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Betta albimarginata A First Look at a Newly Discovered Mouthbrooder by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

his is (hopefully) my first article on a unique and interesting fish. I say "hopefully," because I hope later to be able to write an article on the spawning of these fish. In fact, I had not intended to write anything until these fish had spawned for me; but our Executive Editor, Joe Ferdenzi, convinced me to write this article now, after he saw these fish at my home, as well as some photos I took of them. (Anyone who, after meeting Joe, thinks he is always "laid-back" hasn't seen his reactions to a new species of fish!) Mention "Bettas," and the first thing most people think of is the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens\r the "Peaceful Betta," (Betta imbellis). These fish, along with Gouramis, Paradise Fish, and several others, are "Labyrinth fishes." This means they are capable of taking in and directly using air, instead of relying solely on their gills. (The ability to do this varies with the age of the fish and the species. For example, Licorice Gouramis are quite capable of surviving by use of their gills alone, and so do not use their labyrinth organ that often.) When you talk of Labyrinth fish, many hobbyists also often think of spawning by means of bubblenesting, a process by which the male constructs a nest of bubbles into which the fertilized eggs are placed. However, many Labyrinth fish, including many Betta species, are not bubblenest builders. Some, like the Kissing Gourami (Helostoma temmincki) are egg scatterers, and quite a few are mouth brooders, such as the Chocolate Gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides). The fish I am about to describe falls in this latter class. Betta albimarginata is a beautiful little mouthbrooder native to East Borneo. Our cover this month features a photograph I took of this fish. For anyone reading this article as a reprint, without having seen the cover photo of this month's magazine, the International Anabantoid


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Association (IAA) has photos (not mine) of this fish on their website.1 (For those of you concerned with species maintenance and/or interested in anabantoids, the IAA is a species maintenance organization whose members help keep a species, whose natural habitat is being destroyed or is in danger of being destroyed or degraded, alive through the aquarium hobby. Information on joining the IAA is included at the conclusion of this article.2) The lAA's website states this fish's "color pattern resembles the much sought after Betta macrostoma from Brunei." I'm not sure I agree, but the IAA website also has photos of the Betta macrostoma, so you can compare and decide for yourself. In any event, this is a beautiful fish. I appear to have the "Malinau" variety. (Again, refer to the IAA website, where this variety, as well as the "Pampang" variety are pictured.) The fish FF is elongated, almost "shark-like" in shape, and grows to no more than two inches in length. The head is slightly flattened on the top, the caudal (tail) fin is rounded. While the males are more strikingly colored, the female is a very handsome looking fish in her own right. The bodies of both sexes have black spots, with a lighter body color, at the top of a flattened head. The male's body ranges from a pinkish grey to almost red, with a bright white margin along the outer edge of the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins (giving rise to the scientific nname of this fish: alb imarginatd). I was able to acquire two trios (that is, two males and four females), which I put into a ten gallon tank with several Anubias sp. plants. Aside from a little playfulness, and one incident that I will relate later, I noticed absolutely no aggression on the part of these fish towards each other. These being new fish to the hobby (only having been first described in 1994), I was dismayed to find that, except for one article in

February 2000

Tropical Fish Hobbyist3, and three papers published only in German, nothing appears to have been published on this fish to date. With one exception, none of the general (or even the anabantoid specific) books in my library even mentioned Betta albimarginata. The one book exception was the reference work: Aqualog All Labyrinths4. However, in various respects this book contradicted information in the TFH article, and/or my own limited experience with these fish. For example, the Aqualog book indicated these fish required room temperature, would eat dry food, occupied the lower regions of the tank, and were difficult to keep. None of these I have found to be the case. With little written on this fish, and conflicting information when there was something written, I was pretty much on my own as to how to care for them. From the TFH article31 learned these fish are native to an area where the water was 81째F., slightly acidic (pH between 5.5 and 6.0), and soft ( <3째dGH). (The Aqualog book at least agreed with TFH on the need for soft, acid water.) The TFH article mentioned that these fish were collected among masses of leaves. I learned the breeder piii:||lllil;ill;;ll|||| from whom I obtained these fish had water similar to the soft, neutral pH of my New York City water. So, that seemed to mean that I would only need to worry about food, warmth, and leaves. I "borrowed" plants from several other tanks (Joe Ferdenzi brought me some more), until over half the tank was a jungle of large leaves. I soon discovered that these fish love to hide among the leaves and peek out. But, instead of occupying only the lower region of the tank (as per the Aqualog book), these fish can be found at all levels (although they are actually more often found in the upper half of the tank). Water temperature was taken care of by means of a heater set at 80째F. For filtration, I chose a large box filter. Using a power filter or canister filter would, I reasoned, create too much water circulation, even in a heavily planted tank. While B. albimarginata are not bubblenest builders, they are Labyrinth fish, whose labyrinth organ developed to adapt these fish to relatively oxygen-poor, stagnant, or nearly-stagnant, water.

