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AQUARIUM

J. f JL Series III

September, 2000

FEATURES

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Editor's Babblenest

2

President's Message

3

The Antiquarium

4

The Curious Case of the Cursory Commemorative

5

Seriously Bananas

7

Our Scheduled Speaker This Month (Biography of Scott Dowd)

9

"Modern Aquarium" - A Moment of Reflection and Appreciation

10

Fun Fish - The Albino Cory

11

FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report

12

Second Sight (Reprint Column) "From The Web" (NCAS)

13

GCAS Author Award Program Update

15

1999 FAAS Publication Awards

16

NEC Delegate's Report

18

Wet Leaves (Book Review Column)

19

For Those Who Know It All

23

G.C.A.S. Happenings

25

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

26

Printing By Postal Press

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: Joe Ferdenzi (718)767-2691. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http: //ourworld. CompuServe. com/homepages/greatercity


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by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST pposite this page is Joe Ferdenzi's President's Message. Joe and I differ on our views of the "republican" vs. "democratic" model for governance of this Society (and those terms have nothing to do with whether he or I are supporters of George Bush or Al Gore, the respective Republican and Democratic party Presidential candidates). The difference between Joe's view and mine is simply this: Joe believes a leader is empowered by the voters to do what the leader feels is best. I believe that voters authorize a leader to carry out the will of the majority. In the "democratic model" view (mine), even if the majority is "wrong," an elected official has the responsibility to carry out the exact will of the majority, or should excuse him or herself from the leadership role. Yes, a good leader should have ideas and opinions and should try to win over others. But, I feel the will of the majority — right or "wrong" — must, in the end, prevail. In my view, everyone who pays dues "participates." Anyone who comes to meetings is (again, in my view) an "active" member. Those who do not show up at our shows, or who do not write articles for Modern Aquarium have, in effect, "voted with their feet." I see them voicing disapproval by their nonparticipation. With that in mind, I must question the wisdom of continuing activities the majority do not care to support, and this includes Modern Aquarium. Nor am I as charitable as Joe in lauding "good intentions." I can't print pages saying only: "This would have been an article on Dwarf Cichlids that John Doe intended to write, but didn't." No, Modern Aquarium must be results based. Good intentions may pave the road to Hell, but they don't fill Modern Aquarium pages.

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On the left side of our Contents page this month you'll notice a name missing from Modern Aquarium's Editorial Staff. After years of hard work and dedication to Modern Aquarium, Warren Feuer, former Editor and, most recently, Technical Editor, of this magazine has left the Staff. He will be missed. Even so, he still continues to serve the Society as a Board member. Modern Aquarium's Editorial Staff was never large. With the departure of Warren, it is the smallest it has been in seven years. This magazine needs at least two new staff members. One, an Editorial Assistant, would be responsible for calling, faxing, writing, and/or e-mailing (a computer is a requirement) contributors and those "good intentioned" persons who promised articles, in order to get everything before the deadline for the next month's issue. This person might also be asked to transcribe handwritten pages (or even tape recordings) into a word processor and to e-mail the results to the Editor. Patience, diplomacy, accuracy, and a sense of humor are needed for this job, whose importance I cannot stress enough. The other Editorial Staff position is that of Technical Editor. This demanding job means reading every article for accuracy (checking, among other things, that the Latin name is both correct, and correctly spelled). An extensive fish library and/or experience, great attention to detail, and some computer skills (mostly the ability to open, correct, save, and e-mail articles) are needed here. Everything in Modern Aquarium is proofread several times. The Technical Editor is essentially our chief proofreader. And, we need authors. Our current lack of articles tells me there is little interest in our magazine. I don't want to hear how much you enjoy the magazine, or how great it is. The way to prove you care is by your actions. Contributions mean you care — inaction (i.e., no articles) means you really don't. And remember my philosophy: even if the majority is "wrong," that's the view that should prevail. So, I'm asking you to "vote" on whether Modern Aquarium should continue. Your "ballots" for this election are articles. Look at what we've been able to achieve so far (see pages 16-17 this month). Please "vote" to continue and improve. Before I end this month's Babblenest, I want to assure everyone that Joe Ferdenzi and I are NOT feuding. We respect each other's views, and know that we each want only the best for both GCAS and this magazine.

September 2000

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


President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI s I welcome you back from our summer break, I must confess that it feels somewhat odd to be writing a President's Message. After eleven consecutive years as President of this Society, I thought I might settle into just being another happy member. But, duty beckoned, and I answered because I am truly fond of our hobby, this Society, and the people who make it what it is. And so, while I was delighted to be "just a member" for the past three years, I am equally pleased to be your President again. Incidentally, during those three years we've had many new members join our club, and for both them an our veteran core, I hope my efforts to keep this Society at the forefront of rewarding experiences will succeed. Before going on to share some of my ideas with you, I wish to acknowledge my predecessors, Vince Sileo and Jeff George. They performed admirably as Presidents. Under their guidance, the Society continued its array of aquaristic exploits — bringing you expert guest speakers, publishing the best hobby magazine in the northeast, and putting on events such as our recent 78th Anniversary Show (the only show of its kind in New York City and Long Island). I am personally indebted to them for handing over a club that is one of the finest in the nation — it certainly will make my task a lot easier. Of course, I bring my own personal philosophy to the job of President. In that regard, I stress that I only have one motivational goal: do what is best for our Society as best as I can see. Fortunately, my "vision" over the years has been helped by many of our members who have selflessly devoted their time and resources. I know that will continue. Just looking at the names on the Board of Directors and the masthead of this magazine emboldens me to say that. This brings me to another point about my personal philosophy. All that these people do, they do for nothing in the way of pecuniary gain. They do not get paid, they do not get stipends, no expense accounts, no "freebies." I am deeply cognizant that they are volunteers of the purest sort. Therefore, when one of them does not achieve a goal, I will never berate them,

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

publicly or privately. Good intentions should not be rewarded with harsh criticism. I believe, deeply, in patience and providing guidance. If that doesn't work, when someone with more time and/or ability comes along, then I try to recruit them to the task, while letting the incumbent move aside with grace and my thanks. The flip-side of that philosophy is that I am passionate about defending the good name of our Society and its members. I do not like to hear unkind remarks about people who are trying their best. I certainly dislike accusations of personal venality or self-promotion unless they are backed up by facts. Be forewarned, I stand second to no one in defending those unjustly disparaged. Another tenet of my personal philosophy is that leaders should listen, but they must also lead. I am pleased to receive the views of others on what policies or rules we should endorse, or what events we should sponsor, etc. But, I do not believe that you can be an effective leader if membership polls are your exclusive guide. Frankly, sometimes the majority can be "wrong" or mistaken — at least in my opinion. If someone were to disagree with my leadership decisions, that person could always stand for election. If I should choose to contest the election, then the majority vote determines the outcome. That's the American way - a democratic vote for republican governance. As I said before, I always try to make sure that decisions made by me or the Board of Directors are in the best interests of the Society. Maybe others would make different decisions. So be it. I'm not infallible — I just do what I believe is right. Some would probably prefer that Greater City be a simple coffee klatch that gets together one night a month. But, I cannot, and will not, take Greater City in that direction. Greater City has been around since 1922 as a leading representation of the aquarium hobby. I cannot take such a magnificent history and allow it to devolve into something else. More is expected of us, and rightfully so. The shows, the guest speakers, and the magazine (just to give a few examples) are all part of what makes Greater City what it is. If I just wanted to drink coffee, and talk fish, I wouldn't need a society — I would just invite some people over to my house once a month. On the other hand, the "chat time" for members, the lack of "admission" fees, and the absence of stuffy formality in the conduct of the meetings are also our hallmarks. I should not favor being part of a society that wants to be the biggest for the sake of saying it. For example, we should not add new members if the

September 2000


result simply advances a "numbers game." I want people to join our Society because they want to participate, not merely because there is an economic advantage in doing so. I want members who are proud to support an aquarium society that shares its educational riches with non-members in the hope that the message will induce them to join. I want to be part of an aquarium society where much of the information presented comes from the experience of our members. So, yes, my vision for Greater City is to keep it friendly, personal, "hands-on," but, yet, not allow it to be just a once-a-month excuse for getting out of the house to drink coffee with other hobbyists. Please be careful to note that I am not saying that there is anything "bad" or "wrong" about societies that operate on a different basis. I am simply saying that they are not my idea of what a great metropolitan society should be.

