Hi Mr. Rellermann (or Ellermann?),
I am very sorry for this late reply, but I left April 2nd - when my new book was in print after 40 years of work on it, doing research on the world-history of breeding Discus - and I only returned 4 days ago, after field trips in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Iran, Philippines, Indonesia and Australia, as well as giving seminars mainly on Discus around the globe (22), participating on 4 international fairs & exhibitions as well as judging on 2 competitions, fishes and aquascape.
Therfore I can answer on your comments only now.
First of all I want to thank you Mr. Rellermann (Ellermann) for the comments: " I received the second volume of Bleher's Discus and in many ways it is as visually impressive as the first and full of richly detailed information. A masterpiece and deeply fascinating. Almost too much information to digest." That means at least you understand and saw what kind of work I have put into it - which for sure no one will ever do again.
Now what your comments in regards to the history is concerned and specially that of the USA, I want to comment as follows:
First of all if you see the literature I have had access to and which was available to me for this research (it compiles to over 1000 – references in both books cited) you can see that it is more then in any other book I know of (and I mean any book). But naturally I cannot have had every single literature published about Discus since the fish became available in the hobby. There must be over 10,000 discus prints around the world, but I definitely did choose very carefully over 4 decades and wrote about the most important ones - those which made (discus)history – without any exception.
If you think the American heritage is spotty, then I feel sorry for you, because of the following:
First of all you claim Harry Matson or Carroll Friswold being the first person anywhere to devise a dependable means of raising the fry away from the parents, if this is a fact then I must not believe Jack Wattley, because he said to me that he was the very first to do it and to use egg yoke in his pans to feed them (it is written in my book and early photos shown). If you believe Jack has not said the truth, then I am sorry. I know Jack from almost his begin and I always believed him and had no reason whatsoever to doubt his word. But if you can tell me where I can get a copy of the publication of Matson's early experiments or the "Tropicals" magazine article from 1961 (even a photocopy would do), I can publish an possible Errata in my final volume 3 of Bleher's Discus. You must understand that I must have it for the reference and also to proof what you are saying is correct and not what Jack Wattley said and wrote in his book "Handbook of Discus" 1985 (" Jack developed the formula food composed of egg yolk..."). I actually find it interesting that Jack would have told you a different story then to me – will ask him, you know he wrote the forward as well ...
Secondly I would like to understand what you mean by "Matson's original and unique work ... the first anywhere in the early 60's which lasted for several years and many of the German breeders in the 50's and early 60's wrote to Matson". Can you kindly define this rough wording!? At least as to:
1. What was so unique about this (maybe the egg yolk which Jack claims?).
2. Which "German breeder(s)", wrote to him - certainly not Schmidt-Focke ! Please cite names in order to be able check this correctly, as I knew and still know ALL German breeders.
Also I would like to have a copy of "Friswold's book and commercial breeding set-up in Altadena, California. There is a great 2 part interview with Friswold in *The Aquarium Journal* in 1963-64." And I am happy to pay for it, as I have not seen it anywhere, also on the web no reference to it can be found.
In any event I do not think that every "commercial breeding set-up" that ever existed has to be in my book. Can you imagine if I would have written about every single one? My 4-Pound-book contains every single commercial discus breeding establishment which existed (or still exists) since the begin of the (discus)history. And I cannot see from the text you site this was a particular "commercial discus breeding set-up".
I really think that you are getting out of line here, just to mention something (or to just argue?). Same applies to the following:
I wrote precisely "Mrs. Katie Jones of Dallas was possibly the first woman to breed discus..." (p. 684) and I made no claim to be a certain that she was the first women. But you claim now that a miss Lois Saphien of St. Louis was "probably the actual first woman to seriously work with discus", that to me means you also do not know!
What do you actually aim with this? I really wonder.
I wrote that photo-caption more for the sake of the fact that she had an almost biotope correct aquarium for discus, which was the outstanding point for me and for this book (the photo is from 1957), as this is an essential thing for wild discus (and still today done often incorrect). Maybe she even bred her Discus before your miss Lois, or at the same time. You say there was an article in *The Aquarium* in 1955 about it, but you "probably" do not know if she was earlier, as I do not know therefore I wrote "possibly"!
But yes, if she supplied Gene Wolfsheimer with tank raised breeding stock I did not know, Gene did not mention this in his article, which I read several times and which I cited. But he did write that he raised 10 fishes. And dear Mr. Rellermann (Ellermann):
Would you be so kind to tell me HOW can I know (or anyone), how many discus fry Miss Saphien raised from day one away from the parents? (Do you know?) Should I know this from every breeder on this globe who ever lived? Do you really think I wrote this book and worked so much on it, to write about "how many discus each one bred during his breeding-life?" Do you not think you are asking to much???? And with no word did I mention that Mrs. Katie was "more important" – where do you get this from? I only appreciated her aquarium decoration ... You really want to split hairs ...
Shocking is also your next "complained"! You complain that I did not mention all of Gene Wolfsheimer's work! Should I have mentioned all the work of every single person involved with discus? Then, instead of 672 pages, I should have written a book with 10,000 pages - maybe? Is that your idea? I was very well aware of his articles (actually I think all of them), but did not mention them as I had to limited it to the most important facts of (discus)history and their (breeders) and what were their most important things they did/bred/archived - from around the world. The aim is to give to the reader an complete as possible understanding who was involved and therefore I picked their most important writings and information to pass this on to present and future generations - for people to learn about discus-breeding-history.
