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me

by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

his month, we feature first-time (for us) author Evelyn Eagan on an appropriate topic for this time of year — the de-icing of ponds. (I brought my Paradisefish inside only last month because it was getting too cool for them to stay outside.) For the third time in as many months, GCAS member Elliot Oshins has made a contribution. And an issue of Modern Aquarium isn't complete without at least one article from Bernie Harrigan (this month, we have three!). Please let these authors know how much you liked their articles, and consider writing something yourself. This is your club's magazine. What distinguishes our magazine from so many other aquarium club publications is the number of different members who contribute original articles to it, and the diversity of the topics covered. As our President announced last month at the meeting, newly imposed requirements of the Queens Botanical Garden will mean an earlier meeting start time, and an earlier end. I'd like to think this may mean more youngsters can attend our meetings. Share your hobby with the younger generation. Show them your fish room, or "show tank." Let them feed some fish, and ask questions about fishkeeping. Then, bring the youngsters to a Greater City meeting. For those of you who use Greater City's website, you will no longer have to type in: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/greatercity (you can still do so, if you want). You can now go to our website by typing any of the following: http://greatercity.com http://greatercity.org http://www.greatercity.com http://www.greatercity.org or, if your browser is set up to add "http://www." and ".com" automatically when not otherwise specified (and many are), just type "greatercity" into the address bar of your browser.

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So, if you have access to the Internet (through a computer at home, at work, at school, or at a public library), it is now a lot easier to remember the address of Greater City's website. (But you can't use "GCAS.org," because that's the website of the Greater Cincinnati Aquarium Society, and "GCAS.com" is the website of the "Gold Coast Attorney Service" in California.) Just remember "greatercity" (with no spaces between the words) the next time you want to check our meeting schedule, or the meeting schedule of many of our neighboring societies! If bad weather, or problems arising from new construction at the Botanical Garden (see the "President's Message" on the opposite page) require changes to our meeting date or location, that information will be available on our website, assuming that we have enough advance notice of those changes. Speaking of websites, the Delegates Council of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies ("FAAS"), of which Greater City is a member, has voted to recommend to the FAAS Board a new award program for society websites. The Council was unanimous in recommending a society website award program, but was divided on some issues relating to judging. When a final decision has been made by the FAAS Board, I'll let you know. The FAAS Delegates Council is also considering an award program for a society program or presentation (slides, or a PowerPointÂŽ presentation on disk, along with a related script). Every presentation submitted for an award would become the property of FAAS (whether or not it won anything), and FAAS would have the right to loan all such programs to member societies. This proposal is still in the preliminary discussion stage, and is unlikely to be voted upon by the Council, much less adopted by the FAAS governing Board, before the end of the year. Starting next year, I'd like to have an "Exchange Column" in Modern Aquarium. If you think you'd like to take on this task, contact me at the meeting, or through our website. I'm also looking for suggestions on what to call the column. An exchange column usually has brief summaries of articles of interest in the publications of other clubs, and mentions articles other societies have reprinted from our publication. Since this would be a regular column (at least every other month), I'd like you to consider this only if you are willing to make the commitment in time and effort.

November 2004

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


President's Message by JOSEPH FREDENZI he Queens Botanical Garden, our meeting place, has recently broken ground on a major redevelopment project. The Garden has been an excellent meeting site for us since 1980. It is centrally located in Queens County, accessible by subway and bus, has free parking, beautiful grounds, and a very cozy auditorium with a working kitchen. All in all, it is practically ideal. The prospect that our meeting place will be improved is very engaging. Apparently, the Garden will have a new main building, which will feature a more spacious auditorium. This will be a most welcome development as long as the new auditorium is not so large as to render it somewhat "impersonal."

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The new building will also feature water as a unifying theme. It will have devices for recycling water, using rainwater as a fountain, and other innovative concepts involving water. Of course, as an aquarium society, we are especially pleased to see such developments. If you wish to learn more about this, a very good article appeared in the special home and garden section of the New York Times on Thursday, September 16, 2004. The article appears on page F-11 and is entitled "A Queens Garden Gives New Meaning To 'Green'," by Anne Raver. There may be some inconveniences to us during the construction phase. We'll try to alert you to them as we learn of them. However, at the end (it is currently projected that the project will be completed by 2006), I am sure that we will have a better Garden, as well as a better meeting place. I am very much looking forward to it, as I hope you are too. I wish all of you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.

lateral lines an editorial by Susan Priest ven though I live in the Bronx, and a scant two miles from the New York Botanical Garden, I have a membership at the Queens Botanical Garden. There are a few reasons for this which I would like to share with you. For starters, it has an intimate atmosphere. It is very viewer-friendly. You can get up close and personal to the plants. There are mini-gardens dedicated to specific types of plants such as roses, herbs, woodlands, seashore, and many more. Even if you are not a devotee of plants, there is a very good reason for you, as a GCAS member, to financially support the Queens Botanical Garden. Consider for a moment how much this facility contributes to your enjoyment of our meetings. It is safe, clean, and quiet (except for the occasional airplane overhead), and air conditioned. Now consider some of the alternatives; a church basement, a nursing home rec-room, or Joe Ferdenzi's garage! Do any of these places have a lighted parking lot with a security guard? With your membership you get a discount at their plant store, as well as free entrance to your choice from the many classes which they offer. I went to one about soil which was very informative, and the group was small enough to allow for questions and discussions as we moved through the material.

