Tuesday, March 1, 2011

They Shoot Fishes, Don't They?

In 1986, while working for The Star newspaper in Penang; I accompanied a reporter to complete a story on Discus fish breeding on Penang Island.

During the photo shoot for the story, I discovered to my dismay; the following:

1. Little did I know that Penang is a major exporter of ornamental Discus fish in the world!
2. Discuses are the most beautiful tropical fish I ever seen and I easily got bitten by "discus fever"!
3. It is VERY difficult to light up a huge glass aquarium for photography!

Wikipedia define Discus (fish) as:

Discus (Symphysodon spp.) are a genus of three species of cichlid freshwater fishes native to the Amazon River basin. Discus are popular as aquarium fish and their aquaculture in several countries in Asia is a major industry.

According to The Discus Trail Of Malaysia and I quote:

"Penang Island lead in the breeding and export of Discus. As it has the best water quality required for breeding and raising Discus - pH value of 6.8 to neutral and a conductivity 60 to 80 microsiemens.
At the height of Discus Breeding in Penang (1987 - 1993) there were about 30 Discus farm of various sizes, ranging from a 100 to 500 Grow-out tanks with 20 to 50 breeding pairs and about 120 home-breeders with 30 to 80 tanks with 10 to 20 breeding pairs. 

(Grow-out Discus tanks are usually 250 litres and breeding tanks are usually 125 litres, though smaller capacity tanks are used depending on the preference of the breeders.)"