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modern

AQUARIUM QNTHECO UEH :

Series III

Vol. IX. No. 6

June, 2002

FEATURES

this month is one b fish whose ''romances1' are ehronicled by Ray; Albanese ini his articie MRomance:iin ::imy^Aquari^ : : '•".£! ' • • Photo %-;i&f;ffi

Editor's Babblenest

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President's Message

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Thank You!

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Romance in My Aquariums

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GREATER GITY AQUARIUM SQGlETY

G o rres . Secreta ry - : m MWati |ecqf|mg Secretary v v Vincent Si leb : : , : • • ; : ; . . ... : . : : '

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Looking Through The Lens: Photos from our May Meeting

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Now, It's Our Turn

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My Two Cents

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Sieve 'Chen::: !||£::;;|:!!|! ;• X ^PetelP;' 0 rio Cariotti Dei) age r C^ Jason Kerner Bernard Barrigan Greg VVuest |: • : ..^xliiiillllllllllllllll

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Chairs^ Warren Feuer and

Early Arrivals > . .

j^ Leonard Ram

Members/Programs : Claudia Dickinson ;N;:E;G Delegate . . ^Clcuu.n:a:.'Dickinson;;:: MODERN AQUARIUM Editor in Chief , . , Alexander A. Priest Technical Editor . . . ; , . Position Editorial Assistant , . Glaudia Dickins Pliotp/Layput^ Production Director . ^Bernard Harfigan Advertising f v l g r . , . ^ ; Executive Editor > ; , , ^ Printing By Postal Press

Photos from our 80th Anniversary Show . . . . 16 Tales From The Backsplash Aquarist

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2001

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NEC Awards - Part II

A Personal Message

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Dr. Frankenfish, I Presume?

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G.C.A.S. Happenings

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Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

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Articles submitted for consideration in MODERN AQUARIUM must be received no later than the 10th day of the month, three months prior to the month of publication. Copyright 2002 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

A

s I write this, our 80th Anniversary Show has just become part of the legacy of this wonderful Society. By all accounts, the show was a huge success. There were nearly two hundred of beautiful entries in the show. Each class had spectacular fish; our knowledgeable judges faced a difficult task because of this. Our Sunday auction also featured hundreds of lots; new equipment donated by manufacturers, rare fish and plants from members and friends, and even a rare set of books authored and signed by hobby legend Rosario LaCorte. Many wonderful events took place at the show, and, for me, the most wonderful by far, was the level of support and camaraderie shown by our members and friends. Many individuals contributed to the success of our show in many different ways. A tribute to all of them would consume many, many pages. With my sincerest apologies to those omitted, I wish to mention some of the contributors to our show. You cannot have a fish show without a site, the display racks, and the tanks. All of these elements were present thanks to Pete D'Orio. Pete is one of my heros. Pete is "Mr. Can-Do" and "Mr. Will-Do" when no one else can do a particular task that needs to be done. Pete's performance at this show was outstanding. In fact, his output was so gargantuan and flawless that if anyone were to say anything by way of criticism of his work, they would immediately be placed on my "doesn't play well with others" list (there is another apt, albeit much shorter, title for such a list). As if Pete weren't enough, his lovely wife, Roberta, and daughter, Alison, lent a big hand at our Sunday auction. Another person who performed above and beyond the call of duty was Claudia Dickinson. Claudia and her wonderful husband, Brad, drove out to the show from Montauk (two and one half hours each way) every day of the show! They entered some of the most magnificent fish ever to be seen at a fish show, including an array of prized Goldfish that were the smash hit of the show. One of them, quite deservedly, won the coveted Best of Show award (a list of all the prize winners follows this article). Claudia and Brad also staffed a hospitality table, and created Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

beautiful engraved awards for our distinguished panel of judges. They were also one of the prime bidders at our auction on Sunday — their support for our club is generosity personified. Al and Sue Priest, another devoted husband and wife team, were major factors in the success of our show. In addition to entering many beautiful fish and photos into the competition, Al created and edited the 80th Anniversary Show Journal. Every sign or label needed for the show was available from Al for the asking. Anything Al does is always carefully thought-out, meticulously executed, and done promptly. Sue was present all three days and assisted in every kind of chore imaginable. But, Sue's biggest contribution to the show is herself— she is an utterly endearing and caring person, whose solicitous concern for all the hardworking members of GCAS permeates our Society with a special warmth. Al and Sue also hosted our very special guests, Ray "Kingfish" Lucas and Harold "Butch" Parker, at their home for the weekend. What didn't they do? Even the gigantic efforts of the above mentioned individuals are not enough to put on an event of this magnitude with the flare that is the hallmark of Greater City. Therefore, Greg Wuest was needed to set up our air supply system, to spearhead the balloting for the People's Choice Award, and to help out with numerous other tasks. Of course, everything in the show and auction has to be registered. This huge task requires one to work before, during, and after the show. In this, GCAS "Hall of Famer" Warren Feuer rose to the challenge. Because of his intelligent efforts, everything went smoothly. Warren, of course, was not satisfied to do only this job, but pitched in whenever and where ever he could (as did his son, Eric, on Friday and Sunday). Jason Kerner was also a mainstay of our show. Jason designed and produced our very special 80th Anniversary Tee Shirts. He staffed the sales table. He was one of the first to arrive on Friday, and one of the last to leave on Sunday. I've probably overlooked some large task that Jason also performed, but that's easy to do because Jason does things quietly, without ego-driven attention calling. Another indispensable husband and wife team was Vince and Rosie Sileo. Vince obtained the numerous Betta splendens that we sold at the show from a friend in the tropical fish business. (Vince is so well liked in the industry that his friends there are numerous.) Then, he and Rosie staffed our sales and information table the entire weekend. Even Rosie's mom, Joan, pitched in! What a wonderful family presence it was. If that were not enough, Rosie performed as treasurer in