A box filter seemed to be the best compromise for filtration with minimal water movement. The next thing I had to concern myself with was food. The breeder from whom I got these fish fed them almost exclusively a diet of tubifex worms. In years past, I have had poor experience with live worms (although, to tell the truth, I had better experience with tubifex than with blood worms), and I was a bit reluctant to use them. So, I started these fish on a diet of adult brine shrimp, followed (after I gave them time to eat their fill) by tubifex worms every other day. This schedule was in the hope that I could eventually wean them off tubifex worms. The live adult brine shrimp were soon accepted; but all attempts at giving flake, pelleted, freeze dried, or frozen foods were rejected totally. Now, I am not normally fixated on spawning fish. In spite of the fact that I have bred a number of fish (or, to tell it more truthfully, I have had a number of fish spawn in my tanks), I never submitted any of these spawns for BAP points, However, I am very interested in spawning these particular fish. In an effort to encourage spawning, I performed 20% water changes every three days (a highly unusual schedule for me, I must admit), and was rewarded within a ^^ i|ill|ip month with seeing one of my males putting :!!ii&^^ relatively large, white, eggs into his mouth (with a resulting very swollen throat). When I mentioned this to another fishkeeper, he asked me a question I admit never occurred to me, namely "how, if this is an anabantoid, can this fish take in air with a mouth full of eggs?" I still don't know the answer to that question, even though right now I am raising three different species of mouthbrooding anabantoids. I was not lucky enough to witness the actual spawning in my tank, although I did note some playful behavior, with a male and female pair circling each other, a few days previous. I do not know whether this behavior was a prelude to the spawning or not. The TFH article also indicated that the spawning behavior of these fish is similar in some ways to that of B. splendens, with the male first embracing the female, then picking up the eggs in his mouth while the female lays immobile after each embrace. The difference, of course, is that the male

February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

B. albimarginata keeps the eggs in his mouth, rather than expelling them into a bubble nest. I previously noted that I saw no aggression among these fish, with one possible exception. That one exception was while the male was holding eggs. During that time, absolutely no other fish, with the exception of one female (pair bonding?) could approach without being chased away. I don't know if this behavior was unique to this one specimen, or a normal part of the spawning ritual. I hope to witness more spawnings to find out. The author of the TFH article reported poor captive spawning results, with the male eating the eggs before they hatched several times. This is apparently also what happened to the one spawning I witnessed. At the suggestion of the original breeder, I moved the egg-holding male to a separate tank with 100% of the water from his prior tank. In retrospect, this was probably not the best thing to do. So, to prepare for the future, I added, with the help of a contribution from our Photo Editor, Jason Kerner, a generous clump of Java Moss. Now, the entire tank is one mass of plants. If I notice a male holding eggs again, I will isolate him on the side of the tank with the Java Moss using plastic mesh. This will reduce stress on the fish caused by moving him, with the Java Moss providing refuge for any fry.

I hope to have successful subsequent spawnings, without the need to "strip" the male of his eggs (which was ultimately done in the spawning described in TFH). Time will tell if I can achieve "natural childbirth." In the meantime, I am enjoying these beautiful, interesting, and peaceful fish.

1 The Internet URL for the International Anabantoid Association with the photo in question is: htip://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Andes/9785/pics_4.htm

Membership in the IAA is $15 for an individual, $25 for a family, sent to: Tony Pinto (IAA Registrar) 9B Monastery Road Brighton, MA 02135-3403


Persons interested in anabantoids should also consider joining the International Betta Congress ($20 individual, $22 family): Steve Van Camp (IBC Membership Chair) 923 Wadsworth Street Syracuse, NY 13208 "New Mouthbrooding Bettas from Kalimantan Timur," by Philipp Dickmann, Tropical Fish Hobbyist October 1999.


Aqualog All Labryinths by Frank Schafer, Verlag A.C.S. GMBH, 1997 4

Send all mail, including exchange publications, for Modern Aquarium, or for the Greater City Aquarium Society to: Alexander A. Priest % Greater City A.S. 1558 McDonald Street Bronx, NY 10461-2208 To contact us via e-mail, send your message or inquiries to GreaterCity@compuserve.com Or, leave us a message on our website at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/greatercity If you are sending an electronic file (including any article), please save the file as either: (1) .RTF (Rich Text Format); or (2) ASCII (DOS text, or text); or (3) WordPerfect 5.1 for MS-DOS (preferred). Please use an "8 plus 3" file name (that is, use no more than 8 letters or numbers, no spaces, no characters other than letters and numbers, and with an (optional) file extension of no more than three letters or numbers). You can send 3.5" (Amiga, Macintosh, MS-DOS/Windows) or 5.25" (CBM, MS-DOS) size disks, either high or low density. If you mail a disk, keep a copy of the file on your hard drive or on another floppy (the Post Office has been known to "cancel" programs on a disk), and include a printed copy, along with information indicating what program you used to create the file.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

February 2000

The GCAS Celebrates the New Millennium In Grande Style! by CLAUDIA DICKINSON was so excited making preparations to depart for the GCAS Holiday party, I could barely contain myself! What could be better in life, I thought to myself as I loaded up three of the dogs and looked over at Brad, so happy that he would be making the trip in with me this year. The sheep were all set, their heads buried in a mound of sweet timothy, and the ducks had nestled into their bundle of straw. After an early feed, the fish were settled in for the night. The cold Montauk winds whipped at one's nose, but the evening ahead filled me with a wonderful warmth. Who could want for more, with my lap covered with dogs, my husband by my side, and some of the most special fishy people I know, waiting at the end of our journey! Heralding in the year 2000 in fine fashion, the GCAS Holiday Party was a festive affair indeed! The annual party has become one of the big events of the year, not to be missed, and this year was certainly no exception. Walking into the Palace Diner, I was so happy to see so many familiar faces! With few membership duties to constrain my mobility, I could hardly wait to get around to visit with all of you. It was surely an evening for friends and family to gather and take time to appreciate each other. First a big welcome from our dear friends, Ginny and Charlie Eckstein, who had taken the drive all the way from Sayville to join the celebrations. That remarkable Al and Sue Priest were enjoying their first course, amongst lively talk of bettas and danios; articles and author awards. Whatever would a GCAS event be without that extraordinary couple, Joe and Anita Ferdenzi, I thought to myself as I saw their cheerful faces come through the door. GCAS catfish expert, Mark Soberman, and I took a moment to go over the final details for his presentation on Corydoras. The evening was surely perfected when I saw that the exceptional Warren Feuer would be seated at our table. The Brooklyn Aquarium Society was well represented, with a dynamic table consisting of President Seth Kolker, Vice President Tom


