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APRIL 2001

volume VIII number 4

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York


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Series III

Vol. VIII, No. 4

April, 2001

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest


President's Message


My Favorite Tank - #55


Looking Through The Lens


Fun Fish (Tinfoil Barb)



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Second Sight (Reprint Column) Bristlenose Catfish (YATFS) North American Fishes for the Home Aquarium (PVAS) NEC Delegate's Report


11 ....

12 13

NEC 2000 Award Winners . .


Wet Leaves (Book Review)


Smile, You're on Undy's Camera!


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


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 2001 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

President's Message

by JOSEPH FERDENZI hat do I like about aquarium societies? The first thing I like about them is the people. The second thing I like is the people. And, the third thing that attracts me to them is the people. Yes, I guess you could say I like the people in aquarium societies. True, I like the fish, the plants, and the gadgets. But, that is not what keeps me in societies. You see, I can get all those things from commercial sources. Even the more exotic fish and plants can be had if you peruse the classified ads in the major aquarium magazines. What about those "big name" speakers? Well, I enjoy them, to be sure. But, frankly, most of them are prolific writers, and I can read their articles in the magazines or send them questions via those same magazines. No, there is no doubt in my mind, it's the people that rank first, far and away in front. Any list of all the wonderful, interesting people I've met since I became involved in aquarium societies would stretch for pages. I've come to know people from all over the world, with diverse and fascinating backgrounds. Among them, I have made some very close and cherished friends. As I write this, I can't imagine my life would be as rewarding without them. Let me give you an example. I joined Greater City in May of 1984. A mere two and one half years later, I became the President. At first, I felt overwhelmed. How was I, a relative neophyte, going to lead this distinguished club, founded in 1922 (before my parents were born), and composed of many veteran aquarists? It seemed daunting. Well, many members helped me. But, no one really knows what it's like to be the President unless you've stood in those shoes. During my first eleven years at the helm, there


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

were only two members of Greater City who were active in the club and who had served as President, Gene Baiocco (1959-1964 and 19771978) and Jack Oliva (1984-1986). Both of these gentlemen were old enough to be my father. They treated me with all the kindness one would have for a son or nephew. I deliberately used the word "gentlemen" to describe them. They were examples of the generation that Tom Brokaw has enshrined in his best-selling book, The Greatest Generation. Gene and Jack were humble, dedicated, and gracious. Their involvement in the club was not ego-driven. Neither ever touted their accomplishments to me. Whatever they did, they did to benefit the Society. They inspired me. They generously gave me of their time and counsel. They never asked for anything in return but that I do my best. They understood the difficulties of trying to keep a club with many people, some with vastly differing opinions on how the Society should operate, functioning in harmony. What's more, while they encouraged and counseled me, they did not "boss" me around â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they gave me the freedom to try new things. Sometimes, the "old guard" has a hard time when changes occur. But, to their credit, Gene and Jack were more forward thinking. Because of people like them, the Society has thrived, and I think I have become a better person. Gene and Jack are no longer in the Society. Gene passed away in 1999, and Jack moved away and into retirement at about the same time. I don't think I can be as great as they were, but I can try to emulate them. With the help of all the fine members of this Society, I think I can be a good President. Last month, we had a wonderful presentation by my good friend, Craig Morfitt, of the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society. His talk on Africa and Lake Malawi was enjoyed by everyone. None of this would have been possible without the efforts of a lot of people, but especially those of Claudia Dickinson, our Speakers Chairperson, who made all the arrangements for the visit, and of Al and Sue Priest, who generously made part of their home available as a guest house for Craig, and who were the consummate host and hostess. Because of people like Claudia, Al, and Sue, the Society is able to bring you informative speakers from around the nation and around the world, with a minimal financial burden to the treasury. As you know, the annual dues don't even begin to cover the cost of all we do. Please remember to be generous in your support of our monthly raffles and auctions. Thank you.

