Jack Wattley dies, aged 95
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.