I hope my vision has something in it that you will enjoy and benefit from. However, it cannot be all things for everyone. If you want something different, stand up and convince others that your way is the way to go. But, understand, just you as you are entitled to your opinion, so are others (including me). If those opinions are about issues, and not destructive personal attacks, the dialogue will advance our society. I look forward to that. I don't know that I'll be writing a President's Message every month. I do know that in every month while I'm President, I will be working with other dedicated members to make Greater City a band of hobbyists who will inspire, teach, and befriend others. If we accomplish this, even though we are small, I will not wish to be more.

THE ANTIQIJAIIIUM An advertisement! from

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February li/ONr

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September 2000

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


The Curious Case of the Cursory Commemorative

or How No One Noticed That The U.S. Postal Service Honored The Aquarium Hobby by JOSEPH FERDENZI

n June 24th, 1999, a rather momentous event in the history of the aquarium hobby occurred: the U.S. Postal Service (yes, that's U.S. as in United States — not some tiny nation like San Marino or Luxembourg) issued a series of stamps honoring the aquarium hobby. Are you surprised to learn this? If you are, you are probably not alone, and therein lies a perplexing story. The story is perplexing on several levels. To begin with, why did the U.S. Postal Service choose 1999 as the year to honor our hobby? The information they have made available to the public does not say why this year was chosen. However, they did say that freshwater and marine aquarium keeping was "one of America's most rapidly growing and popular hobbies," and they especially noted the "increased popularity of the marine aquarium hobby...." Well, all I can say is that most of us in the hobby wish all of this were true. Unfortunately, I cannot regard an increase in the number of people who merely wish to purchase a pretty home furnishing, often maintained by paid service people, as reflective of an increase in the popularity of the hobby. (By way of analogy, I would venture to guess that gardening enthusiasts do not regard a person who has a contractor do everything but barbecue and lounge in his or her garden as a person who is a gardening hobbyist.) Now, mind you, I am not complaining. Personally, I'm thrilled our hobby was finally recognized. My hat is off to whoever or whatever convinced them that it is a "rapidly growing" hobby. Another perplexing feature of the stamps is that they only feature marine scenes. Why couldn't the series include freshwater? Granted, as the U.S.P.S. put it, marine aquariums are useful in "expanding public awareness of the delicate nature of the tropical marine environment and the impact that humans have on it." But, freshwater aquariums are more popular and just as useful in educating the public (if not more so)

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because, in fact, most freshwater environments around the world are more "delicate" and more impacted by humans than are the marine environments. Again — I'm not complaining; it's great to be honored at all, but, just who did they consult on this project? Lastly, the most perplexing part of this story has nothing to do with the U.S. Postal Service. It has to do with us — the "organized" hobby. Where were the announcements or features about this historic event — did any appear in the three leading national magazines? Did any society make the stamp issue a highlight in their magazines or a focal point of their show or convention journals? Well, if they did, I certainly didn't notice it, and I'm a devoted reader of just about every piece of aquarium literature that's out there. What happened that this significant stamp series should go so unnoticed in our own country? While the U.S. Post Office has issued stamps depicting fish before, including a series commemorating the creation of a coral reef park in the Florida Keys, it had never issued any commerating aquariums or aquarium fish. Other countries have done so over the years, and many of them were featured in the professional aquarium literature of their day, even to the extent of being the cover subject. Yet, the only way I found out about this series was by chance. I happened to be on line at my local post office last Fall (1999), when I spotted a flyer that contained the words "aquarium fish" in bold type. My astonishment was at first tempered by the assumption that these stamps merely depicted native marine fish (as had the coral reef stamps). But, no, closer inspection revealed that they were not exclusively U.S. marine fish, and the details that proved the stamps were intended to depict an aquarium: equipment such as heaters and power-heads on undergravel-filter tubes. I was somewhat puzzled; these stamps were news to me. I assumed that, perhaps, they had just been

September 2000


issued, and that an article or two would appear in the national magazines soon. Well, soon turned into never. You would think they would have all jumped on this story. I'm willing to bet William T. Innes (the venerated founder and editor of "The Aquarium" magazine which he published from 1932 to 1967) would have featured such an event. I also think Dr. Innes, who clearly understood the value of magazines as documentation of the history of the hobby, would have been disappointed to see such a significant event "lost" to future amateur historians. Anyone researching the history of our hobby, say twenty years from now, would be oblivious to the existence of the commemorative series if he or she relied exclusively on the

national literature. This is rather regrettable. If anyone cares to address why this occured, I'm all ears. All that aside, the stamps themselves are very nicely done (see cover photo). I recommend that you buy some. In addition, the Postal Service issued various envelopes, notepads, and cards depicting these aquarium fish. I bought an assortment — I'm sure they will be very collectable items. The stamp sheets could be framed, and would make an attractive display in your home or fish room. For your further edification, below is reprinted the U.S. Postal Service's announcement about the aquarium fish series. Hey, better late than never.

The Collector's Corner Aquarium Fish Date of Issue: June 24, 1999 One of America's most rapidly growing and popular hobbies, freshwater and marine aquarium-keeping, will be depicted on a strip of four new Aquarium Fish commemorative stamps being issued by the U.S. Postal Service on June 24 in Anaheim, Calif. "These beautiful stamps pay tribute to the spectacular world of the fragile coral reef," said Azeezaly S. Jaffer, Executive Director, Stamp Services, who will dedicate the stamps at the Postage Stamp MEGA Event stamp show sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, the American Stamp Dealers Association and the Postal Service. The 1 p.m. PDT event will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center. The four stamps depict a reef tank with delicate corals, sea anemones, fish, and other species that populate reefs in different parts of the world. More than 152 million of the Aquarium Fish stamps have been printed and will be available at post offices nationwide on June 24. Perhaps the most important benefit of the increased popularity of the marine aquarium hobby is the expanding public awareness of the delicate nature of the tropical marine environment and the impact that humans have on it. The inhabitants of a reef tank play many useful roles. The shrimps and crabs scavenge for excess food. Snails and fish control algae growth. Plants help absorb waste products and provide oxygen through photosynthesis. The fragile balance of life in a reef tank is dependent on the interaction of all these interesting creatures. The stamps were designed by Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Ariz., and illustrated by Teresa Fasolino of New York, N.Y. Fasolino created the stamp artwork in her illustrative style of painting, based on more than 20 photo references, with the support of various aquarium experts. The self-adhesive Aquarium Fish stamps represent several unique characteristics for stamp production. They are the first U.S. stamps printed with a 650-line screen. Typically, U.S. stamps are printed with a 300-line screen. These stamps will be produced using a totally benign adhesive, which means the adhesive is completely recyclable. Also, these stamps are produced on paper stock containing 20 percent post-consumer waste. The Tropical Flowers booklet and the Niagara Falls stamp pane were produced in the same way. http://www.stampsonline.com/collect/stamp99/fishleft.htm September 2000

