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modern

AQUARIUM

MARCH 2003 volume X number 3

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York


modern

AQUARIUM ONTHECOVER The fish in our cover photo is a tropical Snowy Grouper hovering above mussels and sand. This specimen is a juvenile, with a body length of about eight inches plus the tail. Adults grow up to three feet. While predominantly found in the Caribbean and Bahamas, read how you can observe this fish locally in the article by Stephen Sica: "Tropical Far Rockaway, NY." Photo by Randi Eisen GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members President .;..,......,. Joseph Ferdenzi Vice-President . , . . . . . Mark Soberman Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; . JackTraub Corres. Secretary . . . . . , . Warren Feuer Recording Secretary . . . . . Ray Albanese Members At Large Steve Chen Pete D'Orio Carlotti DeJager Claudia Dickinson Jason Kerner Ben Haus Greg Wuest Emma Haus Committee Chairs Breeder Award . . . . . Warren Feuer and Mark Soberman Early Arrivals ..;......... Pete D'Orio F.A.A.S. Delegate . . . . . Alexander Priest Members/Programs . Claudia Dickinson N.E.C. Delegate••.•;'.', Claudia Dickinson MODERN AQUARIUM Editor in Chief..... Alexander A. Priest Editorial Assistants . . . . . Ray Albanese, Claudia Dickinson, Dora Dong Photo/Layout Editor .... .Jason Kerner Advertising Mgr. ....... Mark Soberman Executive Editor .. r ,. Joseph Ferdenzi

Series III

Vol. X, No. 3

March, 2003

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest

2

President's Message

3

Tropical Far Rockaway, NY

4

So You Want A Bigger Tank?

7

A Warm Welcome to Luis Morales

9

Second Sight (reprint: "Digital Cameras and Aquatic Photography")

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Looking Through The Lens

14

FAASinations (FAAS Delegate's Report) . . . . 16 NEC News (NEC Delegate's Report)

17

Photos from our Last Meeting

18

I've Never Been Able To

21

G.C.A.S. Happenings

23

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 2003 by the Greater City Aquarium Society Inc., a not-for-profit New York State corporation. All rights reserved. Not-for-profit aquarium societies are hereby granted permission to reproduce articles and illustrations from this publication, unless the article indicates that the copyrights have been retained by the author, and provided reprints indicate source and two copies of the publication are sent to the Exchange Editor of this magazine. Any other reproduction or commercial use of the material in this publication is prohibited without express written prior permission. The Greater City Aquarium Society meets every month, except during July and August. Meetings are the first Wednesday of the month and begin at 8:00 P.M. Meetings are held at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact: Joe Ferdenzi (718)767-2691. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http: //ourworld. CompuServe. com/homepages/greatercity


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by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

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ast November, I announced that we were looking into changing the look of this magazine. When I accepted the position of Editor-in-Chief of this magazine, I promised to keep the Society updated on changes to it. This is the third issue of Modern Aquarium using our latest format, and I'd like to explain what we're now doing, and why. Throughout the years that we have been producing this current series of the magazine, we have used several different cover and binding formats. We used 11" x 17" card stock and pages, folding them, and stapling them along the folded edge. We tried "perfect binding," which hot-glued pages together, and put a black cloth tape binding on the outside bound edge. We tried 11" x 17" heavy card stock for the outside cover, into which was glued 8!4" x 11" pages. Each of these methods had its own disadvantages. Whenever we glued pages, there was a much higher risk of the pages becoming unglued, or having the glue spread too much. The "perfect binding" method required a special machine used by only a few printers, thus limiting our choice of printers, and ability to shop for the lowest cost. Binding methods that relied on 11" x 17" card stock for the outer cover had major disadvantages. First, 11" x 17" card stock is expensive. Second, it is not readily available everywhere. Third, only certain printers and copiers can print on this paper. Finally, when you fold 11" x 17" card stock to create a front and back cover, and then insert a set of pages, the edges of the inside pages tend to stick out beyond the cover (the thicker the stack of inside pages, the more they will stick out). Further, every binding method previously used for Series III of Modern Aquarium required separately printing color photographs, manually trimming the photographs, and manually gluing

and placing a photograph on each and every front cover. This was a very time-consuming (and messy) process. Sometimes a photo would fall off. On occasion, a photograph shifted off-center before the glue had dried. Sometimes, some of the glue found its way onto a front or back cover. What we are doing now is using a color laser printer to print a color photograph right on the front cover — no more glue, or cut and paste! We are now using less expensive (and easier to obtain) 8!4" x 17" card stock for our front and back covers, and we staple the covers and inside pages along one edge. The result is a magazine that is faster, easier, and much less expensive to produce, with (we believe — and we hope you agree) no loss of quality. Another advantage to this new process is the ability to generate extra copies on demand. So, from our January 2003 issue on, we should never run out of issues again. Those of you who were at our last meeting saw me present Ray Albanese with his Author Award Program ("AAP") raffle prize: the latest edition of Dr. Axelrod's Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes. Every year since the AAP program started, a raffle has been held at our Holiday Party for our authors. Each prize awarded has been something unique, from a subscription to an English language magazine published in another country, to books not printed, or normally available, in the U.S.A. This year, the prize was probably the most complete and authoritative one-volume reference book on freshwater aquarium fishes. The AAP Raffle is only one of the benefits of contributing to Modern Aquarium. Perhaps the biggest benefit is how it makes one feel, knowing that you've helped your society's magazine (and seeing yourself in print!). This month, Stephen Sica and Jerry O'Farrell (who are both fast becoming "regular" contributors to our magazine) have articles describing, respectively, the observation of native Bermuda saltwater fish in local New York waters, and experiences in acquiring tanks. Neither of these articles required a lot of "research" or years of study, nor did either article involve the spawning of any fish. Each of you has a story to tell about your experiences in the hobby. Your story will not be the same as Jerry's or Stephen's, but it could be just as interesting, if you share it in an article. And remember, every article gives you at least one chance (or more, depending on the article's size, and whether you included drawings or photos) in next year's AAP Raffle Drawing!

