Jack Wat­t­ley dies, aged 95

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Aquatic News -

Jack Wat­t­ley, the ‘god­fa­ther of Discus’, has passed away, aged 95, on Oc­to­ber 3rd, just seven days be­fore his 96th birth­day. An author, aquar­ist, busi­ness­man, com­pe­ti­tion judge and pub­lic speaker, Jack was recog­nised as a pi­o­neer in the field of Discus breed­ing, pro­duc­ing some of the unique strains that are so pop­u­lar to­day.

Jack started out as a hob­by­ist – he was orig­i­nally the owner of many clothes stores – un­til he be­gan to ven­ture to the Ama­zon. It was here that he sought out and found green Discus strains he’d heard lived in lakes in Brazil. Af­ter tak­ing these home and suc­ceed­ing with them, he re­turned to South Amer­ica, this time in search of blue strains, which he also found, col­lected and shipped back home.

By cross­ing the green and the blue, Jack cre­ated the first turquoise Discus to great ac­claim within the in­dus­try. De­mand – and Jack’s rep­u­ta­tion – grew con­sid­er­ably. His fish ac­quired near-leg­endary sta­tus and he re­mains a house­hold name in Discus cir­cles.

His other suc­cesses in­clude the tech­nique of rais­ing Discus fry with­out par­ents, a method he kept se­cret for many years. Through this tech­nique Jack went from be­ing ‘just’ a breeder of high-qual­ity fish to a suc­cess­ful pro­ducer on a com­mer­cial scale.

Jack will also be re­mem­bered for the books ‘Discus for the Per­fec­tion­ist’ and ‘Hand­book of Discus’, which de­vel­oped an al­most cultish fol­low­ing. Some read­ers might also re­mem­ber his con­tri­bu­tions to the mag­a­zine world over his long ca­reer.

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