April 2001

My Favorite Tank: A Series Part 4 - Tank #55 by JOSEPH FERDENZI his tank is somewhat different from the insurance against the total lack of aeration that three prior tanks described in this series would occur if one of the devices fails. (It is in that, unlike the others, this tank is much less likely that both devices would fail sparsely planted. Nevertheless, it is very simultaneously, especially if, as with this attractive, and it includes an "artificial" aquarium, the devices are powered by two decoration (which is decidedly not the norm in different electrical sources.) most of my aquariums). To date, of the tanks I I like "waterfall" type filters because have described, it is also the easiest and fastest they are self-priming â&#x20AC;&#x201D; this renders them easy to one to replicate. use, and, in the case of temporary electrical This particular tank is a standard 20 failures, quick to restart (they do this High (measuring 24 inches automatically). One long by 13 inches wide by 16 disadvantage, however, is that inches high). These very same "waterfall." In dimensions have made for a small tanks especially, it very popular aquarium produces a rather strong because it presents a kind of current. This is great for "picture window" quality that water circulation, but most is appealing to the human eye. fish, unless they happen to be Its advantage is also that the salmon or trout, are not crazy base is relatively modest, but about it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; too often I see the height allows for them struggling to get out of aquascaping with tall plants or the flow. Therefore, one thing I try to do in these tanks decorations. As always, the is to incorporate some decodecorative preparation begins rative element that breaks up with an outside background. this flow as it hits the bottom. Devoted readers of this series In this tank, I decided to use a will, by now, guess what it is: large (about 2" across) quartz a black plastic garbage bag, stone (colored white and grey Water flow in Tank #47 taped to the back pane of to match the gravel) placed in Illustration by Al Priest the gravel and below the glass, and trimmed to size. For a substrate, I chose good "waterfall" so as to impede and divide the current (see the illustration for a old reliable #3 "natural" gravel (a mixture of mostly white, grey, and beige granules). About schematic representation). In my tank, the filter is on the right (as 25 pounds of it was used, gently slopping it from you face the aquarium), as is the stone. To the front to back. Before moving on to the other left of the stone, I planted an Anubias nana. decorative elements, I will talk about filtration Anubias (named after the ancient Egyptian god of for this tank. It is simple. Hanging on one back the dead) is a widespread genus of plants found corner is a small power-filter of the "waterfall" only in Africa. They are very beautiful and type. There are many brands. Mine is a Hagen hardy. They tolerate low light conditions well, Aqua-Clear, but others such as Tetra Whisper and are not demanding as to pH, as long as you filters or Marineland Penguin filters will all do a avoid extremes of acidity (less than 6.0). Unlike good job. In the opposite back corner, I employ most aquatic plants, Anubias have rigid stems and an airstone powered by my airpump. This leaves that will stand up out of the water. They strategy of employing at least two filtration are slow-growing, so they do not rapidly devices (filters) or water movement devices overwhelm a tank's aquascaping. They come (airstones) in every tank ten gallons or larger with leaves in various sizes and shapes, but allows for improved water circulation, and is also always medium to dark green in color.


April 2001

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

Anubias nana, as the name implies, is a dwarf variety. It has small spade shaped leaves, and is one of my personal favorites. Its small size lends itself to use in almost any sized aquarium. To the left of the nana, I planted its big brother, Anubias barteri. This is also an excellent specimen for the aquarium, with larger, more wavey leaves than the nana. (Incidentally, both barteri and nana are two of the more commonly available Anubias.) Each plant has a rhizome from which extend the stems for the leaves and the roots, which are planted into the gravel. The plants reproduce themselves along this rhizome (you can cut the rhizome and thereby produce "new" plants). The barteri is not planted right next to the nana. I wanted to give each plant its own "space" to grow. The open, middle space between the plants was filled in by a visual trick: a piece of "driftwood" planted slightly to the right and rear of the barteri. (See cover photo for the placement.) This creates a three-dimensional triangulated effect that looks full to the human eye, but leaves plenty of open space for the fish to swim about. I placed the word driftwood in quotes for a reason. It is not made of real wood. Normally, I do not like to use any "ornaments" in my decorative aquariums that are not made by nature. However, in this case, I made an exception for several reasons. I wanted a piece of wood in the decorative scheme. However, as I knew this aquarium was to house fish with a preference for alkaline water (more about the fish later), real wood presented a minor problem: it leaches acids into the water that can lower pH (besides turning the water a slight amber color â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which, by the way, is desirable in some tanks). I could have used a large piece of petrified wood, but this is something I have in a lot of my tanks, and I did't want to use the same thing constantly. Fortunately, I came across a product that appealed to my sense of compromise. It is from a line of resin-fabricated ornaments made by Hagen under the trade name of "Beachwood." These items come in various sizes and shapes, and are obviously cast from real pieces of wood; they have realistic details and appear to be hand painted. They are much truer to life than most other plastic or ceramic ornaments designed to simulate wood. With this, my aquascaping was now complete.

