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SEPTEMBER 2003 volume X number 7

Greater City Aquarium Society - New York


modern

AQUARIUM ON THE COVER The Rainbow Cichlid (Herotiiapia multispinosa) on this month's cover is a relatively peaceful cichlid, well suited to a community tank, and for a beginning aquarist To learn more about the care and husbandry of this fish, read Jerry Q'FarrefPs article: "Breeding the Rainbow Gichiid," in this issue. Photo by Jerry O'Farrell

Series III

Vol. X, No. 7

September, 2003

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest

2

President's Message

3

Breeding the Rainbow Cichlid

5

Our Scheduled Speaker: Ginny Eckstein

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In Memoriam: Ray Albanese

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GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members President ...,...... . .Joseph Ferdenzi Vice-President .... ,>. Mark Soberman Treasurer .;,,...../..... Jack Traub Corres. Secretary . . . . . . . Warren Feuer Recording Secretary . . . . . . . , . (vacant) Members At Large Steve Chen Pete D'Orio CarlotiJ DeJager Claudia Dickinson Jason Kerner Ben Haus GregWuest Emma Haus Committee Chairs Breeder Award . . . . . Warren Feuer and Mark Soberman Early Arrivals . . . . . . . V , . . . Pete D'Orio F.AAS, 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 ........,,.;. Dora Dong Photo/Layout Editor .... < Jason Kemer Advertising Mgr. ...... Mark Soberman Executive Editor ,.........., Joseph Ferdenz:!

Reprint: African Riverine Cichiids

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Mom of the Year: Singapore Cobra Guppy . . . 11 Product Review: Stand & Acrylic Aquarium . . 13 Photos from our Last Meeting

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What To Do? What to Do?

18

Wet Leaves (Book Review)

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A Proposal: An Aquatic Orphan Registry . . . . 21 G.C.A.S. Happenings

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Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

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

elcome back to the 2003-2004 season of Greater City. I want to remind everyone that there is still time to submit aquarium hobby related tips, hints, and tricks for our January 2004 issue, and that each original tip, hint, or trick will earn the person who first submits it 5 points in Greater City's Author Award Program. I have been on the Editorial Staff of Modern Aquarium since before the first issue of the current series was printed in January 1994. I have been your Editor for five years, since September of 1998. During all that time, we have printed several memorial tributes to members and noted aquarists who have passed away. Many of you will be learning of the passing of GCAS member Ray Albanese for the first time when reading the memorial tribute to him in this issue. Ray's passing is, however, the first one that has been mentioned on the Editor's page, and his memorial is the first to have been written by several contributors, from both our Board and Editorial Staff. Ray was not only a regular attendee at GCAS meetings, and a member of the GCAS Board of Governors, he was also a regular contributor to Modern Aquarium, and one of the most conscientious proofreaders on our Editorial Staff. Ray's skills, talents, and enthusiasm cannot be duplicated. But, his unfortunate passing does leave Modern Aquarium with a need for more proofreaders. If you have, and regularly check, e-mail, and you would like to be on the winning Modern Aquarium team, please consider volunteering as an Editorial Assistant. Only me, my wife, Sue, and our President, Joe, see all the articles before they are printed. The articles are divided among our Editorial Assistants, so that no one person has too much to do. So, the more people we have, the lighter the load will be on any one person.

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The magazine you have in your hands is one of the best of its kind for a general aquarium hobby club, and that's not just me saying that â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it was voted the best in its class by both the North East Council of Aquarium societies and the Federation of American Aquarium Societies. Where do you go when you're on top? The answer for Modern Aquarium will hopefully be, "even higher!" Our May 2003 issue moved the achievement bar higher, with more pages, more pictures, and (to the best of our knowledge), it was the first aquarium society publication to have been planned and written entirely by women. If you enjoy reading this magazine, consider contributing to it. We are especially interested in beginner articles, because beginners bring a perspective to the hobby that is often lost by advanced aquarists. What is a "beginner?" Well, you might be an advanced reef-keeper trying to breed Siamese Fighting Fish for the first time. That makes you a beginner in this one area. Your experiences (and, yes, that includes your mistakes) would be of value to many of our members. I'd prefer your articles by e-mail, or on electronic media (floppy disk, CD, Zip, Jaz). I can handle almost any word processing format (to be on the safe side, send it twice, once as an RTF, or Rich Text Format, document). But, I'll take typewritten, or even neatly handwritten, articles. We need good quality color photographs. Fish are notoriously difficult to photograph, and we have a color photograph of a fish on every issue of our magazine. We can scan good quality photographs (the original print will be returned to you), and we can accept files in electronic format, and on almost any popular camera media. We would really love to see articles (as well as drawings, poems, etc.) by our "junior" members. Even in this age of the Internet chat room, home video games, cable TV, and wireless phones, I find it difficult to believe that none of our members have any children, or young relatives, that do not have a fish tank or more of their own. E-mail your articles to: GreaterCity@compuserve.com Through the efforts of our Advertising Manager, Mark Soberman, we have a new advertiser, Wardley Products. If you really can't contribute in any other way to Greater City and this magazine, you can support our advertisers when you need aquarium products. (And, for those to whom it makes a difference, and I'm one of them, Wardley products are proudly made in the U.S.A.)

September 2003

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


President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI

s I welcome you back from our summer hiatus, my thoughts turn to last season, Greater City's 81st one. Again, it was a season marked by success. Alas, it was also one marked by a great sadness in the final month of June. The season got off to a roaring start when world-famous Discus breeder Jack Wattley came to speak to us in September. A visit from this accomplished gentleman was indeed a wonderful moment for all of us. Claudia Dickinson, our Speaker Chairperson, started us off with great fanfare, and she continued to bring us top notch speakers and programs throughout the rest of the season. Modern Aquarium also continued to be a highlight of our season. In May, for example, it rose to a new high point when it published the first aquarium magazine issue (amateur or professional) to be totally written by women. Also, we learned that Modern Aquarium had, once again, been voted the top club publication (of those with more than six issues per year) in both 2001 and 2002 by the Federation of American Aquarium Societies ("FAAS"), and the best magazine of 2002 as selected by the North East Council of Aquarium Societies ("NEC"). The attendance level at our monthly meetings was consistently high â&#x20AC;&#x201D; most meetings ended up standing-room-only. Our monthly auctions reflected their popularity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the auctions were large and diverse thanks to the generosity and skills of our members. These remarkable auctions also did much to help put Greater City on a sound financial footing. As if that were not enough, it must be noted that our Society appears to continue to enjoy a high-level of camaraderie and good spirit. It is little wonder that I, and so many others, look forward to our monthly get-togethers. With all that wonderful activity aside, June turned out to be a terrible month. Our June meeting took place on the Wednesday evening of the 4th. The meeting itself seemed a joy, but I did notice the absence of our Recording Secretary, Ray

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

Albanese. It struck me as unusual, to say the least, because Ray was one of our most enthusiastic members, and it was rare for him to miss a meeting. In fact, that evening, I presented the 2002 FAAS Publication Awards. Included among them was a First Place award to Ray for his article, "Romance in my Aquariums." Well, I thought, I would just present it to him at our meeting in September. But, that will never happen. Ray died on the morning of June 4, 2003 (see the obituary on page 7). Instead, I sadly presented the award certificate to his wife, Linda, at his wake. She gracefully told me how much that meant to her. The Society has suffered a tremendous loss, and I know I will miss Ray a great deal. I also know that if they have any aquariums up in Heaven, Ray will be extra happy.

