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AQUARIUM

APRIL 2003 volume X number 4

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York


modern

AQUARIUM ON THE COVER The Paradise Fish (Macropodus opercularis) on our cover, while a native of Southeast Asia, also happens to be ideally suited to a "backyard container aquarium," as described by Al Priest in his article "We Need A Little Summer," in this month's issue. Photo by Alexander A. Priest GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members President ...........Joseph Ferdenzi Vice-President . . . . . . . Mark Soberman Treasurer . . . . . . . . . , . . . . . Jack Traub Corres. Secretary . . . . . . . Warren Feuer Recording Secretary Ray Albanese Members At Large Steve Chen Cariotti DeJager Jason Kerner Greg Wuest

Pete D'Orio Claudia Dickinson Ben Haus 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 Associate Editor . . . . . . . . . Susan Priest Senior Editor....... Claudia Dickinson Copy Editors , Ray Albanese, Dora Dong Photo/Layout Editor Jason Kerner Advertising Mgr. . . . " . - , . Mark Soberman Executive Editor ; . . . . . Joseph Ferdenzi

Series III

Vol. X, No. 4

April, 2003

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest

2

President's Message

3

We Need A Little Summer

5

Looking Through The Lens

8

Oxygen Levels In A Non-traditional Planted Tank

10

In Search Of A Big Stand

13

Martin T. Goldfish

15

Fish Club Etiquette

17

Photos from our Last Meeting

18

Wet Leaves (Book Review)

21

But, It's Not The Same

23

Bowl Show & Door Prize Winners Silent Auction Rules

24

G.C.A.S. Happenings

25

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

26

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


by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

his will be my last "Babblenest" until June. For next month, I've turned this magazine over to the GCAS "Leading Ladies" for an all-female issue. Frankly, I don't know what will replace this column. One thing is almost a certainty, the May 2003 issue of Modern Aquarium promises to be memorable and, quite probably, a first within the amateur fish hobby. Once this special issue is out, I want to direct your attention once again to the January 2004 issue of Modern Aquarium. The first issue in Series III (this current series) of Modern Aquarium came out in January 1994. In January 2004, the 100th issue in this Series will be printed (assuming that we have no serious problems that keep us from printing one issue a month, each month we meet, from now until then). This is the longest running "Series" of Modern Aquarium in the history of Greater City.

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Last year, I collected a number of "hints, tips, and tricks" related to the fishkeeping hobby. If you already submitted some, thanks. If you did not submit any, or if you have thought of more, there is still time to send them in, and have your name entered as being among the contributors to this issue. As with the May 2003 issue, the January 2004 issue promises to be memorable, and you can be a part of it. Everyone who is a paid-up member of Greater City should receive a postcard about a week before a meeting, to remind you of the meeting. If you are not getting this postcard, please let me know. If you want to receive an email reminder notice, in addition to the postcard, just send me your email address. Whether you elect to receive an email notice or not, you will still receive a reminder postcard in the mail. Also, please be assured that we do not rent, sell, or give out either your email, or postal mail address. While much more work goes into their creation, every "theme" issue of Modern Aquarium we have done has been very well received. If you have an idea for a future theme issue, let me know. Obviously, the success of a theme issue is heavily dependent upon me getting articles that fit in with the theme. Because of this, I can't guarantee that your idea will result in a theme issue in the future. But, I will give serious consideration to all suggestions. Having just said how much harder it is to put together a "theme" issue, I find we have a mini "pond" issue this month, and without even trying!

Lculle& by SUSAN PRIEST

any thanks to each of you who has contributed to our Special Collectors Issue of Modern Aquarium; from those of you who have entrusted us with a most precious photo, to the ones who are making their "maiden voyage" as an author. I think I can safely promise our readership that everyone will find something to enjoy. There is still time to participate. We will be able to include any contributions which we receive on or before Wednesday, April 9. If it gets to us after that, then Al will be more than happy to use it in a future issue.

M

One area in which we have not received contributions is artwork. If any of you ladies has something tucked away in your portfolio that you have been saving for a rainy day, well, it's April! As you probably already know, Claudia has arranged a speaker for our May meeting who is truly a "Leading Lady" of the aquarium hobby. (See the "Happenings" page for details.) Also, there will be a small gift for every lady who attends our May meeting, along with a few surprises as well!

April 2003

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


President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI

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ince this is April, it must be Greater City's annual Silent Auction/Fleamarket. It is a great way to pick up unusual aquarium items, while helping to raise funds for our club. Every year, I am fascinated by the variety of items that our members donate — vintage aquariums, artistic creations, hard-to-find equipment, and assorted other gadgets. It is also a great opportunity for just chatting with fellow hobbyists, as you walk about the fleamarket and browse. It is always one of my favorite meetings, and it's been a Greater City tradition for over 20 years! * * * Speaking of fundraising, our monthly auctions come to my mind. Last month's auction was exemplary. Our members donated some fantastic home-bred fish — from exquisite red (with red eyes!) swordtails, to exotic Lake Tanganyika cichlids like Neolamprologus leleupi. One of our advertisers, Mark Rubinow, donated several outstanding varieties of discus. We also had our usual assortment of plants, live food, and snails. In short, our auction had everything of a living nature for your aquarium — and all home-bred or raised. * * * The above brings me to another point. During my years as President, I have always been (and will always be) opposed to any attempt to "commercialize" our activities. We do not buy fish food in bulk, for example, and resell it in smaller quantities to our members. In the past, when someone has made that suggestion, it has been firmly opposed by me and the Board of Governors. We will not undermine the local pet shops who support us, and in the big picture, our hobby. I am particularly opposed to one regrettable practice. That practice entails going to a wholesaler, purchasing fish, and then auctioning them off at the monthly meeting. It would be bad enough if this practice were employed by an individual hobbyist, but it would be altogether more destructive were it orchestrated by a club's leaders. Every pet shop owner I know is adamantly opposed to this practice that undermines their business; they deplore a club buying fish at wholesale and then, in effect, Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

