06-13-2005, 12:16 PM
Q - Ryan, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today. Let's start with a little bit about you. Please tell us your real name and what you do for a living. Please also tell us anything you can about your family, other hobbies, and your life in general.

A - Well, my name is Ryan Karcher and I reside in Clermont, Florida, which is just West of Orlando. I am 18 and I just graduated high school about 2 weeks ago. I am going to college in the fall and it's going to be interesting balancing school, the fish and the girlfriend! And with my newly acquired North American Distributorship for Wayne Ng's fish, things will be even more interesting for me now since i just entered the realm of being a discus importer. The other hobby in my life is paintball. Paintball used to be my life until I moved down here to Clermont three years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio. But now, its the fish that have takin over my life! I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing...

Q - So how did you first get into discus? How did your first discus keeping experience work out?

A - Well, my family and I moved down here from Cincinnati after my Dad's company downsized and transfered us to here when I was 15. After we got unpacked and settled in, we noticed a bare wall in our living room and my Dad made the suggestion that we get a fish tank to put there... A nice big one. So, after a few days of looking through the local paper, we found a guy who was selling off a 180 gallon tank complete with fish, filters, etc. There were maybe 50 different types of fish in that huge tank, including one lone and dirty pigeon blood discus which just hung out at the top corner and wouldnt eat. I was fascinated by its colors and I just thought it was cool looking. So I began to do a ton of research online about discus. I soon found enough info on them that made me want to clear out the tank, convert it to bare bottom and put a few pieces of driftwood in there. So I did and a few weeks later (after selling off all the other fish in the tank including the lone PB), my Mom and I drove down to Miami to get some new fish from Gabe Posada at Jack Wattley's. I was in absolute awe of the fish that I saw. I couldnt decide which I wanted most... a red turk, a blue diamond, marlboro red... There were just too many possibi lities! I finally decided to go ahead and get 6 young adult red turks. We took them home and put those 6 fish into the 180 gallon tank by themselves. We were doing 25% daily water changes on them and they were doing great. They were eating like crazy and were healthy as can be. A month later we had our first spawning in the tank. We were shocked! My mom and I were so excited. That was on Thanksgiving on 2002 (the day after my birthday!). We had 2 pairs form in the tank. We moved both pairs into their own 20 gallon tanks the following January. A few weeks later we got our very first successful hatch and attatchment! We were thrilled. From our very first hatch came the blue ghosts that many of you have seen in my avatar over on DAAH and a few pictures over here. B ut at the time, I was inexperienced and ignorant and sold them off at an insanely cheap price because I needed the room for a shipment of fish from Cary. I am still kicking myself about that today. Matter of fact, both of my orginal pairs that produced the blue ghosts are still alive and kicking. I just gave away my last RT pair to a gentleman over in Tampa a few weeks ago and he had them spawn. From there on, things just exploded into what they are today.

Q - Please tell us about your set-up. You mentioned that you recently started importing discus? How is that working so far? Please tell us all about it!

A - Well, I am currently running 6 29s and 5 55s, with plans to expand into just 12 75s. All tanks are independant on sponge filters only. I have done experiments in the past with wet/drys and have like them a lot, but I found them a hassle to work with when doing multiple daily water changes without a float valve on them.

Yes, I have recently acquired the North American distributorship for Wayne Ng's discus out of Hong Kong. It is going very well. Better than expected. I am surprised at the demand Wayne's fish have here in the States, especially his blue and spotted fish like the Super Angel Diamonds, Blue Knight, Reflection Deep's and Spotted Eruptions. Importing these fish has been an experience to say the least. We had to make a 7 hour drive up to Atlanta to get the fish because there was not a single direct flight from Hong Kong to ANYWHERE in Florida. Which, considering that Florida is the tropical fish capital of the US, baffled me a lot. The fish made it just fine into our tanks and were eating like nothing happened within 3 days! It has been fun too, to learn about how the whole importation process works and how much work it is to keep over 200 3" fish alive, lol. I know many people have more fish than that, but to me, 200 3" fish is a lot to take care of!

Q - Please tell us about the fish you have now in stock and the set up that you have?

A - Well, currently I only have Super Angel Diamonds, Reflection Deep's, Leopard Diamonds and Grand Champ Spotted Eruptions (which are incredible looking fish). On my next shipment (hopefully right after ACA.) I am wanting to bring in more of my current stock as well as more Spotted Eruptions, White Eruptions, Golden Albino's, Red Covers, Violet Reflections and one of Wayne's newest colors - Red Gold Diamonds. I will post some pictures up of those to show you how incredibly red those fish are!

Q - Is it hard for you to not keep all the best fish for yourself?

A - (LOL!) Yes, it is VERY hard for me not to hold back any fish. But the thing is, I can't because of my limited tank space. I need to sell all of them off because I don't have enough room to hold any back and still bring in another shipment. If I had the tank space, none of the grand champ Spotted Eruptions would leave! And none of the Reflection Deeps would leave either. But sadly, they must go. Hopefully in the near future I can expand and get more tanks and then I could start holding back a few fish.

