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JUNE 2003 volume X number 6

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York


AQUARIUM ON THE COVER The Haplochromis spilonotus on this month's cover was purchased at auction by Jerry O'Farrell. To learn the "ins and outs" of having a similarly successful outcome at a fish auction, read Jerry's article: "Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD" in this issue. Photo by Jerry O'Farrell 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 Pete D'Orio Carlotti DeJager Claudia Dickinson Jason Kerner Ben Haus Greg Wuest Emma Haus Committee Chairs Breeder Award Warren Feuer and MarkSoberman 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 Copy Editors . Ray Albanese, Dora Dong Photo/Layout Editor . . . . . Jason Kerner Advertising Mgr. . . . . . . Mark Soberman Executive Editor , . . . . , Joseph Ferdenzi

Series III

Vol. X, No. 6

June. 2003

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest


President's Message


Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD


Coup's Aquarium is Coming to Town!!


How To Write an Award-Winning Article


Double Shot of My Baby's Love


Bio of This Month's Speaker: Lee Finley . . . . 13 Photos From Our Last Meeting 2002 FAAS Publication Award Winners

14 . . . . 17

Wet Leaves (Book Review)


Lateral Lines


Memories, Money, and Me


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


Articles submitted for consideration in MODERN AQUARIUM must be received no later than the 10th day of the month, three months prior to the month of publication. Copyright 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: / / o u r w o r l d . CompuServe . com/homepages/greatercity


by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST t last month's meeting, GCAS President, Joe Ferdenzi, handed out the 2001 Federation of American Aquarium Societies ("FAAS") and 2002 North East Council of Aquarium Societies ("NEC") publication awards. This month, Fm happy to announce the results of the 2002 FAAS Publication Awards (printed in full elsewhere in this issue). Once again, Modern Aquarium, and its authors, did very well. As our 2002-2003 season draws to an end, I want to thank everyone who contributed an article, a photograph, or a drawing to our magazine. Yes, it's fun to win an award, but as far as Fm concerned, all of our contributors are award winners — which is why I established our own GCAS Author Award Program ("AAP"), so that every contribution to the magazine gives the contributor points towards a certificate, and eligibility in an exclusive "author's only" raffle at our annual Holiday Party. I've seen editors of other society publications beg for articles, and Fve seen them actually threaten members. (Fve seen, more than once, an editor threaten to print a list of members who "owed" articles.) While Fm not above a little begging, now and again, I draw the line at threats. Some societies require that, in order to get Breeders Award Points, the breeder must write an article about the spawning. Fm not in favor of this practice. I feel that if you force someone to do something, it's very unlikely that you will get back quality work. But, as is the case with articles from our Greater City members, when someone wants to do something, then that person's enthusiasm and enjoyment comes through in his or her work. The people who contribute to Modern Aquarium do so because they enjoy writing, or they enjoy seeing their writing in print, or they enjoy the fact that it gives them a chance at winning awards, or they just enjoy helping others.


There are probably as many reasons that members write for Modern Aquarium as there are members. Whatever your reason, I want to thank you for supporting our society's magazine, and for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and experiences with your fellow members. I can't guarantee you FAAS or NEC awards for every article you write (although I can guarantee you AAP points for all of your original contributions); but I can guarantee that I will do my best to present your article in its best light, so as to maximize its chances for such awards. No article is printed in Modern Aquarium unless it has been proofread by at least three, and sometimes by as many as six, people, often more than once. So, if a fear of making a spelling, punctuation, or grammar error is keeping you from writing an article, be assured that there is a very capable team dedicated to finding and correcting those mistakes. If you submitted an article, photo, or drawing to Modern Aquarium, but have not yet seen your contribution used, be assured that it will be. There is always a need for articles to fill ten issues a year, and I try, whenever possible, to save some articles for future issues. During our annual "summer break" (Greater City does not meet, and so Modern Aquarium is not printed, in July and August), try writing an article. You don't have to be an experienced professional writer. With just one article (which also happened to be his very first written for Modern Aquarium), Ray Albanese won a First Place award from both FAAS and NEC. (Ray also won a copy of the latest edition of the giant Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes in the AAP Raffle at our last Holiday Party, and he also took home an AAP award certificate!) At the risk of sounding like our esteemed GCAS President (who, it seems, is always singling out one or more members for special praise), I have one more thanks to give — to those women in GCAS who contributed to the May "Leading Ladies" issue of our magazine. It has the most pages, and the most color, that we have ever had. To showcase the debut of our May 2003 issue, we had a very special May meeting. Every woman at last month's meeting received a long-stemmed rose (with a special embossed "Leading Ladies" ribbon); and we all enjoyed a "Welcome Leading Ladies" inscribed cake. Our May issue was, we think, special and unique in the hobby —just like our Greater City members. Have a safe and enjoyable summer. See you again in September.

June 2003

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

Aquarium keeping is a pursuit (called by itsfollowers a "hobby") calculated to subvert any designs Satan may have upon idle hands, and to draw its devotees closer to the heart of the world of water life, so different from our own, yet urged and governed by such similar impulses — a pursuit in which familiarity breeds no contempt.

President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI o far as I know, last month's issue of Modern Aquarium was a first. It was entirely composed and written by women, was the biggest issue of Modern Aquarium, in terms of pages, and featured several outstanding contributions from non-GCAS members such as Pam Chin, Karen Randall, Beverley Morfitt, and Mary Sweeney. Mary, who was also scheduled to be the featured lecturer at our May meeting, certainly knows a thing or two about magazines because she is the former Editor of Tropical Fish Hobbyist, America's leading aquarium magazine. To date, she is the first and only woman to have held that auspicious position (although I note that the honor of being the first female Editor of a major American aquarium magazine goes to Helen Simkatis, who briefly held that position at the venerable magazine The Aquarium in the 1960s). Of course, women have had a substantial role in the aquarium hobby since the 1920s. Probably the most famous early female hobbyist was Ida Mellen. Ms. Mellen was a curator at the New York Aquarium, and she wrote, or co-wrote, several books about the aquarium hobby. Such was her fame that, when National Geographic magazine chose to spotlight the tropical fish (then referred to as "toy fish") hobby in its March 1931 issue, she was chosen to write the main article. Her enthusiasm and talent are evident in the following passage from that article:


I'm sure that the May issue of Modern Aquarium would have made Ms. Mellen very happy — happy to see that, while she may have been the "hobby's" first leading lady, she was most certainly not its last. In Greater City, women play a decided leading role. Three who readily come to mind are Carlotti De Jager, Claudia Dickinson, and Susan Priest. While I have no exact percentages, my observations at our meeting and at those of other societies lead me to say, with the utmost confidence, that no aquarium society, to my knowledge, has more women as active members. This gender diversity has helped make GCAS the exemplary club that it is. Perhaps, one day, Greater City will finally have a female President. (Yes, for all its proud and rich history, Greater City has never had a woman at the helm!) As June is our last meeting before our summer hiatus, allow me to thank all of you for making the 2002-2003 season another memorable one for Greater City. Have a happy and healthy summer vacation, and I'll see you in September!

Attention Exchange Editors: Since Greater City does not meet in July or August, Modern Aquarium is not published in those months. We send two to three months of exchanges at a time, to save on postage. After the mailing in which we sent you this June issue, our next exchange mailing will be in mid-October (with our September and October issues), followed by a mailing in mid-December (with our November and December issues). Please check the address on the envelope, and let us know if any change is required. Also, unless otherwise noted in the article, any original article published in Modern Aquarium may be reprinted by a not-for-profit aquarium hobby organization. However, we do ask that you send us two copies of any publication that contained an article reprinted from Modern Aquarium so that they may be sent to the original author for his or her files. Articles in Modern Aquarium can be sent, upon request, electronically. To request an electronic copy of an article, or to obtain the mailing address to which exchange issues (or issues containing reprints) are to be sent, or to update your exchange mailing address, send an email to: GreaterCity@compuserve.com Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

June 2003

Going once, going twice, SOLD! by JERRY O'FARRELL uctions — how many have you gone to? If you are like me and my partner you cannot get enough of them. But, as always, it turns into an adventure for us. We get lost, make wrong turns, get bad directions, or get there late and miss some of the auction. Once there, we might buy more than we need, and have to figure out how to get it home. So this is a story on how to do as I say, and not as I do.