June 2002


her usual outstanding way. And, of course, they helped out in every other way they could. As I've previously mentioned in these pages, GCAS is losing Vince and Rosie to Connecticut. Of course, we all wish them well, but future GCAS events will be that much poorer for their absence. I have deliberately reserved my praise for our Show Chairman, Mark Soberman, for last. No event of this magnitude can take place, much less so successfully, without the planning and oversight of a dedicated and skillful head. Mark, who is one of our most veteran members and another "Hall of Famer," stepped up to the plate when we needed him. His efforts have resulted in a show that was inspirational and a tribute to this great hobby. That would be enough for GCAS. But, it was also a huge financial success for the Society. Others may do as they wish, but GCAS is very proud to be able to do a show (!), with all the work and risk that entails, and not just an auction. Yet, we have succeeded in generating as much, if not more, revenue than most auction-only events. This is in no small measure due to the effort put in by Mark. He is in our Roll of Honor for very well deserved reasons — he could just rest on his laurels, but never does. I also have to express my appreciation to the many people from our "sister" societies who gave of their time and efforts, and who ensured that our show would be a beacon of friendship and excellence in the world of the aquarium hobby. Foremost, I would like to thank my friend Ray Lucas. Mr. "Kingfish" is very special. He travels far and wide to help aquarium societies everywhere. People love his genuine love of people. However, Ray has also managed to accomplish something which I can only describe as nothing short of genius. He has figured out a way to help every society's big event turn a profit. In case you didn't know, Ray is North America's premier manufacturers' representative. In return for the goodwill Ray generates towards their products, these aquarium industry titans donate box loads of goods to be displayed and then donated to the various aquarium societies. I believe this: if you are an aquarium society and you don't invite Ray, you are not doing the right thing by your members. And, as for me, the companies Ray represents are the people from whom I'm buying my products. Ray also started off our successful auction (he is an auctioneer without peer) and was one of our distinguished show judges. Speaking of which, our judges came from far and wide (their credentials are in our Show Journal, and I won't repeat them here). In addition to Ray Lucas, who hails from the Buffalo (New

York) area, there was goldfish expert George Clark from Connecticut, who has an extensive collection of fancy goldfish. Also from Connecticut was American Killifish Association Senior Judge , Dan Katz. From New Jersey we were honored to have American Cichlid Association Fellow and world-renowned author, Dr. Paul Loiselle. Perennial show champion Tom Miglio was our judge from Brooklyn; and North East Council of Aquarium Societies Certified Judge Sal Silvestri from the Norwalk (Connecticut) Aquarium Society filled out our roster of very competent jurists. Our distinguished panel of judges surely had their work cut out for them by the many fine entries. All the judges commented favorably on the quality of the entries. Claudia Dickinson provided our judge's awards— beautiful cherry wood albums that featured a custom engraved appreciation on one side and a brass clock on the other — and my own VIP, my wonderful wife Anita, made a home cooked dinner for them that they are still talking about! And, we all owe them our thanks for the care they took in selecting the best fishes in the show. I also wish to acknowledge Vincent Kreyling, President of the Long Island Aquairum Society, for his valuable assistance with our show preparations. Larry Jinks of the North Jersey Aquarium Society was our featured speaker on Saturday. Also, a big round of thanks is due to Mark Broadmeyer, Vice-President of the North East Council of Aquarium Societies, who came to our show on Sunday (accompanied by his wife, Anne nee Stone, another great hobbyist) and was a Godsend. Mark is a veteran and skilled auctioneer, and he handled the lion's share of the auction. We couldn't have been as successful without his help. These people and more are examples of what make the aquarium hobby community so special. It is filled with wonderful, selfless people who will do whatever they can to help out fellow hobbyists. Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to mention my appreciation for all of the GCAS members who attended and entered fish, or contributed to our auction, or helped out in any way (which includes just coming to the show). I will single out two small events which meant a lot to me because they symbolized why GCAS is the best club around. For years, I've begged each member not to be afraid to enter a fish in the show, and that everyone should enter at least one fish. Well, the Sica family (Steve and Donna, and their children, Donna and Christopher) showed up on Friday, and entered the family's pride and joy, a Bleeding Heart Tetra, in the Characin Class. This

June 2002

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


took a lot of courage because Christopher is very attached to his pet, having had it in his care for many years. It was a beautiful little fish that had, obviously, been well kept. It came through safe and sound to be returned to the Sica family to be cherished once again. Likewise, Kristin Albanese accompanied her dad, Ray, to our show. She entered her pet goldfish (she even gave us its name on the show registration). It didn't win a medal, but at least she supported us. The noble gestures by these young people really warmed my heart and gave me hope for the future of our Society.

I hope that I will be around to join with you in celebrating future anniversaries. When (I'm an optimist, so don't try to change me) we have our 100th Anniversary Show, we will be the first in the Empire State, if not in the U.S.A., to have such an anniversary show. This will happen if we continue to inspire others to follow in our steps. We have been a motivating force in our hobby for 80 years, so what is another 20 to us?! Excelsior!

Our Award Winners Class A - NEW WORLD CICHLIDS 1) Larry Jinks, NJAS 2) Larry Jinks, NJAS 3) Chris Persson, NAS

Class I FANCY BETTAS 1) Bob Wranovics, GCAS 2) Carlotti DeJager, GCAS 3) Richard Martucci, NJAS

Class B - OLD WORLD CICHLIDS 1) Larry Jinks, NJAS 2) Larry Jinks, NJAS 3) Claudia Dickinson, GCAS

Class J - FANCY GUPPIES 1) Doug Curtin, GCAS 2) Rich Levy, GCAS 3) Rich Levy, GCAS

Class C - CHARACINS 1) Mark Soberman, GCAS 2) Mark Soberman, GCAS 3) Mark Soberman, GCAS

Class K - OPEN CLASS 1) Claudia Dickinson, GCAS 2) Horst Gerber, GCAS 3) Mark Soberman, GCAS

Class D - AQUATIC PLANTS 1) Pete D'Orio, GCAS 2) Greg Wuest, GCAS 3) Joseph Ferdenzi, GCAS

Class L - NEW WORLD CATFISH 1) Mark Soberman, GCAS 2) Chris Tognetti, NJAS 3) Ray Albanese, GCAS

Class E - KILLIFISH 1) Harry Faustmann, GCAS 2) Bill Adams, GCAS 3) Harry Faustmann, GCAS

Class M - OLD WORLD CATFISH l)VinceSileo,GCAS 2) Steve Chen, GCAS 3) Joe Graffagnino, GCAS

Class F - LIVEBEARERS 1) Steve Miller, GCAS 2) Joseph Ferdenzi, GCAS 3) Larry Jinks, NJAS

Class N - ART 1) Alexander Priest, GCAS 2) Alexander Priest, GCAS 3) Devlin Morrell

Class G - ANABANTOIDS 1) Richard Martucci, NJAS 2) Richard Martucci, NJAS 3) Larry Jinks, NJAS

BEST OF SHOW: Claudia Dickinson, GCAS RESERVE OF SHOW: Larry Jinks, NJAS PEOPLES CHOICE: Chris Borgese, NJAS BEST CATFISH: Mark Soberman, GCAS BEST CICHLID: Larry Jinks, NJAS

Class H-GOLDFISH 1) Claudia Dickinson, GCAS 2) Claudia Dickinson, GCAS 3) Claudia Dickinson, GCAS

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

Legend GCAS: Greater City Aquarium Society NAS: Norwalk Aquarium Society NJAS: North Jersey Aquarium Society