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


Seriously Bananas by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

ne of the most common plants in aquarium stores is rarely the subject of an article, either in the commercial or amateur literature. The "Banana Plant," Nymphoides aquatica, is a very under-appreciated aquatic plant. It is most commonly known as "Banana Plant" due to its very distinctive banana-like tubers. The genus Nymphoides (nim-foy' dees) derives its name from the Greek nympha meaning "nymph" and oides meaning "resembling." The species name, aquatica, means "water." This gives rise to another of the Banana Plant's common names: "Fairy Water Lily." (It is also sometimes referred to as "Banana Lily," "Underwater Banana Plant," and "Water Banana.") While a benign plant itself, it is sometimes confused with its relative, Nymphoides peltata (commonly known as "Floating Heart," "Big Floating Heart," "Yellow Floating Heart," or "Water Fringe"), which is a plant native to Eurasia and naturalized in the U.S., w i t h the reputation of being an invasive or noxious weed in certain localities. The Banana Plant is a bog plant native to South Eastern North America, where it is found in quiet ponds, lakes, and other slow-moving waters. It produces fairly large (up to 3" to 4" in diameter) round or "kidney-shaped" leaves, which closely resemble a water lily when viewed from above the water's surface. This plant also produces small (1/2" to 3/4") white flowers. The plant is often dismissed as a novelty, and sometimes described as difficult to grow. Volume I of the Baensch Aquarium Atlas states: "A popular plant, it does not survive long in the aquarium".1 Scheurmann's Aquarium Plants Manual has, as a caption under a

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

photograph of this plant: "Nymphoides aquatica is hard to grow."2 However, in my experience, this plant is, in fact, suitable for many home aquariums. It tolerates a moderately wide range of water conditions. While it prefers (and does best in) bright light, it will also grow (albeit not as rapidly) under standard aquarium lights. However, I do not recommend that you attempt to grow this plant in an aquarium with a lot of floating plants or one which otherwise gets little light, even though some books advocate "very dark situations" for its cultivation.3 It prefers a neutral pH (7.0), but will thrive in a pH anywhere from 6.5 to 7.2, and it will tolerate a pH slightly greater or lesser. (But I certainly wouldn't recommend it for your very hard water African, or very soft water South American, tank.) It is an ideal plant for cooler water aquariums, because it can do well in temperatures between 62째-72째F. I have also seen references to this plant's ability to thrive in temperatures up to 82째F. While its tolerance for cold would otherwise seem to make it an excellent choice for a goldfish tank or koi pond, goldfish and koi enjoy nibbling on these plants (as do Apple Snails, which I discovered, much to my dismay, when a magnificent Banana Plant I had for several years, with leaf stems over two feet in length, "disappeared" literally overnight after I introduced an Apple Snail to the tank). It is an excellent plant for a backyard pond that is not populated by koi or goldfish (which, as noted earlier, enjoy eating this plant). The broad leaves of the Banana Plant provide an excellent "security blanket" for nervous fish (which generally tend to be wary of possible predators from above, such as birds), while still providing swimming room in the tank, as the leafstalks are relatively thin. I have found

September 2000


this to also be an excellent plant for small Betta splendens tanks of one gallon or more (but not, because of its fast growing nature and the size of the leaves and tubers, for one of those very tiny "Betta bowls" sometimes sold in fish stores). A Betta will readily accept the underside of a Banana Plant leaf as a foundation for its bubble nest, and will even use the leaves to rest on. Depending on the conditions under which it is kept, it is a moderate to fast growing plant. This plant can be "rooted," or left "free floating." And, while I have seen references to rooting the lower one third of the "banana" tuber2 (the entire length should never be rooted), I have not had much success in doing so. (In every case, the plant quickly rotted.) If left free-floating, the plant will often send out roots to anchor itself either in the gravel, or to aquarium fixtures or ornaments, or both. The leaf stalk will grow pjijiggg^ until it reaches the surface of the water. The only "trick" I have found to growing this plant is to select a healthy plant in the first place (refer to the box on the right), then just perform routine regular tank maintenance. No special fertilization or special "full spectrum" lighting is needed. On the other hand, propagating this plant takes both luck and patience. After a while, the plant will send roots down from the crown and tip of the bananas into the substrate. Once the plant is firmly rooted, the "bananas" fall off and disappear. (I suppose they either rot away or are eaten by the fish.) You are now left with a "banana-less" plant, that although lacking its characteristic tuber namesake, is still an attractive plant nonetheless. The leaves get quite large, and vary in color from deep green to red. Most of the time, new leaves grow close to the crown as older leaves die, which makes for a very attractive spread of three to six leaves. Every once in awhile, though, a leaf bud shoots straight up,

reaching the surface of the water in two to three days. Upon reaching the surface, the leaf unfurls flat across the water. If these shoots are left intact, they seem to eventually weaken the rest of the plant, and it is my understanding that the submerged leaves will be lost. Allow the leaf to grow for a few days, and then pinch the stem off as close to the main plant as you can, and again about one inch from the floating leaf. Then, just let the leaf float around. If you are lucky, new roots will begin growing down from the floating leaf where the stem remnant attaches, and new bananas will start forming. When the roots are big enough, plant them in the substrate. If the floating leaf starts to disintegrate instead, remove it, as it will foul the water. Very large and healthy Banana Plants can send up these "surface shoots" every week or two. Short plants are usually recommended for the front, or foreground, of a tank. The Banana Plant is quite capable of sending out leaf stalks that not only reach the water's surface, but even trail a l o n g it, e a s i l y becoming the tallest plant in a tank. Yet, when it is advocated for the home aquarium at all, the Banana Plant is usually considered to be a "foreground" plant. The reason for this is twofold. First, the banana-like tubers are very interesting to see, and would be lost if placed too far back. Second, the leaf stalks are fairly thin and they do not generally obstruct the view. So, the next time you see a Banana Plant, give it some serious consideration for your home aquariums. ]Baensch, Hans A. and Riehl, Dr. Ruediger Aquarium Atlas vol 1, Tetra Press 1991, p. 116 2Scheurmann,

Ines. Aquarium Plants Manual, Barrens, 1993. p. 74 3Rataj, Dr. Karel and Horeman, Thomas J, Aquarium Plants, T.F.H., 1977, p. 363

September 2000

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


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

Speaking On: PROJECT PIABA: 'ORIGINS OF OUR AMAZON FISH AND YOUR ROLE IN THEIR FUTURE" by Claudia Dickinson he waves lapped placidly along the shoreline of the coastal town of Weymouth, Massachusetts guided by the serene urgings of the salted late summer breeze. Calls of delight sounded through the air from the flocks of Seagulls hovering above upon the discovery of a shoal of delicious mussels and crabs that had just washed ashore. Over the bluffs the land gently sloped and the beach grass turned to the taller marsh reeds that swayed and rustled, constantly whispering their soft song to the creatures that abided there. Fed by the trickling freshwater inland streams that created pools and bogs, the sand became meshed with the rich soil. Paths worn by the deer, fox, rabbits, and other creatures wound further inland and melded into the deep rich carpet of soft forest grass and lush mosses and ferns. Tall trees gnarled by age and the unpredictable weather rose from the earth in gallant attempts to shield and protect their dense domain. The valiant efforts were baffled only by the sun's golden rays, which streamed through the heavy foliage where they flickered and danced on the glistening surface of a pond far below. It was here that the magical world of a young boy's dreams would come to life and set the tone for his role in the future. The youngest of four brothers and one sister, Scott Dowd could always be found out in the woods crouched over and playing about the pond. Here he spent his time collecting and observing the many specimens of fish, turtles, frogs, toads, salamanders, and snakes that were so abundant. Many of these creatures would end up becoming a part of the Dowd household as Scott took great pleasure in bringing them inside for closer observation and care. Fortunately, Scott's parents were very tolerant of his passion and allowed him the pleasures of his dreams, with the occasional escaped snake being the only cause for possible concern from his mother. At the age of ten Scott set up his first tank, which housed Platys, Swordtails and Mollies. His interest thrived and Scott worked hard at his paper delivery to pay for his hobby. Each trip to the pet shop had Scott yearning for