Now, it always amazes me how easy it is to get caught up in a bidding war. Many new hobbyists go to an auction in order to find a real deal, only to get caught up in a bidding war and to find out later that the fish they bid on cost them more than if they had bought it in a pet shop. Or, they wake up the next morning and find only the fish they bid on in the tank — looking like a blimp, because it ate everything in sight. Or, two months down the line, they watch the fish they bid on as a cute looking baby turn into Godzilla, as it digs up the gravel, destroys the plants and rock work, and chases the other fish (who are scared to death and cowering in a corner afraid to move); and the hobbyist finally has to go out and buy a bigger tank in which to keep it. So, when you go to an auction, do your homework. If you are just starting out in the hobby, decide on what kind of tank you are setting up, like a community tank, a South American cichlid or river tank, or an African rift lake tank. Then decide what type offish you will keep in it. Make sure they are compatible. If you can afford to do it, buy a tropical fish encyclopedia, or good reference book to look up the fish you are thinking about buying. Or, just do the right thing and join an aquarium club, like maybe Greater City. The great thing about aquarium clubs is that they are a wealth of untapped knowledge, and members are always ready to help, advise, and educate new members. That said, let's move on. When you walk into an auction, you will see the display tables with bags offish on them. At auctions you will not only find fish, but also plants, tanks, and other used (and sometimes new) aquarium equipment. At the bigger auctions, you will also find dealer tables from the big aquarium companies, suppliers, and magazines. If it is an aquarium club running the auction (which is usually the case), companies and suppliers will often donate some of their products to the auction to help the club. Become an educated consumer. Do your homework, and don't get caught up in a bidding war. Otherwise, you might later turn into a disgruntled hobbyist, who gives up on the joy of fish keeping because you feel that you are being ripped off all the time. If you go to an auction and

start bidding on fish and plants and you wind up with a whole lot of bags, what do you do — how are you going to get them home? If it's cold outside, and you have a long way to go, your fish or plants could die from the chill, or get real sick, or the bags you have them in could start to leak or break. What would you do then? If it's summertime, the bags can overheat, causing the fish to cook and die from extreme heat. Well, I guess you figured out the next rule is "be prepared." When you go to an auction, go prepared. Bring a cooler or Styrofoam box. Why? Because a cooler not only keeps things cold, but it can also keep things warm. So, if it is cold outside, a cooler can help to keep the bags offish from getting cold, thus keeping them healthy until you get them home. In the summertime, it can help keep the bags from overheating. Plus, it is dark in a cooler. So when it is closed, it will help to keep the fish calm and quiet, which, in turn, reduces stress. The size of the cooler depends on you. Remember that water weighs eight pounds per gallon. So, if you buy a lot of fish, it can turn into an unmovable object, depending on the size of the cooler. To help overcome this problem I've found that a collapsible luggage cart is pretty good to carry your cooler, or any large items you might buy. Next is the bag problem, which is easily solved by just bringing some assorted size fish bags and some rubber bands to seal the bags. Since I drive to most auctions, I bring two one gallon jugs of water — one with neutral water, and one with alkaline water — for emergencies, in case a bag breaks. If you are taking the train, this may not be practical. But, remember, if you have a cooler and a good luggage cart, you can put at least one quart of water in the cooler. If a bag has a slow leak, you can save the water and the oxygen in the bag (which is what most people use so the fish can stay in the bag for extended periods of time) by putting everything into another bag and sealing it tight with a rubber band. All of the things I mentioned above may seem like overkill to you, but it can go a long way to getting your new pets home safely. Now, you are in the auction, and at the table looking at the fish and plants, checking to see

June 2003

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

One other thing I forgot, always try to pay if they have any thing you can use. But how do you remember which bags you want? Easy, bring attention to what is being sold. My partner and I went to an auction one time and I went to get some a small note pad and pen with you, because all of coffee. As I left, my partner started bidding on an the bags have the names of the fish on them and lot item. When I got back, he was still bidding, and he numbers that the auctioneer will refer to when eventually won the bid. I asked him what did he bringing an item up for sale. So, write down the lot get? He said 50 pounds of food. But when they numbers of the bags you want. (If you bid on them brought the item to him, it turned out to be 50 and get them, also write down the price at which you got them, so you can keep track of your budget pounds of slate rock. Because I distracted him when I went for and not get in coffee, and the last over your head.) thing being sold was Because * Decide what kind of tank you are setting up food, he thought he time is allowed to * Decide what type of fish you will keep in it was bidding on food! inspect the fish, * Make sure your fish are compatible, Remember, you will have * Buy a tropical fish encyctopedia, or good pay attention. When some time to : ;;: v • : ; "'' ; ' reference- book, | you hear "going once, check your » Join an aquarium clubland ask questions. going twice, sold," reference book •Bring a cooler or Styrofoam box, and it's for you, and and see if the fish * A collapsible luggage cart is good for carryii the price was right, you want are your cooler, or otl e items. you will feel great, compatible. If because you did your you have been 'Bringju homework, paid doing your »Bring a 5 attention, and went homework, you >Writedc prepared—making it have been going a good experience, to pet shops, or and making you want talking to club to stay in the hobby. members, and Now that I maybe finding out passed on what little knowledge I have to the new the price of fish. Then, you would set a limit on how much you want to spend, and try not to go hobbyists, maybe as they gain experience, they will over it. That way, you can avoid a bidding war. add to it and pass it on to the next generation of Don't worry if you don't get the bag you want, new hobbyists, keeping our hobby one of the best, because sometimes they have more than one bag of most interesting, and unified hobbies around. I think I will now go to my peace and the same fish; so you may get another chance at getting what you want, and maybe even cheaper serenity room and look at the new fish I bought at auction. than the last bag went for! But, if not, there's always another auction down the road.

The Greater City Aquarium Society extends a welcome to the newest tropical fish hobby group in the Greater New York / New Jersey Metropolitan Area:

The Big Apple Betta Breeders BABB meets the second Sunday of every other month at the Meadowlands Environmental Center located at: Meadowlands Environment Center 2 DeKorte Park Plaza Lyndhurst,NJ 07071 201-460-8300 http://www.babb.info/