March 2003

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


President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI

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ast month's meeting was notable in many ways. It was notable because, in many ways, it was the same as all our meetings: well attended, vivacious, and congenial. A small anecdote may illustrate that this is not some puffery on my part. One of our long-time members brought along his brother for the first time. (Incidentally, the two brothers are descended from a long line of distinguished aquarists, including their father and grandfather, who was one of the top guppy breeders of the 1960s.) A few days later, this long-time member told me that his brother enjoyed the meeting so much that he plans on coming to future meetings, even though he would have to drive in from Nassau County. GCAS has that effect on people. Certainly, our program that evening was greatly responsible for the success of the meeting. Our panel of experts — Harry Faustmann, Charley Sabatino, and Anton Vukich — handled questions from the audience adeptly and with humor. We also saw that there were quite a few experts in the audience as well! Being called upon to answer queries at GCAS is daunting because there are so many knowledgeable hobbyists in attendance — if you don't know the answer, you will hear about it. This "Question-and-Answer" program is one of our most popular, and it is marvelously put together by Claudia and Brad Dickinson (think "Executive Producers").

On a personal note, the meeting was notable for me because my oldest child, Francesca, was in attendance (she was accompanied by her friend, Jessica, who were both writing a college paper on meetings — I trust we were a good example of one). This month's distinguished speaker, Luis Morales, will give a lecture on digital photography. Digital photography is a very important development for our hobby. Fish are notoriously difficult to photograph. Many a time, a roll of film would contain only a few good shots; film was wasted and you didn't get to see the results for some time. With digital photography these problems are largely eliminated; you can view a shot immediately, retain it if i if it is delete it if it is poor. Then you can load these good shots into a computer and enhance the pictures in any number of ways at the click of your "mouse." When color photography became easy enough for amateurs to use, it revolutionized the tropical fish hobby. No longer did people have to imagine what a fish's colors looked like, or rely on crude color paintings (though many of these paintings were artistically stunning, they were often unrealistic images). The impact color photography had on our hobby is readily evident in the popularity of magazines and books that featured it — magazines and books that had more of it, always supplanted those with less, regardless of the quality of the written content. After color, the next great advance has been the digital format. Hence, Mr. Morales is a most welcome lecturer; one from whom GCAS can benefit as it begins to advance towards its second century of existence.

Rules for April's "Silent Auction'VFleamarket April means April fool's practical jokes, rainy weather, and the income tax filing deadline. April also means something a lot more fun: Greater City's "Silent Auction." Here is a brief summary of the rules: * The seller sets an opening price for each item. * Bidders write down their bids in increments of at least 500 until the bid reaches $10.00. For items that reach (or start at) $10.00, bids must be in at least $1.00 increments. * A bidder may not cross out his/her own bid to enter a lower bid. * The highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the item. * Proceeds are split 50/50 between the seller and Greater City. (Of course, the seller may also donate 100% of the proceeds to Greater City!) * Items not claimed by winning bids (or if there were no bids, by their owners) at the end of the auction become the property of Greater City.

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

March 2003


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,tfY by STEPHEN SICA photography by RAND! EISEN

hen the balmy breezes of a new diving from less than an inch, to several inches in length. season give way to the heat and humidity The parameters of a dive profile can range between of summer, a unique occurrence thirty to ninety minutes underwater at a depth that introduces the month of August. As the Gulf approaches forty-five feet in the center of the Stream carries warm ocean waters to the shores of channel at high tide. But a typical summer dive to Long Island, it brings with it juvenile tropical fish observe tropicals is usually about sixty minutes from Bermuda, the Caribbean, and the southeastern underwater, at a depth between twenty-five to United States. Many of these small fish seek thirty-five feet. Of course, the ability to stay shelter and food in the shallows close to the underwater for lengthy periods of time depends shoreline, amidst upon thermal insulation, most the debris of abandoned commonly in the jetties, pilings formofawetsuit and rock between five to outcroppings. s e v e n A local millimeters thick. While the place to observe these uncommon s u r f a c e and colorful fish temperature is R e y n o l d s hovers around seventy-two Channel at the degrees during border of Queens the second half and Nassau of a w a r m Counties, just a summer, it is quarter of a mile west of the jhe head of a flounder close-up, sometimes referred to as a usually colder Atlantic Beach ÂŤflu|<eÂŤ locally. This specific type of flounder inhabits the Just a few feet Bridge. Near the Atlantic Ocean off the East Coast of the US. It was b e l o w t h e mouth of the photographed resting on a dark sand bottom, and darkened its surface. In channel at Beach pigment to match the color of the sand. This flounder, ranging addition, a hood, 9th Street, where in average size from six to eighteen inches, is a common sight b o o t s a n d the public beach to divers and fishermen in our local waters. especially gloves ends, i s "Almost are also Paradise," a small innocuous beach cafe, whose recommended for warmth and comfort, as well as proprietor owns the property approach to the for protection from an occasional fisherman's hook. shorefront and caters to certified divers for a modest fee. "Almost Paradise" provides gated Just off the beach lie the remains of two parking, outdoor benches, and showers, where a underwater rock jetties separated by a sandy diver can assemble gear and prepare to dive from bottom; the distance between these jetties is about the beach. It is also nice to rinse the salt and sand one hundred feet. To begin a dive, one walks from oneself after diving. Other services are a across the beach in full gear to the far jetty. There food concession, where you can snack and dine is a wooden bulkhead that is used as a resting area indoors or outside, and rest rooms. and for protection in making final preparations for In murky depths just off the beach a the dive. Here the diver has an opportunity to don keen-eyed diver may observe tropical juvenile fish and adjust equipment, prepare an underwater light