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

The Queens Botanical Garden describes itself as a living museum. It is not a place for skateboarding, bicycling, or picnicking. It is a place for quiet observation and learning. Touching or picking any of the plants is strictly a no-no, but everything is close enough to sample a scent. These things may not be of interest to you. Taking out a membership at the Queens Botanical Garden may be an act of selfishness, pure and simple. If your only motive is to help ensure that GCAS will continue to have a safe, clean and centrally located place to hold our meetings, well what's wrong with charity beginning at home? If a membership isn't practical for you, then drop a bill or two into the receptacle in the lobby, or buy a plant. Make an investment in our Society, the environment, and the greater city of New York!

November 2004


Breeding Killifish - Part I The Plant Spawners by BERNARD HARRIGAN side (about 6.0-6.5), the water soft (50-100 ppm), ome of the most beautiful, colorful egglayers and a temperature range of 66° to 78°F. I add two in the hobby are also some of the easiest to teaspoons of uniodized salt to the tank in order to spawn. No, they're not cichlids. They are prevent velvet (also known as Oodinium, a collectively known as "plant spawning killies." parasitic disease that will quickly kill killies). Killifish ("killies") will lay their eggs in greenery Introduce one male and two to three hanging hi the water's edge, or on the roots of floating plants. females into the tank. Males can be aggressive towards one another, and can batter the females Members of this group include species while trying to spawn. Additional females will from the following genera: Aplocheilus, divide a male's aggressive behavior, and give the Aphyosemions, Epiplatys, Fundulopanchax, and females a chance to recuperate. the Fundulus families. Since a genus gets split up, Most killies will accept flake food as a and the Latin names change all the time, especially staple diet, but you for killies, other need to fatten them up families do (or will) for spawning. Brine fall into this group. shrimp (both live and To breed plant-spawning frozen), wingless fruit flies, daphnia, black killies, simply start worms, grindle worms, with a clean five gallon tank. Make and my favorite, white worms, must be sure you have a tight fitting cover. Killies offered and rotated. Never feed your fish are among the most skillful at jumping one food exclusively. Keep up h e a v y through the tiniest of feedings of live food openings. For until your females look filtration, a simple like they might box filter with a explode. gentle air flow will Do water be all they need. Plant and soil spawning killifish Place a Drawing by Bernard Harrigan changes, and do them often. Since you're spawning mop or trying to breed killies, and are feeding them two in the tank. The mop will take the place of heavily, 20% to 50% water changes weekly are a plants as the killies' spawning site. Mops are must. Again, replacement water should be as close preferable to plants, because they have no light, to the original as possible. water chemistry, or temperature requirements. Female killies will lay their semi-adhesive This is all you should need for the tank. eggs as they swim through the strands of the Most killies will do fine at temperatures ranging spawning mop. They will continue to do this every from the mid 60°s to the high 70°s F, in other day, as long as they are well fed, and water quality words — room temperature. They prefer subdued is kept high. lighting, so you don't need a light built into the After two to three weeks, remove the hood. I just use a small flashlight when I need to adults. Place them into another five gallon tank, inspect things closely. which has been set up similarly to the first one. Make the tank water as close as possible This ensures the safety of the eggs and fry after to the same conditions as the killies are used to. they hatch out. Killies are hardy fish, but they take a while to Add Java Moss to the first tank. It acclimate to different water conditions. Small provides shelter for younger fry from their hungry variances will not matter, but try to keep pH, water older siblings. Plus, Java Moss is a haven of hardness, and temperature close to the original. microfauna that the fry can feed on. For most killies, pH should be a little on the acidic

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November 2004

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


Scan the breeding tank every day for movement. The fry will look like tiny slivers of greyish glass. Babies start to eat soon after they hatch. Infusoria, microworms, and baby brine shrimp are all good first foods. Feed sparingly, but feed often. Each fry can only eat one or two baby brine shrimp per feeding. Once you start feeding, increase your water changes to daily. At this point, I think you already know that the replacement water should be as close to the original as possible.

The fry will become sexable in about three months, and the killies will be ready to spawn at four to six months. With regular water changes, and good aquatic husbandry, you could have crowds of killies to trade or sell. Your only limiting factors are time, tank space, and desire.

The Why and How of Spawning Mops by BERNARD HARRIGAN raditionally, spawning mops are used in place of living plants as an artificial spawning site. Hobbyists have utilized them to breed a number offish, from killies, to rainbows, to goldfish. Spawning mops can also be employed as a protective nursery for fish fry, such as those of livebearers. They can also be used to provide a refuge for females in a breeding setup such as one for bubblenesting Betta species. I've even moved a spawning mop from one tank to another, just for its biological filtration properties. Each strand of yarn is loaded with surface area that is colonized by bacteria. There are different bacteria that cut down on the amount of ammonia, nitrites, and even nitrates in the water. I've done this in newly set up tanks, when I had to increase the number of fish in a tank (like when I find I have a leaking tank late at night), or when I have had to completely clean or even replace a

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filter.