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Miglio and Corresponding Secretary Joe Graffagnino. I enjoyed a few moments with them and am glad for the GCAS that they are a part of our club as well. Bernie Harrigan and Jason Kerner are always such a treat to visit with! Jason and I started talking about our birds, realizing our common interest aside from fish a few years ago, when Jason found me using a Lafeber's bird pellet container to scoop fish water. Bernie was so patient, when he really would rather talk about a Geophagus's response to a gravel vs. bare bottom tank, instead of a cockatoo's response to bringing the bag of almonds out of the cupboard! (But wasn't it Bernie that I heard was caught sneaking a few almond treats to Jason's bird the other day?) There were so many more of you ~ it is always such a pleasure to see Joe and Mary Anne Bugeia, Horst Gerber and his lovely wife Linda, Ben and Emma Haus, Frank Bonnici, Greg Wuest, and Pete and Roberta D'Orio with their charming daughter Alison. It was time to sit down to a delightful dinner, prepared to perfection by the Palace Diner. It was a difficult choice between a wonderful Chicken Marsala, Beef Tenderloin or a Grilled Salmon. I opted for the delicately grilled Salmon, and it was just delicious, served with a most flavorful vegetable dish and a steaming baked potato. While everyone enjoyed the fabulous custard torte that followed, Alison D'Orio had barely a moment to rest as she passed out the grab bag gifts, taking great care that all received the proper package. Alison's work was non-stop as she then appeared by each person's side with a door prize raffle ticket. We all give a big applause and thank you to Alison, whose enthusiastic volunteering went a long way to make the evening a fun-filled success! Amongst the comfortable after dinner chatter and tinkling of coffee cups, the door prize was raffled. The award of the "Encyclopedia of Fishes" was made possible through the generous donation of Lee Finley of Finley Aquatic Books. Ginny Eckstein was the lucky raffle winner!

February 2000

It was time for the award presentation as "Modern Aquarium" editor Al Priest gave out the first annual Author Awards. There were several talented winners in the categories of "Author" ~ Jason Kerner, Vincent Sileo and Greg Wuest; "Correspondent" ~ Warren Feuer and Susan Priest; and "Writer" - Jeff George and Alexander Priest. Joe Ferdenzi took top honors as "Journalist" for the year. All winners were eligible for the Author Award Raffle, a one-year subscription to the British "Practical Fishkeeping" magazine. The magazine was a most generous donation by Al and Susan Priest and won by our President, Jeff George. The Federation of American Aquarium Societies Awards brought honors to many GCAS member's articles in the past year's "Modern Aquarium" issues. There were a total of eleven winners, with Jeff George and Joe Ferdenzi taking high honors. Warren Feuer, Mark Soberman, Vince Sileo and Bernie Harrigan all made us very proud with their achievements as well. The presentation of Breeder's Awards honored Jeff George and Warren Feuer as Advanced Breeders, Tom Miglio as Master Breeder and Joe Ferdenzi as Senior Grand Master Breeder. Tom Miglio took center stage as his awards continued to decorate the table forming every aquarist's dream of a centerpiece! The Don Sanford Breeder of the Year Award, the Walter Hubel Bowl Show Champion and the Victor Becker Memorial Award for breeding Rasbora heteramorpha all were to be won by Tom! It was time for the special award of Aquarist of the Year to be presented. This year the award was given a new meaning with its new title, the Gene Baiocco Aquarist of the Year Award, in recognition of the late Gene Baiocco. It was our sadness to see Gene pass away this year after 40 years of GCAS membership, seven of which he served as president.

We were so very honored to have as a guest, Eleanor Baiocco, the wife of Gene Baiocco, who was joined by their children, Carol, Jean and Richard, as well as their families and grandchildren. Joe Ferdenzi spoke words of praise and respect for his long-time fellow member. Gene's son, Richard, then spoke of his father's great love of fish and the GCAS. Richard went on to assist in the presentation of this great achievement to a much-deserving couple ~ Vince and Rosie Sileo. When the thunders of applause diminished, we barely had a moment to catch our breath, when our talented President, Jeff George, hosted the Master Playoff of his ingenious game of "Fish Wits." Champions Ginny Eckstein, Seth Kolker, and Lenny Ramroop were a tough match, as their brows furrowed in concentration over the difficult questions. The audience was pulled between roaring with laughter and trying to keep still, as the contestants brainstormed and let the jokes fly! Ginny edged ahead and was to earn her title as Master Fish Wits Champion for the second year in a row! The time had come to say our goodbyes, but right now was a time to take in the last moments of the warmth of friendships and special people that would hold through the chilly night. Our drive home was full of reminiscing of such a Grande evening, with the dogs once again nestled in their bundle of blankets on my lap. It would be 2:30 AM when I would finally curl up in bed for a quiet moment with a dish of vanilla ice cream, and my cherished "Modern Aquarium" magazine. As I read all of your articles, and saw all of your names, the party came back to life, and the dreams of friends, fun, fish, laughter, killies, apistogramma, Paratilapia z-z-z-z-zz See you next month!