reselling them at monthly auctions. I don't blame them — it is wrong, especially when a club is asking these same shops to advertise in its magazine, or to publicize its events in their stores. It might be one thing to purchase fish wholesale for a one-time event, like an annual auction (although Greater City has never done that either), but to do it every month simply creates an unwholesome situation. The pet shop owners I have spoken to are reasonable people. They understand that clubs need to have auctions and raffles to generate funds. That is why, by and large, they take no issue with the already mentioned once a year event, or the monthly auctioning of donated fish, or the raffles of donated items. Nor, for that matter, do they usually object to the sale of esoteric items, like cans of brine shrimp eggs, since they are not routinely sold by most pet shops anyway. It is the use of a club's treasury to buy "bread and butter" items for monthly resale, that causes concern for them because it means that a club can turn itself into a virtual pet shop one day a month, whereupon members can then come to routinely and reliably buy such items as fish, fish food, and other basic items. A raffle of donated items, by way of contrast, is not something a club member can rely upon in fulfilling their everyday hobby needs — you don't know what will be in the raffle each month, or more importantly, whether you will even win the item (note that GCAS does not auction or sell the items donated by manufacturers on a monthly basis). Yes, every sale or raffle of donated items has some impact on sales at pet shops, but when done via donations and raffles, the impact is marginal. Moreover, donations and raffles are not perceived as a threat to anyone's livelihood. Buying fish wholesale for monthly resale, on the other hand, cannot but signal a willingness to use club funds to challenge a pet shop's economic lifeline, especially if extended to the purchase of other basic items (e.g., buying fish food in bulk for monthly resale), and is, therefore, understandably viewed as a foreboding practice. The economic benefit such a practice confers upon wholesalers is ironic, since no club I know of has paid advertising from wholesalers featured in their monthly publications. A retail shop owner would be quite within bounds to ask, "If you are going to confer your economic benefit on a wholesaler, and undermine my economic health, why should I advertise in your publication, or promote your club?" Supportive retail shops are often sources of new members — that is how I learned of GCAS — but I cannot recall one instance of a new member

April 2003


being referred to us by a wholesaler. This is not a knock on wholesalers — they also support clubs, and they would be equally and rightly miffed if clubs used their funds to buy fish from exporters or fish farmers, and sold them to members or retail establishments. Clearly, such a practice undermines the people with whom we are partnered. Plus, what does it say about its members and how the club leadership regards them? Greater City has about 80 active members, and yet our monthly auctions are fantastic. Yes, some months are better than others, but at least we don't have to go out and buy fish. Plainly asked, what kind of club do you have if you need to buy fish from wholesalers in

order to have a decent monthly auction? Additionally, what do the members who buy these fish think they're getting? Is it disclosed that the fish were plucked from a wholesaler's tank that morning? Lastly, such a practice casts a cloud of suspicion over clubs that don't engage in the monthly purchase offish or other items for resale. The practice of buying fish wholesale for the monthly auction is "penny wise and pound foolish." It would be the product of short-sighted policy. If clubs had a "Code of Ethics," the prohibition of that practice is one that I would insist be included in its canons.

Nassau County Aquarium Society Giant Auction-May 18, 2003 The Vanderbilt 1600 Round Swamp Road Plainview, NY Directions: Long Island Expressway to exit 48 - Round Swamp Road. Take Round Swamp Road south for approximately 300 ft. The Vanderbilt is on the right. Entries and viewing 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon Auction 12:00 Noon 50/50 Split or 100% Donations Accepted Free Admission; Free Parking For Information call: Mike Foran (516)798-6766, Bruce Bier (516)735-2602, or Ken Smith (631 )589-0913 Write to the NCAS at P.O. Box 33, Oakdale, NY 11769 or e-mail us at guppyghost@hotmail.com or forfins@optline.net

Brooklyn Aquarium Society 13th Annual Marine Event and Auction May 9, 2003 Golden Gate Motor Inn 3867 Shore Pkwy at Knapp St Brooklyn, NY The speaker for this event will be Bob Fenner. BAS Events Hotline (718) 837-4455 http://www.brooklynaquariumsociety.org/

April 2003

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


WE

A LITTLE

or How To Set-Up Your Own Backyard Aquarium by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he musical "Mame" had a song "We Need A Little Christmas" containing the lyrics: "It hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Santa, dear, we're in a hurry." As I write this, at the end of one of the worst winters New York City has seen in years (and the worst winter of this still new century), I'm thinking we all need a little summer about now. (Even while our last snowfall is, at the present time, melting, our weather forecasters are predicting a "wintery mix" later this week. Brrrr!) So, while my wife is busily scouring the plant and seed catalogs (which started showing up around Christmas), I am planning this year's backyard container aquarium project. Because, last year, for the first time, I tried to raise fish and plants outdoors. The ease with which I accomplished this, and the satisfaction it gave me, makes me want to do a repeat performance. Since one of our members recently asked me about keeping fish outdoors, it seems that this is the ideal time to share my experience with anyone else who might be contemplating a similar project.

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The Environment Here is the good news regarding everything you will not need to duplicate my experience: You will not need a lot of space. You only need an outdoor area that is either mostly shaded, or that receives direct sunlight only in the early morning or late afternoon. This is because all but the largest of water containers will heat up to dangerously high levels in only a few hours of being exposed to direct sunlight. A shady corner of an apartment's outdoor patio, or as in my case, under my back porch, works well. You will not need an in-ground pond, or an expensive speciality container. Last year, I used a 30 gallon plastic "tub" that I purchased for eight dollars. This year, I hope to purchase two 30 gallon tubs (larger, if I can get them at a reasonable price) that "stack" inside each other. With a "double wall" created by two containers, I should have less "bowing out" in the center (a condition where the water pressure pushes the walls outward). A double wall (with air trapped between the walls) should also provide a degree of insulation to help stabilize water temperature

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

fluctuations; and it will provide an extra degree of protection in the event of an accidental puncture. You will not need a heater, filter, air pump, water pump, or lights, nor will you need an electric connection. You can, of course, include them in your outdoor "pond," but I had great success without need to resort to any electrically powered device. The Hardware Here is more good news about what you will need to set up a backyard container aquarium: unless you want something very special or unique (for example, underwater lights, spouting fountains, waterfalls, etc.), just about everything you need is inexpensive and readily available. Go to your local "Mart" store ("Wai," "K," "super," etc.) and look for plastic containers. You want something wider than high, fairly strong, and stackable (if you want to do as I intend to this year, and use a "double walled" container). If you can, get a container with a removable lid. (I'll discuss that in more detail later.) You don't need a "brand name" container, but be sure any container you do select is fairly sturdy, as one gallon (U.S.) of water weighs a little over 8.3 pounds (or about 3.77 kilograms), and a 30 gallon container filled with 25 gallons of water will be over 200 pounds. Obviously, you won't be lifting the container once it is filled, nor will you be carrying it around. Nonetheless, sturdy handles are a plus, because you might need to pull or push a full container to reposition it slightly at times, to compensate for any changes in sunlight conditions during the months your backyard container aquarium is in operation. Because of the filled weight of a 30 gallon or larger container, the container should be positioned when empty, taking note of the amount and duration of the sunlight that strikes it. Adjustments in the container's position should be made before any water is added. The Livestock There are many fish suitable for a backyard container aquarium, but if you want ease of maintenance, I would not include Goldfish or Koi among them. These fish grow quite large, generally require external filtration and routine maintenance, and are best suited to a large pond.