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

June 2003

COUP'S AQUARIUM Is COMING To TOWN!! by LEE FINLEY he became) in the early 1870's. In 1876, in lthough I have a strong interest in the early partnership with bird and animal dealers, Charles development of home fishkeeping, the and Henry Reiche, he opened and managed the history of early public aquaria is also a New York Aquarium at 35th Street and Broadway favorite topic. (New York City). Coup, in his autobiography, In the beginning stages of my interest in fondly notes, "Nothing in my career touched and 19th century public aquaria, I found the following moved me like the great New York Aquarium quote from James G. Bertram's book "The Harvest enterprise." But Coup's participation in this Of The Sea" (London, Third Edition, 1873): "It "enterprise" was not to last; the partnership with may be interesting, by the by, to note here that in the Reiche brothers America they have was dissolved, and he started traveling was on the road shows of living fish, via railroad with his which visit inland newly formed towns, and delight : Equescurriculum hundreds who never Show in 1878. before saw a lobster Advertisements of the or an aquatic sheep's time noted the show to head." While I fLLDSTEAfII) HISTORY be "...From the New initially thought this York Aquarium..." A might make a nice high point of this show little piece of "trivia" was his exhibition of to mentally file the preserved giant away, on-going 39V4 foot "Devil Fish" research has shown [giant squid] that had that this traveling been on exhibit at the aquarium concept aquarium. deserves more I In 1879 Coup attention. It is formed his New beyond this short United Monster piece to examine the Shows, which included whole history of such an a q u a r i u m , in traveling aquaria, but addition to an almost I would like to offer bewildering amount a few notes on what of animals, acts appears to be at the and "attractions." a p e x of s u c h Obviously, this wasn't ventures - the mm f*ffc: the first attempt to take aquarium of William r-«is"r.&i> sv ii ;»:»>r« & m an aquarium on the Cameron Coup's 1 road. In the early New United Monster 1870's Barnum (with Shows, which was on the road from Figure 1 - Cover of a 40 page guidebook to Coup's Coup as a more or less New United Monster Shows. There is no date, but it s i l e n t partner) 1879 to 1882. W. C. Coup is probably from 1879. Note the imaginative "double exhibited live fish in ( 1 8 3 7 - 1 8 9 5 ) is spouting" for the Beluga whale. Author's collection his Great Traveling Museum, Circus, rightfully recognized Menagerie and World's Fair. There are indications as one of the greats of the 19th century circus world that a Beluga whale was, at least for a short time, and is credited with such innovations as the also on exhibition with this show. Coup, with railway circus concept and the widespread use of varying success, was also to do the same in his lithographic advertising posters. He, along with New United Monster Shows - but this is a topic for Dan Castello, "partnered" with P. T. Barnum another time. (some say Coup "made" Barnum the circus great





June 2003

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

Before proceeding, a brief definition regarding aquariums and circus/shows is needed. For my purposes here I refer to an aquarium in the generally understood sense - a glass tank, or tanks, of fishes and/or other aquatic life. Many shows during the last three decades of the 19th century (and into the 20th) list "Aquarium" in their name or descriptive ads. But most often these actually refer to non-glass containers of water that were used to house a variety of aquatic mammals (seals, sea lions, hippopotamuses, etc.). Often the "Aquarium" carried a prefix that somewhat designated its contents: e.g., "African Aquarium" for the hippos; "Arctic Aquarium" for the seals, walruses, etc. Coup's "Aquarium" for his show starting in 1879, was an aquarium in the sense of the word noted above. Advertising of the time noted "A GRAND AQUARIUM of Living Fishes and Marine Monsters, the massive but exquisite Parisan [sic] Marble and Glass Tanks being actually supplied with running water." It was noted that this was "The Only Legitimate Marine Aquarium supplied with Running Sea Water ever Exhibited Under Canvass [sic]!" There were also freshwater aquaria on display. According to an advertising poster of the time, the water was ".. .kept in motion by powerful steam pumps." A large variety of fishes and other aquatic life was offered to the public for viewing. While it may be impossible to ever know the full extent of Coup's holdings, broadsides, newspaper advertising and booklets of the time (see Figure 1) do note the following animals: seahorses, angler fish, kingiyo (a fancy triple tailed goldfish made famous at the New York Aquarium), hellbenders (which were billed as "anacondas of the deep" and noted to eat their skin after they shed it), starfish, gar, pike, dog-fish, eels, lobsters, crabs, crawfish, porgies, cod and killies. During this 1879 season Henry D. Butler was listed as being in charge of the aquarium (noted by Richard W. Flint in "American

Showmen and European Dealers" in New Words. New Animals - From Menagerie to Zoological Park in The Nineteenth Century, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996). Butler, in the position of general superintendent, had worked with Coup at the New York Aquarium. Butler was not the only member of the New York Aquarium team to travel with the Coup show. A. W. Roberts, who was in charge of Fisheries at the Aquarium, was also on the road for some period of time. An undated (but probably 1880) partial broadside (Figure 2) lists him as a "Prof." (as Butler was listed) and (incorrectly) notes him to have been an "... efficient manager of the New York Aquarium." The season for 1880 offered many of the same fishes and aquatic life, but also added new ones and all of these were more heavily advertised under the heading "The New York Aquarium." New additions for the season included: banded proteus (mud puppies), sea robins, sea ravens, climbing perch and an electric eel. As in the year before, the preserved "Giant Devil Fish" always received heavy billing (see Figure 2). Although Coup was usually still advertising the Aquarium as part of his show in 1882, it received little ink and appears to have been relegated to just another part of the show instead of the "headliner" of the first two or three years. It also appears to have also changed in scope as an ad from June of that year notes "An Immense Marine Aquarium with its Sea Lions, Sea Leopards, Elephants, and Monsters of the Deep." There is no mention of fishes at all! Not long after this a major railway accident put the New United Monster Shows out of business. Coup tried to re-group with a smaller show but this was unsuccessful. The era of the great traveling "true" Aquarium had passed. (Note: This article, in a slightly different form, appeared in the Bartlett Society Newsletter, North American Edition: No. 32, July-Dec., 2002.)

Finley Aquatic Books P.O. Box 164 Pascoag, Rl 02859 USA FAX: 401-568-1561 email: lnfo-query@finleyaquaticbooks.com Lee Finley, Owner

June 2003

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

flour Xo IVi'ife An Article by BERNARD HARRIGAN Priest, smiles, and you want to see him smile more 've noticed that almost every issue of Greater often, so you'll help him out with an article for our City's magazine, Modern Aquarium, has a plea going out to the membership to write articles. publication. I guarantee that if you even mention Personally, I think that begging doesn't work. If to Al that you're thinking of writing for Modern you want someone to do something, show them Aquarium, you'll see him smile. that it's to their benefit to do it, and then make it Now for the "how-to-do-it" part. The first, and some say the hardest, step in writing an simple for them to do. Perhaps, up to this point, you never article is finding something to write about. But this is not as hard as you might think. You could write thought of writing for the club, and are asking about your favorite fish. Possibly, your favorite yourself, "Why should I?" The reasons are many. fish is a species of swordtail, or even a whole It will increase your knowledge as a hobbyist. You genus. It could be a saltwater fish, or an will look more deeply into, and question, things you have always taken for granted. You will learn invertebrate, or a plant. It could be about how to things in your aquascape your tank, or research that you how to do something never knew before. for your fish (like Even if you don't making a spawning use the information mop, cutting glass, in the article, you rewiring your tank will still learn it. hood, or how you raise The more you know, earthworms for your the better aquarist Oscars). Maybe you you'll be. Plus, went on a fish you'll be sharing collecting expedition to your knowledge with the Jersey Pine Barrens, other members, visited a tropical fish thereby giving back wholesaler, or a fish to the club. farm. Perhaps you Don't think attended another club's meeting or show, or that you don't know enough to write. Are Swordtails your favorite fish? You can met someone who There are always write about them, or draw them. specializes in the hobby people who know — like Jack Wattley, Drawing by the author less than you. Even Ginny Eckstein, or if you're a beginner, Herbert Axelrod. Or, maybe something funny crossed your mind that you might have an insight that no one else has. Beginner articles help our hobby to grow. And, relates to the hobby. You could even do a finally, a funny thing will happen once your article drawing, or just take a picture. (Of course, for is written and published. You will be proud of those last two, you might actually need some talent!) To write an article you don't need much. what you were able to do. Modern Aquarium wins a lot of awards. I'm living proof of that. Just look at the number of FAAS (Federation of Now that you have a topic, you should American Aquarium Societies) and NEC (North take notes when something happens. Let's say East Council of Aquarium Societies) awards your fish just spawned. On what day and at what bestowed on the Greater City Aquarium Society. time did it happen? How were the fish behaving? Maybe you've wondered how to write an article Where in the tank are the eggs? How many eggs that is so good it wins an award. Maybe you want were there? Or, maybe you're visiting another to get in on the action, but you're not sure how to club. What's the President's name? Was it hard to start. Maybe you like the way our Editor, Al find their meeting place? Who was the guest