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March 2003

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


or camera, and review or alter the final dive plan. usually inhabited by numerous varieties of small During a dive with my wife Donna in August 2001, coldwater fish, such as black fish and sea bass, we had the good fortune to team with the husband swimming to and fro, or trying to get out of the of our nephew's dive instructor who was way of one another or a peering diver. Other conducting open water checkout dives that day. occasional sea life lurking in the rocks are sea This diver, an experienced east coast wreck diver, urchins, spiny lobsters and even conger eels. If was familiar with the dive site. He had a you're lucky, you can see all of these during a dive. high-powered rechargeable underwater light with Along the sea floor, you are likely to meet up with an extremely bright beam. This light was quite blue, spider, and horseshoe crabs. useful as a pointer to find and see the juvenile The secret to discovering juvenile tropicals that we were hoping to find. While the tropicals is to carefully peer into as many crevices seawater may be as p o s s i b l e , murky, the allowing a few sea- life is seconds for the extraordinary. eyes to become Many people adjusted to the associate our dimness inside cold and murky each cleft. The local waters with most exotic fish unclean water. that I have seen In fact, seawater to date is a is greenish and juvenile French murky in Angelfish, less appearance than an inch in because it is length. The fish teeming with appeared to be plankton and black with two o t h e r Common blue crab on a bed of mussels. On this example, the "electric" blue, microorganisms, legs are blue but not the claws. There are several species and vertical stripes. These creatures sub-species, and all have a similar appearance. Another fish that I saw was a require cold water in order to proliferate, which is one reason snowy grouper, about five inches in length with a why tropical seas are usually clearer. All that solid brownish body interspersed with small white greenish murk is really an abundance of marine spots. I also saw a juvenile damselfish, but I failed to record its description in my logbook to later life. With an average visibility of ten feet determine its species. Unfortunately, I do not (thirty feet on an exceptional but rare day), it is recall its appearance, but I do remember that it was important to know the general underwater contours exceptionally colorful and a very good find. Most of the site because it is awfully easy to become of these tropicals are located in water less than separated from your dive partner. A safety rule is thirty feet deep, lurking in the jetty fissures and that if you become separated, search underwater outcroppings. for one minute. If you do not find each other, Another find was a small school of about surface to meet and re-submerge again together. six to eight silvery fish with a slightly oval body. Usually, separation occurs when a trailing diver is They were about five or six inches in length, and looking at sea life or in a crevice, and the leading the edges of their fins were tinted with a touch of diver continues swimming into the gloom. By light green. This small school held station just a following the assumed route or direction with few inches from the bottom, over a bright patch of speed, the trailing diver can catch up with the lost sand, in about fifteen feet of water in an area where buddy. In this open water environment, most most divers swam by to exit the water at the end of divers can be separated or lost by only a few feet of their dive. Both Donna and I, as well as our murky water. Sometimes, a few feet become an experienced dive partner and his instructor wife, impenetrable wall of water. saw this small school offish that day, but none had After submerging at the bulkhead, the any idea what kind offish these were other than to divers swim along the bottom for several yards agree that they were not a local species. until confronted by the rock jetty beneath the Other species that are more commonly surface. By swimming along, as well as up and observed are straw-thin pipefish, about three to down the rock pile, to depths ranging from ten to four inches long, which can best be described as a twenty-five feet, divers can peer into dozens of narrow, straight seahorse. These fish are mostly crevices, both small and large. Each crevice is dark brown in color. When the sea temperature Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

March 2003


warms up, they become fairly numerous. But the most common and numerous fish is one that resembles a small butterfly fish. They range in length from about one-half inch to two inches. I have attempted to verify the species in my "Reef Fish Identification" book by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach, but have been unable to do so. Their vertical coloring is thick black and yellow alternating stripes. Some divers collect them for their personal saltwater aquariums. It is not uncommon to observe twenty or more of these attractive fish during an hour-long dive. Some divers try to net them underwater, a humorous sight to behold, but these fish are well-ensconced in rock crevices, so most divers use a "slurp gun." This consists of a clear, round acrylic tube, with a plunger-like device at the rear end that can be drawn back rapidly to create a suction, drawing fish into the tube for ultimate relocation to a new aquarium home. All of the fish that I have mentioned, both local residents and tropical visitors, have been observed by me on a single dive. I am sure that there are many more species that can be found with some perseverance. Unfortunately, all of these

tropicals perish by mid-autumn when ocean temperatures fall. These fish have no migrating instinct. The current is too strong and the distance too far for small, immature fish to return to their warm home seas. Even if possible, such a task would be overwhelming. It' s too bad that they are not in the flying fish family so they could fly south for winter! And speaking of flying.. .I'm writing this in early January, during what already seems to be a winter that has been too long, cold, and snowy. Both the weather and this story are beginning to make me yearn for the mild days of spring. If only time could fly with those fish! But in what direction is this heading? It's telling me that it's time to end this story because only a few cold days ago Donna told me that there's a brand new, direct, nonstop, Saturday-to-Saturday flight out of New York for the winter. Anyone for a week in the Cayman Islands?

Every

by CLAUDIA DICKINSON ur special Modern Aquarium edition for May is bringing out a fascinating array of stories from the women of the GCAS. Each of you have shared a thought or a story on your fishkeeping (or your spouses), your experiences, and your adventures. Co-Editor of the Modern Aquarium May issue, Sue Priest, has been bursting with enthusiasm and busy with the details. (It is our good fortune that Sue is married to the real Editor-in Chief, Al Priest!) This is going to be a Grande issue that every woman of the GCAS is going to be a part of, along with several other women hobbyists across the globe! This will be an issue that all ~ men and women alike ~ shall surely enjoy, for it will be filled to the brim! Every month I feel so privileged to have a sneak preview of the upcoming issue of the Modern Aquarium before it goes to press. As I peruse the first draft pages, a smile never fails to cross my face. Each issue brings something new and someone special (one of you!) out there, writing about your fish, your fishrooms, your travels and experiences. Charley Sabatino has brought to life so perfectly the growth of his fishroom, giving us new thoughts and ideas for our own. The wonderful journeys of Stephen and Donna Sica have brought the warmth and the world of the Carribean to us, diving with the creatures there, something we may never have been able to experience, if not through Stephen's eyes (and face mask!). Jerry O'Farrell has told us the wonders of the Flower Horn Cichlid and has more delightful tales in store for us tonight! The Greater City Aquarium Society is made up of a diverse and wonderful group of individuals, as each of you, who converge each month for an evening filled by fishy friendships, fun and laughter! In our hobby, our friendship and our publication, every month brings something new, and this is all because of.....you!