June 2002


GCAS would like to thank the following manufacturers for their generous donations of merchandise, services, and support to our 2002 Tropical Fish Show. We encourage all our readers to select their fine products when possible to show our appreciation for their support. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Aquarium Technology, Inc. Cichlid News Magazine Cichlid Press Books Delaware Aquatic Imports Diskus Brief Magazine Fancy Publications Fritz Industries, Inc. Kent Marine, Inc. Masterson's Water Garden Center Margarita Tours Novalek, Inc. (Kordon) Ocean Star International, Inc. Penn Plax, Inc. Perfecto Manufacturing Python Products Inc. Rosenthal Pottery San Francisco Bay Brands, Inc. That Fish Place and, of course:

MANUFACTURERS SPOKESPERSON RAY ^///GF/S/TLUCAS E6715 PlNEHURST DRIVE

BOSTON, N.Y. 14025 • 9624

PHONE:716 - 941 - 37O1 FA*:716-941 -5172

KingSish Services June 2002

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


IN by RAYMOND ALBANESE

he title may cause you to envision activities better suited for humans to enact in a large Jacuzzi or in a hot tub. Rest easy. While this article will contain mostly my personal experiences — sometimes enhanced by, or contrasted to, information obtained from books, magazines, the Internet and talking with others - it will not deal with anyone attempting to frolic in a fish tank. Rather, it will deal with what, in my opinion, are the fish most likely to spawn in your aquarium, just as they have done over the years in mine. Simply put, what are the species offish that have most readily spawned in my tanks? Whether you are a less experienced hobbyist or a Grand High Master Breeder (a title that I just made up, I think), I hope that you either learn something from my ramblings, or are at least stimulated into thinking about your own experiences with breeding fish and how they compare with mine. As with many hobbyconnected activities, there is a lot of room for disagreement and discussion. I am not an ichthyologist and so do not claim any rigorous scientific support for my statements, but present them here as one hobbyist's opinion. Perhaps you too will be inspired to share your thoughts with others. As for me, I enjoy the process of having to organize my thoughts and do the analysis that is required if one is to write such a tome. I also like having an outlet for my sometimes cynical and frequently obtuse sense of humor that writing provides. It is nature's prime directive for all species to propagate so that life may continue. "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou..." is the poet's setting for romance. A bottle of wine, soft lighting, a stroll on the beach, good food, and a Frank Sinatra recording may provide the ambience to make a human couple feel amorous. What does it take to stimulate the sex drive in our fishy friends? What are some of the environmental triggers that induce fish to spawn, whether they are living in an aquarium or in their natural setting? Let's examine the environmental conditions that will entice fish to entice each other. Conditioning is one factor. Being healthy and well fed helps the female to develop roe, and the male to develop sperm. In a temperate climate, fish that have spent the winter aestivating at the bottom of

T

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

cold or frozen lakes and ponds are not in very good condition, and a half-starving fish may not have an inclination to breed. As the earth continues on its annual orbit around the sun, the Northern Hemisphere will gradually move into the warmer months. Spring arrives and with it an abundance of insects and other food on which fish will feast, ending their long fast. There is an increase in the amount of daylight as the length and the intensity of sunlight increases. At the same time, the heating effect of the sun is greater, increasing the temperature of the waters. This combination of factors helps produce an ambiance conducive to procreation. If I had to venture a guess as to why this is so, I would say that all these things contribute to an increase in hormones in the fish. While some fish farmers use hormonal injections to help stimulate spawning, most aquarists do not, preferring to let nature take its course. In the warmer regions nearer to the equator, from where most ornamental fish originate, temperature differences are not as great as those existing in the north, but there are other seasonal differences associated with the rainy season and the dry season. During the rainy season, the torrential rains make more food available. As the storms arrive, a drop in the barometric pressure occurs, as does a cooling of the rivers as the rain falls. Fish will more readily spawn, perhaps sensing that conditions are right for their progeny to survive. Having introduced, with great verbosity and little information, environmental triggers, I will proceed with a discourse on the factors that stimulate fish to do in our aquariums what they do naturally in their native habitats. These factors include the conditioning requirements mentioned above, the size of the tank required, and sexual dimorphism - i.e., how easily can an aquarist select a mature male and a female. Other factors include aggression towards conspecifics and fish of other species, availability of a species, the number of generations away from wild caught fish one is working with, the amount of information available concerning breeding of a specific species, and the cost of the fish. Clearly some of these factors are inter-related. Let's examine each of these factors in turn to help support my picks as the candidates for the

June 2002


"rabbits" of the wet world. While there are many different strategies for procreation, what is the most important factor in almost all animals mating? Unequivocally, it has to be having a mature male and female. While virgin births — or parthenogenesis - occurs in rotifers, aphids, some ticks, water fleas, ants, wasps, bees, and certain lizards, asexual reproduction does not occur naturally in any species of fish that I know. Another unusual occurrence is one fish having both male and female sex organs so that it only takes one fish to reproduce, but this phenomenon is rare. (This occurs in one Rivulus species.) Of course one can argue that, with cloning now possible, all this goes out the window as the natural paradigm has changed. Too, scientists have been experimenting with artificial impregnation for more than 100 years; breeding in an aquarium usually takes a female's eggs to be fertilized by male sperm, either internally or externally. Although at one time it was thought that female guppies violated this principal, it was later learned that "live bearing" females could store sperm and have their eggs fertilized as their bodies produced them. This allowed them to have different "lots" of babies developing within their bodies, and consequently they could give birth to groups of young in subsequent batches, seemingly without being fertilized. However, they still had to be impregnated initially in order for the fry to develop. Therefore, it is important that we are able to obtain both a male and a female. It is also important that the fish selected are sexually mature, which sometimes may be difficult to determine merely from the size of the fish. Finding an adult male and a female that may find each other irresistible may not be as easy as it would seem. While the fish are able to tell the differences between sexes, it is not always easy for an aquarist to do so. In order to make my list of easily bred fish; sexual differences must be readily apparent. Of course, if they are not, one could start with a group of six fish and, if they were chosen randomly from an evenly distributed population of males and females, one would have a 96.8% chance of having at least one pair. (The percentages are 93.8% for five fish and 98.4% for seven fish.) The key thing here is that the fish have to be about half males and half females. This is not always the case. Kribensis, for example, has the sex ratio of the fry determined by the pH of the water in which it spawns, though I am not certain of the exact relationship, nor whether there are more males or females with greater acidity. With Kribs this is not a problem because the males are easily distinguished from the females, the males being sleeker and lacking the distended red belly