A memorable anniversary will soon be celebrated in the aquarium world. The North Jersey Aquarium Society will be 50 years old this year. This remarkable achievement will be the focus of their grand convention on the weekend of September 26th to 28th, 2003. NJAS is a wonderful aquarium society. They have many friendly and talented members, and their annual show is always a highlight of the year. We at Greater City are proud of them and the significant contribution they make to the aquarium hobby, especially here in the greater New York/New Jersey/Connecticut metro area. Most aquarium societies never make it to their Golden Anniversary. We are very pleased that NJAS has achieved that milestone, and wholeheartedly hope that we will be there to wish them well on their 100th Anniversary. Speaking of North Jersey's upcoming fish show, you should know that I encourage everyone who can to attend. You will see and hear top-notch speakers. You will meet many, many knowledgeable hobbyists, including many top breeders from the tri-state area. There will be great auctions, and many speciality products will be available for sale as well. You couldn't find a better run and more worthwhile tropical fish event in this area than North Jersey's weekend event. You will find details about it elsewhere in this magazine. Mull it over. If you decide to go, I know you won't regret it.

September 2003


NOTE: Our Information Table, in the rear of the meeting room tonight, has flyers with complete information on this event, as well as registration forms.

September 2003

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


by JERRY OTARRELL

have five Rainbow Cichlids (Herotilapia eggs on the cleaned area, and the male passes over multispinosd) in a 150 gallon community tank, them, depositing his milt to fertilize them. The along with 7 Altum Angels (Pterophyllum parents fan the eggs until they hatch (in about three ahum), 50 Neon Terras (Paracheirodon innesi), days). The nearly invisible fry are then moved to Cory cats, Plecos, and because honey thinks depressions dug in the gravel by the male. But if they're very pretty and cute, 8 assorted Dwarf oxygen levels become low, they will take the Gouramis (Colisa Mid). We also have several wigglers and paste them to the tops of plants, types of live plants. where the water has more oxygen. The fry become The Rainbow Cichlid inhabits the region free swimming in about a week, and then they are from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. It makes a good constantly fanned and moved around the tank. community fish, as it Although the parents is normally peaceful are very protective of for a cichlid this size the fry, they cannot (4 to 5 inches), protect all of them except at breeding from predation by the time, when it will other fish in the tank. show aggression Scientists did toward other fish in a study on sound with the tank. For a these fish, and found hobbyist who is a that during aggressive beginning breeder, exchanges, the this is a very good Rainbow Cichlid fish to learn from. Its produces what have The Rainbow Cichlid (Herotilapia multispinosa) been described as water requirements photo by Jerry O'Farrell volleys and thumps, or are not critical, as it is not sensitive to purrs. In the wild, the hardness or pH. It will eat live, frozen, or dry Rainbow Cichlid will adopt fry from other fish of foods. The water in my tank has a temperature of the same species, or sometimes steal them from 82 degrees, a pH of 6.6 to 6.8, a general hardness other species of cichlids, like the Convict Cichlid (GH) of 40 mg/L (ppm), and a carbonate hardness (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatus) to add to their own (KH)of20mg/L(ppm). school, with the idea that predators who come along will eat the foreign fry, thus increasing the The Rainbow Cichlid is a pretty little fish, which is golden brown with a black lateral strip chances of survival for their own young. The made of connected blotches, and usually having scientists call this the "dilution effect" on predation. red eyes (although mine have yellow eyes). When guarding eggs or fry, the entire lower part of the But the fish cannot always do this in an body (including the fins) turns dark gray; some fish aquarium, so in order to save some of the fry, I take turn completely black. a brine shrimp net and scoop some of them out. As they lay a couple of hundred eggs, they will not They prefer to lay their eggs on rock or miss 50 or 60 of the fry. This also guarantees that slate, but the two breeding pairs that I have like to some of the fry will reach adult hood. use the drift wood in my tank to lay their eggs. Once the fry become free swimming, and Although they breed at around 4 to 5 inches, they have been known to breed as small as 1 -1/2 inches. I take them away from their parents, I put them in a 2-1/2 gallon tank with an air stone for water These fish breed in typical cichlid fashion, by circulation. I then feed them frozen newly hatched cleaning a spawning site and then doing what I call the "shimmy shake dance." The female lays her brine shrimp and live micro worms for about one

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

September 2003


As they are week. Once they put Common name: Rainbow Cichlid only 3-1/2 weeks on some size, I start Scientific name: Herotilapia multispinosa old at the time of them on a prepared Natural range: from Costa Rica to Nicaragua this writing, I'll mix of dry food and Disposition: normally peaceful, except when breeding vitamins concocted have to wait and see Size: 4 to 5 inches how they turn out. by my friend Gino. Temperature: 82째F It consists of pure If all goes well, pH: 6.6 to 6.8 powdered spirulina, you'll see them on General hardness (GH): 40 mg/L (ppm) powdered plankton the auction table at Carbonate hardness (KH): 20 mg/L (ppm) flake, golden pearls the club. In the Nutrition: live, frozen, or dry foods for juveniles (from meantime, they Spawning: egglayer (on rock, slate, or driftwood) Brine Shrimp seem to be putting on good size, and Direct), and finely are doing well in ground high protein the peace and serenity room. I am sorry to report flake food. Use a half teaspoon of each to make the powder, and mix well. Then take a quarter that the fry in the 150 gallon tank lasted about 21/2 weeks before they all disappeared. teaspoon of the mixture and add a quarter cup of I hope this will encourage beginning water. Let this soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Because breeders to try their luck, and share their you are using decapsulated brine shrimp eggs you have to soak the mixture, otherwise the babies experiences with other hobbyists, like I have done. could get constipated. When feeding it, I take References: half a teaspoon of the product and mix it in half a Goldstein, Robert J. Ph.D., Cichlids, cup of water, and let it soak for a few minutes T.F.H. Publications, Inc., 1970. before feeding it. Soaking the food seems to make Axelrod, Dr. Herbert R., Burgess, Dr. it easier to eat and digest for the fry. I feed them Warren E., Pronek, Neal, Axelrod, Glen S., and about a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, using a turkey Boruchowitz, David E. Aquarium Fishes of the baster, and siphon off the excess after ten minutes World, T.F.H. Publications, Inc. with airline tubing attached to a small stick with a Barlow, Dr. George W., The Cichlid rubber band. I then refrigerate the rest of it. After Fishes - Nature's Grand Experiment In Evolution, two or three days, I discard it and make a new Perseus Publishing, 2000. [Editor's Note: see a batch. I change half the water in the tank twice a review of this book on page 19 of this issue] day. They also still get the shrimp and the worms. They are fed 4 to 5 times a day.