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

additions to his growing fish community, but he made his choices carefully, as he was limited to two bags ~ one for each of his bike's handlebars. By the time Scott was in high school he had about three dozen tanks in his parent's basement. African Cichlids were Scott's main focus at this time and the tanks were kept filled with new species that were breeding prolifically. Scott took on a part-time job at the local pet shop where he could enjoy being with the animals as well as help to support his tanks at home. Scott had friends with similar interests that he could share his fish experiences with and he became actively involved with the Boston Aquarium Society. During Scott's second year at the University of Massachusetts, the New England Aquarium in Boston recognized his great skill and natural talents and he was offered a job. Scott's parents were a bit hesitant at this early career decision, but they were as supportive as always and Scott's future began to unfold. Thirteen years later, Scott is now the Senior Aquarist of Freshwater Fishes at the New England Aquarium. In the Freshwater Gallery of Fishes, Scott's vast responsibilities range from watching over the well-being of the animals, the appearance of the gallery, and the maintenance of the animals' various life support systems. These systems encompass a wide range of technology, from the small ten-gallon tank individual filtration to huge industrial systems running thousands of gallons of water. In 1989, Scott became increasingly aware and interested in the Amazon Rainforest, specifically in the mid-Rio Negro Basin. He realized the major difficulty of habitat destruction and its impact on the ecology, as well as on the fisheries which the people depend upon. In 1990, upon contacting Dr. David Chao, Professor at the Universidade do Amazonas, Manaus Amazonas, the two men developed a program to conduct studies which would stabilize the future of the ecology and the way of life for the people. The program would also bring the hobbyist to the Rio Negro through an annual journey to the Amazon, increasing public involvement and awareness. "Project Piaba" has become a role model

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internationally for sustainable development, utilizing the resilient Cardinal terra as a symbol for the positive future. Scott presently maintains three of his own personal tanks. One of these tanks houses species of Lake Malawi, one of Lake Tanganyika, and the third is a three hundred-gallon tank for a rescued Asian Arrowana and a school of very large and playful Clown loaches. Scott's devoted companion is "Beigie," a wonderful dog who traveled all the way from Lisbon, Portugal where it had befriended the builders of the

aquarium for Expo '98. Scott also keeps Geckos, which are presently breeding, and a Corn Snake. Scott is a kind and caring individual who speaks with educated passion about his mission. We are so very fortunate to have such a dedicated individual putting his heart into ensuring a bright future for the Amazon and its creatures, as well as the eventual resounding effects worldwide. We are so honoured and proud to have Scott join us tonight to take us on his journey to the Amazon.

"Modern Aquarium" A Moment of Reflection and Appreciation BY CLAUDIA DICKINSON ints of cool, crisp air begin to stir as the days of late summer elapse into autumn. It is time to relish treasured moments of slipping away into the fishroom where I am surrounded by the gentle bubbling of tanks and the company of my fish, squirming and pressing their noses up against the glass to capture my attention. It is here that I am inspired to curl up at the computer with a steaming cup of hot tea and tell you my stories of fish and animals and people. Before I begin the year's tales, I enjoy picking up past Modern Aquarium issues and perusing through the pages. As I become engrossed in the articles, columns, short stories and sketches within these pages, I marvel at the quality and professionalism of the magazine, as well as wealth of information that we are availed of. I would like to take this moment to give a huge round of applause from all of us at the GCAS to a most talented and hard-working team of individuals, and one man in particular who make this all possible for us. Joe Ferdenzi, Warren Feuer, Jason Kerner, Bernie Harrigan, and Mark Soberman all put in countless hours as well as writing and drawing so many outstanding pieces for us to enjoy. It has been the greatest pleasure to have the opportunity to work with all of them and the most dedicated and talented Editor-in-Chief, Al Priest. I have watched Al put in many marathon hours and take days off of his job to put Modern Aquarium together each month and to be certain that it is done to perfection. Al does a beautiful job that we are all proud of and

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he makes it fun and rewarding to be a part of, and contribute to, the magazine. A special thank you also to APs dear wife, Susan, who works closely with Al and the writers, smoothly helping to manage all of the monthly deadlines that come with every publication. We are all so very proud of all of you wonderful people and are honoured to have such a team, which makes Modern Aquarium the award-winning publication that it has become known for. If any of you GCAS members have not yet had the pleasure of working with this incredible group on telling one of your tales, this is surely the year for you! With the fall season upon us and our fish active and spawning there are lots of stories to recount ~ or possibly you could have a chat with a friend sitting next to you and relate their tales! With all of the shows and auctions ahead there are a wealth of adventures to share. When you steal away with a hot cup of tea ...or whatever... to turn off the lights and sit quietly with your fish ~ you may just want to take along that pad and pen... I know you'll have as much fun as I've had with Al and the rest of the Modern Aquarium staff!

September 2000

Take Care and Have Fun!

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


by BERNARD HARRIGAN ALBINO CORY he albino cory has been developed in the hobby trade from the Corydoras aeneus species, but I'd pick this fish over the common variety for a couple of reasons. It is more easily seen. Just because of its white/pink coloration and pink eyes it doesn't blend in the plants and gravel. I find it to be more active, swimming around the middle water region more than the common variety. I also find it to be more easily bred than the regular variety. While Corydoras aeneus is comparatively easy to breed, the albino is even easier. With that said, the rest of this article applies to many Corydoras species. The body is pestle shaped; the dorsal outline is strongly arched, and Corydoras aeneus the ventral contour is straight. In general, the fishes are of a very short build, with a length of 2!/2-3 inches. The pectorals have a strong spine, the tail is forked, and the fish have two pairs of barbels. Adult females are wider than the adult males. The males have a higher and more pointed dorsal fin than the females. These corys are easy to care for and peaceful fish. One of the most important things is to keep them in schools, three being the bare minimum. They are a schooling fish by nature and they will be more active and swim more when in schools. In a ten gallon tank, six would do just nicely. Don't keep them in a "high" tank, because they go to the top of the tank to gulp air.

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

Shallow "long" tanks are the best. If you don't know already, no glass gravel!!! These fish shift through the gravel looking for food. Glass gravel will cut up, and cut off, their barbels. Corydoras aeneus is found in nearly all of South America, over the entire Guyanan plateau, and on the island of Trinidad. In shallow spots of slow moving waters, they find stretches of sandy bottom. They hunt for small worms and chew on plant matter with their inquisitive snouts. They are best suited for a temperature range of 68-84 degrees F., and a pH from 7 - 6.5. They are omnivorous, feeding on live blood worms, glass worms, brine shrimp, tubifex worms, crustaceans and invertebrates, frozen drawing by B. Harrigan bloodworms, plankton, brine shrimp, and glass worms. Tablet and flake foods are also accepted. This fish is a snap to breed. (This can't be said of most corydoras.) Feeding them plenty of live foods fattens the female up. A water change with slightly cooler water helps trigger the spawning. In most cases, a T-position is made by the male placing his body in front of, and at right angles to, the female. During spawning the female holds the eggs between her pelvic fins while the male fertilizes them. This takes about 30 seconds for each batch of eggs. The female will then deposit the eggs on the underside of a selected leaf, on the side the tank, or on almost any vertical surface. This will

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continue until about 50-200 eggs are deposited. After spawning, the pair should be separated from the eggs. The eggs should be well aerated and treated to prevent fungus. The fry will hatch after five or six days. The fry will stay on the bottom, feeding on infusoria or other available food. You can feed them baby brine shrimp and finely ground flake food.

Albino Cory catfish are one the most popular of all catfish among hobbyists—very peaceful and schooling fish for any community aquarium. I wouldn't hesitate recommending these fish to the beginner or experienced hobbyist alike; and remember, fun fishkeeping!

The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he news from FAAS is not particularly good. Actually, with one exception, it's a question of which to report first: the bad news, or the even worse news. First off, Hedy Padgett has decided to step down as President. With no current Vice-President, this will probably mean the current Secretary, Jerry Montgomery, will assume the role of President, with Hedy becoming Vice-President. I have had numerous dealings with Hedy, and they were all positive. Since I have had no dealings with Jerry Montgomery up to now, I can't comment on him. I'm only sorry to see Hedy leave so soon. Then there is the matter of the FAAS Breeders Award Program ("BAP"). Despite dire warnings from those who experienced problems with Greater City's attempted participation with the FAAS BAP in the past (such as no awards and no replies to inquiries), I worked to get GCAS back into the program, based on assurances from several FAAS Board members that, this time, they had their act together. I obtained our Board's O.K. to participate and secured the cooperation of our own BAP Chairpersons. After studying the BAP rules (and alerting FAAS to some errors as a result), I published a summary of those rules in June 1998 and announced our participation. Since then, three BAP submissions (and several follow-up requests) were made on behalf of GCAS. After over two years, we did not receive a single certificate or notice of awarding of credits. The July/August issue of the Federation Report ("FR") states: "Do not send your BAP submissions to the chairman . . . I know there is a problem . . . " I recently received e-mail from Jim McNulty, the new FAAS BAP chair, and I transmitted to him copies of our submissions.

