Joined: Jun 29, 2003 Posts: 7084 Location: Bengaluru, India
Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:21 am Post subject: Heiko Bleher's mail to Joyban
You have a great website - only I cannot access the expeditions (or most other places you have). I gave in a password, but how can one remember all these numbers?
Anyhow, it is very nice to hear from you and I liked the Channa-Expedition, although they collected only one C. punctata and very few other fishes. (You know I discovered Chann bleheri, the smallest of all snakehead species).
With regards to your aim, I think it is great and I really never thought that there is so much interest ion the hobby in India. That is really fantastic.
I have only done 4 field trips to India, to Rajasthan, Bihar, Darjeeling and Assam. Some collecting in the Bengal area and I collected P. denisonii but was not able, at the time (more than 20 years ago) to bring them back a life.
The more I was happy some years back, that finally you people were able to export that beautiful fish. Then I made with life specimens - in a large group of 80 fishes - a special biotope display at the Duisburg Fish & Aquarium Exhibition, which is the largest in the world.
More than 55,000 visitors came to my display (you can probably see it still at www.hagen.com and go to Aquatics, there must be Exhibitions with Heiko Bleher and /or Heiko Bleher's Natual Biotopes).
From then on, 2002, it took off and since than it has been the cover of many magazines. The fish (denisonii) reminded the day I saw it in nature, of a similar red-headed-fish I found in the Rio negro affluent (Jufaris) in 1965 and which was named after me, Hemigrammus bleheri, one of the most sold Aquarium fishes since (naturally after cardinals, neons and guppies).
H. bleheri, lives like P. denisonii, in larger groups and that is how they should be kept. People were standing in line to see this tank (one of 9 authentic biotopes - as in nature - which I do once a year at this exhibition - see also under http://www.hagen.comagain in Aquatics "Nutrafin Aquatic News", the magazine I do for Hagen).
I am really in need of more time and more people. So far I am short of 229 field trips to complete 1000; I am short of 31 countries to research for freshwater fishes (161 already done, and many of them several times); up to 16 field trip a year - specially lately , writing 100s of articles (- just send another 12 to TFH), for which most of them I am getting paid, as no one finances my trips.
I can try, but not promise. Tomorrow I leave for a field trip in Tajikistan and Kyrgkyztan. I shall be back in the second part of August and will see what I can do. But I also must finish a very large monograph of the genus Symphysodon (Bleher's Discus), which we are translating in 8 languages simultaneously.
I absolutely want to go back to Kerala and collect again, do more water research there and also collect one of the most unusual fishes on our planet: Horaichthys, which I never see again... We can combine something, maybe for next year. But we must coordinate it begin of 2006.
I will than give you hints of Irian Jaya (which some call West Papua and I hate it, because there is already one Papua, same stupidity as there are now to Congo countries...), the Islands and Papua (new Guinea), as well as Australia.
I found on my 32 field trip this year new blue eyes, at least one new Melanoatenia species, collected for the first time a life Ps. ivantsoffi, Ps. pellucidus and a new Ps. species similar to Ps. nuovaguinea. Also I have the (real) Ps. gertrudae (which has its type locality on the Aru islands, were I was last year collecting).
M. corona no person has ever seen alive. Jerry (G.R. Allen - right now climbing the Rockys) and me tried to find it (me 3 times), in vain. At the type locality mentioned in the books it cannot be found (recently even an American, Gary, was there and naturally could also not find it).
Melanotaenia parva we have breeding in Europe, all from the few I collected. (There was an article in TFH recently on it, did you see it? Also I wrote about the trip in aqua geographia, issue 22: "Yakati", see under http://www.aquapress-bleher.it).
M. ayamaruensis is an none-existing species. Jerry made an error and described a female specimen of M. boesemani as this species. The specimen were collected by helpers of Boeseman in 1954 together with M. boesemani in the same (Ayamaru) lake, and I went back two times: There is no other Melanotaneia species in the lake. Also I proved by comparing the specimens deposited at the Leiden Museum (unpublished note). It is M. boesemani. But my good friend Jerry still does not want to believe it...
