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AQUARIUM s the: Jogo ; of our 7g:j:; Amfyefsary incorporates:;; the,; tl€S]gn::;:;:Qf::::;tiie;' ' aive'ry: :o:ut | tu; :0my:;

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Vol. VII, No. 6

June, 2000

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest


The GREATER Show on Earth


FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report


Looking Through the Lens with the GCAS (photos of our May meeting)


Scenes at the 78th Anniversary Show


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Winners at our 78th Anniversary Show . . . .


The NEC Silver Anniversary Gala


NEC Delegate's Report


Our Scheduled Speaker This Month (Biography of Sal Silvestri)


Fun Fish - Zebra Danios




Wet Leaves (Book Report Column)


A Special Look Back


The Non-Goldfish Bowl


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


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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: //ourworId. CompuServe. com/homepages/greatercity


ell, last month I wrote that I would try to make this month's issue of Modern Aquarium a "theme" issue. The theme is aquarium shows, and photos from both the North East Council (NEC) Silver Anniversary Show in March and Greater City's own 78th Anniversary Show last month are featured, thanks in large part to our "Roving Photographer," Claudia Dickinson. Neither Claudia nor I (the second photographer whose works are displayed in this issue) are professional photographers. Not all photos were good enough to print (the lighting wasn't always the best), and just the two of us couldn't photograph everything and everyone. While I made my best effort to get everyone's name right, please don't be offended if I didn't include a photo or mention of you at the show, misidentified you, or misspelled your name. If you didn't enter fish in our show, you missed a great opportunity. I brought my best Bettas â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they didn't win. I brought a Betta edithae, and a Betta albimarginata. Both looked great in the show tanks, as did my Sailfln Molly. They didn't win awards, either. My Ctenopoma ansorgii was very unhappy with the open show tank (my ansorgii tank has peat colored water, is heavily planted, including floating plants, and has caves and other hiding places), and this normally bright orange and black striped fish turned to a black lump cowering in a corner. So, I wasn't surprised when it didn't win anything, either. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when perhaps the smallest fish in the entire show, my Sparkling Gourami, won not only First Prize in the Anabantoid class, but Reserve of Show! And, a fish not too much larger, my Pseudomugil gertrudae, took second place in the Open class.


It's nice to see that size, and even rarity, weren't the only criteria used by the judges. The reason I mention this is that these two fish almost didn't "make the cut," so to speak. When I mentioned taking them, my wife, Susan, wondered aloud if I was serious. It's not that they weren't both in excellent condition. It was more a question of whether these fish would have any chance in competition against much larger fish in their respective classes. Obviously, I'm glad I entered them. And, if you didn't enter because you felt your fish wouldn't have a chance against the competition, here's a lesson for you for the next time â&#x20AC;&#x201D; go for it anyway! This is the last issue of Modern Aquarium in our 1999-2000 membership year. After a Summer's break, we will return in September. This also marks the end of my second full year as Editor-in-Chief of this magazine (though I have been part of the Editorial Staff since this publication's revival in 1994). When we return in September, I hope to have several changes in place, with more to come in January 2001. Our website is also scheduled for a facelift over the Summer. Before I say goodbye until September, and the start of our 2000-2001 Season, I want to thank some of the people who help to get this magazine to you. First, my proofreader, and award winning columnist and article writer, my wife, Susan. Next, there is our Executive Editor, and the driving visionary force behind this enterprise, Joe Ferdenzi. After them, and in no special order of priority (because they are all special and equally important) are Modern Aquarium's Technical Editor, Warren Feuer, its Photo/Layout Editor, Jason Kerner, and its Advertising Manager, Mark Soberman. Now a special Thanks to two more people. First, to our printer and Production Director (and columnist, and resident artist), Bernie Harrigan, who repeatedly goes "above and beyond" without adequate recognition. Finally, but by no means last, thanks to our Speakers and Programs Chairperson, and NEC Delegate, Claudia Dickinson. As Exchange Editor, I see the publications of many other societies. Almost no other society has an entire original NEC news page each month. (When there is any NEC coverage at all, it's usually a reprint of the NEC's own newsletter). Nor have I seen elsewhere excellent speaker biographies, such as Claudia writes every month. On behalf of our readers, and myself, Thanks!

June 2000

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

The Greater Show on Earth by SUSAN PRIEST with photos from the camera of CLAUDIA DICKINSON adies, gentlemen, and children of all ages came from far and near to our 78th Anniversary Show. I was one of them, and I had a great time. When Al and I arrived on the scene on Friday night, things were well under way. The tank stands were assembled and draped in green plastic. There was water in tanks, water in buckets, water in garbage cans, and water on the floor. There would have been water on all of our rear ends as well, if it hadn't been for the efforts of Frank Bonicci, who fastidiously mopped up each spill as soon as it happened. Thanks, Frank! The North Jersey Aquarium Society was there in force. They had clearly taken the challenge issued to them by Joe Ferdenzi to sweep a class at our show. If there had been a class for enthusiasm, they would have won it that night. As for their fish, that was up to the judges.


same over the last one hundred-plus years? We have done a lot of both, it seems to me. Our second speaker was Mike Sheridan. His topic was Neotropical Cichlids. Unfortunately, I had to miss his presentation. It was at about that time that the question "Where are the Show Journals?" was being asked with greater and greater frequency. The answer turned out to be, unknown to me and Al, that they were in our living room, so I drove home to the Bronx to retrieve them. My apologies, Mr. Sheridan. I'm sure the club will compensate me for this missed opportunity by inviting you back soon. The third presentation was to have been on aquarium photography, presented by Lee Finley and Dr. Leibel. Due to the lateness of the hour, and the fact that people's energy levels were starting to sag, it was decided to cancel this program so we could all freshen up for the Awards Dinner.