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My January 1999 FAASinations report had this statement: "What is lacking in FAAS is member society input—asking questions at the yearly convention is too little, too late." Up to now, the only real input FAAS has asked of its member delegates (at least during the time I've been FAAS Delegate) is at election time. (With four unopposed candidates, only five societies bothered to vote in the last election!) The July/August FR offers the possibility that this may change. It has an article stating: "The Board of Directors is in the process of establishing a new schedule of dues and fees for FAAS. During this process we will be looking at a range of items including the classifications of membership. The BOD has decided that such changes should only be made with the input from the delegates. In order to be able to get that input the BOD is wanting to establish an advisory body comprised of the BOD and the FAAS Delegates. . . . We ask that you join in this effort and take part in the council so that the voice of your organization can be heard." Up to now, my experiences with providing input to members of the FAAS BOD have been more negative than positive. Hopefully, this will now change. Remember that I mentioned that the news was bad, "with one exception?" That exception happens to be the results of the 1999 FAAS Publications Awards. Modern Aquarium took top honors in its class as overall best publication and as having the best cover. But you knew that already—didn't you?

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


econd Reprints deserving a second look Selected by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST his month's selected exchange society reprint is actually part of a series on fiskeeping and the Internet from Pisces Press, the newsletter of the Nassau County Aquarium Society. It is an excellent series, but since this particular column mentions Greater City's own website, I decided that this is the article from the series I would present to our members. If some of the websites are either not there, or are other than as described, remember that the Internet changes daily.

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From The Web by Pat Smith I know that many of our members have access to the Internet. But, just how many of our members have taken the time to go out there and investigate the links you can make to find fishy information? Maybe, you find it intimidating. I know I did the first time I tried to look something up. From one link, you can get to so many places. The only problem is that it may not always take you where you expect to go. One thing I can remember is the first time I tried to get to a website. I typed in "fish.com." I ended up with a page of bisexuals who just happened to like fish. Not quite what I was expecting. I am glad to say that if you were to do that today you would make a valid link to yahoo's search engine with fish as your desired subject. I soon found out that although there are many bad links, when you start looking up pages, you could find many fascinating and useful links as well. The web is a fascinating place. Be careful, it can be addictive. At the very least, it is time consuming. I couldn't believe how much time I spent just looking at these links! As many of you may remember, the Nassau County Aquarium Society has a web page. Our page can be reached by going directly to the WebPage at: http://members.xoom.com/NCAS/FishClub.htm, but it can also be accessed by some of the web links that are out there. Our web page has links to several other societies: North Jersey, Greater City, Brooklyn, Long Island, Minnesota and Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Northeast Council. But, that means some of these pages have already put links back to our web page. And, we have gotten some feedback from the web page. Some of our members have joined because they saw the club listed on the web. One of the pages we link to is called "my first fish tank." The website has changed, and I do need to update the hypertext markup language, although you will quickly be transferred to the right site. It is at http://www.honors.montana.edu/~weif. First Tank is one of the first pages that NCAS put a link onto, and we do have a reciprocal link on their page. This page links to many great fish sites. FINS is one of the biggest links I have gone to. You can look up frequently asked questions, search information on diseases, view pictures and movies of all kinds offish and much more. In their directories you can look up conferences, view a list of public aquariums, as well as national and international aquarium societies. There is a link to our society from this page. One of the fun things you can do from this site, is visit the "FishRoom." This is an interactive chat room based on MUD. Now, the first time I heard that, I thought it was quite funny. Had no clue what it meant, but it just sounded funny to think of mud in the computer. But then, we were talking about computer time on HAL. MUD is actually a Multi-User Dimension, or Dungeon. In MUD, you can

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challenge many people to games at one time or multi-user chat rooms can be formed. Personally, I do not like chat rooms in general and had such a hard time trying to find my way around the maze that I gave up. You can find out more about MUDrooms by visiting the Fish Room (or check out the newsgroup: rec.games.mud.announce). I do however use ICQ, which is a chat program that enables me to hold conversations with my own circle of friends. You can search for fish people through ICQ. And, you can select whom you are speaking to with ICQ. My kids, however, would do anything to get AOL so that they can have chat rooms. If you want to get into some serious scientific trivia, don't worry! We've got a spot for you. You might want to visit http://www.wh.whoi.edu/faq/index.html. Here you can find out the answers to such questions as Do fish chew their food? And what are anadromous fish? After all, who knows when you might need the answer to that. Do you want to see a picture of a blood star or a nudibranch? Go to http:www.echo.com/~queque/uw.html (Aqualink) or to http://www.actwin.com/fish/species/fish.mssq (FINS). The number of pictures of fish, marine and freshwater, and plants and other aquatic life is unbelievable. Pictures from FINS can be used if permission is obtained from them. There is a wealth of information about the fish as well. There are also links to download software. The software on there now includes Aquatrol99, Tank minder, Aquarix and Fish tank v2.1. These are all tank maintenance programs. Aquatrol seems to be free; I downloaded it, and now only have to see if I can get my PKUNZIP program to work with it. (Leave it to me to still have problems. But, it was an old HAL disk. I was warned not to put in anything from the old PC.) It is over 3 MB, so it cannot download to a floppy disk. I downloaded it, and then scanned for viruses before trying to open it. If you have a rewritable CD drive, you can download to that. Tank Minder has a demo version that can be downloaded and the hope is that you will come back for the full version, which costs $45.00. Aquarix gives you a thirty-day demo, and the full version runs $25.00. FishTank is a shareware program that gives you calculations for keeping your tanks. It runs $15.00. Even from the demos, you might get some good ideas for improvements in your record keeping and tank maintenance. Who knows, you may decide the program is worthwhile and go back and buy the full version? It is great to be able to test it out 14

before you purchase the full version. And, you can compare some of the features in the different programs. Pond Keeper is another program out there. It too is a maintenance and record keeping program, but for ponds. A free 1MB demo version may be downloaded. A while back, I had downloaded a demo of a program called Fish Hatchery. It was kind of neat; you get to be the wholesaler, stocking your hatchery, and selling your fish to the storekeepers. However, the first time I tried playing it, I had the Inspectors come in and fine me some ridiculous amount, because they said I was selling fish illegally. Since I had so many problems with my computer performing illegal operations, I had a hard time with a program telling me I was performing illegal operations. (I don't like to lose!) That site was not listed on the software page now though. Too bad, it was fun, in spite of the "Illegal Operations." Dr. Dan's Fish and Game Predictions was listed there. This game is primarily for fishing, not for fish keeping. It still can be fun to try. I mentioned Aqualink earlier, and I was the 1805421th person to hit that site since January of 1999. That is a lot of traffic. I went to the list of web listings for national clubs, and we are not listed there. I did send an e-mail to them and hope to see our page linked to theirs in the future. There was a link to something called-Cory Search, which is supposed to be a search engine to help find links to aquaria related pages. Not being very patient, I got tired of waiting for the page to open. The Greater City Aquarium Society website has a list of selected fish hobby Internet sites. You can link here to many of the fish magazines; TFH, FAMA, and Aquarium Fish Magazine. Listed as one of the Net's Best Aquaria Sites, you can check out JAWS (http://www.fishgeeks.com). One of the links that they have lists holiday gift ideas and toys. All sorts of puzzles, shape sorters and even the Rainbow Fish Board Game can be found here. JAWS does have links to a great many web sites. Don't forget to check it out! Although they say that the chat rooms based on MUD, leave you in multi-user dungeons that might take you days to find your way out of, just getting involved in all the links you will find can take a lot of your time. If you have found interesting websites, that you think we would like to check out, e-mail the web pages to us at guppyghost@juno.com, or mail them to the club at PO Box 33; Oakdale, NY 11769.