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March 2003

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


So You Want A Tank? by JERRY O'FARRELL 've always dreamed of owning a bigger tank, so I thought I'd share some of my experiences in getting a larger tank. Like so many beginners, I started out with a ten gallon starter kit that I bought with the tips from my very first job delivering groceries. Right from the beginning, the ten gallon tank was too small, but what could I do? I was only making sixteen dollars a week, plus tips, so the dream of a larger tank had to wait. As I got older, I landed my dream job, which was working with horses. I couldn't have been happier. As the years went by, I had to give up working with horses because I had gotten thrown off one too many times. So, what could I do with my spare time? I kept the ten gallon going over the years, but now, with more time on my hands, I thought, "Why not get a bigger tank?!" So, off I went to the pet shop; and home I went with a brand new twenty gallon high tank. But, I had forgotten something — where was I going to put it? As I was putting it in my bedroom, and space was limited, I would have to put it where the ten gallon was. But, I didn't want to give up the ten gallon. So, once again, off I went to the pet shop for a double stand. I got it home, and realized I needed a better filter for the twenty gallon tank. So, off I went, and got one of those new Supreme hang-on-the-back power filters. Now I thought I was happy. I had two tanks with modern equipment, and nice fish. Who had it better than me? Then came along the "pompadour fish" (Discus). I just had to have one of these wild beauties. So I went out and bought not one, but two, nice brown Discus. I went home, and took everybody from the twenty, and put them in the ten gallon, so the Discus would have enough room. But, as luck would have it, wild blue and green Discus came along, and, you guessed it, I just had to have them! So now, I had six Discus in a twenty gallon tank, all grown up. Guess what: I needed a bigger tank. But what to do? The last set-up cost a "small fortune," and a bigger tank meant more money. Then one day, I was talking to the salesman in the pet shop, telling him of my dilemma, and guess what? He was selling his thirty

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

gallon long with all the trimmings, for a give-away price. Well, I jumped all over it, and gave him the money. Now I had to get the tank, gravel, filter, stand, lights, and all the accessories home. I couldn't carry it all home at one time, so after several trips on the train, I finally got it all home. I set it up in the living room, and put in the Discus, who were grateful for the larger home. There it stayed for a couple of years. I was a big shot now — three tanks with all top-of-the-line equipment. I was in my glory! Well, guess what? It was time to move to a bigger place. Well, moving day came, and I had all the fish in buckets. Down went the ten gallon, then the twenty, and next the thirty. As luck would have it — doom and despair — the bottom fell out of the thirty! What was I going to do? All my fish, including my Discus, were in buckets. So, off to the new apartment I went with two tanks, and buckets offish and water. When I got there, I set up the tanks right away, and split the Discus into the two tanks, and the smaller fish stayed in buckets, with box filters. But, all was not doom and despair — now was my chance, you guessed it, to get a bigger tank. As luck would have it, the local pet shop was having a sale on fifty-five gallon tanks, with stand and canopy. Wow, was I in luck! Well, after getting it home, I had to take the filter from the thirty and from the twenty, along with the lights and heaters, to get the tank started. In went the Discus, and since I had to "borrow from Peter to pay Paul," in went the community fish also, and again, all was good with the world. Things went pretty well for the next few years. I had a fifty-five, a new thirty, the twenty, and ten gallon tanks going. But I started to get the bug again — you guessed it — for a bigger tank. But, every time I wanted a new tank, it turned into an adventure. So, when my friend asked me if I knew how to get to Lancaster, PA. I said, "Sure." I used to go through there on the way to New Holland to buy horses. So, when he asked me if I could take him to this fish supply warehouse he

March 2003


Our scheduled speaker this month

L^xtenat.6 a Warm Welcome to: LUJS Speaking on:

"Digital Cameras and Aquatic Photography" by: CLAUDIA DICKINSON he lively streets of Hong Kong bustled with activity as the street vendors rushed out to passers-by to hawk their wares. From seafood and fresh vegetables, to silks and fine fabrics, all one could yearn for was here. But it was the long, narrow aisles of the Goldfish Market that beckoned the American visitor, camera in hand, as he adeptly snapped away at the masses of living color. From Orandas to Ranchus, Ryukins to Shubunkins, Luis Morales expertly captured the inhabitants within the towering tanks, steeped high on either side, their waters filled with the most exquisite array of flowing colors. Digital cameras and aquatic photography began in 1999 for Luis. However, his fishkeeping commenced at a much earlier age, as a young child of nine, when he and his family took a day-trip to a favorite location known as "The River." This was actually a stream, and to a young child's delight, was wondrously teaming with crayfish and wild Gambusi. The day's collecting resulted in a substantial bucket laden with the prized wild Gambusi. The return home found the Morales's searching out a pet shop to choose a ten-gallon aquarium kit, outfitted with filter and hood, to house Luis's new treasures. Later that night, the Morales family pulled into their Los Angeles, California driveway with the beginnings of a lifelong love for Luis. His family moved to Tampa Bay, Florida, where he attended high school, and subsequently Luis would attend the University of Tampa and then the University of Arizona, where he received Bachelor Degrees in Marine Science, Chemistry and Electrical Engineering. Fish remained a part of his life, and at least one tank accompanied Luis during these years. Working to help defray the cost of his education, Luis took on a job at Hartz Mountain. His position entailed unpacking and re-packing

