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Series III

Vol. XI, No. 5

May. 2004



Editor's Babblenest


President's Message


In Memoriam: Louis Bartolo, Sr


Queen of the Underworld


Mitigating The Fifth Extinction


Spawning Clownfish


You Be The Judge


Aquarian Minds Want To Know Question and Answer Column

. 13

SMPs and Conservation Programs


Looking Through The Lens


This Month's Speaker: Susan Jewett


Wet Leaves (Book Review Column)


A New Leaf


Lateral Lines


Rocky Mountain Hi!


It's All Greek To 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 2004 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



ne year ago, Modern Aquarium printed an historic issue. The May 2003 issue was, we believe, the first time any amateur or commercial aquarium hobby publication was conceived by, and contributed to by, only women. For that historic issue, my wife (acting as Editor) wanted a photo of a female livebearer in the process of giving birth. She went to a local pet store, and bought a pair of mollies, the female of which was obviously pregnant. (The reason my wife bought a pair was so that, after getting the photos, we could donate the pair to the Greater City auction.) Within a few days, the female did give birth, and my wife was able to get some excellent photos of the process. The reason I mention this is that, according to the rules of Greater City's Breeders Award Program (and those of most other societies, as I understand it), we could have applied for BAP points. It was "our" fish (we bought it), it gave birth in our house, we had a male/female pair to show, as well as fry. Of course, we didn't apply for BAP points, but the fact that we could have points up a failing in the breeders award programs of most societies. Most BAPs are focused solely on breeding, not maintenance. Most BAPs award points depending on the perceived level of difficulty in having a species spawn in the home aquaria, regardless of how common or rare the fish is, and regardless of whether or not the fish is an endangered species. According to Klaus Toepfer, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, "An unacceptable rate of about 60,000 species become extinct each year." Mr. Toepfer made this statement at a press conference after the opening of the Seventh Conference of Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this past February.


The aquarium hobby has been blamed for some of the environmental problems that lead to species extinction. In some cases, this may be true (such as in the use of poisons or explosives to harvest fish). But, governments and corporations (either with benign intent, or acting in blatant disregard to possible consequences) have caused the greatest environmental damage. In his book, The Cichlid Aquarium, Dr. Paul Loiselle speaks of "the collapse of the Lake Victoria ecosystem, triggered by the extirpation of roughly two thirds of its endemic cichlid species by an introduced predator, the Nile perch." This was a government sanctioned action. Deforestation of the rainforests, oil and other toxic waste spills, indiscriminate use of pesticides, accidental introduction of non-native species pumped from the bilges of commercial and recreational boats, global warming, warfare, and other factors too numerous to mention in this column are all acting to destroy the native habitat of many fish (as well as the habitat of many plants and other animals, as well). Is there anything those of us in the aquarium hobby can do? Yes, and this issue is only the "tip of the iceberg," so to speak. In this issue, I hope to present you with possibilities for actions, and yes, for your donations. In his President's Message this month, Joe Ferdenzi mentions the "next generation of aquarists." Unless we do something soon, in a few more generations there may not be any aquarists at all. Aquarium societies should consider awarding extra BAP points for the breeding of second, and even third generations. Extra points should be awarded for an article written in connection with the breeding of a second or third generation. (I know some societies require an article before awarding any points, but the quality of such articles is generally what you would expect of anything that is required.) Even more SMP points should be awarded (or special recognition certificates presented), for the breeding of a fish that is endangered in the wild (unless common in the hobby). Individual hobbyists who feel up to the challenge can volunteer to keep and (hopefully) breed rare and endangered fish as part of one of several Species Maintenance Programs discussed in this issue. Societies can donate a part of their auction or show proceeds to conservation activities, and have more speakers focusing on conservation. I sincerely hope that something in this issue will encourage you to do one thing more for species conservation...the next generation of aquarists is almost here.

May 2004

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

Currently, this is the only fish show held in New York City or Long Island. We are proud to host it. We hope you will share in this pride by attending or, best of all, participating as an entrant or volunteer staffer.

President's Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI ur big show and auction will soon be a reality. Please try to make time for it. Enter a fish. Help us set it up. Attend the auction. Help us put everything away. What I am imploring you to do is to participate in some way. The show will be held on the weekend of May 22-23 at the Queens County Farm Museum on Little Neck Boulevard (just south of the Grand Central Parkway). It is a pleasant site for a fish show — surrounded as it is by nature, including the various farm animals. It's a great place to bring young children. So, come and enjoy yourself. The show serves an important purpose. Yes, it is a fund raising event, but it is also much more than that. If we wanted it to be just a fund raiser, we would only need to have the Sunday auction. We'd probably make more money if we did just that. But, the show allows you to participate in an event that traces its roots back to the late 1920s — and Greater City shows have always been among the best. You get to see beautiful and exotic exemplars of our hobby. You get to learn from observing them, talking to their owners, other hobbyists in attendance, and from the judges who choose the award winners. Plus, it's fun to enter a fish and see how it "stacks up" against the competition.


Last month, our Editor mentioned how pleased he was over the contributions of various club members. I, too, am overjoyed that, in contrast to many club publications, we seem to have an abundance of original articles. However, I wish to once again solicit one or more of you to participate on a regular basis in producing the magazine. Be part of a team, and part of our future. Suppose that, one day, our current Editor could no longer produce Modern Aquarium. Who would step in? Would it come to a crashing end? If Al had an assistant editor who could work his programs, then the club would have an important back-up to Al. God knows, we all need a break sometimes. Likewise, I wish to implore you to get involved in the running of Greater City. Come June, there will be openings on the Board. We welcome new members to it. In fact, we want you! Like Al, I'm planning to continue to be at the helm for as long as I can. But, like Al, I welcome all help. Come, join us, and learn with us. We need the next generation of aquarists who will continue to keep Modern Aquarium and Greater City in the vanguard of the hobby.

3n jWemortam:

Louis Bartolo, Sr. by JOSEPH FERDENZI t is with deep regret that we note the passing of Lou Bartolo, on April 20, 2004, at the age of 73. A lifelong resident of Corona, Queens, Lou had been a member of Greater City since the 1990s. On a personal note, I would like to add that he was "Uncle Lou" to me — I had known him since my teenage days when I became a very close friend of his nephew and the rest of his family while growing up in Corona. Without question, "Uncle Lou" was regarded by all who knew him as a very kind and gentle person. Lou's wife, Florence, predeceased him several years earlier. He is survived by his son, Louis Jr., who is also a member of Greater City, his daughter, Carol, four grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and many other family members. Our condolences to all.


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

May 2004

Greater City's 82th Anniversary Show

May 22-23, 2004 Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Parkway - Floral Park, NY The Farm Museum can be reached from New York City by: Bus: Q46 bus to the Little Neck Parkway stop and walking north 3 blocks Train: E or F subway to the Union Turnpike Station, take the Q46 bus (above) Car; Grand Central Parkway to the Little Neck Parkway exit, then south about a 1/3 mile on Little Neck Parkway. The Farm Museum will be on your right. T?throgs Neck Bridge

_^^ Island Expressway 495 Grand Cental Pkwy

MLittle Heck Pkwy FORM MUSEIIR

r ^^•"'Llnion Tpke.

Hillside Ave:

Jericho Tpkj

I ^To JFK and LGA Airports



Jamaica Ave v

From Long Island Long Island Expressway (1-495) West to exit 32, Little Neck Parkway. Go south on Little Neck Parkway about 10 blocks. Entrance is on right, just before Green Meadows Farm From New Jersey George Washington Bridge to Cross Bronx Expressway East. Continue to Hutchison River Parkway south. Hutchinson River Parkway exit to the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. After crossing the bridge, follow signs to Cross Island Parkway. Take Cross Island Parkway to Grand Central Parkway East. Take the exit (exit number 24) towards Little Neck Parkway. Stay straight to go onto Grand Central Parkway. Turn right at light and go south on Little Neck Parkway about 10 blocks. Entrance is on right, just before Green Meadows Farm (Note, if you reach Union Turnpike, you have gone about 2 blocks too far) 4

May 2004

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

"Queen of the Underworld" Betta persephone, a Critically Endangered Species by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

persephone is listed as a "Critically Endangered" fish on the "Red List" of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources ("IUCN")1. Its classification in the Red List reflects the fact of its limited geographic distribution, and the continuing decline of the area and quality of its habitat. The International Betta Congress ("IBC") Species Maintenance Program ("SMP") website2 lists the native habitat for this fish as "Asian Highway No. 2," three kilometers North of Ayer Hitam, Malaysia. In a work authored by Gary Elson and Oliver Lucanus, the authors have written about this fish: "This dark-bodied fish from southern Malaysia. . . is not common in the wild, and there are concerns about its habitat disappearing3." This is a small (3.2 cm, or about 1% inches), bubblenesting species that is considered by the IBC to be in the "Coccina Complex" (also called "the Wine Betta group" by Elson and Lucanus, and the "Coccina Group," by Dr. Robert J. Goldstein4). This Coccina "Group" or "Complex" consists of slender, elongated Betta species having 8 or 9 abdominal vertebra (other species of Betta have 10 or 11). They are all bubblenesting fish (however, it should be noted that one member of this group, Betta brownorum, appears to be both a bubblenester and mouthbrooder). They are all found in shallow, acidic, black waters of peat forest plains. This group includes the following Betta species: coccina, tussyae, brownorum, livida, persephone, miniopinna, bur dfgal a, and rut flans. Betta persephone needs soft, acidic water (a pH of 5.0 and a DH hardness of 10 or less). The acidity can be provided by the addition of oak or almond leaves, or by use of commercially packaged blackwater extract. It is interesting to note that the nearest town to their natural habitat, Ayer Hitam, literally means "Black Water." I used a mix of soft, neutral New York City tap water