April 2003


Mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki, whose native range is east of the range of G. affinis.) This livebearer has a reported (and, apparently, an overrated) affinity for mosquitoes. Gambusia afflnis has been introduced in many places for mosquito control, too often to the detriment of native species; as these fish are aggressive eaters that seem to prefer fry to mosquito larvae. In addition, they are not as well suited to our colder northern climate as some other fish, and are less commonly seen in aquarium stores. Another common choice is the White Cloud Mountain Minnow, Tanichthys albonubes. This is a Cyprinid native to Southern China. It is a small egglayer that does well in cooler climates, but which should not be exposed to very warm temperatures. It is easy to care for, eats almost anything, and is usually available in aquarium stores at very reasonable prices. While it is a fairly nice looking fish, it is not a spectactularly good looking fish, especially when seen from above (which is the way you will generally be looking at your backyard container aquarium). For my backyard aquarium last year (and for the one I plan to set up this year), I selected one of the hardiest (and easiest to obtain) aquarium fish around, and also the first true "tropical" fish to be used as an aquarium fish in the West. I chose the Paradise Fish, Macropodus opercularis, a native of Southeast Asia, which has been in the hobby since 1868, and in the U.S. since 1876. (For you trivia and cichlid buffs, the Brazilian "Zebra" Cichlid, Cichlasoma facetum, introduced into Europe in 1894, was the first cichlid, and the second "tropical" fish, after the Paradise Fish, in the aquarium hobby.) I had several reasons for my fish selection. One, the Paradise Fish is an anabantoid, meaning that it obtains its oxygen directly from the atmospheric air above the water, rather than by filtering the oxygen from the water. Because of this, the oxygen carrying capacity of the water is of considerably less importance. Colder water holds more oxygen than does warm water. My backyard container is not going to have a heater, and it will be subject to the heating and cooling effects of the sun. This results in a much greater temperature (and water oxygen carrying capacity) fluctuation on a regular basis than would be the case for an indoor aquarium. So, a hardy fish, not primarily dependent on the oxygen carrying capacity of the water, has a distinct advantage in this set-up. The Paradise Fish, at an adult length of four inches (10.16 centimeters), attains a much greater size than do White Clouds, Guppies, Gambusia, Variatus Platies, and many other fish

above. Let's face it, you want to see the fish, don't you? If you had a true pond (with several hundred, or even thousands, of gallons of water, several feet deep, with UV filter, mechanical filter, and all the other equipment that goes with it), you'd probably stock it with Koi — fish especially cultivated in the Far East to be attractive when seen from above. Paradise Fish are tolerant of a very wide range of temperatures. They can survive even when the temperature drops to 59° F (15° C). I would not recommend setting up your backyard container aquarium until the nighttime temperature averages 65°F (18°C), although Paradise Fish can survive even when the water temperature drops below 59°F for brief periods of time. This same fish will also tolerate temperatures in excess of 85°F (29°C), a situation which would severely stress Goldfish, Koi, Platies, or White Clouds. The Paradise Fish is omnivorous, and will eat almost anything it can get into its mouth. It is probably a better mosquito-eater than the so-called Mosquitofish, and can devour bugs considerably larger than a Gambusia is capable of putting into its mouth. Once my backyard aquarium was well established, I fed my fish only twice a week. They subsisted all the other days on whatever live "food" landed on the surface of the water. While the water surface was completely stagnant (no filter to move water, and no air pump to create bubbles), my backyard container aquarium did not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Paradise Fish are extremely easy to breed. While waiting for my backyard container aquarium to be completed, I temporarily put a pair of Paradise Fish into a half gallon, flat-sided "Goldfish-type" bowl for two days. In that cramped environment, without plants, filter, heater, gravel, or caves, they spawned! I separated the fry, and put the adults into my backyard container garden. Within a week, they spawned again, and continued to do so throughout most of the summer. As a side note, I fed the original fry microworms, infusoria, and both powdered and liquid commercial egglayer formula fry food on a daily basis. They had regular water changes, and I thought they were doing very well. After about a month and a half, I realized that, while the fry I was taking such good care of were alive and well, the largest of them was smaller than most of the fry in my backyard container — all of which were younger by at least a week, maybe more. Paradise Fish provide no parental care, so it is clear that the backyard aquarium was providing even the fry with a suitable environment. The only other "livestock" in my backyard aquarium were Ramshorn Snails. These were not

April 2003

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


of an "aquatic plant bundle" that I will next describe. It is claimed that "Red" Ramshorn Snails do not eat plants, while the "Black" and "Columbian" varieties are reported to be plant eaters. I don't know which variety, or varieties, I had, because among the other good traits of Paradise Fish, they are snail eaters. So, the fast reproducing snails provided yet another dietary supplement for my fish. The Plants As someone who specializes in anabantoids, I am accustomed to not having much success with plants. Most of my aquariums require subdued light, with soft, acidic water. With a few exceptions, most aquatic plants just about "dissolve" in a short time under those conditions. Fortunately, Paradise Fish do not require soft, acidic water. They like a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. New York City tap water is almost always 7.0 (neutral). Similarly, Paradise Fish are relatively unconcerned with hardness, although New York City tap water is normally very soft. At the June 2002 meeting of the Greater City Aquarium Society, one bag of plants at the auction seemed to have no takers, despite the fact that it was obviously quite full. I bid on it, and as the only bidder, got it for something like three dollars. When I opened it up, I found it full of floating aquatic plants: several varieties of Water Sprite (Ceratopteris pteridioides), Duckweed ( Wolffia columbiand), Salvinia (fortunately, not the "Giant" variety, which is a Federally prohibited "noxious weed") and some other plants and plant parts that I was unable to identify. The bag also contained the Ramshorn Snails I mentioned previously. Into my backyard container went water, some water conditioner (I did not want the chlorine in the tap water to kill off any bacteria that might be on the plants), the bag of plants, and, after two days, one pair of Paradise Fish. I added a rock to which I attached some Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus). After about a month, I added Water Lettuce, Pistia stratiotes, acquired from a pet shop. By the end of the summer, the Java Fern was the only plant that failed to thrive; which is interesting because it is one of the few plants with which I have any degree of success in my other aquariums. When I finally had to take down my backyard container aquarium in the fall, the Water Sprite had grown so much that it was four inches or more out of the water, and the Water Lettuce had sprouted daughter plants over the entire water surface not otherwise occupied by the Water Sprite. Even the Duckweed (normally a "takeover" type plant) seemed to be held in check by the rapid growth and spread of these two plants. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