prevalent in females. There may be other species where this is not true and the population in a tank is skewed, thereby changing the probabilities. With some fish, even having a male and a female will not guarantee a successful spawning. The maturity of the fish, hence its ability to procreate, may not be easily determined. Also, sometimes the aggressiveness of a species towards its mate leads to shredded fins or a dead fish. Some Cichlids, for example, are so nasty that breeders separate the male from the female using plastic "egg-crate," which still allows the male's sperm to flow through and fertilize the female's eggs. Other fish may require a target fish that focuses the male's aggression towards this fish, and away from the female, thereby improving the chance of a successful spawning. Aggression towards the same species (i.e., conspecifics) offish may also increase the difficulty of obtaining a potential pair because the hobbyist may be unwilling to start with a group of fish in order to allow natural selection if the fish bully, damage or even kill one another. Aggression may also make using a larger tank necessary, so that the female can hide from the male. The size of the fish may also dictate the use of a larger tank. One can only imagine the size tank that would be required to breed arowanas or snakeheads. Oscars also require a large tank to spawn. This might deter some aquarists from attempting to have them breed, especially if the fish are not easily sexed, and starting with a group and having them pair off is indicated. When a species is first introduced into the aquarium trade, breeding may be considered to be difficult. There are several reasons why this is so. One is that there may be little or no information concerning the origin of the species. (Sorry Darwin, I couldn't resist.) Knowing the pH, temperature, and hardness of the water in which the fish originates is important. Not having information concerning the spawning habits of the fish will also add to the difficulty - a breeder must guess and experiment. The more frequently a species has spawned for hobbyists, the more information is available about their habits, the easier it becomes to meet their requirements. Synodontis multipunctatus, an African Rift Lake catfish, did not spawn in the aquarium until a few years ago. Then one observer noticed that they were spawning amidst spawning African cichlid mouth brooders. The cichlids took the fertilized catfish eggs and brooded them along with their own without even so much as a thank you from the multipunctatus. This type of parasitic behavior is rare among higher-order animals but does exist namely with cuckoo birds that sneak their eggs into nests among the eggs of other species. Finally,

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


wild caught fish (designated as FO) are usually difficult to breed. The further away from wild caught (Fl, F2, F3 ) a pair offish are, the more likely that they will breed. It seems that each subsequent generation is easier to spawn, perhaps because they become more "domesticated" and adapted to different aquarium conditions. The angelfish illustrates many of these points. When first introduced to the hobby, they were considered difficult to breed. Having them spawn now is an everyday occurrence. This is not to imply that there may not be a species offish that one aquarist has a tough time getting to spawn, while others think of it as a common event. From when I was a fledgling hobbyist, more than forty years ago, I've always had a terrible time just keeping Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) alive, let alone having them breed. Availability - and somewhat analogous the cost of the fish, also determines the number of hobbyists that will keep a given species. Let's look at an example. Synodontis angelicus have rarely spawned in captivity. There are many obstacles to having them breed. I don't know anyone that can sex them easily. They are aggressive towards conspecifi cs. All are FO (i.e., wild caught). They are not commonly found in pet stores, and when one does find them, they are expensive. However, even less expensive fish that readily spawn may not be available. An example of this is the dwarf gourami (Colisa lalid). Because of their drab appearance, females are not often seen in dealers' tanks - even though the males are fairly common. That's enough — and many might say too much — background information. Here come my choices, and a few alternates, for the fish most likely to spawn in your aquarium. They are readily available, not aggressive, inexpensive, far from FO, have bred many times (so there is a large body of knowledge about them), don't require a large tank, are easily sexed, and don't require any special "trigger." Many would say the easiest fish to breed is the guppy (Poecilia reticulatd). Most everyone knows how they spawn, but here is some information for those who don't. A male guppy chases a female and inserts his gonopodium into the anal vent of the female. The fertilized eggs

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

develop within the body of the female until the fry are fully developed and born alive. Both males and females will eat the young so that having some cover in the tank, such as plants or spawning mops, will save some of them. Good females can give birth to thirty or more fry every month. The males are relentless in their pursuit of the females; for this reason it is better to keep at least two females to every male. No special set-up is required and a breeding colony can be established in a five or ten gallon tank. (I will leave a discussion of the improvement of the strain and genetics for another time.) It takes no special effort to get them to breed. Neutral to slightly alkaline water with a temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit is fine, though they will tolerate a wide range of conditions. There are many other livebearers that will readily breed. Platies have many beautiful color morphs with a lot of appealing fin configurations. The original species, Xiphophorus maculatus and X. variatus probably no longer exist in the hobby as they have been hybridized many times over the years. They require a bigger tank, do not mature as fast and are not as prolific as guppies. Swordtails, Xiphophorus helleri, are similar to platies, but have a "sword" that extends from the bottom of their dorsal fins. Interestingly enough, somewhere along the line I read or was told that swordtails received their popular name from their gonopodium, rather than the caudal extension. Most of the swordtails found are hybrids from the original fish that were crossbred with platies. Evidence of this is that wild caught (FO) swords are green, while most of those available are red, with larger fins. Platies and swordtails inhabit different regions in nature and so are not likely to crossbreed in the wild. There are other so-called livebearers, among them mollies (Poecilia latipinnd). I do not consider them easy to keep. Originally they were from brackish waters, and are still used by some to cycle saltwater tanks. Though they have been bred for various fin and body configurations, I think they are far more delicate than the other fish mentioned. They also require temperatures in the

June 2002


80's in order to flourish. Other livebearers that are less often seen are Endler's livebearers, which based on recent limited experience I think are delicate, and mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis), which are drab and without elaborate finnage. Both are small species offish. One of my favorite species offish is the White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys albonubes\t originated from China. They are easy to keep and easy to spawn. Once called the poor man's neon, they are still relatively inexpensive. Unlike neons, though, one does not have to adjust the water chemistry providing it is not too extreme. In the category of egg-scatterer I have had the most success with White Clouds. To me, they are the most prolific of all the egg-laying species. They are easily sexed, the males having white tips on their dorsal and anal fins and the females having fuller bodies. White Clouds can tolerate all but the most extreme temperatures, and I have seen them swimming in my pond in water as low as 40 degrees. I have kept them and have had them spawn for me at room temperature. They have spawned in a ten-gallon tank with a little Java Moss at one end, as a single pair, reverse trio (i.e., two males and a female) and as a group. The male chases the female into the plants where she lays her semi-adhesive eggs. Some books say that the eggs are left alone. I am more inclined to believe one famous breeder that told me he had observed egg perdition, though I have also left them as a spawning colony and had some eggs and fry make it to a size where the parents no longer looked upon them as a meal. White Clouds are also available in a long-finned variety, and as gold-colored morphs. Many claim that the easiest egg layer to induce to spawn is the Zebra Danio (Brachydanio rerid). I have had more experience with White Clouds. However, I have also h a d successful spawns with zebras. I set them up 10