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

(dechlorinated, of course) and collected rainwater, to which I added blackwater extract and almond leaves. These fish require a temperature between 74 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 23 to 28 degrees Celsius). Betta persephone is named after the Greek goddess Persephone ("the Queen of the Underworld"), supposedly due to the black color of the fish. In fact, while males are somewhat darker than females, neither sex is actually black in color, or at least none that I ever owned. Males have more pointed dorsal fins. But, the most reliable method of sexing adults is that females are rounder and show a small white spot (the "egg spot") on the underbelly. Common names for this fish are "Dwarf Betta" and "Black Small Fighter." A few years ago, one exporter tried to pin the common name of "Batman Betta" (presumably, due to its "black cape") on this fish, but this name does not appear to have been accepted by anyone else in the trade or hobby. Although a relatively small fish, it exhibits considerable aggression towards members of its own species (and, when guarding a bubblenest, towards any and all species in the same tank). While I have successfully kept several pairs in one tank (a tank that I should mention had a considerable number of caves, plants, and other hiding places and that provided several distinct "territories"), it is best to keep a pair by themselves, with no other fish. At a minimum, a pair should be in no smaller than a five gallon tank, with gentle filtration (that is, filtration provided by a slowly bubbling sponge or box filter that does not unduly agitate the surface of the water, which would destroy any bubblenest). Their tank should be very well covered, as these fish are jumpers. (Believe me, I found out the hard way that they will find even the smallest opening in the hood!) These are very shy

May 2004

fish. They seem to prefer a darkened tank, with lots of vegetation. (I added well-seasoned driftwood to provide both additional hiding places, and tannins to assist in acidifying the water.) These fish are surface bubblenesters, meaning that the male builds a "nest" of bubbles under a floating leaf or under any other object that is floating at the water's surface. Because of this, they should be supplied with floating plants, or plants with leaves that lie on the surface of the water are important. I used a plastic green toothbrush container that I cut in half lengthwise, and found that the fish seemed to prefer that to the floating plants, which I also provided. Dr. Goldstein recommends the use of a "floating tube" to aid in spawning. While I have not used this with Betta persephone, I have used this method successfully in spawning other members of the Coccina Group, such as Betta livida. I simply take an empty plastic fish food container, peel (or soak) off the label, and cut off the bottom. I then file the ends to remove rough or sharp edges. In only a few minutes, I have a floating tube. I have never been successful in getting B. persephone to accept dry, freeze-dried, or frozen food. I have fed them live brine shrimp, daphnia, and blackworms, all of which were eagerly devoured. It is quite enjoyable to watch these fish feed, as they are a "hide and attack" predator, jumping out from under driftwood, plants, or caves to grab a bite, then disappearing back into hiding until the next morsel of food passes near. While these fish have spawned for me, I wish I could provide more details, but I did not witness the actual spawning (although most Betta bubblenesters spawn in essentially the same fashion). What happened was that I noticed some bubblenests, then nothing until I saw some fry. The eggs hatch in 48-72 hours, and the fry are free-swimming in a day or so after that. The advice provided on the International Betta Congress's SMP website is to leave the fry with the

parents (advice that was confirmed in a personal conversation I had with anabantoid expert Tony Pinto). According to the IBC SMP website, "It is not unusual to find that the parents will spawn several times in the next few weeks, with young fish from different spawns living peacefully together in the same tank. Sometimes, these older fry can be seen caring for their younger siblings." Despite this advice, I removed the fry into a separate grow-out tank. (I usually remove fry of bubblenesting species, and leave the fry with the parents of mouthbrooding species.) Whether or not it was because I removed the fry, they did not seem to thrive. They were very slow to mature, even though I fed them newly hatched brine shrimp, microworms, APR (artificial plankton rotifer) powder and Bharu Cyclop-eeze速 (a very fine-powdered food distributed by Jehmco). I have yet to have this "second generation" spawn. A s I mentioned earlier, these fish exhibit aggression towards their own species. This is especially true of the males. So, if you do leave fry in with the a d u l t s , it is important to remove the fry to separate [AyerHjtam) tanks (preferably, as male/female pairs) as soon as they can be sexed, as males have been known to fight each other to the death.

References: 1




Elson, Gary and Lucanus, Oliver, Gouramies and Other Labyrinth Fishes, Barrens 2002.


Goldstein, Robert J., Bettas: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual, Barrons 2001.


May 2004

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

Mitigating the Fifth Extinction: Is There a Role for the Organized Aquarium Hobby? by PAUL V. LOISELLE

ish species outnumber the representatives of all other vertebrate classes combined. Forty percent of the earth's c. 30,000 species of bony fish exclusively inhabit freshwater. This is quite amazing when one considers that the total amount of freshwater available to them as habitat only comprises about 0.5% of the total volume of the planet's water. To put this in perspective, if the total volume of the earth's water were represented by the contents of a bathtub, a full tablespoon would represent the totality of our planet's freestanding freshwater. Unfortunately for them, fish are not the only animals that depend upon the earth's free-standing freshwater for survival. Ever since the invention of agriculture, Homo sapiens has depended upon an abundance of freshwater to sustain an ever growing population, a state of dependence that has increased exponentially since the onset of planet-wide industrialization. Unfortunately, increasing dependence upon this resource has rarely gone hand in hand with its prudent or efficacious management. Deforestation and unsustainable patterns of land use have impaired watershed function and degraded water quality in well-watered regions. Over-pumping of aquifers has totally dewatered aquatic habitats in desert and semi-desert regions. The human tendency to treat any flowing body of water as a dumping ground for everything from sewage to industrial waste and agrochemical runoff makes pollution a world-wide problem. Factor in other human activities, such as dam building, the draining of wetlands and the translocation of exotic species, and one need not be a genius to understand why freshwater ecosystems and their inhabitants are in serious trouble. Evaluating the scope of this threat is more difficult. The World Conservation Union's global data base - the so-called "Red List" of species at risk - is seriously deficient with regard to aquatic organisms in general and fishes in particular. This is due in part to the fact that fishes are much less easily studied than terrestrial animals like birds or mammals, in part to the fact that the geographic distributions of the world's freshwater fishes and the scientists who study them are largely disjunct. The number of species at risk in a given region of the world listed in the WCU data base thus tends to reflect the number of ichthyologists working in that region rather than either the number offish species


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

it supports or the magnitude of the threats facing them. Fifty species native to North America, defined as the continental United States and Canada, are considered to be at risk as of 2003 by the WCU, compared to only fourteen for all of South America, whose freshwater ichthyofauna is at least an order of magnitude larger and faces essentially the same suite of threats as its North American counterpart! The WCU's data base also tends to present a less than completely current picture of the threats facing freshwater fish. This is largely because getting a species listed by the WCU entails an extremely time-consuming evaluation process, whose results have to work their way through the WCU's rather convoluted bureaucracy before being incorporated into the "Red List." I can speak to this issue from personal experience, having participated in such an exercise devoted to evaluating the conservation status of Madagascar's freshwater fishes in 2001, whose results, if all goes smoothly, may be incorporated into the WCU data base by the end of this year! However, when these data are combined with information from other sources, it is clear that in many parts of the tropics, aquatic habitat degradation followed by local freshwater fish extinctions is very much the norm. These processes impact the small species that dominate the ranks of ornamental aquarium fishes disproportionately because such fish often have very limited distributions that are often restricted to forested habitats that are highly vulnerable to the impact of human activities. Brazil has lost virtually all of its Atlantic coastal forest to agriculture and urban sprawl. The replacement of swamp forest by oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia and of rain forest by rice paddies and tea plantations in Sri Lanka has reduced these important aquatic habitats to a mosaic of isolated fragments inhabited by relict populations of formerly more widespread species. As the pressures that have led to this state of affairs show no sign of diminishing in the near term, their prospects for survival in the wild grow increasingly grim with each passing year. Whatever their prospects in nature, some of these species will avoid global extinction because they have had the good fortune to gain the interest of the ornamental fish hobby.

May 2004

Table 1 lists those species that are at present either commercially bred or being maintained by specialist hobbyists. Thus, although most of its practitioners are unaware of the fact, the aquarium hobby is already a significant player in the struggle to slow the loss of aquatic biodiversity. It has the potential to expand this role substantially, and given the scope of the threats to the survival of most tropical freshwater fishes, it is imperative that it do so quickly. Charismatic megavertebrates such as tigers, pandas and elephants enjoy a large and highly vocal constituency. Aquarium fish are neither large and imposing nor cute and cuddly. At the end of the day, if aquarium hobbyists are not prepared to go to bat for the fish that form the basis of their hobby, no one else - apart from the handful of ichthyologists who study them - will. What I wish to suggest in this article is a strategy by which the organized hobby can accelerate this process. Most aquarium societies sponsor breeder award programs, which award formal recognition for their member's accomplishments in breeding ornamental fishes. The society's usual motivations for establishing a breeder's award program [BAP] are to generate articles for the club's publication and make locally bred specimens of desirable aquarium fishes available to its members, while participants enjoy formal recognition of their husbandry skills. In its simplest form, a BAP rewards cumulative effort - the larger the number of species a participant breeds, the more points he gains and higher the rank he gains within a formal awards structure. Most BAPs also recognize that fishes differ significantly in the ease with which they can be induced to spawn under aquarium conditions by allotting different point values to individual species, with the highest point scores being awarded for the successful spawning of those species generally recognized as posing the greatest challenge. However, recognizing that expertise in the management of particular groups of fishes is also worthy of encouragement, many societies have modified their BAPs in a manner that offer recognition to members who specialize in breeding livebearers, killifish, cichlids or "oddball" species. I suggest that aquarium societies can make a significant - and immediate - contribution to the ongoing effort to slow the loss of tropical freshwater fish species by broadening the mandate of their BAPs to include a significant conservation component. The simplest means of accomplishing this is to revisit the BAP point schedule and increase the value allotted to a given species by an amount proportional to its level of endangerment. For example, the point value allotted for breeding