Our Scheduled speaker this month:

Ginny Eckstein inny Eckstein is probably the best-known "novice" in the hobby today. Her interest in fish keeping burgeoned twenty years ago when a pair of convict cichlids spawned in a "decorative" community tank in her living room. Shortly thereafter, she quit her job, filled her basement with tanks and began a serious involvement with Neotropical cichlids and catfish from all over the world. Ginny started sharing her observations of fish behavior and fish keeping insights with fellow members of the Long Island Aquarium Society. Her distinctive style won her a wide readership and she eventually authored a monthly column on catfish keeping for Aquarium Fish Magazine. Her straightforward approach to fish keeping and sparkling delivery, no less than her reputation as a catfish expert, continue to endear her to audiences coast to coast. Ginny has been a speaker at the annual North East Council of Aquarium Societies ("NEC") convention, and at numerous aquarium societies, both in the United States, and elsewhere (in 199land 1999, she spoke at meetings of the Bermuda Fry Angle Aquarium Society). Ginny was also prominently featured in the article "Flashing New Items Make A Splash In The Aquarium World," in the May 1989 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. The Greater City Aquarium Society is pleased and proud to welcome this well-known ambassador of the aquarium hobby.

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Much of the information above was excerpted from the Marineland Speakers page on the internet at: http://www.marineland.com/speakers_bio.asp September 2003

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


3n iWemortam Ray Albanese t came as quite a shock when we learned that Ray had died on June 4,2003, at the age of 56, on the very day of the scheduled Greater City meeting. His absence that evening had been noted, but no one expected such a dreaded reason to be the cause for his non-appearance. In a twist of bitter irony, he had been announced as the First Place winner of one of the 2002 publication awards from the Federation of American Aquarium Societies for his Modern Aquarium article, "Romance in my Aquariums." This award was presented posthumously to his wife, Linda, at his wake. The wake bore testimony to Ray's devotion to our hobby. There were several flower arrangements in the shape of fish, including one from Ray's children. There were flowers from Greater City and the Nassau County Aquarium Society — Ray was an avid member of both. On a podium next to his closed casket, there were copies of articles he had written for both us and Nassau County's publication, Pisces Press. The engraved plaque that Ray had received in April from the North East Council of Aquarium Societies for the aforementioned "Romance in My Aquariums" article was also prominently displayed on the podium. A tableaux of photos in the anteroom featured Ray jubilantly holding aloft a trophy he had won at a Nassau fish show many years ago. Ray had recently completed his second term as Recording Secretary for the Board of Directors at Greater City. He was doing a fantastic job. He was also in the midst of a very productive writing career. His articles for Modern Aquarium and Pisces Press had garnered many awards for Ray, and distinction for those publications. Some of us knew Ray best through his service to Modern Aquarium as a proof-reader. He did an outstanding job in this area. In addition to spelling and grammatical errors, he would often offer such advice as "that phone number has been changed to . . .," or "check out such-and-such a web-site for more detailed information on . . .," and, most impressively, "the scientific name of that fish has been changed; it used to be ... and now it is . . ." He would gently suggest that maybe a different fish than the one chosen by the author

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

might be a better example to illustrate a point. He had a knack for guiding an author to an overall improved article without ever putting them down. His comprehensive knowledge, combined with his people-skills, made his contributions as a proofreader irreplaceable, and Modern Aquarium will miss him deeply. Ray served as defacto "Technical Editor" for our magazine. He re-verified virtually all information in the articles he was asked to proofread, including Internet URLs, the correct current scientific names of fish — even, at one time, a phone number in an advertisement! In brief, Ray was careful and conscientious. He was a true example of a "gentleman," always helpful, and taking great care not to offend or harshly criticize anyone. All his proofreading included a comment that, if the Editorial Staff did not agree with his suggestions, it would be fine with him. Nearly all his suggestions were adopted, but it was clear he did not want to give offense — something I doubt he was even capable of doing. Ray loved every facet of the aquarium hobby: the fish, the shows, the publications, the history, and, best of all, the people. Ray's enthusiasm made an impression on everyone who ever met him. The hobby has most certainly lost one of its greatest supporters. Ray was selfless in his contributions to Greater City, and to the aquarium hobby at large. Ray grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, served in our armed forces, and forged a career for himself as an engineer, and, later, as a teacher. He was a devoted family man. But, amidst all this, he found time for a hobby he had always cherished. In doing so, he enriched the lives of many. Ray will be sorely missed. Those of us who knew him will never forget him. In recognition of our affection for Ray, and his unequaled support of our bi-annual fish show, the Board of Governors has elected to award the 2004 Best of Show trophy in memory of Ray. This memorial article to Ray Albanese is a combined effort of members of the Greater City Board of Governors and members of the Editorial Staff of Modern Aquarium. Ray Albanese - Requiescat in pace

September 2003


econd Reprints deserving a second look This month's reprint is an additional tribute to Ray Albanese who not only contributed great (and award-winning) articles to Greater City's Modern Aquarium, but also wrote for Pisces Press, the publication of the Nassau County Aquarium Society. The article below appeared in the June 2003 issue of Pisces Press.

African Riverine Cichlids By Ray Albanese Mention African Cichlids and most hobbyists immediately think of the very colorful Cichlids from the Great Rift Lakes of Africa, lakes Victoria, Malawi, and Tanganyika. While there are hundreds of species of Cichlids from these lakes, many others are endemic to non-Rift Lakes and to the river systems of Africa. These species do not require the same conditions as found in the Rift Lakes, namely mineral rich, alkaline water. Quite the opposite, they do better in soft, acid water. Two of these are Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher) and Jewel Cichlids (Hemichromis lifalili). Because there is so much conflicting information in books, and especially in the uncontrolled information on the Internet, this article will be limited to these two Riverine Cichlids, the only Old World Cichlids that I have successfully kept, and have had breed in my aquariums. Instances where my experience differs greatly from that of others, or from the literature I have read, will be noted. The original name for what have been, and are still being, called kribs was Pelmatachromis kribensis. The work of Thys and Loiselle in 1971 invalidated the Pelmatachromis genus, when they replaced it with the genus Pelvicachromis. This new genus now contains eight species. Interestingly, due to the constant reclassification of genus and species, the name is made up of pelvis (Latin) meaning basin or bowl, and chroma (Greek) meaning color. Pulcher is derived from the Latin word for beautiful. The scientific name is an apt description of the fish, especially the female. Her distended belly somewhat resembles a bright red bowl, and she is indeed beautiful. Males are also colorful, though much sleeker looking. This sexual dimorphism makes it easy to distinguish males from females. (There is now a species known as Pelvicachromis

kribensis, but it is a totally different fish from the originally described one. I wish I knew the etymology - i.e. origins - of the word kribensis). Kribensis are from the slow moving rivers of West Africa. The males grow only to a maximum of about four inches, and the females top out at a little over three inches; thus they are considered to be Dwarf Cichlids. They are usually peaceful fish, except when breeding, and may be kept in a community tank, if kept with non-aggressive species of similar size. However, I have always preferred to keep them in a species tank. Some authors suggest housing them in at least a twenty-gallon tank, but I have kept two pairs in a ten-gallon aquarium, separated by a divider, and both couples have spawned within a few days of each other. Kribs will breed when they are six to eight months old. They are not fussy as to water conditions, but using soft water, with a pH from 5.0 to 6.5, and temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit is a good starting point should you wish to try to induce them to spawn. Along with a couple of inches of gravel, a coconut shell that has had the meat removed, an appropriately sized PVC pipe, or an inverted flowerpot with a notch big enough for the pair to enter, should be added to the tank to simulate a cave, which is a favorite spawning site of kribs. The kribs will lay 50-350 eggs, which will hatch in several days. The parents exhibit typical Cichlid parental care, moving the wigglers from one pit to another, much as they would in the wild, to prevent predators from making a meal of them. After one and one half weeks, the fry are free swimming and should be fed infusoria, then progressing to microworms and, at the end of two weeks, newly hatched brine shrimp. I have never found it necessary, but some authors suggest using