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

June 2003


speaker? What impression did the club leave you with? Did anyone in the club stand out? What was their publication like? These are just some of the questions you can ask — and eventually answer — with your notes. Always make notes. If you leave it to memory, important information will be lost. When, where, why, how, who? These are the words you should be thinking about when you're trying to capture the information. Next, brainstorm all the ideas you want to include in your article. Make a list of these ideas. Take the list and organize it into topics and subtopics. Then, make an outline. In this article, one of the topics is "taking notes." The subtopics are "spawning fish," and "visiting another club." As you can see, your topics will generally end up being paragraphs, and your subtopics will be the sentences. Some topics will be too big for just one paragraph, and you will have to devote a paragraph, or even more, to each subtopic. If you think your topic is too small, or that you don't have enough of them, use your reference books to fill them out. You don't need to use everything in the books, but you might come across something interesting that you want to include. Organize the topics in a way that makes sense. It might be a timeline (which would work for breeding fish, or visiting a club), or it might be in an instructional order (like this article). It might be the standard order that hobbyists use when they are talking about a fish in general (when it came into the hobby, where it is native to, the different types of that fish, a description of that fish, how to keep it, how to breed it, and raising its fry, etc.). This order isn't written in stone, but it is generally followed. Your next step is a rough draft. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Just get it onto paper. It's best to use a computer for this, since it will save you a lot of re-writing time. Keep your reference books handy, to look up things you don't know. For example, the Latin name of our old friend, the common swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri), or where it originated (Mexico). Once I have done my rough draft, I use a little trick. I put it away for a day or so. Later, when I look at it again, I'll be looking with "fresh eyes." I see things I didn't notice before. This is when I fine tune it, and tighten up my writing. I might even re-arrange the whole thing so that it makes more sense.


My next trick is to give it to someone else to read. This person is someone who isn't a hobbyist. I figure if that person understands the article, I've done a good job. My reader is also proofreading my work. Proofing is a never-ending job. Finally, I make the last of my changes, and turn in my completed article to Al, either by email, in person, or by snail mail. Then, Al and his wonderful staff of elves work their magic. The grammar and spelling will be fixed, if needed. The current Latin name will be checked. (Latin names can change faster than guppies can spawn!) Al typesets it and formats it, and then turns it over to Jason Kerner, who has it printed and bound. Then, Al hands it out at the meeting, with his lovely wife, Sue, at his side. Al also submits original articles to FAAS and NEC for award consideration, and he even hands out Author Awards of his own at the Holiday Party. So you see, there are a lot of ways your article could win awards. A few of our articles have even been published in national magazines like Tropical Fish Hobbyist Aquarium Fish Magazine, and Freshwater And Marine Aquarium. Now that you know why writing an article is a good idea, and how to do it, the only thing stopping you from writing an article is you. So, put your words down on paper, and wait for the awards to roll in.

June 2003

Editor's note: Bernie Harrigan is a multiple award-winning author and artist. At last month's meeting, GCAS President, Joe Ferdenzi, announced that, in the 2001 FAAS Publication awards, Bernie won First Place for "Best Marine Article on an Invertebrate" and Third Place for "Best Article on a Genus of Fish" (both for "Tridacna Clams," see Modern Aquarium, November 2001), and Third Place award for "Best Original Artwork" for his drawing of an Iridescent Shark (see the illustration in Modern Aquarium November 2001, in the "Fun Fish" article). Elsewhere in this issue, you will see that Bernie won a Third Place FAAS award for his humorous "How To Kick Fisholohism" (October 2002). His artistic contributions have also enhanced the articles of many other members.

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


Woke up this morning , my head was so bad The worst hangover that I ever had What happened to me last night That girl of mine she loved me so right She loved me so long and she loved me so hard I finally passed out in her front yard It wasn't wine that I had too much of It was a double shot of my baby's love hat does a song from the 1960s have to do with aquarium fish? Could it have to do with sex or drugs? Is the author on drugs? I'll let you decide the answer to the last question, but the first two will be looked at in the strange tale told below of overcoming initial failure. Ever since I was thirteen years old, in 1960, and saw an old-time aquarist's fish room with bank after bank of one gallon tanks containing breeding Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), I have been fascinated with the fish, and the process. He had them spawning at room temperature, and raised thousands to sell. He gave me a great pair with which to experiment. The male had long flowing fins and the female was plump. My first attempt to induce them to spawn proved to be my first failure. I copied his technique of putting the male in the tank first, then floating a jar containing the female in with him. After the male blew a bubble nest and the female looked ready, I released the female into the tank with the male. Immediately, the male started displaying for the female in his attempt to entice her to go under the bubble nest. The male seems to be say ing, "Hey babe! Wanna? Wanna? Wanna?" The female did not cooperate, leading to the male chasing her all over the tank, and nipping her. Fearful that he would do serious damage to her, or possibly kill her, I netted the female out of the tank and put her alone into a one-gallon bowl to recuperate from her ordeal. Unfortunately, she then expelled her eggs all over the bottom of the jar. What a disappointment! And so, it was back to the drawing board - or in this case, the literature, to see what I did wrong. Actually, I should have had a little more patience. Had I demonstrated more patience, the outcome may have been a successful spawning.


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

Double shot of my baby's love, yeah yeah, yeah Double shot of my baby's love, yeah yeah, yeah A potion that I had too much of It was a double shot of my baby's love I learned a lot about breeding Bettas by reading everything pertinent I could find, and by relentlessly pumping experienced aquarists for their knowledge. The most popular view for a successful spawning is that the temperature of the breeding tank should be about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. At least a five gallon tank should be used, and a Styrofoam cup sliced lengthwise in half, or a sprig of a floating water plant, provided for the male to anchor his bubble nest. The female should be conditioned on live foods, and have an "egg spot" visible. The male is placed in the breeding tank about a day before the female, who is separated from the male by some means usually a pane of glass or ajar. After the male uses mucous to build his bubble nest, and the female develops vertical stripes - usually a few hours or more - the separating device may be removed. In order to seduce her, the male will display for the female, spreading his fins and doing a pre-nuptial dance.

June 2003


Initially, in this mating ritual, the female acts as if she has no interest, but eventually she will stop acting coy and will join the male under the bubble nest, where he wraps his body around hers, squeezing out her eggs, fertilizing them as they are expelled. The female drifts down slowly, as if she were in a catatonic trance, while the male scoops up the eggs in his mouth and blows them into the bubble nest. Occasionally, some females help with this chore, sometimes incurring the wrath of the male for interfering with "man's work." The embraces continue for several hours, until the female is depleted. Whereupon, the male, pig that he is, after using her and abusing here, has no more use for his paramour, and chases her away without even making a pretense of asking for her cell phone number. At this point it is wise for the aquarist to net the female out and put her in a convalescence tank to recover physically and emotionally, as the male in his zeal to protect the nest will pursue her relentlessly, bullying and bashing her. The male tends to the eggs for the one or two days it takes them to hatch, replacing any that fall from the nest. When the eggs hatch, he continues to tend to the fry, spitting any errant ones back into the nest to hang out until they are free swimming. The male should be removed once the fry are swimming about. Sounds simple. And some authors will tell you it is. Yet, no matter how much I tried, I could not get successful spawns. I would try several different males and females and finally give up in disgust for some period of time, then start the cycle of futility all over again. I also read how, like me, one species or another equally challenged other authors. Finally, in desperation, I decided to try a different approach. I used a trio of two females to a male, as is often done with livebearers. The idea behind doing this is that the relentless pursuit of the female by the male is now dissipated between multiple females. I put two robust-looking females into ajar and floated it in a tank with a male Betta. After the male built his bubble nest, I released both females.


The male couldn't believe his good fortune, and tried to woo both at the same time. Finally he coaxed one under the nest and spawned with her. She was removed and the male seemed to ignore the second female for a while. The next day, the male successfully seduced the second female. She too was removed. The male was left in the tank until the first group of fry was freeswimming. Success at last!