a species at no risk in nature, such as Pachypanchaxplayfairi, would remain unchanged, while that of a vulnerable species such as P. omalonotus, would increase by ten points. Double points would be awarded for a critically endangered species such as P. sakaramyi, while triple points would be awarded for the successful spawning of a species known to be extinct in nature, such as the Lake Victoria cichlids Labrochromis ishmaeli and Prognathochromis perrieri. As the long-term management ex situ of species at risk offers them the best hope of survival in the near- and mid-term, integrating a conservation component into the rationale underlying BAPs will also require modifying their operation in a manner that affords recognition to participants that commit to maintaining a species at risk over multiple generations. The simplest way to accomplish this would be to create a "Conservation Breeder" award comparable to existing "Specialist Breeder" awards. A participant would garner points for each year he (or she) maintained a given species. Alternatively, a participant could claim points for each generation produced. Point values awarded for a given species would be determined by both its relative endangerment and the extent of its commercial availability, the object being to focus effort on those species whose lack of brilliant coloration or behavioral peculiarities effectively preclude their large-scale commercial production. The species listed in Table 1 represent an obvious starting point for any society that wishes to introduce a conservation component to the operation of its BAP. Table 2 presents a "wish list" of species at risk of global extinction unless ex situ managed populations are quickly established. As all of these fish have close relatives that are more or less well established in the hobby, their husbandry should not pose insurmountable difficulties, and while none is presently available through the usual North American commercial channels, with a bit of effort, all can be obtained either from overseas suppliers or specialist breeders. I emphasize that a "Wish List" such as this must always remain a work in progress. The situation on the ground continues to change rapidly with regard to the integrity of aquatic habitats and these changes are almost always for the worse. The number of species at risk will continue to increase and hobbyists wishing to intervene on their behalf will have to stay abreast of developments in key fish exporting countries in order to do so.

May 2004

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

This will entail networking with a wide variety of informants - commercial importers, scientists whose research interests include families of aquaristic interest, representatives of conservation NGOs working in regions where habitat loss seems most likely in the immediate future. Thanks to the ubiquity of the Web, this is no longer an unrealistic goal. As a further benefit, such a network of informal contacts, once established, may well serve to catalyze alliances

that will allow concerned hobbyists in North America to get involved in in situ efforts to stop the degradation of aquatic habitats and loss of their inhabitants. The ornamental fish hobby can afford a refuge to species at risk of global extinction, and serious aquarists, working through their local societies, can go far towards creating the necessary climate to make this happen. It remains only to be seen if the organized hobby has the will to meet this challenge.

Table 1. Freshwater Fish Species at Risk in Nature but Established in the Ornamental Fish Hobby Osteoglossidae

Goodeidae Ameca splendens Ataeniobus toweri Chapalichthys pardalis Characodon lateralis Skiffia francesae Zoogoneticus quitzeoensis Zoogoneticus tequila

Scleropages formosus Scleropages aaureus Scleropages legendrei Characidae Hyphessobrycon bifasciatus Hypessobrycon flammeus Moenkhausia pitteri

Melanotaeniidae Chilatherina bleheri Chilatherina sentaniensis Glossolepis incissus Glossolepis wanamensis Melanotaenia boesemani Melanoraenia lacustris

Cyprinidae Balantocheilos melanopterus Barbus cummingi Barbus nigrofasciatus Barbus titteya Epalzeorhynchos bicolor Tanichthys albonubes

Cichlidae Amphilophus lyonsi Archocentrus myrnae Astatotilapia latifasciata "Cichlasoma" istlanum Haplochromis sp./Ruby green Hemichromis cristatus Herichthys bartoni Herichthys labridens Paratilapia polleni Paratilapia sp./Small spot Prognathochromis perrieri Xystichromis sp./Nawampasa red

AplocheiNdae Aphyosemion arnoldi Aplocheilus dayi Aplocheilus werneri Pachypanchax omalonotus Pachypanchax sakaramyi Nothobranchius korthausae Nothobranchius melanospilus Nothobranchius palmquisti Fundulopanchax deltaensis Fundulopanchax gularis Rivulidae

Osphronemidae Belontia signata

Leptolebias minimus Nematolebias whitei Simpsonichthys constanciae

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

May 2004

Table 2. "Wish List" of Conservation Priority Species for Breeder Award Programs



Arnoldichthys spilopterus

Allotoca maculata Characodon audax Hubbsina turner! Girardinichthys viviparus

Characidae Rachoviscus - all species Cichlidae Cyprinidae

Amphilophus bussing! Amphilophus rhytisma Archocentrus septemfasciatus - Lago Arenal population Archocentrus spinossisimus Konia spp. Myaka myaka Oreochromis esculentus Oreochromis variabilis Pungu maclareni Sarotherodon spp. - Barombi Mbo endemics Stomatepia spp.

Barbus asoka Barbus bandula Barbus martenstyni Barbus naranyani Barbus srilankensis Chela caeruleostigma Danio pathirana Danio sp./Lagalla Aplocheilidae Pachypanchax - all Malagasy species Epiplatys grahami Foerschichthys flavipinnis Rivulidae

Osphronemidae Betta brownorum Betta burdigala Betta chloropharynx Betta coccina Betta foerschi Betta miniopinna Betta persephone Betta rutilans Betta schalleri Betta tussyae Malpulutta kretseri

Leptolebias cruzi Leptolebias fluminensis Leptolebiasmarmoratus Leptolebias sandrii Nematolebias papilliferus Rivulus fuscolineatus Rivulus uroplammeus Poeciliidae Phallichthys quadhpunctatus


May 2004

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

BREEDING - The Master Edition

Spawning Clownfish by BERNARD HARRIGAN lownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris, have been bred in the home aquarium. Considering that they sell for $20.00 - $30.00 apiece retail, and they reach a marketable size in about three months, reducing the fry mortality rate can boost more than just your pride. A good amount of forethought should be applied to get the most out of a spawning. This article will cover the breeding of clownfish, and maximizing the brood size. Start off with a clean 30 gallon Long aquarium. Use a good hood with a light that utilizes two fluorescent tubes. Attach a submersible heater to the bottom right side of the back of the tank. Place a sponge prefilter over the intake nozzle of a canister filter which contains mature biological filter media. Place the intake in the right back corner of the tank. Put a spraybar on the output hose. Run it across the left front side of the tank. Angle the nozzles at a 45째 angle down. Prop up a piece of slate against the back wall of the tank, towards the left. Fill the tank two-thirds of the way up with saltwater. Place a sea anemone near the right edge of the slate, and feed it. Hungry anemones tend to wander.


Water parameters are as follows: keep the temperature between 78째 to 82째 F, have the pH between 8.2 to 8.5, and the specific gravity should be kept at 1.018. This lowers the cost of the salt mix, reduces algae growth, increases gas exchange, and cuts down on the outbreak of diseases. In a school of clownfish, the largest and most dominant fish is the female. The rest are males. If that female is removed, the largest male will become a female. If you're starting from scratch, buy three or four different size ocellaris. One will become a female, and the rest will be males. Clownfish breed in typical angelfish fashion. The female deposits eggs on the slate. The male follows close behind, fertilizing them. The parents will guard the nest, fan the eggs, and pick out the fungused and dead ones. Once the fry have hatched out, they will swim to the surface, being nourished by their yoke sack. Remove the parents at this point. Feed some green water culture to the fry. The easiest method to culture green water is to save some detritusladen water from a water change. Put it in a one


Drawing by Bernard Harrigan Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


gallon glass jar, and put this jar in a sunny window. Within a few days, it will turn green. Use a turkey baster to take out green water, while leaving the detritus on the bottom of the jar. Keep the lights on 12 to 14 hours a day. It's also important to use a small 8 watt (refrigerator) bulb as a nightlight. Hang it high over the tank, and leave the tank's cover open. This keeps the fry swimming towards the surface, rather than sinking to the bottom, which will cut down on overnight mortalities. Clean the bottom and the sides of the tank, removing the slime buildup, as well as any dead fry. Syphon off five gallons every evening, and slowly drip in fresh saltwater overnight. Add an additional one half gallon each night, until the aquarium is full. When the yoke sack has been used up, feed rotifers to the fry. Rotifer cultures can usually be obtained from the better aquarium shops. If you don't see them, ask. They're cultured in the same way you would culture infusoria. Never overfeed the fry. Give them small portions several times a

day. Remember, the fry have a better chance to survive if the water quality is cleaner than if their bellies are full. Keep feeding the rotifers for six days. Then switch to a combination of rotifers with newly hatched brine shrimp, for four more days. Add more brine shrimp, and less rotifers, with each feeding. By the eleventh day, the fry will be eating only brine shrimp. When they get bigger, you can switch to commercially prepared and frozen foods. A month after the fry have been eating, move them into a 55 gallon tank, that is two thirds of the way filled. Continue with good aquatic husbandry. Increase the water in the tank by one gallon per night, as you are doing the water changes, until the tank is full. Following the steps outlined here, you can master a 75%-90% survival rate. The more people there are breeding marine fish, the less the reefs of the world will suffer exploitation. Breeding clownfish can be good for you, good for the clownfish, and good for our natural environment.