September 2003

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


a dither fish to help the parents focus on the task at hand. Some writers state that the female may kill the male if he is not ready to spawn. I have never witnessed any rough behavior on either partner's part. Also, some have written that the pair is extremely aggressive towards other tank inhabitants during the process. I can neither confirm nor deny this, since I house each pair in its own space. Kribs are extremely prolific and, if in good condition, will spawn every few weeks. The fry may be raised in either a community tank or in large grow-out tanks. A number of years ago, I had so many half-grown kribs that I couldn't get rid of them fast enough. Housing too many kribs in small aquaria will stunt their growth. Therefore, I was very pleased when a friend, an owner of a pet store, asked if I would be willing to donate a pair of kribs to one of his acquaintances that was doing a research project at the New York Aquarium. I was very pleased to contribute both pairs to the effort, because I liked the idea of helping the advancement of science in some small way, while also solving my problem of producing too many fiy. My understanding of the experiment was that it was to measure the effect of different pHs of the water in which the kribs spawn on the sex of the progeny. I never did learn the outcome, or if indeed my fish were used, but I have since read that the pH must be around 6.2 to get an even distribution of males and females. I have also read that other biologists have performed similar experiments with kribs and other Cichlids, and have determined that there are differences in sex ratios, not depending on chromosomes. Other factors such as the pre-spawn hardness or pH of the water and also the post-spawn population density, and relative size of the individual offspring - the largest of which become males - may also help determine gender distributions. I am sure there is still a lot of research to be done in this area and hope that I get to read some of it. Jewel Cichlids are the other Riverine Cichlids that I have kept in my aquariums. They are very similar in many ways to kribensis, except they are far nastier and, if kept with other fish, these tank mates must be similarly aggressive fish. They are found in the Congo River system, and as such they should be kept more like South American Cichlids than Great Rift Lake Cichlids. The pH of their water should be 5.0 to 6.2, and it should be very soft, less than 4 degrees dH. Dissecting their name yields hemi = half, and chromis = sea fish, perhaps in consideration of their beautiful colors, reminiscent of coral reef fish. In her breeding colors, the female is cherry red. The male is darker, tending to lilac. Both are absolutely gorgeous, but Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

unlike most other Cichlids, the female is more colorful than the male. They too are considered to be Dwarf Cichlids, with the maximum size of the male four inches and the female a little over three inches. There is possibly more misinformation about Jewel Cichlids, Hemichromis Iqfilili, than any other species I have encountered. Paul Loiselle described this species, sometimes called the most colorful of all aquarium fish, in 1979. Yet, H. lafilili was misidentified as H. bimaculatus in Exotic Tropical Expanded Edition (Herbert R Axelrod, et al), and possibly as H. cristatus in Baensch's Aquarium Atlas II. Mistakes are not limited to the pictures in books either. On a visit to the New York Aquarium many years ago, I saw Jewels as part of a Great Rift Lake Cichlid display. One would expect correct information from these experts. And there are still others promulgating incorrect information. I have read articles that stated that Jewels were mouth brooders, were from South America, were suitable/unsuitable for community tanks, had to be fed only freeze dried or live foods, and should only be kept in a planted/unplanted, very large aquarium. My experience is that Jewels will consume anything they can swallow. I have only kept them in ten-gallon species tanks, so I cannot be sure of the inaccuracy of some of the claims. One thing that I am sure of, though, is that all the contradictory information contributes to their reputation as not being a beginner's fish. Jewel Cichlids are "open spawners." That is, flat rocks are their preferred spawning sites. (I have read one article, though, that stated the author's pair spawned in a "closed" flowerpot - go figure.) It may be safely said that Jewel Cichlids are more difficult to breed than kribensis. One factor affecting this is that they are not sexually dimorphic, and therefore, a group must be kept until natural selection takes place. Another is their aggression towards conspecifics and other species offish. Some first time spawners eat their own eggs - it has been suggested that this predation may be reduced by adding a target fish to the set-up. I have never needed to do this, and have gotten many spawns just by using a ten gallon tank, a couple of inches of gravel, and a flat piece of slate. Some authors recommend removing the rock with the eggs on it to a five or ten gallon tank, providing heavy aeration, and adding methylene blue to darken the water. This may save a few eggs, but it will rob you of the joy of watching the parents care for the young. I consider Jewels to be fairly easy to spawn, and prolific. Their parental care is typical for many Cichlids, and is a delight I will never tire of observing. The fry may be raised as outlined above for kribensis.

September 2003


Jewels are truly beautiful fish. I once entered a family tank of Jewel Cichlids in an aquarium show. One of the judges was the very knowledgeable Dr. Paul Loiselle, currently curator of freshwater fishes at the New York Aquarium. Dr. Loiselle pointed out to me that I had incorrectly entered my fish as H. bimaculatus. I was happy to be corrected, and to give him a few of the progeny for his personal aquarium. Though my family tank was selected as first place in that category, I was disappointed in myself when he informed me that I would have had a chance to get Best In Show, had I entered the male and female as single entries in the Cichlid category.

Kribensis and Jewel Cichlids are colorful, may be housed in smaller tanks, and are not fussy as to water conditions. They also readily spawn and exhibit parental care. Give them a try. I don't think you will be disappointed. And, perhaps, you will be able to correct some of the mistakes that permeate our hobby regarding Riverine Cichlids. References Listed are only those references that I believe contain accurate information. The Complete Book of Dwarf Cichlids by Hans-Joachim Richter, Published by TFH, Neptune City, NJ 1989 http://www.petsforum.com/svoorwinde/Jewels/Jewels.htm Hemichromus lafilili

The 17th Annual Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Giant Fish Auction Friday, October 10 at the Golden Gate Motor Inn 3867 Shore Parkway & Knapp Street - Brooklyn, NY Free Admission • Free Parking • Free Refreshments • Free Fish Food Samples Viewing offish starts at 7:30 PM Auction starts promptly at 8:30 PM • • • •

Angelfish African Cichlids S.A. Cichlids Dry goods/Books

•Goldfish • Catfish • Livebearers • Discus • Koi • Show Bettas and Guppies • Killifish • Dwarf Cichlids • Aquatic Plants ains • Sale items • Vendors Many Hard to Find and Rare Fish and Plants!