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

The tank has a striplight over a glass canopy. The light is provided by a 15 watt fluorescent tube that is on an automatic timer programmed for 14 hours. The 75 watt heater is a hang-on-the-rim type. I keep the temperature in the tank at about 74°F. Originally, this aquarium housed a group of the true Montezumae Swordtail (Xiphophorus montezumae). These livebearers from Mexico have an especially long sword (see cover photo of the June 1997 issue of Modern Aquarium) and a striking rounded white dorsal fin with black spots. Recently, however, I have replaced them with an equally rare swordtail, Xiphophorus nezahualcoyotl. This is a smaller fish, but it is very attractive in its own right. My group of six was the generous gift of Craig Morfitt of Bermuda, who collected them on his recent trip to Mexico. I have deliberately chosen to keep the swordtails by themselves. Of course, they would get along with numerous other small, peaceful fish. Any of the Corydoras catfish, for example, would make ideal tankmates. My choice is purely personal; sometimes I like to mix species offish, sometimes I don't. Each has advantages and disadvantages. The swordtails are not the only aquatic animals in the tank. There are snails, too. What kind of snails? As devoted readers of this series know, my favorite snail is the Red Ramshorn. I won't belabor you with their virtues, having already waxed poetic about them (see Part One of this series in the January 2001 issue). Suffice it to say that they help keep the aquarium, and especially the leaves of the Anubias, virtually algae free. They also clean up whatever food the swordtails don't eat. I only feed the fish about once a day, and sparingly. This, combined with regular water changes, has kept the water quality in optimum condition (caveat: remember, we're talking about six small fish, each two inches in length, in a 20 gallon tank). This tank is easy to maintain and beautiful to look at. It summarizes the "rules" for successful aquarium husbandry. Low fish populations, sparse feedings, regular water changes, and plants are the recipe for the enjoyment of our aquatic glass cases.

April 2001

Photos and captions of our March meeting by Claudia Dickinson Craig Morfitt, President of the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society, relaxes after a stellar performance as our guest speaker of the evening.

Dr. Paul Loiselle, dedicated to the conservation of the flora and fauna of Madagascar, as well as many other regions, takes a well deserved evening's respite with the GCAS.

Speaking on Lake Malawi, Craig Morfitt (center), President of the Bermuda Fry-Angle Aquarium Society, attracts a full house, with standing room only!

Joseph Brotherson has fast become a part of the GCAS family!

| The father and son team of Richard and Andrew Haverlin enjoy an evening together offish and fun!

April 2001

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

Future Greater City Events: Date: May 2, 2001 Speaker: Karen Randall - Topic: The Planted Aquarium Date: June 6, 2001 Speaker: Sal Silvestri - Topic: Apistogramma - The Diminutive Fish Filled With Beauty and Charm Date: September 5, 2001 Speaker: Dr. Paul Loiselle - Topic: A Journey to Madagascar and Our Role in Preserving its Future

Future North Jersey A.S. Events: Date: April 19 Speaker: Jack Waltz - Topic: Setting up a Pond Date: May 17 Speaker: Bruce Gebhardt - Topic: Native Fish Date: June 21 Speaker: Chris Borgese - Topic: ACA Convention (All meetings at 8PM at the American Legion in Nutley, NJ See Page 21 for contact information) Also, see Page 16 for information on the NJAS sponsored American Cichlid Association Convention!

Future Long Island A.S. Events: Date: April 20 Speaker: John Murphy - Topic: Lake Malawai and its Cichlids Date: Sunday, May 6th Annual Auction Date: May 18 Speaker: Julian Sprung - Topic: Feeding Marine Animals and Invertebrates (All meetings at 8PM at Holtsville Park and Zoo, Holtsville, NY See Page 21 for contact information)

Future Brooklyn A.S. Events: Date: April 13 Speaker: Scott Michael - Topic: Reef Fish...Rainbows of the Sea Annual Marine Event (see Page 15 for more information) Date: May 11 Speaker: Bing Seto - Topic: Discus World Date: June 8 Speaker: Morgan Lidster - Topic: Reef Aquariums - Surviving and Thriving (All meetings at 8PM at NY Aquarium, Brooklyn, NY See Page 21 for contact information) We invite local societies to contact us for reciprocal promotions of events in each society's publication, on a space available basis.