It was such a thrill it was hurtin' me I was sufferin' in ecstasy She had me turning flips and shouting out loud A sip of her love and I was walkin' on a cloud One night a week is a-plenty enough It's a good thing for me they don't bottle that stuff Well, my heart begins to fly like a dove When I take a double shot of my baby's love Some successful subsequent spawns encouraged me to use the more traditional method of spawning Bettas. But I did learn a valuable lesson - if one is not having success in having a species spawn in the traditional way, try something a bit unconventional. Now all I have to do is figure out how to raise some of the fry! * "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" Written By Don Smith & Cyril Vetter Recorded by the Swingin' Medallions in 1966 Originally recorded by Dick Holler and the Holidays Also recorded by the K-Otics

June 2003

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

Our scheduled speaker this month

Lee Finley Speaking on:

"Antiques in the Aquarium Hobby ee Finley has been involved in the aquarium hobby for more than 30 years. He is well known to readers of Aquarium Fish Magazine and Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic promoter of catfishes as aquarium residents. Lee is an internationally recognized authority on the catfish. His competence in this area results partially from his personal observations of catfish living in nature in Peru and Brazil. He is becoming increasingly well known for his expertise in the early history of the aquarium hobby, and his enthusiasm and success as a collector of its literature. Lee owns and operates Finley Aquatic Books (http://finleyaquaticbooks.com/), which specializes in aquarium and fish-based literature. He is the owner of one of the world's largest collections of "vintage" aquarium books, literature, and aquarium hobby-related items. He is a past head of the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies' judging school, and has


been a frequent speaker and exhibitor at the annual NEC Conventions. As an avid supporter of aquarium societies and the organized hobby, Lee is a member of the Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island. He is much in demand by aquarium societies as a speaker, and is a participant in the Marineland Speakers Program. Although most widely known as a catfish expert and aquarium hobby historian, Dr. Wayne Leibel has written of him, "My friend, Lee Finley, known for his expertise in catfish, was once an accomplished cichlidophile specializing in rare Tanganyikan cichlids" ("Feeding Pike Cichlids," Buntbarsche Bulletin #153 December 1992). In fact, a West African cichlid, Chromidotilapia finleyi, was named in his honor. Lee Finley currently lives in Pascoag, RI with his wife, Aline, three cats, and 25 aquariums full of fish.



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

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

June 2003


Tropical Fish Auction Sponsored by the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies, Inc.

Sunday, July 13,2003 Auction begins at Noon Doors will open at 9:30 to accept Auction Items Viewing will be from 11:00 to Noon at: THE CARMEL AMBULANCE CORPS Vink Drive, Mount Carmel, New York Open to the Public - free of charge Every one is invited and welcome to participate as a Vendor or Bidder All proceeds will help fund the annual insurance for all member clubs of the Northeast Council DIRECTIONS TO THE CARMEL AMBULANCE CORPS: WESTBOUND 184: Take Interstate 84 to exit 19. Turn right on NY-312, follow to US-6. Turn right onto US-6, follow for 2.3 miles. Turn right onto NY-52 follow for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto Vink Drive. Drive past Firehouse, bear left, Ambulance Corps building is on left. EASTBOUND184: Take Interstate 84 to exit 18. Turn right on NY-311, follow to NY-52. Turn left onto NY-52, follow for 2.8 miles. Turn left onto Vink Drive. Drive past Firehouse, bear left, the Ambulance Corps building is on left.

Cichlidfest Cincinnati

American Cichlid Association 2003 Convention

July 24-27, 2003 ACA 2003

_ Springdale Cincinnati, Ohio

At the Best Westem

Presented by: The American Cichlid Association and The Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society For more information, go to the following website: http://www.aca2003.com


June 2003

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

FAASinations窶年ews From: The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he Federation of American Aquarium Societies ("FAAS") has announced the results of the 2002 Publications Awards. Once again, Modern Aquarium and its authors did very well. We did not compete in many categories, for lack of articles. Those included the "smaller" spawning articles of under 500 words and from 500 to 1,000 words, marine articles (fish or invertebrate), articles on plants, judging, live food, cartoons, as well as all the "junior" categories. Imagine what we could do if we were able to enter all the article categories! Anyway, we really did great. Congratulations to all the winners.


LEGEND: CAFE - Champaign Area Fish Exchange CAS - Cleveland Aquarium Society CNYAS - Central New York Aquarium Society DCAS - Delaware County Aquarium Society GCAS - Greater City Aquarium Society MAS - Minnesota Aquarium Society MCAS - Medina County Aquarium Society NCAS - Nassau County Aquarium Society PCCA - Pacific Coast Cichlid Association. SAS - Sacramento Aquarium Society SWMAS - SW Michigan Aquarium Society TCTFS - Tri-County Tropical Fish Society 1. Best editor/publication-more than 6 issues 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Editor AI Priest 2 CAFE - In Seine M.E.N.U. - Editor Jerry Montgomery 3 NCAS - Pisces Press - Editor Pat Smith SAS - The Tropical News - Editor Martha Volkoff 2. Best editor/publication-six or fewer issues 1 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Editor Pam Chin 2 PCCA - Cichlid Blues - Editor Kevin Plazak 3 SWMAS - Swam - Editor Vickie Coy HM CAS - Wet Thumb - Editor Lisa Englander 3. Best non-changing cover 1 MCAS - All Wet Gazette - Editor Jessie Schbert 2 SWMAS - Swam - Editor Judy Marshall 4. Best changing cover, original art 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Editor Martha Volkoff 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - Editor Pat Smith

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

4a. Best changing cover, non-original art 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Photo Editor Jason Kerner 2 CAFE - In Seine M.E.N.U - Editor Jerry Montgomery 3 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Editor Pam Chin HM CAS - Wet Thumb - Editor Lisa Englander 5. Best FAAS-related article 1 TCTFS - Fish Tales -The Federation Report - Tony Berry 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - FAAS Report -Pat Smith 6. Best exchange column 1 NCAS - Pisces Press - Swapping Fish Tales - Michael Foran 2 SWMAS - Swam - The Exchanges - Jim Graham 3 DCAS - Fin Fax - Perusing the Periodicals - Barbara Moyer HM SAS - The Tropical News - Catch of the Day - Deborah Dano 7. Best review column (Adult) 1 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Cichlids in the News - Chuck Rambo 2 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Wet Leaves - Susan Priest 3 SAS - The Tropical News - Product Review: Zooplankton - Martha Volkoff NCAS - Pisces Press - Exchange Place - Ray Albanese 8. Best spawning article, under 500 words 1 DCAS - Fin Fax - Thoracochromis brouschi - James Omari Pitts 2 SWMAS - Swam - Paracyprichromis nigripinnis - Chris Hamilton

June 2003


3 MCAS - All Wet Gazette - Australia's True Threadfin - Ken Walker MCAS - All Wet Gazette - Cichlasoma (Heros) nicaraguense - William Bilski 9. Best spawning article, 500-1000 words 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Discus Fry: Why do they Die? - Jim E. Quarles 2 PCCA - Cichlid Blues - Spawning Labidochromis caeruleus The Electric Yellow - Kevin Plazak 3 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - The Most Docile Utakaplacidochromis sp. "johnstoni solo" - James Hamilton HM CNYAS - The Reflector - Finally Cory dor as pygmaeus Fry - Winnie Pitzeruse 10. Best spawning article, more than 1000 words (Adult) 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Romance in My Aquariums - Raymond Albanese 2 PCCA - Cichlid Blues - Lamprologus ocellatus - Kevin Plazak 3 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - An Almost Perfect Pearl - Alexander Priest HM PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Parachromis dovii - Pam Chin HM SWMAS - Swam - Raising Helleri - Darrell Ullisch