Directions by Car: The Golden Gate Motor Inn is located in Sheepshead Bay, just off the Belt Parkway. Take the Belt Parkway to (Exit 9) Knapp Street - Get on service Road and go to light make a left at the light. The Golden Gate Motor Inn will be on your left. Make a Left and a quick right into the parking lot. Enter lobby and follow signs to the event. For more information, call the BAS 24 hour Hotline at (718) 837-4455, or visit the BAS website at: http://www.brooklynaquariumsociety.org/

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September 2003

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


Mom Of The Year:

Cobra Guppy by DOUG CURTIN n Oct 22, 2000, Leonard Ramroop, a member of the Greater City Aquarium Society and the Big Apple Guppy Group, brought over to my house two pairs of Singapore Gold Cobra Guppies (Poecillia reticulatd), which he purchased at Fish Town. The females were very large, and looked like gold helleri. Lenny said that the fish were very hardy, and produced a lot of babies (over a hundred per female at one time). Hey, I have been into raising guppies for over fifty years, and I never got more than 35-40 young per drop. I looked at him with a little skepticism. But he insisted I would get over a hundred young. I divided the two pairs into two 2-1/2 gallon drum bowls, and put them on my enclosed radiator in front of the window in the living room. Usually my fish are all down in my basement. My living room is kept at 70 degrees F during the winter, which is ideal for Guppies. (The temperature range for Guppies is 58-90 degrees F, with the optimum being around 72 to 74 degrees F.) I have kept Guppies at 58 and 90 degrees F, and I have found the best temperature to be 74째 F. Well, to get on with my story, the next day I saw one drum bowl with wall to wall babies. Lenny had mentioned that the Singapores didn't seem to be cannibals. I decided to save as many as possible by transferring the babies to a one gallon pickle jar containing tap water that had been standing two days to get rid of chorine (Guppies don't like chlorine), and bring it to room temperature. I also added a squirt of Start Right. I chased the baby Guppies into a net. While the net was still submerged, I transferred them from the net using a plastic coffee measuring scoop, to prevent the

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

babies from being injured by the net. I removed 150 babies. Gad, Lenny was right! Now I had 150 fish, so after adding a piece of Anacharis for decoration and oxygen production to the gallon pickle jar, I proceeded to harvest some newly hatched brine shrimp, which the newborns eagerly consumed. Since there was no filtration, I changed 50% of the water every day with water which had been left standing for two days. Their diet consisted of baby brine shrimp and microworms. After two weeks, the babies, now 1-1/2 inches long, got ^:::Jmf an additional supplement of flake I food (Wardley Guppy Food, which I powdered in an Osterizer blender). The pickle jar was getting kind of crowded by this time, so I transferred 25 young to a 2-1/2 half gallon stainless steel aquarium, complete with gravel, plants, and snails. The removal of those 25 didn't make too much of a dent, so I gave 50 to my brother Don to put into a 20 gallon long stainless steel aquarium, which was also planted, had snails, etc. After about two months, some of the Guppies were brought to the Big Apple Guppy group and auctioned off. They were beautiful fish, h a v i n g the same characteristics as their parents. Now, since I make periodic trips to Florida, I'm not always around to take babies out, so I assume they get eaten. But, on August 29, 2001, ten months after receiving the Mom of the Year, an additional thirty babies were seen in the drum bowl. These were left with the parents, who didn't seem to want them for a snack. On October 5,2001, another five babies were seen in the drum bowl. These were also left in with their parents,

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brothers, and sisters. On November 16, 2001, another 70 babies were produced. These were removed, since there were now 105 babies, and Mom and Pop, in a 2-1/2 gallon drum bowl. December 29, 2001, approximately one year after the 150 babies record, she delivered 28 more, which I removed. On February 15, 2002, six weeks later, she had four more babies. After another eight weeks, on April 15, 2002, she had only two offspring. She never produced any more after that. I guess menopause finally set in. Mom had been in my home for 1-1/2 years when she stopped producing. She was full grown, and as big as a helleri. Mom went to Guppy Heaven on December 21, 2002. I had her for two years and two months â&#x20AC;&#x201D; old for a Guppy. She produced 259 babies during her lifetime with me. Upon her death, which was expected because she didn't eat for two days, and she loved to eat, and hung at the

bottom, I used my ruler to measure her lengthâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;exactly 2-1/2 inches. Although the books say that the female Guppy reaches that length, I had never really seen one that big before. This strain of Guppy breeds true, isn't particularly prone to diseases, has a ravenous appetite, produces lots of babies, and is a truly beautiful fish. The males are large also, with a wide delta tail which has plenty of Cobra markings, and a deep gold color. Most males have a trace of red at the bottom of their Delta tail. A few have no red at all, and these are of show quality. I didn't know that a trace of red would prevent this fish from getting a blue ribbon. I now have males without any red in their coloring, so I'm ready for the blue ribbon! This is a Guppy for any fish enthusiast.

The JERSEY ShoRE AquARiUM SociEiy PRESENTS ITS 9lh ANNUAl TROpJCAl fish

ANd dRy qoods AUCTJON!

Sunday, October 19, 2003 at the First Aid Squad Building at 18 Spring Street in Freehold, NJ Live goods registration: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Viewing of items: 10:00 - 11:45 a.m. Auction starts: noon sharp! For more info, or to preregister, e-mail Luis at: hnorales45@comcast.net or call 732-651-1435 or visit http://www.jerseyshoreas.org on the Internet

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

Mark Rubanow 205 8th Street, Hicksville, NY 11801 (516) 939-0267 or (516) 646-8699 (beeper) morgansfin@aol.com 12

September 2003

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


roduct Review & Ram Mings: SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium and All-glass Double Aquarium Stand by STEPHEN SICA s a result of my fascination with acrylic fish During the fall, I had been searching the tanks, I wrote a product review about the Internet for manufacturers and dealers of acrylic Marineland Eclipse System six gallon aquariums. I found two manufacturers of a wide aquarium that I purchased two years ago.1 array of sizes and designs; both were in California. Currently, the aquarium occupies a small, modestly I also discovered several dealers but only one, also sunlit space in the den of my home. The tank is in California, seemed to stock the whole decorated with a slight piece of driftwood, an assortment. Anubias, a clump of Java Moss, and a few newborn The manufacturer that I decided upon was Java Ferns on a bed of CASCO Group Inc., the small white stones. manufacturer of The natural light keeps SeaClear Aquariums. I the plants in good became enamored with a health, and avoids "20 Show Clear algae, without using Combo," a modest artificial lighting. twenty gallon aquarium After much trial and with exact outside even more error, this measurements of 30" small aquarium is the length, 10" width and happy home to fifteen 16" height. I reasoned Cardinal Tetras that that it was "show" size have developed a taste because it was 10" wide. for Tetra's BettaMin I guess this means that it and O.S.I.'s brine allows fish to be seen shrimp flakes as their more easily in the narrow favorite fast foods. width. I did not like this L a s t at first, but it did enable December, after a long a modestly sized tank to and fruitful life, our pet be both "long and tall" crayfish, the lone which did please me. I inhabitant of a 15 surmised that it would gallon aquarium in our make an adequate home basement, left us for to one or two small the great fish farm in Plecos, and a real nice t h e s k y . home for a school or two Coincidentally, my of small tetras and a few SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium lovely wife, Donna, Corydoras catfish, some and All-glass Double Aquarium Stand had already been (original 15 gallon tank is on the bottom shelf) of my favorites. I enjoy pestering me to replace watching schooling fish her favorite fish, a Pleco, which had passed last swim to and fro. It also came with a 24" spring while we were away on vacation. As a fluorescent light fixture but no bulb. result, I decided to use these events as an excuse or I corresponded with the dealer's sales rep reason to purchase a "big" acrylic fish tank as an via e-mail, and decided to purchase the tank with a upgrade for our late crayfish's 15 gallon home. I clear back for $125, even though I felt that the would stock it with a Pleco and a few other fish. additional $35 shipping charge to send a 15 pound