Ttrc by SUSAN PRIEST and come on down. (Information and directions hat is all of this talk about a fish show? can be found on page four.) I have never been to a fish show! What The deadline for entering fish is 12 noon will it be like? Will I have a good time? on Saturday. That is when the judges go to work. A lot of you have joined the ranks of the You can also be a judge as you cast GCAS in the past two years, and your vote for the winner of the have never attended one of our People's Choice Award. There is shows. Perhaps you have never no rule which says that you can't attended a fish show at all. WELL, vote for your own fish! By the way, you are in for a treat! children especially enjoy voting for If you answer YES to any their favorite fish, so bring the of the following questions, then you whole family! WILL have a good time! And when you stop in on E Do you enjoy Sunday to pick up your awardfraternizing with other fish-minded winning fish, you will surely enjoy people like yourself? spending some time at the GIANT B Do you enjoy looking at AUCTION. (It beats mowing the the best fishes belonging to the best lawn!) fishkeepers in the N.Y. metro area? Will you have a good B Would you like a chance time? YOU be the judge! to vote for YOUR favorite fish, the winner of which will be awarded the *Voting is open to everyone who highly-coveted People's Choice attends the show. You don't have to Award*? be a member of an aquarium People's Choice Award I would like to point out society, or have a fish entered. We that the N.Y. metro area is home to only ask that you please limit the best aquarists in the country. That makes YOU yourself to one vote per person. one of the BEST! So pick out a couple of your favorite fish (I know you have several "favorites"),



May 2004

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


A Question and Answer column moderated by Claudia Dickinson and Jannette Ramirez Pouring through books, perusing over the globe, conversing heartily with our peers in friendly debate, listening in rapt attention to the words of a distinguished lecturer in a packed auditorium, only to return to our own tanks to ponder further over our own fish and our hobby..... Be it the first year, or the fortieth year, for as many years as we care for our aquatic inhabitants, there are as many questions as there are answers. With every corner turned, in our discovery of each new species offish or plant and with every new spawn, our insatiable inquisitiveness only grows and flourishes without bounds on this, the journey of our hobby. C.D. This month's theme of Conservation and Endangered Species certainly spawned many queries, and Jannette has done a perfect job in choosing three that she feels would best summarize the situation from a hobbyist's perspective. A warm thank you to Ronald Nielson, founder of the Cichlid Conservation Working Group, who has so generously taken the time and made the effort to share his perspectives on these issues with us. money to organizations that are working to "What are the reasons which cause a preserve land in developing countries. species to become endangered?" I acquire the strains that I find in commercial venues. I first look for the fish where I believe I have the best chance to actually get the Most species of fish become fish in question and that is as close to the wild ' endangered due to actions caused by strain as possible. Some fish are currently ^^^•^ man. The largest impact is caused by the threatened and not yet endangered, so it is possible expanding needs of humans in the area. to get a small wild group at times, but this doesn't happen frequently. Deforestation, non-native species introduction into local waters, and chemical or other waste leaching After getting the fish I do what I can to into the watershed account for almost all understand its ecological requirements and attempt extinctions. to breed the species. I think doing this is going to help in the long run. The next step is to get the information "In what way(s) can one contribute to that I have learned and to get it out to others. I am the conservation of an endangered using the Internet for this purpose, but you could species?" also write articles for your local club's publication or perhaps a commercial magazine such as There are things that can be done Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH). I think that would that may benefit endangered cichlids be an effort worthy of your time, and would help at would be worthy of your time. others learn about a rare fish. It would also Preservation of the natural habitat is about the improve the chance that others will be able to see, most important effort currently providing direct buy, and then keep the fish healthy, from the benefit to endangered fish. You could donate

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

May 2004


information you provided. This may not seem like it is really helping an endangered species, but the first step in saving gorillas was to inform people in the world of their plight. You may be able to at least put a face on the fish that are in danger of becoming faceless, lost, and forgotten.

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, "Have any of these conservation ' methods being used been able to reverse the decline of an endangered species, and ultimately, remove this species from the endangered list?" fpllll^^ The only efforts that I am aware of that have actually had an identifiable ^^. impact are those that protect the habitat, or the practices of the local exporters and officials that restrict the export of a fish. That may not sound like conservation, but some species are becoming very rare in the wild due to their exploitation by the fish industry. Again, breed the fish and maybe less will need to be collected from the wild.

;fii!!^ rc;f|if|^ l速 ;



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


May 2004

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

SMPs and Conservation Programs by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

hile each Species Maintenance Program ("SMP") is unique to the sponsoring organization, generally most involve captive breeding of rare or endangered fish by people whose qualifications for keeping such fish have been reviewed and approved by the Program. Participants are usually required to maintain records, agree to maintain fish from different collecting locations (where known) separately, and to redistribute any fry, along with breeding and maintenance information, to other members of the Program. Listed below is as much information as I could gather on the currently active SMPs in the United States.


American Killifish Association by CHARLIE NUNZIATA

Fishes present an incredible degree of diversity. When the natural extinction process proceeds at a normal rate, diversity is often retained or even enhanced because characters better able to cope with ongoing environmental and habitat change replace regressive or obsolete ones. When extinction rates increase abnormally, however, population declines lead to species declines, and this eventually leads to a reduction in diversity. It now aPPears tnat human intervention has indeed upset the extinctionDiversity balance. Never before have extinction rates approached the rates we have seen in the latter decades of the twentieth century. Historically, extinction rates for all animal species average ^ Percent of the then extant species, every million years. This equates to one to two species a year. During mass extinctions, these rates can go to 50 percent or as high as 75 percent. Extinction rates for the latter part of the twentieth century have been estimated to exceed the natural rates many times over. To be sure, these are only estimates, and although the actual rates cannot be definitively determined, there seems to be no argument that extinction rates today are abnormally high. In the absence of major weather or geological changes over the last few hundred years, one can surmise that human intervention has played and continues to play a major role in this ongoing process. Among the approximately 1,000 North American freshwater fish species, some say that as many as 35 percent should be protected in at least some part of their range. Europe and Australia both have about 200 freshwater species. Some estimate that 40 percent of Europe's and 30 percent of Australia's fish species need protection. More dramatically, about 60 percent of South Africa's 100 species are at risk. Unfortunately, there is little information emanating from tropical countries in which many of our killifish depend on the rainforest habitat for survival. Many of our killifish come from underdeveloped countries in which human-driven extinctions tend to be less severe, simply because economic activity is low. As these countries develop, however, economic pressures and the politics they fuel will surely result in insensitivity to environmental issues. Quite simply, environmental degradation is often pushed down the list of priorities during economic expansions. We see this in countries that are now developing rapidly; e.g., Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and Cameroon. We can only assume that habitat degradation will continue to accelerate with the pace of economic development elsewhere as well. The countries in which habitat degradation is most likely to occur contain some of the richest and most diverse array of killifish in the world. Economic factors are not the whole story, though. Social unrest and the presence of human disease further diminishes collecting activities, making such adventures more and more dangerous and expensive. It is already difficult to collect in some regions of South America and Africa because of these adversarial factors, and in some parts of West Africa, collecting and exporting killifish has virtually ceased. Taken in the aggregate, we can anticipate the long-term potential for significant reductions in the overall supply of wild killifish. Perhaps more important than the introduction of new species to the hobby is reimportation of species that were or are now currently in the hobby. This will likewise be affected, eroding the possibility of re-establishing old lines, and reducing the potential of refreshing the genetic pool among the species we currently have. While the supply of new species and the unique locations of already known species remains high for now, the oversupply of these interesting, new species tends to replace the older established ones. Our inability to absorb new species while maintaining all the older ones reflects a finite capacity in the killifish Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


hobby. Our attraction and gravitation toward the newest species has always resulted in the continual loss of previously established species. If our analysis that wild fish importations will eventually decline is correct, what will be left in the hobby are the species that hobbyists had not yet abandoned as those importation declines occur. Bad as this may be, if the decline in new importations becomes very rapid, the fish remaining in the hobby will consist primarily of the most recent residuals of the then current craze. In any case, it is unlikely that the species remaining in the hobby as these events unfold will fairly represent the true diversity within the killifish group. To change a personal preference from one of acquisition and consumption, to one of conservation, maintenance, and reproduction takes not only education, but a structure within which that change in attitude can be creatively expressed. It is here that the KCC ("Killifish Conservation Committee") can serve the central role of facilitating diversity preservation in the hobby. We accomplish this by emphasizing the propagation and maintenance of core species that represent the greatest possible array of genera and species groups. Many hobbyists have an inherent ethic to preserve, as well as a desire to contribute something back to the hobby, that has brought them so much knowledge and pleasure. The KCC provides a structure for the expression of these forces through the formation of breeder teams; one for each of the core species selected for the program. A species coordinator oversees and coordinates the activities of each team. A genus coordinator in turn coordinates the activities of each species coordinator within a genus, and the chairman of the Conservation Committee coordinates the activities of the various genus coordinators. Given limited resources, it is impractical to try to include all killifish species in this program. As a result, a core group of species, each representing a genus or distinct species group, is chosen by the volunteers for the program. Core species candidates must meet all of the following criteria: 1. The species is considered representative of a larger group of similar and closely related killifish. Also included here are those few species that are unique, showing little or no relationship to other killifish species or groups. 2. The fish can be bred and maintained under aquarium conditions. 3. The fish is available in the hobby. 4. Available stocks are not inbred or do not exhibit genetic abnormalities. Although the following criteria are not required, the best core species candidates may also meet one or more of the following equally valid criteria: 1. The collection locality or region is known. 2. The species is vulnerable to extinction because of a small natural range. The Core Species Team A species coordinator, together with the genus coordinator, assembles a team of breeders to implement the establishment of each core species. Breeding stock is secured and distributed among the team members. Additional stocks are periodically obtained through breeders outside the program, collectors, or other sources, in order to strengthen the genetic diversity within the breeder team stocks. Statistically, maintaining genetic diversity requires a fairly substantial number offish. The breeder team provides a structure that distributes these requirements across several team members, fulfilling overall genetic diversity requirements through a dedicated community of hobbyists. A volunteer can contribute in a significant way with just one species tank, which, when merged with the offspring of other team members, results in a viable conservation effort. The Volunteer The KCC program welcomes any AKA member who wishes to participate. We ask volunteers to: 1. Pledge to maintain and breed the selected fish for a minimum of two years. 2. Obtain or accept at least two pairs of the selected core species as founders for your conservation efforts. 3. Participate in periodic trades with other breeder team members, and provide data and surveys that are required to determine the status of the breeder team activities. 4. Offer the right of first refusal for excess core species fish to the core species or Emergency Survival Program (ESP) coordinator. 5. Offer the fish to the species, genus or ESP coordinators for distribution if the member cannot continue to keep the core species.