A View From Another Table by SUSAN PRIEST laudia has modestly "forgotten" to include a few details about our celebration which should not go unmentioned. First, she was the recipient of a FAAS Publication Award for her article: "On The Road To The NEC," for which she took second place honors in the Best Show Article category. Second, she also received an Author Award Program certificate, attesting to the fact

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that she reached the level of "Writer." (In this, she tied both our President and magazine Editor!) Finally, the beautiful grab bag gifts which each of us received were lovingly prepared and donated by her. I'm sure I can speak for all of us when I say, "Thank you, Claudia, for all of your very special contributions."

February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

by BERNARD HARRIGAN PARADISE FISH his is the fish that I gave to my five year be fin nippers, so they need watching. The males old nephew. He kept them in a ten gallon constantly spar for dominance, with the result that tank for four years and bred them, all that the less dominant fish can be treated roughly. without a filter or a heater. Today, he has a Rosy barbs and plecos are two of the species I've dynamite reef tank and is studying Marine Biology used as tankmates with some success. in college. Their hunger is easy to satisfy. Paradise Fish, will eat T h e Paradise Fish flakes, freeze dried food, small pellets, Ma c r op o du s opercularis comes as well as live food. As an added from China and benefit I have even Korea. First seen Paradise Fish imported in 1869 to Europe by a eat planarian French military flatworms and hydra in some attache, they were cases. one of the first Spawning exotic species kept is simple. During in the hobby, and the summer, as the were apparently temperature rises sometimes kept in between 71 to 86 u n h e a t e d degrees F, I reduce containers. the water level to Paradise Fish have one third. This a preferred Paradise Fish (Macropodus opercularis) drawing by B. Harrigan simulates the dry temperature range season of the fishs' native habitat. The male of from 60 to 80 degrees F, although they can builds a bubble nest. When the fish are ready, the survive 50 to 90 degrees F. How is that for an female and male spawn. The male then chases the undemanding species! female off, and proceeds to tend and protect the The Paradise Fish is a gorgeous mixture nest. At this point, I remove the female from the of red, blue, black, and white in bands and stripes. tank. Hundreds of fry (up to 500) are born in a It is a labyrinth fish, thus, it can survive in waters few days. I feed them "green water" and infusoria with low oxygen content by gulping air. They can first, due to the tiny size of the newly hatched fry. grow to almost five inches and live several years. Later, I "graduate" them to baby brine shrimp and There are also albino and black Paradise Fish that finely powdered flake food. can interbreed, as well as new varieties being The Paradise Fish lives up to its name; a "created" all the time. Males have longer fins and true paradise to keep and behold, with a rich brighter colors than females. Without another fish history that tells you they are one of the true for comparison, sexing is extremely difficult, in "stepping stones" in our hobby. They are as my experience. interesting to keep today as they were two The Paradise Fish's only real drawback is centuries ago. They were also the beginning of that they are marginal as community fish. Tank fun fishkeeping! mates should be chosen with great care. They can


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

February 2000

Our scheduled speaker this month:



"CORYDORAS ~ THAT PERKY LITTLE CATFISH WITH SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE!" by CLAUDIA DICKINSON It was a cozy winter evening in Plainview, N.Y. at the Soberman household as Mark and his lovely wife Robin dried and put away the last of the dinner dishes amongst the lively chatter of their daughters, Ilyssa and Danielle. After a long day as sales manager of a dental supply company, Mark could relax and feel a sense of gratitude as he enjoyed listening to his family's daily activities. Once the children had settled down to their evening homework, Mark stole down the cellar steps where he was soon enveloped in his lifetime passion. The bubbling waters of forty aquariums, which ranged in size from 10-90 gallons, filled the air with their peaceful churning. Mark had always felt a keen interest in aquatic life, even as a young boy growing up in Sunnyside, Queens. He recalls a well-educated couple that resided in the same apartment building that Mark's family lived in. Old-fashioned fishbowls lined the couple's walls and came to life with the many plants and guppies housed within. When Mark turned ten years old, a gentleman, who also had an apartment in the same building, endowed Mark with one of his ten-gallon aquariums. The tank came with all of the man's equipment, fittings, and even fish! Mark remembers well the one Kissing gourami and one Blue gourami, as well as an old Supreme piston pump. In retrospect, with his present avid interest in aquarium collectibles, Mark would love to see all of the gentleman's appurtenances now. Mark's youthful interest never waned and only took off, with his parent's full support. His father took him on a big excursion to Brooklyn for the purchase of his first thirty-gallon tank. Four tanks were always running in his bedroom, housing everything from guppies to discus, and even saltwater fish! The move to college at the State University of New York at Brockport, where Mark went on to get his Masters, put fishkeeping on a brief hiatus. In 1984, the newlywed Mark and Robin went for a day's outing at the racetrack, where he won an Exacta. Mark immediately drove to Tropical Fish Supermarket with his winnings! It was here that our wonderful speaker from last season, Charlie Murphy, assisted Mark and got him off to the right start with a twenty-nine gallon setup. Mark's hobby had been rekindled and grew, until eventually he was able to create his dream of a fishroom. With Mark's precise and meticulous style, I can envision the neat rows of tanks, each shining with healthy, vibrant and prolific fish. It is here where many varieties offish reside, from terras to catfish to killies to cichlids. However, Mark's major interest presently lies in corydoras and killifish. At any local show where Mark is in attendance, one can always spot the winner in the corydoras class. Mark's fish always stand out from the rest with their striking colors, size and breathtaking beauty! Mark's reputation travels far and wide with his ability to condition for the spawning of the most difficult creatures. As well as his many accessory artifacts, Mark has an extensive collection of antiquarian literature pertaining to the aquarium hobby. He has this displayed in a special bookcase with extra space available for his insatiable desire to find the next rare book. We are so very fortunate and proud to have Mark as a member of GCAS, which he joined in 1985. He served on the Board of Directors for ten years, as Program Chairperson for ten years, and has worked on advertising for many years. Mark presently serves on the Staff of Modern Aquarium and has returned as a regular Board Member. Need more be said that Mark is a devoted and enthusiastic hobbyist ~ positively invaluable to our club! With that, we are honored to turn to Mark to learn from his extensive knowledge and experience about that perky little catfish ~ the corydoras.


