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elcome to the first issue of Modern Aquarium beginning our eighth consecutive year of publishing Series III. Barring a snow storm, or other unforeseen obstacle, this month's issue will, as has become customary for our January issue, be distributed at our Awards Banquet. It will serve, in part, as a program for this annual event. I want to congratulate all of the award winners. I want to especially congratulate those persons receiving certificates as part of our Author Award Program. Those members have shown their love of our society (and, by extension, of the aquarium hobby itself), by their willingness to take the time and effort to teach and involve others. The Calgary Aquarium Society of Alberta, Canada is, like Greater City, a member of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies. Since Series III of Modern Aquarium started publishing in 1994, their publication, the Calquarium, has been our main competition in the FAAS Publication Awards, and for good reason: the Calquarium is an excellent publication. Since I also double as Greater City's Exchange Editor, I get to read the Calquarium and, frankly, I am often awed by the quality of some of their articles. Yet, Modern Aquarium took First Place in the 1999 FAAS Publication Awards for publications printed more than six times a year. If I told you that it was probably our original articles that made the difference, you might think that this was just another ploy on my part to appeal for articles. So, here is an analysis of these results by Grant Gussie, the Editor of the Calquarium: In the 1999 FAAS publication awards, The Calquarium lost its first place award for best publication, more than six annual issues, to


Modern Aquarium, the publication of the Greater City Aquarium Society of New York Make no mistake, the GCAS richly deserves this award... Modern Aquarium is a fabulous publication and has always, in my mind, set the standard that all aquarium society publications should strive for. However, it is easy to see why we lost out in 1999 — our ratio of CAS-authored articles to reprints dropped from 87/15 in 1998 to 81/25 in 1999. We can not hope to beat out the GCAS with so many reprints. But... the fight is not over! We have a long-standing (albeit friendly) rivalry with the GCAS and we are not going to give up yet! If you would like to see the CAS back on top, get your articles written and submitted!. . . Well, since 1999 (during which we had NO reprinted articles), Modern Aquarium has included one reprint from the publications of other societies in nine of our ten year 2000 issues. This is still a respectable original to reprint article ratio, and one that I would like to maintain. But, that's more in your hands than it is in mine. With all of the discus, killifish, and pleco keepers and breeders we have in our society, where are the articles? Just look at our Index for the year 2000 in this issue to see what I mean. With new products (foods, medications, pumps, filters, lights, tanks, etc.) introduced almost daily, where are the product reviews? This is the start of a new year. It's still early enough to make New Year's resolutions. Resolve now to write an article this year. Many societies, even some as old, and even older and more established than our own, have had to drastically scale back on their publications, going to bimonthly, quarterly, and even discontinuing publication altogether. It can happen here. But, if every fish keeping member in our society wrote only one article a year, Modern Aquarium's future would be secured. Well, enough preaching from your resident "Priest" for this month. I hope you enjoy this issue, and that you'll give serious consideration to getting more involved with Modern Aquarium, at least to the extent of writing an article, and perhaps even joining our Editorial Staff. If you are reading this at our Awards Banquet, remember that there is no GCAS award for just "attendance" at meetings, nor is there any recognition given outside the society for just standing by the sidelines and watching. In our society, as in life itself, you have to DO something first!

January 2001

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

President's Message


he question that crosses my mind as we begin the new year is "can we be better?" The answer is probably "yes." Now, mind you, I don't think we're talking major improvements. We already do things pretty well now. My impression is that attendance at meetings is very good. This can be attributed largely to things like: 4 improved raffle prizes (thank you, Warren Feuer and Bernie Harrigan), + the continued quality of the guest speakers (thank you, Claudia Dickinson), and 4 the monthly meeting notice mailings (thank you, Al and Sue Priest). In addition: + our award-winning magazine (voted best of the monthlies in 1999 by the Federation of American Aquarium Societies) continues to shine. 4 Mark Soberman and Warren Feuer have signed on to help expand our already notable Breeders Award Program. 4 Jason Kerner obtained a sound system to improved the acoustics at our meetings. 4 Plans are under way for the 2002 show at the Queens County Farm Museum. We are right about where we want to be — a "middle of the road" club — not too big, not too small — a club that caters to hobbyists, with a personal touch, and always striving for excellence — quality over quantity.


