintenance fish that requires massive water changes and heating. Its quite hard to make a living out of it. I dont call myself a breeder. Im just a fellow hobbyist who happens to know how to breed them. From my experience of having too many fish and dont know where to put them. My advice for the aspiring breeders are dont try to breed professionally unless you have perfect water like Aprils and warm temperature that requires no heaters. Otherwise, forget it. Youre lucky if you can break even. The pet store knows you have to sell them and they will only offer you a few dollars each. It doesnt even enough to cover the hydro bills. Its not economical. I’ve seen quite a few hobbyists that turn breeder going bankrupt form it.

JE: How many pairs do you currently have producing? How many tanks? I know from previous posts that you have downscaled a great deal. What was your maximum quantity of fish?

JL: I just finished re-building all the stands in my fish room. It wasnt built properly in the first place. They were sagging as much as 2 inches in the middle and eventually cracked 2 tanks. I had to sell off most of the fish and dismantled the whole drip system to repair all the stands. I dont have too many at the present time. I kept some sub-adults and theyre pairing up and soon will be spawning. Ill say maybe 5 pairs are productive at the present. When I had a series of disasters and flooding from glass cracking and leaking all over the place 3 months ago. At the same time, the cost of electricity was double due to deregulation by the government. They went up from $300 to over $600 for 3 months. That was the time I decided to sell all the breeding adults and scaled down to just a few tanks. Now I only have 20 tanks with about 800-gal capacity. But Im only using 5 tanks and the rest of them are empty. I feel lonely without them…


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