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Series III

Vol. VII, No. 3

March, 2000


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Modern Aquarium Redux


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Articles submitted for consideration in MODERN AQUARIUM must be received no later than the 10th day of the month, three months prior to the month of publication. Copyright 2000 by the Greater City Aquarium Society Inc., a not-for-profit New York State corporation. All rights reserved. Not-for-profit aquarium societies are hereby granted permission to reproduce articles and illustrations from this publication, unless the article indicates that the copyrights have been retained by the author, and provided reprints indicate source and two copies of the publication are sent to the Exchange Editor of this magazine. Any other reproduction or commercial use of the material in this publication is prohibited without express written prior permission. The Greater City Aquarium Society meets every month, except during July and August. Meetings are the first Wednesday of the month and begin at 8:00 P.M. Meetings are held at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact: Jeff George (718)428-7190. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http: //ourwor Id. CompuServe. com/homepages /greater city

by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST ithout Greater City's resident Historian and Archivist, Joe Ferdenzi, I would not have considered this month's issue of Modern Aquarium to be any more "special" than any other. (All issues of Modern Aquarium are special to me.) But, as Joe points out this month in his article, "Modern Aquarium Redux," with this current issue, Series III (the current Modern Aquarium series) has published more issues than either of its two predecessor series. (Incidentally, "redux" is from the French reducere meaning "led back," generally referring to a return to health after disease — leave it to Joe to use a term like that!) Joe also draws the distinction in his article (as he has done before) between a society "newsletter" and a "magazine." Newsletters are relatively easy to produce. For 13+ years I did a newsletter for one computer user group, and I now do one for another such group. I can (and do) "bang out" a newsletter in a few hours, and still produce a fairly readable, literate, and even at times moderately interesting, publication. Modern Aquarium Series III is not, and has never been, a "newsletter." Modern Aquarium is a magazine, with original articles, original continuing columns, original art and illustrations, high production values, and attention to detail. Unfortunately, while it is supposed to be the official publication of the Greater City Aquarium Society, only a handful of Greater City members contribute to it. In the past year or so, no less than three people failed to deliver, not just an article, but a promised column or series of articles. I won't even try to count the number of promised individual articles which were never delivered.


If you think that all you have to do is show up at meetings, listen to a speaker, and pick up your copy of Modern Aquarium, you're right. A member does not have to do anything more (other than paying his or her membership dues, of course). Then, again, if everyone had that same attitude, there would be no Greater City Aquarium Society for you to be a member of, no Modern Aquarium for you to enjoy, no meetings to attend, no auctions, no shows, and no speakers. Many societies have a requirement in their Breeders Award Programs that, in order to get BAP points, an article about the breeding is required. I don't want to see that at Greater City. First, I believe writing should be something you want to do, not something you have to do. Second, as Exchange Editor, I've seen those "BAP articles." All too many sound like: "Well, I got these fish at our auction (or local pet store), brought them home, and two days later there were babies in the tank." While that article may have gotten the author his or her BAP points, it certainly was of no use to his or her fellow society members. On the other hand, if "bonus" points were awarded under our BAP for an article submitted within a month of having a spawn witnessed, this just might be the extra incentive some people need to write. (If someone did not write an article, that person would get no bonus points, but would still get the BAP points he or she would otherwise be entitled to receive.) I'd like members involved with our BAP to give me their opinions on this. The entries for the 1999 Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) Publication Awards were mailed out last month. Unfortunately, some excellent articles could not be submitted because, under present FAAS rules, there are no appropriate categories. For example, my wife Susan's article "pH Soup" (a general discussion of pH), or the "pH Quick Chart" by our Photo Editor, Jason Kerner, or "State of the National Health," by Vice-President Vince Sileo, to name a few. If the rules remain unchanged for articles written in 2000, Susan's "A Lesson in InFINity" (January), and Joe Ferdenzi's "The Secret of the 'Underwater Mystery' Clock" (February) cannot be submitted for lack of a suitable category, and that's just looking at our first two issues this year! Maybe that's a reason only a small percent of societies participate. Remember next month is our Silent Auction; so go digging in that pile of used, but still serviceable, aquarium equipment.

March 2000

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

Rock Dwellers of Lake Tanganyika: A Selective Overview by JOSEPH FERDENZI

f you were looking for a group of fishes that combine attractiveness with interesting behavior, relative ease of breeding, hardiness, and almost perfect suitability for the home aquarium, you could do no better than to consider many members of the Cichlid fauna of Lake Tanganyika, especially the ones that, in their natural environment, are closely associated with rock formations. I have kept and bred numerous species from this fauna for the past twenty years. In this article, I will discuss representative species from the three groups that tend to be the most popular (either because they are the most commonly available, or their popularity spurred their availability). But, first, I will discuss some general principles about their maintenance in captivity that are applicable to all three groups.


General Rules Tank Size: Most of the fishes do not exceed 4 inches, standard length, as adults. Therefore, small groups can be kept in relatively modest tanks, even for the larger species. For example, six or seven Neolamprologus leleupi can be easily kept in a 20 gallon aquarium. I have even successfully maintained a breeding pair of Neolamprologus brichardi in a ten gallon tank. Dwarf fish such as Neolamprologus multifasciatus (the name is the same length as the fish) can be kept in large numbers (12+) in a ten gallon aquarium. Of course, as always, bigger tanks are easier to maintain and give the hobbyist more flexibility. But, if a space crunch is your problem, some of these cichlids might be your solution. Tank Furnishings: Nothing very elaborate is required. About all that is really needed is something that will simulate rocks and their attendant crevices. (If you're dealing with one of the dwarf, shell-dwelling species such as the aforementioned multifasciatus, then you just need a handful of empty snail shells or similar sea shells.) For your rock effect the choices are very varied. The most obvious choices are, surprise (!), rocks. I decorated one of my earliest Lake Tanganyika tanks (a 20 high) with large rocks (some were almost miniature boulders) that I Modem Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

gathered at the seashore near my home. I chose granite and quartz (nothing that looked "funky" or had metallic inclusions). These stones were washed, placed in a bare tank, and siliconed to one another. If you prefer not to use stones, you can use flower pots (broken or as-is). In some tanks, I've used flower pots covered by flat pieces of slate or broken marble tiles (the latter I call my "Italian" look). I've seen some hobbyists successfully using large pieces of Purple Barnacle. The empty barnacles can be utilized by any of the smaller and medium sized cichlids. Of course, if you want to go the industrial strength route, you can always use assorted pieces of PVC pipe. These pipes come in different diameters, are easy to cut, and can be arranged (either loose or cemented together) in virtually limitless combinations. Personally, I don't like PVC pipes in my aquariums (makes it look like part of your septic tank wound up in your fish room). While a substrate is not absolutely essential, it does serve some beneficial purposes, especially if it's largely composed of dolomite or crushed coral. The properties of the latter two help to create the alkaline, hard water conditions which are preferred by these groups of cichlids (see the following paragraph on water). It also helps to buffer the water so that the water will not turn acidic over time as it normally would. For this reason, one of the furnishings I do not recommend is driftwood. This will generally leech too much tannic acid and will also turn the water darker than is desirable for these fish. Water: Hard and alkaline is definitely preferred. The pH in Lake Tanganyika exceeds 8.5. Will the fish die if the pH in your tank is maintained at a lower level? Probably not (in fact, almost certainly not). Will they still spawn? If everything else is O.K., they probably will. So, what's the point of keeping the pH and hardness elevated? Well, first of all, it's relatively easy to do, so why not? Second, my theory is that the same elements that make the water alkaline and hard are basically the reason I have never had an outbreak of a protozoan parasite infestation (you know, the dreaded "Ich" disease and the like) in one of my Lake Tanganyika tanks. Notice I said