Carlotti DeJager - The "People's Choice"

The events of Saturday resembled a three-ring circus. The center ring was, of course, occupied by the fish themselves. The menagerie of Zebras, Peacocks, Lionheads, etc., was a sight to behold. Everyone who could put pencil to paper was casting a ballot for their favorite fish. I.M.H.O., the "People's Choice Award" was the highest honor bestowed that day. Congratulations, Carlotti! Ring number two was the domain of our speakers. First up was the one and only Dr. Wayne Leibel presenting a program on the history of the aquarium hobby. How much have we changed, and how much have we stayed the Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Jason Kerner, the "Willie Loman" of Bettas

Rounding out this three ring affair were the "sideshow events." These included the Treasure Hunt, the Kingfish Services, JEHM Co. foods, Marineland, and Fancy Publications representatives (Hi, Terry!), Jason Kerner handling the Betta sales, and my personal favorite â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Finley Aquatic Books.

June 2000

(L to R): Speaker and judge, Dr. Wayne Leibei, GCAS Program Chair (and NEC Delegate) Claudia Dickinson, and Dave and Janine Banks

I especially enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the President of the NEC, Dave Banks, and his wife, Janine, who I had recently met at the NEC Weekend (article on this event on pages 12 and 13 of this issue). They traveled all the way from Vermont to join us. Thanks for coming, folks! While all of this was going on, and mostly unnoticed by the rest of us, the judges were performing every conceivable contortion (squinting their eyes, bending their knees and backs, twisting their necks, etc.). The results of their efforts can be found on pages 10 and 11 of this issue. The dinner took place at a lovely establishment called the Old Glory Restaurant.

The fine meal was only outdone by the excellent companionship. To our disappointment, Al and I could not stay for the entire evening. Lee Finley offered the group a program that I am told was one of the highlights of the weekend. (Ginny; as much as you missed being with us, we missed you much more!) The awards were distributed, including the Treasure Hunt prize, which was won by Rosie Sileo. Sunday morning. The auction lots, as well as the bidders, are being given their numbers. You can smell the bargains, you can smell the checkbooks, and for the first time in three days you can't smell the manure at the Farm Museum (they finally turned on the A.C.). Joe Ferdenzi and Bernie Harrigan handled the crowd like the seasoned professionals that they are. Bernie brought his whole family with him, and got them all into the act. Charlie Harrigan and his sister, Jennie, served as runners, as Bernie's wife, Carol, worked behind the scene putting purchases into numbered bags which corresponded to the bidders' numbers. Many thanks to the Harrigan Clan! As the last of the auction lots were purchased, and the last of the fish were packed up for their trips home, our 78th Anniversary Show came to a close. Thanks to everyone, members and visitors alike, whose countless contributions all blended together to become the GREATER Show on Earth.

The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he May/June issue of The Federation Report ("FR") states that the 1999 Publications Awards are still being judged. Only 17 societies submitted entries for 1999 (15% less than the 20 for 1998, and a very low percent of the member societies). Total 1999 entries were 363 (nearly 25% less than the 488 for 1998). Unless the rules and categories introduced for the 1998 entries are changed, I predict participation will continue to be low. This issue of FR has a ballot for societies to use to vote for four Board members, from a slate of four candidates. It would seem a simple rules change would make sense to allow the Secretary to cast a single ballot for all the candidates when the number of candidates equals,


or is less than, the corresponding positions available. This issue of FR also had an article on promoting your society and its events by Dr. Ted Coletti, titled "Guerilla Marketing." As one who was swamped by almost daily e-mails (often near duplicates of each other) for a recent nearby sister society event, I'd like to see the moderation advised for the use of e-mails in this article actually practiced. I'd also add to it advice against the use of file attachments, as many people have become wary of such attachments, due to recent virus scares.

June 2000

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

Photos by Claudia Dickinson

Captions by Al Priest

As you can see, the competition at our May Fish Wits contest was pretty intense.

Some needed a caffeine "fix"

Some of the audience were entertained.

And some could only think about: Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Getting home to a big hug June 2000

Scenes at the 78th Queens County Farm Museum Captions by JOE FERDENZI GCAS Board members Greg Wuest and Carlotti DeJager survey the Show room

GCAS Board member and Speakers Chairperson, Claudia Dickinson, in discussion with the designer of our Show tank racks, Horst Gerber

GCAS members Joe Ferdenzi and Sue Priest are all smiles as the Show gets underway

GCAS President, Jeff George, making a tally of the Show entries

Distinguished hobbyist from Rhode Island, Lee Finley, who served as one of the judges and gave the banquet presentation on Saturday night

GCAS President, Jeff George, and Board member Mark Soberman (center) conferring with Basil Holibus of the Norwalk Aquarium Society, who served as the stand-in for Ray "Kingfish" Lucas at the manufacturer's display stand

