Page 1




volume VIII number 7

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York



Series III

Vol. VIII, No. 7

September, 2001


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Editor's Babblenest


President's Message


The Greater City 80th Anniversary Show A First Look


The Allure of Killies: Fish With Banners


Breeders Award Program Update


The Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor


Fun Fish (The Freshwater Sharks - part I) ...



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Author Award Program Report Award . , . ^ v^dnen Feuef and: : i Mark Sofeerman EarK •',rivals ; : |

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Aiexander : A, pnest T:echniia1 Ecutor . . ._ A PosiUQruGPBf*; E>1;ic,riai: Assistant . :C:faudia. DickinsG^;; ^=.C;to.-Lay'o-jt Editor: , . , : Ja:son Director: , ' S'&msld Hatngon' M:gr:;>;v,, .';,':.-Mafk. : £o : Defm3ST Executive; Ecijtbf : . , Joseph Terci^Rzt Printing By Postal Press

Memories of the 2001 AC A Convention

13 ...


FAASinations (FAAS Delegate Report)


Wet Leaves (Book Review)


The Frugal Aquarist - Part I


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 /great ercity

The Allure of Killies: Fish With Banners by JOSEPH FERDENZI


y memory on this point is quite clear. I don't remember the year with certainty; it could have been 1966, or '67, or even '68. But, I distinctly remember what triggered my life-long fascination with killifish. It occurred while I was visiting my grammar school classmate and friend, Mike Graziano (he and I are still friends and in touch, although Mike has long since moved to Florida). Mike and I had a mutual interest in tropical fish, and Mike's room housed his collection of five aquariums. On that particular visit, he showed me a "new" book he had acquired. It was new in the sense that it was not a used book, but it was not new in the sense that it was the 19th Edition Revised of one of the most famous books (if not the most famous) in American aquarium history: Exotic Aquarium Fishes by William T. Innes. This version of the 19th Edition Revised had been published by Metaframe (the so-called "yellow" edition), and was an inexpensive reproduction of the ones published by Innes himself. Inexpensive or not, I had never seen the book before, and to me it was a thing of wonder. In the Metaframe edition, all the color photos and drawings were grouped together at the end of the book. As I scanned the photos, one of them stopped me dead in my tracks: it was a photo of a male Blue Gularis, then known by the scientific name of Aphyosemion caeruleum (for at least the past 20 years, it has been correctly known as Fundulopanchax sjoestedti). This fish was, to my mind, the most colorful and exotic freshwater fish I had ever seen in a picture. One very useful feature of the Innes book, which many aquarium books unfortunately lack, was a guide to the pronunciation of scientific names (Aphyosemion, for example, is pronounced "Aff ee-o-see"me-on" and, of greater interest to me, a guide to their meaning or derivation. Hence, I learned that Aphyosemion was derived from Latin or Greek, and meant "small fish with a banner." This seemed an appropriate name, especially given the distinctively beautiful tri-lobed tail sported by the male Blue Gularis. While nothing would dim my fascination for the exquisite Blue Gularis, I began to realize that the other Aphyosemion species photographed Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

for the Innes book were also startlingly colorful. Indeed, as I came to realize and have believed to this day, it would be difficult (if not impossible) to find a group of wild freshwater fishes more colorful than the Aphyosemion (into which I subsume the Fundulopanchaxwhich, superficially, are indistinguishable in general appearance from the Aphyosemion). These fish present a veritable riot of color in an elegant shape and with "banners" (fins) to match — but only in males, the females being mostly a uniform beige with clear and rounded fins (no "banners" for them because, of course, they don't have to attract spawning partners the way the males do). Incidentally, while the Aphyosemion are only found in Africa, there are hundreds of species to choose from. Nor are these killies difficult to maintain in the home aquarium. To begin, as a group, the Aphyosemion are generally small fish. Ironically, the one that first caught my eye, the Blue Gularis, is one of the largest — robust males can reach six inches in length. But, some of the more popular ones, such as Aphyosemion australe, A. bivittatum, A. striatum, and Fundulopanchax gardneri are 3" or smaller when full grown. A pair will contentedly reside in an aquarium as small as 2Vz gallons, and several pairs can be maintained in a 10 gallon tank. In the confines of an aquarium, it becomes important only that you provide sufficient hiding spots so that the females can escape, if they wish, the aggressive breeding overtures of the males. This can be easily accomplished by the profuse employment of live or artificial plants. Ideal live plants include Java Moss, Java Fern, Water Sprite, and the floating Salvinia. Bushy artificial plants, including home-made spawning "mops" (see Modern Aquarium, November 1999, for an article on constructing those), can be used effectively as well. If these are not at hand, driftwood, stones, and flowerpots will do. These fish are not very fussy about pH. Just about anything between 6.5 (acidic) and 7.5 (alkaline) will do. The key to their well-being is to keep up with a schedule of partial water changes. A good regimen would be 10% every week, or 20% every two weeks.