It should be noted that Paradise Fish are fairly aggressive. Do not keep smaller fish (such as the previously mentioned White Clouds, Platies, Gambusia, etc.), with them. They are so aggressive that renowned cichlid expert, Dr. Paul Loiselle, has stated, in an article in the November 1979 issue of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium magazine: "The red Paradisefish, Macropodus opercularis, is large and aggressive enough to hold its own as a dither fish for both the more aggressive dwarf cichlids, such as Nannacara anomala, and medium sized cichlids such as the smaller Cichlasoma and medium sized Aequidens species." While nearly all fish can, under certain circumstances, be "jumpers," as a group, anabantoids are among the worst. They have developed a "labyrinth organ" to process oxygen directly from the air. In the wild, they will often jump from stagnant pool to stagnant pool in search of food, or a mate, or better territory to defend. If they often land on muddy ground, they will continue to flip and toss until they reach a body of water. If kept moist externally (by landing on mud or wet grass), most anabantoids can survive out of water for long periods of time — sometimes days, depending on conditions and the species involved. Because of their tendency to jump, I kept a cover on my backyard container aquarium at all times. That cover consisted of a wire fencing material used for pigeon and chicken coops. If you can't find that material (usually available in larger home improvement stores and some garden centers), then the nylon netting sold in garden stores for plants should suffice. In either case, not only are the fish discouraged from jumping, but stray cats, squirrels, birds, racoons, etc., are also kept out. At the same time, the wide openings in the wire fencing or nylon netting allow bugs to enter, providing an excellent (and free) source of live food for your fish. Sometimes you'll need to cover the container completely. This happened to me several times, when aerial spraying of insecticide to kill West Nile Virus mosquitoes was announced in my area. (A neighbor spraying insecticide, fertilizer, or even painting could be other such instances.) That is where the detachable cover comes in. If your container did not come with a lid, then a plastic tarp can be used. Be careful not to let the tarp touch the water. If you are using Paradise Fish, this would prevent the fish from getting atmospheric air, effectively "drowning" them. That's it: a plastic container or two, aged (or dechlorinated) water, floating plants, a pair of Paradise Fish, netting or screening, and you can enjoy a "Paradise Pond" all summer.

April 2003


Photos and captions of our March 2003 meeting

An extraordinary program on "Digital Cameras and Aquatic Photography" was presented by our guest speaker, Luis Morales, joined here by enthusiastic photographers and GCAS members Carlotti De Jager and Mark Rubanow.

Luis Morales demonstrates the art of digital photo imaging to an enthralled audience. Jason Kerner, Rich Levy and Frank Laudato (and me!) are taking it all in!

Bill Amely, Jr. is all set to be our newest *STAR* GCAS photographer! Sue Priest has her digital camera poised and ready for action!

Expert photographer, Mark Soberman, looks over the newest digital data.

A huge and warm welcome to our newest GCAS member, Jamel Hughes! He is an avid African Cichlid fan! April 2003

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


by Claudia Dickinson

Author Jerry OTarrell has been treating us to the inside story of his fish and some very large tanks, in recent issues of Modern Aquarium. GCAS members Dora Dong and Warren Feuer agree that digital is the way to go!

It's been a night filled with many generous auction donations offish and plants, as President Joe Ferdenzi gives another *STAR* performance as GCAS auctioneer.

Bill Amely and Joe Graffagnino take a moment from their deep conversation about "Fish, of course!11

The ever cheerful Bennie Graham and Charlie Auerbach are ready to try out some new digital techniques on their own fish.

And the biggest *STAR* of the evening our dear GCAS member Elliot Oshins celebrates his 80th birthday! Happy Birthday Elliot!!! (*!*) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

April 2003


Oxygen Levels in a Non-Traditional Planted Tank by CHARLEY SABATINO Photos by the author

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have always loved aquariums that included real up and unplugged the pumps, intending to plants, and they have been part of my love of purchase new ones soon. Meanwhile, I kept an the hobby from the beginning. In trying to eye on the fish in the tank for any signs of stress. increase my success with them, I am always After a week or so, it was clear that they were in researching the latest trends and newest no noticeable stress but the plant growth (normally technology, and good) was incorporating that : EXPLOSIVE. All Theoretical Oxygen Saturation which I felt my stem plants worthwhile and were full and lush. within my budget. A ruffle sword For instance, the (Echinodorus use of full spectrum major) which was lighting, fertilizers, previously additives and lumbering along, Laterite met all the grew straight and requirements high (it would mentioned, and eventually bloom yielded great 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 in the coming results. However, weeks). All the Temp ( deg F) CO2 injection was greens were bright rejected due to the Figure 1 green, all the reds increased expense were vibrant. I and safety issues subsequently involved with a \e bottle. unplugged the Average Oxygen Levels of 220 vs. Theoretical pumps in my other The one practice I | two planted tanks have read about, (65 and 10 gallons) but never had the ! and saw similar courage to try, was j results. the elimination of OK, it aeration. The j < seems I have a literature states that success on my aeration in a tank hands. By 1:12 AM 6:00 AM 10:48 AM 3:36 PM 8:24 PM removing the air "scrubs" CO2 from ; the water, thereby j pumps in my Time of reading reducing what is i planted tanks, I available for the | â&#x20AC;˘Avg. O2 (ppm) Hfr-Theoretical O2 at Avg. Temp. s i g n i f i c a n t l y ^.==r===.-== ^ \e plant plants to use for Lâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; p h o t o s y n t h e s i s . Figure 2 g r o w t h . Furthermore, I However, since the have less equipment to maintain, and use less fish load in my tanks was much higher than the electricity. It seems like I have an ideal situation. traditional planted or "Dutch" tanks, I felt it might However, my experience in the aquarium hobby put my charges in danger. has taught me that sometimes seemingly good Then one day the two air pumps on my situations can backfire. Therefore, I wanted to 220 gallon tank died. I replaced their diaphragms find a way to reassure myself that the oxygen level and other internal parts, but that just made them in the water of these tanks was sufficient to noisy, with low output. In disgust, I finally gave

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April 2003

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


population of fish. However, when Average Oxygen Levels of 65 vs. Theoretical I decided to the lights are off set up a test to and photomonitor oxygen 10.0 synthesis stops, levels in the three the level drops to 8.0 tanks as a function 6-7ppm. One can of time. I would also extrapolate ¥ use an available that this level may £ liquid oxygen test be even lower in (NJ O (ex. Red Sea Fish the middle of the pHarm. Ltd. Test | night. This leads error +/- 0.5ppm.) I to the question, 0.0 and take readings "what is the AM three times daily for minimum oxygen Time of reading five days: 6am level required for (after a whole night aquarium fish?" of lights off), 5pm This is a tricky (midway point of : issue. I have Avg. O2 •Theoretical O2 at Avg. Temp. photo period, and 1 [ asked several 10:30pm ("lights r people, and all out"). It just so F 'g u r e 3 gave the same happens the test was response. "It carried out in early j depends on the Average Oxygen Levels of 10 vs. Theoretical July 2001, when fish you keep". outside temperatures Obviously, fish 10.0 were in the 90s and HkeAnabantoids, tank temperatures that can utilize 5.0 were in the mid to atmospheric air, high 80s (a worst require a much 0.0 case scenario for lower oxygen 6:00 AM 10:48 AM 3:36 PM 8:24 PM 1:12 AM saturation than oxygen solubility in tank water). All | other fish. The Time of reading tanks were well level of oxygen filtered (canister and required then power filters, slightly becomes specific •Avg. O2 -*-Theoretical O2 at Avg. Temp. over-sized), fed as to what fish you per normal, and Figure 4 keep (see Figures received -30% water 5, 6 and? for the fish residing in the changes weekly. Figures 2-4 test tanks). After four are the test results plotted versus time, months, all was along with the going well with the theoretical oxygen three planted tanks. saturation at the same There were no temperature (from deaths, disease, Figure 1). Note that obvious signs of the error bars show stress, or change in the variability of the behavior in any of data due to the the fish. Plant growth was still high, inherent test error. These figures show and all plants had that all the tanks reach become more the saturation level Figure 5 220gallons. Inhabitants include 7 plecos, coiorfui and lush, (within error) at some 3-12" Syn^decorus at 10", Megaladorus sp. and Fire eel, B l o o m i n g s had point, which means eac" at ^ doubled, especially photosynthesis i s a m o n g t h e 6:00