with a layer of marbles in an otherwise bare five or ten gallon tank with a pair or a reverse trio in four or five inches of water. The eggs are non-adhesive, and the parents enjoy omelets, thus the need for the marbles and lowered water level. Room temperature works but I generally raise the temperature to 75 degrees. Take the fish out after the female looks depleted. Hocus pocus, once again in three or four days you will have instant fish. There are a lot of readily breeding eggscatterers, of which Giant Danios are one species, breeding similarly to zebras. The next type of breeder to be considered are anabantoids, many of which are bubble-nest builders. My choice as the easiest bubble-nest builder is the Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichotecus). Platinum, gold, three spot, and opaline gouramis are color morphs. The males have longer and more pointed dorsal and anal fins. They are hardy, readily available and prolific. One reason they are so hardy is that they can take a wide range of temperatures and because they have, like all anabantoids, an auxiliary breathing organ that lets them take in air right at the water's surface. The males can be a bit aggressive, especially towards other males of the same species (conspecifics). He may also get a little rough during spawning, but I have never seen any real damage done. I set up a pair in a small tank with the water temperate e at 78 degrees or thereabout s. A floating plant or Styrofoam cup cut lengthwise in half may be used so the male can anchor the bubble nest he will make. He displays for the female and entices her under the nest where he may butt her in the side. He bends his body around her, fertilizing the many eggs she releases. Once she is depleted he may chase her away, and she should be removed from the bridal suite. The male continues to tend to the eggs, which, unlike betta eggs, will float. They hatch in about three days and fry are free swimming in three days after that. At this point the male should be removed. Many of the fry will not survive because they are very small when they hatch and because they are very fragile when they develop the auxiliary breathing organ. However, even if a small percentage reaches the size at which they may be sold, given away or traded, you will have a lot offish. Pearl Gouramis (Trichogaster leeri) are peaceful fish, easily sexed

June 2002

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


and almost as prolific, and are beautiful. They are bred in much the same way as the Blue Gourami. Another easy bubble-nest building anabantoid that may be even easier to spawn than the gouramis mentioned above is the Paradise Fish (M a c r o p o d u s opercularis), though they do have a reputation for having a nasty disposition. They are also cool water fish. They have spawned for me in a one-gallon jar at room temperature. Raising the fry is as difficult as the gourami fry because they too have to develop the auxiliarybreathing organ, and losses are great when the fry gulp down cool air. The final method of spawning that will be considered is substrate spawning. Fish that use this strategy include many Old and New World Cichlids, and all practice parental care of both the eggs and the fry. When is an African cichlid not an African cichlid? Pardon the play on words. When a hobbyist refers to African cichlids he is usually talking about cichlids from the three rift lakes in Africa; Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Malawi. I have never kept any of these wonderfully colorful and interesting mouth brooders and shell dwellers. There are cichlids, namely Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher), and Jewel Cichlids (Hemichromis bimaculatus) that are not called African cichlids because they come from rivers in Africa, rather than the rift lakes. A side note: the true Jewel Cichlid, H. I if aliii, is not as common as the H. bimaculatus. Some idiosyncratic facts about Kribs were discussed above. Kribs and Jewels spawn similarly and both are beautiful when spawning and practice parental care. To spawn Kribs I use a ten-gallon tank w i t h a flowerpot on its side and a thin layer of gravel. The temperature of the water is a b o u t 80 degrees. The female will lay her eggs either inside the flowerpot or on top of it. They hatch in about 72 hours and an observer will have a great sight to see as the parents tend to the wrigglers and to the free-swimming fry. The parents dig pits in the gravel and move the newly hatched fry from one to another. I have even had two sets of Kribs breeding in a divided ten-gallon tank. I hated to part with the fry, but one day I was faced with

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

finding homes for over one hundred half-grown Kribs. My pair of Jewels was both beautiful and prolific. They preferred to spawn on a flat rock. I used them and their progeny as an entry in the family tank category at a fish show. Though I took a first place award, the very knowledgeable judge informed me that the male would have been a strong candidate as the Best In Show had I entered him in the Cichlid category. I was honored that he requested a few of the fry for his home tanks. Another cichlid, angelfish (Pterophyllum scalare) have also w spawned many times in my tanks. They are a little difficult to sex, though I am usually right half the time. For them, I use a larger tank with a long piece of slate placed at a fortyfive degree angle. I usually start with six medium size fish and wait patiently for them to go through the natural selection process. When they are ready, they will spawn even in a community tank, using plant leaves or power filter lift tubes as a place to put their eggs. Depending on my history with a pair, sometimes I will take the leaf or slate and place it in a separate vessel with an airstone providing water circulation over the eggs, in lieu of the parents fanning them. Patience may be required, because it may take several spawnings before the fish get it right. I wish they' d read the same books I do. This concludes my far-too-long article on fish that are easy for an aquarist to have spawn in his or her tanks. I have had little success with fish employing other breeding strategies such as killies that are mop spawners or peat spawners, so they have not been included (I can hear the editor breathe a sigh of relief that I didn't make this even longer). As with every "top" list, it is bound to stir up controversy. However, I hope that if you have little experience with spawning fish it may have given you a few ideas of what fish you might try first. If you are an accomplished breeder, I hope that you may write an article sharing your views, successes and failures.

All illustrations, except for the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, were done by GCAS member Bernard Harrigan. The White Cloud was done by GCAS member, Sue Priest.

June 2002

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Photos and captions of our May 2002 meeting Two "greats" in the aquarium hobby ~ GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi and Rosario LaCorte.

Modern Aquarium | | | Editor Al Priest, and his lovely wife, Sue, are a treasure and joy to the GCAS!

A 1 Gru s e 11' s correspondence to friends will be in Grande Style, on the beautiful new GCAS aquatic note cards!

It is the good fortune of the GCAS to thank and honor Mike McNamee for his most talented and generous donation of artwork for the 80th Anniversary Auction. President Joe Ferdenzi gives the GCAS a rousing pep talk before the upcoming 80th Anniversary Show and Auction. Legend Aurea, Rosario LaCorte, gives the GCAS the great honor o sharing with us his infinit wisdom gained from a lifetim of experience and innate? / understanding of aquariumjy husbandry. GCAS Treasurer Rosie Sileo may be moving to Connecticut, but her beautiful smile will be there to shine over us forever. Jack Traub will be a delight to us all, as he cheerfully steps in to make the transition.

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


"Now, It's Our Turn" by CLAUDIA DICKINSON he year was 1922. The art of aquarium keeping was just coming into its heyday, blossoming unbounded in response to the abundant nurturing of the previous century's national obsession with natural history in general. In the nineteenth century it had been all the rage amongst the wealthy, as well as the not so affluent, to have a fern case, a seaweed album, a sea shell collection, or a glass aquarium of sorts, ranging from the most simplistic in design to the extraordinarily ornate, that housed a fish or some sort of aquatic life. And of course, one just had to have a microscope, as well as the appropriate idiom to prattle on with confidence in social circles. As the twentieth century rolled around, more and more fish were being discovered overseas, and techniques of transporting them successfully improved accordingly. The enthusiasm soared as more and more species became available, and with that, the means to keep them alive and thriving were embellished upon. Not only did the fish begin to flourish ~ reports of their breeding became more and more frequent! A tremendous passion for their fish and the warmth and camaraderie of fellow aquatic enthusiasts brought our forefathers, the great pioneers of the aquarium hobby, together in 1922. An ambitious group of men and women who enjoyed their fishkeeping and sought each other's company, gathered to share ideas and exchange stories. And so the Greater City Aquarium Society was born.