June 2000

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

Anniversary Show May 5-7, 2000 Photos by CLAUDIA DICKINSON and AL PRIEST GCAS Treasurer, Rosie Sileo, seems to be pleased (guess the funds were rolling in)

Veteran judge Mike Sheridan looks over one of his scoring sheets

The "Best Of Show" fish, entered by Chris Borgese of the North Jersey Aquarium Society

Joe Ferdenzi begins the Sunday afternoon auction, ably assisted by junior member Charlie Harrigan, under the watchful eye of President Jeff George

Co-auctioneer Bernie Harrigan (Charlie's dad) holding up another glorious bag offish to be sold to the highest bidder

Part of the attentive and spirited audience at the auction

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

June 2000

Distinguished hobbyist and judge Dr. Wayne Leibel (on the right) flanked by GCAS members Sue and Al Priest, winners of the "Reserve Of Show" trophy

pi GCAS Board member Warren Feuer ill diligently downloading all the Show entry information into a laptop computer

GCAS member Tom Miglio, showman extra ordinaire, who had a record 35 fish entries

Rick Bolger's striking Red Devil, which captured First Place in the New World Cichlid class

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

June 2000

Our 78th Anniversary Show Winners Here are the winners of our May 2000 show. Our sincere thanks to everyone who entered fish.

BEST IN SHOW - Chris Borgese (NJAS) Aulonacara stuartgranti RESERVE OF SHOW - Al and Sue Priest (GCAS) Trichopsis pumila - "Sparkling Gourami" PEOPLE'S CHOICE - Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) Haplochromis ahli - "Electric Blue" CLASS A - New World Cichlids 1- Rick Bolger (NJAS) Amphilophus citrinellum - "Red Devil" 2- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Thorichthys helleri 3- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Nandopsis tetracanthus Other entrants in this class: Pete D'Orio (GCAS), Jason Kerner (GCAS), Tom Miglio (GCAS), Chris Borgese (NJAS), Mark Soberman (GCAS), Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) CLASS B - Old World Cichlids 1- Chris Borgese (NJAS) Aulonacara stuartgranti 2- Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) Haplochromis ahli - "Electric blue" 3- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Lamprologus hecqui Other entrants in this class: Vince Sileo (GCAS), Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS), Jeff George (GCAS) CLASS C - Characins 1- Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) Impaichthys kerri - "Blue emperor terra" 2- Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) Poeciliocharax weitzmam 3- Warren Feuer (GCAS) Brycinnis longipinnis Other entrants in this class: Tom Miglio (GCAS), Mark Soberman (GCAS) CLASS D - Aquatic Plants 1- Claudia Dickinson (GCAS) Bolbitis huedelotii 2- Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) Anubias nana 3- Jeff George (GCAS) Aponogeton ulvaceus Other entrants in this class: Al and Sue Priest (GCAS), Greg Wuest (GCAS) CLASS E - Killifish 1- Tom Miglio (GCAS) Aplocheilus lineatus-gold 2- Jeff George (GCAS) Simpsonichthys sp. uriquia 3- Bill Adams (GCAS) Aphyosemion gardneri "Makuri Red" Other entrants in this class: Mark Soberman (GCAS), Harry Faustmann (GCAS), Greg Wuest (GCAS) CLASS F - Livebearers 1- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Ilyodon furcidens 2- Jeff George (GCAS) Xenotoca eiseni - "Red Tail Goodied" 3- Greg Wuest (GCAS) Xiphophorus helleri male Other entrants in this class: Tom Miglio (GCAS), Al and Sue Priest (GCAS) Carlotti DeJager (GCAS)


June 2000

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

CLASS G - Anabantoids 1- Al and Sue Priest (GCAS) Trichopsis pumila - "Sparkling gourami" 2- Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) Betta splendens female 3- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Betta unimaculata Other entrants in this class: Tom Miglio (GCAS), Greg Wuest (GCAS) CLASS H - Goldfish and Koi 1- Pete D'Orio (GCAS) Red & White Ryukin 2- Mark Soberman (GCAS) Variegated Pearlscale 3- Mark Soberman (GCAS) Red and White Lionhead Other entrants in this class: Vince Sileo (GCAS), Leonard Ramroop (GCAS) CLASS I - Fancy Bettas 1- Rich Martucci (NJAS) Male Betta splendens 2- Rich Martucci (NJAS) Male Betta splendens 3- Rich Martucci (NJAS) Male Betta splendens Other entrants in this class: Tom Miglio (GCAS), Leonard Ramroop (GCAS), Al and Sue Priest (GCAS), CLASS J - Fancy Guppies 1- Tom Miglio (GCAS) Poecilia reticulata - "Guppy" 2- Tom Miglio (GCAS) Poecilia reticulata - "Guppy" 3- Tom Miglio (GCAS) Poecilia reticulata - "Guppy" Other entrants in this class: Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS), Rich Levy (GCAS) CLASS K - Open Class 1- Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) Pseudomugil sp. Rainbow fish 2- Al and Sue Priest (GCAS) Pseudomugil gertrudae - "Gertrude's Rainbowfish" 3- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Iriatherina werneri Other entrants in this class: Pete D'Orio (GCAS), Tom Miglio (GCAS), Greg Wuest (GCAS), Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) CLASS L - New World Catfish 1- Mark Soberman (GCAS) Corydoras robinae 2- Larry Jinks (NJAS) Ancistrus dolichopterus 3- Mark Soberman (GCAS) Corydoras "Super Arcuatus" Other entrants in this class: Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS), Leonard Ramroop (GCAS), Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) CLASS M - Old World Catfish 1- Vince Sileo (GCAS) Synodontis eupterus 2- Mark Soberman (GCAS) Synodontis brichardi 3- Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) Synodontis clarias CLASS N - Art/Photos 1- Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) Pencil drawing 2- Sue Priest (GCAS) "Fish Eyes" 3- Al Priest (GCAS) "Sand Art" Other entrants in this class: Mark Soberman (GCAS), Tom Miglio (GCAS) Legend:

GCAS - Greater City Aquarium Society NJAS - North Jersey Aquarium Society

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

June 2000


The NEC Silver Anniversary Gala! by CLAUDIA DICKINSON he waves pounded against the sides of the boat in the dark, stormy late winter night as the ferry was jostled about in the wind, rain, sleet and snow. My nose was chilled, but my heart was warm as thoughts drifted between our cozy Ivy Rose Cottage to the Grande fishy affair getting underway in Hartford, Connecticut. The smoke would be gently puffing from the chimney now and the sheep's little faces would be buried deeply in the pungently sweet Timothy hay. I envisioned Ellie the cat curled up tightly, nestling in amongst the soft plumage of the family of ducks, as if she were one and the same. Dolly would still be rebelling in her own small way at my departure, but Lily, Wyatt, and the other dogs would be back to their evening routines without me. As always, the fish had their extra water changes and would be well set until my return. Upon reaching the hotel I was unloading the car and what more a special face to see than that dear man Ray "Kingfish" Lucas! Now THAT was the way to start out a most fabulous weekend for sure! The old friends and new faces continued to stream in throughout the evening; a more spectacular affair I cannot imagine! The halls and the vendor room churned with the exhilarating hum of greetings and stories to catch up on the year's tales. That most wonderful Chuck Davis was the highlight of the evening as his warmth and sparkling smile lit up the room while he kicked off the convention with a huge auction of dry goods. Stuart Grant followed with his program on "Come to Malawi and Mozambique". Stuart, along with others, has started the Canadian Rift Lake Cichlid Association, which is the first national exclusively Rift Lake Cichlid organization to be formed. Naturally, I joined immediately, as well as taking a raffle chance on the trip to Malawi. Stuart's camp and program in Malawi looks very inviting and a great adventure for anyone with an interest in the Rift Lake Cichlids. It was hard to say goodnight to everyone as there was so much catching up to be done, but the next day would be brimming with activities and some rest must be gotten. Saturday started out bright and early with world-renown Rosario La Corte speaking on egglayers and Ad Konings on Tanganyika fish. Wayne Leibel was up next with his fabulous talk on the "History of the Aquarium Hobby in America" and Don Johnson spoke in the alternate



lecture hall on anemones and soft corals. Following lunch, Ginny Eckstein spoke on Armored Catfish, while Claus Christensen brought us his expertise from Denmark on aquatic plants. Chuck Davis then treated us to his program on "Tank Busters" and Mike Schadle spoke on Livebearers. Stuart Grant rounded the late afternoon off with more on Malawi Cichlids. During all of this, the vendor rooms were buzzing with the lively chatter of friendly fish enthusiasts. Here one could while the hours away amongst everything one could imagine or desire, from the fabulous books of Lee Finley to the huge booth of manufacturer's goods demonstrated by the skilled and knowledgeable Ray "Kingfish" Lucas. John Maier of JEHM Aquarium And Breeder Supply Co. in New Jersey had on hand the new "Cyclop-eeze," which I was thrilled to find after reading two intriguing articles. One article was in "The Apisto-Gram" and written by Joe Saucedo and another I came across in the GCCA "Cichlid Chatter" by Bill Vannerson. The new product is made from freeze-dried Cyclops. As a note, I am delighted with the product thus far, and my fish love it, particularly the smaller fish and fry. I was so excited to see Tony Orso and Liz Landou with their Waterlife Imports. Tony and Liz always have just that really special fish that I have been looking for (or maybe didn't know I was looking for ~ but was quite irresistible!). I was thrilled to be able to find a tank filled with the Red Rhineloricaria that I had been searching for, as well as a nice pair of Apistogramma nijsseni that I really wanted. You can be certain that when making a purchase from Waterlife Imports, you will be getting good stock at a more than fair price. I wasn't disappointed, as the nijsseni spawned sixteen days upon their arrival in Montauk and the whiptails are flourishing in their blazing red attire. The GCAS was out in full force and I was so excited to see so many of your wonderful faces! What a special treat to be at a convention with our dear Al and Sue Priest, Vince and Rosie Sileo (thank goodness ~ relaxing for a change rather than their usual working behind a booth!), Warren Feuer, Jason Kerner, Mark Soberman, and Seth Kolker. To my great delight, I was able to spend a bit more time than I have at our meetings with Tom Miglio and his lovely wife, Carol. Between events, Tom taught me how to