March 2000

never. Why do I think this? Well, before there was Malachite Green and other remedies for Ich, aquarists were always taught (and still are, if you have no medicine available) to treat "Ich" with heaping spoons of salt and elevated water temperature. Well, what do you suppose is the easy and practical way to increase pH and hardness in your Lake Tanganyika aquarium? You add salts — sodium chloride (like table or marine salts), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and magnesium sulfate (epsom salt). When doing the initial set-up, I recommend you use the following quantities, approximately: one tablespoon of table (non-iodized) or marine salt per five gallons, one teaspoon of baking soda per five gallons, and one teaspoon of epsom salt per five gallons. When doing water changes, add a proportionate amount of those salts to your new water. Don't worry if you don't rigorously adhere to this regimen of salts. Nothing terrible will happen. Of the three salts, I believe the sodium chloride is the most important addition. Do I have to remind you of the importance of regular, partial water changes? This highly recommended practice is not unique to Lake Tanganyika tanks — although, my experience has been that these cichlids have a greater tolerance for "old" water than many other fish. Plants: Contrary to the misconceptions of some, you can keep aquatic plants in a Lake Tanganyika tank. Generally, though, you should use plants with relatively "hard" leaves. I have found the following plants to be suitable: Anubias genus, Vallisneria, Sagittaria, and Java Fern. The Lamprologines and the Julidochromis will generally not harm the plants, except that they may dig in the gravel in a way that uproots the plants. Hence, you might want to place the plants in pots, or anchor them to rocks. I have found that you can grow Anubias without gravel, and Java Fern should not even be planted in gravel. The Tropheus are herbivores, so, I have not tried keeping plants in their tanks (if you have, let us know the results). I also think that you can keep floating plants such as Water Sprite, Salvinia, and Duckweed in these aquariums, and suspect that even Tropheus would not meddle with a "tough" plant like Salvinia. Are plants necessary? No, but they are beneficial to the aquarium and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Temperature: No special requirements — "normal" tropical temperatures (72°F—80°F) are perfectly suitable.

Food: Here is another great attribute of these cichlids — they are not fussy eaters. Standard, commercially available, flake or pellet food is just fine for everyday use. They will readily eat frozen or live food. Even young fry will eat finely crushed flake food from the get-go. If you throw in a tablet food, the fry will pick at that as it dissolves. In short, there are very few problems in this area, with one notable exception. The Tropheus are herbivores, and have an intestinal tract that can become dysfunctional if they ingest too much of the wrong food (i.e., heavy in the "meat" department — tubifex worms, beef heart, etc.). A symptom of this problem is often bloating, which is very difficult to rectify once it appears (indeed, it is nearly impossible). So, as the ancient adage goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" — feed them flake food almost exclusively. There are many fine flake foods on the market today, including several that are primarily vegetable material (e.g., spirulina algae) — these are almost perfect foods for Tropheus. Lighting: Standard aquarium lighting suits these fish just fine. Disease: With the exception of the "bloat" problem in Tropheus, I have never encountered any in these fish. Follow my methods for keeping these fish, and you shouldn't either. Now, won't that be a relief— fish that never get sick? Compatibility: While all of these cichlids are territorial, they are not "terrors of the deep." They can usually be kept in the company of each other if you have a substantial group (10 or more if you are keeping them in a single species set-up). They will generally get along with other cichlids their size as long as there is room for everybody (lots of rocks or other nooks and crannies). You can certainly keep most of them in "community" tanks. I once saw a hobbyist who was keeping some Neolamprologus brichardi I had given him in his living room tank that was populated with Angelfish, Swordtails, and Neon Tetras! Feel free to experiment. Remember, as for any "community" arrangement, try to keep fish relative to their size and feeding habits (any large, non-herbivorous fish is apt to consider a fish that will fit in its mouth to be a meal). Personally, I prefer to keep individual species by themselves or, at most, with one or two other species of Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

March 2000

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

There are some "scavengers" that seem to do well with Lake Tanganyika cichlids. Species native to the lake, such as Synodontis multipunctatus and S. petricola, are ideally suited as tank mates, except that my experience is they cannot be kept with Tropheus — they seem to recognize them as breeding threats (petricola looks a lot like multipunctatus, and the latter are notorious "cuckoo" spawners, meaning that they will eat Tropheus eggs as they are laid and replace them with their own, to then be incubated by the mouthbrooding Tropheus) and attack them vigorously. Armor-plated South American sucker-mouthed catfish such as Plecostomus and Ancistrus (the Loricarids) usually do well with Lake Tanganyika cichlids. Another fish that seems to do well in their company is the Asian Clown Loach (Botia macracanthus). It is beautiful, comes in a variety of sizes, and, with those sharp spines near its gills, quite capable of warding off any fish who would like to harass it. The Fish The Lamprologines: At one time all the fish in this group went under the genus Lamprologus. That is how you will find them listed in most books published prior to the late 1990s. Currently, that genus is separated from others such as Neolamprologus and Altolamprologus, just to name a couple. In any event, this group represents the largest number of species. However, only a handful will be discussed here. In addition to what has already been described, these fish have one other thing in common; they are all substrate spawners, i.e., they attach adhesive eggs to the underside of objects such as rocks and shells (although I have witnessed, on some rare occasions, eggs being laid on the outside of objects or on bare glass). The parents then guard the eggs, with the female of the pair doing the most intensive duty. And, speaking of the sexes, these fish are usually difficult to sex, especially when they are young. In mature fish, about the most that can be said is that the males are notably larger. The most colorful (by far) member of the group, and the most readily available (a cause and effect), is Neolamprologus leleupi. This is a medium size cichlid (even the largest male rarely exceeds four inches), and it is not overly aggressive. Its most distinguishing feature is its color — or, should I say, colors. At its best (to the human eye), the fish is an orange-yellow color entirely, including the fins. Usually, the fish is canary yellow. Even then, it is a very striking fish. It is the only freshwater fish that, to my knowledge, is entirely yellow, without any

dots or stripes of another color ("man-made" fish excluded). However, if the fish are not kept under the right conditions (i.e., bright lighting and light colored substrate), they darken to a dull beige or brown. Another beautiful species, which is naturally beige, is Neolamprologus brichardi. This fish does not have the striking color of a leleupi, but it has superior finnage. The dorsal fin ends in a long point, and the caudal (tail) fin is lyre shaped, with the points suffused in white. It is a very graceful fish, which will live peacefully with its own kind in large groups. This species is only slightly larger than leleupi. There are many species and variants in the so-called brichardi complex, but they all share the same basic body shape, suffused color, and distinctive lyre tail. Neolamprologus tretocephalus is the largest of the Neolamprologus to be featured in this article. Adult males will surpass five inches in length. Females are difficult to distinguish from males, although, when they are fully mature, females tend to have a more rounded appearance in the belly region, and the markings tend to be not as intense as in the male. The fish are very attractively patterned. The body is silver gray with five black vertical bars, and dark unpaired fins edged in light blue. I have found that these fish are best kept in large groups in order to prevent intraspecies aggression. Also, unlike the prior two Neolamprologus species, this species will definitely eat small fish, so I recommend that it be kept only with similarly sized fish. (Incidentally, tretocephalus love to eat snails.) Those drawbacks aside, a tank full of tretocephalus is a very striking sight. There is a closely related species called N. sexfasciatus, which looks a lot like tretocephalus ("trets" for short), except that it has six stripes, and is a more rounded fish (there is also a "gold" morph where a light yellow color replaces the silver gray body color). Despite their similarities, I have always thought tretocephalus the more attractive of the two. So far, the Lamprologines discussed all have a more-or-less streamlined, cylindrical body shape. But, the next species is very different body-shape wise. It is Altolamprologus calvus. This fish has a very slender or conpressed vertically body shape. (It is designed to enable it to hide in cracks in logs and rocks.) There is a closely related species named, quite naturally, A. compressiceps. I have chosen to focus on calvus because it is definately the prettier of the two — calvus is commonly referred to as the "Pearly Compressiceps." It has a dark (almost

