Meet Tom Fowler

Meet Tom Fowler


Meet Tom Fowler the Hobbyist
date: 15-10-2001

In 1971 my wife bought the children a gold fish two days later it started to get pretty white spots and we thought how nice, but later when it had got a lot more we realized there was something wrong. We took it back to the shop and the man said it was white spot, use this med, it will put things right. So I used it, it was cured and I was hooked.

Two years later I had a fish house and forty large tanks all with gro lux lights and carpet on the floor. We spent more time in there than we did in the house. We were breeding Angels, Kribs, Barbs, Emperor Tetras, Harlequins, Dwarf Gouramis, etc, sometime in 1975 I bought my first two Discus they cost a weeks wages and I was very worried about keeping them as I knew nothing about them. A chap came to see them and begged me to sell them to him so I did, for a small profit, much to my wife's dismay. I will get you some more I promised, but shortly after that my business started to get really busy and it was getting too hard to keep the fish house going and one day in 1977 a man phoned me about making some racks for fish tanks and when he gave me the sizes I said I can sell you the racks, the tanks and the fish so a deal was struck and he took the lot away.

When it was all gone there was a great feeling of loss; I said to my wife, "when we are old and gray we will come back to it", she never let me forget. In 1992 she said: "when are you going to get me those discus?" "I will get you some for Christmas" I said. So I made a three foot tank, bought a book, "Discus as a Hobby" by Jim E. Quarles, read it from cover to cover, read it again, then I bought two discus; "there" I said "that should keep you quiet" and it did, but I was hooked again! Mr. Jack Wattley, Mr. Jim E Quarles, Mr. Bernd Degen, if you read this somewhere I would like to thank you for passing on your knowledge through your books.

This pair of discus with eggs have always been a problem: eating the fry!
But after taking the photo a week ago, they are now swimming around with the fry, 4
days old. I have got lots of youngsters off of them by hand rearing.

This pair of snake skins were very good parents but I lost a lot of the young with problems that I posted on the discus-sion forum. After getting a scope it proved to be flukes as was first
thought but the med was faulty and it was not getting rid of them. It was not until I saw them in the scope that I new what was going on. Since then they have not been rearing the young and I have been doing it, the little bit all adds to the interest.

I now have a fish house with 19 tanks and five breeding pairs: two pairs of Snake Skins, one pair of Cobalts, one pair of Red Turqs, one pair of Blue Turqs and rather a lot of odds and ends which are beginning to pair off. It can be very hard work at times, but I love it ......

The conclusions that I have come to over the years is that Discus are no harder to keep than any other tropical fish, but the mistakes that people make are exactly the same. They see these lovely fish and they must "have" some. If they would stop, think, do some research and buy at least one book on how to keep Discus they would have instant success. I would recommend "Discus as a Hobby" by Jim E. Quarles. It is published in paperback and is quite affordable. I also think that once having got the fish in the tank they kill them with "kindness", (over feeding them) and then having turned healthy fish into sick ones, kill them off with all sorts of medications. Please people, before getting the Discus: RESEARCH, buy a good book and do not RUSH into things....

Tom F

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