June 2000

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

collect my Grindal worms in a clear film cartridge by placing the worm-filled dirt in the tiny container and allowing the worms to gather all along the sides. He has fast become a true expert, and is so generous about sharing his knowledge. I was able to steal a few moments with my dear friend Wayne Leibel, and go for our much anticipated annual visit to the Puppy Center. This is a store not to be missed on an outing to Connecticut, and during the NEC Convention they are well stocked and prepared for all of us. The display tanks are filled with marvelous fish at a special price and the staff is eager to accommodate all convention goers. Joe, the fishroom manager, was able to help me out tremendously with my purchases and even with follow-up information upon my return to Montauk. Without a moment to spare, we were whisked into the evening with the 25th Anniversary Banquet and the talents of Lee Finley as Master of Ceremonies. A most delicious dinner and a fabulous night followed, filled with laughter and socializing. The awards were handed out and the GCAS was made very proud with high honors, culminating with Modern Aquarium receiving Best Overall Newsletter! Before I knew it, the evening had rapidly spun

into the late hours and it was with reluctance that I left the gala to get some sensible rest for the coming day. The morning brought a recounting of the weekend's events, as attendees mingled over steaming cups of hot coffee and platters filled with luscious pastries and Danish. Preparations for the Giant Fish and Plant Auction began as auction lots were dropped off and the viewing was started. Underway at 11:00 AM, the auction was a plethora of the most fabulous assortment of fish and plants to be found. An NEC auction is not to be missed, and this one was surely no exception The difficult time had come to say our good-byes as fish were packed away safely in their Styrofoam containers. Luggage was placed in waiting cars and taxis, and final words were exchanged between friends â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a time to savor and relish all that we had gained in the short time together that would last and be cherished forever in our memories. I would return to our Ivy Rose Cottage, to be flooded with warm greetings from the tanks and the barn and the household. The contentment around me would comfortably meld with that from inside of me, and THAT is what it is all about!

(Lto R) Vince Sileo with Tom and Carol Miglio

(L to R) Christine Collona, Vinny Kreyling (Long Island A.S. President), Jeanette Kreyling, Jack Skolnick, and Ivan Skolnick

(L to R) Rosario LaCorte and Wayne Leibel

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

(L to R) Wayne Leibel and Claudia Dickinson

June 2000


News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies by CLAUDIA DICKINSON ere it is June already and all of those outstanding Medal Winning GCAS Show Fish are comfortably tucked back in their tanks and enjoying a well-deserved respite after their **STAR** performances at our 78th Anniversary Show. With the Summer ahead there will be plenty of time for our fish to be indulged with lots of water changes and special treats to munch on. The GCAS will be well prepared for a Grande representation at the NEC Tropical Fish Showcase in Norwalk, Connecticut on September 29th through October 1st! There were a lot of outstanding candidates at the auction that should have ample time to be primed up to go "on the road" in September as well. A complete Show and Auction Listing has officially been posted, which you will have all received copies of on your seats this evening. Please see me if you need extra copies. Should you have further questions, you know I am more than happy to talk over the event with you, as well as direct you to the Web Site at http://norwalkas.org/nec2000/ I am so excited about this joint venture of the NEC and the Norwalk Aquarium Society ~ it's really going to be a marvelous affair! I will be departing as early as possible for Connecticut on September 30th to enjoy the fun and camaraderie of helping out - I do hope you will join me! The dates on the calendar are already starred with a big happy "fishy face" and I shall so look forward to seeing you there! The Summer will be filled with activities and plans between the Aquatic Gardeners Association International Aquascaping Showcase and Contest that we spoke of last month, the NEC Judging School and preparations for the NEC Tropical Fish Showcase. A reminder on the Aquascaping Showcase and Contest ~ please visit the web site at http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org or e-mail: showcase@aquatic-gardeners.org. You will also find complete information sheets on your chairs tonight. This will be one of the most exciting and innovative events of the year and I can't wait to see all of our GCAS tanks displayed on the Internet! The closing date on entries will be September 30th, 2000 and, as always, I am happy to assist you with any questions that you may have. We shall surely ALL be in a fabulous whirlwind with a Fall ahead just brimming with activities planned by our NEC Sister Societies!


September 8th~10th: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island Show and Auction. September 17th: Danbury Area Aquarium Society Auction. September 29th~October 1st: NEC Tropical Fish Showcase & Norwalk A.S. Auction. October 8th: New Hampshire Aquarium Society Auction. October 15th: NEC General Meeting. October 20th~22nd: Jersey Shore A.S. & North Jersey A.S. Show & Auction. November 5th: Brooklyn Aquarium Society Annual Event. November 19th: Aqua-Land Aquatic Society Auction. December 3rd: NEC General Meeting. I know my head is in a wonderful whirl just thinking about it all! I can barely wait to join in with all of you for these most exciting adventures ahead! Take Care and Have a Most Wonderful Summer!