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

huge shipments of fish that were to be dispersed among the various five and dime stores, as well as department stores. The back of the building, termed "the graveyard," accommodated an area of old twenty-nine gallon tanks, that either leaked or were broken. Unable to afford a new tank, this was a goldmine for Luis, who took apart several tanks to build a "new" twenty-nine gallon tank. There were always a few tanks of "leftover" fish that had become mixed together, and were too time consuming to sort any further for shipping. Luis was allowed to choose what he would like from these tanks, and his refurbished twenty-nine gallon tank soon housed an assortment of guppies, gouramis, eels, angelfish and any other exotica that caught his eye. As his wife-to-be served in the army and was stationed in Hawaii, Luis lived there and worked for an oceanographer on water analysis at the Oceanic Institute from 1981-1982. Spending many hours out on the ocean collecting water samples, Luis became interested in marine fish and aquaria, which he continues to work with to this day. Married in 1982 to his lovely wife, Gay, the couple presently lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey, with their three children and an assortment of animals. Their eldest son, Luis, Jr., age eighteen, currently has a two-foot snake that he enjoys as a pet. Daniel, age fourteen, excels in the field of dance and has won many competitive events. He shares his father's love of animals as well. Angelina, age nine, loves her dog, "Padmae," (named after the Star Wars character) and dreams of becoming a zoologist. An Information Technology Manager at Morgan Stanley, Luis's travels take him across the globe. He frequents such ports as Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, and Singapore, as well as the Florida fish farms. It is in these exotic locations

March 2003


that he is certain to take at least a day to peruse the aquarium shops and markets. His interest in fish photography actually began here, and now extends to many various aquarium events throughout the country. Luis presently keeps approximately fifty aquariums, ranging in size from 2.5 to 75 gallons. His greatest love is Angelfish, which he keeps several strains of, and on which he has done extensive genetic research. Apistogramma run a close second, followed by various others, including some of the African cichlids. He cultures several live foods and believes in this as a most nutritious food source.

Receiving his first digital camera as a Christmas gift in 1999, Luis has since put hours of research and practice into his hobby, refining the art of aquarium photography to perfection. Photographing a subject such as moving fish, through the glass walls of a tank, requires boundless skills and talent, and Luis has mastered these to a science. Luis is a delight to know, and most generous in imparting his knowledge and techniques to other enthusiasts. It is with great pleasure, and a great honor that we welcome Luis tonight to share his expertise on "Digital Cameras and Aquatic Photography."

econd Reprints deserving a second look The following reprint is from an article by this month's Guest Speaker, Luis Morales. Reprinted by permission.

Digital Cameras and ftquatic Photography by LUIS MORALES irthdays, anniversaries, Father's/Mother's Day, graduation, and let's not forget the holiday season, everyone is thinking of gifts that they would like to receive, and that they would like to give their friends and family. A common gift is a camera for an individual, or as a family gift (well, at least that's what I tell my wife). These days we've all been hit by the digital age: computers, the Internet, video games, digital video camcorders, and of course, "Digital Cameras." The digital camera can be a wonderful gift for an individual with an interest in photography, or as a general purpose family point-and-shoot camera used to capture all those special memories. Best of all for us aquarists, it is great for taking photographs offish and aquariums. Let us review the key features you should look for when choosing a digital camera for both personal and hobby use.

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Advantages of digital over conventional film cameras. Digital cameras have several advantages over film cameras. First, you no longer have to pay for film. You can take as many photos as your hard drive can hold. Go easy, though, because your hard drive will fill up fast. Secondly, you get immediate feedback. For anyone who has taken

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photos of fish, you know how frustrating and expensive it can be with traditional film photography. With digital, if you aren't satisfied with your photo, you can do it over and over again, until you get the results you want.

March 2003

There are a few disadvantages There is a slight delay from the time you Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


push the shutter button and the time the camera actually records the photo. There is also a slight delay in writing the data that comprises your photo to the camera's memory. This does takes a little getting used to, but is manageable. Some claim that the quality of digital photographs have not reached the quality of conventional film. This is a matter of opinion, and generates quite a bit of discussion, as you can imagine. Be assured, though, that many professional photographers have already switched to digital. In fact, most photojournalists use nothing but digital cameras these days. Of course, they are using high end, expensive professional models. In my opinion, for everyday use, the quality of consumer digital cameras is comparable to film-based cameras. Printing You can edit and print out your own photos at home on your ink jet printer, from wallet size on up. The "on up" part does depend on the resolution of your digital camera. An 8.5"xll" sheet of photo glossy paper for your inkjet printer costs less then a dollar. On this sheet, you can get a lot of wallet size, several 4"x6" or 5"x7" prints, or a combination of these on one sheet. If you don't want to print them at home, there are many one-hour shops. (Target and other stores now offer digital photo printing services.) Just bring your photos on your memory card, floppy disk, or CD, and choose the size and quantity. If you want to stay home, you can upload your photos to the Internet and order your prints from the comfort of your home, then have them mailed directly to your home for as low as 19 cents each for 4"x6" prints. Many services can put your photo on a t-shirt, mug, cake, mouse pad, etc., at a very reasonable cost. To see examples, check out http://www.clubphoto.com/. If you print your photos at home, you need to have a high quality photo printer. Fortunately, these can be had for as little as $199.00 these days. Aquatic Photography The problem with fish is that they rarely sit still for you, and they rarely line up horizontally so you can get a good shot. So, what happens with the automatic cameras, or if you are in automatic mode, is that a good portion of the fish is out of focus. Therefore, you might get a good head shot, or a good body shot, or a good tail shot, but the rest of the fish is out of focus. Keep in mind I consider myself a beginner in the world of photography, but what I have found is that I get my best pictures if I put the camera in "fully manual mode," which gives me complete control over the shutter speed and aperture. I make the shutter speed as fast as possible. On my Nikon Coolpix 990, that is 1/1000, and I close down the aperture Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