February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

The 1998 FAAS Publication Awards ast month, we announced the Greater City winners in the Federation of American Aquarium Societies 1998 Publication Awards. This month, we present all the winners in all categories. Due to the fact that there are many more categories than in the past, and that this time no two award winning societies share the same initials, I am listing the author or editor, along with the identifying initials for that person's society and publication, and not including the name of any article, in order to save space, while still giving everyone credit for a job or jobs well done. It's great to see so many familiar names, not just Greater City members, but also members of many of our nearby sister societies. Consult the legend at the end of this article for an explanation of the abbreviations. Hedy, Padget, the FAAS President, reported that "This year we had 20 clubs submit entries in 26 categories for a total of 488 nominations." In my opinion, the number of submissions is probably related to the fact that one article could, for the first time, be submitted in more than one category, which is what we and many other societies did. Hedy also wrote, "I would like to note that this was the first year that we had Marine articles submitted since anyone could remember. The splitting of the category seems to have made it easier and more competitive. Another success for the rewrite." I wonder if this also means that the elimination of the "Traveling Aquarist" category caused a reduction in articles of this type? Simply stated, there always was a "Marine" category, so that an increase hi marine articles at the same time more marine article classes were created is most likely a coincidence.


1. Best Editor and Publication, more than 6 issues 1. Grant Gussie - CAS 2. Cristi Ellis - SAS 3. Curt Smith - YATFS HM. Glenn Peterson - LIAS 2. Best Editor and Publication, 6 or fewer issues 1. Pam Chin-PCCA 2. Elinor Kelnhofer - MAS 2. John Todaro - BAS 3. Tom Gill - SCALES 3. Best Non-Changing Cover 1. YATFS 2. SCALES 3. LIAS 4. Best Changing Cover, Original Art 1. CAS 2. BAS 3. NCAS 4a Best Changing Cover, Non-Original Art 1. CAFE 2. SAS 3. PCCA 5. Best FAAS Related Article 1. Tom Miglio - BAS 2. Glenn Peterson - LIAS 3. John Clark - MCAS 6. Best Exchange Column 1. Natasha Kapty - CAS 2. Rich Serva/Gina Tash - GAAS 3. Michele Romeo - LIAS 7. Best Review Column 1. Kevin Plazak - PCCA 2. Ray Spahn - CNYAS 3. Michele Romeo - LIAS 14

8. Best Spawning Article under 500 Words LNickEngels-KAS 2. Cbrista Summers - TANOC 3. Robin Jendrian - YATFS 3. William Shreves, Sr. - YATFS HM. Cheryl Miller - YATFS 9. Best Spawning Article, 500 - 1000 Words 1. Roger Hooks - PCCA 2. Walter Slatest - LIAS 3. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS HM. Curt Smith - YATFS 10. Best Spawning Article, 1000+ Words 1. Troy Hansen - PCCA 1. Troy Hansen - PCCA 2. Kaycy Ruffer - PCCA 3. Craig Morflt - BFAAS 3. Kaycy Ruffer - PCCA HM. Lisa Quilty - BAS HM. Bob Wranovics - BAS 11. Best Article on a Genus of Fish 1. Pam Chin- PCCA 2. Mark Soberman - GCAS 3. Tom Hayes - NCAS 12. Best Article on a Species of Fish 1. Jeff George - GCAS 2. Jeff George - GCAS 2. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS 3. Glenn Peterson - LIAS 13. Best Marine Article - Fish 1. John Manrow - GPAS 2. Wendy Rightmire - GPAS 3. Brian Schmieder - LIAS

February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

14. Best Marine Article - Invertebrates 1. Gregory Schiemer - BAS 2. Bob Cauley/Joe Powers - BAS 3. Ann Wetzel - BAS

27. Best Continuing Column. Single Author 1. Wlad Franco-Valias - CAS 2. Pam Chin - PCCA 3. William Amely - BAS HM. Norman D. Edelen, Jr. - GPAS

15. Best Continuous FAAS Column 1. Joe Middleton - GPAS

Junior Categories 8. Best Spawning Article, under 500 words Level I (5-10) 1. Sarah Summers - TANOC

