Discus - The Naked Truth

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Discus - The Naked Truth

Postby Walter Soestbergen » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:17 pm

Review by: Tony Vaughan
Tittle: "Discus – The Naked Truth” by Andrew Soh
Year: 2005
Pages: 170
Colored pictures: Many
ISBN: 981-05-3512-0


When I met Andrew at the International Discus Championship in Germany in 2002 he told us about his book that he was going to release. A little later than expected it has finally arrived and take it from me it was well worth the wait. Below is only a brief explanation of what’s included in “The Naked Truth”………….. Here are the secrets of discus keeping in black and white and this is the Whole truth, and nothing but………….”The Naked Truth”.

If you only have one discus book in your collection make sure it is this one.

The first chapter - Selecting the Best

Andrew starts off the book with a helping hand on how to select the best discus possible. Straight away the subject is taken to a level never seen before in this hobby. One where all discus forms are studied including the eight different types of foreheads, it then moves onto discus deformities and the things to look out for when purchasing discus. The rest of the chapter covers the rest of the fish, gills, eyes, fins, scales and then General condition. Things like movement are explained in detail as are tell tale signs of underlying problems that may not be apparent to the novice discus keeper. This chapter has very detailed diagrams (all drawn by the author !!) along with a vast amount of very beneficial information to anyone wishing to buy discus and not only that it would also show you what to look for when judging a fish for yourself.

The second chapter – Culture Tank Systems

In this chapter the advantages and disadvantages of seven of the most popular tank set ups are covered. This includes set ups from a single tank with sponge filtration to breeding set ups of multiple tanks with complicated water recycling systems. Things like water changes, feeding, parasites, biological activity, growth, evaporation, breeding and lots more are covered. “All system tanks work, but some work better”, Andrew Soh”

The third chapter – Breeding

The prerequisites of any breeding project are covered first, things like lighting, shadows, aeration and water quality are explained in detail. It then moves onto water quality and food for both fry and parents. At this point the chapter launches into the breeding process, which is aided with step-by-step pictures. The whole process is captured from a pair with a spawn right up to when the fry have grown to 5cms / 2 inches – truly awesome !

The fourth chapter – Artemia CultureIn 1997 Andrew’s company took on a project, “Commercial Production of Adult Artemia”, needless to say the project was a huge success. Artemia is one of the best foods that fishkeepers can give their fish. During the project they used to harvest 20kg / 44 Lbs of artemia a day!!! (I am so glad I was not the one paying for the artemia eggs after seeing the pictures) Andrew shows us how to hatch them from capsules and raise them onto adults, very handy for any fish keeper. In the past I have had limited success in the raising of brineshrimp to adults so I am looking forward to giving it another try using Andrew’s method.

The fifth chapter – Sexing

At the 2002 Discus Championship in Duisburg, Germany Andrew gave a seminar on sexing discus. This was amazing in my opinion and was one of the reasons why I was looking forward to the book. He has a method that IÂ’m almost sure with a bit of practice everyone will be able to sex discus at a fairly reasonable size. Andrew covers the external signs like fins, lips, forehead and overall size before delving into stuff like milt sacs and egg sacs. Very graphic diagrams and also dissection photos accompany this.

The sixth chapter - Grooming a Champion

In this chapter Andrew shows us how to select and groom a champion fish. It covers everything from eyes, gills, fins, and overall shape. He then talks about culling and conditioning and water quality and feeding prior to competition. “Always strive to produce the Best” – Andrew Soh

The seventh chapter - Discus Genetics

This chapter starts off with a look into the genetics of the Swordtail (Xiphophorus species) and gives a very detailed explanation of some of the different strains of swordtails. This is another fish that is close to AndrewÂ’s heart. It then moves onto discus and their genes and also gives us a very detailed explanation on breeding traits. He gives us some great explanatory diagrams to show how to clean and create strains.

The eighth chapter - Import Quarantine Procedure

Nowadays with the sale of discus more popular than ever it has become imperative to quarantine new arrivals regardless of where they have come from. This is to ensure no cross contamination takes place and to make sure the new arrivals return to full health after their arduous journey as quickly as possible. Andrew has a nine step method which if followed I’m certain would prevent a lot of fish losses after importation. “Prevention is better than cure, and curing discus is a nightmare” – Andrew Soh.

The ninth chapter - Diseases and Treatments

In this chapter parasites are explained giving definitions of ecto & endo parasites, protozoa, fungus, worms, bacteria and viruses. Andrew proceeds to give a scenario and a solution to the 6 different scenarios which are covered. How to repair broken fins is also covered and I must say I have never seen this method mentioned before, again giving very detailed drawings as reference.

The tenth chapter - List of Commonly used drugs and chemicals.
In this chapter of the book, the title speaks for itself. The most popular medications for all sorts of parasites are covered including the recommended dosages. Andrew is extremely well known in Asia for his successful treatments of diseases and has also given seminars on discus health. He has also designed some of his own medications to treat some diseases.

The eleventh chapter - Frequently Asked Questions
In this section Andrew takes the most commonly asked questions from more than 20 of the most hotly debated topics which include questions on water, feeding, breeding, rearing and many more.

Andrew does not have blood in his veins, he has Amazonian water and there are lots of little
Discus swimming from his head to his heart and then to his soul. In this book he has showed
Us a glimpse of his heart, something difficult for anyone to do.

The book is full of fascinating information some of which has never been in print before now. In my opinion Andrew is more than a discus expert, more like Doctor Dolittle of the fish world. He has a passion for discus that I have never seen before, he explains things in an uncomplicated manner and is as knowledgeable as you will find.

This isnÂ’t the kind of book that you will read and put away, it is more like a reference book that you will go back to again and again, everytime I read it I learn something new. He has not gotten where he is today without being very successful at what he does, he has even designed some of his own medications. Andrew has given talks all over the world and IÂ’m sure that we have not heard the last from Andrew Soh.

Tony Vaughan for DPH
With thanks to Andrew Soh
order information available on DPH forum!

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Walter Soestbergen
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Postby Walter Soestbergen » Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:28 pm

The Naked Truth.

This is a master piece, newer seen something like this before. Heart goes
like a red thread thru this book. Language are great for us who aren't
english spoken, explains very mutch and in a simple way. All chapters are
great, but I find my favorite is chapter 9. I'm gonna use it for years,
can only recommend discus friends to buy it.


Martin Astrom
I'm myself, there are already enough others.
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Walter Soestbergen
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