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

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package from California to New York was too much. SeaClear aquariums come with either a clear, black, light blue, or dark blue rear panel. Some dealers, including the one I chose for my purchase, charge a $10 premium for a non-clear back. I prefer a clear back because it's easier to see what's inside, and I find that it better facilitates seascaping and tank maintenance. Besides, since the tank was not going to be against a wall, it afforded more light entry and viewing angles. Meanwhile, I needed a new tank stand because the 24" long, 15 gallon tank sat atop furniture that was only twenty-seven inches long. Acrylic tanks require full support on the bottom with no overhang. While perusing mail order catalogs, I found that one popular company had a new item described as a "Double Aquarium Stand," because it had twin shelves. It was made from pressed board, or as the catalog described it, "top quality laminate wood construction." The $65 price, which included shipping for thirty-nine pounds, was fine with me for a thirty inch stand because I could put the acrylic tank on the top shelf and still keep the 15 gallon tank by relocating it to the bottom! I ordered one with an oak finish; the choices were oak or black. It arrived in a flat carton with references on the box to the All-Glass Aquarium Company Inc. that indicated that the stand was either manufactured or distributed by All-Glass. I assembled the stand in the den and lugged it down to the basement. It consisted of only four pieces: two identical shelves and side ends. Each shelf is fastened to each end with two bolts per side, and each bolt is secured with a nut. It took about twenty minutes to remove the parts from the carton, study the scant instructions printed on the carton, and securely fasten all eight bolts to assemble the shelves and side ends together. Each shelf had a 30x3x1 inch pre-attached additional support running along the length of the front and back. The stand is approximately 32" long with just over 30" for the tank. It is 13" wide and 29" from the floor to the top shelf. The bottom shelf is only 6" from the floor. This was the first time that I had set up a tank so low to the floor. I have to kneel or stoop to gain access; this can be difficult for an aging body, especially one with a bad back! I discovered that kneeling on the tile basement floor on an old dish towel or chair cushion worked, but was not comfortable. Still, I was glad to have two tanks, when I originally intended to replace only the 15 gallon. By the time I had the stand in place, the acrylic tank had arrived. I set it up immediately. The fluorescent fixture came with plug-in ballast at the end of the power cord so that the ballast plugged directly into an electrical receptacle. It is

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rated to illuminate a 24" twenty watt bulb. The ballast was defective, so the company mailed me a complete replacement fixture, but the clear acrylic cover that protects the bulb was misaligned on the second one. The cover is held in place by two large plastic screws that fasten it to rubber-like gaskets glued inside each end of the fixture. The misalignment pulled-off one gasket. The company mailed me a small tube of plexiglass cement. I realigned and re-glued the gasket with no difficulty. Some of the merits of acrylic are its light weight; it is one-half the weight of glass, and slightly clearer in transparency. It's also better insulated, and retains its internal temperature longer. Of course, it scratches rather easily, so one has to be careful with cleaning both the inside and outside, as well as when adding gravel, etc. SeaClear aquariums have slightly rounded front corners which improve viewing and give a smooth, clean appearance. Unlike glass tanks, acrylic aquariums have non-removable enclosed tops with five cutouts. At the rear of each end there is a one-eighth inch circular cutout for an airline. To the left rear, when facing the tank's front, is an inch and one-half circular cutout for a heaterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;either submersible or hang-on. There is a 15"x2" inch slot centered in the rear that is useful to hang an outside power filter, and other accessories. Finally, there is a large 23"x51/4ff inch slot centered in the front that provides primary access to the inside of the aquarium. The light fixture acts as a cover, and conceals this opening. To feed fish you can slightly move the fixture forward or aside, but not too much, or it might fall off. If you require major entry, you must remove the fixture from the aquarium altogether; this could be difficult because of the power cord connection. I have a 29 gallon tank at a right angle to the acrylic aquarium, and about a foot away, so I just put a towel on top of this tank and rest the fixture on top of it; there's plenty of play in the power cord, since the tanks are close to each other. The towel minimizes scratches on the clear acrylic cover that protects the bulb from water. I do not like the fixture acting as the cover, especially since it is not hinged like a traditional one. You have to physically remove the light fixture as the means to "open the cover." I find it awkward; sooner or later the fixture can fall, or be dropped. I dislike this aspect of the system the most so far, but eventually I'm sure that I'll find other things to be objectionable. I purchased an inexpensive 24" twenty watt fluorescent bulb in Sears Hardware, just down my street. It provides sufficient light for the tank's plants, but not enough to disturb nocturnal inhabitants.

September 2003

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


I attached a 75 watt submersible heater. My personal preference is less rather than more wattage when it comes to heaters. Submersible heaters on the market today have no trouble keeping the water temperature at 76 degrees during the winterâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;even in the basement. For filtration, I tried to keep it simple by using a modest sized (1030 gallons per hour) Whisper power filter hanging on the back. Replacement filter material is inexpensive for this make. I am no fan of pre-cultured bacteria, etc. but I do have the bad habit of overloading my fish tanks with fish, so I decided to experiment by inserting a Cell-Pore BioCartridge into the filter chamber in front of the media material. Cell-pore is supposed to add an additional 1,200 square feet for bacteria to colonize. Unfortunately, I cannot determine if the Cell-Pore cartridge provides any benefit. Still, it remains in place, as I see it causing no harm. I decided not to use an airline, because I feel that there is sufficient surface area, and agitation by the power filter for oxygen transfer. But I may upgrade the power filter to the next size to clean the water more efficiently and increase circulation, even though the current filter is appropriate for the fish load. As a result of the aforementioned cutouts, I would be hesitant to keep fish in this tank with a reputation for jumping. Although none of the fish that I keep are noted jumpers, I trimmed a spare plastic strip from the back of a versa-top, and laid it over the heater and filter cutouts. At least it should help prevent evaporation, and one day, if it saves a fish from escaping, that's even better. I'm sure that every fish has a reason to jump sooner or later. Ultimately, the new aquarium was ready to be filled with water and seascaped. I prefer to use natural, small, beige gravel. I like the look, and it seems more realistic. Initially, I tend to over-decorate my aquariums, and then remove items when they get in the way. This tank was no different, but I finally set upon the gravel a piece of vertical driftwood on the far right, and another piece of horizontal driftwood on the far left. Both are joined by a row of three gray and white striated rocks sized from large to medium to small, from right to left. Pet shops call them zebra rocks. The white stripes caught my eye. In front of these rocks, towards the right, are two small Anubias plants, and behind the rocks, towards the left and center rear, are seven or eight tall Java Ferns. The