M. iris I brought back many years ago, I think in Germany the IRG people still have some. Must check. G. cf pseudoincisus ( a spectacular fish, and small), we are breeding well. "cf" because I found it in an isolated crater lake, without inflow, or outlow. No connection to Tami-River at all (were Boeseman collected, also 1954/55 the specimen of G. pseudoincisus). In the Museum the dead specimen look very much the same. But until I find the one at its type locality (Tami River), I will not be convinced, that the fish from the crater lake is G. pseudoincisus. I shall try again end of this year.
The real Ps. reticulatus we have also been breeding well, since I brought them back (in 2000). Ps. majusculus, I am not sure if they are still around. Must check.
I must leave you now, as I must back for tomorrow. I have along flight in front of me. Milan-Moscow-Bishkek-Osh and than with my special Heikomobile to Tajikistan. Along the Pamir road collecting hopefully fishes above 4,000 m (last year I found loaches at 3,300 m). You know I have this craziness to want to illustrate most of the world's freshwater fishes and so far I accumulated over 24,000 fresh and brackish water forms (maybe most of them good species - although less than 10,000 are described so far).
It is now over 17 years I am working on this monster book and I still hope to finish it one day...we are all the time updating, and much better and more than http://www.fishbase.org. (I wanted to give them my work, as their fresh and brackish water fishes are terrible, full of errors galore, I find errors with most photos and lots of texts. The marine side is quite good. But they want all my work for free...and I do not own a Bank...).
As I said, for natural aquarium decoration - as in nature (not as in Amano, my fried I highly respect, but his artistic work has little to do with how fishes live in nature) - look up Nutrafin Aquatic News (nbr 1-4) _ or in the Internet http://www.hagen.comand do Aquatics. Later I can tell you more. People can also come to my natural biotope display in Duisburg, Germany, from September 29th to October 2nd, 2005. I will display my biotope stand again and hold 4 lectures - each day one.
You may use my above text for your website, just take out the English spelling errors, I have not time to correct it. I am sure you understand.
All the very best
Last edited by Madan on Mon Aug 01, 2005 11:42 am; edited 4 times in total
It is nice of you for forwarding the letter of Heiko Bleher for the benefit of all of us. It is really a encouraging source for our youngster of ASK members as well as IAH.
Really, how the western country hobbyists are so mindful and dedicated towards the expedition in search of tropical fish of new veriety But our youngsters are not lagging behind. ASK and IAH also undertook the same kind of trips with their enthusiastic members. Thanks to Madanji for the thought and lead. Sorry I could not make it.
I wish them every success in their future endevours. Beginning is made. Fruits are ahead.
Thanks once again to you and Madan for bringing the contents to the knowledge of all of us.
thanks for your e-mail. I want to answer right aways, because I am in the mids of reading correction for my volume I of BLEHER'S DISCUS (which you should actually make popular on your beautiful home page too, such as www.finarama.com did it - see there) ( http://www.finarama.com/home.htm ) . A monograph with around 5000 photos and drwaings, more Amazon and discus information than ever in history, etc. etc. Volume I has 676 pages und goes to be printed next week (out for Interzoo 2006), and Volume II - same size - should be out by end of the year.
After Interzoo Im am scheduled to go to New Guinea again. I have found last year different new (undescribed) rainbowfishes and collected some blue eyes. One on Aru Island (but lost all of them, unfortunately), Ps. ivantsoffi, which we are breeding now, Ps. cf. novaguineae (breeding as well - a real beauty) and a beautyful M. goeldei var. (or new species), a fantastic Chilaterina cf fasciata, with greenish and one with orange coloration.
I collected the new Kiunga bleheri, butr we breed them once, and than all lost... same happened with Ps. majusculus last year. But Ps. pellucidus is doing well (collected with Ps. ivantsoffi).
You know M. corona still not to be found. (I hope for the 5th time to search after it this year); M. ajamaruensis is not existing species ! It is a synonym of M. boesemani (just that Jerry does not want to believe it, although both of us went several times there and there is no other species...).
The other mentioned species are well doing and breed in Germany, in many places now. And vailable, also the ones I mentioned above. In addition:
I did 8000 km of Australian Outback last year as well and brought back two varieties of Melanotaenia splendida tatei - never been on the market/hobby before. We are breeding both now. Nice fish.
You know that I also found a new rainbowfish in Misool Island, which we are breeding now, next to the known M. misoolensis.
In aquageo, in aqua, in several European magaziones and once in a while in TFH comes articles of mine. Let me know more specific information you need.
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