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

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Approximately one year after shutting off tanks, I was able to significantly increase plant the air pumps, everything was fine in the 65 and growth. However, while the fish in two of the 10 gallon tanks. tanks exhibited no However, something negative behavior, was wrong in the 220. the largest tank (220 I noticed several of the gallons) required a fish breathing heavily, small amount of especially in the aeration to keep its morning. Cleaning the population healthy. filters, and water Therefore, it can be changes, only solved concluded that, the problem while the concept temporarily. This led works well on small me to the conclusion or medium size tanks, larger tanks that the plant life in may require more the 220 could not observation and/or sufficiently oxygenate the water to support Figure 6. 65 gal. Inhabitants include 5 plecos 2-4", aeration. the fish. I am not sure 7" Syn. clarias, and 10 Pyrrhulina spilota at 2.5" each. why it took a year for References this problem to surface, but Ron Howard of Red something had to be Sea, p e r s o n a l done. After some communication. experimentation, a small air pump and Dr. Paul Loiselle, personal communairstone was added to ication. tank (the volume of air was a mere Randall, Karen A fraction of what I A q u a r i u m Fish removed a year Magazine, August earlier). Within a day, 2000, "How the fish's condition Much-Or-How i m p r o v e d . Little-Aeration is Apparently, only a Enough," pp. 12-13. small amount of additional aeration Fiยงure 7* 10gal Inhabitants include three Zebra Plecos. was needed.

North Jersey Aquarium Society 50th Anniversary show and auction Sept 26-28, 2003 at the Four Points Sheraton Piscataway, New Jersey Call the NJAS Hotline: (732) 541-1392 http://www.njas.net/

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April 2003

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


In Search Of A Stand by JERRY O'FARRELL

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hen I got my 230 gallon O'Dell tank, I thought I was a lucky guy, until I had to get a stand for it. I bought the tank used, and the man I bought it from didn't want to give up the stand he had. He said it cost a lot of money, and he wanted to use it as furniture in his new basement. It was a very nice stand, and I would have liked to have it. But, for the price I paid, and all the things I got, like rocks, l i g h t s , filters, and fish (several breeding pairs of adult Tropheus with a whole lot of young and babies), I wasn't about to argue. I figured I'd just buy one (yeah right!). Little did I know that stores don't carry them, because they're a special order, unless you want to buy the tank too, and that is if they have a set-up in stock. But I had my tank â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I just needed a stand for it. When I did find a stand for it, the prices were outrageous. So, I thought maybe I could make one. Well, I discarded that idea, because I wasn't sure I could do it. The tank sat in the corner of the garage for a couple of months. Every time I went into the garage and saw it, I got sick because I could not set it up. My partner, Gino, saw how miserable I was, and said that I should make a stand like the ones we had down in the shop, with cinder blocks and 4"x4"s. I seriously thought about it, and was going to do it, because I was desperate to set it up. But, because I was putting it in my "peace and serenity room," which is in the house, my better half put her foot down and said, "NO WAY!" We were

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

getting a new ceramic tile floor, and she was not going to have cinder blocks scratching the floor and looking tacky. Because the other tank had a wooden stand, she thought this one should have one, too. It sat in the garage for another month, until my brother brought his table and miter saws to the house to help with some woodworking projects that I had going on. We finished the jobs, and he left the saws in the garage. They were there for a week, and I was walking past them, and the tank, every day until I couldn't take it any more. There, in the corner, was a 230 gallon tank, and some leftover 2"x3"s. That was it! I was going to build a frame for the stand. I set up the saws, got the wood, and then I drew a blank; I wasn't sure how to begin. I went inside, and checked out the stand under my 150 gallon tank. It was nice, but I didn't trust that design to hold 230 gallons of water. [Editor's note: the weight of water is about 8.35 pounds per gallon. The weight of the water alone contained by a 230 gallon tank would be over 1,900pounds.] I had to come up with a different design, so I laid the 2"x3"s down on the ground, and the idea came to me. I would stack them like a log cabin. I went to Home Depot, and bought about 40 ten-foot 2"x3"s, one sheet of 3/4 inch plywood for the base, and six pieces of ten-foot 1 "x4" boards for the trim, plus 3" drywall screws, 2" drywall screws, 2" finishing nails, and wood glue. All the materials came to about $150â&#x20AC;&#x201D;.

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Since I didn't have a plan on paper, I made one up in my head as I went along. But, as usual, it became an adventure, as everything in fish-keeping becomes for me. I was working in an unheated garage in the late winter. It was cold and uncomfortable, so I could work only a couple of hours a day in my spare time. I started laying out the base by cutting the 2"x3"s to size. Then, after I miter cut them, I joined them together by gluing the corners, and then driving the 2 inch screws into the ends to support the corners. I now had my first layer. I then cut the plywood to size, and attached the plywood with 2 inch screws and glue on the first layer, to act as a base to hold the filters and air pumps, etc. Then, I used the plywood as a base for the rest of the 2"x3"s. I continued to layer the 2"x3"s the same as above, but this time using the 3 inch screws and glue, screwing straight down to attach them to the underlying 2"x3"s, leaving a gap in the middle, both front and back, for a door and for ventilation. After I reached the desired height, I framed out the door using the 1 "x4"s, cut

to fit, making sure that the door was large enough to get a five gallon pail thru it, which is about the size of one of the filters. Then, I took some 2"x3"s and cut triangles the height of the stand, and nailed them to the inside corners for added strength. I then proceeded to make the door, and to frame out the exterior with the 1 "x4"s. When I was done, I had a "diamond in the rough," and I needed to polish it. So, I sanded it smooth and stained it. And, I am proud to say, it turned out pretty good for an amateur carpenter. I saved a lot of money, and took pride in the fact that I tried and succeeded in building something I wasn't sure I could do. Since then, I have built another stand for a smaller tank, in a different style, and that turned out just as nice. Plus, my honey is happy I did it. Now that I am finished, I will retire for a much needed rest, to my recliner in the "peace and serenity room," and watch the living pictures.