September 2001

One other word about their tanks is vital: keep them covered. Most killies are notorious jumpers, and Aphyosemion are no exception. Make sure even small holes, such as where airline tubing or heaters are positioned, are covered up with duct tape or some other material. I can recall a pet shop owner who received a shipment of twelve A. scheeli, but forgot to cover two small triangular openings in their tank's canopy. By the next morning, eleven of the twelve had jumped out and were dead. For both rearing and breeding these killies, cooler is better than hotter. Therefore, a temperature range of 70°F to 74°F suits them just fine. However, for short spells, these killies can tolerate very extreme temperatures. Recently, a 5l/2 gallon tank housing four A. bivittatum experienced a stuck heater. When I discovered the malfunction, the water temperature was already in excess of 100°F! The fish were all in serious distress, but alive! I quickly intervened — a 50% water change with cold tap water brought the temperature down to the low 80 °s — and all of the fish survived. They are still laying good eggs, seemingly no worse for the heat wave. And, speaking of breeding, with most Aphyosemion this is relatively easy. In fact, if you have a male and a female, I would challenge you to try and stop them from breeding. When they are in their reproductive prime—roughly from one to three years of age — they are virtual breeding machines. Females will lay one to several eggs almost every day of their lives. These fish do not form pair bonds, so you can keep several females and males together (but better to have more females than males). Watch the aggressiveness of the males, however. In confined spaces with insufficient hiding places, a dominant male can rough up or even kill females and lesser males. If you cannot manage a group of four or more pairs because of limited resources, then your best bet is to keep one male with two females (three females is even better). As I said, these killies are breeding machines, and getting them to lay eggs is no problem as long as the water is clean and the food plentiful and nutritious (they are very fond of live worms and brine shrimp). Males and females are often "conditioned" in separate tanks before being placed together in the breeding tank. The difficult part is in collecting the eggs and raising the fry. Of course, you could leave the eggs in the plants or gravel where they have been laid, and remove the adults. This has the advantage of being easier, but the disadvantage of not knowing how many eggs were laid or being able to exercise any control over then- maintenance and hatching rates.

Control over their hatching is important for at least one reason: older fry will cannibalize younger fry. The fry themselves are relatively large and easy to feed. On the day they hatch, most Aphyosemion will consume baby brine shrimp. They also grow relatively fast. That is why, if left to hatch naturally, the first fry to emerge in a breeding tank will almost certainly look to make a meal of siblings that hatch even as little as two weeks later. On the other hand, if you collect eggs every day or every other day, and store them in a container of water, you try to induce them to all hatch simultaneously. This usually can be accomplished by waiting till the eggs — which start out clear — darken to brown, meaning that the embryo is fully developed or, in the parlance of fish breeders, "eyed up." You then take these "eyed up" eggs and transfer them to a small jar with an airtight lid that is filled almost to the top with water from the tank into which they will be placed after they hatch (keep this tank small, a 2V-z or even a plastic shoe box will do). To this jar add a pinch of newly hatched brine shrimp, microworms, or powdered food (I mean a real tiny pinch). Then place this jar in your pocket or, as I do, drop it to the bottom of one of your deepest tanks (careful, don't literally drop it so it breaks!). After some hours of riding around in your pocket or feeling the pressure at the bottom, the eggs (if they were "eyed up" sufficiently) will all begin to hatch. Voild\y are ready to be transferred to their small rearing aquarium and ready to be fed. Killie keepers are notorious for having numerous small tanks and plastic containers strewn about their fish room in order to accommodate different generations, of fry (albeit all born in the same month). When they have all reached their adult size (or close to it), they can be kept together. I have found over the years (that's at least 20 years) of keeping Aphyosemion that most of them will eat most everything "normal" aquarium fish will eat. A. australe and gardneri will eat flake food. The larger Blue Gularis will eat small cichlid pellets. Of course, like any "normal" aquarium fish, they relish live food. But, they will also do very well on frozen food or homemade gelatin (paste) foods. By the way, you can keep Aphyosemion killifish in community aquariums. As long as you keep them with similarly sized fish, you should have no problems. Therefore, for example, full-grown Blue Gularis and Neon Tetras are not compatible except insofar as the Neons would be compatible with the inside of the stomach of a Blue Gularis. The downside to keeping them in a community aquarium is that, barring luck or unless

September 2001

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




&[phposemion striatum

Gfundulopanchax gardneri

&undulopanchax sjoestedti ("(The 速lue Qalaris")

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

September 2001

the aquarium is very heavily planted, you will not get fry. Of course, most fish kept in a community aquarium are not as likely to breed successfully as when kept by themselves, so that drawback doesn't distinguish killies. The Aphyosemion will enjoy the same lifespan as your other average tropicals (such as terras, barbs, and livebearers) — contrary to the popular misconception, most killifish (and this includes all the Aphyosemion) are not "annuals," i.e., fish that live only one year. Let's see, I've covered tank set-up, water quality, temperature, feeding, breeding, and raising fry. What have I left out? Oh yea, where do you get these damn killies? Well, I remember that, when I was a youngster in the hobby, they never seemed to appear in the local pet shops, at least not the exotic Aphyosemion, as opposed to species like the native Flag Fish (Jordanella floridae) or the very plain Rice Fish (Oryzias latipes). Oh sure, we could take the "E" or "F" train to downtown Manhattan and visit the most famous pet shop in America, the Aquarium Stock Company. They often had several species of exotic killies, primarily Aphyosemion, such as the Blue Gularis. But, the prices they charged were beyond the means of a boy with a very modest allowance already frittered away on my other fish, candy, and comic books. As an aside, I'll admit that it never occurred to me to ask my parents for extra money because, as the oldest child of very hard-working immigrant parents, well, it never occurred to me that I could ask for extra money for something as obviously frivolous, though I wanted them very much, as