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

driftwood and rocks fill up the aquarium's thirty inch length. At first I had difficulty arranging these items in the confining 10" width, but I soon remembered that simple is always better. I learned to appreciate the illusion of spaciousness that the greater length and height combination affords in an aquarium of only 20 gallons. With the sixteen inch height, it was possible to use taller, if not larger, plants, rocks, and driftwood, and all of these opened up more seascaping arrangements. Besides, small fish do not need much breadth, but they do look good swimming the full length, and they seem to enjoy doing it. I started it up after filling the tank with tap water. After a few days, I temporarily transferred two mature fish into the aquarium to help begin cycling it. After two more weeks, I foolishly allowed my nephew Christopher to talk me into purchasing two expensive Corydoras gossei catfish. One lasted two or three days, and the other about ten. I added two aeneus before the second gossei had departed, but none of them survived. I assumed that these fish would be sufficiently hardy. But, I was able to build up a school of fifteen Harlequin Rasboras, that are currently holding steady at eight. It seems that the cell-pore was of no help for these fish, or maybe it was my fault. Anyway, it worked out for twenty-something Neon and Cardinal Tetras buzzing about; and now there is a well-adjusted group of five Corydoras. Finally, Donna chose her favorite and our final fish, a Royal Pleco, or Panaque, with a beautiful white-banded tail. I think that our prior Pleco may have starved while we were on vacation, so I am keeping the Royal well fed with Romaine lettuce. This fish can really clean its plate, with a proportionate amount of waste! As I become accustomed to the quirks of this acrylic aquarium, I am beginning to like more things about it than I dislike. I'm happy that I decided to try something that I find very different from glass, or from the small acrylic Eclipse aquarium. In addition, I like the stand that I chose; I think that it is functional, the price was competitive â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and I got that extra tank on the bottom! Now when I'm bad, and Donna sends me to the basement for punishment, I actually have something to look forward to! 1 "Marineland Eclipse Six, or Shouldn't I Know Betta?" Modern Aquarium, June 2001

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What To Do? What To Do? by JERRY O'FARRELL find myself in front of my computer wondering, what to do? I never thought I would find myself going through withdrawal for a club meeting, or the camaraderie of my fellow aquarists, but I am. I find myself longing for a meeting because the two month lay off is killing me. I belong to Greater City and B. A.S. (Brooklyn A.S.), and they both have the same two months off. So what to do with my spare time? I try not to go crazy, so I browse the web looking for new web sites on fish. But, after a while, my computer starts to smoke from overuse, then my eyes get tired, and my fingers start to hurt and refuse to push any more keys, so I have to stop. Then I start traveling and looking for new pet shops, hoping to find that new and rare species offish. After a while, the pet shop owners get tired of seeing my face and start to hide when they see me coming. So, I have to travel to New Jersey and start pestering the pet shop owners over there, but it isn't long before the pet shop sheriff comes along and chases me out of town. Then it's back to what to do? So, it's time to travel a little farther to another state, like Pennsylvania, and go to that big place for fish, where I spend a lot of money on supplies and new reading material. But it's not long before they get tired of my company and get the Amish posse to chase me out of town with their horse and buggies.

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So, I go home and start working with my fish, and I wind up breeding a pair of Copadichromis sp. Mloto Likoma, a very nice fish which I couldn't breed for years until I started giving them pristine water and a little more attention. Without it, the adult pairs I got would just die off every six to eight weeks. But, because I gave them a little more attention, the other fish got jealous and started carrying protest signs demanding the same kind of attention. What to do now? I had to start giving them more time and a little more extra care and T.L.C., which, after a while, just made the better half angry because I wasn't spending more time with her. I just couldn't win. She was ready to run to divorce court, and it wasn't even my fault. All I needed was a meeting, some camaraderie with fellow hobbyists, and some fish talk. Things are really looking bad. It's only the end of June, and I have two more months to go and I've read almost all of the Modern Aquarium magazines twice. But the same question keeps popping up, what to do!?! I guess I'll just have to keep on browsing the web, and keep on harassing the pet shop owners, and wearing down those Amish horses until the long and lonesome months pass and I can rejuvenate myself with another meeting of friends and fellow hobbyists. So, until then, I'll just have to keep everyone happy in the peace and serenity room and take honey to dinner a little more often.

The Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island's Annual Show and Auction

September 19-21,2003

Doors open September 20 and 21 at 9 a.m. (Friday from 5-9 p.m.). The Auction is Sunday around noon, after awards presentation at: St. Joseph's Parish Center - 1303 Mendon Rd. (Rte. 122) - Cumberland, RI For more information contact: Jim Sargeant (401) 364-1611 (e-mail: js2@ids.net) or Jerry Miranda (508) 222-0790 (e-mail: Mr_Syno@hotmail.com) or, to preregister your auction lots: Allen Wagonblott (401) 847-3364 (e-mail: mr_wiggles_sr@hotmail.com) For entry forms and more information, visit the TFSRI website at: http://petsforum.com/tfsri/

The Danbury Area Aquarium Society Proudly presents its 15th annual auction! Sunday, September 8,2002 Carmel firehouse, Route 52 & Vink Dr., Carmel, NY. Registration: 10:00 am to 11:30 am Viewing of goods: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm Auction: 12:30 pm to 5 pm Raffle: stereo color television For more information: http://www.northeastcouncil.org/daas