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

As most of you know, this quality is recognized at our annual holiday gala (held in January) through the giving of special awards to various Greater City members. Among the awards to be presented is the very special Gene Baiocco Memorial Award, given to the Aquarist of the Year for the preceding season. The award was recently named in honor of Gene, who died in 1999. Gene was a devoted aquarist and Greater City member for over 40 years. He is one of the people who put Greater City "on the map." This year's recipient of the award, Peter D'Orio, is someone Gene knew and liked. Gene would be very happy to see someone like Pete getting this award. People like Pete form the backbone of our great club, and keep us "on the map." Pete has many virtues. He is humble and totally selfless. He is friendly, good-natured, and down-to-earth. In all the years in which I've had the good fortune to work with Pete on the Board of Directors, I have never seen anything but cooperation from him. Chances are that if anything needs to get done, and no one is available to do it, Pete will do it. Last year, Pete and his endearing wife, Roberta, chaired our very successful tropical fish show. He arranged for the storage of our show racks and tanks for the total rental cost of one copy of Modern Aquarium per month. For our monthly meetings, Pete regularly transports gobs of equipment and supplies. In brief, he is always there to help. The Aquarist of the Year award represents a small token of the esteem that I and Greater City hold for Pete. Lastly, my family and I wish all of you a

January 2001

made from a dark brown, plastic garbage can bag (how is that for high-tech expense?). I just cut the bag with a scissor after I have used cellophane or duct tape to adhere the bag to the top and one vertical of the back wall. Then I take a razor or scissor and cut the other vertical side (but not the bottom), and tape that side. Lastly, I cut and tape the bottom, and voila, an instant, durable background for pennies. Of course, now we come to the best part, the inhabitants of this aquarium. These consist of representatives of three classic groups: plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. These are also the elements of the classic "balanced" aquarium. In the realm of plants, this aquarium benefits from the presence of two old stand-bys in the hobby: Vallisneria and Hygrophila. Each is hardy, easy to grow, and yet very different in appearance. The Vallisneria is comprised of long, lance-like leaves that grow around a crown. The leaves are a very dark green (generally, the darker the green, the less light the plant needs to thrive). The plants reproduce from runners, and, after a while, will form a forest-like setting in your tank. I got my initial group of Vallisneria from those redoubtable old-fashioned hobbyists, Doug and Don Curtin. The Vallisneria were positioned to take up roughly one half of the tank (the left side). They are currently doing very well and are lovely to look at. They are also a nice contrast to the second type of plant in this aquarium: Hygrophila polysperma. Although there are many species of Hygrophila, polysperma is the most common and is, therefore, usually referred to simply as "hygro." This is essentially a "bunch" plant which looks at its best when several stems are planted closely together (not tied together with lead weights — that's a convenience for pet shops, and has no place in the home aquarium). I planted about three bunches in the rear, right half of the aquarium. I got my plants for tank #15 by clipping them from a robust growth of hygro in another aquarium (I don't recall where I got my original Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

stock). They are one plant that thrives under pruning. Incidentally, don't worry about the direction of the stems and leaves when you initially plant them. Within a week, their strong phototrophic nature will have them oriented towards your artificial light. Hygro has long, oval-like leaves that grow in an alternating whorl pattern around the stem. The stem and leaves are light green (as I have said, a nice contrast to the dark green of the Vallisneria). However, the leaves that reach the top of the tank begin to take on a subtle reddish hue, owing to their proximity to the light source. This plant reproduces itself by off-shoots from its stem, and can be pruned just about anywhere along its stem. Both of these plants can usually be purchased in any well stocked aquarium store, or can be gotten from your participation in an aquarium club. For example, both of these plants routinely show up at the monthly Greater City auctions. By the way, I don't use fertilizers of any kind on a regular basis. W h a t aquarium would be complete without fish? Two classic aquarium fish inhabit this tank — parallelling the two classic plants. The first is one of the most famous, the guppy (Poecilia reticulata). The guppies in this aquarium are a real mixture: some are "fancy" veiltailed guppies which I purchased at Cameo Aquarium (who, in turn, had purchased them from a hobbyist, described only as a "Russian woman living in Flushing"), some are veiltails that were donated to an auction by GCAS member Rich Levy, and some are swordtail guppies I received as a gift from those veteran breeders, Doug and Don Curtin (of the previously mentioned plant fame). What I love about this assortment (there must be at least 20 to 30 adults) is the endless variety of colorful fish you see swimming about. And, you never know what the offspring (of which there are many) will look like. Guppies are peaceful and small — making them ideal aquarium residents. To complement them, my aquarium houses another very peaceful and diminutive aquarium resident, Corydoras