If you want to run out to the pet shop to by a spawning mop, don't bother. I've never seen them sold commercially. But, I'll tell you how to make one so you can enjoy the "mystique of the mop." First, buy a skein of yarn made from artificial fibers. Cotton or wool yarn will rot in water. The color of the yarn doesn't seem to matter to the fish. I've seen mops bright yellow, solar orange, cobalt blue, and even fluorescent red. The fish laid eggs in ail of them. For my taste, I use browns and greens. I find that they look more natural.

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

One thing about color that does seem to matter, and that is the shade. Some people remove eggs from the spawning mop and hatch them separately. A darker yarn makes it easier to spot the eggs. The only problem is, it makes it easier for the fish to see and eat the eggs in the mop. I hedge my bets, and use medium shades. This way, I get the best (or maybe the worst) of both worlds. You wouldn't use the same length mop in a five gallon tank for killies as you would in a pond for goldfish. Get yourself a book that's about the same height you would like the mop to be. Wrap the yarn around the book 4 0 - 6 0 turns for small mops, and 100 or more times for the "big boys." With a pair of scissors, cut the strands along the bottom of the book. Then, cut a small piece of yarn and tie all the strands together in the middle. This will give you equal lengths of yarn on both sides of the tie-off point. Now you have a sinking mop. To make it float, punch two small holes through a piece of Styrofoam. Leave the tie-off strand long enough to thread through the holes, and tie them together on the other side of the Styrofoam. When you lift the Styrofoam, the strands of the mop will hang down. Hopefully, I have peaked your interest in the marvels of the spawning mop. This is nothing more than a beginner's lesson. A craftsman, like our President, Joe Ferdenzi, has taken mop making to an art form. As Joe would say, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." Just give it a try, and I'm sure you'll agree.

November 2004


Inexpensive Pond De-icer by EVELYN EAGAN t's that time of year again. Fall is here, and winter is fast approaching. People who have ponds are starting to close them up for the winter. Bring in the tropical plants and sink the hardy plants to their winter home at the bottom of the pond. Soon the water will be freezing over, and we have to worry about keeping a hole in the ice for the built-up gases to escape. To keep a hole open some people run a bubbler, others just keep their waterfalls or pumps running. Still others use a trough de-icer, the kind they use on the farms to keep the animal troughs from freezing. These heaters are expensive to buy and to use. The wattage on these can be as high as 1500 watts. In my quest for lowering my household electrical costs (what ponder or aquarist wouldn't want to do that?), I came across a design for a de-icer that only uses the electricity of a 75 watt light bulb! I found this de-icer on the internet on a pond forum. The gentleman that designed it wants to be known only as Steve from New Jersey. Steve claimed that a woman up in Maine used it all winter with no trouble. So I figured if it was good enough for her, then it should work for me here on Long Island, since our winters are not as harsh as Maine. It is very simple to make out of inexpensive materials that can be bought at your local home center. It consists of PVC pipe, a couple of flower pots, some screws, a light bulb fixture and some wire. It will only take an hour or so to make. I've been using it for the last 4 or 5 years and haven't lost a fish due to the pond freezing

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over yet. The best thing I like about it is that you can visually see if the bulb has blown out, especially at night. With a trough de-icer you usually don't find out it isn't working until the pond has already frozen over. If you're like me, you don't visit the pond too much in the winter, so it could be days before you find out that the pond is frozen, thereby risking the lives of your fish. The other thing I like about it is that at night it lights up the bottom of the pond and you can see the fish. They seem to like to hang out under it, giving you a good peek at them. One problem that I came across is that when the light bulb burned out and the heater needed to be lifted from the water, a lot of the times it was frozen in and couldn't be lifted out. Steve came up with a modification of the original design and it worked beautifully. I suggest that when you make this you do it with the modification to make bulb changing easier. Steve from New Jersey was kind enough to give me his permission to pass his design on to you (thanks Steve), so why not make this simple yet effective de-icer and save a little money this winter?

(Editor's Note: Water and electricity are a very volatile combination. In addition to using the GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter), recommended above, it is highly advised that you unplug the lamp before working with the unit, or placing your hand in the pond.)

POND HEATER (SC) Parts needed:

1: 4 PVC 90 deg. elbows ( 2" to 4") 2: 4 ft of PVC pipe (2" to 4") 3: 1- 12" plastic flowerpot (12" dia.) ( 12" to 14" tail) 4: 1- weatherproof lamp holder (with cord attached) 5: 1- 75-watt light bulb 6: a few sheet metal screws

PVC Ring

fio werp o t with holes

November 2004

weatherproof lamp holder (wifli cord)

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


Mount the lamp holder to the inside of the flowerpot with sheet metal screws and run the cord out of one of the side holes in the pot (the pot I used is thin and had 4 holes around the bottom) If there aren't any you can drill them. I put them on the sides up near the top.