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


and their covering skin that are rasped from the surface of other fishes." There are many adventures to be had within the pages of this book. Some of the chapter titles include "Plastic Sex," "Mating Games," and "Cichlid Factories." Each chapter contains several A Series On Books For The Hobbyist sub-headings, many of which will tease, as well as intrigue you, such as "meet the gametes," "alien by SUSAN PRIEST nannies," or "the three crucibles." (I'll bet that if you put your thinking caps on, you will be able to hile I was perusing the sumptuous guess what that third one is.) display offish lit being offered by Finley Aquatic Books at the NEC Convention This book does not have the level of last March, an earnest young man standing nearby visual interest that you have come to expect from noticed me eyeballing this title. He couldn't books about tropical fish. The photographs (color restrain himself from offering an unsolicited and glossy) are condensed onto several pages in opinion. I can't remember his exact words, but he the center of the book. There are occasional highly recommended it to me in the most drawings and charts scattered throughout the text. enthusiastic of terms. Curiosity compelled me to Dr. Barlow can be described as the west coast's own resident ichthyologist extraordinaire, find out why. It didn't take long for me to become just as we on the east coast claim Dr. Paul Loiselle "hooked." In his preface, the as our own. Indeed, there The author tells us of his is mention of occasions intentions. "Directed toward Nature's Grand Experiment In Evolution when these two gentlemen Dn George W, Barlow the enquiring lay person... I have collaborated. Perseus Publishing, 2000 wanted this book to be the At the risk of one I searched for as a sounding petty, I can't teenager but could never find." Clearly, even as a hold myself back from mentioning a "peeve." The teenager Dr. Barlow was a cut above his peers. first paragraph following each of the Although not immediately apparent, The aforementioned subheadings was not indented, but Cichlid Fishes is a book about how cichlids breed every subsequent paragraph was. I know that this was just a style decision, but whenever I in nature. From the myriad of things that effect the encountered it (every couple of pages), I was choosing of a mate, to water conditions of every possible description, to the what-when-where-howirritated by it. In chapter 13, "Fish at Risk," the author why of feeding and how this effects the outcome, and so very many other variables, the author takes makes a dramatic change of focus. He begins by saying "In this the final chapter I present some of us on a safari into the world of procreation. Where else to start but by asking "What is the stresses imposed on nature by the earth's a Cichlid?" Chapter one answers this question from growing population of people." These 17 pages many different angles. The easiest to visualize contain some of the most important reading I have done in a very long time. The key concept which (and the only one that space will allow for) is the following: "There is a single nostril on each side of comes under close examination is that of "costs vs. the head, and an interrupted lateral line. Other benefits," or, more simply put, "trade-offs," and the resulting destiny of fresh water on the planet families offish have one or the other of these traits, earth. This chapter should be required reading for but only cichlids have both." There is a lot of science in here, but it all inhabitants thereof! In conclusion, I would like to thank that goes down very easy (like a bowl of pudding that earnest young man. I don't know that I would have you didn't have to make yourself). The author read this book if it had not been for him, and I have defines most terms as he presented them. In been enriched by the experience. I'm sure that you particular, newly-introduced scientific words are will be, as well. broken down to their basic elements. For example: protogyny- protos=first, gyny=female, meaning {P.S.- "the three crucibles" are a that at first this fish is a female, and later will turn reference to the three great lakes of Africa, those into a male. being Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake There is also a modest glossary. I didn't Malawi.} really find myself seeking it out as I was reading. Rather, I found the enjoyment of it for me came in simply reading it as a separate "article." Amazing things were sticking to my brain! For example: lepidophagous- "the diet consists chiefly of scales

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

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September 2003

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


A Proposal: An Aquatic Orphan Registry 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. "Tell me, have you ever known what it is to be an orphan? " Act I - "Pirates of Penzance" - by Gilbert and Sullivan have come to realize that I have what amounts to an orphanage in my fish room, and have had it for quite some time. The "orphans" I refer to are both piscine and manufactured (that is, aquarium products). For the purpose of this article, I will define "orphan products" as products that were either made by a company that is no longer in business, or that are no longer being supported by the company that originally manufactured them. And, by "being supported" I mean that repair or replacement parts are available. Here's what I mean in more concrete terms. I have a canister filter that I got (at a great price) at an aquarium society auction. The filter is currently running quite well. I hope it continues to do so for a long time, because if the impeller, O-ring, motor, or any other part, were to break or wear out, I would have to throw this filter out. The reason is that the company that made this canister filter is no longer in business, and no store (physical or on-line, to my knowledge) sells the filter, or parts for the filter, any more. I also have a box of air pumps I hope one day to be able to repair. Nearly all of them have two things in common. First, they need a new diaphragm (in some cases, more than one). Second, replacement diaphragms for these pumps are no longer being sold, because the pumps are no longer being manufactured. Since I am a very

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

frugal person (my spouse might say "cheap"), I just can't bring myself to throw out a $20 or $25 dollar air pump that only needs a $5 or less part to make it work like new. So, as they become too noisy, or too inefficient, I keep adding more air pumps to that box, in the hope that, one day, I will find a source for those now obsolete diaphragms. When I buy a filter, I stock up on filter media for it. That way, I know that I have replacement media on hand for future water changes. I often discover that the filter for which I have stockpiled media has become an "orphan filter" that is no longer being made, sold, or supported. This means that, if this filter breaks, I have to start a new search on the Internet and on-line auctions for an exact duplicate, so I can use my stockpiled filter media (which has now become "orphan filter media"). Assuming my search is successful, and I can get a replacement filter, I now have to start searching for future sources of replacement media and parts! This cycle usually ends in a box of orphan filters, filter media, and parts that is next to my box of orphan air pumps. My "fish orphans" are those that are deformed, "runts," fish with torn or missing fins, past their breeding prime, or have no compatible mate. I will not give, sell, or donate them (the only exception is that I might give a slightly deformed, but otherwise healthy, fish to a child for a "pet"). Since I cannot bring myself to kill an otherwise healthy fish (even euthanizing an incurably ill fish bothers me quite a bit), I keep these fish, and I give them the exact same care that I give to any of my other fish. Every now and then, I can find a mate for a non-deformed fish that is still in its breeding prime. Searching the Internet and the Internet auction sites for fish is similar to searching for equipment parts, only the sellers are invariably private individuals. Fortunately, by and large, aquarists tend to be honest and helpful, and I have never (up to now â&#x20AC;&#x201D; knock on wood, or whatever) felt that a fish I obtained via an Internet transaction was anything other than fairly described. But this process is "hit or miss." There is no one place I know of that aquarists from all over the world can post "have" and "want" lists. I can't be the only one who has "orphans" in the fish room, be it in the form or equipment, supplies, or fish. What I'd like to see is an "aquatic orphan registry" where someone can post a product or fish as either a "have" or "want." (For example: "I have a Hush-A-Bye 300 air pump and need a diaphragm for it," or "I have sponge filters for a "ClearSluge Power Filter 90," or "Have adult male Genaous speciasias, need adult female.") With the Internet, this could be accomplished with relative ease.

September 2003

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TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM Specializing in Tropical Fish and Aquarium Supplies Large Selection of Aquatic Plants Knowledgeable Staff Same Location Since 1947. (718) 849-6678

11 5-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418

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

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September 2003

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


Fin Fun

Is It A Guppy? Under the scientific name Poecillia reticulata, there are numerous common names to describe the many colors, patterns, and shapes of the fishes which we all know as guppies. From the list of common names below, can you pick out the common names of the guppies from the common names offish from other species?

1 Common Name

| Guppy

J Not a Guppy |

Black Tuxedo Half Moon Convict Blue King Cobra Red Grass Flamingo Spadetail Mexican Sailfin Snakeskin Rummynose Lacetail Top Sword

Solution to last month's puzzle AvitJlOt% AXELROD his name is on an atlas BAENSCH his name is on another atlas BURGESS his name is on yet another atlas INNES his Exotic Aquarium Fishes is a classic KONINGS he writes about cichlids LOISELLE he also writes about cichlids AMANO an aquascaping author with a shrimp namesake SWEENEY a former magazine editor who has written on cichlids, discus, and breeding WATTLEY his discus books are based on personal experience

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September 2003

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

September 2003 volume X number 7

Modern Aquarium  

September 2003 volume X number 7

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