March 2000

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

(larger and nastier). Well, not only did the marlieri survive, but they turned into a pair that spawned and guarded fry in "their" corner of the tank! In short, if you are looking for charming and hardy Lake Tanganyika cichlids, you cannot go wrong if you select any of the Julidochromis. The Tropheus: This next rock-bound group of cichlids differs from the prior two groups in several respects. First, they are herbivores. Flake food, especially brands made with spirulina, are recommended as their primary diet. Second, they are mouthbrooders. They take refuge in the rocks, but the rocks are not used as a surface to which they attach their eggs. The two most common species for the home aquarium are Tropheus duboisi and T. moori. The duboisi start their life as black fish with white polkadots — very striking and pretty. As they grow, however, the white dots metamorphasize into a white band around the midsection. The moori come in many color forms. Some of the more desirable variants have wide orange bands across their body. For breeding purposes, it is strongly recommended that you start out with a group of 12 or more. Males and females are difficult to distinguish when juveniles. Eventually, the males grow considerably larger (in the 5 inch range, with females about an inch smaller). Females will incubate anywhere from 10 to 20 eggs

depending on maturity and fecundity. The beige eggs have a very interesting shape — like a pear — and are quite large. The female will hold them for several weeks before spitting out perfectly formed miniatures of the parent. Eggs can also be artificially incubated. There are several ways of doing this, but the essential feature of whatever method you use is that the eggs must be constantly, but gently, tumbled in a column of water. This tumbling action should continue until the emerging fry have almost fully absorbed their yolk sacks. Tropheus are very interesting fish, but challenging to breed. Please remember that they must be kept in large groups, or the dominant fish will severely injure the others. Also, don't mix varieties of tropheus as you will be sure to get crosses which are of no value to most other hobbyists. The reason most of these fish make good aquarium residents can be tied to their natural habitat — rocks. Because, even in nature, these fish never wander far from their turf, they seem to be perfectly comfortable within the confines of their aquarium and its shoal of rocks. Think of their natural habitat as being composed of a group of rocks with invisible barriers — open stretches of water where predators lurk. So too, their aquarium is a group of rocks surrounded by invisible barriers — the glass, except that beyond them there are no waiting predators; just the watchful gaze of appreciative aquarists.

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March 2000

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

Additional readings on Lake Tanganyika fish from the pages of Modern Aquarium: "How To Make a Orange LeleupF by Joseph Ferdenzi (April 1994)

"Best Laid Plans" (Neolamprologus "daffodil") by Warren Feuer (June 1998)

"Keeping and Breeding Synodontis multipunctatus" by Steve Sagona (April 1994)

"How To Prepare For New Fish" (Altolamprologus calvus) by Warren Feuer (November 1998)

"Struck by Lightning" (Neolamprologus brevis) by Warren Feuer (September 1995) "African Adventure" (genus Synodontis) by Mark Soberman (February 1996) "Synodontis multipunctatus By Way of (Lake) Victoria's Secret" by John Moran (June 1996) "Lake Tanganyika Tango" (Neolamprologus "daffodil") by Warren Feuer (December 1996) "A Short Story About a Small Fish" (Telmatochromis burgeoni) by Mark Soberman (December 1996) "Wet Leaves" (book review of Dr. Paul Loiselle's The Cichlid Aquarium) by Susan Priest (March 1997) "Basic Rift Lake Aquarium" by Joseph Ferdenzi (February 1997) "Breeding African Rift Lake Cichlids by a Complete Divider Method" by Joseph Ferdenzi (February 1997)

little* Jfor Cfje Silent Auction he Silent Auction is a Greater City tradition. It is held at the April GCAS meeting and benefits Greater City (which receives any amount over the "minimum bid" on the item's auction card). It lets hobbyists dispose of useful but unneeded items. The rules are simple. Each item has an auction card, which is a piece of paper with an "item number" (assigned by GCAS), the name of the item and the name and address of the person bringing the item to the auction (the "donor"), and a place to indicate the condition of the item. If the entire proceeds are to be donated to GCAS (thank you, very much!), the donor circles "Yes" next to "Donation," otherwise the donor writes in an "Opening" (or minimum) Bid of $1.00 or more. Whatever is bid over that figure goes to GCAS and the opening (minimum) bid goes to the donor. In the column on the right are the Official Rules.


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

"I Guess No One Told Them The Rules" (Neolamprologus meleagris) by Warren Feuer (December 1998) "Aquarist Sketchpad" (Neolamprologus multifasciatus) by Bernard Harrigan and Warren Feuer (January 1999) "Aquarist Sketchpad" (Synodontis multipunctatus) by Bernard Harrigan and Warren Feuer (March 1999) "Aquarist Sketchpad" (Neolamprologus "daffodil") by Bernard Harrigan and Warren Feuer (June 1999) "Wet Leaves" (book review of Mark P. Smith's Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids) by Susan Priest (May 1999) "Neolamprologus meleagris A Learning Experience" by Warren Feuer (April 1999)

» For all items, regardless of the minimum bid marked on its card (of at least $1), the bids must be in increments of 50£ or more. » Once entered, a bid may not be lowered by the same bidder. » Any cross-out by a bidder will disqualify that bidder for posting the winning bid unless that bidder enters a subsequent higher bid. » Winning bidders must submit cards and payments to the treasurer. » Unless all the proceeds are a donation to GCAS, the amount representing the minimum bid marked on the card will be refunded to the donor; the amount bid over the minimum represents the donation to the Society. » Items not claimed by winning bids or by their owners at the conclusion of the auction become the property of the Society.

March 2000

econd Reprints deserving a second look Selected by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST his month's Modern Aquarium lead article is about rock dwelling Lake Tanganyika cichlids, by our own Joe Ferdenzi. An excellent complement to that article is this one by the former President of the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society (and a one time visitor and speaker before Greater City), Craig Morfitt. Craig is a real "cichlidiot" as well as a multiple award winning author. The article below first appeared in the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society's publication, Fish Tales (January 1998), and it was recently reprinted in the December 1999 issue of Buntbarsch Bulletin, the publication of the American Cichlid Association. (Ed note: various words such as "favoured," "colour," "metre, " etc., were left in the U.K. spelling, as in the original article.)


Lake Tanganyika And Its Diverse Cichlids by Craig Morfitt, BFAAS LAKE TANGANYIKA According to data available in 1981, Lake Tanganyika is the oldest lake in Africa and perhaps in the world, having been formed during the Miocene about 20 million years ago (Brichard p. 15). Tremendous volcanic activity and shifting of the earth's surface resulted in the formation of the African rift valleys. It was in one of these valleys that Lake Tanganyika was formed. At least two-thirds of the lake's shore is inaccessible by land due to the mountainous terrain (Somermeyer p. 1). The lake is bordered by Burundi, Tanzania, Zaire (now Congo) and Zambia. The lake is about 400 miles long and 50 miles wide at the most (Konings p. 8). With a surface area of 34,000 square kilometres, it is the seventh largest lake in the world. At 1,470 kilometres, it is the world's second deepest (Axelrod p. 16). The lake's surface area is slightly larger than the country of Belgium and its volume is half that of the North Sea (Brichard p. 14). By virtue of its size, Lake Tanganyika enjoys remarkable stability with regard to temperature and chemical make-up. There is just under 5 degrees F difference between the surface and the bottom (Loiselle p. 275). It is believed that this stable temperature is the result of volcanic activity close to the lake's bottom. With no significant temperature difference there is no driving force for the vertical currents that occur in most lakes and provide oxygenated water to the depths.