January 2001

Now...It's Time to Turn Back to the Fish! by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

inter's cold blast of icy wind whips around me as I pull open the fish room door. Once inside, the steamy vapors of the aquariums envelop me with their cloak of comforting warmth. The holidays have been celebrated and fresh new calendars are hanging with their shiny covers heralding in the New Year of 2001. It is now time to turn our attentions back to the fish, with that renewed vigor and inspiration that we enjoy at this time of the year. They have been patient with our hectic schedules over the last few weeks. We have been observed with amusement through the glass as we rush past their tanks, hastily scattering Tetra Bits over the water's surface. Our rather bemused faces have belied our attentions and they know our thoughts are elsewhere as a few "bits" miss the tank and cascade to the floor. Every trick has been tried to capture our attention, with noses pressed against the glass and tails thrashing from side to side, but to no avail. Those tasty morsels of earthworms, bloodworms and white worms have become more of the exception rather than the regular fare. As we get back on track, the first item of business is...check for new fry and spawns. Yes, that's correct, often times you will find that your fish have actually done quite well on their own and diverted their attentions to other matters than where you are and what the next meal will be. As I walk down the aisle to do my preliminary check, I am most thrilled to find a first spawning of wild-caught Heros severum. I am quite excited about this as I had been growing these fish out and priming them for months, with lots of water changes and a wide variety of live foods. It seems as if a little time to themselves and a wave of winter storms was just the ticket! In another tank, a cloud of fry being anxiously herded about by their mother caught my attention. This was the first spawning of a pair of Tony Orso's Pelvicachromis Taeneatus dehane and was quite a welcome surprise. As we bring our fish and our tanks back into their regular routine, the key word we must remember while basking in our enthusiasm is gradual! It would be great fun and easy in our exuberance, to scrub the filters and tanks


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

sparkling clean. However, it is most important to remember all of those wonderful living creatures in our tanks that we are unable to see with the naked eye, known as bacteria. These are the beings that make it possible for our fish to grow and spawn and thrive. Basically, bacteria consume the waste products of our fish and multiply throughout the tank, coating the surface areas such as the filters, the substrate, the plants and the walls of the tank. Bacteria must be treated with delicate care, just as we care for our fish. A major disturbance in temperature, water conditions or oxygen supply such as a scrubbing would create, will kill off your tank's bacteria and the effects will rapidly show up in the health of your fish. Therefore, bring your tank maintenance program back into shape gradually, with as little disturbance to the bacteria bed as possible. Let's begin with an aquarium sponge and wipe down the inside of the front glass of the tanks. The sides may be done as well, but the back should be left for bacteria and grazing material for your fish. If you use more than one sponge filter per tank, one may be cleaned by removing and gently squeezing out in a bucket of tank water. When many sponges are being done, rather than using tank water, I use a bucket with tap water of the same temperature as the tank and a dash of water conditioner added to remove Chlorine. This seems to have positive results for me. If you have a hang-on or canister filter, you may want to squeeze out a portion of the filter, but please be certain not to clean out the entire media. I would wait on this until your next "session" and move on to the next step...water changes. If your tanks were used to large water changes on a regular (weekly) basis, but have been denied this routine as of late, you will want to do a moderate ~ 20% ~ water change at first. Vacuum a portion of the gravel if you like, but be certain to leave 50% of it untouched. As you are working with your filters, water and gravel, just keep thinking about those wonderful bacteria living in there. This is a good time to spruce up your plants. Make any cuttings on overgrown plants and trim off any leaves that are browned. Thin out your floating plants, checking for eggs or fry.

January 2001

Arriving rapidly, the Northeast Council's 26th Annual Convention will be held on March 23rd ~ 25th at the Farmington Marriott in Farmington, Connecticut. The speaker line-up is shaping up, with the all-star cast of Lee Finley and Karen Randall giving presentations on the Amazon, Terry Fairfield on Fish Health and Sally Boggs on Loaches. Jim Gasior will speak on Killiefish; Steve Rybicki on Angelfish; Greg Schiemer on Reef Aquariums; Steve Lundblad on the Fishes of Lake Malawi and Wayne Leibel will treat us as the Banquet MC. For those of you who have attended one of these fabulous conventions, I know you have already have gotten up and marked your calendars and started making your arrangements. If you have not yet enjoyed this great experience, this is the year to join in the fun! For registration and information, please contact the most helpful and efficient Convention Chairperson, Janine Banks at dbanks@together.net or feel free to call me at 631-668-5409; e-mail claudias@peconic.net. The NEC Library is looking for slides that members are willing to share with fellow clubs. Should you have any slides that you would be willing to have copied for all to have the opportunity of viewing, please contact Jim White at James white@ulsaker.com. Exceptional care will be taken with your submissions, and all efforts will be made to return them to you as expediently as possible.