April 2001

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

about 13 inches and were outgrowing their 75 gallon home. At that point, it was either purchase a tank such as a 180 gallon wide for them, or find them a new home somewhere else. Of course, I favored the 180 wide, but there was really no room for a tank that size, not to mention the fear that a tank that large and heavy would crash right through the floor of my apartment and into my downstairs neighbor! Fortunately, Bernie Harrigan had two empty 100 gallon tanks in his store, and was more than pleased to house them. Which leads us to some advice that goes for many fish, not just Tinfoil Barbs: if you are not sure how large a fish will grow, and do not have the proper facility to house it at full size, fight the urge to

purchase it, and choose something smaller. Do not ever assume that a fish will only grow to the size of the tank it is in. I still have a dream of someday setting up a fish room that will house all my "wish" tanks. One of those would be a 180 gallon, or larger tank that would house about 6 Tinfoil Barbs. If you have a very large tank, with lots of room in it, and want to keep larger, undemanding, fish in that tank, I cannot think of a better candidate than the Tinfoil Barb. For the large fish devotee, this is truly a "fun fish."

Vesicularia dubyana by DOUG CURTIN his emerald green plant consists of small stems, irregularly branched, with leaves arranged in two rows. It spreads itself over the surface of stones and other decorations with a green carpet appearance, increasing the natural look of your aquarium. It is cultivated under shady conditions. Hey, this sounds like a great plant. One day, while observing one of my 2Vi gallon restored stainless steel aquariums containing dwarf swordplants and an Anubias nana, I noticed a plant with the above description. It was growing in one corner of the aquarium, and branching through the dwarf swords. The leaves of this plant were an emerald green. The aquarium in which I noticed this plant is clean, with no algae. It houses approximately 25 fish, which are a cross between a female of my old strain of Gold Trinidad Guppies (the strain is over 52 years old) with a half black red male. The temperature in that aquarium is 60째F as of this writing. The light source is a double 40 watt fluorescent shop light with shield, situated 10 inches above a row of five 2V4, one 3 gallon, and one 4 gallon stainless aquarium, all on a shelf 13 inches from my basement floor. The aquarium with the fern-like plant is first in the row and, therefore, gets the least light. The discovery of this plant, supposedly from nowhere, brings my total of different types of plants under cultivation to 27.



Now, how did this plant happen to get in my perfectly balanced aquarium (with snails, gravel, plants, and fish, and without a filter or heater)? Upon wracking my brain, I concluded that the fern-like plant came with the Anubias nana, which traveled from Wilmington, Delaware (the home of fellow aquarist Dan Gawiak) to Sun City, Florida, staying in a half gallon mayonnaise jar on a sunny window sill (a definite no-no) for five weeks, and then returning 1,200 miles by car back to New York. Obviously, everything in the jar survived the ordeal. I feel the fern-like plant will take over the aquarium if it is not thinned out. The plant is really beautiful, and I enjoy viewing it. I mention this fact because of what I have since learned. After cultivating aquatic plants for 40 plus years, there is still room for learning. One plant I have avoided over the years, because it has a tendency to take over the aquarium, is Java Moss. You guessed it, Vesicularia dubyana is commonly known as Java Moss. I found the information on the last page of A Fishkeepers Guide To Aquarium Plants, put out by Tetra Press. Horrors. Why is it on the last page? Since having this frightening revelation, I have decided, due to the beauty of this plant, to keep it under cultivation, but only in one aquarium. I don't want it working its way through my plumbing, and getting revenge in my bathtub.

April 2001

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

ccond Reprints deserving a second look Selected by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST his month, instead of one reprint, we're doing something a bit different. Reproduced below are two short reprints. The first reprint is an article on breeding Bristlenose Catfish. The second article is a book review of the same book (North American Native Fishes for the Home Aquarium) that is reviewed in Modern Aquarium's own book review column, "Wet Leaves," this month. This should prove interesting in comparing how two different reviewers rate the same book.


Bristlenose Catfish Spawning Report by William Shreves III (YATFS) Bristlenose catfish are best known in the aquarium hobby for the great job they do in keeping the aquarium free of algae. They spend much of their time working over glass, rocks, or any other solid surface in the aquarium. They go along devouring all of the algae in the aquarium by "sucking" it from the surfaces with their specialized mouths. They are, in many aquarists' opinions, the best in performing this job. Bristlenose catfish belong to the family Loricariidae, or armored catfish. They are originally from South America. They are close relatives of many species of Plecostotnus, Otocinclus, Loricaria, Farlowella, and any other type of these sucking catfish. Bristlenose belong to the genus Ancistrus, of which there are many closely related species. They can grow up to six inches, with males generally growing larger than females. Males are also distinguished by the large amounts of bristles on the forehead. These bristles can vary in length, often branching off near the ends. The amounts, though can vary between individual the fish and species. Females have a short row of unbranched bristles on their upper lip. Often they may have none at all. The bristles begin to develop when the young fish is no more than one and one-half inches long, meaning that the sexes of these fish can be determined when they are about two inches in length. Bristlenose catfish have a number of features that allow them to survive in their Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