3 SWMAS - Swam - Tetras - Cyalhophorynx - George & Vickie Coy 13. Best Marine Article-Fish No entry submitted 14. Best Marine Article-Invertebrates No entry submitted 15. Best continuous FAAS column 1 TCTFS - Fish Tales - The Federation Report - Tony Berry 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - FAAS Report - Pat Smith 16. Best article on aquascaping/design 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Three Antique Aquariums - Joseph Ferdenzi 2 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Home Sweet Home - Susan Priest 17. Best article on plant maintenance/ cultivation/reproduction (Adult) 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Carnivorous Aquatic Plants - Deborah Dano 2 CAFE - In Seine M.E.N.U - Nymphae sp. "Fabiola" - Noel Roberts 3 CNYAS - The Reflector - Flower Tubs - Ray Spahn

17. Best article on plant maintenance/ cultivation/reproduction (JR Level III) 1 SWMAS - Swam - The Genus Cryptocoryne - Kapil Mandrekar 2 SWMAS - Swam - Anubias barteri and Anubias nana - Kapil Mandrekar 3 SWMAS - Swam - The Temple Plant 11. Best article on a genus offish - Kapil Mandrekar 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Cleaning Up and Tank Conditioning Wild Discus - Jim Quarles 18. Best show article 2 SAS - The Tropical News - Strange Bedfellows 1 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique Cichlids & Non Cichlids Genus: Cichlasoma - ACA 2002 - Pam Chin - David Locey 2 SAS - The Tropical News - FIDIG; cichlids, 3 SAS - The Tropical News - 12 Years and 150 livebearers and killifish, all in one place fish Later... - Kevin Plazak - Lee Newman HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium - White Cloud 3 SWMAS - Swam - Showing is Very Simple Mountain Minnow: The Little Fish with a Large Come Join the Fun - Vickie L. Coy Footprint - Susan Priest GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Lets Celebrate! HM SWMAS - Swam - Tetras - Many Faceted 80 Years with the GCAS - Claudia Dickinson Gems - Chase Klinesteker 10. Best spawning article, more than 1000 words (JR Level III) 1 DCAS - Fin Fax - Spawning and Parenting Behavior of the Wolf Eel Blenny, Congrogadus subducens - Chris Guarino

12. Best article on a species offish 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - The Diminutive Neolamprologus multifasciatus - Claudia Dickinson 2 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Parachromis dovii - Pam Chin, Pablo, MC & Juan Miguel SAS - The Tropical News - Pemelodus clarias (Block 1785) - David Locey


19. Best judging article 1 MCAS - All Wet Gazette - Guidelines for Judging a Tropical Fish Show - The "10 Point System" - William Bilski 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - So You Want to be a Judge? - Robert Schaarsmidt 3 NCAS - Pisces Press - Everything You always Wanted to Know About Fish Shows - Ray Albanese

June 2003

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

20. Best how to or do-it-yourself article 1 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - The Saltwater Substitute Tank - Chuck Rambo 2 CAS - Wet Thumb - Swim Bladder Surgery - Lisa Englander 3 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Weird Fish Problems - Joe Graffagnino HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Home Sweet Home - Susan Priest

25. Best original artwork (JR Level II) 1 NCAS - Pisces Press - May 2002 -Andrew Smith 25. Best original artwork (JR Level III) 1 NCAS - Pisces Press - Jan 02 -Emily Smith 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - May 02 - Emily Smith 3 NCAS - Pisces Press - June 02 - Mathew Smith

21. Best general article on society management 1 MAS - Aqua News - No-There Aren't Any Sign Up Sheets - Theodore Jolivette 2 DCAS - Fin Fax - Dwindling Membership - Ed Keene 3 MAS - Aqua News - Excuses, Excuses - Kris Jolivette

26. Best cartoon 1 DCAS - Fin Fax - 9/26/02

24. Best humorous article 1 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - The Dinner Bell - Susan Priest 2 NCAS - Pisces Press - Hobby Hazards: or How Not to Run a Fish Room - Pat Smith 3 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - How to Kick "Fishoholism" - Bernard Harrigan HM CAS - Wet Thumb - Carassius auratus - Not Just Feeder fish - Lisa Englander

27. Best continuing column, single author (JR Level III) 1 SWMAS - Swam - Plants for the Planted Aquarium - Kapil Mandreker

- Ted Ongirski

27. Best continuing column, single author (Adult) 1 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - Ask Pam - Pam Chin 2 GCAS - Modern Aquarium 22. Best article on live food - Interfish Net - Alexander Priest 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Tubifex Worms: 3 DCAS - Fin Fax - It's as Easy as ABC... Facts and Fiction - Jim Quarles Aquarium Basic Concepts - Ed Keene 2 SAS - The Tropical News - Microworms: The GCAS - Modern Aquarium Best Food for Fry - David Locey - The Editors Babblenest - Alexander Priest 3 SWMAS - Swam - Tetras - The Ideal Worm HM SAS - The Tropical News Culture - Chase Klinesteker - More than Just Mollies - Kevin Plazak HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium 23. Best collecting article - Wet Leaves - Susan Priest 1 CAFE - In Seine M.E.N.U. - Collecting in South America - Noel Roberts 27. Best continuing column, single author 2 SWMAS - Swam - Minner Trappin (JR Level II) -Jim Graham 1 NCAS - Pisces Press - Aqua Jumble 3 MAS - Aqua News - Minnesota Darter Hunt - Chris Sokol - Jen Kruckenberg

25. Best original artwork (Adult) 1 SAS - The Tropical News - 4/1/02 - Martha Volkoff 2 SAS - The Tropical News - 6/1/02 - Martha Volkoff 3 SAS - The Tropical News - 4/1/02 - Martha Volkoff 25. Best original artwork (JR Level 1) 1 SAS - The Tropical News - 10/1/02 - Alison Beckham

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

28. Best article all other categories 1 SAS - The Tropical News - Sex Determination Among Fishes - Martha Volkoff 2 PCCA - Cichlidae Communique - What is a True Species? - Michael McLaughlin 3 GCAS - Modern Aquarium - Signs of Life - Susan Priest SWMAS - Swam - Miki's Discus Fish Fry Recipe - Miki Holder HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium - My Bermuda Adventure - Mark Soberman HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium - It CamefromWithin - Joseph Ferdenzi HM GCAS - Modern Aquarium - The 80th Anniversary Tee Shirt: - A Tribute to the First Golden Age - Joseph Ferdenzi