June 2000

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

Our Scheduled Speaker This Month: THE G.C.A.S. PROUDLY WELCOMES

OXL: "Tine Cidmllds of by Claudia Dickinson he carousel horses galloped gaily up and down, adorned in their festive attire of brilliant colors and shimmering gems, to the squeals of delight of their young riders. It was a glorious day as the sunshine came streaming down on the throngs of people milling about in step to the music on the carnival grounds. The air filled with the heady aroma of popcorn, hot dogs and cotton candy as 25 year-old Sal and his wife, Zoa, walked arm in arm, savoring the sights and sounds of the country fair. "A nickel a toss or six for your quarter" barked the tall, lanky vendor. His moustache was waxed until it glistened, and jutted straight out over his jawbone, accentuating the deep worn creases of his face. As the crowd gathered round, the rows of goldfish bowls caught Sal's attention. With a twinkle in his eye and a nod to Zoa, Sal flipped a quarter down on the counter and scooped up the six Ping-Pong balls to try his luck at winning one of the golden beauties to take home. With Zoa to cheer him on, Sal aimed his first ball intently towards the fluted rim of the bowl of a beautiful fish whose fins flowed, as it eagerly beckoned to him through the glass. A roar of adulation arose from the onlookers as the ball neatly fell directly in the center of the bowl. The gentleman's moustached face cracked into a smile as he handed Sal his prize fish. As Sal and Zoa strode off, laughingly recounting the contest with their new pet between them, little did they know that this was the beginning of a lifelong passion for Sal. When Sal arrived home he immediately purchased a bigger bowl for his little goldfish. It wasn't long before a fifty-five gallon tank was added to the Silvestri household, along with several attractive little fish that Sal took a fancy to at the pet shop. Before Sal knew it, these adorable little fish rapidly grew right out of their house and home, as they became very large Oscars! After finding suitable placement for the Oscars, Sal once again was captivated by a tank of fish at the pet shop; this time mixed African Cichlids. He purchased all of the fish at $1.99 each to place in his fifty-five gallon tank. One evening upon returning home from work, Sal's three-year old son tugged on his sleeve and asked him what those tiny little fish were coming up out of the rocks that lined the bottom of the tank. The Africans had spawned and this was to be the first of many, as it soon became apparent that Sal's understanding of fish husbandry was inherent. Sal's tanks grew along with his breeding skills, and 25 years later he currently has twelve running, which range from twenty to seventy-five gallons. Three of the tanks are devoted to communities of Tanganyikan Cichlids and others house several varieties of Apistogramma, another of Sal's favorites. The remaining tanks contain a variety offish from South American Cichlids to tetras and loaches as well as catfish. Sal joined, and became very active in, the Norwalk Aquarium Society in 1977, where he presently serves as a member of the Board. He traveled the show circuit extensively, his fish winning many awards. He then went on to become a certified NEC judge, for which he is in high demand during the show season. Sal's notoriety has spread far and wide, as he has so generously shared his knowledge and wisdom during many speaking engagements throughout the Northeast. He is also an accomplished author, writing for his club and honoured with reprints appearing in TFH, the ACA's Buntbarsche Bulletin and society magazines in Germany and Tokyo, to name a few. His author awards are many, which include numerous FAAS as well as NEC recognitions. Sal's lovely wife, Zoa, is very supportive of his hobby and gladly feeds the fish while he is on his travels. Zoa enjoys creating beautiful paintings of her husband's fish, as she is a fashion designer and artist. The Silvestris have two sons ~ Sal, who is twenty-three, enjoys his snakes, and Christopher, twenty years old, keeps lizards as pets. Presently, Sal's "real job" is as Audit Manager for Pitney Bowes. Tonight we are so very proud and honoured to have this most charming and delightful gentleman to share his wealth of knowledge on the Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika with us!


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

June 2000



ZEBRA DANIOS he Zebra Danio, Brachydanio rerio, is among the "classic" aquarium fish. If you have aquariums for very long, odds are that at some point you'll try a school of zebras. When I first saw Zebra Danios as a boy, they were all the same variety — silvery bodies with dark stripes from head to tail. These days you can find very attractive varieties that have veiled tails, spotted "leopards," blue colored, and even albino varieties. But I have to admit, I'm still hooked on the plain old original zebras. Few fish can add more movement to your tank than these active little dynamos. Zebra Danio, (Brachydanio rerio) The Zebra Danio is at its best when kept in a school of six or more. They are peaceful and compatible with virtually any community fish. Because they naturally live in schools, it's wise to keep at least a half dozen of them together. They will readily school with other varieties of danios, and other similarly sized schooling fish, such as the White Cloud Mountain Minnow. I've had mixed schools of two Dozen or more danios and White Clouds, and they do very well. Native to India, Zebra Danios, tolerate neutral to slightly alkaline water with a temperature of 64° to 75° F. They don't do as well at the upper end of the temperature range.



Generally, they are very hardy, but they do need regular water changes to maintain a good environment. They also require plenty of free swimming space. Zebras are particularly susceptible to Oodinium, or Velvet disease. When purchasing fish, avoid any that have clamped fins, or look emaciated, as they may be infected. Food for Zebras can include live or frozen brine shrimp, grindal worms etc., but they will get by just fine on flake food alone. The Zebra Danio has been called one of the "bread and butter" fishes because it's so easy to breed and raise the fry. An extremely easy drawing by B. Harrigan way to get some Zebra fry is to install an undergravel filter and use large pebbles instead of normal aquarium gravel. Let the adults stay in this tank for about a week, take them out, and start feeding all the fry you will start finding in the tank. This works well because Zebras spawn just about all the time, but they are such avid eaters of their own eggs and fry you never get to see the fry. The large pebbles allow the eggs to fall deep between the cracks so the adults can't get to them. A lot of people use glass marbles instead of pebbles with equal success. Another way I used was to just keep them in their normal aquarium with the usual kind of gravel. Every once in a while you

June 2000

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

should vacuum the gravel and let the water sit for two to three days. Lots of babies are then found in this water. An added benefit is that all that gravel sludge will supply enough microscopic food for the fry to eat for the first few days.