Cut and glue four pieces of PVC pipe and elbows so the ring you make has the same inside diameter as the outside of the flower pot (try before gluing). Attach the flowerpot to the PVC ring with 4 sheet metal screws (use a small dab of caulking on each screw hole).

As an option, you can fill the pipes with spray foam (like "Great Stuff) to make sure the whole thing never sinks, although I haven't had a problem. Make sure the cord on the lamp holder is long enough to be outside of the pond. And please make sure you have this plugged into a G.F.C.I. receptacle. The holes in the bottom of the pot are important. First, they let any (bad) gasses escape if this is the only open hole in your pond and second, they won't let the plastic pot get too hot yet still provide enough heat to melt any ice. I'm using a 75 watt light bulb but I'm sure you can go all the way up to 150 watts if you had to but 120 watts should be more than enough no matter where you live.

NOTE: 1A (below) shows a modification to make it easier to change the light bulb should it ever burn out and the base is frozen in the ice.

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

November 2004


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. CD.

This month "Aquarian Minds..." takes a new approach in search of our killifish answers as we go to the "Killie Forum," comprised of our 'in-house' GCAS killie authorities, Rich Levy, Harry Faustmann, and Bill Adams. When this talented trio puts their minds and ideas together, you can be certain to find precise, correct and easy-to-follow answers and instructions on how best to maintain, raise and breed your killifish. The three GCAS members put aside an afternoon in order to meet and to answer our questions. Rich, Harry, and Bill are always readily available at our GCAS meetings to any and all who have further questions and would like to learn more. We give them our heartfelt appreciation for their wisdom, time and efforts! Thank you Rich, Harry, and Bill!!!

"What are the natural geographic origins of killifish?"

Simply, all of the continents except Australia and Antarctica. For more details one can refer to Jorgen J. Scheel 's Atlas of Killifishes of the New and Old World.

"Are all killifish considered 'annuals,' or do the life spans vary from species to species, or from origin to origin?"

The great majority of killifish are non-annuals. Most of the non-annuals can live for several years. Keeping the fish at a lower temperature will prolong their life span.

November 2004

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


"Do killifish have a particular season in which they spawn in nature? If so, is it best to replicate this spawning time within our home aquariums, or will they spawn at any time of the year if the proper conditions are met?" In nature, killifish will spawn based on their habitat. To guarantee survival of the species in areas where the water dries up, the adults must spawn, and their eggs have the ability to remain Ml^^"^. dormant in the mud until the rains come months later. In our home aquariums, killies will spawn any time of the year from the minute they are sexually mature until they die. Many annual killies will start to spawn as early as 4-5 weeks of age and continue to spawn every day until they die.

"Why do some killifish eggs need a 'dry' time, and why does this time vary from species to species?" The annual killifish need a dry time due to the drying up of their habitat. Due to a process ' called "diapause," eggs will hatch out at various times from the same species, as well as ^•Hf^^L variations in different species.

"What is the best method for maintaining and storing killifish eggs during the f dry f time, and how does one know how long to let them remain dry?" One must remember that what may be the best method for us may not workfor you. Having said that, we find putting the eggs in slightly moist peat or coconut fiber in a plastic bag works the •^_ best. Most seem to hatch in three months, but temperature is the key variable — the warmer the sooner. We have included a chart that many use, but a specific search on the internet is your best bet.

"For those interested in acquiring killifish, what are the best resources for searching for a variety of species?"

The best link to start with would be the AKA (American Killifish •J^. http://www.aka.org/ as well as eBay and AquaBid.

Association)

Nothobmnchius Breeding Data

Species

Temperament

First Food

Storage @70°F (Days)

Storage @78°F (Days)

First Hatches (Days) 150

N. elongatus

3

M,S

90

75

N. eggersi

3

V,S

100

90

N. foerschi

2

M,S

90

75

N. guentheri

4

M,S

60

45

270

N. guentheri Gold

4

M,S

60

45

120

N. guentheri Blushing

4

M,S

60

45

N. interruptus

2

M,S

90

75

N. janpapi

1

G,V

120

100

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

November 2004


Nothobranchim Breeding Data First Food

Storage @70째F (Days)

Storage @78째F (Days)