environment, which is normally fast flowing rocky streams. The eyes of Bristlenose catfish are unique in that the amount of light that enters the eyes is not controlled by the usual expanding and contracting of the pupil, but by a structure that originates from the top edge of the iris, and moves down across the pupil to vary the amount of light entering the eye. The mouth provides a way to hold onto the rocks in these fast flowing streams they live in, and as a way to scrape algae from solid surfaces, both of which can be performed at the same time. The interperculum of these fish has a cluster of sharp, curved spines, which can be extended outward, and pointed in a forward direction. This acts as a defense against being swallowed by a predator. The forward pointed angle, along with the Bristlenose's ability to move in any direction makes it possible for them to escape backwards out of a predator's mouth. Bristlenose catfish can move at a remarkable speed when they want to, scuttling across rocks with great agility. For this reason, they would not be an easy target for a predator anyway. The male of the Bristlenose species is a great parent. They will guard the eggs and newlyhatched fry until they are free-swimming. A female will lay between 40 and 100 eggs, each one about an eighth of an inch in diameter and orange in color. The eggs are laid in a cluster that sticks to the side or top of a cave. The male will then guard the eggs, cleaning them with his

April 2001


mouth and fanning water over them with his fins. The eggs will hatch in about 6 days, depending on the brood. When they hatch, they look like eggs with tails. They then remain with the male for another 5 days or until their egg sacks are absorbed. When they grow to about a half an inch long, they will become independent. If the male did not care for the eggs, they would become fungused and die; his care is necessary for their survival. In an aquarium Bristlenose catfish have been known to live and breed for up to thirteen to fourteen years before they die. The water for these fish should be soft, neutral to slightly alkaline. The temperature should be anywhere from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They require plenty of cover and rocks to hide around, and will spend a lot of time hidden. But they also

spend a lot of time working.their way around on solid surfaces cleaning algae. They will not harm most plants in the aquarium, but some larger species will harm soft leaved plants. Although they are by nature algae eaters, they will accept most types of food offered in the aquarium to other fish and will do a good job cleaning the bottom of the tank. I would recommend putting a piece of driftwood in the tank for it seems that they like to spend time eating on it. The fry and parents will eat almost any green food. Soft cooked green peas, spinach, pumpkin and, what works best for me, zucchini. Reprinted from the March/April 2001 issue of The Youngstown Aquarist, the publication of the Youngstown Area Tropical Fish Society (Ohio)

Book Review:

North American Native Fishes for the Home Aquarium by David M. Schleser, published by Barren's, 1998, 170 pages, 119 color photos Review by Nancy Johnson (PVAS) I ordered this book from a seller on eBay because I'm interested in fish of the Chesapeake Bay. We have a house on the Nanticoke River, which is a marshy area with lots of creeks. The only fish I've ever kept in an aquarium is the sheepshead minnow, the males of which have a flash of bright blue on their heads. This is a very nice book, but being brief, it doesn't cover a large number of fishes. It does have a fair amount of information on the darters, sunfish and sticklebacks. The photos are very well done. I just wish the book had more of them! One of Native Fishes strengths is the sections on keeping "Reasons to Keep Native Fishes," "Fish Taxonomy and Anatomy," "Status of Our Native Fishes," and "The Native Fish Aquarium." Also included are good instructions on the tools you need, and the methods to use, to catch fish.