Q - Do you have any plans for breeding the fish yourself?

A - Yes. Actually, I want to breed Wayne's Blue Knights, Spotted Eruptions and his new Red Gold Diamonds as well as many other color types. But that won't happen for atleast another year until I get my new facility built and running!

Q - What have been the biggest challenges for you as you have been going commercial?

A - My biggest challenge in doing this was convincing my Dad to let me do it and to loan me some money to bring it in. From the very beginning of my discus keeping experience, he never thought that I could actually do something like this. He has supported me somewhat and has allowed me to do it, but never anything like this. From the beginning, I have been dreaming of doing just this. But now that he sees what I have accomplished at such a young age (an 18 year old with a new and thriving business!) he has become much more supportive of me. My little brother on the other hand still thinks they are just stupid fish!

Q - What are your favorite fish that you currently have? Tell us about them!

A - Hrmm... My favorite fish right now that I have in stock would be my grand champ Spotted Eruptions. I am in awe of them. Absolutely incredible. I mean, they even have spotting on their pelvic fins! My other favorite fish would be my lone 2" Blue Knight that survived the shipment. All his brothers and sisters were DOA due to poor handling on the airlines part.

Q - Can you think of anything that was done when you first started that would help discus keepers?

A - I think what really helped me be successful early on was getting involved in the online forums such as Simply Discus and DAAH. Those kinds of places are a wealth of information that a book will never be able to tell you. Another thing that I think really helped me the most was my fish per gallon ratio. 6 5" fish in a 180 gallon tank... That comes out to one fish per 30 gallons. That gave me A LOT of leeway on making any mistakes if I made any and it gave the fish plenty of room to grow and to just be happy. But most people cannot get such a large tank. When you are first starting out, stock very lightly with inexpensive fish so that when/if they die, it wont hurt you as bad in the wallet.

Q - Do you have any other tips for the Simply Discus readers?

A - ALWAYS start with good stock from a reliable and reputable supplier. That will make all the difference in the world when it comes to your first discus experience. Save yourself the hassle and heartache and spend the few extra dollars and get good, healthy stock.

Q - Do you have anyone that you would like to thank with regard to your discus keeping?

A - I would like to thank my parents for allowing me to have this opportunity to do all that I have done. I would like to thank everyone here at Simply Discus for providing me with a treasure chest full of knowledge to help me get off the ground. I would especially like to thank Mario (Turkis) for helping me acquire the Wayne Ng distributorship. And I thank everyone else out there that I may have forgotten about!! You know who you are!

Q - Is there anything else you would like to add about discus, the website or anything else?


Q - Thank you again, Ryan! When you have time, please post as many pics as you can. I'm sure that everyone else is as excited to see them as I am! Best of luck!

06-13-2005, 04:04 PM
Nice interview!! Good luck witht he distributorship Ryan!!!

06-13-2005, 04:13 PM
Great Ryan. Keep them going. Good luck in the future!!!

06-13-2005, 04:48 PM
Nice interview Ryan and John. I want to see pictues of the Red gold diamonds :)

06-13-2005, 06:53 PM
Ryan, glad you made the Spotlight. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the Blue Diamond babies.


06-13-2005, 07:08 PM
Nice spotlight guys Ryan keep up the good work on those fish

06-13-2005, 07:29 PM
Thanks for sharing Ryan. What a great story! :)

06-13-2005, 08:42 PM
Very nice write up! Ryan, you've got to post those pix asap, man!

Congrats & best of luck on the new venture!


06-13-2005, 09:11 PM
Thanks y'all!! I will try to get pixs up ASAP!! I have some decent shots with my old camera, but I have a new one on the way!! So in about 3 days or so I will post MUCH better pictures then. But for now, what I have will have to suffice. I will try to get Mario to post pictures of the Gold Red Diamond as I dont have any pictures and he has a few of them...I will post up some pixs of what I have tomorrow sometime.

Orlando Discus

06-14-2005, 08:20 AM
Very nice interview. Congratulations once more Ryan!! It's a big feat (the distributorship) but you'll pull it off very well. I look forward, too, in seeing those beautiful fish from Wayne, especially the red gold diamonds.

*angie* :)

06-14-2005, 10:59 AM

Great spotlight !!!! We wish you all the best !!


06-14-2005, 03:02 PM
Very interesting read. You've accomplished alot in a short amount of time. I'm looking forward to getting some SEs in the (hopefuly) near future. Congrats,

06-14-2005, 05:27 PM
Hi Ryan,
They chose the best man to be in the spotlight and what could I say, nothing.
Great interview and keep up the good work.

06-14-2005, 08:12 PM
Hey Ryan:

Very informative interview :antlers: and great job. I wish all new hobbiests would follow your model. How about a pic of you and family?

take care,

06-14-2005, 08:22 PM
Hey Ryan:

Very informative interview :antlers: and great job. I wish all new hobbiests would follow your model. How about a pic of you and family?

take care,

I think I have a picture of my dad, my bro and I on here somewhere...