Stratification has resulted with waters below 300 feet being devoid of life-giving oxygen. All fish life is therefore confined to the upper layer. (Somermeyer p. 2). That said, the upper layer is extremely rich in fish life, particularly cichlids. WHAT IS A CICHLID? A cichlid (pronounced SICK-lid) is a freshwater tropical fish from the family Cichlidae. They are representatives of the largest group of fishes - the advanced bony fishes of the infra class Teleostei. The ancestors of cichlids evolved under marine conditions and then successfully invaded and colonised freshwater biotopes. As a result, they are usually quite salt-tolerant. Cichlids are highly intelligent fishes that tower above the generality of freshwater fishes when it comes to behavioural sophistication. Cichlids exhibit sophisticated parental care of their eggs and newly hatched fry. Many species also care for their fry when they become mobile. Cichlids have shown an amazing ability to adapt to different biotopes by utilising a wide range of food sources and exploiting particular trophic niches. They can be found in highly acidic, calcium deficient 'blackwater' habitats in both Africa and South America whilst others have inhabited stagnant backwaters on the verge of pollution. Some cichlids have even colonised highly mineralised hot springs in the East African Rift Valleys. (Loiselle pp. 9-32)

March 2000

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

WHY IS LAKE TANGANYIKA A CICHLID PARADISE? Belgian fish collector Pierre Brichard has said "Lake Tanganyika is by no means just another African Great Lake or just another inland sea. Nowhere else in Africa, and as far as I know in the world, can we find as large and as deep a lake whose lifespan encompasses so many millions of years of uninterrupted and gradual evolution." (p. 9). He explains that whilst other lakes dried out or were covered with ice, Lake Tanganyika's sheer size, location and isolation buffered any sudden dramatic environmental changes. The lake's fishes and other life-forms were therefore able to continue to develop adaptations to the ecological niches that were appearing in the various habitats of the lake. The succession of adaptations led to the increasingly specialised forms found today. (Brichard p. 9) The lake is a closed system so it is not surprising that almost all of the lake's cichlids are endemic (Somermeyer p. 1). Almost 200 different species of cichlids have been described from Lake Tanganyika and more discoveries are being made each year. Large parts of the shores on Tanzanian and Zairean (Congolese) territories have not yet been explored in detail so the total is sure to rise (Staeck p. 12). Professor Max Poll believes that there are still undiscovered cichlids in the lake because it has not been fully explored. He points out that special fishing equipment is required to explore the immense lake bottom at depths about 250 metres (Finley p. 3). Brichard expects that at least 300 cichlid species will eventually be registered in the lake and believes that the bulk of the new ones will consist of highly specialised species with unusual adaptations (p. 11). It is acknowledged that whilst other African Great Lakes may have more cichlids, Tanganyika's cichlid fauna is more specialised and diverse. Lake Tanganyika is often given as an example of endemism, as more than 95% of its cichlids are not found anywhere else (Brichard p. 10). What has led to this incredible diversity of cichlids? WHY HAVE CICHLIDS DIVERSIFIED? Within the lake the 'island' type of evolutionary system seems to be at work. All around the lake are rocky areas that are like islands, separated from each other by open sandy or grassy areas. The fishes living in the rocky areas are effectively isolated from those in adjacent areas because they are bound to the rocks for protection. Should they leave the rocky areas and venture into the open they would be at the mercy of the predators that roam the open waters. As a result, breeding populations are restricted to

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

their own area and are free to go off in their own evolutionary direction, independent of what is going on in other parts of the lake. That said, the general evolutionary trends tend to be the same due to similar biological and physical pressures acting on the fishes (Axelrod p. 32). It is therefore not surprising that two rocky shores separated by 100 yards of sand can yield very different groups of cichlids (Somermeyer p. 3). As the cichlids have evolved, they have done so to adapt to a specific niche in the lake. The fact that so many species can live together on a short stretch of slope can be explained by the number of ecological niches available to the fishes as well as the amount of food present. In this respect a rocky biotope in the lake is not very different from the coral reefs (Brichard p. 83). The evolution may have been to adapt to a habitat or to a food source. Axelrod reports that the tremendous success of cichlids in the lake has been attributed, to a large extent, to their ability to take advantage of all the different food sources available, from microscopic algae to fishes (p. 48). Professor Max Poll conducted the second major exploration of the lake between 1946 and 1947. For the first time he called attention to the segregation and specialisation of species according to the type of biotope they were living on (Finley p. 67). Poll's division of the lake into specific biotopes stands largely unchallenged today. THE LAKE'S VARIED BIOTOPES By examining the various biotopes around the lake, we can begin to see how and why the cichlids have evolved and specialised. Those biotopes are now described: The Surge Habitat Only the upper three feet of the water colunm at the shore is considered the surge. The crashing waves in this biotope produce very high oxygen levels as the carbon dioxide is washed out rapidly. The so-called goby cichlids have adapted to this biotope in such a manner that it is the only place that they may be found. (Konings p. 17) Rocky Shores Poll's Rocky Shore biotope has been further broken down by Konings to include the shallow rocky coast, the rocky habitat free of sediment and the rocky habitat covered with sediment (p. 122). The rocky habitat free of sediment is characterised by medium to large boulders, from one foot to tens of feet in diameter. The coast usually drops at a steep angle and the rocks are laying on other rocks, not on sand. The lack of

March 2000


sediment permits a lush biocover to flourish. This algal mat provides nourishment to herbivorous species. (Konings p. 25) The rocky habitat covered with sediment can be found further down the slope, at depths between 10 and 45 feet. Whilst this sediment rich biotope may still be covered with an algal layer it is poor in comparison with the upper layers. Sand is usually nearby and often covers part of the rocks. This biotope is inhabited by small cichlids that can find shelter between the rocks. (Konings p. 71) The shallow rocky coast can extend to a depth of 22 feet but is usually much shallower. Here the rocks, sized between pebbles and footballs, are on a sandy floor. Food is in its highest abundance in this biotope and it therefore harbours the most successful species. The inhabitants of this biotope tend to have a barred pattern on the sides which blends perfectly in the shallow water background. The pattern tends to confuse fish eating birds as the fishes move against the background of reflecting waves. (Konings p. 122) The rocky shores are home to a wide assortment of fishes. They might be gregarious or solitary. They include wanderers and territorial fishes. Some build nests to raise their young whilst others incubate them in their mouths. Some feed on the algal mat whilst others feast on the tiny creatures on or within the mat. Some occupy the midwater area just off the slope in order to get first try at the incoming phytoplankton whilst others feed on the tiny crustaceans on the substrate. Some predators attack other fishes and swallow them whole but some rip diseased or weakened fish to pieces. (Brichard p. 75) Sandy Bottoms Erosion has been at work for a long time and has resulted in a mile thick layer of sediment on the lake floor. Small particles of dust and sand continue to rain down the slope to the deep and any rocks at the lower levels are eventually covered with sand or silt. As a result, sandy bottoms ranging from the foot of rock strewn slopes to gently rolling plains prevail everywhere. (Brichard p. 71) Sections of the sand floor have accumulations of empty snail shells. The high calcium content of the water prevents the shells from dissolving slowly, as they would in neutral or acidic waters. The empty shells therefore accumulate in depressions in the lake floor. They are sometimes found in dense fields. Many species have accepted the snail shells as spawning sites and many take refuge in them. (Konings p. 198) Typically, sand-dwellers are not solitary species. The best way for small fishes to live, feed 12

and breed on barren, featureless floors is to bunch together. Callochromis and Xenotilapia species school together in the hundreds and have developed strong gregarious instincts. Some dive headlong into the sand and disappear when in danger. The shape and camouflage of these species are so good that it is difficult to spot a school of them from above. Additionally, they have developed extra sensory organs to warn them about predators and have specially angled teeth with which they can scoop up sand to get at the shrimp buried within. (Brichard p. 74) The Mud-floor The mud-floor biotope has neither a sandy nor rocky substrate. The bottom may include organic wastes like excrement or decaying organisms. Most of the mud, however, is brought in by the inflowing rivers. The mud/ooze contains bacteria that provide food for zooplankton that is commonly found in the water column above. Whilst some of the plankton is eaten by cichlids, the majority is food for shrimp-like crustaceans. These crustaceans, along with insect larvae, worms and other invertebrates are the favoured food of many fishes. (Konings p. 217) Pelagic Waters Except for the coastal fringe of slopes and shallows, the entire body of the lake is composed of pelagic waters. Large schools of fishes roam these waters. The density of these pelagic schools has been estimated at 2.8 to 4 million tons at all times (Brichard p. 70). The food chain in the pelagic waters begins with the phytoplankton that thrive in the light. Zooplankton feed on the phytoplankton and in turn are the main food for many cichlids in this biotope. Most of the zooplankton is consumed by enormous schools of non-cichlids and it is these schools that are the main prey of open water predator cichlids (Konings p. 244) Bcnthic Waters The deeper reaches of the oxygen-bearing layer form this biotope. This is much deeper than any river fish would be required to live and has demanded major adaptations of the cichlids that call it home. The cichlids had to adapt to the low oxygen and poor lighting that in most cases amounts to total darkness. One of these adaptations is the development of additional sensory organs that allow them to live in these conditions (Brichard p. 70). It is clear that cichlids have adapted to certain physical characteristics of their environment. They have also specialised in the type of food they eat.