Judging School is off to a terrific start, with our first meeting held at the home of Anne and Mark Broadmeyer in Brookfield, Connecticut on November 19th. Mike Sheridan gave his most informative and insightful thoughts on judging to the group of eight participants. Attendees merged from across the Northeast, with Christine Clarke, Luis Morales, Dean Majorino, and Rick Geis coming from New Jersey. Karl Chadbourne and Jim McNulty traveled from the east, while Derek Broadmeyer was literally right at home with the group. I was so fortunate to have Brad join me for the day's trip, and as I wasn't driving, my lap was free for at least two dogs! Dolly and Effle had a Grande day! Among the many issues covered, Mike highlighted the importance of fair judging practices. He believes that every fish entered in a class should be judged. The entrants should be judged for their merits of being the best fish of that species. Mike believes that as judges, one must keep in mind that a fish will never be the same in a strange tank, with strange surroundings and water conditions. Entrants go to the time and effort to bring the fish, along with all of the water and equipment involved. Judges should make themselves readily available for discussion, with notations on the judging sheets. The day was most educational and enjoyable, and I eagerly look forward to our future gatherings. If you care to join on board, it is not yet too late and we would love to see you there! I will be happy to fill you in with the rest of my notes to bring you up to date.

There surely is no time for a dull moment this winter as our fellow NEC clubs keep us busy right into spring with the NEC Calendar of Events!: • February 4th: Norwalk Aquarium Society Auction. • February llth: Pioneer Valley Aquarium Society Auction. • March 4th: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island Buck-A-Bag Auction/Open House. • March llth: Jersey Shore Aquarium Society Open House/Auction. • March 23rd~25th: NEC 26th Annual Convention. • April 1st: North Jersey Aquarium Society Auction. • April 13th: Brooklyn Aquarium Society Marine Event & Auction. • April 20th~22nd: Tropical Fish Club of Burlington Show & Auction. • April 29th: Monadnock Region Aquarium Club Auction. • May 18th~20th: Aqua-Land Aquarium Society Show & Auction. • July 12th~15th: North Jersey Aquarium Society/American Cichlid Association Convention. Please keep in mind ~ Conservation; Convention; Judging School; Slides for NEC Library! Take Care!

Until Next Month... Claudia

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

January 2001

GCAS ast &ioarij ROLL OF HONOR Gene Baiocco Joe Bugeia Mary Ann Bugeia Dan Carson

Charles Elzer Joe Ferdenzi Ben Haus Emma Haus

Warren Feuer Herb Fogal Paul Hahnel Jack Oliva

Herman Rabenau Marcia Repanes Nick Repanes Don Sanford

DON SANFORD BREEDER OF THE YEAR (Since 1981) 1981-82; 1982-83 ..... Ginny & Charlie Eckstein 1991-92 1983-84; 1984-85 ..... Rich Sorensen 1992-93 1985-86 ........ . . . Yezid Guttierez 1993-94 1986-87 ........... Joe Ferdenzi 1994-95 1987-88 ........... Patricia Piccione 1995-96 1988-89 ........... Joe Ferdenzi 1996-97 1989-90 ........... Francis Lee 1997-98 1990-91 ........... Eddie Szablewicz 1998-99 GENE BAIOCCO AOUARIST OF THE YEAR (Since 1990-91) 1990-91 ..... Diane & Harold Gottlieb 1995-96 ..... 1991-92 ..... Doug Curtin & Don Curtin 1996-97 ..... 1992-93 ..... Mark Soberman 1997-98 ..... 1993-94 ..... Warren Feuer 1998-99 ..... 1994-95 ..... Steve Sagona

..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Mark Soberrm

Dominic Isla Steve Sagona Joe Ferdenzi Steve Sagona Tom Miglio Mark Soberman Jeff George Tom Miglio

Alexander & Susan Priest Joe Ferdenzi Claudia Dickinson Vincent & Rosie Sileo

WALTER HUBEL 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88

BOWL SHOW CHAMPIONS (Since 1983-84) ..... Tom Lawless 1991-92 ..... Tom Lawless 1992-93 ..... Joe Ferdenzi 1993-94 ..... Joe Ferdenzi 1994-95 ..... (tie) Mark Soberman and 1995-96 Mary Ann & Joe Bugeia 1996-97 1988-89 ..... Jason Ryan 1997-98 1989-90 ..... Eddie Szablewicz 1998-99 1990-91 . . . . . Eddie Szablewicz