to F/16, so that I get maximum depth of field. I also force the flash, and adjust exposure levels, to get the correct light and color balance. While I still have a lot of testing and experimenting to do, I have so far found this to be the best configuration for freezing the fish, and getting the whole fish in focus with good depth of field. Then there is the problem of reflection off the glass...which is another whole story...! have found that I need to get as close to the glass as possible, and hold the camera at an angle, so the flash hits the glass in a way that minimizes the reflection...and even that doesn't work all the time. Then you sometimes have the problem of having your reflection, or some other reflection, in the glass come out in the photo. But with digital, you get immediate feedback. You can take as many photos as you want until you get that one great shot, and you don't have to wait to get them developed to find out your setting was wrong, or that you moved while taking the snapshot. While all this setup and preparation helps, I still usually have to take a dozen or more shots to get one good one, because the fish will change position and I'll get a head shot or a tail shot, or only half the fish because they moved out of the frame, etc. With digital, this is not a problem, because, as mentioned above, you get immediate feedback. As for automatic digital cameras, see my comments to follow. There are many good digital cameras on the market, and new ones coming out all the time, so it makes it tough to recommend a specific make or model. Based on my experience though, I can make specific recommendations on what features to look for. Resolution You will want at least a three megapixel (MP) camera for very good resolution and printing. This resolution is good for printing up to 8.5"xl 1" high quality prints. One MP cameras are only good for low-resolution photos, to be used on the web, or for very small prints (such as wallet size), possibly 4"x6". There are many quality two MP cameras on the market. These are good for prints up to 5"x7". While you can take a photo and produce a larger print, the quality of that print will progressively get worse, as the print gets larger. Cost First, decide how much you want to spend on a camera. As with anything, you get what you pay for. The more features a digital camera has, the more expensive it will be. The good news is that over time, consumers have been getting more features for less money, and now is a great time to get into digital photography. A three MP camera will cost from $350.00 on up. You can get a five MP camera for under $1,000.00.

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things about Cannon's Gl and G2 models, and the Olympus 3040 models. These are all high-end models. You can still take great family photos with less expensive models that have many or all the features mentioned above. You can also get decent fish and aquarium photos with the less expensive models, but it may take you longer. The biggest secret is to understand your camera's features and how to operate them.

http://www.characin.com/photography/ At this site, you can read an excellent article on "Digital Aquarium Photography" by Randy Carey. http://wwwl5.brinkster.com/runo7/fishphoto.htm Another article - "Digital Phish Fotografy 'My Way!"' http://www. bhphotovideo. com/ If you have the time, and want to hold any or all of these cameras in your hands before buying, you should get into Midtown Manhattan and visit B&H Photo. They have all the makes and models in stock, and they have some of the best prices I've seen. You can search their web site for info and prices, and even order over the Internet.

More information http://steves-digicams.com/ This is an excellent place to read reviews on all the latest and past models. In my opinion, this is the best site for reviews. Magazines: You can purchase one of the recent digital photo magazines at your local bookstore. At the end of they year most publish their annual buyer guides, which contain reviews on all the available models, listing features and sample photos. Some magazines include PC Photo, What Digital Camera, Digital Photographer, and Digital Camera.

http://www. agfanet. com/en/cafe/ph otocourse/ digicourse/cont_index.php3 This site provides a Digital Photo Course, and will go into a lot more detail then I could cover in this article.

NASSAU DISCUS • • • • •

QUALITY DISCUS MANY VARIETIES (call) ALREADY QUARANTINED ALREADY CONDITIONED SOLD DIRECT TO HOBBYISTS ONLY (appointment required)

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

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

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Photos and captions of our February 2003 meeting

It was an "'All-Star* cast, with GCAS Expert Panelists Charley Sabatino, Anton Vukich, Harry Faustmann and Moderator, Joe Ferdenzi, answering our many questions with their great wealth of knowledge.

Brad Dickinson skillfully handles Technical Production, while our #1 GCAS Expert, President Joe Ferdenzi, captains the event.

President Joe Ferdenzi sketches a diagram, demonstrating a clear picture in reference to a question on repairing a leaking tank.

Technical Adviser, Mark Soberman, stands ready to field any questions that may need further explanation.

What a pleasure to have the lovely GCAS Presidential Daughter, Francesca Ferdenzi, along with her dear friend and colleague, Jessica, look in on our meeting for a special student project assignment. We can't wait to see their exceptional journalistic results! 14

A wonderful welcome and always a helping hand awaits GCAS Early Arrivals (and latecomers too! (*!*)) by the ever-cheerful Pete D'Orio. March 2003

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


FAASinationsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;News From: The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he Federation of American Aquarium Societies ("FAAS") consists of aquarium societies in the United States, Canada, as well as Central and South America. Its main purposes are: to further the growth and activities of aquarium societies; to serve as a mechanism of communication among aquarium societies; to promote the maintenance, propagation, and growth of tropical fishes and other aquatic life forms; and to represent aquarium societies before governmental bodies. Among its programs, FAAS has a Publication Awards Program (see last month's issue of Modern Aquarium for the results of the 2001 Publication Awards), an aquatic Photo Awards Contest (see me for details, if you are interested), a Horticultural Award Program, and a Breeders Award Program. The Delegates Council (of which I am current Chairman) is an attempt to get input from member societies on a variety of issues. Although this Council has no formal authority within FAAS, its recommendations have, in the past, been accepted and adopted by the FAAS Board of Directors. The Council has recently been discussing changes to the Publication Awards Program. The most recent suggestions (sent to all Council Member Delegates for final approval) would do the following things with respect to the Publication Awards Program: 1) "Author Of The Year" award is to be reinstated (it was abolished in 1998). 2) "Author Of The Year" will be based on a point system (five points for every first, three points for every second, and one point for every third place article). The author with the most points gets that year's "Author of the Year" award. (Only first, second, and third place awards for articles are considered for Author of the Year, so excluded from consideration are any Honorable Mention awards, and any awards given for "best publication," "best cover," "best cartoon," and "best original artwork." Included towards the Author of the Year award would be any first, second or third place awards given for columns, if the column was written by one person.) 3) An article that wins in more than one category will be counted only once â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for the highest number of points it won in any one category.