March 2000

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

FEEDING DIVERSITY Pierre Brichard (p. 76) has observed that Lake Tanganyika's cichlids fall into the following feeding categories: Insectivorous fishes live close to the waters edge feeding on insects and their aquatic larvae. Herbivorous rock-grazers feed mainly on the vegetal carpet of the biocover growing on the rocks. Their diet also includes animal proteins supplied by the 'bugs' creeping among the algae. Carnivorous biocover peckers live mainly on the 'bugs' they pick from the algal carpet. Carnivorous zoobiocover peckers specialise in picking crustaceans and probably insect larvae from the tiny crannies on the rock surface. Carnivorous zooplankton pickers live at ground level or in mid-water picking crustaceans as they hop by. Phytoplankton pickers feed mainly on the drifting vegetal organisms of the plankton in midwater. Bivalve shell crushers feed on small bivalve molluscs. Aquatic plant browsers feed on the limited plants. Sand sifters scoop mouthfuls of sand with their forward slanted teeth, sift it through the gills, and eat the crustaceans hidden in it. Diatom feeders feed on diatoms and shrimp developing on decaying organic matter on the deep floors. Scale rippers have teeth that are set in such a way that they can seize the opposite edges of a scale on the side of a fish's body, apply pressure, and make it pop out of it's seating in the flesh. Skin, mucus and flesh are digested but the bony scale structure is not. Scale rippers will also attack open sores and wounds on disabled fish. Macro-carnivores will attack any fishes that they can swallow whole. Scavengers feed mainly or preferably on dead or disabled fishes. Having examined the principal causes of cichlid diversity and specialisation, we will now look at specific examples of this diversity. EXAMPLES OF THE LAKE'S DIVERSE CICHLIDS The largest cichlid in the lake is Boulengerochromis microlepis which measures up to 90 cm and weighs in around 3 kilos. Its pelagic "cruise predator" lifestyle has made it difficult to observe. (Konings p. 178 & Loiselle p. 299) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

The smallest cichlid, at a mere 4 cm, is Neolamprologus multifasciatus. Reduction in size was an adaptation required to be able to live and breed in snail shells. These fish will scoop sand from below their chosen shell until it descends below the surface. They then flick sand over the shell until it is hidden from view. The entrance to the shell is then cleared to create an almost invisible home. (Konings pp. 199 & 208) Lamprologus callipterus adapted differently but still utilises shells for breeding. It is a "pack hunter" predator that collaborates with others to dismember their prey (Loiselle p. 19). At 15 cm, the male is far too large to fit into a snail shell but he is three times larger than the female who can fit in. Adult males claim territories by collecting huge numbers of empty shells, sometimes from quite a distance, and place them in pits up to 1 metre wide. Each breeding territory is home to several females. The species Altolamprologus compressiceps has adapted to life in the lake by developing a unique shape. This high-backed, laterally compressed fish is so narrow that it can squeeze between rock crevices where it feeds upon small freshwater shrimp (Staeck p. 24). They are also known to predate on cichlid fry which can result in vicious attacks from the parents. Its odd shape prevents it from fleeing quickly so this species has developed very thick, strong scales like a suit of armour. It can withstand attacks by similar sized fishes by arching its body and presenting it to the attacker (Konings p. 83). Another small group of cichlids that evolved by changing the shape of their bodies are the goby cichlids, such as Eretmodus cyanostictus. In order to survive in the wave-churned shallows of the surge habitat fishes need to maintain close contact with the bottom. A regular swim bladder causes real problems to fishes in this habitat so this species has developed a very much reduced version. The very small swim bladder, together with adaptations to their ventral fins, a compressed body, and specialised dentition allow this species to successfully colonise this biotope (Loiselle p. 413). Opthalmotilapia species have developed different physical characteristics but they have done so for breeding purposes. This group is commonly referred to as 'the featherfins' because of their elongated ventral fins. The ends of these fins are augmented by small lobes whose shape and colour imitate the eggs of the species. During courtship, the male exhibits these fake eggs to initiate instinctive behavioural patterns amongst the females. The male attracts a female to his nest to spawn. When she has laid her eggs she immediately turns around and picks them up in

March 2000


her mouth before they can be fertilised. The male positions the fake eggs in the nest. The female apparently believes that she has missed a couple and mouths them in an attempt to collect them. As she does this the male releases his milt, fertilising the eggs in her mouth (Staeck p. 122). The small, sardine-like, species of Cyprichromis congregate in huge schools that may number tens of thousands (Konings p. 262). Probably due to being out-competed for the available spawning substrates, Cyprichromis have adapted and are now open-water spawners. Females expel their eggs in a head-down position and then quickly turn around and chase the eggs as they sink. They take the eggs into their mouths and then swim through a visible cloud of sperm to fertilise them. The eggs hatch in the female's mouth and the fry are carried there for about three weeks. When the fry are released they are fairly independent and they form a school immediately below the surface (Staeck p. 45). Benthochromis tricoti is a deep water cichlid with a maximum size of 20 cm. It lives exclusively at depths between 50 and 150 metres. Despite their size, they feed on tiny prey such as plankton, copepods and other small shrimps. To adapt to this small prey they have developed a stretchable, protrudable mouth which serves as a sucking tube (Staeck p. 34). The eight species ofTrematocaraare also benthic invertebrate feeders. In the daytime they have been found at depths of over 300 metres, giving them the distinction of being the deepest living cichlid in the world (Loiselle p. 304). However, they have specialised in their feeding habits. When the sun sets this species migrates up the water column and has been found at depths of only a few metres. The fact that the fish can withstand such enormous changes in pressure is striking. Trematocarahave developed an extensive lateral line system that allows them to locate food (tiny invertebrates) in the darkness. Their great advantage is that they have developed this ability to retreat from the foraging grounds during daylight, thereby avoiding any physical competition with their diurnal counterparts (Konings p. 234). Other n i g h t feeders include Neolamprologus toae and Neolamprologus sexfasciatus, which both inhabit the same areas. N. toae dines on insect larvae that leave their shelter at night. It is believed that the ancestors of N. sexfasciatus were unable to compete with N. toae for the larvae and was forced to adapt and specialise. N. sexfasciatus adapted to feed on the molluscs that were left behind by N. toae during its nightly foraging (Konings p. 154).


Another adaptation for feeding has developed with the species of Perissodus which are scale eaters. Some of the species have evolved with the head and jaws skewed to one side to better facilitate their scale biting activities. The scales are difficult to swallow individually and they are 'stacked-up' in the mouth before swallowing (Axelrod p. 69). Petrochromis fasciolatus has also developed an unusual mouth. Whereas other species have a downward projected mouth, this species opens its mouth in an upward fashion. This adaptation allows the fish to specialise in feeding from the underside of rocks (Konings p. 139). Triglachromis otostigma is well adapted for its preferred niche on the muddy floor of the lake. It has developed special pectoral fins that can bend at the tips. It feeds on insect larvae that are retracted in the mud. Therefore, this fish swims backwards when feeding, combing the mud with its pectoral fins to unearth its prey (Konings p. 218). As if one specialisation was not enough, this species is also a tunnel digger and spawns in caves that it excavates (Loiselle p. 295). These are but a few of the myriad of diverse and specialised cichlids that inhabit this incredible lake. I think that you will agree that Lake Tanganyika and its cichlids are a shining example of nature's evolution at work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Axelrod, Dr. Herbert and Dr. Warren E. Burgess. African Cichlids of Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika. New Jersey: TFH Publications, 1988. Brichard, Pierre. Cichlids and All Other Fishes of Lake Tanganyika. New Jersey: TFH Publications, 1989. Finley, Lee. "Professor Max Poll: A Buntbarsche Interview," Buntbarsche Bulletin Issue 91. August, 1982: (no page number). Konings, Ad. Tanganyika Cichlids. Holland: Verduijn Cichlids, 1988. Loiselle, Dr. P.V. The Cichlid Aquarium. Germany: Tetra Press, 1994. Somermeyer, Steve. "Lake Tanganyika and it's Cichlids." Buntbarsche Bulletin Issue 129. December 1988: (no page number). Staeck, Dr. Wolfgang and Horst Linke. African Cichlids II - Cichlids From Eastern Africa. Germany: Tetra Press, 1994.