..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Steve Sagona Steve Sagona Steve Sagona Carlotti DeJager Mary Eve Brill Steve Sagona Steve Sagona Tom Miglio

VICTOR BECKER MEMORIAL AWARD For most outstanding species bred (1st awarded 1994-95 1994-95 ......... Thomas Bohme (Serrasalmus nattereri) 1995-96 ......... John Moran (Synodontis multipunctatus) 1996-97 . . . . . . . . . Carlotti DeJager (Betta simplex) & Mark Soberman (Corydoras duplicareut 1997-98 ......... Greg Wuest (Nothobranchius foerschi) & Joe Ferdenzi (Corydoras adolfo 1998-99 ......... Tom Miglio (Rasbora heteramorphd) PINO BARBARISI HORTICULTURAL 1993-94 ........... 1994-95 ........... 1995-96 ........... 1996-97 ........... GCAS PRESIDENTS (Post 1945 1946-49 Elliott Whiteway (4) 1950-51 Robert Greene (2) 1952-53 Robert Maybeck (2) 1954-55 Leonard Meyer (2) 1956-57 SamEstro(2) 1958 Leonard Meyer (1) 1959-64 Gene Baiocco (6) 1965 Andrew Fazio (1)


AWARD Don Curtin & Doug Curtin Steve Gruebel Vincent & Rosie Sileo Joe Ferdenzi

— number in parenthesis = consecutive terms) 1966-68 Charles Elzer (2) 1978-79 Louis Kromm (1) 1968-70 Walter Hubel (2) 1979-81 Don Sanford (2) 1970-72 Dave Williams (2) 1981-84 Brian Kelly (3) 1972-73 Dan Carson (1) 1984-86 Jack Oliva (2) 1973-75 Herb Fogal (2) 1986-97 Joe Ferdenzi (11) 1975-76 Richard Hoey (1) 1997-99 Vincent Sileo (2) 1976-77 Ted Tura (1) 1999-00 Jeff George 1977-78 Gene Baiocco (6+1) 2000-01 Joe Ferdenzi (11+1)

January 2001

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (ISHt

Greater City Aquarium Society 1999 — 2000 Awarded January 3, 2001







BREEDER (50 points) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CLAUDIA DICKINSON

AUTHOR AWARDS (points in brackets represent points awarded prior to 2000) CLAUDIA DICKINSON [120] 370 - Columnist (300 to 495 points) JOSEPH FERDENZI [205] 340 - Columnist (300 to 495 points) BERNARD HARRIGAN [5] 150 - Essayist (150 to 195 points) JASON KERNER [30] 85 - Correspondent (50 to 95 points) ALEXANDER PRIEST [110] 205 - Journalist (200 to 295 points) SUSAN PRIEST [75] 165 - Writer (100 to 145 points) UNDERGRAVEL REPORTER [100] 220 - Journalist (200 to 295 points) VINCENT SILEO [30] 50 - Correspondent (50 to 95 points) MARK SOBERMAN [20] 25 - Author (25 to 45 points) (Note: Warren Feuer's 40 AAP points in 2000 brings his total to 95. However, he was already presented with a Correspondent level certificate last year) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

January 2001


clean. They change flow rate. Drip plates are easier to clean. There are no moving parts, so there's less to go wrong. There are trickle filters without a spray bar or a drip plate. They have a bio-wheel which turns the bio-medium with the water flow. Again, this is something more to go wrong. I like to keep it simple. 9. How can I tell if it's made well? Look at the workmanship. You don't want air bubbles in the plastic. You want clean edges. Make sure the pieces fit together easily. If it looks like it was slapped together, stay away from it.

10. How can I tell if I'm getting a good value for my filter? Look at what you're getting and what you're not getting. Some trickles come with the pump; with others you have to buy it. The same goes for overflow boxes, filter medium, even float switches (they shut your pump off when the water level gets so low that it would otherwise burn out). When checking out different makes and models, make sure you're not comparing apples and oranges. I hope this cleared some things up for you. And remember — fun fish keeping!