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


Have a good time surfing! Don't forget to add the good ones to your "Favorites" list. Then you will be able to find those pages again when you want to go back there again. With the new Internet Explorer, you can save the page so you can view it offline. That comes in handy with pages that offer a lot of reference information. Keep it in mind while you are working. It could

save you online time if you save the page to read later. See you on the web!. Reprinted from the January 2000 issue of Pisces Press, the newsletter of the Nassau County Aquarium Society.

A Status Report from January to June 2000 The Author Award program is in its second year. Originally, a drawing or photograph had to be part of an article, or a color cover photo, to receive credit. This year we had several photo "essays" which, by a strict reading of the rules, would not qualify for any points. Since time and effort was devoted to taking and captioning the pictures, and since they entertain and inform as well as, or even better than text, I have modified somewhat the maxim "one picture is worth a thousand words" to add to the rules a provision that two or more related photographs or illustrations submitted with captions and occupying one page or more will be counted as 2 illustrations (total of 10 points) and as an article of over 500 words (10 more points) for a total of 20 points. Photos or illustrations accompanying articles will also be limited to 10 points, plus credit for the article. Color cover photos remain at 10 points. You still have time to submit articles this year for points and a chance at a raffle drawing. Since only three persons (and two unidentified authors who will probably not claim a prize) writing articles this year are eligible for the raffle (see Note 2 below), you have a very good change at winning a book that you are not likely to see anywhere else: Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums by Ray Leggett and John R. Merrick. This book, printed in Australia, is not available in the United States. Art Work

Articles

Points Awarded

Picture/ Drawing/ Puzzle

500 words or less

over 500 words

Claudia Dickinson

10

2

9

Joseph Ferdenzi3

1

Author

Total to June (1/00 - 6/00)

Raffle2 Chances

150

75

75

N/A2

10

2

70

N/A2

35

N/A2

1

10

2

2

60

N/A2

50

N/A2

6

Warren Feuer

Bonus1 Points

1

1

Bernard Harrigan

7

Jason Kerner

7

7

Leonard Ramroop Alexander Priest3

4

Susan Priest

1

4

Prize

4

1

"Fin Fin" Investigative Reporter

2

20

4

Undergravel Reporter

7

70

14

]For

NEC and FAAS awards presented this year. To date, only the 1999 NEC awards were presented. Board members are ineligible for the Raffle. 3Editorials and President's Messages excluded. 2Editorial

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

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The 1999 FAAS Publication Awards by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he results are finally in! Greater City's Modern Aquarium took top honors in its class, winning "Best Editor and Publication" for publications printed more than six times a year. (Our neighboring Brooklyn Aquarium Society took first place in the category of "Best Editor and Publication" for publications printed more six or fewer times a year — making a New York City "sweep," and a pretty good showing for area societies when you add in the awards won by the Nassau County and Norwalk aquarium societies!) In order to fit all of the winners into this issue, I removed the names of the articles and used abbreviations (legend at the end of this article). The spellings were taken from the official list I received. If there are misspellings, I apologize. The winners were received one day before this issue was scheduled to go to press. It's the wee hours of the morning now, and sleep is still hours off. That means any analysis and/or commentary on these results will have to wait, at least until next month. But, I had to get these results to you as soon as possible. Congratulations to all the winners and winning societies, and a special thanks to all of the Modern Aquarium contributors who contributed to our success!

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1. Best Editor and Publication, more than 6 issues. 1. Al Priest - GCAS 2. Grant Gussie - CAS 3. Brandie Osman - NCAS 2. Best Editor and Publication, 6 or fewer issues 1. John Todaro - BAS 2. Pam Chin - PCCA 3. Rick Borstein - GCCA 3. Best Non-Changing Cover 1. PCCA 2. SCALES 3. SMAS 4. Best Changing Cover - Original Art 1. CAS 2. BAS 3. NCAS 4a. Best Changing Cover - Non-Original Art 1. GCAS 2. PCCA 3. CAFE

9. Best Spawning Article, 500—1000 words 1. Scott Tetzlaff - SMAS 2. Jon Morris - PCCA 3. Yohan Fernando - BAS 10. Best Spawning Article, more than 1000 words 1. Jary Harrison - CCAC 2. Curt Brobst - MAS 3. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS 11. Best Article on a Genus of Fish 1. Michael Rosenthal - BAS 2. Robert Engelking - MAS 3. Tom Johnson - NOC 12. Best Article on a species of Fish 1. Lisa Quilty - BAS 2. Robert Wranovics - BAS 3. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS 13. Best Marine Article — Fish I.EdKatuska-NAS 2. John Todaro - BAS

5. Best FAAS Related Article I.Pat Smith-NCAS 2. Vickie Coy - SMAS 3. Vickie Coy - SMAS

14. Best Marine Article — Invertebrates 1. William Maio - BAS

6. Best Exchange Column 1. Angelo Vescio - NCAS

15. Best Continuous FAAS Column 1. Alexander A. Priest

7. Best Review Column 1. Tom Miglio - BAS 2. Juliette Junker - BAS 3. Rick Borstein - GCCA 8. Best Spawning Article, under 500 words 1. Richard Smaciarz - MAS 2. Randy Carey - MAS 3. John Todaro - BAS 3. Bud White - GAAS HM - Kenneth Balog - NAS

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16. Best Article on Aquascaping/Design I.Pat Smith-NCAS 2. Barbara Posen - BAS 3. Susan Priest - GCAS 17. Best Article on Plant Maintenance/ Cultivation/Reproduction 1. Doug Curtin - GCAS 2. Robert Paul Hudson - PCCA 3. Wayne Toven - GAAS HM. Doug Curtin - GCAS September 2000

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


18. Best Show Article 1. Ileen Alvis - KAS 2. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS 3. Claudia Dickinson - GCAS

9. Best spawning Article, 500-1000 words (11-13) 1. Bill Shreves III (age 13) - YATFS 17. Best Article on Plant Maintenance (14-18) 2. Kapil Mandreker, Jr (age 14) - SMAS

19. Best Judging Article 1. PatHartman - SMAS

22. Best Article on Live Foods (5-10) 1. Kenneth Guth (age 10) - NCAS

20. Best Do-It-Yourself Article 1. John Todaro - BAS 2. Joseph Ferdenzi - GCAS 3. Joe Graffagnino - BAS

22. Best Article on Live Foods (11-13) 1. Sampson Wayne Whidden (age 11) - NCAS

21. Best General Article On Society Management 1. Curt Smith - YATFS 2. Curt Smith - YATFS 3. Vincent Sileo - GCAS 22. Best Article on Live Food 1. Doug Haberstat - PCCA 2. Ross Cronkhite - CAFE 3. Patricia Smith - NAS

25. Best Artist, Original Works (11-13) 1. Emily Smith (age 12) - NCAS 2. Emily Smith (age 12) - NCAS 25. Best Artist, Original Works (14-18) 1. Anthony Grambo (age 14) - NCAS

23. Best Collecting Article 1. Earle Shim - CAS 2. Rich Serva & Gina Tash - GAAS 3. Rich Serva & Gina Tash - GAAS 24.

25. Best Artist, Original Works (5-10) 1. Chris Sokol (age 9)-NCAS 2. Joey Nappi (age 8) - NCAS

Best Humorous Article 1. Undergravel Reporter - GCAS 2. Undergravel Reporter - GCAS 3. Bill Amely - BAS HM. Dave Hemmerlein - SMAS

25. Best Artist, Original Works 1. Grant Gussie - CAS 2. Henry Wildinson - CAS 3. Chris Giam - BAS

Legend BAS - Brooklyn A.S. - Aquatica CAFE - Champaign Area Fish Exchange - In Seine M.E.N.U. CAS - Calgary A.S. - Calquarium CCAC - Circle City Aquarium Club - Fancy Fins GAAS - Greater Akron A.S. - Tank Topics GCAS - Greater City A.S. - Modern Aquarium GCCA - Greater Chicago Cichlid Assn - Cichlid Chatter