March 2000

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

k by BERNARD HARRIGAN ANGELFISH he scientific name for the freshwater angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare, is quite descriptive. Pterophyllum is derived from the Greek word for "winged leaf and scalare means "like a flight of stairs," referring to the dorsal fin. It is a Latin word that can also mean "ladder." Angelfish are laterally compressed, which means that they look like a bit like a plate on edge, with long fins coming out of the top and bottom. They have 2 feelers in front of the anal, or bottom, fin. The tail is vertically oriented and may range from a scoop shovel shape to long and relatively narrow, depending on the variety. The upper and lower Angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) rays of the tail often are extended and thread like. They will do well in a 20 gallon high tank. They would be the center of attention in anyone's tank. Angelfish thrive in a well planted tank. You'll see them happily swimming among a forest of Amazon Sword plants. Once they feel at home they seem to like being noticed. Although peaceable, large specimens should not be put in with tiny or slender breeds, because these may get eaten. Flakes, pellets, freeze dried, as well as live food


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

are all happily accepted. In case you notice your angelfish going "off their feed," bribe them with live brine shrimp, live guppy fry or any other clean live food. In no time they will be eating again. Angelfish come from the central A m a z o n , especially in secondary waters, bays, etc. These are slowly flowing waters with s t a n d i n g or flooded reed beds, and rock clefts among which they hide. Water temperatures rarely, if ever, drop below 75 degrees F. 82 to 85 degrees F is the temperature range during breeding season. A pH of 6.8 or lower is common for an Angelfish habitat. Angelfish drawing by B. Harrigan breeding has progressed into an art form with the development of the veil finnage, super veil finnage, and the many color varieties. It is remarkable that all of these forms came from the original standard silver angelfish from the wild. A major indication that an impending spawn is approaching includes the cleaning of leaves, slates, rocks, and other objects around the aquarium. These objects will usually be on the upper half of the aquarium where angelfish prefer to spawn. Breeding tubes are also an indication

March 2000


that a spawning is near. A day before the spawn takes place, the breeding tubes of each fish emerge close to their anal area. The female has a blunt tube called the ovipositor that is used to lay her eggs. The male has a narrow tube called the papillae that is used to fertilize the eggs. Spawning will take place on a vertical site that the angelfish have cleaned, such as a plant leaf, slate, driftwood, and even filter tubes, heaters, or the side of the glass. Clutches range up to 300 eggs. Both parents will guard and fan fresh water over the eggs. Within 36 hours the

fry will hatch. The young fry feed off of their yolk sack, therefore no feeding is necessary during this time. Then the young can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or fine powdered flake food. Angelfish are an immensely popular and hardy staple of the hobby, second only in popularity to the goldfish. It lives up to its nickname, "the king of aquarium fish." I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to the beginner or experienced hobbyist alike; and remember, fun fishkeeping!

THE ANTIQUAffllJAf Iverlisemeni; ore


Introducing Hush I, II, III, and IV. The first family of aquarium air pumps, designed to keep pace with the growing family of aquarium hobbyists. Each oi the four pumps La this family is encuieer«d ior maximum quiet and etf.ciency. With few moving pcrts (and these ere alweys cusfaioaed-ior-quiel in rubber ;. whatever «iz« tanlc there's c Hush AirPuKptofit your ii«eds.


For the beginner: Hush 1. Far the intermediate bobbyisj: Hush U. Far the advanced hobby sat: Hush HI. with adjustable controls. For the dedicated ichthyologist: Hush IV...

March 2000

with 4 car nozzles and adjustable controls. They're all designed to meet Mcrtafrnmc's exacting Quality Control Standards, and they nwver rte«d oil or attention. It's really quite-c iamily!

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

/Our scheduled speaker this month:


Dr. Wayne Leibel Speaking on "Geophagus: The Earth Eaters of South America Bio by CLAUDIA DICKINSON he sunlight streamed through the leaves of the overhanging trees and fell dancing upon the gently babbling stream in the crisp air of the new spring day. Laughter from the group of 10-year old boys came filtering through the woods, rising in the pitch of their excitement as they splashed about in attempts to take possession of the bullfrogs which resided there. The boyish mischievousness would soon turn into a wild thrashing of playful wrestling and mud slinging. Much further up the stream, away from the mayhem of the others, crouched a young boy, staring steadfastly into the trickling waters in utter solemn concentration. His thoughts were far away, captured in the world of his mentor and famous ichthyologist William T. Innes, as his eyes and keen mind patiently searched the waters for the small schools of fish that would come flitting by. Each fish would be studied carefully and mentally categorized into its proper species. Wayne's lifetime passion for fishkeeping began at the very young age of six, when actually he was lobbying his parents with great persistence for a puppy. Wayne's mother was a bit reluctant at the idea of a dog in the house, but instead conceded to the addition of another parakeet to his collection of small psittacines. His father took him to the local pet shop to choose his new feathered friend. Once at the store he decided on a beautiful bird with a sweet disposition, and as his father went to pay for it, the sound of the bubbling aquariums beckoned to Wayne. He wandered off to the rows of fish tanks where the dazzling colors and beauty of the inhabitants were to forever change the path of Wayne's life. Wayne's father helped him to pick out a 15-gallon stainless steel-rimmed tank with the necessary fittings and fish to get started. This tank would reside in the TV family room for years to come, housing a community of fish with the likes of tetras, barbs, and gouramis. The world-renowned authority says it actually took him years to catch on to the art of fishkeeping. This was partly because of the knowledge and technology of the times. Wayne recalls bitter cold winter nights when he would trudge home with a newly purchased fish, transported in the likes of a Chinese food


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

container tucked under his overcoat, with no extra insulation. Because of such practices as this, many fish would come and pass away until he acquired his first book, the "Encyclopedia of Tropical Fish" by Axelrod and Vordewinckler. This book would become his guide (he now owns an early signed edition) and he poured over it again and again, his great intellect taking in and digesting every piece of information until he literally had all of the almost nine hundred pages memorized. Because of this book, the beginnings of the very roots of Wayne's understanding and great expertise in fishkeeping began to take hold. The book also steered Wayne towards New World Cichlids, as this was one of its major focuses. Several more tanks were added to the original 15-gallon tank in the Leibel household and an area in the basement was designated to Wayne's new hobby. The fish joined Wayne's collection of lizards, frogs, turtles, birds and various other small animals, but they were to become his life's passion. It was in these tanks that Wayne had his first cichlid spawning of a fish that is to this day a most challenging fish to breed, the Nanochromis parilius (Nudiceps). The keeping of fish became the link of a strong bond between father and son. Wayne's dad gave him encouragement by taking him to aquarium shops and in 1965 when he was thirteen, took him to his first aquarium meeting at the Exotic Fish Society of Hartford, Connecticut. In 1969 when Wayne went off to Dartmouth College with one 10-gallon tank and left the remainder in his father's care, his dad would tell others he was "just keeping them for the kid." However, it was not unusual on a holiday for Wayne to bring his father back a few new fish "just to take care of." His father would keep those tanks, and the love of his son going, until the day of his passing in 1986. In 1973, Wayne graduated from Dartmouth where he had majored in biology and went on to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut for his PhD. It was here that he became more heavily involved in fish. Apistogramma and Killifish became the focus as he joined the Elm City Aquarium Society, where he met his close friend and fish enthusiast, Lee Finley. Wayne's writing was to begin here as he wrote for Elm City's "Barnacle Chronicle" on