BETTA LUCK THIS TIME by WARREN FEUER f you read my article "Disappointments" in the April 2000 issue of Modern Aquarium, then you know that I have experienced somewhat less than total success in my fish keeping endeavors. However, so you, the reader don't think that I am a total failure as an aquarist, I would like to share with you some of my success stories. These are fish that I have had difficulty keeping, but, with experience, and mostly continued effort, have been able to keep alive. Some I have even spawned!!!! I have found the Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta splendens, attractive from day one. I know I am not alone in feeling this way, as Bettas are often one of the top fish on many people's list. They are an ideal beginning fish, as well as a great fish for a more advanced aquarist to keep and breed. I have tried several different methods of keeping Bettas. I have kept them in jars, in small (2!/2 - 5 gallon) tanks, in community tanks, all with no success. They usually live no more than six months. Not one to keep killing fish, I gave up on keeping them. Earlier this year, my two children decided that they wanted to keep Bettas. Honestly, the thought of keeping them in small jars did not bother me as much as the idea of more tanks to maintain. Ten tanks are enough to maintain, thank you. Getting my children to do routine maintenance was out of the question, they will barely maintain themselves and their living space, forget something else to care for. However, a simple solution appeared. I


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

purchased a "Betta barracks" which allowed me to keep up to four Bettas per device. [Ed. Note: a "Betta barrack" is a rectangular, plastic device that affixes to the inside front of a larger filtered "host" aquarium, usually by way of suction cups. It has dividers for separating the fish, and slits for water exchange with the host aquarium.] By using this device, water quality, conditions and temperature are maintained by the heating and filtering systems of the tank, and the fish each have their own little space to dwell in. The result: I have been able to successfully keep Bettas alive since April of 2000, and counting. One of the fish that I documented my lack of success in keeping in my "Disappointments" article is the Green Terror, Aequidens rivulatus. As you may recall, a beautiful male specimen was placed in a 30-gallon long tank that contained only one resident, a Synodontis angelicus. In a very short time, the Green Terror was dead. I never observed any aggression, and assumed the fish's death was due to the low pH in the tank (around 6.2). In the ensuing months, I have added some crushed coral to the substrate of the tank, and stabilized the pH at 7.1. When the opportunity to purchase another attractive Green Terror arose, I decided to give it another try. It didn't take long, however, for me to discover why I had failed before with this fish. The angelicus was, in fact, "terrorizing" the Green Terror. I knew it would only be a matter of

January 2001


time before this fish ended up like his predecessor, dead. Not wanting to kill another fish when I could prevent it, I decided to move the Green Terror to my seventy-five gallon community tank, which contains mostly large catfish and some African tetras. Now, some months later, the Green Terror seems to be doing okay. It still seems skittish when I come near the tank, but if I approach slowly I can come right up to the tank. The important thing is that the fish is eating, and seems to be thriving. In fact, he may be thriving too well. He seems to be establishing himself as the boss of the tank, and a bully at that. Lately, I have noticed that the other fish seem to move away from him when he approaches them, and I have seen him lunge out at the other fish. So far, no damage is visible on the other fish, but I am keeping my eyes on him, and I am on the lookout for obvious signs of aggression. Let me ask you a question. "Who among us hasn't kept one of the freshwater 'sharks' that are available?" I have, over the years, kept many of them, with varying degrees of success. I have had luck with both the tricolor, and iridescent "sharks." Actually, as you know, neither is a true shark. But, the high dorsal fins, combined with the imagination of retailers, has dubbed them as "sharks." There is also the Rainbow shark, in both standard and albino form. These are attractive fish that are often impulse purchases, and should not be. They do not tolerate members of their own kind well, and are known to be jumpers. I have tried on several occasions to keep them, and never had them for long, usually finding them on the floor. Once again, one of my children, in this case my son Eric, decided that he wanted to keep a rainbow shark. I told him that they are prone to jump, but we decided to give it a try. I am happy to say that this one seems to be a keeper, eating well, getting along with the other fish, and growing, as well as coloring up nicely. My latest round of experimentation with Discus has met with mostly failure. I purchased four small "Pigeon Blood" Discus. I hoped that, by purchasing four, there would be


