Japan – Nagoya, April 2008
Shuichi Watanabe runs this tiny aquarium shop in Nagoya, Japan, called Thoroughbred Aquarium alone with his wife. Both work very hard at it. Watanabe san imports, almost exclusively, wild discus. He, like most Japanese today, loves only the natural discus forms. The mutants such as snake skin, marlboro, ghosts, bull-dog, etc. are not to be found, or hardly. Below some photos of his shop and his work, as well as his hospitality and friends. Heiko Bleher was invited to visit his shop and to participate in the following Discus Contest 2008.
Entrance to Watanabe’s shop (left) and one of his two rows of aquariums (right)
Here is Watanabe’s wife feeding the discus. One can see how intelligent he constructed the individual water supply and drainage from each aquarium
Watanabe san has some larger aquariums wild discus and always a goldfish. Each one has the photo of every single discus and the price below
Some of his discus and their retail price: 100 Yen = 0.62 Euro or 0.95 US$, so here we have wild discus starting with 620 Euro (960 US$) up to 1000 Euro (1500 US$) each
Shuichi Watanabe loves thoroughbred horses and has a couple, but also wild discus and his preferred are shown here on his pictures
In each aquarium with wild discus he places a goldfish, for the discus to get “guided” by the latter to feed. Unfortunately the goldfish eats almost all the food, is much faster, pushes the discus aside and gets fatter all the time (and discus stay skinny)
Watanabe gets from a very good Brazilian exporter quarantined and selected beautiful wild discus fishes, like these Royal Blue (left) or this blue face Heckel- discus (right)
Shuichi Watanabe is only 28 years old (left) and his shop only one year in business, but he has been breeding wild discus, like here in the back of his shop, for many years
Watanabe, as mentioned, loves horses and often puts such a mask on (left). On his website www.t-aquarium.com he offers Heiko’s designed and limited T-shirts with such a mask on as well. In his shop and around Nagoya are posted signs of the upcoming Discus Contest 2008 (right), which takes place near Tokyo
Watanabe invited Heiko and all his discus-loving friends from Nagoya to a special evening threat. A parked car is automatically looked on the parking lot (upper left) and can only be unlooked, if the code number of the parking spot and the ticket is inserted and paid for (right). Unique system. Nearby and on every gas station, there is a special place for the dogs to have a run (left). Also this is typical for today’s super organized Japanese living
The Sushi and Sashimi served was not only incredibly fresh, but better than anywhere outside of Japan…
…in addition the diner took place in a very beautiful old Japanese Inn with some of his friends, a water engineer (left) and Osamu Sakaue (right) who talked perfect German. The latter lived in Frankfurt, Germany (Heiko’s birthplace), and works for the German company LUK in Nagoya now. Both are wild discus lovers and breeders
In Japan many women are discus breeders, also Watanabe’s friends here posing in front of the giant lucky Buddha in this beautiful inn. From left: Yoko Ikeda, Heiko, Hikari Ikeda and Kina Inoue. It was a fantastic evening and everyone so friendly.