March 2000


Killifish. He then became an active member of the American Killifish Association, and in 1976 spoke at the first Northeast Council Workshop on "Killifish Egg Development." In 1979, Wayne went to Boston where he did research at the Harvard Medical School. It was at this time that Geophagus took center stage, when he joined the Boston Aquarium Society and wrote articles for the "Daphnian." In 1980 Wayne spent one year at Middlebury College, Vermont. All of his tanks traveled with him and he even had a license plate that read "APSTO"! 1981 brought Wayne back to Boston where he taught for two years at Boston College and, of course, once again joined the Boston Aquarium Society. With the encouragement of Paul Loiselle, Wayne began to write for the ACA's "Buntbarsche Bulletin" (BB) and FAMA. He began the Geophagus/Aequidens Study Group and for two years published the "Sifter." In 1983, Wayne relocated to Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he has been a biology professor for the past seventeen years. He continued to write for FAMA and BB, when in 1985 he took over as the BB editor, a position which he dedicated his time and talents to for seven years. In 1992 Wayne began his series in AFM, "Coin' South," a meticulously chronicled virtual encyclopedia of all South American Cichlids. This series would eventually span over forty articles and became a collection of the most detailed and informative literature on New World Cichlids to date. The year 1993 brought us all the additional good fortune of "Wayne's New World," a TFH series of articles centered on New World Cichlids through the eyes of the master. His first book, "Fishkeeper's Guide to South American Cichlids" was published by Tetra in 1995. "Cichlids of the Americas," published by Fancy Publications, would follow in 1997. Wayne is currently working on the most extensive coverage to date on South American Cichlids in a book to be published in 2001 by TFH. Wayne has written a total of over 150 articles published by BB, Cichlid News, FAMA, AFM, and TFH. He has traveled extensively and is a seasoned collector with two trips to Peru, two trips to Venezuela, and one trip to Costa Rica. Among his extraordinary fishkeeping skills, Wayne holds the high honors of the world's ONLY spawning of Acaronia nassa (Basketmouths), the world's second only spawning of Acarichthys heckelii (Heckel's Threadfin), and in 1993 became the world's first to spawn the Crenicichla marmorata (Marbled Pike). All of these were firsts for American spawnings.


Wayne is very dedicated to the American Cichlid Association, with all of his contributions earning him a much-coveted Fellowship in 1993. He is the current Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, and in the past has served three terms on the Board and held the position of Secretary. Wayne is the Technical Editor and Area Editor for South American Cichlids for BB. He is in high demand on the ACA speaker program, which takes him on the road during his school breaks to aquarium clubs across the country. Although it can be grueling, Wayne enjoys the schedule, viewing it as an opportunity to raise the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Cichlids as well as heighten awareness of the importance of conservation. Wayne is a leader in bringing our young hobbyists on board and fueling their enthusiasm, as he does so well in his new column for AFM, "FishKidz." He believes, and rightly so, that the children of this hobby are its future and the insurance of its prolificacy into the next century. Aside from fishkeeping and breeding, Wayne has a keen interest in the History of the Aquarium Hobby. His collection of antique aquariums, bowls, books, literature and other artifacts is that of a museum, and rivaled by few. One is awestruck by the rows of leather-bound books, many of them very old and signed by the legendary authors. The beauty of the antique tanks mesmerizes one with wonderment and thoughts of days gone by. It was in these tanks that the newest imports were housed by their ancient methods in the 1800's and early 20th century. Wayne's writing and speaking engagements have been extended into this avenue as well. Wayne maintains 2000 gallons of tanks in which reside among others, Geophagus, Hoplarchus psittacus and Astronotus ocellatus. Wayne's great interest at present lies in his Pike Cichlids, and he is currently housing many rare species. Aside from the unbelievable achievements earned throughout his life, Wayne is a most wonderful person to know and I feel most privileged to have him as a dear friend. He is revered and respected throughout the aquarium hobby and avails himself with ease to the public. We are so very honored and proud to have Wayne join us tonight and welcome him most heartily, with his expertise on "Geophagus: the Eartheaters of South America." Addendum: The GCAS would like to thank the American Cichlid Association as well for the great generosity of their Speaker Program. This program helps to make it possible for us to host speakers such as Wayne LeibeL

March 2000

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

News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies by CLAUDIA DICKINSON ountdown for the NEC Silver Anniversary Grande Celebration! Here it is ~ March ITth-W*, 2000 - the Grandest of affairs to mark 25 years of fish, friends and fun with the Northeast Council! I surely hope you've set these days aside to put away all of your cares and join hundreds of other enthusiastic hobbyists at the Hartford Marriott in Farmington, Conn. Plan to spend the weekend, or take the short lovely drive for the perfect day's trip. Make the trip even more enjoyable with the company of a fishy friend or a spouse. The celebration will be a wonderful family affair, and great for our budding new hobbyist children to enjoy with their parents as well!


Friday, March 17th: 12:00 Noon: Registration Opens. l:00pm: AGA Discussion Group. 2:00pm: Cichlid Discussion Group. 3:00-4:30pm: Claus Christensen ~ Plants.

4:30pm: Vendor Room Opens. 5:00-8:00pm: Dinner (Grand Ballroom). 8:00pm: Convention Kickoff. - Dry Goods Auction.

Saturday, March 18th: 8:3Oam: Registration Opens. Vendor Room Opens. Breakfast Cart in Grande Ballroom Lobby. 9:00-10:15am: Ad Konings-Tanganyikan Cichlids. Rosario LaCorte-Egglayers. 10:45-12:00am: Wayne Leibel-History of the Hobby. Don Johnson-Anemones & Soft Corals. 12:00-l:00pm: Claus Christensen-Plants. Ginny Eckstein-Catfish. 2:30-3:45pm: Chuck Davis-Tank Busters. Mike Schadle-Livebearers. 4:00-5:15pm: Stuart Grant-Malawi Cichlids. 5:00pm: Vendor Room Closes. 6:00 PM: 25th Anniversary Banquet. Lee Finley-MC. Midnight Max~DJ.

SundayJVIarch 19th: 8:30-1 l:00am: Breakfast Cart. 8:30-9:00am: Bring Auction Lots to Grand Ballroom. 9:00am: Vendor Room Opens.

9:30-10:45am: Viewing of Auction Lots. ll:00am: Giant Auction Begins! 12:00 Noon: Hotel Checkout Time.

This schedule should give you a good chance to plan ahead for which of the fabulous speakers you absolutely cannot miss. It will be a tough decision in several cases, as you can see! There are so many unbelievable presentations that some are run simultaneously. The vendor room will be brimming with friendly and familiar faces such as Lee Finley with his fabulous selection of Aquatic books, and Ray Lucas with his vast array of manufacturers goods along Tom and Peggy Neal with their nutritious selection of gourmet fish foods. There will be fish, plants, tank decorations, filtration equipment, buttons, T-shirts and the wonderful bustle of friendship and laughter! There is no registration for attending the banquet or auction; however, you will want to register for the Saturday seminars. Please call our most efficient and congenial Chairperson - Janine Banks, and her wonderful husband Dave, at (802) 372-8716 for registration details. You may also visit the NEC Web page at: http://www.piscespub.com/nec.html which should give you complete updated information. This is certain to be THE EVENT of the season! I can barely wait to see you there! As if that weren't enough ~ need to replace some of that "Cabin Fever" with some great "Fishy Fever"? The NEC sister societies have been busy making sure we hustle the winter out, and jump right into spring with LOTS to do! Coming Events: March 5th: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island "Buck-a-Bag" Auction. 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. Along with the Tropical Fish Showcase in the fall and the NEC Judging School, life shall be in a wonderful whirl! I can't wait to see you in Hartford! Take Care!

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

March 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 tune) & most respected aquarium societies in the nation!