16. Best Article on Aquascaping/Design 1. Angelo Vescio - NCAS 2. Jim Ellenberger - PCCA 3. Ann Wetzel - BAS 17. Best Article on Plant Maintenance/ Cultivation/Reproduction 1. Warren Feuer - GCAS 2. Vincent Sileo - GCAS 3. John Todaro - BAS 18. Best Show Article 1. Craig Morfitt - BFAAS 2. Claudia Dickinson - GCAS 3. Tom Miglio - BAS

8. Best Spawning Article, Under 500 words Level III (14-1 8) I.Emily Reed - TANOC 25. Best Artist, Original Works, Level III (14-18) 1. Irene Butler- CAS 2. Randy Flint - KAS

20. Best Do-It-Yourself Article 1. Jeff George - GCAS 2. Ivan Skolnick - LIAS 3. Larry Jones - CAFE HM. John Summers - TANOC

25. Best Artist, Original Works, Level II (11-13) 1. SeanPerrin - CAS 25. Best Artist, Original Works, Level I (5-10) 1. Josh Novy-NCAS

21. Best General Article on Society Management 1. Glenn Peterson - LIAS 2. John Lundgren - LIAS 3. Jeff George - GCAS 22. Best Article on Live Food 1. Tom Johnson - TANOC 2. Dwayne Tiede - CAS 3. Garry Reid - KAS

8. Best Spawning Article, under 500 words Level II (11-13) 1. William Shreves III - YATFS 2. William Shreves III - YATFS 3. Eric Cappy - YATFS HM. William Shreves III - YATFS

24. Best Cartoonist, Level II (11-13) 1. Shere Flint-KAS 2. Jeremy Tompson - KAS 3. Shere Flint - KAS Legend BAS - Brooklyn A.S. - Aquatica BFAAS - Bermuda Fry-Angle A. S. - Fish Tales CAS - Calgary A. S. - The Calquarium CNYAS - Central New York A. S. - The Reflector

23. Best Collecting Article 1. Craig Morfitt - BFAAS 2. Craig Morfit - BFAAS 3. Jim Quarles - SAS

CAFE - Champaign Area Fish Exchange - In Seine M.E.N.U. GAAS -

Greater Akron A. S. - Tank Topics

GCAS - Greater City A. S. - Modern Aquarium GPAS - Greater Portland A. S. - The Fish Flash

24. Best Humorous Article 1. Charles Loweth - BAS 2. William Amely - BAS 3. Kevin Plazak - PCCA HM. Donna Haggard - KAS

KAS - Kitsap A. S. - The Kitsap Aquarian LIAS - Long Island A. S. - Paradise Press MCAS - Medina County A. S. - The All Wet Gazette MAS - Milwaukee A. S. - Splash NCAS - Nassau County A. S. - Pisces Press

25. Best Artist, Original Works 1. Chris Giam - BAS 2. Grant Gussie - CAS 3. Jennifer Wilkinson - CAS HM. Gian Padovani - LIAS

PCCA - Pacific Coast Cichlid Assn. - Cichlidae Communique

26. Best Cartoonist 1. Bernard Harrigan - GCAS

YATFS - Youngstown Area Tropical Fish Society The Youngstown Aquarist

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

SAS - Sacramento A. S. - The Tropical News SCALES - Stark County Aqua Life Enthusiasts Society Aquatic Forum TANOC - Tropical Aquarists of Northern Ohio Club TANC News

February 2000


In the year 2000, you'll see many "Y2K Millenium Ultimate (etc., etc.)" fish shows announced. Only one will be held by Greater City, one of the oldest (78 years young by show time) & most respected aquarium societies in the nation!

Queens, New York City - NY proudly announces its

At the Queens Farm Museum: 73-50 Little Neck Parkway Between the Grand Central Parkway and Union Turnpike EIRE'S \VHXVTTO EXPEOTT LxVSS SHOW LIKE OURS:


Fish & aquatic plant competition - trophies awarded Auction of home-bred and raised fish and plants Auction of aquarium supplies/drygoods Top name speakers/workshops HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FINE? ONLY AHT CRE/VTER CITY'S SHOW:

Show held at a "working" farm museum with tours available for a real family fun day! Treasure hunt competition - compete for fun and prizes!

AND EVEN MORE TO COME! Visit the Greater City website for ujÂŁ>datecl information at: http://oiarwor Id. CompuServe, E-Mail us at: north228@aol./ oberta D'Orio: Or contact Show Chairperso 11418 (718)847-2O3O 89-32 118th Street - Rich 16

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

econd Reprints deserving a second look Selected by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST ast month, Modern Aquarium featured an article which took an essentially positive view of genetic manipulation and hybridization. Just so that it is clear there is another view, I offer this excellent article reprinted from the publication of the Calgary Aquarium Society. By the way, I want to congratulate the staff of The Calquarium on again winning the FAAS Award for Best Publication and Editor for publications published more than six times a year.