First Hatches (Days) 150

Species

Temperament

N. jubbi

3

M,S

120

90

N.jubbi loc. Warfa, Blue

3

120

100

N. kafuensis loc. Kayuni State Farm

2

120

90

N. kafuensis loc. Nega Nega

3

v,s v,s v,s

120

90

N.kirkiU-l

3

M,S

180

150

N. korthausae

3

80

70

N. korthausae Red

3

v,s v,s

80

70

N. kuhntae

2

M,V,S

140

110

N. lourensi

1

v,s

160

140

N. luekei

1

G,V

150

120

N. melanospilus

3

M,S

100

80

N. orthonotus

4

M,S

180

140

N. palmqvisti

2

M,S

90

75

N. patrizii

2

120

90

N. rachovii

2

180

150

N. rubripinnis

2

v,s v,s v,s

90

75

N. sp. Liwonde

3

M,S

180

150

N. sp. Mnanzini

2

v,s

120

100

N. sp. Salima U-8

3

M,S

190

180

N. taeniopygus KEY: Temperament: 1-Shy 2 - Passive First Food: S - Baby Brine Shrimp

3

v,s

150

120

3 - Assertive M - Microworms

4 - Aggressive V - Vinegar eels

200

240

G- Green water

Rich Levy A member of the AKA, LIKA, MAKA, LIAS, and GCAS, Rich Levy says that Harry and Bill have been his mentors in killifish since his first general fishkeeping club, NCAS, where they met. I will write the following in Rich's own words, as he says it best. "I realized early on that teaching science and the fishkeeping hobby went hand-in-hand. When they asked me to join LIKA that expanded my knowledge of fishkeeping and how I could use it in the classroom. I have always enjoyed the spawning of different species, but in working with killifish it really became a more hands-on way of fishkeeping. *is I have been more successful with guppies, but with killies I can show students what a developing embryo looks like under a microscope. Their joy in seeing the eyes and a beating heart add to my enjoyment." Winning the Roger Lament Award with his first place in the AKA show in 1998, Rich's greatest pleasure is the "close friendships that I have obtained in sharing with my fellow hobbyists."

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November 2004

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


Harry Faustmann Renown for his expertise with all tropical fish, Harry Faustmann's major focus is on killifish, of which he has written numerous articles, as well as competing in many shows, winning top honors across the country since 1977. These have included Best of Show at NCAS and Best of Show at the AKA annual show. Celebrated breeder, Harry has been active in the hobby since 1967, and keeping killifish since 1973. He is currently a member of the AKA, LIKA, MAKA, NCAS, LIAS, GCAS and LI Herp Society. With his interests extending to pond keeping and collecting aquatic creatures in the wild, Harry is also known for his skill and knowledge hi the art of culturing live foods. Having had numerous outstanding spawns within his fishroom, some of the most exceptional include Nothobranchius korthausae ~ Red, which resulted in over a thousand fry after eight weeks of dry incubation, as well as Simpsonichthys reticulates ~ Xingu. Harry most enjoys the challenge of breeding fishes, as well as socializing with other fishkeepers. Bill Adams Having kept killifish for twenty years, Bill is an active member in the AKA, LIKA, MAKA, LIAS, and GCAS. At any given time, Bill can be found maintaining 20 to 25 species of killies in his fishroom and has authored an excellent article on building a fish rack, which includes a detailed handsketched diagram. One of his greatest enjoyments of the hobby is the spawning of his fish and he has had many notable successes. Killie buddy, Rich Levy, writes of Bill, "In keeping with the gentleman that Bill is, he withdrew from entering the bowl show at LIKA after achieving the never-tobe-replicated record of winning it TEN years in a row!!!" And 'gentleman' is the perfect description of Bill, for we can proudly say that he is truly our leading gentleman of the GCAS!

GCAS c^xtznas, a mo it to

Andre Carletto Speaking On:

"Killifish November 3rd 2004 Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

November 2004

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Photos and captions of our October 2004 meeting

A most lovely and gracious lady, our guest speaker, Sallie Boggs, receives a heartfelt welcome from There are no words to thank Sallie ] GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi. Boggs enough, but we did our best! to put our gratitude to paper as | President Joe Ferdenzi presents I Sallie with the "GCAS Thank You**^ , /- j M GCAS catfish expert Mark Soberman and our esteemed guest speaker Sallie Boggs have many ideas to share on breeding Synodontis\e Boggs continues the

discussion on breeding loaches and Synodontis with one of our accomplished GCAS breeders, Carlotti De Jager. A warm welcome to Walter and I Olga Gallo! The Gallo aquariums I focus on South and Central! American cichlids, as well as Sharon Barnett's radiant smile catfish, goldfish and guppies. shows her great elation at bringing home a bag of Synodontis schoutedeni, bred, raised and generously donated to the GCAS auction by Sallie Boggs. Elliot Oshins continues to delighi us as a regular "MA" contributor, this month bringing us his| wonderful world at "The Fish Emporium!"