Queens, New York City - NY proudly announcers its

May At the Queens Farm Museum: 73-50 Little Neck Parkway Between the Grand Central Parkway and Union Turnpike HERE'S V^HyVTTO EXI> OLASS SHOV/ LIKE OUR-S:

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 FINII> ONLY ORE ATE R 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 \vebsite ftJr uj^plated information at: http://oiirworld.co:mpij^er^ E-Mail us at: north228@aql*bo]i|fr -%r- serpae@aol.com Or contact Show Chairpersdjris ^e^ D'Orio: 89-32 118th Street - RichmlM l|illipY 11418 (718)847-2O3O


March 2000

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

Modern Aquarium Redux by JOSEPH FERDENZI he issue of Modern Aquarium which you now hold in your hands marks an historic moment for Greater City, and is the cherished culmination of a goal I'd hoped this Society would achieve. This article will explain what that historic goal was, and how it was achieved. As most of our members and readers of this magazine know, the Greater City Aquarium Society was founded in 1922. However, as far as I have been able to ascertain, it did not begin publishing any magazine until well into the 1950s. That magazine was, as is now, entitled Modern Aquarium. This first series (Series I), judging from the few surviving issues, was a rather modest publication. Moreover, although no documentation has been found that would establish exactly how many issues were produced in that first series, several facts can be deduced by reference to the written material in our archives: 1) the first volume of Series I was published beginning in March of 1957, 2) the intended goal was a monthly publication, 3) the volume numbers became utterly unreliable in later years (for example, the October 1959 issue proclaims itself "Vol. 1, No. 1"), and 4) by the early part of 1968, Modern Aquarium had long since ceased publication. It therefore seems probable that Series I was not published in a very continuous or prolonged manner. In summary, Series I was not a noteworthy achievement in the annals of aquarium literature. All that changed in the Fall of 1968, with the resumption of Modern Aquarium under the editorial direction of Dan Carson (this was the beginning of Series II). Dan managed to assemble a very talented group of people around him and his wife Mary, and they produced a very fine magazine; one that was renowned in its day, and which has become a part of the collection of any serious fan of aquarium hobby literature. The magazine was published in a very technically superior way (for example, it was frequently illustrated with black and white photos), and was superior in content as well (its series of "Hobbyist Profile" articles provided a rare and valuable insight into the makeup of the people who played a significant part in our hobby). The first issue of Modern Aquarium Series II was the November 1968 issue. It too was a monthly publication. The last issue of that series was published in December 1974 (Volume 7, Number 4). In total, Series II was comprised of 61 issues. No issue was published


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

for September of 1970 and, as is our current practice, no issues were published during the summer meeting hiatus of July and August. Between 1974 and 1994, this Society published no magazine, although it did publish a newsletter ("Network") that often contained articles. I myself edited that newsletter for many years, but it never quenched my desire to re-establish a real magazine for the Society. However, I knew that I alone did not have the requisite talent or ability to do so. Nor was I prepared to start publication under the banner of its famous predecessor (Modern Aquarium) unless I felt sure that I had a dedicated and talented staff who could produce a quality publication on a consistent basis. Well, as I always say, patience is a virtue. Although I became President of the Society in 1986, my vision for a magazine began to materialize only in 1993. It was then that, through a confluence of good fortune, several new members of Greater City arrived on the scene to combine with several "old-timers," and thereby form the nucleus of a talented publishing team. Chief among the new members was Warren Feuer. Over the years, Warren and I have become very good friends. At the time, however, all I really knew about Warren was that he was a computer "wiz," and that he had answered my call for help (you see, even though my friends know me as a computer "illiterate," I knew that, in this day and age, you could not produce a quality amateur publication without computer "know-how"). As it turned out, Warren was more than just a computer guy. He was educated and intelligent, and he was up to the challenge of being the first Editor. Next, there was our first Art Director, Stephan Zander. Stef, who was a lawyer when he joined Greater City, had been a commercial artist at one time. In that capacity, he had worked for several nationally published magazines (like People). What luck! Stef is the person who professionally designed our striking cover, did all the early photo work, and set the design standards for the interior of the magazine. No one was more impressed by his work than I. In Al Priest, we found a very competent Assistant Editor. While Al was relatively new to the hobby, no one was better at working with desktop publishing programs than Al. What a find he was! In addition, Al shared my penchant for rigorous adherence to deadlines and publishing schedules.

March 2000


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

Lastly, you can't publish a magazine without a publisher. Here, too, good fortune smiled upon us. Just around the time that Al and Stef had joined the club, my old friend, Bernie Harrigan (an ex-President of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society), became a regular member of Greater City. Bernie is one of the most congenial people you'll ever meet. Bernie is also an enthusiastic hobbyist and, on the pragmatic side, Bernie owns his own printing company. What a combination for us! Without his patience and dedication, Modern Aquarium could never have hoped to achieve its professional look while keeping within the club's budgetary constraints. And, speaking of budgetary issues, most magazines need to off-set some of the costs of publishing by soliciting advertisers. Here, too, serendipity intervened. One of my dearest friends in the club was long-time member Mark Soberman. Mark is another highly educated, intelligent person who was able to turn his working vocation into a plus for us. You see, Mark was a salesman for a high-tech medical equipment company. Who better to talk some local pet shops into advertising with our fledgling magazine, and, just as significantly, coax them out of some cash. From the beginning, Mark has supported our advertising strategy: select only those stores that cater to hobbyists, but with enough geographic diversity to satisfy our cosmopolitan membership. In short, we did not want to be a vehicle for indiscriminate advertising (currently, there are only four advertisers, and no plans to solicit more). Thanks in large part to Mark, we have built a solid relationship with our valued advertisers.

After a few years, Stef was replaced by another talented member, Jason Kerner. Jason brings many skills to his position as Photo/Layout Editor. These skills are invaluable to us. For example, most people could not imagine the amount of patience and time it takes to produce our covers. Because most of the photos we use are originals (i.e., they are taken by non-professionals such as myself), they often need a lot of technical work to be brought up to a standard suitable for our famous covers. I can't imagine where we'd be without his help. More recently, Al and Warren have sort of switched places â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Al is now the Editor. Al performs this job with consummate dedication. In my most hopeful dreams, I could not have conjured up a more intelligent, skilled, and hard working Editor. For me, he is a pleasure to work with. If that were not enough, he is ably assisted and encouraged by his wife and fellow GCAS member, Susan. She is a definite part of the fabric of the Modern Aquarium tapestry. She is a caring, solicitous person, who garners fondness in every person she meets. And, she is a fantastic writer and idea person, to boot. Well, by now, I'm sure you get the idea. The contributions of these people combined with the talents of some of GCAS's prolific writers (Charlie Sabatino, Vince Sileo, Jeff George, and Claudia Dickinson â&#x20AC;&#x201D; just to mention a few) has resulted in a magazine that is justly admired for the quality of its articles and its striking imagery. And, with this issue, it has surpassed the longevity record of Modern Aquarium Series II â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this is our 62nd issue (it would have been our 63rd if the harsh winter of 1994 hadn't forced us to produce a combined February/March issue that year). I am sure that everyone at GCAS will be very proud of this achievement. I know I am.

The Story of the Camel Driver by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST here is a story of a man herding camels in the desert. Before starting out, he counted 100 camels. He mounted the largest one to give him a better view, and rode behind them, driving them forward. At midday, while still moving, he counted only 99 camels. Although he could see for miles, he could not spot the missing one. But, before starting out the next morning, he again counted 100. This went on for several days. The above is a "logic" puzzle to train students creative thinking. The solution, of course, is that when the camel driver counted 99, he failed to count the camel he was riding on!


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

Joe Ferdenzi is like that camel driver. In his article above he sees the contributions of others, but fails to mention his own many contributions. Not an issue goes by, this one included, without a piece from Joe. And, except when we want to surprise him (such as with the tribute article to him in our "Second Sight" reprint column this past January), Joe reads every word of every article before it is printed. Only Joe's prestige in the Society and his reasoning and persuasion abilities could have gotten our Board to agree to such an ambitious project, using a yet untried staff.

March 2000



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March 2000

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

March 2000 volume VII number 3

Modern Aquarium  

March 2000 volume VII number 3