Live Bearers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mr. Genetics vs. Mother Nature by Dan Marentette, CAS Live bearers are probably the first tropical fish that most of us started out with a long time ago - myself included. If you're anything like me you fell in love with these wonderful fish and over the years you still keep a variety such as guppies, mollies, platies, etc., etc. But over those years the state of the live bearers has gone down, down, down. It is with a sad heart that I witness the sorry condition that we see in the live bearers that are available in our area - Calgary. Many a time I go into the stores and see atrocious things being done by the big breeding farms that supply the live bearers to this area. So I would like to give you some hints on what to look for and what to see if you are contemplating purchasing any fish, but specifically live bearers. First, let's start with your basic beautiful guppy - OK, How many times have you seen just absolutely stupendous, rainbow colored guppies both females and males swimming around in a store tank with a price tag of $5.95 each? Too hard to walk away from - even I still succumb to these creatures, pop down my money, and go happily home. But to my dismay one month, then two months, and even three months go by and no fry, and deaths start to occur. Why do live bearers have such a hard time adapting to my tank - the other types of fish I bring home don't and I always get fry every month or so why why why ??? Well the answer to this and many other questions is usually too much inbreeding, hormones in the food, or basically bad genetics. The first thing you should look for in a Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

tank of guppies is why they always separate males from females? If you look at all those beautiful males you will notice that most have trouble swimming (due to extreme tail length), and when put in with females they would have a very difficult time catching the females. They get stressed out and eventually die. Not a good choice if you're a retailer. Also if you've ever seen normal wild males (have a look at a tank of healthy feeders - good luck in finding some) you will notice that male guppies will chase anything anywhere, and try to breed with it. That's not so in a tank of genetically bred males. Oh they swim around O.K., but nowhere near the virility as wild stock does. And the reason you're not getting any fry is usually that either one or both of the sexes are sterile - the unfortunate effect of bad breeding. The same things can be seen in the females from these gorgeous lines. Notice that the females (all separated again) are neither gravid nor nice and big and plump with the impending birth of fry like the boring, drab wild females (even in the feeder tanks). As a matter of fact, most can look pretty long and lanky and sickly because (again) genetics has a way of taking back what it gives forth. So before you buy these beautiful guppies, sit and watch them for a while and see if you think they act normally. If not, be prepared to have them at home for only two or three months as they simply will not do well. Now, let's see if other live bearers such as mollies are better to buy for the kids. Again the same rules for guppies can be applied here to mollies. But mollies are being inter-bred so

February 2000


badly by the fish farms that they show the poor results very quickly. There are so many types now such as gold dust mollies, dalmatian mollies, salt and pepper mollies, and the list goes on. If you observe the fish in the store tank you will see that they look very fine. But if you ask a clerk you might be surprised that the reason they look so fine is that they are heavily salted. Yes, salted. You see mollies like to go between fresh and brackish water in the wild and adapt very well to the changing salt concentrations. But when Mankind starts its wonderful inbreeding program, voila, Mother Nature and Mr. Genetics pay you back by limiting this fish's ability to adjust to the different salt levels, and so now they can only stand one or the other. So what happens is the tanks are salted to brackish levels so the fish look and feel well for sale purposes, and it keeps the dreaded ich away that shows up so well on totally black mollies. Now don't blame the retailer: he has no choice. If you want to buy these fish then he has to bring them in for you and try to keep his investment alive at all costs. It's not his fault, it is simply the big-time breeding farms. So if the kids must have those mollies be prepared to set up the same salt condition that they were in at the store. If you're not sure either ask or better still measure with a test kit. Other live bearers have similar problems as guppies and mollies. For instance, there's the swordtails - Xiphophorous species. The same feed and it seems that they acquire intestinal eating disorders very easily. Again, Mother Nature at her best. The word of advice on swords of today's stock supplies is that they are pretty to look at but difficult to keep or maintain for any length of time.

As you can tell I can go on and on for a while on this topic, but I won't. There are some rules that fish keepers can follow when buying live bearers. One is to observe the fish in the store tank with a wary eye and a knowledgeable mind. If they don't look quite right, then stay away from that particular tank. Second, understand what has happened to those fish genetically to get the long fins and beautiful colors so that you can prepare both yourself and the home tank for their best chance of survival. Third, try some wild stock instead. I have found many a wild live bearer over the years (as have others) and still have them today, healthy and multiplying. An example is a species of wild molly that either I or someone else in the CAS found. They are very similar to the sailfin mollies and are very pretty to look at. Yet I have had them for at least two years and they are doing well. And there are many fish people who regularly order good quality guppies from very reputable breeders, such as the members of the IFGA in the States. Get in with one of the orders now while the weather is warm. These specimens cost more than pet store fare, but the rewards will last for years instead of a few weeks to a few months. And here is my dream that I had last night (I was fly fishing and caught some very beautiful wild trout and released them!), that there be no more Mr. Genetics and no more Mother Nature paying back Mankind's silliness. Oh what a dream that was but it will never happen as long as the retailers still have the purchaser who insists on Mr. Genetics. Reprinted from the June 1999 issue of The Calciuarium, the official publication of the Calgary Aquarium Society.

AQUARIUM FISH & PLANTS! Hundreds of rare and captive-bred species! BRAND NEW SUPPLIES! Water conditioners, food, equipment

SUNDAY APRIL 2 j Howard Johnson Hotel Saddlebrook, NJ Exits 62 RL80/159 GSP Fish Sign-In: 9:30a-12pm Viewing: 12-1pm Auction Starts: 1pm IIGGEST AUCTION IN N.EAST!

700+ lots last auction!



February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies



arch 17~19th, 2000: A Celebration of 25 Years and the New Millennium with the NEC!