expensive tropical fish. It was not until I was a high school student that I spied a tank full of beautiful Aphyosemion gardneri, in a neighborhood petshop for sale at a price even I could afford ($2.98 a pair). (By the way, I didn't pull that price out of thin air; when I was in high school, I kept a detailed notebook on all my tropical fish activities.) At that price, I managed to buy two pairs of my first Aphyosemion. Boy, was I happy that day. My days of longing for more exotic killies ended when, responding to an ad that appeared in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine, I decided to join the American Killifish Association. This decision opened up the world of killies to me. By joining the A.K.A., I gained access to their monthly Fish and Egg Listing, and their membership roster, which led to meeting local killifish hobbyists. My friend, Dr. Paul Loiselle, renowned aquarist and ichthyologist, often wryly refers to the A.K.A. as the "American Aphyosemion Association." To be sure, there are many in the A.K.A. who are devoted enthusiasts of other killies. But, hey, what can you expect? After all, the Aphyosemion are fish flying beautiful banners that appeal to the human eye. I admit it: they caught me looking. P.S. If you're too timid to join the A.K.A., be aware that exotic killies do show up in local club auctions with some frequency. Check the auction bags for killies you might like to try. To join the A.K.A., please write to: A.K.A. Membership c/o Gary Bartell 280 Cold Springs Drive Manchester, PA 17345


Heterandria formosa Poecilia sp. "Endlers"

Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson TOTAL

Geophagus brasiliensis "Red" Cichlasoma synspilum Rineloricaria sp. Pelvicachromis taeniatus Neolampmlogus meleagris Julidochromis ornatus Labidochromis caeruleus

Warren Feuer TOTAL

Neolampmlogus ocellatus

5 5 10 15 20 15 10 15 15 10 100

Tom Miglio Tom Miglio TOTAL

Haplochromis nubilus Synodontis petricola

Charley Sabatino Charley Sabatino

Xiphophorus helleri Cichalosoma nicaraguense



5 10 15

Mark Soberman# Mark Soberman# Mark Soberman# Mark Soberman# Mark Soberman#

Simpsonichthys antenori Aphyosemion schiotzi Hyphessobrycon sp. Aphyosemion celiae Corydoras paleatus

TOTAL (plus most new spawnings)

15 15

15 30*

25* 20* 25* 20* 10 100

* - First recorded spawning in the GCAS # = Season leader based on points + new spawnings

September 2001

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

The Joseph Ferdenzi fcoll Ofjionor Or: GCAS Now Has An Award Named After a Live Person!


t our June 200 1 meeting, GCAS President Joseph Ferdenzi was surprised by Greater City ' s Board of Governors, who presented him with a plaque informing him that the highest honor Greater City can bestow on a member, the "Roll of Honor," has been renamed the "Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor." This came as a surprise to most of the members, this editor included. So, I asked members of the Board who were involved in this decision to briefly outline the background of this honor so that this story can be added to the many pages of GCAS history recounted on the pages of Modern Aquarium, most of which were written by Joseph Ferdenzi himself (and who often commented that the awards presented at the Annual Awards Banquet are always named in honor of a deceased member!). Al Priest, Editor

You Get the


his is my version of how the "Greater City Roll of Honor" award became the "Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor" award. I don't think I need to spend a great deal of time describing what Joe has meant to the Greater City Aquarium Society, or to the hobby itself. Instead, allow me to recall the events as I remember them. One evening, I believe it was in April of 2001, Mark Soberman, a fellow GCAS Board member, called me to say that Claudia Dickinson wanted to present Joe with a s p e c i a l a w a r d The plaque reads: acknowledging all he has JoejFerbenji done. While discussing President of the GCAS the matter, I stated that the is a most distinguished and exceptional aquarist, award should recognize a great leader, a skilled writer, a studied Historian of the GCAS and an eloquent speaker. someone who has A most caring individual, Joe's warmth and generosity advanced the reputation permeates the heart of the GCAS and recognition of and emanates all that we stand for. Greater City, acted unJoe is a mentor to many, and an inspiration to all. selfishly in promoting and It is with great honor, respect and pride that we, supporting GCAS, and in the Membership of the GCAS, general, done a on this day, tremendous amount for the June 6th 2001 entire hobby. dedicate our most prestigious award to Joe. Our Roll of Honor shall henceforth be titled the


"Joseph Ferdeazi Roll of Honor" Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

September 2001

After several minutes of discussion, Mark said "We already have an award like that, the Roll of Honor, let's just change the name of the award to recognize Joe." Mark offered to contact Claudia with that recommendation, and the rest, as they say, is history. At the June, 2001 GCAS meeting, the award was presented to Joe, and for once, he was left without words. It was all worth it, just for that moment!!!! Claudia, as the originator of all this, is really the best person to recount the events, and I understand her companion piece is included. Read that and enjoy. And Joe, just let me say that it is all well deserved. Well folks, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