For someone who has never kept an aquarium before, this books gives a concise, yet fairly thorough, description on how to set up and maintain an aquarium. It also covers diseases and treatments, although I was disappointed that it didn't suggest salt and raised temps for ich. The book wraps up with a glossary, bibliographical references, an index and tables of abbreviations, equivalents, and conversions. For a small book, it does cover a lot of territory. In short, I would recommend this small, inexpensive book for your library. It's a good book for younger readers as well, as the writing is very clear and easy to understand. It would be a particularly nice gift for someone who would like to catch and keep some native fishes, but who doesn't have a lot of experience with aquarium keeping. Reprinted from the January/February 2001 issue of Delta Tale, the publication of the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (Virginia)


April 2001

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

With the fresh perspective of partaking as a scribe at some of the upcoming shows, let's take a look at the upcoming NEC Calendar of Events: April 8th: Exotic Fish Society of Hartford Auction. April 13th: Brooklyn Aquarium Society Marine Event & Auction. April 21st~22nd: Tropical Fish Club of Burlington Show & Auction. April 29th: Monadnock Region Aquarium Club Auction. May 6th: Long Island Aquarium Society Auction. May 18th~20th: Aqua-Land Aquarium Society Show & Auction. June 2nd: NEC General Meeting. July 12th~15th: North Jersey Aquarium Society/American Cichlid Association Convention. Take Care and Enjoy!


Congratulations to the Year 2000 NEC Award Winners: 2000 - Best Article - Advanced Class

2000 - Best Overall Newsletter

1st Karen Randall - Boston A.S. "Recipe for Setting up a Planted Aquarium" 2nd Tom Neal - New Hampshire A.S. "My Child's First Aquarium"

Brooklyn Aquarium Society - "Aquatica" 2000 - Best Column 1st Michael Rosenthal - Brooklyn A.S. "Killie Forum"

2000 - Best Article - Open Class 1st Joseph Ferdenzi - Greater City A.S. "Rock Dwellers of Lake Tanganyika: A Selective Overview" 2nd Peter Langevin - Boston A.S. "Home Brew Fish Equipment Experiments with a Wet Dry Filter" 3rd James White - Pioneer Valley A.S. "The Breeding of Melanotania Splendida Splendida"

2nd Ed Katuska - Norwalk A.S. "Did You Know?" 3rd Bernard Harrigan - Greater City A.S. "Fun Fish" 2000 - Show Competition 1st Thomas Miglio - Greater City A.S. - 1371 points 2nd Larry Jinks - North Jersey A.S - 1076 points

2000 - Best Article - Junior Class 1st Katie Bomba - Worcester A.S. "Fish" 2nd Stephanie DeMent - Norwalk A.S. "Diary of a New Young Breeder" 3rd Will Jeffries - Tropical Fish Club of Burlington "Cuckoo Catfish" 4th Will Jeffries - Tropical Fish Club of Burlington "Fathead Minnows" 14

3rd Chris Borgese - North Jersey A.S. - 865 points Show Competition Junior Award Nigel Bisbing - North Jersey A.S. Show Competition - Club Award North Jersey Aquarium Society - 297 entries 2000 - Betty Mueller Award David and Janine Banks April 2001

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

2001 A Cichlid Odyssey ACA Convention Parsippany Hilton, Parsippany NJ ACA 2001: A CICHLID ODYSSEY. The Annual Convention of the American Cichlid Association lands in the NY-NJ Metro Area July 12-15 at the luxurious Parsippany Hilton Hotel. Hosted by the North Jersey Aquarium Society. Open to the general public. The most celebrated, anticipated aquarium event of the New Millennium features a Who's Who of guest speakers: Dick Au, Pam Chin, Rosario LaCorte, Wayne Leibel, Paul Loiselle, Oliver Lucanus, Ole Seehausen, Mike Sheridan, plus presentations by the Discus, Apistogramma, and South American Study Groups! 24-Class Competitive Show featuring hundreds of top cichlids! All-day/night Giant Cichlid Auction! Vendors galore selling hard-to-find livestock, books, and supplies! Manufacturer Expo of the latest products with free samples! ) Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, South Street Seaport, NY Aquarium tours! Plus our legendary hospitality rooms, Awards Banquet, swimming pool, basketball, tennis. Bring the whole family or come for the day! For more information: www.aca2001.com call: (877) 903-NJAS or write to: ACA 2001, P.O. Box 591, Nutley, NJ 07110 16