May 2004

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

The Emergency Survival Program The KCC program also provides fast reaction teams to address emergency situations. The ESP coordinator identifies species that are endangered or already extinct in the wild. Then he organizes breeding teams comprised of recognized experts, who he invites to establish breeding populations for both survival of the species and its eventual distribution to the hobby. Operationally, these teams function in the same manner as the Core Species teams noted above. All things go in cycles. These "golden days," marked by the virtually continuous flow of new and exciting species, may pass. The success of the KCC will then in part determine the degree of diversity of killies that remain in the hobby. We cannot know how successful we will be. We do know that as current trends inexorably continue, some species may only come to exist in our aquariums, and many more will pass through our hands forever. If we can broaden the number of species we keep and we can preserve even a handful of species that would otherwise pass into history, then the program will indeed be a success. Now that is a goal to work for. Remember, our motto: The only failure is not to try. Editor 'sNote: This was reprinted from the November-December 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Killiflsh Association, with the kind permission of its author. Omitted from this reprint is a list of suggested readings, and a lengthy list ofkillifish "Once Established in the American Hobby that are Now Lost or Extremely Rare "

The International Anabantoid Association by MARLEEN JANSON

The IAA is a species maintenance club, rather than a hobby club. That fact has been the hardest point to get across to people. It is a volunteer program for the maintenance and propagation of endangered anabantoid species, some of which are now only surviving in the hobby. We do not get grant money or funding of any kind, so members are not ^ . g ^ * — --v^Ž^ just donating their time and energy, but a considerable amount of money ^ .__ to maintain and breed these fish as well. Basically, hobby groups, and the IAA, are doing what public aquaria and governmental agencies are not able to do because of budget constraints, even though many admit that the need to preserve these fish is dire. The IAA has been in existence since 1999, and has acquired a stable group of core breeders. By 'core breeders' is meant a group of members who are willing to join in the program, breed and maintain a variety of anabantoids, and remain members for a considerable time. Even though our website is designed to appeal to ecologists and environmentalists, we do get the traditional home hobbyist who wishes to help these beautiful fish, but is not aware of the time requirement involved. Unfortunately, they usually get discouraged and leave. Many people don't realize that preserving a species takes many, many years. It is not something that happens overnight. Any SMP is only as good as its members, and whether or not the IAA program is successful in the long run will be determined by time. Since we have a good list of fish we are now breeding and maintaining in the club, I think we have a made a fine start. The website of the IAA is http://www.internat-anabanassoc.org/

North American Native Fishes Association by BRUCE STALLSMITH

The North American Native Fishes Association, Inc. (NANFA) is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to the appreciation, study and conservation of the North American continent's native fishes. NANFA Members who collect native fishes from the wild and maintain them in private aquaria are encouraged to comply with a Code of Ethics, which includes: "NANFA members who enjoy collecting and maintaining fishes do so of their own accord. Except for specific programs funded and/or sponsored by the Association, NANFA does not sanction any Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


specific collection and/or captive maintenance of native fishes." "Not all native fishes are suitable for aquaria, and some species may test the skills of even the most experienced aquarist. Therefore, members are encouraged to research the biology and captive requirements of each species before an attempt is made to remove them from the wild." NANFA has an open "e-list" for discussion of relevant issues related to the conservation of native fishes and their environment on its website at: http://www.nanfa.org/ In addition, NANFA has a "Breeders Award Program" to recognize individuals who have documented the reproductive biology of native species.

The American Livebearer Association by RIT FORCIER and TOM CRANE There is no currently active Species Maintenance Program ("SMP") in the American Livebearer Association ("ALA"). However, the current ALA Chairman, Rit Forcier, has said that establishment of an ALA SMP is a priority issue for him. ALA member Tom Crane has volunteered to get the ball rolling for an ALA SMP. Currently, Tom is still at the early stages of getting things down on paper. He is also working on a computerized data collection exercise whereby members can go to the ALA website, fill in a form, or forms, online about those fish for which the ALA is seeking information. This information will be sent to Tom, who will â‚ŹST 1971 organize and disseminate it, as needed. Anyone interested in endangered livebearers is encouraged to join the ALA, and contact Tom Crane (tcrane@worldnet.att.net). The ALA website is: http://livebearers.org/ Among the information available on that website is a list of goodeids and their status in the wild, along with a form individuals can complete for each distinct population they have of each rare (defined on the website as "extinct in wild, critically endangered, endangered, or threatened") Mexican goodeid species. The rare goodeid information and form can be found on the ALA website at: http://livebearers.org/lyonsgoodeids.html

The International Betta Congress The International Betta Congress ("IBC") is a nonprofit, world-wide organization promoting the selective breeding, raising and study of the Genus Betta. The IBC actively promotes the selective breeding of various color and finnage strains of Betta splendens. The website of the IBC, with information on membership, is http://www.ibcbettas.org/ A less well-known aspect of the IBC is its Species Maintenance Program, with possibly the most complete information available anywhere on all Betta species (not just splendens). Their SMP website is at: http://www.ibc-smp.org/. The IBC's SMP also maintains an Internet message group for individuals who are approved for participation in their SMP. In a recent message to the SMP mail group, IBC President, Stuart R. Scott, announced that the IBC's SMP (which has been in hiatus recently) is being revived under a new SMP Chairperson, Harrison Storm. In a follow-up message, Mr. Storm (redmanstorm@aol.com) requested that anyone with viable stock of wild Betta species, and who is willing to help, should contact him. Such persons were asked to provide contact information, a list of species kept, quantities available, and a brief note on what they are willing to do to help. In the meantime, Mr. Storm is working on a database of the species entered into the program, along with a list of those people who have offered their help as potential breeders. He also stated that the IBC's SMP will not discriminate between IBC and non-IBC participants, saying: "I need help from anyone who is willing!"


May 2004

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

Cichlid Conservation Working Group American Cichlid Association Board member Ron Nielson, through Fishpost.com, a freshwater fish import and distribution company, sponsors a loose-knit association of concerned hobbyists, the Cichlid Conservation Working Group. This Group is attempting to improve the understanding and identification of endangered cichlids, in the hope it will help others in the hobby if they choose to keep some of these lesser understood species. Participants in this program are asked to keep the fish, breed them, document their behavior, and provide information pages about them. Information on the program can be found on the website: http://www.fishpost.com

Project Seahorse While not a species maintenance program, Project Seahorse at http://seahorse.fisheries.ubc.ca/ has a survey for aquarists to complete to share their knowledge about seahorse biology and trade, and to assist in seahorse management and conservation. In addition, this website provides advice for an aquarist who may be considering keeping seahorses. Among the information provided is the following: • Avoid buying seahorses as curios or souvenirs. • Do not buy seahorses for your home aquarium unless you have extensive experience with difficult marine fish species. Seahorses are among the most challenging marine species to keep because of their need for live food and their vulnerability to disease. • If you do buy live seahorses, choose species that do best in captivity. • Ask suppliers about their sources and trade routes. • Insist on buying seahorses that have well-rounded trunks (many are tmmmim concave because they have not been fed en route). Avoid buying juveniles. Insist on comprehensive information about seahorse-keeping. Also, avoid buying males that have very distended brood pouches, since any that are nearly ready to give birth were probably caught when pregnant. • If your captive seahorses die, resist the temptation to replace them until you have learned more about their requirements. • Refuse to buy pregnant males, since their young have died with them, reducing the prospects for population recovery. • Recognize that small-scale, low-technology aquaculture in seahorse-fishing countries can help seahorse fishers become seahorse farmers, thus reducing pressure on wild populations and providing alternative livelihoods. And, for those who would like to make monetary contributions to further the efforts of Project Seahorse, this website also provides information on making donations.

Fish Ark - Mexico Tne most recent Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies convention featured a presentation on "Fish Ark - Mexico." HALCP (the Hobbyists Aqua Lab Conservation Project) is dedicated to saving Mexico's unique freshwater fishes. Mexico is home to a diverse and fascinating freshwater fish fauna, with many species found nowhere else on earth. A high proportion of them share an unusual reproductive habit, and also have unusually high levels of endemism. Most are in great danger of extinction. While there is no captive breeding program open to individual hobbyists, a Pilot Captive Breeding and Maintenance program has been established in one Mexico university. The ultimate aim of "Fish Ark - Mexico" is to set up such programs in Universities across the country, eventually covering all species. The organization's website at http://home.clara.net/brachydibble/index.htm provides information on how individuals and clubs can support this project, by either making direct donations or by fund raising. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