By Claudia Dickinson pon the close of each GCAS meeting, there settles the great fulfilling warmth generated by the gathering of such a special group of individuals as are all of you. One person's presence pulls us together in his own subtle manner. There is not a meeting that doesn't find me overwhelmed with the desire to let this man know how very special he is to all of us, and to give him the honorable position in the history of the GCAS that he is so deserving of. One day, as I was writing on the legendary Guy Jordan, inspirational figurehead of the American Cichlid Association, so many words came to mind to describe him ~ distinguished, warm, caring, generous. As I read over the bountiful list of glowing adjectives that so perfectly portrayed this endearing gentleman, it became increasingly clear that not only was I writing of Guy, but of a man dear to all of our hearts, our own GCAS President, Joe Ferdenzi! A phone call to Vice President Mark Soberman marked the beginning of many enthusiastic correspondences back and forth as to what the most fitting honor would be for our celebrated President. The entire board was unanimous without hesitation, and all put their heads together to decide how to proceed.


Our spouses joined in, with great ideas from Robin Soberman and Brad Dickinson, who had his tools ready for final preparations of the plaque. The answer was so apparent that we did not at first see, but it was Mark who pointed out that our very highest honor of all, the "GCAS Roll of Honor," had no namesake. What possibly could be more perfect ~ it was as if that title had just been waiting for Joe. We all had a Grande Time in the final scramble of preparations! Even with the adept sleuthing abilities of Mark Soberman, obtaining a coveted GCAS Roll of Honor Pin to adorn the plaque proved practically impossible, as the "keeper of the pins" was none other than Joe himself! The plaque was chosen and prepared, and Brad's skilled ingenuity with his tools and glues were in action right up until departure time for the meeting. And so it was, on June 6th 2001, with the highest regard of respect and pride that we, the Greater City Aquarium Society, named our Roll of Honor the "Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor."

Thanks! We want to take this opportunity to thank the following businesses who, by their sponsorship of this magazine, and/or their generous donations to our raffles and auctions, provide much needed (and greatly appreciated) support to the Greater City Aquarium Society. Please remember their support of YOUR society the next time you have need of the services or merchandise they provide. Aquarium Systems Aquatic Foods, Inc (http://www.aquaticfoods.com) Avant Cameo Pet Shop Coral Aquarium Hagen Hikari 10

Kent Marine Kordon Marc Weiss Companies Mark Rubanow/Nassau Discus Marineland OSI Rainbow Lifeguard Second Nature September 2001

Tetra The Pet Barn Two Little Fishies Waltham Wardley/Hartz Mountain World Class Aquarium Zoo Med

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


The Fresh Water Sharks, Part I t was, I believe, the summer of 1975. I was at an upstate New York camp, working for the summer for a grand total of something like 45 dollars a week. Hey, I was away from the hot city for the summer, and,


retailers to market any fish they could as a shark, including several from fresh water. I want to state right off the bat that there are no true fresh water sharks. Just as there are no fresh water whales, barracudas, et cetera.

Tricolor (Bala) Shark, Balantiocheilus melanopterus more importantly, around lots of girls my age. So what if I had to work long hours in a hot kitchen cleaning up young campers' messes? It was well worth it. I received a letter from one of my friends back home, raving about a movie he had just seen. It was a movie that would have a tremendous impact on the lives of moviegoers, beach goers, and, eventually, even us tropical fish keepers. If you haven't already guessed, the movie was "Jaws," about that oversized eating machine doing its best to control population growth by humans. "Jaws" spawned a multitude of imitator movies, made sharks a source of constant fascination (to this day), and made everyone who saw it think twice about going in the water. It also encouraged tropical fish Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

drawing by Bernard Harrigan They are names given by retailers to make these fish attractive to perspective buyers. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss the scientific reasons why this is so. Let's just say that none of these so-called "sharks" eat, breathe, swim, or reproduce like their marine namesakes. With the above in mind, I will say that these fish do possess raised dorsal fins that bear a resemblance to the dorsal fin of the shark, and that is the main reason that they have been dubbed "sharks." I would like to start this mini-series by talking about one of the most commonly kept: the tri-color shark. This fish, a member of the cyprinid family, has a high three-colored dorsal fin, thus the name. It is also called the "bala

September 2001


shark," owing to its scientific name, Balantiocheilus melanopterus. While researching this article on the web, I saw occasional references to this fish as the "silver shark," as well. As far as keeping this fish goes, you could not hope for an easier fish, with several considerations in mind. It is a very active fish, which means it should be kept in a fairly spacious tank. I originally kept mine in a 30 gallon long, which they (I kept two at a time) quickly outgrew. In time, they even outgrew the 75-gallon tank they were moved to. My understanding is that they can grow to about 14 inches. In addition to swimming space, any tank they are kept in should be well covered, as they will jump. While not especially aggressive, they are gregarious, opportunistic feeders, so I would imagine that anything they could safely fit in their mouth is fair game — in other words, no neons, cardinals, guppies, and so on should be kept in their tank. While I cannot say with

certainty that they will eat smaller fish, my bet is that they will at least try to. I fed mine mostly flake and pellet foods, with occasional live food added to the mix. The water conditions they are said to prefer are soft, slightly acidic (in the 6 to 7 pH range.) They are large fish and the tanks they are kept in should be filtered appropriately. Many large cichlid keepers like to use them as target/dither fish because of their size, speed, and heartiness. I have commented before on my feelings about this practice, so I will skip the soapbox for now. To my knowledge, all the fish seen for sale are wild caught. There have not been any captive breedings that I am aware of, probably due to their large size and space requirements. Well, there you have it, part 1 in my series of articles about the fresh water sharks. This is definitely a fun, easy fish to keep, provided you meet its needs.