26. Best Cartoonist 1. Bernard Harrigan - GCAS 2. Norman Dougherty - BAS 3. Gian Padovani - GCCA

KAS - Kitsap A.S. - The Kitsap Aquarian MAS - Minnesota Aquarium Society - Aqua News NAS - Norwalk A.S. - Wet Pet Gazette

27. Best Continuing Column, Single Author 1. Pam Chin - PCCA 2. Ed Katuska - NAS 3. Wlad Franco-Valias - CAS HM. Warren Feuer - GCAS HM. Al & Susan Priest - GCAS Junior Categories 8. Best Spawning Article, under 500 words (11-13) 1. Bill Shreves III (age 13) - YATFS 8. Best Spawning Article, under 500 words (14-18) 1. Eric Cappy (age 14) - YATFS 2. Kasey O'Day (age 17) - YATFS

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

NCAS - Nassau County A.S. - Pisces Press NOC - Northern Ohio Club - Tanc News PCCA - Pacific Coast Cichlid Assn - Cichlidae Communique SCALES - Stark County Aqua Life Enthusiasts Society - Aquatic Forum SMAS - Southwestern Michigan Aquarium Society - SWAM YATFS - Youngstown Area Tropical Fish Society - The Youngstown Aquarist

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News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

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elcome back to what promises to be a Grande new season just brimming with activities and events for us to attend all across the Northeast with other member

societies! The NEC Tropical Fish Showcase & Norwalk Aquarium Auction will be the highlight of fall "fishy" affairs on September 29th through October 1st! It's time to take a good look at those fish you entered in our May show, or possibly some that you were able to get at our auction. Perhaps you have fish that you have summered in your outdoor ponds that will surely be fit as a fiddle and ready to put on a superb performance! You may want to set up a spare tank or two and separate some of your champions to give them a little extra space and special treatment between now and the Big Weekend. Lots of water changes, extra goodies such as some white worms or earthworms ~ perhaps a bit of minced salmon ~ they'll be glistening in delight and ready for the winner's circle! Remember to prepare your box of supplies as Joe so perfectly described to us at our April meeting, and ready containers for bringing water that your fish are accustomed to. I'm so excited ~ I can barely wait! The crew of people working "behind the scenes" to make this all possible have been putting in such efforts and are a most fabulous team. I shall certainly want to depart as early as possible to join in the fun and relish the camaraderie of helping out. I do so look forward to having you join me! Please remember, your show entries and auction lots are to be pre-registered by September 15th, 2000. You will all have copies of a complete Show and Auction Listing on your seats tonight. Please see me to go over any details and questions that you may have, or if you would like more copies of the listing. You may also care to visit the web site at www.norwalkas.org/nec2000. This will surely be an event not to be missed - I know we're all going to have a Grande Time! NEC Club Insurance has been made available to us after the much hard and devoted efforts of Dave Banks and Christine Colonna. The GCAS is now so fortunate to have insurance coverage for all of our events at a most modest price. I'm so excited about the NEC Judging School which will be beginning very shortly ~ I feel like a child again, going off to school in the fall! There is still room available if you would like to be a part. Please don't hesitate to contact me as I wouldn't want to see you miss out! This is surely the season for shows and auctions and this year is no exception! Here's a look at our NEC Coming Events: • September 17th: Danbury Area Aquarium Society Auction. • September 22nd~24th: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island Show and 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. • March 23rd~25th: NEC 26th Annual Convention. It's going to be a most fabulous year ahead with the NEC! I do so look forward to sharing it with you! Take Care!

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September 2000

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


WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST his is a book about a lake, evolution, and love. It is written for aquarists, but it will be of interest to everyone who cares about conservation and the future of this planet. I must start by devoting a few sentences to the home of these secrets, Lake Tanganyika itself. Lake Tanganyika is estimated to be 20 million years old, and it is the second deepest lake on earth. It has a high concentration of dissolved minerals. It has been isolated from other water systems for over six million years. This, in combination with the wide variety of habitats, has lead to a very diverse endemic population offish, the vast majority of which are cichlids. Naturally, when it comes to a discussion of the inhabitants of the lake the main focus is on fish. There are about 175 scientifically described cichlid species endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Other occupants are also mentioned, such as crabs, crocodiles, leeches, etc. The term "species flock" is used often. "A species flock is an assemblage of endemic species which have developed from a single or a few related ancestors and have a restricted distribution." There is a chapter on feeding strategies. The authors describe the "astonishing array of feeding techniques," and "super specializations." Here are two examples of predatory feeders: Invertebrate Sonar Pickers — fish of this category live in deep, dark waters. Their "acoustic pores" become enlarged and fluid-filled, enabling the fish to "hear" prey that it cannot see. Plankton Sucker — What looks like a tongue is actually an extension of the upper lip which expands to "vacuum clean" micro-invertebrates from a muddy bottom. Monogamous vs. polygamous; substrate spawners vs. mouthbrooders; the number of breeding strategies surpasses even those for feeding. Here is just one example: Neolamprologus multifasciatus — In defense of their habitat of empty snail shells, these fish behave as a colony, but when it comes

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

to breeding, they are monogamous; that is, the same pair repeatedly spawn together in the same shell. The female deposits eggs deep in the shell, the male fertilizes them and then is chased out to perform guard duty. In 3-4 days a spawn of no more than 20 will hatch. The chapter called "The Utilization of Available Space" is actually a description of "micro-habitats," along with the names of several species of fishes which occupy it. An example is the "surge habitat," which is described as the upper three meters of a rocky shore line which is home to grazing herbivores. In the chapter entitled "Evolution of the Lake and its Cichlids" the "founder effect" is explained in great detail, and includes several pages of unusual and interesting drawings to illustrate this concept. Very briefly stated, the founder effect says that a small gene-pool (inbreeding) induces the creation of new species, whereas a large gene-pool actually prevents it. The further blending of facts and theories, along with the changing distribution of fish species, all work together like a painting by a great artist to produce a picture that looks slightly different each time you view it. Why? Because it is, of course! T h e f i n a1 chapter is called "DNA Sequencing and Speciation." This chapter offers a brief description (two pages) of the sequence of DNA "building blocks," mutations, and evolutionary trees. "The role DNA sequencing should play is that of one of the tools used to define a species or a genus." This is a tool which it is hoped will be available in the near future. "Science still has a long way to go, and in the meantime aquarists can still enjoy the cichlids as an intricate assemblage of beautiful creatures" We are then treated to a 62 page layout of photos of said creatures au naturale. The photographs in this book reveal many secrets to the reader. Virtually all of them were taken within Lake Tanganyika itself. There is no way to over-emphasize the added dimension this gives to the book. (Try as I might, I could not find any photo credits.) This is a lovely book in every way. There are a couple of minor annoyances that I find myself unwilling to mention. The authors, clearly scientific minds involved in investigating the process of evolution by means of the study of the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika, "cannot stop from loving, wondering at, and caring for them." Neither can we!