June 2003


few fish, some tadpoles and snails, and some Potamogeton (common pond weed)." Also: "The first to introduce the wonders of the aquarium world to the general American public, however, was none other than P.T. Barnum." The dates of these events were not mentioned. A Series On Books For The Hobbyist The 2003 edition of this classic work is a revised and expanded version of two previous by SUSAN PRIEST incarnations. It began in the 1960s as a series of articles for The Aquarium magazine. Then, in t is my particular and unprecedented privilege 1987, these articles were published as a book by to be among the first aquarists with the the American Cichlid Association. I am wrestling opportunity to read this book, as well as one of with a choice of words here, as I want to say finally the first authors to review it. Beyond privilege or (but it is not for me to presume that it might not be opportunity, beyond responsibility or honor; it is a expanded yet again at some future date), so I will gift, pure and simple, for which I am profoundly say that this current version has added text and grateful. Even as the first copies of this book are illustrations, as well as new chapters. being distributed, it has already taken its own place Most of the photographs are of faces. in history as a definitive work on the subject. They have an unusual "otherworldly" quality to Let me open with a few first impressions. them that is hard to describe. Clearly, they are As I perused the academic and professional from a bygone era, but at the same time they have credentials of the author, I feared that the reading a 21st century persona. I'm sure they must have of this book would be a heavy experience. Nothing received some variety of up-to-the-minute could be further from the truth. It is refreshing, computer treatment. Without and involves the reader on every sacrificing any of their original level. It is a book about people; The Toy Fish charm and quality, you can pioneers of which you will feel A History of the Aquarium almost feel them looking at you. you are one. Thanks to our own Hobby in AmerieaThere are dozens of resident historian, Joe Ferdenzi, The First One-Hundred Years illustrations of a wide variety of some of the names will be Dr. Albert J. Klee subjects and styles. They have familiar to you. Thanks to the Finley Aquatic Books, 2Q03 been reproduced from the author, you will make many new original publications. I have a acquaintances. very clear picture in my mind of the author, as well The best way to illustrate the emphasis as a few of his closest friends and relatives, Dr. Klee has placed on the persons who founded collecting copies of these. They weren't satisfied the aquarium hobby is to refer you to the Table of with just one or two copies of each one, but even Contents. Some of the chapters have descriptive after acquiring several, continued to search until titles, such as "The Goldfishmen," or "Post-World they were satisfied that there was not another copy War I Personalities." Others drop names; for to be found which might be of the tiniest bit better example "Mulertt in New York," or "Enter Brind, quality than the best one they already had. The Dorn, Innes & Bade," or simply "Roth and drawings all look as if they could have been Mellen." This is a partial listing, but even those penned in 2003, such is their detail and clarity. chapters which are "nameless" will fascinate you At the close of the introduction there is a with adventures, inventions, and anecdotes from "conversion table" which allows the reader to find the lives of the people who brought the aquarium a frame of reference in the area of price hobby out of Victorian living rooms, and into the comparisons. When you first encounter it, you will public arena. pay it little mind. However, it won't be long before This author has not drawn a line in the you find yourself wishing it was reproduced at the sand, so to speak, as to when the first one hundred end of every chapter! Chances are, that by the time years in America begins and ends. As we travel you reach chapter 24, and you read that, in 1936, with him from the mid 1800s through the 1930s, Neon Tetras were being sold for $100.00 a pair, we start out by hopping from place to place, and you will be able to do the math in your head. year to year, throughout Europe, before crossing You will become familiar with "cabinet" the Atlantic Ocean. Quoting briefly from chapter aquariums, "Wardian cases," "tripod" aquariums, 3: "The Early Days in America," . . . "the pioneer and "slope-backed" tanks, to name but a few. inductor of the private aquarium in this country These are all early incarnations of what we have was Miss Elizabeth Emerson Damon, of Windsor, come to think of as proper housing for tropical fish. Vermont; and her first essays were made with the simple apparatus of a two-quart glass jar, with a




June 2003

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

Aquarium Society" by Joseph Ferdenzi in the May I can't hold myself back from giving 1997 issue of Modern Aquarium.1 some special attention to Chapter 4, which is At the close of the book, I had a strong entitled "Focus on New York." Throughout the sense of the "basics" of aquarium techniques as entire book, New York is often mentioned as a practiced by our forefathers. Long before there central gathering-place for the innovators of the were electric pumps, filters, heaters, and even hobby. The first location of the New York before there was central heating Aquarium was the corner of ^^mm^^^^^^-m^^ (!), they knew that surface area 35th Street and Broadway. It j was more important than was established by William j JH&TM FISH volume, and the value of water Cameron Coup in 1876. (See changes. I also found myself with the article "Coup's Aquarium a strong sense of the enjoyment is Coming to Town," by Lee j they found as they embarked on Finley, elsewhere in this issue.) | this new "Adventure." Admission was 50 cents for I The Addendum is full of adults and 25 cents for 1 madness and myth. It is "for the children. (What page did she I entertainment of those readers say that conversion table was I who are not averse to taking a on?) There was a "Free | respite now and then from the Scientific Library and Reading | fatigue caused by following a Room," as well as a | long story from start to finish." "Naturalist's Workshop," | Did Barnum paint his angelfish? where students, as well as | Revised  Expanded Edition Did Mark Twain play cards with teachers, had access to || microscopes and dissecting ^^—^^ his? As our author would want equipment. The New York Aquarium of the 1870s you to be reminded, "everything is not as it seems." published the first aquarium magazine in the world. The hallmark of a good chronicler is It was called the New York Aquarium Journal. invisibility. You should be completely unaware of Before I become tiresome on the subject him or her. This was my experience as I read this of chapter 4, let me move on to some topics wellwonderful book. Dr. Klee became a friendly ghost, suited to the theme of "Wet Leaves." There is peering out from behind the punctuation marks. chapter 12: "Pre-World War I Literature," chapter That is why what happened to me as I finished reading the book was all the more surprising and 18: "Pre-Depression Personalities and Literature," chapter 23: "Authors and Books of the 30s," etc. I special. I suddenly realized that I had come to wish space would allow for an overview of each of know him very well! these, however the titles stand alone as "magnets" The book closes with a list of suggested for devotees of this genre. You know who you are! readings, picture credits, a list of references (which I was especially interested in the pioneers is a "history" in itself), and an index. of fish photography, along with the methods they Perhaps Lee Finley will do a chronicle of used. One of the frontrunners in this area was his own one day, of the 100 premiere chroniclers William T. Innes (of Exotic Aquarium Fishes of the aquarium hobby. Clearly, Albert Klee has earned his own place on this roll-of-honor. fame). His equipment included a "view camera," and a small aquarium with movable dividers, as Tropical fish (both marine and well as a "background board" to which different freshwater), biographies, natural history, history of aquarium literature, American history, history of colored cards could be attached. There is a photo transportation, classic artwork, vintage of a Blue Gularis taken by Innes in 1920, "using photography, fishkeeping tips, and even the future natural light and an exposure time of at least three seconds." of the aquarium hobby; the more of these topics I think that perhaps I read this book even you are interested in, the more you will enjoy this book. I certainly did! more carefully than I do most of the books I review. Not a single paragraph went unscrutinized The Toy Fish, A History of the Aquarium in my search for even the briefest of references to Hobby in America - The First One-Hundred Years, the Greater City Aquarium Society. Alas, my by Albert J Klee, is available from Finley Aquatic efforts were in vain. The reason became clear to Books. The address is 150 North Road, Pascoag, me as I read what was being said about some of the RI 02859-2054 U.S.A. The cost is $35.00, plus other aquarium societies of the period. Although $3.50 for media rate postage. (For multiple copies, GCAS was frequently mentioned in the periodicals add 750 per extra book for additional postage.) of the time, we were not producing our own publication. [See: "A History of the Greater City

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

June 2003


Sept. 26 - 28, 2003 50th Golden Anniversary Weekend Four Points Sheraton 21 Kingsbridge Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854 1-800-325-3535 (you must make your own reservation, ask for the NJAS room rate of $75) Speakers include: Alan Levey (Wardleys) - Honorary Chairman + Dr. Paul Loiselle + Dr. Tony Orso + Rusty Wessel + Rosario LaCorte + Dr. Leo Buss + Stan Shubel + Pam Chin + Steve White + Pat Donston + Al Brown + Chuck Davis Two Forums: Breeding Tropical Fish & Feeding Tropical Fish Three Tropical Fish Shows (In addition to the NJAS all-species show, the hotel is also hosting an International Betta Congress (IBC) show, and an International Fancy Guppy Association (IFGA) show!) Saturday B-B-Q Banquet Three Different Auctions (Betta, Guppy, and All Species) Saturday Shopping Trip - entertaining spouses Directions to the Four Points Sheraton Traveling on Route 287 Northbound: Take Route 287 North to Exit 9 (Highland Park / Bound Brook). At the traffic light at the end of the ramp, turn left onto River Road. Go through one more light. Stay in the right lane; just before the next light make a "jughandle" onto Centennial Avenue. Go through the next light; make the first left onto Kingsbridge Road. (First Union Bank is on the corner). The hotel is one block down. Traveling on Route 287 Southbound: Take Route 287 South to Exit 9 (Highland Park / Bound Brook). At the end of the ramp, bear right onto River Road. Stay in the right lane; just before the first light make a "jughandle" onto Centennial Avenue. Go through the next light; make the first left onto Kingsbridge Road. (First Union Bank is on the corner). The hotel is on the left side one block down. From Central & Southern New Jersey: Take the New Jersey Turnpike to Exit 10. Take 287 North. Follow the 287 Northbound directions above. OR Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 127 (Northbound) or Exit 129 (Southbound). Take 287 North. Follow the 287 Northbound directions above. From Manhattan: Lincoln Tunnel or the George Washington Bridge to the NJ Turnpike South. Follow the Turnpike to Exit 10; Take Route 287 North. Follow the 287 Northbound directions above. From Staten Island: Take Route 440 South to Route 287 North. Follow the 287 Northbound directions above. From Northern New Jersey & New York State (Rockland County, etc.): Take Garden State Parkway to Exit 129. Take Route 440 South to Route 287 North. Follow the directions above for 287 Northbound. Questions? Contact Bob Larson (1-201-664-0128) or email him at bobguppy@email.msm.com 22