April 2001

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

WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST hat first fish on the cover looks like a Characin of some kind, and the second one looks like, well, I'm not sure what that one might be. Shame on me? Probably so! I know more about fish from South America, Africa, or Asia than I do about fish in my own back yard. This book can be a first step in changing that. The author calls our attention to the fact that "There is much yet to be learned about the biology, breeding habits, and even natural ranges of many of our native fishes. This is in part due to the scarcity of biologists devoting their professional lives to the study of nongame, or nonendangered species." Aquarists who have an eye on conservation can make significant contributions to the accumulated knowledge in this area. After a brief overview of the taxonomy and anatomy of fishes in general, we move on to Chapter Three - "Status of our Native Fishes." It is not a pretty picture, folks. We start with the exciting fact that there are 800 species of fishes in North America; the most diverse population of temperate water fishes anywhere in the world. It is all downhill from there. "Due mainly to the actions of humans, many of our native fish populations are rapidly declining." Thirty one fish have become extinct since Columbus discovered America!! Damming of rivers, draining of wetlands, pollution from agriculture, industry, and municipalities, acid rain, poorly planned forestry projects; the list of causes goes on and on. We return to more general information on tanks, filters, water parameters, gravel, etc. Seasoned aquarists have been there and done that, and beginners would need more in-depth coverage of these topics. The publishers could have saved a tree by omitting Chapters Four and Five. The chapters on Nutrition, Health, and Aquarium Care lead us where we want to go — into the streams, lakes, swamps, and other waterways of America to meet the fishes. Darters, Sunfish, Shiners, Killifish, Mollies, and even a few Cichlids are among those mentioned. There is plenty of useful, specific information


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

along with good quality photographs, many of which were taken in the author's own tanks. Each fish is also represented by a color-coded map which clearly shows what areas they inhabit. Here are some excerpts from the section on the Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus): Brilliant coloration, black earflap tipped with red and edged with white. They inhabit any body of non-flowing water. They prefer abundant plant growth. They reach a length of 8"-10". They will readily spawn in a home aquarium, with at least a 40 gallon tank. If you are new to keeping Sunfish, this is an excellent fish to begin with. It is strikingly beautiful, adapts quickly to an aquarium, and is not too aggressive. Recommended tank mates — Bullhead Catfish and Yellow Perch. Preferred foods in nature are snails and freshwater shrimps. This fish can be confused with the Red-Ear Sunfish, which is not as well suited to aquarium life. Sources listed for acquiring native fishes include collecting your own, dealers in live bait, other hobbyists, and yes, even pet stores. The author recommends that anyone interested in native fishes seek out membership in the North American Native Fishes Association* (NANFA). This is a national organization dedicated to the captive husbandry, c o n s e r v a t i o n , and natural biology of native fish species. T h i s is wonderful reading. You can skim a lot of the general topics, and get your dip nets wet in the second half of the book. There is a Glossary which added a few new words to this reader's vocabulary. A list of addresses and literature, as well as an Index, bring this volume to a close. In my opinion, the collecting, nurturing, and study of native fishes would be an excellent way to interest children in conservation, as well as fishkeeping. This book mjght be a good starting place. Mr. Schleser counsels us that "We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well — for we will not fight to save what we do not love." By the way, the two fish on the cover of this book are a pair of Red Shiners (Cyprinella lutrensis), which are native to the Midwestern states. "NAMFA c/o Konrad Schmidt 1663 Iowa Avenue. St. Paul, MN 55106 schmi@tc. unm. edu

April 2001






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April 2001

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

Smile, You're on Undy's Camera! A series by "The Undergravel Reporter"


very so often, generally after reading the latest issue of an aquarium magazine, I get it into my mind that I can take photos of my fish that look as good as those I see in the books and magazines. The reason behind this grand delusion is probably because it seems as if it should be such an easy thing to do. After all, the fish are contained in a relatively small box, so they should be easy to find. In addition, even the smartest fish are really pretty stupid, as compared to a human; so it should not be too hard to get them (the fish) to do exactly what I (a vastly more intelligent human) want them to do. From past experience, I discovered that a flash, whether attached to, or built-in your camera, usually produces a photograph closely resembling a supernova. What happens is that the camera's flash is reflected by the water and glass of the aquarium, and that reflection is all you see in the photograph. Supposedly, mounting a flash on top of the aquarium will prevent this problem. Unfortunately, trying to figure out where to aim the flash so that it will illuminate a fish that happens to pass in view of your camera, instead of illuminating a rock or empty space, is somewhat more difficult than trying to find the exact location of the lost continent of Atlantis. Back in the days of 8mm movie photography, there were "movie lights" that were big, clumsy, very hot, and, most importantly, worked very well. So, I dug out some of these lights and angled them to reflect down and into the tanks. This now gave more than enough light for me to photograph my tank, It also caused all of my fish to hide behind every rock and plant