New Jersey Aquarium Show! Oct 27-28, 11am - 5pm Trailside Nature Center, Mountainside, NJ. 4 Want to see all the aquarium hobby has to offer? 4 Want to view some of the most beautiful tropical fish in the world? 4 Then bring the whole family. Saturday Oct 27: A multi-class fish show Workshops on breeding and collecting fish, low-maintenance tanks, and live plants. Sunday, Oct 28: Auction of rare and captive-bred aquarium fish, (most of which are not available retail), all at great prices! While you're there, rejuvenate your mind and body with a stroll through the natural history museum, children's discovery room, or on one of the many nature hikes through the Watchung Reservation. Open to the public ($1 donation per adult requested). Go to www.njas.net or call our Hotline at (732) 541-1392 for info on the event or how to enter your fish in one of the show classes. Sponsored by the famous, original North Jersey Aquarium Society.


September 2001

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

Author Award Program Report A Status Report From January to June 2001 his is an update on the points acquired by our authors, photographers, and illustrators from January through June of this year in Greater City's Author Award Program ("AAP"). While Greater City's season runs from September to June, Modern Aquarium, as most publications, uses a Volume and Number designation based on a calendar year. (The Federation of American Aquarium Societies and North East Council publication award programs are also calendar year based.) As a very brief recap of this program, each article of 500 words or less earns the author 5 points. An article over 500 words earns 10 points. An original illustration or inside photograph accompanying a related article is an additional 5 points each, to a maximum of 10 additional points. A "photo spread" of two or more related photos submitted with accompanying captions or text, and occupying one full page or more, is 20 points. An original photograph used as a color cover photo is 10 points. An original puzzle used on our "Fin Fun" page is 5 points. Each original cartoon (which need not be part of an article) is 5 points. "Bonus Points" of 10 points are awarded for each First, Second, or Third place award for articles awarded by either the North East Council of Aquarium Societies, or the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (excluding awards for columns, and/or artwork). These bonus points are given to the author for the year in which the award is announced, not the year the article was written and published. No points are awarded for reprints. In addition to award certificates for reaching specified levels, based on total points in all years of participation in the program, each 5 points accumulated during a calendar year gives the author one chance in our "Author's Only" raffle drawing at the GCAS Annual Awards Banquet in January of the following calendar year. Our next "Author's Only" raffle is a collection of books, including a new plant book by Amano, and some aquarium books published in England that are not available in the U.S.


Artwork/Photos Picture Drawing Puzzle

Cover Photo

Articles 500 words or less

Claudia Dickinson


Joe Ferdenzi3



Bonus1 Points


20 pts.


30 pts.




10 pts.


Charles Kuhne 1

Tom Miglio 4



10 pts.



JanSept 2001

Chances2 to date




50 ...



Warren Feuer

Al Priest3

Photo Essays


Doug Curtin

Bernard Harrigan

over 500 words












... ...

Susan Priest



Stephen Sica




10 pts.



20 pts.



Mark Soberman 6

Undergravel Reporter 1For NEC and/or FA AS awards announced this year Editorial Board members are ineligible for the Raffle Editorials and President's Messages are excluded

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

September 2001


Memories of the 2001 ACA Convention by JOSEPH FERDENZI


rom July 12 to 15, 2001, the North Jersey Aquarium Society (NJAS) hosted the annual American Cichlid Association (ACA) convention. It was held at the elegant Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, New Jersey. Much credit goes to both organizations for putting together a stupendous event. Hobbyists are especially indebted to the members of NJAS because otherwise this very special gathering would not have taken place in our area. The last ACA convention easily accessible to New York City/Metro hobbyists was held in 1985 in Cherry Hill, NJ (which is actually closer to Philadelphia). Sixteen years is an awfully long time between conventions, and I hope the next one around here won't be so long in the coming. The ACA Convention is a veritable riot of activity. There are magnificent fish in the competitive show. There are gads of breeders and retailers selling fish and other goods. There are manufacturers' representatives. Entertaining and informative speakers are presented for three days

running. And, best of all, there is a fun-filled and friendly atmosphere. I met old friends and made new friends. Many, if not most, of the luminaries of the cichlid world were there. One of my most vivid memories of the 2001 ACA Convention is of a Friday night "Dark and Stormy" (that's a tropical drink) party hosted by the Bermuda ACA'ers, led by ACA Board member Craig Morfitt, at which that story-teller par excellence Chuck Davis regaled us all night long with very funny stories about events and people in the hobby (I'm not sure what Chuck was drinking!). I also have many fond memories of seeing and meeting a lot of great people, especially legends like Rosario LaCorte and Ross Socolof, GCAS was represented by quite a few attendees — I won't name them all for fear of leaving someone out. Trust me; if you missed it, it's a shame. I had a great time there, and you would have too. These accompanying photos capture a few of the people who made the event so memorable.