As many of you know, every year the NEC Convention is a weekend that will never be forgotten, and with so much to celebrate, this year promises to be the best ever! Beginning throughout the day and into the evening on Friday, March 17th, hobbyists will be convening at the Hartford Marriott in Farmington, Connecticut from across the Northeast and beyond. Attendees will enjoy a most fabulous weekend filled with events vendors, auctions, socializing and incredible fishy fun! Stuart Grant will journey all the way from Africa to lend us his expertise on Malawi Cichlids, Claus Christensen will travel from Denmark to share his knowledge of plants, and Ad Konings will fly in from Texas to depart his wisdom on the Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika. We will also be most honored by Wayne Leibel speaking on the History of the Aquarium hobby, Ginny Eckstein on Catfish, Rosario LaCorte on Egglayers, Chuck Davis on Tank Busters, Mike Schadle on Livebearers and Don Johnson on Anemones and Soft Corals. To top it all off, Lee Finley will be Saturday night's Banquet MC! The weekend promises to be a most wonderful whirlwind marathon of seminars, discussion groups, vendors galore, a Giant Dry Goods Auction, a fabulous banquet and a Huge Fish & Plant Auction! Plan to stay at the Hartford Marriott for the weekend at the NEC special rate of $71 per night, or take the short lovely drive up for a day. It will surely be a Grande Time for the whole family to enjoy! If you have any questions or need a registration flyer, please do not hesitate to ask me, or contact our most congenial Convention Chairperson, Janine Banks and her wonderful husband, Dave, at (802)372-716; e-mail:dbanks@together.net; NEC Web Page: http://www.piscespub.com/nec.html. NEC Coming Events! February 6th: Norwalk Aquarium Society Auction February 13th: Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society Auction. March 5th: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island "Buck-a-Bag" Auction. March 17-19: NEC 25th Annual Convention. April 2nd: Worcester Aquarium Society Auction. April 7th~9th: Tropical Fish Club of Burlington Show & Auction April 14th: Brooklyn Aquarium Society Marine Event & Auction April 30th: Monadnock Region Aquarium Society Auction. May 5th~7th: Greater City Aquarium Society Show & Auction. May 19th~21st: Aqua-Land Aquarium Society Show and Auction. Tropical Fish Showcase 2000! September 29th~ October 1st! Mark these dates ~ they will arrive before we know it! This huge event will be the show of all shows for tile season, as all NEC clubs join together to promote showing and the hobby in general. Those perfect fish that you have all primed and ready for the GCAS show in May will have a short rest and rejuvenation, with lots of water changes and special treats. By September they will be in top shape to go back on the road again! Would you like to Sponsor a Class or a Large Award? There are lots of classes to choose from, and the Sponsorship is a donation of $50. Three large awards are left, which are $75 each. The GCAS will be the sponsor for the Best of Show Award. I have my individual sponsorship all set. Perhaps you might enjoy being a part of the event as an individual and choose a class of your favorite fish! Please see me for a complete listing of classes available. Wow! There's a lot happening at the NEC this year! It's going to be a Grande Year for sure ~ I can barely wait! Take Care!

Modem Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

February 2000


THE NORTHEAST COUNCIL OF AQUARIUM SOCIETIES Invites All of You to Make Plans to Attend and Help the NEC Celebrate Our





AT THE HARTFORD MARRIOTT FARMINGTON, CONNECTICUT GREAT SPEAKER LINEUP Stuart Grant Ad Konings Claus Christensen Mike Schadle Ginny Eckstein Wayne Leibel Lee Finley Rosario LaCorte Chuck Davis (with more Greats to be added) This is our Silver Anniversary Convention. Efforts are being made to contact all hobbyist to celebrate 25 years of

Fins, Friends and Fun! For additional information contact: Janine Banks, 315 US RT. 2, Grand Isle, VT 05458; phone, 802-372-8716; email, dbanks@together.net 20

February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Bernard Harrigan, Artist;

Warren Feuer, Research

Scientific Name: Altolamprologus calvus Common Name: Calvus Adult Size: 51/2lf Native Habitat: Lake Tanganyika, Africa Water Conditions: pH 8.0+; temperature 74째F-80째F Degree of difficulty to keep: 5 (very difficult) Degree of difficulty to breed: 5 (very difficult) GCAS Breeders1 Point Value: 15 Last Bred in GCAS: No reported spawnings Articles about this fish in Modern Aquarium: How to Prepare for New Fish - Warren Feuer - 11/98

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S.(NY)

February 2000


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Visit "LUCILLE", Our Pond& Fails In Our Backyard! You Can Build A Pond Too.




February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)



' ft

THE PET BARli FRANKLIN SQUARE'S COMPLETE PET CENTER 212 FRANKLIN AVE FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY 11010 Come see our large Aquarium Plant display and receive I ONE FREE cultivated plant, just for stopping by! EXOTIC FRESHWATER FISH




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Open Mon.-FrL 10AM-8:OOPM Sat. 10AM - 7:OOPM Sun. 12PM - 6:OOPM • LIVE ROCKS


















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February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Fin Fun Leapin ea year Have you noticed yet? In addition to being a new century and a new millennium, this is also LEAP YEAR! Don't wait until February 29th to unscramble the names of these fish, which are notorious LEAPERS.







Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: Final

Illf in! ty

1) Which can swim faster: a Guppy or a Rasbora?

Rasbora (it has a forked tail)

2) If a fish is swimming backwards, which fins is it using?


3) What is another name for the pelvic fins?

Ventral Fins

4) Which of the following fishes has an anal fin which has adapted itself to become a gonopodium? A) Male Swordtail B) Female Swordtail C) Male Angelfish A) Male Swordtail

5) Which of the following do the pectoral fins of a Hatchetfish most resemble? A) Fingers B) Wings C) Pokemon trading cards B) Wings

6) How many fins does a Cardinal Tetra have?



February 2000

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

February 2000 volume VII number 2

Modern Aquarium  

February 2000 volume VII number 2