Rod Du Casse brings home some fabulous new foods for his fish, won in the evening's bountiful raffle! The man behind our spectacular raffle donations, Warren Feuer, held a well-deserved winning ticket of his own, enabling him to bring home this 'coral reef for his son's tank. 12

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


Breeding Killifish - Part II The Soil Spawners by BERNARD HARRIGAN magine a habitat which is so contrary that, when it rains, it leaves a plethora of small ponds, pools, and puddles. But, during the dry season, most of the ponds, pools, and puddles disappear — not a very hospitable place for fish to live. Well, in areas of South America and Africa that's just the type of environment that soil spawning killifish ("killies") come from. There are many genera of soil-spawning killies from South America. The largest genus used to be known as Cynolebias, which has recently been split into a number of genera (such as Simpsonichthys). However, most books will still have the old genus listed (look for a common fish like Cynolebias nigripinnis). The African soil-spawners are largely in the genus Nothobranchius, and include species like guntheri (easy) and rachovii (more difficult). In order for these fish to survive, their eggs have to withstand a drying-out period, hatch out when the rains finally come, quickly grow to maturity, spawn, and start the cycle all over again. Because of this, they have earned the name "annual," even though, in the hobby, some will survive for two years or more. Hobbyists have come up with a pretty clever way to spawn these killies. Peat is used for the pair to dive into and breed. Start by feeding your killies as much live food as they will eat. Brine shrimp, wingless fruit flies, grindal worms, white worms (my preference), along with other types of live foods, will get their spawning engines charged. Don't feed them more than they will eat, but feed them often. Take a wide-mouth glass jar and fill it three-quarters of the way up with fine peat. You don't want any peat with debris, sticks, or fertilizers hi it that could harm the fish as they plunge into it. Fill the jar with water, and let the peat sink to the bottom. Then, take a clean five gallon tank and add a sponge filter to one corner. On the opposite side, place your jar of peat. Slowly add water. I find that using airline tubing to syphon water into the tank works well. You don't want a rush of water, otherwise, the peat will be caught up in the eddies and won't stay in the jar. I add one tablespoon of uniodized salt to fend off disease. A clump of Java Moss is added to give the females refuge from an over-amorous male. Use a trio of two females and one male as your coterie. No heater is necessary. Killifish do fine at

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room temperature (between 65°-72°F). Tightly seal the tank. Killies are notorious jumpers, and dead fish don't breed! I change one gallon of water twice a week. That's a 40% water change every seven days. I break it up to try and keep the water quality more consistent. The replacement water is kept to the same chemistry as in the original setup. Most killies can adapt to a range of water chemistry, but it has to be gradual. Killies don't like sudden changes. When I feed the adults, I try not to feed them over the peat jar, so that any uneaten food doesn't foul the environment in the jar. The male will take up residence inside the jar, trying to coax the female in there with him. I've seen some males actually push the females down into the jar, in order to get them to breed. When it comes time to remove the jar of peat, the male will still try to stay inside. The peat is removed and replaced every two weeks. Set up the superceding jar the same way as the first. If you leave the jar of peat in the tank for longer than 14 days, anaerobic bacteria will foul the contents of the jar. I strain the peat through a fine net — the type I would use for brine shrimp. Once the water is drained out, I gently squeeze any additional water, and then plop the peat onto some newspaper. Several hours later, the outermost peat will start to turn light brown. That's when I put it into a plastic bag. I label the bag with the name of the species, the date I removed the peat (in red), and the date I'll "wet" the peat. To me, that's the most important information on the bag. The bag is then stored in a dark, dry place. The incubation period depends on the species and the storage temperature. It can be anywhere from six days to six weeks. (Obviously, you will need to read an article or speak to a breeder in order to learn the storage time for your species.) Don't rush it. Let the eggs rest. I'll hatch them out in a plastic shoebox, with an inch of very soft, acidic water. I put the peat in and add an airstone to help agitate the water. Almost instantly, some fry will hatch out. F11 let it sit that way for over two hours. After that, I turn down the airstone and go fry hunting with a spoon. The little comma-shaped fry may be anywhere from one sixteenth to one quarter of an inch long, so I look for the tiniest movement.

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


I transfer the fry to a two gallon tank with a seasoned sponge filter and some Java Moss. The water should be soft and acidic. This setup contains both helpful bacteria from the filter, which help prevent many diseases that can kill fry, and microfauna from the Java Moss that provide food for the fry. This setup has given me some of my best yields. Not all of the eggs will hatch on the first wetting. Nature did this to ensure the survival of the species in case their pool dries out after the first rain. So, after I remove ail of the fry, I put the peat though all the same steps again. Except this time, I don't store the peat that long â&#x20AC;&#x201D; two to four weeks before I will wet the peat again. I've gone though as many as three drying and rewetting cycles, and I've gotten fry each time. Once I feel confident that I've gotten all of the fry that I can, I end up using the peat for my plants. Killifish fry will eat infusoria, vinegar eels, microworms, and baby brine shrimp, depending on the size of their mouths. These

foods are easy to culture, and easy to feed to the fry. Baby killies thrive on live food. They seem to languish on a diet of powdered food. A good source of information on how to culture live foods is an article in the March 2004 issue of Modern Aquarium, by Harry Faustmann, or you could just talk to Harry at a meeting. He's very approachable, and a wealth of information. As with the adults, don't feed the fry more than they will eat at one feeding, but feed them often. Every two hours is best, but by no means mandatory. Also, like the adults, the more you feed, the more waste will be in the tank. Ten percent water changes daily are optimal. Killies can be very colorful, and are some of the most beautiful freshwater fish around. They are rarely seen in pet shops, mostly due to the fact that they don't lend themselves to be mass produced easily. If you have never kept or bred these fabulous fish, you should give it a try.