Joe Ferdenzi with Dr. George Barlow, an ACA charter member and author of the recently published The Cichlid Fishes (Joe is holding a copy of the book).

GCAS members Warren Feuer and Mark Soberman (left to right) with Tony Orso in the hotel suite from which Tony was selling many exotic fishes.


September 2001

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

More GCAS members (left to right) Harry Faustman, Horst Gerber, Rich Levy, and Mark Soberman surround Rose Aynat, Tony Orso's assistant

At the Saturday night banquet (left to right) Horst Gerber, Claudia Dickinson (who is also on the ACA Board of Trustees), Joe Ferdenzi, and Warren Feuer. Joe is holding his Second Place plaque for a Julidochromis transcriptus (entered in Class 17 — Julidochromis and other Tanganyikan substrate spawners).

Another banquet scene — Joe with the Bermuda contingent. Standing with Joe is Nyon Steede. Sitting in front (left to right) are Dave Terceira, Amanda DeCouto, Carol Terceira, and Craig Morfltt (who is also an ACA Board member).

The fairer side of the GCAS presence (left to right) Claudia Dickinson, Danielle Soberman, Robin Soberman, and Anita Ferdenzi.

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

September 2001


Some Other Regional Events Also see events described on pages 12, 17, and on our Happenings page 23

September 21-23,2001 Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island 37th Anniversary Show and Auction! St. Josephs Parish Center 1303MendonRd. Cumberland R.I. Forms are available on the TFSRI website if you want to pre-register: http ://petsforum. com/tfsr i/

September 23, 2001 Danbury Area Aquarium Society Annual Auction Registration: 10:00am~ ll:30am Viewing of goods: ll:30am— 12:30pm Auction: 12:30pm - 5pm Carmel Firehouse Route 52 & Vink Drive Carmel, NY For more information, visit the Danbury Area Aquarium Society website at: http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/1164/

October 6-7, 2001 Norwalk Aquarium Society 35th Annual Tropical Fish Show and Auction Saturday, October 6, 2001 (Noon to 4:00 p.m.) Sunday, October 7, 2001 (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) Auction starts at 12:00 Noon The Nature Center for Environmental Activities Westport, Connecticut For more information, visit the Norwalk Aquarium Society website at: http ://norwalkas. org/



Mark Rubanow 205 8th Street, Hicksville, NY 11801 (516) 939-0267 or (516) 646-8699 (beeper)

morgansfin@aol.com 16

September 2001

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

FAASinations窶年ews From:

The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST


AAS Publication Awards: The July 2001 issue of The Federation Report ("FR") had the second half of the listings for the year 2000 Publication Awards. These are the same as I reported to you on these pages in June. As Chair of the FAAS Delegates' Council, I started a discussion in our e-mail group on possible changes in the existing Publications Awards rules. One item I suggested is the return of a judging class for "Articles Not In Any Other Class." While, to date, one FAAS Board member has expressed concern that this would be nothing but a "dumping ground" for poor quality articles (though why this category, and not any of the others, is beyond my comprehension), the Delegates who have commented so far support this idea. I have also suggested renaming several existing classes for clarification and to reflect the way they are actually being judged. I'll report more on this as our discussions progress.

FAAS Elections: ^ As I reported last issue, there were six candidates running for four Board of Directors positions. The four newly elected Board members are: Jan Benes (Greater Cincinnati A.S.), Roger Halleen (Tri County Tropical Fish Soc.), Patty Moncrief (Tampa Bay A.S.), and Mark Schmidt (Greater Chicago Cichlid Assn.). FAAS Photography Awards: There was no mention of the winners of the photography award contest in the latest FR. FAAS is always looking for people to volunteer their time to assist this international organization represent the interests of aquarists and assist individual societies. If you are interested, contact me.

The Brooklyn Aquarium Society is proud to present its 15th Annual GIANT FISH AUCTION

Friday, October 19, 2001


This is the big one! The main event fish auction. It's so big we moved it from the NY Aquarium Education Hall to the Golden Gate Motor Inn, located in nearby Sheepshead Bay, just off the Belt Parkway. Get your tanks ready and come prepared for a spectacular selection of some of the best fish, plants and dry goods available in the Northeast. No guest speaker. No bowl show, just bags and bags of top quality fish and plants, many of them tank raised and hard to find rare species. Viewing of fish starts at 7:30 PM Auction starts at 8:30 PM Golden Gate Motor Inn 3867 Shore Parkway & Knapp Street Brooklyn, NY

Directions By Car: Take the Belt Parkway to (Exit 9) Knapp Street - Get on service Road and go to light. Make a left at the light. The Golden Gate Motor Inn will be on your left. Make a left and a quick right into the parking lot. Enter the lobby and follow signs to the event. Free Admission 窶「 Free Parking 窶「 Free Refreshments 窶「 Free Fish Food Samples http://www.brooklynaqua r i umsoc i ety.org Calendar of events hotline: (718)837-4455

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

September 2001


Watch these pages for future announcements on

The Greater City Aquarium Society's


Show and Auction ~ at the ~ Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Parkway Floral Park, NY

May 4th ~ 5th, 2002

Happy 80th, GCAS!