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Looking back through the volumes of past Modern Aquarium magazines, I become mesmerized by familiar names and faces and the tales they had to tell. Some of the methods of fishkeeping may be a bit antiquated, but others could not be more perfectly stated and informative than those that we put to use with our charges today. As I read on, I begin to think of each and every one of you, and a wonderful feeling of warmth floods over me. To think that in eighty more years, the members of the Greater City Aquarium Society will find a cozy corner to curl up in on a rainy afternoon, with their dogs, birds and fish nestled nearby, and a cup of hot tea. They will be pouring over this journal, and old issues of Modern Aquarium from the year 2002. I feel tremendous pride in what they will find amongst these pages. They will have the great treat of getting to know you ~ the men, women, and children who make up the Greater City Aquarium Society today. What a great privilege and honor to be a part of such a fabulous group of individuals as each and every one of you are! Now, it's our turn ~ to continue on with energetic enthusiasm for this eminent society that was born eighty years ago. I do believe that the prestigious ancestors of our Greater City Aquarium Society are looking down on us now with great pride in the path that their dream has taken, the people who are walking it, and the direction in which it is headed, whose journey began eighty years ago.

Upcoming NEC Member Society Events September 8, 2002 - Danbury Area Aquarium Society - 15th Annual Auction Carmel Firehouse, Route 52 & Vink Dr, Carmel, NY http: //northeastcouncil. org/daas/auctfl02 .html October 4 -6, 2002 - Norwalk Aquarium Society - Annual Tropical Fish Show and Auction Earthplace-Nature Discovery Center (formerly called the Nature Center for Environmental Activities) 10 Woodside Lane - Westport, CT nas@norwalkas.org October 20, 2002 - Long Island Aquarium Society - Annual Auction Babylon Town Hall Annex - Phelps Lane - Babylon, NY http://www.liasonline.org/ October 20, 2002 - New Hampshire Aquarium Society - Annual Auction Newington town hall - Newington, N.H. http://www.nhaquariumsociety.com/UPCOMING.htm

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


7we* by SUSAN PRIEST t was long overdue. We were guests at their wedding, but had never met the bride before her wedding day. It was time to invite Pam and Art over for dinner. We have known Art for many years, and he is well used to our ires casual lifestyle, but I wanted to make a good first impression on Pam. This meant some serious housecleaning. I had a few ideas for a menu, but it wouldn't hurt to get a consultation.

I

Gram: Helloooo. Sue: Hi, Gram. Whatcha doin? Gram: A crossword puzzle. I have to keep the little gray brain cells jumping. Sue: I have invited a couple of people over for dinner, and I wanted you to help me with the menu. One of them has never been here before. Gram: Uh-oh! Do you have anything in mind? Sue: Yeah. I read a recipe in a magazine for Bagel Cheeseburger Casserole that sounded easy. Then I thought I could do that Salvadore Dali Salad I told you about once; that's the one where you slice all the vegetables with a grapefruit knife. Then for dessert I was going to try Cookie Crumb Kisses; that's a cookie made from the crumbs of other cookies. It is supposed to taste like you are kissing someone with cookie crumbs on their lips. I thought it would be a good choice for newly weds! Gram: WELLL, are you open to suggestions? Sue: Always. Gram: I would try a roasted turkey breast, apple and raisin stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole made with mushroom soup and crispy onions on top, and pumpkin pie for dessert. Sue: Graaam! You just described Thanksgiving dinner, at least at your house. I can't serve Thanksgiving dinner in June! Gram: They won't realize it, but they will get that cozy, homey feeling that everyone gets on Thanksgiving, and they won't even know why! Sue: Well, I'll think about it. I gotta go do some housecleaning. Gram: Since YOU brought it up, I would also like to suggest that you clean as much of those fishkeeping supplies out of the kitchen area as you can. And, whatever you do, don't let them see the worms in the refrigerator! Love you. Bye. Sue: Me, too. Bye.

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Hmmm. She may have a point there, but I had better start with the basics, like making sure there are no signs of black or tubifex worms in the bathroom sink, and finding somewhere to stash the stacks of aquarium magazines with pages marked "Read Me First" that are piled in both corners of the living room sofa. I know I spilled some micropellets on the carpet the other day, so I hope the bags from the old vacuum cleaner will fit this new one because I keep forgetting to buy more. I'm sure I will have time to put away the fish stuff in the kitchen while the cookies are in the oven. Two Days Later... Sue: Honey, put a shirt on; they will be here any minute. Take one from the CLOSET, O.K.? Al: O.K., O.K. What's that smell? Is everything alright in the kitchen? Sue: I splashed the floor of the oven the last time I basted the turkey breast, so it is probably burning off. Ding Dong... Sue: They're here! Al: I'll get the door while you put your shoes on. Sue: Thanks so much for coming! You brought cookies, how thoughtful. You made them yourself? [Pam follows me to the kitchen, while Al and Art head for the computer desk.] Pam: Oh, Entenmann's carrot cake; my favorite! Something smells, umm, good?! Look at all of these fish; what is that one called? Sue: That is a Betta splendens\u may know it as a Siamese Fighting Fish. Pam: [She picks up something from the corner of the floor and asks...] What is this for? Sue: Oh, that is a sponge filter. We put this in an aquarium so it will become colonized with nitrifying bacteria, which will help neutralize the ammonia and other chemical wastes that will build up in the tank as a result of decomposing uneaten food and accumulating fish detrius. Al pulled it out of that tank over there because he wanted to replace it with a larger one. Pam: [After she drops it, she says...] Bacteria! Wastes?! I seeeee. I didn't realize fishkeeping was