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April 2003

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


MARTIN T. GOLDFISH by KRISTEN ALBANESE'S DADDY (RAY)

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addy, I won! I won! Kristen shouted as the ping-pong ball settled into the small glass globe. Immediately, I knew that her winning a prize at the feast of a local church had far more significance than just taking home a half-dead, malnourished and mistreated goldfish. I didn't realize how much her winning would eventually mean to us. After getting the fish home, and spending some time examining it, I knew it would take a miracle for the fish to see the sunrise the next morning. After quickly removing it from the carrying bag, and placing it in aged water in a ten gallon tank, we shut the light off in the fishroom with the hope that I was wrong, but with a warning to Kristen that she had better be prepared for the worst. Unfortunately, when Kristen visited the new fish the next morning, she found that my dire prediction came true, and she became sad. After burying the fish in the spot under our birch tree that is reserved for past passed pets, I took Kristen to the local pet store, where together we picked out an active fish from the many occupying the feeder goldfish tank. This new fish was put into a ten gallon tank by itself, and allowed to settle down for a few days before we fed it. It seemed to get livelier as each day went by, and finally, I felt that Kristen would have her pet goldfish without any further drama. I have never been in favor of naming pets if there is a possibility that death is imminent. However, because this new fish was doing so well, I did not worry when Kristen gave it a name calling it Martin. Martin thrived in his ten gallon home and seemed to be content, eating and growing and becoming a nicer looking fish. Finally, a few months after we had acquired him, I suggested to Kristen that we put Martin in our 1000-gallon pond, where he would have some company. The change had to be made before the cold weather set in, making it harder for Martin to make the transition. The pond was two feet deep, sloping to over three feet deep at the opposite end, and had walls that went straight down to prevent raccoons and other critters from being able to reach down and catch the fish within. It contained about twelve koi and thirty large goldfish. She agreed and shortly thereafter helped me to acclimate him to his new environment. Within a few days, Martin was participating in the morning ritual offish chasing one another. Some of the females would lay eggs in the roots of the water hyacinth plants, while some of the males followed

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

and fertilized the eggs. Martin was too young to participate in the spawning itselfâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; he would have to wait until two years later to be mature enough â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so he joined the other non-breeders that were following along trying to eat the eggs. Later, the exhausted breeders joined them in this endeavor. Most of the eggs were greedily devoured, after which the fish would eat away at the plant roots. In addition to the goldfish and koi, I sometimes added frogs, tadpoles, and a school of a dozen or so white clouds to the pond. The frogs left almost immediately, but the tadpoles that changed into frogs have sometimes over-wintered and spent the summer hanging out. The white clouds usually died, but in our much milder winters that we were experiencing, there were times when they, too, survived during the winter. Martin seemed to thrive in his new home, with his color intensifying, and fins growing long and flowing. He was becoming quite handsome. It was at this time that he was entered, along with four of my other goldfish, into one of the Greater City Aquarium Society's biannual shows. Though he did not win a prize, he did show very well. He was entered again four years later, and was even more beautiful. However, he was competing with fancier types of goldfish, and did not win once again. Kristen did not mind not winning, and was my invaluable assistant in setting up and breaking down. For her efforts, she received a book as a gift from the GCAS. Of course, nothing goes smoothly all the time. When Nassau County was going to spray to kill the mosquitoes that carried West Nile Virus, I built a frame and stapled plastic on top of the boards in the hope that the plastic would prevent the insect spray from getting into the water, and killing the fish. Unfortunately, because it was going to rain, the spraying was postponed. I made the mistake of leaving the frames covering the pond when it did rain. The next night, I went out to see my fish, only to discover that four or five of the largest koi and two of the largest goldfish had died. The rainwater pooled on the plastic, pushing it against the water's surface, preventing gas exchange, thus keeping the carbon dioxide from escaping, while not allowing oxygen from the air to enter the water. Happily, Martin survived. A pump that was rated to recycle the water about once per hour maintained Martin's water quality. A UV sterilizer was used to eliminate algae growth. The water was pumped into a large

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mechanical/biological filter, where it was then returned to the pond, agitating the surface. Although my pond is under a shade-providing tree, the summer heat warmed the water and decreased the amount of dissolved oxygen. The returned water splashing on the rocks and re-entering the pond, helped to reduce this effect. In the winter, a dual output vibrator pump was used to supply air to two separate standard airlines with a clothespin on the ends to weigh them down, so they were about one foot below the surface of the water. This air prevented the water surface from freezing solid, thereby allowing gas exchange. The bubblers were placed so that the colder water would remain on the bottom of the pond without lowering the temperature of all the water. During the mild winters we experienced, we could almost always see fish swimming languidly below the ice. The fish were fed low protein, wheat germ based foods when the water temperature was consistently over 50 degrees, but less than 70 degrees. Higher protein foods were fed when the temperatures stayed above 70 degrees. The fish were not fed at all when the water temperature dropped below 50 degrees. Last spring, I decided to remove the remaining koi from the pond. I ended up taking out nine fish that were about one and a half feet long. It was a real task to find a pet shop that would take them, even though I was not asking a lot for them. I felt I had to reduce the bio-load on the filter or all the fish would get diseased and die, even though I performed regular water changes, using the nutrientrich waste water to irrigate my vegetable garden and flower pots. I hoped that I would be able to grow water lilies and water hyacinth, with the koi no longer there to knock over the pots containing the lilies, and no longer chomping up the roots of the floating plants. Surprise! Nothing changed. The large goldfish made up for the koi's previous destructive behavior, and I still had no plants or surviving fry. At one point, I had to replace the PVC pond liner because leaks had developed. I took this opportunity to make the pond a little bigger increasing it to about 1500 gallons. The newer liner lasted about five years, before it, too, developed leaks - all the way down towards the bottom of the pond. I knew I would have to do something before the cold weather set in, so I bought a new ten mil thick EPDM liner early in the summer. Knowing what a big job it would be, I kept procrastinating about replacing the old one with it. Finally, in the middle of the fall, I called a pond-making company and had them do the work, as well as putting in a surface skimmer to trap floating debris, and improving the lay out of the rocks so they covered