P.S: I'll post some pictures up tonight of what I have in stock right now.

06-14-2005, 08:29 PM
Here's a picture of Me, my dad and younger bro on my 18th B-Day back in November...right infront of our pool :p Mom is takin the picture...which is why she's not in the pic, lol.


06-14-2005, 08:34 PM
Ok, now for some semi-decent pictures with my semi-decent digital camera, lol. First up, we have some Super Angel Diamonds...


06-14-2005, 08:35 PM

06-14-2005, 08:36 PM
Spotted Eruptions...


06-14-2005, 08:37 PM

06-14-2005, 08:39 PM

06-14-2005, 08:42 PM
Reflection Deep's....


06-14-2005, 08:43 PM

06-14-2005, 08:44 PM
Some Red Gold Diamonds...pictures courtesy of Mario Carvalho (Turkis) on his recent trip to Wayne hatchery..


06-14-2005, 08:45 PM

06-14-2005, 08:46 PM
Wow...sorry for the big pictures y'all...if someone would be kind enough to resize em...

06-14-2005, 08:47 PM
Leopard Diamonds...


06-14-2005, 08:50 PM
That's all that I have in stock now folks...Go have a look at Mario's new thread on Wayne's discus hatchery in the gallery for pictures of more of Wayne's fish. My next order will hopefully be right after ACA. Next shipment will hopefully have a much more diverse color line available.

Thanks again y'all for voting me for the June Spotlight!!! :)


06-15-2005, 06:55 AM
Downsized pictures for Ryan - Gold Red Diamonds.

06-15-2005, 06:56 AM
Another picture

06-15-2005, 06:56 AM

06-15-2005, 11:32 AM
What a great read, nice spotlight!! Congratulations Ryan and all the best in the future.

Barb Newell
06-15-2005, 06:46 PM
Great interview John and Ryan!

Barb :)

06-15-2005, 09:19 PM
Nice interview Ryan, keep those Wayne Ng Discus coming!


06-15-2005, 09:50 PM

Good Interview and great to know more about you...I like seeing young people like yourself stepping up to the plate and helping the hobby grow!.. :) Best wishes in all your endeavors and with the Waynes distributorship!


06-16-2005, 12:07 PM
Thanks y'all for the positive comments!!

Tad: It is hard doing this at my age due to me being so young and starting college in the fall. Plus balancing the fish and the girlfriend is a job in itself!! But she understands and supports me and thats all that matters. And yes, not too many people my age step up and do something like this...it isnt easy at any age though.


06-17-2005, 04:50 PM
Yes it is Ryan if its in Your heart Not Your Pocket!

Good Job guys

Best Wishes!

Cary + family

06-17-2005, 11:07 PM

Very interesting interview. Congratulations again and good luck with everything you have going on. College, a new business, and a girlfriend, yikes you have a full plate. How on earth do you always reply so quickly to emails with all that? Oh and thanks again for the awesome Discus. And please please let me know if you get those Red Gold Diamonds, well just let me know what you get.

Good Luck!!


06-18-2005, 02:07 AM
Great learning more about you Ryan! I hope that you manage to juggle college, gf, and discus. Remember though that college should always take top priority. A good college degree will help get you on the road to financially support yourself for a lifetime. Selling discus will never be able to provide enough $$ for a decent income. Even discus is a side income for Wayne!

06-18-2005, 04:47 PM
Thanks everyone. I know that I have the heart to do it Cary...just needed the opportunity to do it...and it presented itself!! And it has been an incredible experience so far! I hope to do this for many years to come.

Jon, I will let you and everyone know what I am bringing in on my next shipment...which should be right after ACA. Take more pictures of the beauties I sent ya!

Brigette, College will/is top priority in my life (right next to Heather, lol). I plan on getting some kind of business degree...somthing that I can go anywhere with and apply it to my life in all that I do...what ever it may be years from now.


07-10-2005, 03:04 PM
Ryan- Invite me to your 21st birthday party... you have taught me a lot just reading your posts... I can teach you what a pub crawl is!

07-10-2005, 07:45 PM
A very nice interview John and Ryan! Congratulations Ryan and all the best in the future.

LOL shaunn, good Idea when Ryan will be 21st b-day to start go to Pubs !

Good luck


07-11-2005, 12:09 PM
Ryan- Invite me to your 21st birthday party... you have taught me a lot just reading your posts... I can teach you what a pub crawl is!

LOL, deal! ;)


07-29-2005, 07:28 AM
Good job Ryan. Like Cary said, it's in the heart.

Willie Goh

07-29-2005, 08:59 AM
After seeing you again and getting to meet your mom, I can see the drive !!!!!!

Lots of work but well worth the time !!!!!


08-27-2005, 12:40 PM
they look like red melons with whites faces