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4) In the event of a tie, two or more "Author of the Year" awards will be awarded. 5) With respect to "Juniors" (authors from 10 to 18 years old), a separate "Junior Author of the Year" award will be given. First, second and third place awards for juniors in all categories will be judged solely on the basis of merit, using the same criteria used to judge the adult entries. In addition, ALL Junior entries that do not receive a first, second, or third place award on the basis of merit will still be given something (e.g., an honorable mention, a participation certificate, etc.), which has no point value with respect to qualification for the Junior Author of the Year award. Juniors are eligible for the adult Author of the Year award only to the extent that their articles won a first, second or third place award in the non-junior (i.e., "Adult") categories by having been submitted without reference to the fact that the author was, in fact, a junior. On another issue relating to the FAAS Publication Awards, The Council is deciding whether to recommend expanding two current article categories: "Best Collecting Article" and "Best Article on Live Foods." As currently being discussed, "Best Collecting Article" would become "Best Collecting or Traveling Article" (to include, for example, an article about visiting a public aquarium, another fish club, another member's fish room, or even a "tour" of local pet shops, etc.), and have "Best Article on Live Foods" become "Best Article on Health and Nutrition" (to include, for example, a discussion of freeze dried vs. frozen foods, best foods for different fish, recipes for home-made foods, plus articles on treatment of bloat, Ich, velvet, pop-eye, etc.). Expanding these categories would also reduce the number of articles in the highly competitive "not nominated in any other" category. When the Council has finalized its position, I will let you know. After that, it is up to the Board of Directors to make a final decision. Anyone interested in the FAAS Aquatic Photography, Horticultural, or Breeders Award programs should see me during a GCAS meeting, or email me at 102337.517@compuserve.com

March 2003

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


News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies by CLAUDIA DICKINSON h my gosh ~ only twenty-three days left to go! The big weekend we've all been waiting for is almost upon us as the NEC celebrates its Annual Convention on March 28th ~ 30th! But wait, you say all you have been hearing about is this big convention, hosted by something called the NEC? And each month the Editor of Modern Aquarium, Al Priest, writes about something called FAAS? Just what are you two talking about anyway? What is this NEC and what is FAAS? Well, Al is certainly the one to tell you about FAAS, as he is very involved with the organization, and represents the GCAS in superb style as a Delegate and Committee Chair. The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies, or NEC, is an organization currently made up of sixteen aquarium clubs and societies throughout the entire Northeast region of the United States. Member clubs spread to the far northern reaches of New Hampshire and Vermont, across to Boston on the coast of Massachusetts, over the Sound of Long Island, passing through Queens (Botanical Garden (*!*)) and Brooklyn, and extend as far west as New Jersey. The NEC provides a productive and efficient manner in which the member clubs are able to exchange information and partake in the endeavors of fellow member clubs. Each NEC member society appoints a member delegate who conveys information between the NEC and his or her home club. (That's where I come in (*!*)) Other functions of the NEC include setting up standards for the judging of tropical fish, and a diligent training program, giving members the opportunity to become qualified judges. The Greater City Aquarium Society pays annual dues and is accepted and recognized as a member of the NEC by the Board of Governors. That means that you, as a member of the GCAS, are also automatically a member of the NEC! So now you see as a member of the GCAS and the NEC, and a most special person on top of all of that! you simply must come to the Grande Event of the year, hosted by your organization ~ the NEC! That's March 28th~30th, held at the beautiful and accommodating Farmington Marriott Hotel, in the lovely rolling hills of Connecticut.

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

Remember, you may come one day, or join in for all three! Friday night launches the affair with two seminars, along with bountiful socializing and fun. Saturday is filled to the brim with speakers, vendors, an awards banquet, friends, fish and fun. Sunday is the Huge Auction and, did I say.... friends, fish and fun? I We shall all be there, and I can't wait to see you there too! In the meantime, our fellow NEC clubs have been busy keeping the calendar full. Let's take a look at the NEC Calendar of Events: March 9th: Exotic Fish Society of Hartford Annual Auction March 9th: Jersey Shore Aquarium Society 9th Annual Auction March 16th: Tropical Fish Soc. of Rhode Island Annual Buck-a-Bag Auction March 28th-30th: NEC Annual Convention April 6th: Long Island Aquarium Society Annual Auction April 12th: Danbury Area Aquarium Society Pond Seminar April 13th: Monadnock Region Aquarium Club Annual Auction May 18th: Aqualand Aquarium Society Annual Auction June 1st: NEC General Meeting July 13th: NEC Fund-raising Auction August 16th: NEC Annual Picnic Sept 26th~28th: North Jersey Aquarium Society 50th Show & Auction! October 4th~5th: Norwalk Aquarium Society Show & Auction! Take Care, have fun, and enjoy your fishkeeping!