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the liner better and were more stable. I loved the way the pond looked. Mysteriously, fish started to die, and after two had succumbed, I took action. I carefully looked at all the fish daily, and any that looked very stressed I moved in to my basement to a tank where the water was constantly changing at about a rate of five gallons per hour. I still lost three more fish, but managed to save one other - it was now too cold for me to acclimate him to the pond, so he remained inside for the winter. Instead of using a bubbler, I left the pond pump on. Initially, this worked fine, though I was a little concerned that the pond would be colder because the different temperatures at the various levels were being mixed together. But then the pump clogged with ice, as we faced the most brutal winter in years. The top four or five inches froze solid, and there was no small hole as in the past, to allow toxic gases to escape. I could not see any fish swimming below the surface. I was afraid that our six or seven years with Martin would end and we would have to get out the shovel. I wondered if any fish could survive these horrible conditions. On March 15th, the ice finally broke up and I could see the fish at the bottom. They remained motionless in the still almost freezing water. Looking carefully, I spotted Martin swimming by very slowly and was encouraged that all my fish may have survived. I immediately pumped out almost 1200 gallons of water and allowed my hose to trickle in fresh water over the course of about twenty-four hours. Two days later the temperature really warmed up. In addition to Martin there are about thirty other goldfish, ranging in size from six to twelve inches. All have intense colors and beautiful, if sometimes ragged, fins. A pond is an ever-evolving work in progress. This year I want to figure out how to get plants to grow, and rescue more of the eggs to raise some goldfish outside of the pond. I am also hoping to get a few tadpoles that will metamorphose into frogs and inhabit the pond for a few years. And I still don't know if the condition that killed my fish in the fall remains, or if the deaths were a result of the stress of being removed from the pond so the liner could be changed, and then being added back to fresh water to which they were not accustomed. I am also going back to using bubblers to maintain an air hole during the winter freeze. In the meantime, this summer I will sit near my pond sipping a beer, listening to the soothing melody of the water splashing against the rocks, and dreaming of a still bigger and better pond. Wish Kristen and me luck!

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


Fisn CluD Etiquette by BERNARD HARRIGAN s the club grows, and new members come in, this seems like the perfect time to help reinforce some of the rules offish club etiquette. ^Things us old-timers take for granted, some new-comers might not know. To help the club with its growing pains, I've written a list of twelve "do's and don't's" while you're at a meeting, in order for it to be more enjoyable for everyone.

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1) Knowing a fish's Latin name is good. Calling every fish by its Latin name isn't.

8) Being able to catch your fish quickly with a net is good. Being able to catch them faster with a spear gun isn't.

2) Bringing a fish for the Bowl Show is good.

9) Having some fish tanks at home is good.

Bringing an air pump and a diving dog isn't.

Having four fish tanks in your bathroom isn't (maximum of two).

3) Going to local pet shops and telling them you're a member of GCAS is good.

10) Drinking eight glasses of water a day is good.

Telling them you're a member of GCAS, and that you want a discount, isn't.

Drinking water from the fish tank, no matter how thirsty you are, isn't.

4) Training your Oscar to take food from your hand is good.

11) Bringing a cake for the refreshment table is good.

When the food is roaches, it isn't!

Bringing a "doggy bag" for refreshment table isn't.

5) Talking to other club members at a meeting is good.

the

12) Buying snails at the club auction is good.

Talking while the guest speaker is talking, isn't.

Eating them before you leave the meeting isn't.

6) Commenting on how beautiful a pair of Kissing Gouramis are is good. Only commenting on what nice lips they have isn't. 7) Arriving early to help set up for the meeting is good.

I'm sure I haven't covered everything, and if you would like to add to this list, please send all additions to Modern Aquarium % Mr. Etiquette, and we'll update this list, as needed.

Camping out two days before the meeting, just to make sure you have a good seat, isn't.

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

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• A piece of fishing line can be used to hold Water Hyacinth and other floating plants to one end of the pond. • If a pond is not protected from the sun, it will turn pea soup green. • By placing a plastic heron near your pond, you will effectively keep live herons from A Series On Books For The Hobbyist eating your fish. by SUSAN PRIEST • Before you buy pelleted food, test a handful to make sure they ALL FLOAT. Food mong the things that keep us aquarists which falls to the bottom will go uneaten, and this happily homebound throughout the winter will cause the water to become cloudy and smelly, months are our tropical fish. It is finally the and to harbor bacteria which can sicken or kill your time of year when we start to think about spending fish. (This even sounds like good advice for those time outdoors. Generally speaking, we fishkeepers of us with "livingroom ponds!") are a bit obsessive about our hobby, and we would • When possible, purchase or even collect like these two "lifestyles" to overlap. locally grown plants. The author would have us believe that By now, some of you may be thinking there are two reasons why people have ponds; "Sue, stop teasing us and tell us about the fish!" 1) you like the fishes, or 2) you like the plants. O.K., I'm guilty as charged, but I will make it up to Ray "Kingfish" Lucas will tell you that the more you right now. ponds you have, the less grass you have to mow! Dr. Axelrod starts us off with the general Whatever your reasons, this book will help you advice that "the number of fishes and variety of make informed choices as to "how to make a species is determined by fishpond as beautiful as your pocketbook, climate, Stocking Your Garden Pond possible." pond size, and knowlege of Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod The first thing that fishes." He quickly moves T.F.HL Publications, 1997 catches your attention are the on to specifics. His self-described "dynamic fullpersonal preference is color photos." They are glossy and vibrant, and clearly expressed by the photographic emphasis he practically jump off the page and into your lap! places on koi, with many pages dedicated to photos Many of them take up a full page, and some of of them. them more than that! Starting with the contents, He most highly recommends many, but and straight through to the last page, which is a list not all, varieties of goldfish and koi, the "temperate of suggested readings (and even has color photos water" fishes. These fish can be kept in a pond as of the recommended books), it is a visual delight. long as the water temperature is above freezing. Some of the topics which are covered (So-called "fancy" varieties, such as those with include ponds suitable for keeping fishes, head growth or "bubble-eyes," are not optimum predatory animals and birds, three different choices for a pond environment.) chapters on plants, and of course, the fish. When the water temperature stays above The important features to consider when 70°, he suggests adding "tropicals," such as you are planning a pond in which you want to keep swordtails, mollies, platys, and even guppies, to a fish are the ability to "keep it from overheating, pond already stocked with goldfish or koi. Who [from] freezing solid, free of major algae growth, would have thunk it? free of predatory animals and birds, and accessible As the author pointed out, your relative to visual inspection and feeding." Each of these knowledge of fishkeeping will open up a much topics is addressed in turn by the author. wider array of choices for stocking your pond. His Much of the information on plant choices recommendations are based on his personal is repeated throughout. For example, there is a preferences, as well as what will work best for chapter titled "Floating Plants," and another titled most hobbyists. Don't hesitate to experiment! "Lilies." Both of these topics are mentioned in an Whether you are a devotee, or a earlier chapter called "Plants for the Fishpond." I wanna-be, of the pond "lifestyle," this book has mention this not because it detracts from the something to offer you. Heck, even if you just like presentation on plants, but rather as an example of to look at pretty pictures, you will find yourself the thorough coverage that the author has dedicated reaching for it over and over again! to this topic Here are a few hints and tips for pondkeepers:

WET LEAVES

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


But, It's NOT The Same! 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. y spouse keeps trying to draw comparisons between what I do with respect to my fish keeping activities, and what I do (or refuse to do) otherwise. My response is always the same, namely "It's not the same." I'm assuming that, if you are reading this, you are also an aquarist. See if you don't agree with me. I don't drink a lot of water (certainly not nearly the recommended eight glasses a day), but when I do, I prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water. (Yes, I know some high-priced bottled water is only filtered tap water, but whatever is filtered out produces, at least for me, a more tasteful product.) So, when I (as I often do) get a mouthful of water as a result of sucking on a hose during water changes, my spouse is likely to comment that if I can stand that, I should be able to stomach straight, unfiltered tap water. Now, I don't go around sucking on hoses like the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland smoking a hookah (which is a long, curly water pipe). Nor do I "inhale" (swallow) the dirty fish water. But, I have to admit that the momentary taste of dirty fish water does not bother me all that much because, well, it's not the same as drinking tap water. You all agree, right? Of all the virtues I lack, or need to have in greater abundance, patience is number one on the list. I decide which fast food restaurant to go to based on the size of the line, not on the quality or price of the food. Because of this, my spouse does not understand why I can sit motionless for hours while trying to photograph a fish, or how it is that I can spend hours rearranging the rocks, plants, and other decorations in my tanks, knowing full well that the fish are going to rearrange them anyway.

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

I try to explain that my lack of patience is limited to people or machines (or both). Staying up all night to witness a spawning, well it's not the same as waiting on a line that would be moving faster if only people knew in advance what they wanted to buy, and weren't stupid enough to figure out only at the last minute that they had to dig into their wallets or pocketbooks to pay for it. You all understand, right? I buy my colas on sale in the supermarket for about three bucks for a case of a dozen 12 ounce cans, or about 250 a can. So, when my spouse and I are at the movies, I believe I am justified to remark that an exact equivalent brand and size of soda is $2.00, or 800% of what I pay in the supermarket (which, I have to assume, is also making a profit on those cans of soda). My dear spouse seems to think that there is an inconsistency in this, and the fact that I regularly pay $1.00 per ounce for adult live brine shrimp (probably closer to $4.00 per ounce when you drain off the water, but my spouse has not figured that out yet), while I pay between $12.00 and $6.00 (when on sale) for 16 ounces of "jumbo" shrimp in the supermarket. Heck, it makes perfect sense to me, I don't understand why my spouse can't see that it's not the same thing at all. I've admitted my liking for so-called "fast food" (you know, McWendy's, Kentucky Fried King, Taco Hut, etc.). I consider preparing a meal of instant oatmeal and instant coffee to be "cooking." I put people who claim to love cooking into the same category as those who get their jollies from sticking fingers into electric outlets. My spouse thinks that there is an inconsistency in the fact that I make my own paste fish food. While it's true that I have to mix together several (highly secret â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sorry!) ingredients, and blend them together over heat. This is not, I repeat NOT cooking. It only counts as cooking if another person eats it. I don't understand why my spouse can't see that it's not the same at all. At my desk at home, I use the "archeological" method to find something. I figure out how old the item is, and calculate the number of inches of papers and assorted items that have been stacked on it since it was last on top. I am usually accurate to within a quarter of an inch (assuming no one has attempted to "straighten out" my piles). Each of my tanks is meticulously labeled, with water change and water test result charts next to each. My spouse seems to think I treat my fish keeping data differently from household records. I don't understand why my spouse can't see that it's not the same at all.

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Carlotti De Jager won the First Prize Edward Vukich with his Second Place ribbon in last month's Bowl Show with Bowl Show ribbon for a Gold Pleco. her male Green Betta splendens.

Mike Foran, President of the Nassau County Aquarium Society (and GCAS member), displaying the Third Place Bowl Show ribbon won by his Boeseman's Rainbowfish.

Anton Vukich won last month's Door Prize: a copy of the Back to Nature Aquariumguide.

Rules for April's "Silent Auction" / Fleamarket This month, Greater City has its annual "Silent Auction'Vfleamarket. 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.

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April 2003

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


Welcome To our Newest Member: Jamel Hughes Thank you, Renewing Member: Greg Wuest Door Prize Winner: Anton Vukich won the Back to Nature Aquariumguide Last month's Bowl Show: 1) Carlotti De Jager - Green Male B. splendens 2) Edward Vukich - Gold Pleco 3) Mike Foran - Boeseman's Rainbowfish Unofficial 2002-2003 Bowl Show totals to date: Harry Faustmann -1 Opts. Carlotti De Jager - 8pts. Viviane Davis - 5pts. Pat Coushaine - 5pts. Al Priest - 3pts. Anton Vukich - 3pts. Ed Vukick 3 pts. Pete D'Orio - Ipt. Joseph Ferdenzi - Ipt. Bill Amely - Ipt. Mike Foran - Ipt. Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Next meeting: May 7, 2003. Speaker: Mary Sweeney Topic: "Bubblenest Builders" 8pm: 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

Next meeting: April 11, 2003 Speaker: Ian Fuller Topic: "Catfish Sex" 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 Next Meeting April 8,2003. Speaker: Joe Kastalek Topic: "Building A Pond" Contact: Michael Foran Telephone: (516)798-6766 http://ncas.fwsl .com/index.html

The Holtsville Park and Zoo 249 Buckley Road ~ Holtsville, NY Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066 http://liasonline.org/ North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 PM - 3rd Thursday of the month at the Meadowlands Environmental Center 1 Dekorte Park Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ April 17,2003 - Speaker: Ray Wetzel Topic: "Ponds" Contact: NJAS Hotline at (201) 332-4415 ore-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com

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/

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

April 2003

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Fin Fun What could be more delightful than spending a spring afternoon in the garden? The common names of each of the fish below include something that can be found in a garden. We are giving you the second part of the name; it is up to you to unscramble the first part. MULBBE GNIDEELB

EBE

GOBY

AHERT

TETRA

TERBYLFTU

GOODEID

GARENO

CHROMIDE

AFIR THAERWE

WIDOW

LAGORIMD

PLATY

NOMEL

CICHLID

RECHRY

BARB

TISQMUOO

FISH

UNTESS

GOURAMI

Solution to last month's puzzle The "S Word Fish Name

Spelled Correctly

Aequidens curviseps

X

Tropheus duboissi

X

Synodontis choutedeni

X

Rasbora maculata

X

X

Apistogramma agazzizii

X

Pterophyllum scalare

X

Poesilia sphenops

X

Macropodus opercularis

X

Nannostomus trifaciatus

X

Sphaerichthys osphromenoides

26

Spelled Incorrectly

April 2003

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

April 2003 volume X number 4

Modern Aquarium  

April 2003 volume X number 4

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