September 2001

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

Chapter 20, called "Signs of Illness" is in the very friendly "what if format. Here are some examples. What if my fish vomits? What if my fish shakes its head? What if my fish has bubbles on it?

WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST ere any of you reading "Wet Leaves" in November of 1996 when I said that a good aquarium book was one that offered "subject matter of interest and usefulness to all levels of experience?" Well, this book definitely qualifies. Many an author has claimed to cover the entire arena of fishkeeping within one volume. In my experience, this book comes very close to being a "complete guide." In the Introduction, tropical fish are favorably compared to other pets in that they are quiet, do not require house training, and don't damage furniture. "They do, of course, require their owner to provide them with a life-support system." Does this make fishkeeping sound suspiciously like work? The authors have divided this book into three sections: 1) Fish Management, 2) Aquarium Management, and 3) The Fish In Health and Illness. Out of the 27 chapters, 11 are dedicated to fish health, clearly delineating this as a topic of major focus. I found Chapters 18, 19, and 20 to be particularly useful. Chapter 18 is called "The Healthy Fish." In addition to describing the normal, healthy appearance and behavior of most fish, there is a table which describes "Some Fish that Exhibit Abnormal Features as Normal." An example is the species Julidochromis (common name Julies), who occasionally swim upside-down, on their sides, or backwards. Chapter 19 is called "Prevention of Disease." The most basic precautions such as careful inspection of fish before purchase, and quarantine after, as well as how to keep from introducing a variety of pathogens and parasites into your aquarium are discussed. Prophylaxis, that is medicating your fish "just in case" they may have been infected, is discouraged.


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

Chapter 5, "Behavioral Problems," and Chapter 16, "Aquarium Crises," also use the "what if?" question-and-answer format. Chapters on subjects such as Classification or Decor wouldn't lend themselves as well to this format, but I would have liked to see more of it. Chapter 3, "The Main Families of Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish," and Chapter 8, "Breeding," are very general in their scope. This is to be expected in a book of this type, and cannot be considered a weakness. The authors made frequent use of parentheses to provide what I would call "instant definitions." An example of this is the use of the word "piscivore (fish eater)." This technique provided a high standard of clarity. Scattered throughout the text are Tables and Tips. The occasional color photos are not a major part of the presentation. Since the photos are of very common fish, they will be of most interest to the beginner. Comprehensive? Yes. Something for everyone? Yes. Perfect? No. A major draw-back is the absence of an index. For example, if you are new to fishkeeping and you want to read about infusoria or microworms, you won't be able to locate them unless you already know enough to turn to the chapter on Nutrition. Also, at only four and one half pages, the "token" Glossary just doesn't hold water. (This drawback, however, was quite adequately compensated for by the "instant definitions" I described earlier.) This book was so interesting that I had to keep stopping to read it. This really slowed down the process of reviewing it!

September 2001







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

















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September 2001

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

The Frugal Aquarist Parti A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

ilillliiilliiliiiiw he New York City area has many stores that base their marketing on the fact that all, or at least most, of the items in the store sell for a dollar or less. I've seen these stores in other cities and in other states, so I know it is not just a "Big Apple" phenomenon. Being a basically frugal person (a nice way of saying "cheapskate"), I find the lure of these stores irresistible. Being an aquarist, I always see what hobby bargains I can find. Because the content of these stores varies widely (both from store to store, and from visit to visit for each store), you may have to visit several such stores over a period of time to acquire all the aquaristic bargains I am going to begin to list this month. A turkey baster makes an ideal way to remove detritus from one gallon Betta bowls or from the bottom of spawning cages. It can also be used to retrieve various live foods. Shine a flashlight (another "Buck or Less" purchase) on a clear sided container of newly hatched brine shrimp, and the nauplii will swim towards the light. Use the baster to gather them and squeeze into a brine shrimp net held over a cup or container (from our "Buck or Less" store, where else?). When you have enough collected, pour the salt water back into the brine shrimp hatching container, run plain water into the net to rinse off excess salt, and feed. Or, use the baster to collect the vinegar worms grown in your "Buck or Less" container. Squeeze the eels from the baster into a paper coffee filter (from the "Buck or Less" store, of course); rinse the filter and eels in plain water, then feed. (I recommend marking your fish room baster so that it's not accidentally used on your Thanksgiving roast.)