THE FI6H EMPORIUM by ELLIOT OSHINS

alking down Broadway, I remembered there was a great aquarium store in the theater district. I kept walking, hoping to find it again. As luck would have it, I saw a large flashing neon sign that read: "The Fish Emporium." The store was all lit up like a Christmas tree, and looked like a giant kaleidoscope. There was a small boy about 12, dressed up like a goldfish, handing out raffle tickets. There was a young girl, about 17, feeding some large birds that weren't in cages. She was dressed like Jane, from the Tarzan movies. I then walked over to a very large tank that went from floor to ceiling. They had saltwater fish in magnificent colors, namely Clown Fish, Blennies, Damsels and some Raccoon Butterfly Fish. In the same tank they also had very large fish from the Lakes of Africa, Tanganyika and Malawi Cichlids, Blue Peacocks, Yellow Labs, Julidochromis marlieri and Frontosa. They were all swimming together and looked healthy and happy. The plants were giant Amazons and were a rainbow of colors.

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

When I got to the decorations I flipped out. I knew I must have them. They had sunken galleon ships, sunken tugboats, medieval castles, porcelain mermaids sitting on multi-colored rocks, and seashells that opened up and released colored air bubbles. Any hobbyist would give a week's salary to own any of these decorations. My club president said they were collector's items and they would be rare some day. I was very lucky to find this exceptional store. Hallelujah! I always felt a tank should have a natural look. I couldn't wait to set up all the great things I bought. When I got home, somebody must have moved my large show tank. There was a 10 gallon tank in its place. It had only one inch of water, and a large catfish swimming around in it Then I heard a slight buzzing sound in the distance, then louder and then much louder and then I woke up. The Moral of the Story... Don't eat a large seafood dinner late at night after coming home from a fish meeting!

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econd Reprints deserving a second look he Science Education Program at Brooklyn College has a program called "The Children's Science Material's Workshop." GCAS member Rich Levy has worked with them, and helped in the development of what are called "Mac Pacs"(because they were done on Macintosh computers). These are guided lesson plans for teachers to use with their students and are on a wide variety of science topics. The "Mac Pac" reproduced in part below is one he helped develop with respect to killifish.

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Killifish - "Mac Pac" by RICHARD LEVY Introduction Killifish, because of their ability to lay eggs almost on a daily basis, and with their subsequent gestation period of only a week, make ideal organisms to utilize in classrooms for studying life cycles. Children can pick eggs with their hands from a "mop" of yarn left in a tank with a mating pair of killies and place them in a container to watch as the eggs develop within a week into fry feverishly swimming about. In addition, killies are incredibly adaptable to their environment. This ability to survive hi wide variations of brackishness, pH, temperature, and oxygen content in the water, makes them valuable organisms for classrooms without extensive aquarium equipment. Utilize guppies, mollies, or platys as examples of livebearers, but no fish are as versatile as killies for classrooms where egglayers are being studied. Background Killifish are found all over the world, with the exception of Australia and the Arctic regions. The greatest varieties of species developed in the tropical waters of Africa and South America, but they also live in subtropical and temperate climates because they have developed some unique strategies of survival They can even be found along the coast and in the oases of the Sahara Dessert, as well as in waters saltier than seawater. Many Dutch immigrants settled along the east coast of America in the sixteenth century, and these settlers used the word "kil" for small bodies of water, so the fish found in these waters came to be called "fish of the kils," resulting in the name killifish. The life patterns of killifish vary quite a lot. Annual fish live in waters that dry up at certain times of the year. Their life cycle is compressed into less than a year, and they rarely live longer than nine months. They lay their eggs on the bottom. When the water evaporates, the bottom, where the spawn lies, remains moist relatively long, and the eggs have a chance to develop by the time the rainy season returns. Later, when the bodies of water fill again, the young fish hatch. By the time they are four to six weeks old, they are ready to reproduce again. The semiannual species inhabit waters that do not dry up annually, but carry water year round. These fish are called bottom spawners because they spawn in the bottom mud, yet can live for several years. The nonannual species live in bodies of water where they deposit their spawn on aquatic plants all year long. They are called plant spawners and they live up to 5 years. Killies are great jumpers and they do not like strong light. For this reason, hoods with lighting strips should not be used. Normal room illumination is sufficient. Use screened tops made with aluminum or fiberglass screening stapled to a wood molding. This is inexpensive, easy to make, and is very effective.