a minimum 6f "dominant versus subordinate" bullying among them. Discus are, after all, cichlids, and do behave as such. Alas, as I write this, three of them are dead. There were no signs of aggression such as ripped fins, extremely dark fish (a typical indicator that a Discus is in distress), or hiding/cowering. The fish just failed to thrive. I perform a 30% water change each week, and keep them with small, peaceful tetras. The good news is that one of the four is alive, growing very nicely, and seems to be doing well. I swear, once again, that I will never try to keep Discus. Well, not until the next time, anyway. Finally, I want to update you on my Neolamprologus ocellatus experience. As detailed in both "Disappointments" and "I Know What I Did Last Summer," I have always liked the ocellatus, and have tried to keep them twice. The second time seems to have been the charm, as they have grown, formed a pair, and spawned. I am now happy to report that a second and third spawning has occurred. With this third spawning, I noticed that the fry were disappearing. I realized that the juveniles were eating the new fry, and, unlike other shell dwellers I have kept, the parents do not seem inclined to protect the fry. In an attempt to save some of the fry I placed the shell containing the female and some fry in a 2 V£ gallon tank. I was only able to save two fry, but they are growing well, and I am getting ready to re-unite the female with her mate. This time I will be more proactive in separating the female and her fry from the other fish. What lesson can be learned from my experience (and that is why I write — to share my experience)? Sometimes, I guess you just have to keep trying until you have the right combination of factors to guarantee success. Of course, there are also times when you have to "know when to fold 'em." Some fish just aren't meant to be kept, and I have found that experience (and lots of dead fish!) often teaches us that lesson also.

January 2001

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

ccond Reprints deserving a second look Selected by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST his month's selected exchange society reprint is of interest not just because of the fish whose breeding it depicts (which is Melanotania splendida splendida, an Australian Rainbowfish). It was selected because, in addition to being well written and interesting, it provides an insight into just how true it is that "aquarists don't breed fish — fish breed themselves," and also emphasizes the importance of careful observation and extra caution when caring for and breeding fish.


The Breeding of Melanotania splendida splendida by James White I don't know why, but for some reason the best things that happen in my fish room usually happen when: A. I'm not paying any attention. B. I'm not around at all. C. When I don't do something I was going to do, and it turns out that it was a good thing I didn't do what I was going to do. In this particular case, it turned out to be "C." About a year ago at one of our meetings, I bought a pair of Rainbow fish that Ed DeRocher had brought in for the club miniauction. He had bought them at James Tropical Fish and they were labeled "Australian Rainbows" in the store. You know, the ones from Australia. That narrowed it down a bit. After two months, I managed to identify them as Melanotania splendida, not due to any exhaustive research on my part, but because I bought a second pair at another club auction that was identical to the first pair. With the name splendida in hand I went back to the books and tried to determine which species I had. The Baensch Aquarium Atlas volumes 1, 2, & 3 identified five different sub-species containing the name splendida: Melanotania splendida australis, M.S. inornata, M.S. rubrostriata, M.S. splendida, and M.S. tatei. The Baensch Atlas vol. 3, pg. 1018 also states in the entry for M.S. tatei that each sub-species may contain several color morphs, which makes differentiation of the individual sub-species difficult. I ultimately decided that the color morph I had was Melanotania splendida splendida,

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

which is identified as found in Harrey Creek, Australia. I found a corresponding photograph in the Baensch Atlas vol. 2 on page 1131. The male fish has a great deal of red coloration, primarily in the finnage, and also has a series of red lines, which run the length of the body, which is a silvery color. Like most Melanotania, the males are larger and more colorful with a fuller body. Volume one of the Baensch Atlas, pg. 852, states that M. s. splendida can attain a length of six inches, but that the fish are sexually active at two inches. When I bought the first pair, I decided that I would house them in a twenty-gallon long tank. The pH was kept at 7.5-8.0 and a temperature of 80 degrees F. My water changes were done weekly at the rate of five gallons, and I decided to use two corner box filters in the tank. I kept the tank free of any decoration with the exception of a large amount of Java moss that I decided to try using as a spawning media. I had tried spawning mops with different rainbows I had in the past, but I was never successful with them for reasons unknown. After a couple of months, with very little sign of activity, I came across the second pair at auction and decided to try and stir up the tank a little bit. My original pair was slightly larger than the second pair, with the male being close to three inches in length and the female about 21A inches. The second pair were, respectively, 21A and 2 inches long, and I was slightly concerned that the cramped quarters might result in some bullying of the smaller pair, but most of the books I read stated that M. splendida is an unaggressive fish suitable for a community tank.