Project Piaba Project Piaba is not a species Maintenance Program, as we currently define that term. It is a community based interdisciplinary project to understand the ecological and socio-cultural systems of the middle Rio Negro basin, Amazonas, Brazil, in order to conserve and maintain the live ornamental fishery and other renewable resources at a commercially feasible, and ecologically sustainable level. Project Piaba has been working on research to promote the sustainable harvest of aquatic resources that will ensure the survival - .. . / of both the Amazonian rainforests and its human inhabitants. Significant progress has been made, but much more baseline data are required before firm resource management strategies can be formulated. The next phase of Project Piaba is to generate data relating to a wide range of issues, from population of species diversity, to the function and structure of the ecosystem, and to develop measures that will help improve the livelihood of the riverine people. The ultimate goal is to promote a viable fishery at commercially and ecologically P TO IAC t P13 ha sustainable levels, and to help reduce environmentally destructive land , i I use and rural-to-urban migration in the Rio Negro basin. Project Piaba exports tropical fish from the Rio Negro such as the cardinal terra (Paracheirodon axelrodi), rummy nose tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus), dwarf cichlids (Apistogramma spp.), pencil fish (Nannostomus spp.) and various catfishes. The Cardinal Tetra is the most important species, accounting for 80% of the exported fish. The fish trade is sustainable in this area for a number of reasons: the short life span (1-2 years) of many of these ornamental fish (e.g., some tetras); their rapid reproduction rate; and the low impact methods employed by local fishermen that only target the required species. To meet its objectives, Project Piaba needs funds for research and development. Many aquarium fish enthusiasts have supported the project through eco-tourism, and raised funds from local hobbyist clubs. For more information, see the following websites: http://finarama.com/projectpiaba/ http://www.projectpiaba.org http://www.angelfire.com/pq/piaba

The Marine Aquarium Council The Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) is an international, not-for-profit organization that brings marine aquarium animal collectors, exporters, importers, and retailers together with aquarium keepers, public aquariums, conservation organizations and government agencies. MAC'S mission is to conserve coral reefs and other marine ecosystems by creating standards and certification for those engaged in the collection and care of ornamental marine life, from reef to aquarium. MAC Certification allows the aquarist to identify marine ornamentals that have been collected, handled, and cared for according to established international standards for ensuring MARINE AQUARIUM COUNCIL healthy, high quality animals that will live longer. By choosing to buy from responsible industry operators who provide healthy, high quality marine ornamentals from well-managed coral reefs, the average marine hobbyist can help transform the industry and secure the future of our hobby. Marine hobbyists can support the work of the Marine Aquarium Council by looking for retail shops with the "MAC Certified" label in the window and then, within the shop, seeking out those tank(s) that are also labeled "Marine Aquarium Council Certified." By so doing, hobbyists assist marine conservation efforts, and they are also getting generally healthier, longer-lived marine animals.


May 2004

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

The American Cichlid Association by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

The American Cichlid Association is the largest and most distinguished international organization devoted entirely to the interests of the family Cichlidae. One of the major objectives of the association is to further the conservation of species and their natural habitats. In August of 2000, the Paul V. Loiselle Conservation Fund was established specifically to support the conservation of rare and endangered species. A founding member and Fellow of the ACA, Dr. Paul Loiselle is a renown ichthyologist, author, speaker and champion of conservation efforts across the globe, with a focus on those locales which are in urgent need, such as Madagascar, the African Rift Lake Victoria and Mexico. His diligent work has made immeasurable progress in the preservation and conservation of many endangered species, having literally saved individuals, such as the Paretroplus menarambo from extinction. You may become a part of the ACA's conservation program through contributions made out to the Paul V. Loiselle Conservation Fund and sent to: Tim Hovanec, ACA Treasurer, 15513 Mallory Court, Moorpark, CA 93021. As a member of the ACA, you will have the added benefit of associating with other hobbyists who are working with, and possibly breeding endangered species. You will receive the coveted "Trading Post," which provides the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of cichlids. There are often species that are in peril found in this publication which are for sale or trade. Other hobbyists who have had experience with these cichlids will be glad to share their findings with you. We welcome you to become a part of the ACA by logging onto www.cichlid.org. Go to the Membership Section where you may join directly online, or you may prefer to print out the Membership Application and send it to ACA Membership Chair, Marty Ruthkosky, 43081 Bond Court, Sterling Heights, MI 48313. Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have by e-mail: ivyrose@optonline.net. As ACA Ambassador-at-Large and Membership Coordinator, I am here to answer your questions, and happy to help you! I'm sure you will find becoming involved with such a special group of individuals as rewarding as I have, as well as providing a method by which you may become involved in the crucial efforts being made towards the successful conservation of our endangered fishes.

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• Locally Spawned Fish • Top Quality Foods • T-shirts, Sweatshirts • Hats, Clocks, Bags • Bumper Stickers • And much, much more ... cell: 914-374-8073

SpawnedintheUSA@aol.com Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


Photos and captions of our April 2004 meeting

Spirits are high at our annual GCAS Silent Auction as Carlotti De Jager, Pete D'Orio and Al Priest confer on their bidding strategies.

A warm welcome to one of our new GCAS members, Karen Ottendorfer, by President Joe Ferdenzi.

Rod Du Casse displays his spectacular Silent Auction donation of a magnificent aquatic stone wall. The author is now the proud owner of this creation and considering re-siding the entire Fish House!?!?!?

A heartfelt welcome to our new GCAS m e m b e r , Michael Henderson, who is looking forward to reading about Oscars and other aquatica in his April edition of "MA."

It was a night of fun and Grande finds!!!

Karen Ottendorfer is thrilled with a Andy Jacovina beams with his findDenver Lettman has collected a new castle for her fish! of a lovely new betta! large box of gems, including this fabulous canister filter!


May 2004

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

by Claudia Dickinson

Meanwhile, out in the lobby...,

and Jason Kerner and President Joe Ferdenzi with a piece of... Stone Henge??? This beautiful creation of Ed Vukich's came home with the author, to her good fortune, and her fish love it! Anton Vukich pauses for some Bob McKeand takes a moment to quiet time with his "MA." relax and think about...fish!

GCAS Treasurer Jack Traub is in his glory as he performs his usual superlative job!

The lovely Danielle Soberman and Victoria Bohme lend their invaluable assistance with cheerful smiles at the check-out table.

Shamar Mosley, Sharon Barnett, Hugh Brown and LaMont Brown have found an armful of treasures, along with an evening of friendship at the GCAS!

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

Associate Editor Sue Priest and Vice President Mark Soberman share a "toast" to another perfect evening with the GCAS! May 2004


The GCAS a



SUSAN JEWETT Speaking On: Intro by: CLAUDIA DICKINSON s I sat writing away at my computer one wintry afternoon in January of 2003, the phone rang and I answered it to the friendly voice of Susan Jewett, calling from the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Owning a home in East Hampton as well as Washington, D.C., Susan receives our local paper, the East Hampton Star, to keep up-to-date on current events here while she is not in town. It was in "The Star" that she read of Brad's annual 8th grade class trip to Washington in March. Susan was so generous as to take the time to locate Brad with an invitation to his students of a behind-thescenes tour of the Division of Fishes at the museum. Well, not only was it to Brad and his student's great delight, I truly felt as if I had just found a most special friend! I am certain we could have spoken for hours, as Susan relayed her fascinating background and experiences, as well as contributions to the scientific world of Ichthyology and Herpetology. Needless to say, Brad and his 8th grade students came away in awe from their visit with Susan, with new insight, knowledge and hands-on experience of many rare fishes, including that which has become noted as the "living fossil," the coelacanth. What a great treat it would be for all of the GCAS if Susan were to be able to join us as our guest and share her infinite erudition of this intriguing creature! Following is a summation of Susan's life and experiences which she has written for us tonight: Working in the Division of Fishes, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution for nearly 35 years, Susan Jewett most recently served as its Collection Manager, with responsibility for curation of the fish research collections. Despite being in one section of the



museum for so long, she wore many different hats during her tenure at the Smithsonian, making significant contributions to research, administrative and exhibit activities in the museum. With initial plans to take a year or two break from her graduate studies, Susan arrived at the Smithsonian in 1969. She never went back to school and, instead, chose to work her way through the various collections-related jobs to that of Collection Manager. She has a B.S. in zoology from the University of Louisville, Kentucky, one year of graduate study, and many years of on-thejob training. During Susan's early years at the Smithsonian she served as a research assistant to a senior curator, and published a number of papers updating the taxonomy of an Indo-Pacific goby genus, Eviota. Subsequently, she did quite a lot of field work which took her to several South American countries for freshwater fish collecting, and to the North Atlantic and Cuba for marine collecting. Her final years with the museum were notable for her contributions to coelacanth studies and for her activities relating to planning the construction of a new storage facility for fish collections. Susan managed the physical care of the fish collection, and the "loan" or "service" operations in the Fish Division. This included loans, exchanges, donations, etc. of fishes, answering queries from the public and scientific communities, and supervising the museum technician/specialist staff. Serving as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Susan remains active in this organization, as well as other professional societies. She is also a member of the Washington Biologists Field Club, a local research-oriented organization of distinguished

May 2004

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

biologists. Susan is now a Research Associate in the Department of Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History, where she maintains an office. Susan's interest in the coelacanth led to a number of exciting ventures, including a trip to Indonesia in 1998 to preserve the first coelacanth to be discovered in Indonesia, and in the fall of

2003, a month-long visit with Dr. Marjorie Courtenay Latimer, the discoverer of the first living coelacanth. It is a tremendous honor and with great pride that we extend a warm welcome to Susan Jewett this evening to hear the enthralling history and present status of the "Coelacanths!"

