Jacqueline Heijmen Bennett-Leaver
Jacqueline was born in the Netherlands in a small town called Ede. Its beautiful heather known for “Operation Market Garden” during WWII, situated in Hollands greenest part known as “The Veluwe”. She and her husband live in a small house right beside the woods and the heather together with their two dogs. When she is not working at the Zoo or taking care of her fish, she loves to go out on long walks spotting wildlife and taking pictures.
Her first tank was a 600L (158.5 gallon) Discus tank. She added some Corydoras to it and that was the beginning of her fascination with catfish. She soon fell in love with these little cats and added some more which she kept in separate breeding setups. It didn’t take long before she was breeding different species of Corydoras. She swapped her 600L tank for a 2200L (581.17 gallon) tank with larger Cichlids, a nice group of Brochis and some larger species of Loricariids. She still keeps her Baryancistrus sp. L142 “Snowball” to this day, making them the longest kept species in her fish house today at 15 years. This group is one of her long term breeding projects.
Now, she keeps many other different breeding projects, as she has a strong desire to learn more about other species and even genera. She first started off with keeping and breeding many species of Hypancistrus but moved on to much more interesting and challenging genera such as Ancistrus, Parancistrus, Spectracanthicus, Scobinancistrus, Panaqolus, Pseudancistrus, Sturisoma, Centromochlus and Tatia. Almost breeding all of them with great success. As a sidetrack she likes to keep some livebearers just to have some fish actually swimming in the tanks. One of her lifelong dreams would be to go out to see the habitat where many of her fish live in the wild and learn about all there is to see out there. She feels one should always have a dream!