And if you think (or want to think) that I just wanted to make Wolfsheimer's work with discus as to sound like a single spawning then that this is only your problem of not reading correctly. On page 686 I wrote " ...Gene was not only a gifted breeder ...." . Is my English is not good enough or yours? (And Mary Bailey, who does all Ad Konings books as well did the translations and corrections - I think she knows English very well). I wrote exactly what Gene wrote in National Geographic, which is cited and anyone can read it. Sorry that you do not read my texts (nor NG's text) correctly. And also from NG are his words "...only 10 fishes..." from his first breeding. But it seem that you do not want to read it (otherwise how could you find an argument ...).
Also your statement which proofs that you really have nothing else to do then pick on my book what the US-breeding is concerned, you complain about a 50-year-old print with the words "Bleher offers a poor printing of a partial copy of one of Gene's famous photos which is historically sad as the whole incredible color series needed to be in the book ...". Just for your information (again): I could not report on 672 pages about 750 breeders and their history by bringing from each breeder all of his "historical" photos. For sure I have compiled in this work the most important historical photos and more then anyone has ever done or will ever bring (over 4000 – selected carefully from 250,000 ...).
If you want to publish a full historical report about Gene Wolfheimer, why do you not do that? But this was not the scope of my book. And Gene did not do a fraction of what Schmidt-Focke did for over 30 years ...
And about Herbert Härtel (not Herman Hartel - you did not even write his name correctly - is that how well you read my book?) you just did repeat what I wrote (my research), maybe to to make it look as it was your merit ... Thanks. This also shows that in reference to the real early breeders from before WWII, you have no idea about them, and it proofs that you are learning from my (historical) book (hopefully at least something ...).
If you think the first Albino were bred in the US, commercially, then please give me a reference and do not just write something. That is very poor. I am sure that the first Albino Discus to "appear" was in nature, not in the US or in Hong Kong, and without any doubt the first commercial Albino Discus breeding took NOT place in the US.
And what your complaim about the "Cobalt" Discus, I am sure you are also (completely) wrong, what the history and the variant is concerned. I like to clear this point of yours as well:
You mention "He misses that Bing Seto's original Cobalt discus came from Dr. Charles Wall..." but Bing told me, and it is published on his site www.discusworld.com/background.htm
that he did the first Cobalt ... Or did you not read it on his home page? Bing never said, nor mentioned, that he "bought" the "Cobalt".
Also you did not read correctly what I wrote under the photo on page 874: "... in T.F.H. at the end of 1970s..." I did not write when it was bred, only when it was published in T.F.H. (see references). Another miss-reading of your (as Mary confirmed the English is correct).
But if you have a publication with the respective photograph that a "Cobalt Blue" Discus was already bred in the late 1950s, as you say, then I really must have missed out on it and would like to correct it in my volume 3. But before I see such publication (and you mentioned none), I do not believe that (as most of your arguments missing references). Simply because almost every breeder knows that the "Cobalt" is a off-spring (mutant/variant) of the Solid Turquoise and nothing else and has only become an established strain by Schmidt-Focke and no one else.
I know well enough of the so called "Powder Blue" but I also know that it was NOT an established strain, at least not those I saw from Mac in California in the 1970s, or in any of the publications, they were all off-spring from Blue Discus (Symphysodon haraldi), from the Purus basin. They were of nice (the blue)colour, like the ones I collected in that region (see Bleher's Discus volume 1, page 211). And I know about the photo in T.F.H., which is also an off-spring of S. haraldi and nothing else. Very similar (off-spring)discus can be found in Jack Wattley's "Handbook of Discus" on page 21, in which actually Jack claims that he was the first to breed them - the so called "famous Wattley's powder blue discus..." But I guess you overlooked all of this, or did not want to mention it.
I mentioned many of the (crazy) discus (fantasy)names in my book from breeders around the world, and certainly not a fraction of those names represent a strain, often behind such name is only a single discus fish. Therefore I saw no reason whatsoever to write extensively also about these, they were not an established strain, just (selected?) Blue Discus, same as Bing's, Walls's, etc. And you cannot tell or proof to me that anyone of these made real (discus)history. Or can you show me anyone of these today?
I would have expecting a little more and better research from you sir. I did write everything (in detail) of the early breeders from before WWII - without missing anything. I wrote every important event which happened in the US (and elsewhere) after WWII on over 20 pages with more then 100 (also historical)photos, the most important ones, so I cannot see the US story short (and for Canada I wrote only 8 pages.).
If you kindly send me to my address copies of those references you mentioned and I asked for above, I will be happy to include these in my last edition of this monography.
And at the end I am sorry if I have to proof you wrong in most of your arguments, and actually I cannot see why you did this write-up (which you published almost everywhere). Was it only to try to make yourself "famous" or known, or was it just to contradict my life-time work because you did not do anything similar (besides writing a couple of pages against my 1340 so far published with the references). You could have waited on an answer to your PM without having all of this none-sense published which certainly only reflects on you. So far we sold nearly 10,000 copies and no one in America or elsewhere complained. You are the only one world-wide and I wish you really have had an argument.
Anyhow, I wish you all the best and I remain,
PS: On this forum the only positive answer you received is from one person, which seem also not to read well English (answer to Mark Smith's May 8,2011 10:47 text), as on page 849 the caption begins with: "Igor Kozlov and David Webber (Discus breeders from Russia and USA, of which I wrote about them) had their discus breeding facility very close to the World Trade Center ..." and ends with the text: " ...and the 30 discus pairs of Igor and David finally triggered too spawn - all at once - by the collaps of the twin towers..." And this man writes: " What on earth could this possibly have to do with discus?" And I thought Mary Bailey does know how to write English and even I can understand that only the collaps triggered the discus to spawn ... (Besides it is also in the text explained on page 847 - but again, people do not read, just want to argue - this is what it is all about, I cannot see anything else. I feel sorry for them.