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



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June 2000




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June 2000

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


WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST hose of you who were at our May meeting for the Fish Wits competition will remember that Rasbora-Boras was not my strongest category. (Come to think of it, I don't know that I had a strong category!) Anyway, it became clear to me (as well as everyone else in the room) that I knew next-tonothing about these fish. It was quite amazing that three short days later, at our 78th Anniversary Show, Lee Finley, with his dazzling array of aquatic books, would have exactly what I needed. This slender volume has much to recommend it. The first thing you will notice are the brilliantly colored and greatly enlarged photos. A one inch long fish shown at three inches across gives you so much detail that you can almost see what the fish had for lunch. There are also several color drawings which are of such high quality that they stand out among the photos. After a very brief introduction, the reader is immediately plunged into a description, with photo or drawing, of each species, some 60-plus in all. This section takes up the bulk of the text. The information on each fish includes scientific as well as common name, the year it was first introduced to the hobby, and by who, adult length, a description of its physical appearance (coloration, markings, etc.), and a count of scales and lateral line pores. Dr. Brittan says "I've tried to be up to date, but new species are being described every year, and old ones renamed. The aquarist should not worry too much about all this! Just try to identify your rasboras as best you can. Enjoy them for their beauty and liveliness." Following that is a two page "chapter" on aquarium requirements, and a more substantial chapter on the general breeding patterns of Rasboras. I will briefly recount some of this information. Rasboras are native to South East Asia. They inhabit streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps; virtually any and all bodies of fresh water except for torrential mountain streams.


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

They do not like brackish water. As a group, I think of Rasboras as very small fish, so I was surprised to learn that some of them grow to eight inches in length. They are recommended as perfect community aquarium inhabitants. There is not a confirmed fin nipper among them. They don't eat or uproot plants. Offer them a wide variety of dry as well as live foods for optimum health and spawning condition. The temperature range should stay as close to 74째-78째 F. as possible. Temperatures higher than this cause accelerated aging. They do best in soft, acidic water. When it comes to breeding, the male chases the female, and reaches peak coloration as he displays for her. Up to three males may spawn with the same female. She deposits her semi-adhesive eggs on the surface of leaves, and the male fertilizes them. Virtually every variety of leaf size and shape is mentioned as suitable. Spawning continues over several hours, after which the aquarist may either remove the breeding fishes, or remove the plants bearing the eggs, to another aquarium. In nature, these fish will not spawn again until the next breeding season a year later (shortly after the rainy season). Aquarists may breed their fishes all year round, usually every six weeks or so. Shady conditions, with some sun at one end of the tank is ideal. Depending on temperature and species, the eggs will hatch in 18 to 40 hours and are free swimming 24 to 48 hours after that. The fry look like tiny "glass splinters" clinging to the leaves. Start them on infusoria for a few days, and then move them on to newly hatched brine shrimp. They reach breeding age in six to nine months. There are several photos where these fish are displayed in schools, but this aspect is never actually "spelled out." Conspicuously absent to this reviewer was the date of publication of the book. After reading this book, I have picked out a species of Rasbora to shop for as a potential entrant in out 2002 show. If you don't want Bernie Harrigan to mop the floor with you at the next Fish Wits competition, spend a little extra time with some WET LEAVES this Summer. Have a great one!

June 2000


!0 PET S TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM Specializing in Tropical Fish and Aquarium Supplies Large Selection of Aquatic Plants Knowledgeable Staff Same Location Since 1947. (718) 849-6678

115-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418

^7 Special IDOOJR by CLAUDIA DICKINSON aking a moment to look back over the past year's adventures with the Greater City Aquarium Society, I marvel over the occasions that I have had the enjoyment of sharing with you. We were so honored to begin the year with the legend of the aquarium hobby, Rosario LaCorte, who shared his lifelong experiences and invaluable tips on fishkeeping and breeding. Basil Holubis joined us from Norwalk to show us how to manage our fishrooms during a power outage and Tom Cassidy toured us through the world of West African Dwarf Cichlids. Dr. Paul Loiselle treated us to his intellectual insights on cichlid husbandry and we were so very proud to have Mark Soberman give us a wonderful and informative program on Corydoras. We had the great privilege of Dr. Wayne Leibel travel from Pennsylvania to give us his expertise on Geophagus, and tonight we are so fortunate to have Sal Silvestri join us from Connecticut to teach us about the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika. Throughout all of this we had a fabulous Holiday Party, a fun-filled and social Silent Auction, and the ingenious game of "Fish Wits", hosted by Jeff George. Spring brought our huge show and auction with an action packed three days



of fish, guest speakers Dr. Wayne Leibel, Lee Finley and Mike Sheridan, a banquet, Treasure Hunt, prizes, awards and lots of "fishy'' friends and fun! It has been a great pleasure to represent the GCAS at the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies, trying to do my best to keep you informed and involved. Most of all, as always, it is you the membership who make it so very special to be a part of the GCAS. As I get to know each and every one of you throughout the years and welcome new faces, I treasure the moments and feel so very fortunate to have you as a part of my life. For this I thank you all. I would like to add that there is one person who has made my journeys to Queens a most special treat this year and that is my dear husband Brad. For this and so much more...I thank him! Have a Beautiful Summer!