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

available, including those fish that are always out in front and begging for attention. (At this point, let me explain that I wanted to photograph my fish in their own tank, not in a bare "photography" tank.) Now, I could have left the lights on for several hours to get the fish used to this new development. But, do you remember how I described these lights? Well, "hot" is only putting it mildly. It soon became apparent that I was either going to have to turn off the lights, or get ready to feast on bouillabaisse, as I watched in amazement how rapidly the thermometer on the side of the tank was inching up. O.K., scrap those old lights. I borrowed a camera light designed for those new "low light" camcorders from a friend. This light was small, light, and even cool. It also wasn't very bright and had to be aimed like a flashlight. With camera in one hand, and this light in the other, I tried staying perfectly still in front of an aquarium until the fish forgot I was there. As my arms and legs started to fall asleep, and the cramp in my back and knees became more pronounced, I realized that the fish were a lot more comfortable than I was, and could wait in hiding for much longer than I could wait for them to come out of hiding. Next, I took the hood off of the tank I was trying to photograph. I placed across the top of the tank light fixtures from several different tanks. I turned on the fixtures and shut off the lights in the room. I then left the room for a few hours. Finally, the fish stopped hiding (at least most of them). Keeping all the other lights in the room off, I slowly approached the tank and started taking photos. Out of a roll of 36 exposures, I wound up with only four shots of anything that I could identify as a fish, and none that I could really say came anywhere close to the magazine quality I thought would be oh so easy to achieve. Well, I haven't given up yet. I certainly don't intend to let a tank of fish get the better of me! There is a new product on the market that lets you put a light inside the tank (yes, without electrocuting yourself or the fish). I'm going to try that next. If that doesn't work, my next project will be to see if I can somehow make use of those new disposable "waterproof cameras. And, if all else fails, I intend on building a photography tank, something I have been avoiding until now. So, if in one of the future issues of this magazine, you see a photo credit reading: "photograph by the Undergravel Reporter," you'll know I finally succeeded!

April 2001

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Welcome, New and Renewing Members: Raymond Albanese,

Angelo Cavallo,

Raymond J. LoPinto,

Stephen & Donna Sica

Bowl Show winners last month: 1) Diane Wirth - Tricolored Shark 2) Greg Wuest - Pseudocrenilabrus philander 3) Charles Loweth - Betta splendens September 2000 - June 2001 Season uti&fficial totals Wdate: 1) Pat Coushaine - 21 pointew,:¥.^^TEric Abrams, Joe Pardfenzi, Dilft%:^irth (tie) - 5 points 3) Al & Sue Priest -^folnts"' 4) Greg ^||st -jj1|oin|| :;|: _:::::. : ""%|:. 5) Doug Curtin -J: points ^*& '::^|| Charle^liiwdiii|p 1 ||pt j||| $$*^ ''%.•,.

Special upcoming GCAS events: June 6, ?(S6l - Skilleci aquarist Sal Silvestri (Norwalk Aqua|i|i|:;|x|pety) will b|::;||eakin| on njip: The Diminutive Fish Filled With Beau^:::|||l^|i|i?' !§eptember £s%001 - Distinguished author, lecturer, .^j^^j^^^^Freshwater Fishes for the Ne\fe ii^ork Ai^ljpm, Dr. Paul Loiselle, will speak..|3||§^$|^iJ§ii^^ Madagascar and n Preserving "its Future." .v::*::^ ing times and loca|i^iSs of aquariuni soctiiii||§i||;ihe Metropolitan New York AQUARIW S©pEi;¥ Next Sheeting: May 2 Sp|i$|igr: Karen Randall tSplf'The 8pi|i^||ueens Contiact: 3|fr, JittisephJF|ri9enzi Tele^onel|71f8) 7(^^91 |:;;::::GrpteriG||^(^compuserve.com


Society :;||||||i||;|^lpichael |i|i|||i|li|||:psh-Rainbows of the |||p|§§||i|on Hall, N.Y. Aquarium -; ||||||lli:;i|l^ , Brooklyn, NY^^^iyfilione: (7llfi37-44||f www .brooklynaqu|||ftiT[ilOQiQj|; l=5:rg

v.... .if each •B^tanical::|rard6i::::;;:;;:::;:^:s Sibdier ^1

Long Island Aquarium

. Dpn;|i;urtin Nliiau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M. month at Holtsville Park and Zoo/ ll Buckley Rd. Holtsville, NY 11801 Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066 See page 8 for upcoming events

Tuesday of each l|||iilWWWiiliiam 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 See pages 8 and 16 for upcoming events

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)

April 2001

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

April 2001 volume VIII number 4

Modern Aquarium  

April 2001 volume VIII number 4