June 2002

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


so...dirt, I mean, detailed! [Pam leaves to wash her hands. After she returns...] Sue: Excuse me for a moment; I need to baste the turkey breast. Pam: Let me help. [She picks up the nearest baster.] Sue: We don't use that one for food; that is the one we use in the fish bowls and tanks. It is especially good for sucking up left-over worms; Al tends to be overly generous with them. Pam: Worms? REALLLY! [Pam leaves to wash her hands.] Sue: Come to the table, guys; the food is ready. [As Pam takes a seat, her foot bumps into a bucket on the floor under the table. Thump.] Pam: I think I kicked something! Sue: Oh that's just one of the buckets we use when we do water changes. That long tube with the bulb in the middle is a syphon which transfers the dirty water from the fish tank to the buckets. Pam: Syphon! Dirty water!! How interesting!!! I certainly am learning a lot about how to take care of fish. Sue: Al, will you pull a couple of serving bowls off of the shelf for me? Al: Sure. This one has some stuff in it; I'll just dump it out. [A small, flat, blue and white box falls to the floor.] Art: "Clout!" What is that for? Al: Oh, that is a medication for the fish. It is good for treating parasitic infections such as Ich, and infestations of protozoans such as or flukes or leeches. It also helps prevent excess mucus production. Pam: LEECHES! MUCUS!! Art, honey, did you bring our cell-phone? Great. Sue, would you excuse me for a moment; I just remembered an important call I need to make. [Pam goes to the hallway, near the front door, and makes a call.] Art: Why are these cucumber slices so crooked? Pam: I'm back. [She places the cell-phone on the table next to her plate. She is smiling for the first time since she arrived.] While Sue is slicing the turkey breast, the chit-chat turns to smart-media discs and Babylon 5. As Sue places the platter in the center of the table, the cell-phone rings. Ring-Ring-Ring... Pam: Oh, excuse me; I had better take this call. What perf, I mean poor timing. [Pam goes to the hallway again to talk on the phone. When she returns...] I'm afraid I have some bad news. My brother is having car trouble, and he needs me and Art to come to his aid. I'm sorry to say that we will have to leave immediately! Art: Are you sure honey? Can't he just call the automobile cl Pam: IMMEDIATELY!! I'm sorry, everyone, but it

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

can't be helped. Sue: I understand; family must come first. [Pam takes Art by the hand and hastily leads him to the door.] Al: Why ARE these cucumber slices so crooked? The Next Day... Gram: Helloooo Sue: Hi, Gram. Whatchadoin? Gram: Watching " Wheel of Fortune." How did the dinner turn out? Sue: WELLL, they got called away before we could actually eat, but I'm sure they were having a good time. Gram: I'm glad you put away all that fish paraphernalia. That stuff takes a little getting used to when you've never seen it before. Sue: Yeah. Right. Anyway, I'll come by for lunch tomorrow. I'll bring turkey sandwiches and homemade cookies. Love you. Bye. Gram: Me, too. Bye. Hmmm...that backsplash looks a little crusty. (I wonder if Pam noticed?) I think it is time to do those chores that only an aquarist's kitchen requires, but that is a tale for another day!

SimpCy Summer summer home on the shore of Lakg ^innipesaufye,tyw Hampshire, that has belonged to someone in my family since 1933 wilt belong to another family by ne%t summer. 'This will be my last chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of the summers of my youth. Some of the things I'm (ookjng forward to are swimming in non-chlorinated water, watching dragonflies skate on the surface of the lake, and having my toes tickled by "minnows." The simple pleasures that happened so spontaneously in childhood require a little planning when you are in the middle of middle age. So, start with apian, and then let the waves carry you where they will. %nd...may your sunsets be visited by hungry duckings, may you have afew bread crumbs to share with them, and may you foow the simplest pleasure of all...a hand to hold.

June 2002

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NEC Awards - Continued from Last Month

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ast month, we reported on the results of the NEC Publications Awards. The results of the Photo Contest (also awarded at the NEC Convention) were not, unfortunately, available by the time of this magazine's deadline. So here are the results of the Photo Awards, and the NEC Breeders Participation Program:

Photo Competition Advanced Class - Prints First Place: Aphyosemeon australe, Anthony Terciera Second Place: Discus, Alexander Priest Third Place: Brasilius gatensis, Erik Olson Advanced Class - Slides First Place: Lion Fish, Gary Lange Second Place: Aphyosemeon australe, Anthony Terciera Third Place: Northobrancus rachovii, Anthony Terciera Open Class - Prints First Place: Tom Miglio, Corals w/ Sharks Second Place: Tom Miglio, Corals w/o Sharks Third Place: Tom Miglio, Corals w/ Clown Fish People Pictures - Prints First Place: Limbo Contest, Penny Faul

Breeders Participation Program awards for 2001 1st place: Paul and Linda Parciak, PVAS 2nd place: Rit Forcier, ALAS 3rd Place: Nancy and Doug Whitney, MRAC Honorable Mention: Dave and Janine Banks

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June 2002

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


"Off a Personal Note: by Claudia Dickinson

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efore having the great pleasure and privilege of you most special people coming into my life, I was a member of fourteen clubs and societies across the country. I would travel about on my own, attending fish gatherings and conventions, throughout the year. One convention that I never missed was the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies. It was at this convention, several years ago, that I met such a lovely couple who had a table filled with the most beautiful collection of plants for sale. Naturally, I kept returning to that table ~ not only to peruse those fabulous plants, but for the friendly and warmhearted conversation of Vince Sileo and his wife, Rosie. The couple spoke of plants, fish, and related events, but I saw them radiate with such enthusiasm as they relayed the details of an upcoming show and auction. It was the Greater City Aquarium Society's 75th Anniversary Celebration! Well, of course, I just had to hear more! Before the weekend was over, Vince and Rosie had me brimming with excitement to attend that event, with plans to bring along a tank for display filled with mbuna in their natural environment. And yes, it is my great fortune to say that the rest is history (*!*) After years of playing such an integral role in our society, now it is time for Vince and Rosie to move on with their lives. In their move to Connecticut, we wish them all of the best that life has to offer, and they will have that because they so richly deserve it. But, Vince and Rosie, I know that I speak for all of us when I say that you shall always remain a part of the Greater City Aquarium Society as you leave us with your warm hearts and kind spirits!

It takes a great leader for an organization to thrive and remain strong for innumerable years, while continuing to bring such enjoyment and camaraderie to so many. We are so fortunate to have that "one in a million" leader in our GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi! "Thank you Joe! You're the Best!!!" (*!*)

This wonderful, beautiful magazine that we hold in our hands There are so many words that I want to say, but I will simply say that, Al, we cherish you and your unmatchable talents, time, and efforts to bring us such a monthly treasure. On a personal note "Al, the real treasure is you!" (*!*) With the greatest of admiration, love and affection,

"Take Care you two!"