June 2000

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

The Non-Goldfish Bowl A series by "The Undergravel Reporter"

f!! ||i|p

t our 78th Anniversary Show last month, there were several entries in the Goldfish class. The size that a well-cared for Goldfish can reach is truly amazing, and demonstrates very clearly why Goldfish do not belong in so-called "goldfish bowls." One of our guest speakers, Dr. Wayne Leibel, also mentioned that Goldfish do not belong in goldfish bowls during his entertaining presentation on artifacts from the history of the aquarium hobby (which included several photos of such bowls). You would expect to see these bowls in the "chain-store" type pet stores. But, even the best and most knowledgeable aquarium specialty stores always seem to have them in stock. The typical flat-sided goldfish bowl is widest at the middle. Once you fill it more than halfway with water, the surface area of the water decreases, as the volume of water increases. The less surface area, the less gas exchange between the water and surrounding air, meaning that the water rapidly becomes oxygen poor. So, you are faced with the decision of whether to have too little water, or water with too little oxygen. Attempting filtration in these bowls is also a nightmare. The most common filter available for them is an undergravel filter. The problem is that, just as the bowl narrows towards the top, it also narrows towards the bottom, where any gravel would be. That means that the surface area of the gravel bed (an important factor in undergravel filtration) is disproportionately small, as compared to the volume of water it has to filter â&#x20AC;&#x201D; translation: poor filter performance from a type of filter that, at its best, is not known for filtration efficiency.


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

We did, however, see some useful and creative uses for flat sided goldfish bowls at our Show, if you took a good look around. At least one large plant was displayed in a four gallon flat sided goldfish drum bowl. The plant was a bit snug in that container, but at least it was displayed so that its leaves could be fully extended and still not protrude out of the water. A much smaller version of the flat sided goldfish bowl was used to display Betta splendens in our "Fancy Betta" class (although, considering the size and fin quality of the fish displayed in this class, I rather think that those fish are normally housed in considerably larger containers at home). There was even an entry in our Art class, where one of the smaller flat sided goldfish bowls was converted to a candle holder, with a sand art rendering of a Betta on the front. (While I'm not sure about the practicality of such an arrangement, this piece did win an awardâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but so did an even less practical pair of eye glasses with Angelfish painted on the lenses.) I must admit I have several of these flat sided goldfish bowls at home, in various sizes. I've used them as containers to hold a sick or injured fish until I could set up a hospital or quarantine tank. (Unlike some aquarists, I don't claim to have one always empty and ready at a moment's notice.) I've used them to hold small parts (airstones, airlines, airline connectors, suction cups, thermometers, lettuce clips, etc.). Heck, I've used them to store pens, pencils, and markers. The only thing I don't use them for is to permanently house Goldfish of any size, and neither should anyone else. Oh, and getting back to Bettas, there really is a good use for those very small round so-called "betta bowls" sold in fish stores (and it's NOT to provide a permanent home for a Siamese Fighting Fish). If you were fortunate enough to win a medal at our Show last month, you know that these medals (replicas of medals given out at Greater City Shows in the 1930s) are only about an inch and a quarter in diameter at their widest point. Just the base of a First Prize trophy at our 1997 show was six inches wide; and the trophy stood 16 inches tall, measured from the highest point! While a First Place is still a First Place â&#x20AC;&#x201D; heck, some bragging rights should come with the award; and one and a quarter inches hardly brags as much as sixteen! BUT, if you fill one of those small betta bowls with water, then carefully immerse a medal from our last show up to, but not including, the ribbon, voila: instant medal magnification!

June 2000


Fin Fun A Class Act The 78th Anniversary Show is now history, and a good time was had by all (except maybe a few of the fish). See if you can match the fish name on the left with the correct show class as listed in the show rules. HINT: if you are stumped, check the list of show winners in this issue; a few of them are included here. Fish




Snyodontis flavitaeniatus

Corydoras melanistius

Iriatherina werneri

Poecillia reticulata

Apistogramma agassizi

Bolbitis huedelotii

Aequidens metae

Brycinnis longipinnis

Thorichthys ellioti

Xiphophorus helleri

To help you, the show classes are listed below. CLASS DESCRIPTION


!Fancy Guppies


CLASS New World Cichlids H Old World Cichlids I Characins \c Plants J K Killifish L Livebearers M








Goldfish Fancy Bettas Open Class New World Catfish Old World Catfish

Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: DODY i ARTS Body Part/Common Name

Scientific Name

Bleeding Heart Tetra

Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma

Long Nosed Peacock

Aulonocara rostratum

Big Lip Pearlfish

Cynolebias porosus Hemigrammus ocellifer

Head and Tail Light Tetra Ladder Back Spiny Eel

Afromastacembelusfrenatus Grammattria lemairii

Lemaire's Odd Tooth

Haplochromis nigritaeniatus

Little Mouth Haplochromis Snake Skin Gourami

Trichogaster pectoralis

Red Breasted Flag Cichlid

Aequidens dorsigerus Sarotherodon melanotheron

Black Throat Tilapia 24

June 2000

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

June 2000 volume VII number 6

Modern Aquarium  

June 2000 volume VII number 6