Susan Jewett and 8th grade Montauk public school students in a behind-the-scenes tour of the Division of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Gardner Leaver, Kiah Wright, Lindsay Stavola, Eddie Lopez, and Eliana Guarin

Eddie Lopez, Stephanie Acevedo, Instructor Ralph Urban, and Susan Jewett

Susan Jewett with Kiah Wright, Lindsay Stavola and Gardner Leaver

Susan Jewett with Kiah Wright and Lindsay Stavola Photos by Nancy Brunn

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

May 2004


WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST hat is big and blue? (Cookie Monster!?) What has hard scales and a three-lobed tail? (A lobster?!) What was once believed to be extinct? (Horst Gerber!!!) Mix them all together, and what have you got? Sometimes called the "living fossil," it is more commonly known as the coelacanth. Don't feel badly if you didn't guess it. This is one fish which is not very likely to end up in an aquarium. It is, however, a very important link in the chain of evolution from which there is much to be learned about all fish. Its scientific name is Latimeria chalumnae. The first living coelacanth was caught in 1938. The second wasn't caught until 1952. Since then, between 150 and 200 specimens have been collected. Most of them were found in the vicinity of the Comoro Islands, which is in the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and the eastern shore of Africa. The first one measured in at 54 inches, and weighed 127 pounds. These specs would turn out to be an average size. Prior to 1938, the only specimens of this fish in existence were fossils. The coelacanth was thought to have been extinct for at least 70 million years! The opening of the book invests a great deal of energy in describing the people who were involved in the examination of the first live-caught specimen; their theories, confusion, dreams of fame, etc. Space does not allow me to elaborate on the details of their misadventures. I have extracted a few of the most pertinent facts from these "Early Days," as Part One is called. I would like to move quickly along to Part Two: "Answers and Questions," and pay particular attention to chapters six through nine. I will devote a brief paragraph to each of them. Where do they live? The answer to the question/title of chapter six is that no one knows for sure. The size of the fish would indicate that it should have a very expansive range, however, no one knows how far-reaching it might be. Chapter seven addresses the topics of swimming and feeding. The prominent, and most unusual feature of the swimming behavior of the coelacanth is the way in which it uses its paired



fins. "The paired fins are moved in a more or less regularly alternating pattern." In other words, it compares to the locomotion of a tetrapod, such as a salamander, or a crawling baby. This clearly delineates it as an important "step" on the evolutionary ladder leading to ambulation. As for feeding, what might take place can only be surmised, as a live specimen has never been observed in the act of eating. Clues taken from its anatomy lead to the "best guess" that it is a piscavore. In chapter eight it is the things that are known about the coelacanth which lead to a whole new set of questions. For example, in a mature fish, the brain occupies a sparse 1.5% of the skull, the rest being filled with fats and oil. What is to be made of that? Will future generations fill that space with a larger brain? Also, it has something called a "rostral organ"; a sensory receptor in the area of the snout, above the nasal organs and in front of the eyes. With a welldeveloped lateral line, and equally e f f i c i e n t electroreceptors, in addition to the usual eyes, ears, and nose, the purpose of this organ is as yet undetermined. The chapter on reproductive biology (chapter nine), informs the reader that the coelacanth is ovoviviparous. What this means to us hobbyists is that it is a livebearer! Specifically, the female carries the fertilized eggs within the protective environment of her "uterus" until they are ready to hatch. Chapter eleven has the somewhat weighty title "Population Size Conservation, and the Future of the Latimeria. " I offer you the following quote for consideration: "In a very practical sense, we need to make sure that Latimeria does not become extinct simply because our human species likes to know things, and there is so much we still do not know about it." In my mind the next question which begs to be asked is how to calculate the threat. Must it be based on current populations vs. those of the past? In the case of the coelacanth, no accurate information exists as to the size of either population. The same could be said of its "habitat"; the boundaries and ecology are undetermined, both historically and presently. I think the gauge must be us, and what value we place on allowing it simply "to be." The most important lesson of this book is that the coelacanth is clearly more threatened now than it was when we still believed it to be extinct! This book was donated to GCAS by Lee Finley of "Finley Aquatic Books."

May 2004

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

by JOSEPH FERDENZI n 1938, the young curator of a small museum in South Africa discovered a bizarre fish in a heap of marine life that had been caught by a fishing trawler. Unable to identify the five-foot long fish, which had luminescent eyes, four limb-like fins, and a "puppy dog tail," the young curator, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, wrote to a South African scientist and amateur ichthyologist, J.L.B. Smith, and enclosed a sketch of this most unusual fish. What happened next is the stuff of scientific legend. The fish turned out to be a coelacanth (pronounced "SEE-LA-KANTH"), a species thought to have been extinct for 70 million years! Owing to its limb-like fins, the fish was believed to be a link between fish and reptiles, and eventually to other mammals, including man. In A Fish Caught In Time, British author Samantha Weinberg reveals the complete story behind this rare and unusual fish, from the initial sighting in 1938, to the capture of the second specimen in 1952 (off the Comoro Islands), the subsequent scientific uproar, and the quest over the next 40 years to discover further specimens and their habitats. The coelacanth would fuel competition across the world; nations waged scientific wars to own it, multi-million dollar expeditions were


launched to track it, and submarines were hand-built to find it. Scientists and research teams from the U.S., South Africa, Britain, Canada, Japan, Belgium, Germany, and France (including several expeditions led by the famed Jacques Cousteau) all set their sights on the elusive coelacanth, eager to understand its role in evolution, and to make their own name in zoological history. In this book, the author follows all of these stories, although she centers her narrative on the first two major protagonists, Ms. Courtenay-Latimer and Dr. Smith. She also tells the story of the more recent discovery of a new population and species of coelacanth off the coast of Indonesia by an American marine biologist who, of all things, discovered them while on his honeymoon (wasn't he busy enough!?). This book is part biography, part natural history, and part scientific thriller. It covers both the personal stories and the scientific debates that continue to swirl around the coelacanth. The book has first-hand accounts — including those of then 90 year-old Ms. Courtenay-Latimer (after whom the scientific genus of the coelacanth is named, Latimeria). A Fish Caught In Time is well-researched, and well-written. It is certainly worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the story behind the "greatest zoological find" of the 20th century. (Incidentally, in her "Acknowledgments" the author thanks this month's guest speaker, Susan Jewett, of the Smithsonian Institute, for her help in the writing of the book.)


14thAnnual MARINEAUCTION THE OWV ALL MARINE AUCTION IN THE TRl-STATE AREA Saint Brendan's Church East 12th St. & Avenue O Viewing of Jots 11:30am to 12:30pm • Auction starts 1:OOpm Free admission • Free parking * No bidder cards Marine fish, propagated corals & dry goods • Manufactures tables • Discount books & sale items • Raffles • Door prizes • Refreshments Directions

Cor South: Beft Pdrkwoy to Ocean Parkway drive North to Ave. N. Turn right into N and another right into E.I2th St. Drive to Ave. O. Church Parking on right in Church lot or park on street. Auction is in Church Hafl ooanos the street from lot on the left, FoBow the sign. Cor North: Take BQE to Prospect Expressway which becomes Ocean Parkway. Drive to Ave. N. Turn left and continue to E. 12th St. Then make right to Ave. O. (follow parking directions above) Subwa Directions Q »an 'l_ttflcaJl:TbAve.M A E. 15<h St.. Vvblk to Ave. O.. Make right ond turn into E 12fhSt. Ltorin:Tb Ave. M. Walk along Ave M to E. 1 2th St. Make right and walk to Ave. O.

For more information visit us on line BROOKLYNAQUARIUMSOCiETY.ORG Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

May 2004


lateral lines an editorial by Susan Priest A bit of journaling

You can't have one without the other

When I was relatively new to fishkeeping, and Al and I had just set up a 90 gallon freshwater community aquarium in our livingroom, I began keeping a "journal" of sorts. It was a loose-leaf notebook in which I recorded various numbers, activities and observations. Which fish, and the order of their arrival, were primary, along with anything else I thought to be noteworthy as I went along; temperature, pH, foods, water changes, and more, were among them. I kept this very informal journal for the better part of a year. I may still have it in my house somewhere, but I have longsince left it behind. Keeping a journal is a discipline, to be certain (and discipline is something of which I have precious little), but a worthwhile effort nonetheless, which I would like to recommend to all of us aquarists (myself included!). How reliable is your memory when it comes to relatively recent events? Do you remember the date on which you last acquired a fish? What was it? How about the one(s) before that? The last time you discovered a corpse, did you spend any time at all wondering what might have caused this death, or did you just "fish it out," and not give it another thought? What about those fishes which have just disappeared? Which of your fishes prefer which foods? What temperatures are you various fish kept at? Which fish have what filter media? Which fish have spawned, and under what conditions? If you actually write this stuff down, you may see patterns emerging. Or not. This written record may simply serve to remind you of fond memories. You may need to make a mental association with something you do regularly to help remind you to do a bit of journaling. For example, while you are brushing your teeth, you could make a few mental notes about your fishkeeping activities, and when you are done, go and jot them down in a notebook while they are still at the surface of your mind. (Who knows; you might even brush your teeth a little longer!) If you wait until your smoke alarm goes off, or you have a flat tire on your car, well, that might not be frequent enough to be of value. Over time, the value of your journal will become clear to you, and maybe even to your fish, as a unique set of successes and failures, dos and don'ts, and lessons worth sharing, reveal themselves.