September 2000

19


NORTHEAST COUNCIL OF AQUARIUM SOCIETIES, INC. PRESENTS

TROPICAL FISH SHOWCASE

2000 A ONE TIME ONLY ALL SPECIES NEC MEGA-SHOW SEPTEMBER 30- OCTOBER /, 2000 HOSTED BY THE NORWALK AQUARIUM SOCIETY AT THE NATURE CENTER 10 WOODSIDE LANE, WESTPORT, CT. GIGANTIC NORWALK AQUARIUM SOCIETY AUCTION SUNDAY, OCT. 1 STARTING AT 10:00 A.M. SHOW ENTRIES AND AUCTION LOTS MUST BE PRE-REGISTERED BY SEPTEMBER 15, 2000 (NO WALK-IN ENTRIES ACCEPTED) FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: SUE (860)276-9475 BASIL (914)669-5030 MARK (302)775-0030 ED (203)375-4479 SHOW ENTRY AND AUCTION FORMS AVAILABLE ONLINE:

www.norwalkas.org/nec2000 E-Mail: NEC2000(o)NORWALKAS.ORG 20

September 2000

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


For Those Who Know It All A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

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here is a saying: "Just when you thought you've won the rat race, along come faster rats!" A corollary to that could be: "Just when you think you know a fact about the aquarium hobby, maybe you don't!" Everyone "knows" that you use only non-iodized salt in an aquarium. Apparently, the reason is a concern over iodine poisoning. But, isn't iodine poison to humans as well? Well, "iodized" salt sold in the U.S. has only 0.006% (that's six thousandths of a percent!) of potassium iodide. Potassium iodide is about 76.5% iodine. I'm not a math whiz, but even I can see that is a very small amount. Also, iodine is naturally present in many fish foods anyway, especially those containing fish meal (fish being a major source for iodine). So, while too much salt may kill freshwater fish (or, for that matter, nearly any other living thing), this is true whether or not iodized salt was used. The iodine in iodized salt is not enough to kill fish (or people). It's more important whether the salt used was treated with an anti-caking agent, and if so, which one. Some anti-caking agents, like Yellow Prussiate of Soda (YPS), have been associated with fish deaths. And, yes, even non-iodized salt can be treated with anti-caking agents. The belief that iodized salt is dangerous has been around forever. It is written in so many aquarium books, it may never go away. Ever hear that you could "reactivate" activated carbon in an oven? Well, it's not possible, at least not at home. A special high temperature, low oxygen, oven is required. By the way, never put activated carbon in your microwave to dry it. It almost certainly contains

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

particles of metal, as you will discover once the fireworks display of explosions and sparks begin! At least two companies claim to have "solved" the problem of frequent water changes. Have They? You decide. One company claims to have "the best BioFiltration system in the world," that is "automatic & maintenance free." Their website: http://www.bioaquarium.com/ states (in badly translated English): "We do not place a filter in your aquarium, we transform your aquarium into a filter, capable to filter countless times more water, than the amount your aquarium holds, your fish will never clog the filter again, even if you have four times the amount of fish suggested, for that size aquarium, and the best part is yet to come... There will not be another aquarium like yours; because every Scenic Filter® is hand made, hand painted and designed during the building process, using incredible shapes and colours, assuring in this way a complete and unique look that will make of your aquarium a personalized masterpiece.... The Scenic filter® uses a biological principle to transform all waste materials, which build up deadly Ammonia (NH3), into Nitrites (NO2), and then into Nitrates (NO3), creating in this way, a complete natural and biological waste processing system, that is totally safe for your fish. If you ad [sic] to this the unbeatable transparency of your aquarium water, you'll have a product with features almost impossible to improve, even for other filtration systems that could cost you several hundreds dollars." Then there is the product claimed to keep "those inconvenient water changes down to two times a year" (back cover, Aquarium Fish Magazine, August 2000). According to information at the following website: http://www.tetra-fish.com/usquiz/featurebenefits.html this product, "EasyBalance" (note the capital letter in the middle—that's how you know it's "high-tech"): "Stabilizes pH and Alkalinity... Reduces Phosphate Improving Water Quality... Adds Vitamins, Minerals and Trace Elements." I have only one question for both of these products: What happened to the waste material—you know, the accumulation of dead leaves from the live plants, fish droppings, remains of uneaten food, and those unidentified (and unidentifiable) moldy things my gravel cleaner sucks up at each cleaning? I might be wrong, but I don't think there is a substitute for regular water changes. And, as long as I hold to that belief, I'm pretty sure I won't be "dead wrong" when it comes to the health and longevity of my fish.

September 2000

23


BIRDS, REPTILES SMALL ANIMALS TROPICAL & MARINE FISH

HUGE SELECTION OF LIVE ROCK & ALWAYS IN STOCK IN gtJ MARINE FISH & INVER?

THE PET BARlfi FRANKLIN SQUARE'S COMPLETE PET CENTER » 212 FRANKLIN AVE FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY 11010 Come see our large Aquarium Plant display and receive I ONE FREE cultivated plant, just for stopping by! EXOTIC FRESHWATER FISH AFRICAN CICHLIDS IMPORTED GOLDFISH AND KOI

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CORAL AQUARIUM 75-05 Roosevelt Ave Jackson Heights, NY 11372 718-429-3934 Open Mon.-Fri. 10AM-8:OOPM Sat. 10AM - 7:OOPM Sun. 12PM - 6:OOPM SALTWATER FISH

• LIVE CORALS

LIVE ROCKS

INVERTEBRATES

• TROPICAL FISH

FANCY GOLDFISH

LIVE PLANTS

• WET-DRY FILTERS

PROTEIN SKIMMERS

BIRDS

DOG & CAT SUPPLIES

DOG <& CAT FOOD

• BIRD CAGES

HAMSTERS

• COMPLETE AQUARIUMS

REPTILES

RABBITS

All Major Credit Cards Accepted

24

September 2000

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Welcome to our newest advertiser and supporter, World Class Aquarium. Please show your appreciation for the stores who support us with their advertisements in Modern Aquarium by making the extra effort to patronize them. And, mention that you saw their ad in Modern Aquarium! In case you had any doubt of the quality of our original articles: "Swordtails" by our own Bernard Harrigan (Modern Aquarium, May 2000) was reprinted in the August 2000 issue of Pisces::^f^§:Wasisau County Aquarium Society), including Bernie's original drawing .that:;:Sccompanied the article?*:**m<:.^ m^^^w

Societies, was ::|epri2|gd iifthe July 2000 issue of dsfe(>ii|i|iid, ffie 'Journal of the Men|ational;;;Anii|antoid Association. *|F A ""%.. .:|-

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...or the (polity of dfir carefully selected reprints: .x^^^^ft ^ ,;;S; I • ,::?:;;:"Lake Tanganyika and its Diverse Cichlids" by:::|||;mg:-J:|iioffitt (Bennu|ii|:p!y-Ai|gle ::::f :: A^iipipi Society), which was reprinted by us ig|^|^||fjps year resulted iri^raig beljg ,:'::f: ..awarded the American Cichlid Association '.s:::^pS ::^cj||pnce in Writing for 1999" % ' '' ' ' ' '' Have All The Children G^^^^j.^ (Long Island A.S.) v t f w e ::::j;gprinted in May 2000 was jus|^pi^Bdf';M:^^^^|^^ust 2000 issue of the Feder^atlap Import, the official publicafciiSiii of the Federatim::^;:||||brican Aquarium Societies.::W:^ Herg arg: meeting times and

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Long Island Aiqii|||| Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Friday of ell month at Holtsville Park and Zoo,249 Buckley Rd. Holtsville, NY 11801 Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066

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- 2nd Tuesday of each month at the William M. Grouse Post 3211 V.F.W., Rte. 107, Hicksville, NY Contact: Mr. Ken Smith Telephone: (516) 589-0913

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Meets: 8PM - 3rd Thursday of the month at the American Legion Hall, Nutley, NJ (exit 151 Garden State Pkwy., near Rt. 3) Contact: NJAS Hotline at (201) 332-4415 or e-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at the Nature Center for Environmental Activities, Westport, CT Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253

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

September 2000


Fin Fun Think you know your fish? Think again! See if you can tell a fish from a "foul." From the selections on the left, check off Fish or "Foul" (that is, anything other than a fish).

Fish

"Foul"

Seahorse Starfish Aulonocara "Peacock" Great White Shark Humpback Whale Moray Eel Jellyfish Lionhead (Carassius auratus) Nymphoides aquatica Joe Ferdenzi

Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: A ClclSS

26

Act

Fish

Class

Fish

Class

Snyodontis flavitaeniatus

M

Corydoras melanistius

L

Iriatherina werneri

K

Poecillia reticulata

J

Apistogramma agassizi

A

Bolbitis heudelotii

D

Aequidens metae

A

Brycinnis longipinnis

C

Thorichthys ellioti

A

Xiphophorus helleri

F

September 2000

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

September 2000 volume VII number 7

Modern Aquarium  

September 2000 volume VII number 7

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