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

June 2002

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June 2002

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


Doctor Frankenfish, I Presume? A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

IP spite of popular demand to the contrary, t^ ; ''cdlumn?continue|.. . .-As;;usualÂť: it: does;; ':;;NpT njjjjjjjwj^ :;: opinions::: rof^tfie^ Greater ' ometimes, I think we humans do the most outrageous things, simply because we discovered that we can do them, and for no other good reason. Nowhere is this more evident than in the genetic manipulation and "enhancements" people have made to various species of tropical fish. (I'm including goldfish in this, even though I realize that they are not "tropical" fish per se.) Among other things, I'm referring to the mixing of different species to create beings such as the "Blood Red Parrot Cichlid" (not to be confused with the Parrot Cichlid, Hoplarchus psittacus, a large green cichlid coming from the Amazon and Orinoco River drainages of South America, and which is rare in the hobby). The "Blood Red Parrot Cichlid" (no scientific name, as this is not a naturally occurring species, but sometimes labeled in stores as Cichlasoma sp. "parrot") is a man-made hybrid. The exact origins of the fish are unclear, but it appears to have been a cross between a South American cichlid, likely the severum (Heros severus) and a Central American cichlid, the Red Devil (Amphilophus labiatum). Apparently, some fish farms in Taiwan also produce it from a male Cichlasoma citrinellum (Midas Cichlid) and a female Cichliasoma synspilum (Redhead Cichlid). Originally, all "Blood Red Parrots" were infertile, but there are now some reports of successful spawnings. This fish looks more like a parrot than a fish, thus its name. If you want a parrot, buy a bird. Don't encourage more "Frankenfish" by buying these unnatural hybrids. While the "Blood Red Parrot" is relatively new (first appearing around 1986), human tinkering with goldfish (Carassius auratus) goes back hundreds of years, and has created some

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

varieties (for example "Bubble Eyes," reportedly first developed in 1908) that look, to me at least, as if they are suffering from serious disease or injury. Among livebearers, human breeders have created male guppies (Poecilia reticulatd) whose fins are so long that they cannot swim normally and have a hard time breeding because they simply can't chase females, swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri) with gonopodiums (the external male sex organ) that are nonfunctional, and the "Balloon Molly" (Poecilia sphenops), which looks as though it is suffering from "bloat." Tinkering with the genetics of the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) has been going on for a while. It has now reached the point where the foremost American authority on bettas, Dr. Gene Lucas, is admitting that the most recent betta fad, the "Crowntail" betta is difficult to breed, even for him. Apparently, these fish have the mating instinct bred out of them as an unintended result of tinkering with their fins. And, humans still "paint" fish. The Indian Glassfish (Parambassis baculis) is an unfortunate frequent target of painting. The "Painted" Glass Fish in a pet store is not a natural color morph. These fish are dipped into a mild acid solution to dissolve their protective slime coat (an important part of their immune system), then painted with semi-permanent fluorescent dyes. After this, they are placed into an irritant bath to encourage regeneration of their slime coat (as if these fish needed to have more irritation). Of the fish that survive this process, most die within two months. Most of those that still survive lose their artificial color within six to ten months. Only about 10% of the fish that survive for sale keep their coloration for any length of time. The practice of painting these fish has nearly eliminated the availability of the unpainted variety in the pet industry. If you want a "painted" fish, go to an art store and buy a portrait (or get some old-fashioned "3D-glasses" and wear them when you stare at your fish tanks). Don't encourage the barbaric process of painting fish by buying them. When you see "painted" fish in a store (and there are other fish now being subjected to this treatment), ask if the store has the "unpainted" variety. Don't attempt hybridization on your own. If you know a certain species was collected in a particular region, don't allow it to mix with others of its species from a different region, unless it is established that there are no slight regional variations. To paraphrase Joyce Kilmer, "Aquarium society magazine columns are written by fools like me, but only God can make a fish," so don't try.

June 2002

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June 2002

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Welcome Back Renewing Members: Bob Wranovics, Jr. and Michael Nelson Welcome New Members: Jesus James, Peter Steiner, and Vincent J. Congro

Bowl Show winners last meeting: 1) Darwin Richmond September 2001'- June 2002 Season unofficial totals to date: 1) William Amely (24 pts) 2) Claudia Dickinson (11 pts) 3) Carlotti DeJager (9 pts) 4) Darwin Richmond (5pts.) 5) Doug Gurtin, (4 pts.) 6) Pete D'Orio (3 pts.) 7) Rich Levy (1 pt.)

May's Door Prize: Baensch Atlas - II was won by Roger Brewster

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Here are meeting times and locations of aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New Y^rkgrea: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

Next Meeting: September 4, 2002 Speaker: J^clf Wattley Topic: "Discus" 8pm: Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St., Flushing, NY Contact: to. Joseph Ferdenzi Telephone: (718)767-2691 ^* e-mail: GreaterCity@compiiserve.com httÂŁ>://www. greatercity. org :::;l|if' v jf

Brooklyn Aquarium Society MeetingrJunl 14,2002 "-ji^ Speaker: George Barlow Topic: "f he Private Lives of Cichlids" 7:3Opm: Education Hall, N.Y. Aquarium Surf Aye. & West 8th St., Brooklyn, NP Contact: BAS Events Hotline Telephone: (718) 837-4455 http: vp NS .t : O K , \|

"'.

East Coast Guppy Association

Big Apple Guppy Club

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 1st Thursday of each moiith at tl|| Qugehs Botanical Garden Contacts: Jeff George / Gene Baudier Telephone: (718)428-7190 / (516)345-63991

8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday SPlph rnonih at (he Queens Botanical Garc|en Contact: Mr: Donald Curtin : . lephone:7718|^31-

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Friday of each month (except July and August) at: The Holtsville Park and Zoo 249 Buckley Road ~ HoItsyille-NY June 21: Howard Crum speaking on {j|| water gardens (sponsored by Aquaria) Contact: Mr. Vinny Kr^yling Telephone: (516) 93 8-4066

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 2nd Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post 1066, 66 Veterans Blvd., Massapequa;NY June 11: Harry Faustmann, presenting highlights on the annual Killifish Convention. ^jjf ":"" Contact: Mr. Ken Smith Telephone:016) 09-0913

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 June 20: Speaker: Luis Morales Topic: "Peruvian Amazon Collecting Trip"

Meets: 8:00 P.M. 3rd Thursday of each month at the Nature Center for Environmental Activities, Westport, CT

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

Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253

June 2002

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Fin Fun It Takes All Sorts All of the fish on the list below were entered in our 80th Anniversary Show. As you revisit them one last time, sort them into their correct show classes. (A list of the classes is also below.)

Show Class (letter)

Fish Tropheus duboisi Aphyosemion australe Corydoras robinae Synodontis multipunctatus Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma Xiphophorus montezumae Calico Ryukin Perrunichthys perruno Red and White Oranda Pterophyllum scalare A - New World Cichlids B - Old World Cichlids C - Characins

D - Aquatic Plants E - Killifish F - Livebearers

Solution to last month's puzzle: •

G - Anabantoids H - Goldfish I - Fancy Bettas

o

Name

North American

Harrison's Pencilflsh (Nannostomus harrisoni)

Other X

White Catfish (Ictalurus catus)

X

Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus)

X

Dwarf Rotala (Rotala rotundifolid)

X

Everglades Pygmy Sunfish (Elassoma evergladei)

X

Black Tetra (Gymnocorymbus ternetzf)

X

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

X

Clarias Catfish (Clarias batrachus)

X

Tessellated Darter (Etheostoma olmstedi)

X

Ninespine Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius)

X

26

J - Fancy Guppies K - Open Class L - New World Catfish M - Old World Catfish

June 2002

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

June 2002 volume IX number 6

Modern Aquarium  

June 2002 volume IX number 6

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