Bleher's Discus Volume - I

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Bleher's Discus Volume - I

Postby Walter Soestbergen » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:43 pm

Review by: Fred Goodall
Title: Bleher's Discus Volume - I
Author: Heiko Bleher
ISBN: 88-901816-1-3
Year: 2006


We have all read the "hype" of this two volume, 1,300 plus page work by Mr. Bleher. The question always asked is does this first volume "live up to the hype" ( 671 pages, approximately 5000 photos, paintings and drawings, 50 maps of waterways where the author has personal tracked down the discus shown, taxonomy and an accurate history spanning 150 years ). The answer is no, this book surpasses that hype... far exceeds it in fact!

In his forward to us the author admits that some of his findings are deemed "controversial" by his contemporaries. With the scientific support Heiko offers in his book there should be no "controversy" only more factual information for those willing to learn.

The five chapters of volume I might seem "too little" for some who do not actually read a book, but I assure one and all that every page is a "must read".... especially the page the author tucked away on page 671.

    Chapter 1 covers the history of the discus fish... more detailed and supported than any I have read in one text, anywhere else.


    Chapter 2 covers the taxonomy of discus... those who have read the English DPH Forum know that I have subscribed to this system so I do not find it "controversial" as some might. The science behind the offered taxonomy is collected by the author into one location for the first time anywhere. He has also included new work ups he had translated for inclusion in his book.


    Chapter 3 covers distribution of wild discus. This is no "hearsay" chapter, Heiko is the "guy" who has gone out and collected some of the "foundation stock" of many modern "strains". Some of the "lost wilds" are explained in this work, along with some "new" wild variants not published elsewhere. The maps and the section on the distribution of the variants are most informative.... and "shocking" when Mr. Bleher shows us what he took out of water at those locations compared to what we are sometimes offered as discus from those locations.


    Chapter 4 goes into the wild discus variants in their native habitats. Words can not convey the story... one must have the book open to the photos and read the text to understand what Heiko has stated for years in his talks, the Amazon is vast, the variants of fish also vast and even Mr. Bleher himself has not explored all of the Amazon. Quite a statement from a man who has logged more than 300 expeditions in research and collecting into the water system we know as "the Amazon".


    Chapter 5 lists itself as "Natural Habitats of Discus & Collecting" with 8 numbered sections covering each of the "famous" water ways known in discus. What this chapter could be is an entire book by itself! It covers these water ways in great detail... water temperatures, parameters ( taken "day" and "night" so that the "range" is examined ) and "habitat". Then one comes to the section listed as "Discus nutrition in the wild". Finally the question of "what else" was / is in the diet of wild discus besides Mr. Hans J. Mayland's findings is answered... in great detail. This chapter starts on page 214 ! One can see that this chapter covers more than what is listed here.


Now that the "facts" are covered let me say that this is another "must have, must read" book on my short list. Every page is an "adventure in discus" either in history of the species or in "what wild discus DO in the wild". Tucked into different places in the book are nice "gifts" of insight into what the author holds in value on a personal level regarding his beloved fish, their habitat and the native people he has met and stayed with during some of his trips into the truly wild parts of the Amazon. We are lucky that he has chosen to share all this with us at the cost of his beloved collecting and exploring of the waterways of the Amazon while supplying the "names" in discus with top wild breeding stock. Do yourself a favor while thanking the author by purchasing this book. Do your pocket book a big favor and buy this volume so that you will KNOW exactly what that wild fish is... and whether it is a wild discus.

For all this "learning" one obtains from this book, it is a "great read", clear, easy to read yet teaching a lot without preaching and is completely quality made to last a very long time. A very nice touch besides the glossy, acid free paper of each page is the old style built in ribbon bookmark. In keeping with the author's "style" in this book, I have left out mention of some "pleasant surprises"... why spoil what the author clearly intended each reader to find for themselves.

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Walter Soestbergen
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