January 2001


GCAS Society Issues 1998 FAAS Publication Awards „ . 1/00 1998 FAAS Publication Awards 2/00 1999 FAAS Publication Awards 9/00 1999 GCAS Author Award Program Results 1/00 1999 Modern Aquarium Article Index 1/00 1999 NEC Publication Award Winners 4/00 Current (1999) GCAS Award Winners 1/00 Four Shows in Four States - Tom Miglio 12/00 GCAS Author Award Program Update 9/00 The GCAS Celebrates the New Millennium in Grande Style! - Claudia Dickinson . . . 2/00 The GREATER Show on Earth - Susan Priest 6/00 Modern Aquarium Redux - Joseph Ferdenzi 3/00 "Modern Aquarium" - A Moment of Reflection and Appreciation 9/00 A Note From the Speaker Program Chairperson! - Claudia Dickinson 10/00 Past GCAS Award Winners 1/00 Scenes at the 78th Anniversary Show - C. Dickinson, A. Priest, J. Ferdenzi 6/00 A Special Look Back - Claudia Dickinson 6/00 Welcome New Members - Claudia Dickinson 5/00 Winners at our 78th Anniversary Show 6/00

GENERAL INTEREST AND MISCELLANEOUS Disappointments - Warren Feuer Extravaganza 2000 - Mark Soberman The Curious Case of the Cursory Commemorative - Joseph Ferdenzi Halloween Art - Horst Gerber How To Make Money From Aquarium Maintenance - Bernard Harrigan I Know What I Did Last Summer! - Warren Feuer Fish Tanks in the Kitchen - Vincent Sileo A Lesson in InFINity - Susan Priest The Secret of the "Underwater Mystery" Clock - Joseph Ferdenzi Zebra Danios (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan

4/00 12/00 9/00 10/00 10/00 10/00 11/00 1/00 2/00 6/00

HOW-TO A Simple and Fast Method For Repairing Slate-Bottomed Tanks - Joseph Ferdenzi . . 4/00 Coconuts in the Aquarium - Joseph Ferdenzi 5/00 How To Make Money From Aquarium Maintenance - Bernard Harrigan 10/00

LIVEBEARERS Guppy (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan Swordtail (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan Mollies (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan Platies (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan Xiphophorus Hybrids - Leonard Ramroop

4/00 5/00 11/00 12/00 1/00

LOACHES Weather Loach (Fun Fish Column) - Bernard Harrigan

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

January 2001



LOOKING THROUGH THE LENS - ciaudia Dickinson Through Through Through Through

the the the the

Lens Lens Lens Lens

. . . .

. . . .

. (photos . (photos . (photos . (photos

of of of of

our our our our

April meeting) May meeting) September meeting) November meeting)

5/00 6/00 10/00 12/00

MARINE/SALTWATER Seahorses - Bernard Harrigan


NEC and FAAS NEWS/EVENTS The NEC Silver Anniversary Gala - Claudia Dickinson 1998 FAAS Publication Awards 1998 FAAS Publication Award Winners 1999 NEC Publication Award Winners 1999 FAAS Publication Awards Four Shows in Four States - Tom Miglio FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report - Alexander Priest FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report - Alexander Priest FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report - Alexander Priest FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report - Alexander Priest FAASinations - FAAS Delegate Report - Alexander Priest NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson . . . . NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson . . . NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson NEC Delegate's Report - Claudia Dickinson

6/OC 1/OC 2/OC 4/OC 9/OC 12/OC 2/OC 6/OC 9/OC 10/OC 11/OC 2/OC 3/OC 4/OC 5/OC 6/0( 9/0( 10/OC 11/OC

OPINION AND/OR HUMOR "UNDERGRAVEL REPORTER" Column Undy's Underlutions Water Changes and You There's No Accounting For It The Member Who's Just "Not There" Think Before You Show The Non-Goldfish Bowl For Those Who Know It All Why Don't They Make SILENCE, Please! Award Me

1/0( 2/0( 3/0( 4/0( 5/0( 6/0( 9/0( 10/0( 11/0< 12/0(

Other Opinion and/or Humor Wet Water - "Fin Fin" Wet Water - "Fin Fin"


1/0< 5/0<

January 2001

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY





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

















All Major Credit Cards Accepted


January 2001

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

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

11 5-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418

Marine Biologist On Staff Custom Tank Builders for the NY Aquarium Manufacturers of Aquarium & Filter Systems Custom Cabinetry & Lighting Largest Selection of Marine & Freshwater Livestock in NY New York's Largest Custom Aquarium Showroom See Working Systems on Display 2015 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11234 (718)258-0653

Open Saturdays and Sundays Amex, Discover, MasterCard, Visa 2 miles off exit 11N of the Belt Parkway www.WorldCiassAquarium.com


January 2001

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

January 2001 volume VIII number 1

Modern Aquarium  

January 2001 volume VIII number 1