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

This brings me to the many and varied food storage, beverage toting, and other plastic or glass containers (canning jars, plastic shoe boxes, etc.) you can find. Use these for culturing live foods, mixing medications, taking water samples, and as temporary vehicles for moving fish, etc. Buckets and towels are always needed in the fish room. Getting them at your local "Buck or Less" store for only fish jobs means that you need not worry whether there is soap residue left over from some household cleaning job. (It also means that you don't have to try to explain or to remove stains from test kits, medicines, etc.) While they are too small for regular water changes, the cheap syphons at these stores work well enough to clean and do partial water changes in small bowls and containers. If you cut a piece of sponge (from our "Buck or Less" store) and rubber band (ditto) it over the end of the syphon tube, you can do water changes on fry tanks without worrying about syphoning up fry. Hair curlers (the cylindrical kind that are open in the center and have small "teeth," or projections along the surface) can be used as "bio-balls" inside filters. If you can find several sizes, place the smaller ones inside the larger ones to increase the surface area for biological growth. Your water quality will improve (and no, they will not help with "hair algae"). Get some acrylic yarn — not to make sweaters for "cold" water fish — for making breeding mops. Attach cut strands of yarn to styrofoam or hollow plastic balls (from you know where) for floating mops. Attach yarn strands to suction cup hooks on the bottom of a tank for a non-floating mop. (The suction cup hooks can also keep a too-light box filter on the bottom.) A "Buck or Less" bag of marbles makes an attractive substrate for a Betta in a one gallon container. For egg scattering fish prone to eating their eggs, marbles allow eggs to fall "between the cracks," so to speak, providing eggs with "out of sight, out of mind" protection from predators. Bags of wooden sticks are often in the toy section. With a little aquarium sealant, you can easily create an open "frame" of wood sticks that will float. With some of that acrylic yarn (or some "Buck or Less" thread or dental floss), tie Java Moss onto the frame. The Java moss will soon cover the wood, and create a floating green carpet that will be particularly appreciated by nervous fish and by fry seeking hiding places. I see the space allotted me by our Editor is about used up this month, so you'll have to wait until next month for more frugal "Buck or Less" tips.

September 2001


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


September 2001

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

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Welcome, New Members: Gabriel Blanco, Daniel Dugins, and Al Tarquinio Welcome Back Renewing Members: KennethBrust, VivianeDavis, CarlottiDeJaeger, Horst Gerber, Jack Lorenzo, Jackleen & Doug Murk, Michael Nelson, Jerry O'Farrell, Al & Sue Priest, and Marty Silverstein. Bowl Show winners last meeting: 1) Harry Fpstmann 2) Joe Ferdenzi ;.£$eeftmreticulatq,.,

3):,,Carlotti DeJagef'^&Bgtta splendens

September 2000;.^:fune 2001 Serfn liar toliito :jyi: Jl 1) Pat Coushaiigl- 21 pgpiif%_ % 2| Gref'WufIf- Hpints 4) Harry FaustmanfF- 6::;poi 3) Joe Ferden|i: 8 pgints:%.. :;:: 5) Eric Abrgis, D | | V r t h (tie) - 5 points 6) Al & Sue -4 7) Doug :piirtin - 2 points 8) Charles i Depr_, : §jii|)_- 1 |pint Gibber's BsiipPrize: The Complete Aquarium

Freshwater Fish

Jllere are inciting times and locations

Metropolitan New


Aquarium Society:

Ne||iii||png: September 14

Next Meeting October 3, 2g|l Speakers: Rose Aynat and TJBijfiii^Fishkeeping in 8pna:ii:Queens Botanical



^ Fishroom" Hall, N.Y. Aquarilii St., Brooklyn, NY Avv . . ;>feQJ||p:>:By Events Hotline ^:^:; 837-4455 mmf^

Contact: Mr.

the Big


I. - lllilursday of each 'Mr. ::;Teleph(l: (7 1 8):::

Gene Long Islai; AquarilfilSQciety ...::::.

Nas|ay iilplfity Aquj||pirn Society


Meets: 8:00 P^l||g;|rd Friday of el month at Holtsvilie:^lii||p Buckley Rd. Holtsville, NY Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066


8:00 P.M. -::il Tuesday of each

Grouse Post 3211 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

September 20: Charlie Grimes "South American Collecting Trip" (Also see page 12 for New Jersey Show ad) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253 (Also see page 16 for Norwalk Aquarium Society show ad)

September 2001

Fin Fun NO Calculator Needed On page 8 of this issue, there is a list of the latest GCAS recipients of Breeders Award Points (fish as well as people). Please refer to that list, and answer the following questions. You should come up with a total

of 21. 1) How many are Catfish? 2) How many are Livebearers? 3) How many are shell dwellers? 4) How many are Cichlids? 5) How many are Characins? 6) How many are Anabantoids? 7) How many are Killifish? 8) How many are named after a GCAS member? Total (it should be 21)

solution to last month's puzzle: It Pays To Increase Your AQUARIUM Word Power



An invertebrate such as clam, snail, chiton, octopus


A series of paddles arranged around an axle, the spinning of which pushes water through a pump


Among animals, one that is attached to a substrate


Tissues that suspend internal organs within the body


Specialized cells in the body of a sponge that are involved in food transport within the animal


Giant clams cultivated for food, but also for their bright colors and ease of maintenance in mini reef tanks


Offspring resulting from crossbreeding two different species


Swimming leg located on the abdomen of a crustacean

September 2001

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

September 2001 volume VIII number 7

Modern Aquarium  

September 2001 volume VIII number 7