Conservation: a careful preservation and protection of something; especially planned management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction or neglect.*


Conversation: (oral) exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions or ideas. An informed discussion of an issue by governments, institutions or groups.* The simple point I want to make here is that you can't have conservation without conversation. Planned management cannot take place without informed discussion. Careful preservation and protection can't happen without an exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions and ideas (not necessarily in that order!). SO, it would seem to me that Modern Aquarium is the perfect venue for such discussions as these. If you agree, then start talking! *Websters Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2002. Which came first? You may notice a variance of emphasis between Joe Ferdenzi's book review and my own. While he placed the majority of his emphasis on the people in the story, I deliberately went out of my way to down-play then- role, and focus on the fish. WELL, you might say to yourself, "they were two different books with very different points of view. Clearly, the one Joe read was more about the people." Actually, the one I read went into a lot of detail about the people involved, but I did not think that their physical appearances, the state of their health, or their communications (and, more to the point, the lapses thereof), was "the story." Which came first, the coelacanths or the scientists? Any notoriety which has been ascribed to these people would seem to me to distract us from the story; that is, from the fish, and what they are here to teach us. "Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." Mother Teresa

May 2004

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


ACA Convention 2004 t's time for a "Rocky Mountain Hi!'9 as the ACA Convention 2004 will be hosted by the Rocky Mountain Cichlid Association, on July 22nd ~ 25th, at the Marriott Southeast in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Made up of a membership of over 1200 people, embracing twenty nations, the American Cichlid Association has three major objectives, one being to gather, organize and disseminate knowledge of the family Cichlidae. Furthering the conservation of species and their natural habitats is another primary goal, as well as promoting fellowship amongst the members. The annual convention serves a perfect role in achieving all three of these goals. It is such an exhilarating extravaganza that as you step off of your return plane home, you will most certainly be ready to turn around and hop back on the next flight out for the following year's event! It is here that you will witness the most spectacular collection of the finest cichlids to be found! The yearly convention is an action-packed, non-stop weekend filled with world-renown speakers, workshops, vendors, raffles, specialized Study Group meetings and incredible side trips, all culminating in Sunday's magnificent cichlid auction. Most importantly, you will always find the warmth and fellowship of being amongst friends, fish and fun! With the Rocky Mountain Cichlid Association at the helm, and over 400 participants expected, July of 2004 promises to be a most fabulous convention not to be missed! The program line-up is exemplary, with an assemblage of speakers and topics as you've never seen before, as the esteemed Mag. Dr. Anton Lamboj presents West and Central African Cichlids and the celebrated Ad Konings speaks on Lake Malawi. We will have the great fortune of Alex Saunders joining us with his program on Madagascar Cichlids, Bob Allen on Lake Tanganyika, Chuck Ram bo on African Rift Lake Cichlids, Alf Stalsberg on South American Cichlids, Oliver Lucanus on Discus, Mike Wise onApistogramma, Don Conkel on Mexican and Central American Cichlids, and the renowned Ray Lucas will treat us as our Banquet MC. The prestigious Denver Zoo will open the Convention Tours on Thursday morning, followed by an afternoon at the Ocean Journey Aquarium, where you will take two river-to-ocean journeys, as


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

well as view over 300 other special exhibits. You will have an extraordinary experience, not to be forgotten, upon meeting Mshindi, the rhinoceros, and viewing the over 1200 creatures housed within the natural habitat of Tropical Discovery, an underglass rainforest, which also includes the world's largest Komodo Dragon exhibit. Friday begins bright and early, as you take a bus into the breathtaking Colorado Mountains and visit the Argo Gold Mine, an active gold mine where you will pan for gold! A camera is a must as you next take a thrilling ride of 13,000 feet up to Mt. Evans and Echo Lake. Naturally, there is time allotted for browsing and dining at a memorable locale, with a visit to Heritage Square concluding the trip in a unique shopping experience! Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the halls will be brimming with socializing and cichlids, of course! You will want to make your way directly to the Guy Jordan Bulletin Board to check out the fish posted there, then head over to view the rare fish and place your bids in the Guy Jordan Silent Auction, and then onto one of many perusals through the Silent Auction held by The Babes in the Cichlid Hobby. Their efforts, along with your generous donations, will benefit cichlid research through the Guy Jordan Endowment Fund, and cichlid conservation through the Paul Loiselle Conservation Fund. From here, winding your way through the friendly throngs, a visit to the showroom is next, with cichlid specimens as you've never witnessed before, resplendent in their perfection! If you are ever able to pull yourself from the fish and the friendship found here, onto the vendors room for a dose of more of the same! Your nights will be late and your mornings will be early, for you won't want to miss out on a moment of the activities and fun, but the memories will be there to last a lifetime... For registration and complete information, please logon to www.aca2004.com, e-mail ACA 2004 Convention Chair, Mark Whitney, at hawkimw@comcast.net, or contact him by phone at: (303) 429-5917. As always, I am here and more than happy to help you register or to answer any questions that you may have. I can't wait to see you in Denver in July for a "Rocky Mountain Hi!"

May 2004


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THE PET BARlfa FRANKLIN SQUARE'S COMPLETE PET CENTER 212 FRANKLIN AVE FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY 11010 Cojme see our large Aquarium Plant display and receive I ONE FREE cultivated plant, just for stopping by!





May 2004

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

It's All Greek To Me A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

recent controversial biblical movie had no spoken words of English. All the dialogue spoken by the actors was either Aramaic or Latin. Aside from various religious controversies (which I'm most certainly not going to bring up), some critics mentioned that the movie had Roman soldiers speaking Latin, while they should have been speaking Greek. Well, when Latin (that is, "scientific") names offish are used, it's all Greek to me. With no intention of slighting the culture that gave the world Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, and Hippocrates, I need to mention that the only Greek word I understand is "gyros." I realize some fish do not have "common" names, or do not have universally agreed upon common names (with exporters using any name that sounds "sexy" at the time). But, am I the only one who feels like a geek attending a nerds' convention when I'm at our fish and plant auctions? Later this month, Greater City will have its biennial show and auction. The auctioneer will read off the scientific name of a fish, and I won't recognize it (and realize that it's one of the fish I wanted to bid on) until after the bag is sold to someone else. That's because I was waiting for "POES-SEEL-E-A RAY-TIC-U-LAT-US" and I heard "PO-SEEL-E-A RET-TIK-U-LOT-US" (maybe not exactly that, but you get the idea). Then, once I finally do learn the correct Latin name for a species offish, and can correctly pronounce it, someone decides to rename it, and I'm back at "square one" again.


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

The use of Latin for identifying fish and plants is one issue, but our hobby can't seem to agree on the English spelling for many common aquarium terms. Some terms can be deduced fairly easily. For example, if I told you that I added "black water extract" to my discus tank, I could be adding black Easter egg dye. On the other hand, if I told you that I added "blackwater extract," you would know that I added a dark colored peat extract to the water to acidify it. If I tell you I need a "spraybar" you'd know what I meant, because if I said I needed a "spray bar," the next logical question would be "what do you want to spray your bar with?" On the other hand, does one have a "fish room" or a "fishroom?" Do you feed "brine shrimp" or "brineshrimp?" Are your sponge and box filters powered by an "air pump" or by an "airpump?" In fact, on the most basic level, do you keep "fish" in your aquariums, or "fishes?" Are more than one Corydoras catfish to be commonly referred to as "Cories," or "Corys?" If you read all the commercial aquarium magazines, you'll see that there is apparently little agreement on the use of these terms. If the Greater City Aquarium Society has a Board of Governors, why do we have a President, and not a "Chairman of the Board," or a "Governor?" If we have "undergravel filters," are the others all "overgravel filters?" I have several aquarium books with the word "Atlas" in their titles, yet contrary to what one would expect, there are few to no maps in them. Have you ever seen a commercial fish food that did not, eventually, sink (regardless of the claims on the container's label)? Then, shouldn't a food billed as "floating" really be a "temporarily floating" food? And, isn't the term "sinking wafers" redundant? Can someone please explain to me what the difference is between "schooling" and "shoaling" fish? (Could it be that "schooling" fish are smarter?) Why is it called "filter floss" if neither you, nor your fish, can floss with it? If gravel or crushed coral is "substrate," then why isn't tank water "strate" ("sub" generally meaning "under")? Finally, am I the only person who remembers a time when you had two choices for aquarium lighting â&#x20AC;&#x201D; incandescent or fluorescent? Can anyone explain to me (in English, please) the differences among "metal halide," "power compact," and "VHO" fluorescent lights? All I want to do is to be able to see my fish!

May 2004


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May 2004

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


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

May 2004


ets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253 http ://norw alkas. org/html/


Fin Fun In Danger, Or Endangered? Hopefully, this special "Conservation/Endangered Species" theme issue of Modern Aquarium has raised your awareness of the conservation issue as it specifically relates to the aquarium hobby. In her contribution about the Paul V.Loiselle Conservation Fund of the American Cichlid Association, ACA Ambassador at Large Claudia Dickinson mentions a fish, Paretroplus menarambo (the pinstripe dambd) that was saved from extinction through the diligent efforts of Paul V. Loiselle. Below are the scrambled common names offish currently believed to be "Extinct in the Wild" (EW), "Critically Endangered" (CR), or "Endangered" (EN). To help you unscramble them, the scientific name has been provided. Scientific Name

Scrambled Common Name

Ameca splendens (EW)


Epalzeorhynchos bicolor (EW)


Betta persephone (CR)


Pandaka pygmaea (CR)


Poecilia latipunctata (CR)


Gymnochar -acinus bergii (EN)


Unscrambled Common Name

Lepidocephalichthys j onklaasi (EN) LOADSPOTCHET Melanotaenia boesemani (EN)


Barbus serra (EN)


Prietella phreatophila (EN)


Solution to last month's puzzle: BASICALLY Speaking 1) What is the first, and most toxic, element of the Nitrogen Cycle? Da) Nitrites Db) Chlorine EC) Ammonia Dd) Coffee grounds 2) Which of the following numbers represents a "neutral" pH? Da) 2 Kb) 7 Dc)40 Dd) none of these 3) Which of the following aquatic plants have low light requirements? Da) Java Fern Db) African Fern DC) Anubius Ed) All of these 4) Which of these fish would be a poor choice for a beginning hobbyist? Da) Rummynose Tetra Db) Festivum Cichlid EC) Convict Cichlid

Dd) Rosy Barb

5) What is the most important thing to keep in mind when you are netting a fish? Da) The fish should be larger than the net. Eb) The net should be larger than the fish. DC) Nets with holes should be reserved for fish with spines. Dd) Search the Internet for information on "Fishnet 'stalkings'." 6) What is the single most important thing you can do to provide a healthy environment for your fish? If you get this one wrong, you need to give up fishkeeping and start collecting stamps! Ea) Frequent partial water changes. Eb) Do your water changes. EC) Make water changes regularly. Ed) Keep up with your water changing schedule. 34

May 2004

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

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

May 2004 volume XI number 5

Modern Aquarium  

May 2004 volume XI number 5