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Scenes from Our Last GCAS Meeting

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March 2003

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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I've Never Been Able To... A series by "The Under gravel Reporter" In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of the Editor, or of the Greater City Aquarium Society. 've been keeping fish for some time. I've had many successes, and quite a few failures. And, while I don't necessarily count these as "failures," I've never been able to:

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1. ...get one of those battery powered gravel cleaners to work the way it's supposed to work. Oh, I've gotten them to turn on, make noise, and when put into a tank of water, make bubbles. I've managed to use a battery powered gravel cleaner to spook fish that would otherwise be nibbling at my fingers during a water change and gravel cleaning. I've somehow managed to completely soak a shirt I was wearing while trying to use one of these devices. But, I've never been able to get one of those battery powered contraptions to clean gravel. 2. ...successfully reuse a tube of aquarium silicone sealer after more than a week of opening the tube for the first time. Usually, I wind up puncturing the tube in the middle to get enough silicone sealer for whatever repair job I am working on. Then, I throw away the tube and spend the next three days trying to clean my fingers of silicone. 3....cure any fish of Ich (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, also called "white spot disease"), no matter what I tried. I've added salt, increased the tank temperature, used medications containing a combination of malachite green and formalin, used copper sulfate, formalin, potassium permanganate, etc., all to no avail. Fortunately, my fish do not generally get Ich but those that do are, effectively, "terminal cases." Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

4. ...find the "fin nipper" in my largest community tank. All of the fish in that tank were picked for their "compatibility" with each other. However, every few weeks another fish turns up with a tear in one of its fins. Just when I think I know who the "culprit" is, that fish winds up with a fin nip itself. So, that fish is either a combination contortionist/masochist, or not guilty (or, at the very least, not the only guilty party). 5. ...keep a culture of vinegar eels, white worms, daphnia, wingless fruit flies, mosquito larvae, or grindal worms alive and going for more than a few days at a time. I've tried different methods for growing each of them. I've read books and Internet discussions on how to keep these live foods. However, when I try to use the methods described, I invariably wind up with a very smelly and unappealing mess. The most irritating thing is that while different sources will often have different formulas for success, they all agree on one thing: these foods are very easy to culture and maintain at home â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so easy that even a beginner can do it. That's the most annoying thing of all. 6. ...use those tiny green or blue plastic "T-connectors" and valves to split a single airline so that it can service two filters. Within a day or two of having tried to do so, one of the filters invariably stops receiving an adequate supply of air. If I adjust the air flow to equalize it, then the next day either that same filter, or the other one sharing the same main airline, will stop bubbling, and I'm back to square one again. 7. ...get one of those "self-priming" canister filters to start pumping water properly after I have opened it to clean or replace the filter media. I have found that tilting and shaking sometimes works. (This also sometimes works on spouses, but don't quote me on that!) 8. ...completely rid a tank of snails, once they settle themselves in. I've tried Clown Loaches, Gouramis, and Paradisefish to rid a tank of snails. In every case, within a few weeks of adding any of these fish, the snails disappeared. However, once these fish were removed, the snails returned. I know many aquarists want snails in their tanks, but I'm not one of them. The one time I tried to grow them, I killed them all off. But that's another story, for another time.

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March 2003

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Welcome Our New Member: Peter Foster and, Renewing Members: Bill Amely and Richard Haverlin Door Prize Winner: Jason Kerner won the Baensch Atlas (volume I) Last month's Bowl Show: 1) Harry Faustmann Nothobranchius guntheri 2) Anton Vukich Jordanellafloridae 3) Joseph Ferdenzi "Blue Gularis" Unofficial 2002-2003 Bowl Show totals to date: Harry Faustmann - lOpts. Viviane Davis - 5pts. Pat Coushaine - 5pts. Al Priest - 3pts. Carlotti DeJager - 3pts. Anton Vukich - 3pts. Pete D'Orio - Ipt. Joseph Ferdenzi - Ipt. Bill Amely - Ipt. Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting: April 2, 2003. "Silent Auction" (fleamarket) No speaker; no Bowl Show &pm: Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St., Flushing, NY Contact: Mr. Joseph Ferdenzi Telephone: (718) 767-2691 e-mail: GreaterCity@compuserve.com http://www.greatercity.org

Brooklyn Aquarium Society Next meeting: March 14,2003 Speaker: Marine Author Erie Borneman Tojiic: "Corals, Corals, Corals" 8pm : Education Hall at the NY Aquarium Surf Avenue at West 8th St. Brooklyn, NY BAS Events Hotline (718) 837-4455 http://www,brooklynaquariumsociety.org

East Coast Guppy Association

Big Apple Guppy Club

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 1st /Thursday of each month at the Queens Botanical Garden Contacts: Jeff George/Gene Baudier Telephone: (718)428-7190 / (516)345-6399

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at the Queens Botanical Garden Contact: Mr. Donald Curtin Telephone: (718)631-0538

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Friday of each month (except July and August) at:

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 2nd Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post 1066, 66 Veterans Blvd., Massapequa, NY

The Holts ville Park and Zoo 249 Buckley Road ~ Holtsville, NY Contact: Mr. Vihny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066 http://liasonline.org/

Next Meeting March 11, 2003. "Fish Panel" Contact: Michael Foran Telephone:^ 16)798-6766 http://ncas.fws 1 .com/index.html

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Meets: 8PM - 3rd Thursday of the month at the Meadowlands Environmental Center 1 Dekorte Park Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center (formerly called the Nature Center for Environmental Activities), Westport, CT Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253 http://norwalkas.org/html/

Contact: NJAS Hotline at (201) 332-4415 ore-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com


Fin Fun

The "S" Word For those of you who turn to the Fin Fun page first each month, hoping to find a spelling bee, this is your lucky day! The task at hand is to determine whether or not these fish names containing the letter "S" are spelled correctly. It's not cheating to pull out your Baensch Atlas (volume I), if you need a little help.

Fish Name

Spelled Correctly

Spelled Incorrectly

Aequidens curviseps Tropheus duboissi Synodontis choutedeni Rasbora maculata Apistogramma agazzizii Pterophyllum scalar e Poesilia sphenops Macropodus opercularis Nannostomus trifaciatus Sphaerichthys osphromenoides

Solution to last month's puzzle: Two Out

Of

FEBRUARY IS HERE AND YOUR FISH WANT JO SAY "GIVE US A WATER CHANGE ON VALENTINE'S DAY!"

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


Modern Aquarium  

March 2003 volume X number 3

Modern Aquarium  

March 2003 volume X number 3

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