June 2003

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

lateral lines an editorial by Susan Priest Speaking up

The purists

Imagination and ideas are a powerful combination. Add to these some practical experience, and a healthy dose of "the facts of life," and you will get people's attention. How do I know this? Here are some excerpts from a few of the reactions I have received to the "Leading Ladies" issue.

I have heard a bit of grumbling from the purists among you. "That drawing is by Bernie Harrigan!" "Look, over there; it's a MAN!" Anyone who thinks that the photo on page 20 is a picture of Craig Morfitt, raise your hand. Lighten up, folks. We weren't trying to pretend that the men don't exist. We are not feminists with an axe to grind. I hope that at least one of the messages which our May issue has stated loudly and clearly is that all things (and people) are working together for the greater good, not just here at the GCAS, but in the aquarium hobby at-large.

"I can't remember the last time I picked up an aquarium publication and read the entire issue through from the very first page to the last, without jumping around to read one particular article first." A.F. "I have never seen such a professional job by a club publication." MJ. "Wow." B.H. (Actually, this person wrote two full pages of comments, but I liked that part the best.) "Can we afford color?" J.G. "Got the Modern Aquarium issues today . . . it is fabulous!!!" P.C. What you need to understand here is that typical comments might be "Do you know if I got my copy from a year ago last June?" or "The pictures came out kind of dark this time," and that is if we (by "we," I mean mostly Al), get any comments at all, which we almost never do. We are always glad when someone takes the time to tell us what they think, so please speak up on ANY subject. By the way, the answer to that question from J.G. is "not any more," so don't be expecting to see inside color again for a long time. Giving back People today can (and do) sit in front of their computers for hours at a time, and with the touch of a fingertip they can travel the globe. They can "suck up" everything from rock music to information about the latest diseases. They can visit a war zone, a library, or their grandparents. They can do their shopping and their banking, as well as e-mail anyone with an ISP. All of these are good things. But if that is ALL they are doing — sitting in front of a screen and "sucking up" — then they are missing the boat. The people who contributed to the May issue of Modern Aquarium (and every other issue, for that matter), are "giving back." They are interacting with the world. The kicker is that one of the best ways to do this is with a computer! Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

It's a start No one has asked me if I did it, but yeah, I did. I gave the meat slicer to the rummage sale so I could put the toaster oven where that was, and now I have an aquarium on the kitchen counter next to the sink. O.K., it's time to peel off my bathing suit, and tell the whole truth. The tank is actually 5 gallons rather than 10, and the fish which are in there at the moment are only endangered to the extent that if I had left them in a bowl any longer, well, let's just say that I owed them better than that. They are the hardiest of Luna's fry. They are slow-growing, but spunky, and their close proximity to the sink means that they get more frequent water changes than some of the other tanks in the house. I'm sure you are all familiar with the old saying "conservation begins at home." Looking at summer Here it is; summer 2003! It makes me feel a little older, as well as a little younger. Why don't you try looking at summer through the same "eyes" with which you look at an aquarium. You will be able to find yourself a cool, leafy corner where no one will interrupt you as you nap, or dive into that novel you have been looking forward to reading. You will be able to see youngsters frolicking in the waves, under the watchful eyes of their parents. You will know just where to look when you want a taste of your favorite summertime treat (for one of you it might be a broccoli stem, and for another of you it might be a popsicle). And, when you aren't looking for anything in particular, you might see something new and wonderful that you have never seen before. Keep your eyes open, and summer won't disappoint you.

June 2003






CORAL AQUARIUM 75-05 Roosevelt Ave Jackson Heights, NY 11372 718-429-3934 / Open Mon.-Fri. 10AM-8:OOPM Sat. 10AM - 7:OOPM Sun. 12PM - 6:OOPM SALTWATER FISH

















All Major Credit Cards Accepted


June 2003

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


Specializing in Tropical Fish and Aquarium Supplies Large Selection of Aquatic Plants Knowledgeable Staff Same Location Since 1947. 115-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418

(718) 849-6678

Marine Biologist On Staff Custom Tank Builders for the NY Aquarium Manufacturers of Aquarium & Filter Systems Custom Cabinetry & Lighting Largest Selection of Marine & Freshwater Livestock in NY New York's Largest Custom Aquarium Showroom See Working Systems on Display 2015 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11234 (718)258-0653

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


June 2003

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

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Winner of the "Mother's Day Plant Raffle": Joe Graffagnino


Bowl Show Winners last month: 1st: Evelyn Eagan (Red Delta male Betta) 2nd: Evelyn Eagan (Green crowntail male Betta); 3rd: Bill Amely (Cambodian halfhioon Betta) Unofficial 2002-2003 Bowl Show totals to date: Harry Faustmann lOpts. Carlotti De Jager 8pts. Evelyn Eagan 8pts. Viviane Davis 5pts. Pat Coushaine 5pts. Al Priest 3pts. Anton Vukich 3pts. Ed Vukick 3 pts. Bill Amely 2pts. Pete D'Orio Ipt. Joseph Ferdenzi 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: September 3,2003 Speaker and Topic to be announced. A postcard will be sent in August with this information, which will be on our website. 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: June 13,2003 Speak er: Gary VanderPutten Topic: "High Tech, Low Tech - The Art of Growing Aquatic Plants" 7:30pm Education Hall at the NY Aquarium Surf Avenue at West 8th St., Brooklyn, NY Call: 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; The Holtsville Park and Zoo 249 Buckley Road ~ Holtsville, NY

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 2nd Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post 1066, 66 Veterans Blvd., Massapequa, NY June 10,2003 Speaker: Luis Morales Topic: "Peruvian Amazon Tropical Fish Collecting Adventure" Contact: Mike Foran (516)798-6766 http://ncas.iwsl .com/index, html

Contact: Vinny Kreyling (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 June 19, 2003 Speaker: Rit Forcier Topic: "Fishkeeping In Scotland" Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 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

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

June 2003

Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253 http ://norwalkas. org/htm I/


Fin Fun 4< Author, Author This month's scheduled speaker, Lee Finley, is well known as an expert on catfish. He is also an expert on the history of the aquarium hobby and, as the owner of Finley Aquatic Books, is an expert in the literature of the hobby. While Lee knows this subject matter "backwards and forwards," so to speak, let's see how good you are at unscrambling the names of famous authors of aquarium literature. DELAROX

his name is on an atlas


his name is on another atlas


his name is on yet another atlas


his Exotic Aquarium Fishes is a classic


he writes about cichlids


he also writes about cichlids


an aquascaping author with a shrimp namesake


a former magazine editor who has written on cichlids, discus, and breeding


his discus books are based on personal experience

Solution to last month's Puzzle: TVlC First SVl^H Be R Y
























Drawings by Karen Randall


June 2003

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

June 2003 volume X number 6

Modern Aquarium  

June 2003 volume X number 6