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Killifish will lose (change) their color if placed in aquaria with light colored gravel covering the base. Black or very dark gravel is recommended, but killies will also lose their color if they are placed in bare tanks without any gravel. The outside surface of the back and sides of the tank may also be painted or covered with dark plastic to give the fish greater security. Receiving Fish This is a sound procedure for acclimating all tropical fish, including killies. Open the top of the bag that you received them in, and float the bag in the tank where the fish are to be housed. Add about 1/4 cup of tank water to the bag every hour or two. Continue this for 4 to 5 hours. The pH level in the bag does not matter since you are acclimating the fish to your tank's water. The pH for killifish is between 6 and 7.5. After 4 to 5 hours, dump the contents of the bag into a bowl or pail and immediately net the fish and put them in the tank from which the water came. Do not add the dealer's water to your tank. Do not feed the fish for the first 24 hours, so they get accustomed to their new environment. Diet In their natural environment, killies feed on insects dropping onto the water surface, and on insect larvae that live in the water. Killies should be fed live food as often as possible. Dry food should be fed in combination with live food (for example, microworms and brine shrimp). Raising suitable live food animals yourself is an inexpensive option to buying from a dealer. Other live food include: black, white, and red mosquito larvae, water fleas such as daphnia and cyclops, tubifex worms, earthworms (for large killies), and red garden ants. Live food can be frozen and kept for one to two years. Young fry (killies) eat microworms or vinegar eelworms for the first few days. Feed adult killies twice a day and young fry several times a day. In a classroom, students have the opportunity of being responsible for helping care for their fish and watching them grow. Turn off the filter when you feed the fish so food is not sucked into it. Do not overfeed. Institute one fasting day a week for grown killiflsh. Breeding Any standard fish tank is fine for show, but for breeding purposes, small aquaria are advised for smaller killifish. The smaller tank keeps the two fish in close proximity to each other and to the mop (see advanced preparation) or peat waiting to receive the eggs. In a 10 or 20 gallon tank, the mop or peat may not be handy at the critical moment of spawning, therefore the number of eggs are greatly reduced. For the smaller killifish, a 6 quart oblong bowl is sufficient. The fish seem to fare better in this shape of tank because of the reduced depth of water and pressure. Freshly hatched fry (young) can be placed hi plastic dish pans for a week or two, and then moved to larger tanks to mature. It is important to change the water daily, or every other day, when using plastic dish pans or water pollution will kill the fry. For the larger species, such as Blue Gularis, use a 2 1/2 gallon tank for breeding. No aeration or filtration is necessary in the small tanks for the breeding pairs, but their water must be changed every week or two, especially when they are fed live foods only. Sex determination and Disease There are approximately 750 known species of killifish. The sexes are easily distinguished because the females are either a uniform gray or brown. The males, on the other hand, are brightly colored. killifish can acquire diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and plant and animal parasites. Diseases of killiflsh include cloudy skin, bacterial fin rot (in which the fins gradually fall off), white spot disease (grains of cream spots on skin), and fungus growth, to name a few. These can easily be treated with medication from pet or drug stores, or by moving the fish into clean water with some salt added (1 teaspoon per 25 gallons). Sometimes it is best to get rid of very sickly fish rather than risk spreading the illness.

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Advanced Preparation Making a mop Since nonannual killies lay their eggs in certain filament type plants, if we place something in a tank that resembles these plants, fish will lay their eggs on this object. It is easier to place "mops" of yarn in a tank with them so they lay their eggs on something that can easily be taken from the tank, in order that the students can remove the eggs for examination. Materials Yarn - Acrylic knitting yarn in brown, gray, green or black colors. (Do not use natural fibers such as wool, because they rot in water. Dacron is somewhat toxic to fish.) Cork Tap two long nails into a board about 12 inches apart and wind yarn around them. Tie the yarn tightly together in the middle with a shoe string, and cut the yarn at both nails. Tie a bottle cork below the knot so that the mop floats on the surface.

Goal of this Activity Students will increase their use of science process skills to learn more about killies and their spawning habits. Background: Killies are excellent fish for a classroom aquarium. They can be cared for without much difficulty. The plant spawners are very useful to help students learn and observe how fish lay eggs. Have the students observe the differences in the eggs. The children have the opportunity to investigate through hands-on experience as they take the eggs off of the mop on which they have been spawned and by observing them develop during the maturation process. Concepts: Animals have genetically inbred and predictable behaviors resulting in their laying eggs in specific places. The study of animal behavior in relation to its natural life increases awareness of how these behaviors enable animals to survive in their natural environment, e.g., their preferences regarding spawning habits. Killifish eggs undergo stages of development. Process Skills Observation Collecting, recording, and organizing data Making predications (hypothesis) and drawing conclusions Language arts objectives â&#x20AC;˘ Introduction of new vocabulary Creative writing skills Verbalization in group interactions, including decision making skills

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All Aquarium Catfish Convention 2004 Text and photos by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

s the plane began its descent over Baltimore, the sparkling mass of city lights shone radiantly through the night sky, embracing the air with expectancy of the spectacular times in store for the weekend ahead. Making its way over the twenty minute drive to the hotel, the airport shuttle was filled with passengers from all walks of life. Two lovely young children sat beside me, and a gentleman, who was clearly their father by the manner in which he and his children exchanged quiet, loving, albeit barely discernible communication, was seated in the front seat. Naturally, I started up a conversation, and as the gentleman spoke, a surreal hush fell over the van as he told us that he had just returned from a year and a half in Iraq. The articulate soldier recounted the events he had experienced as a paramedic, handling and identifying massive casualties throughout his stay. He also told of the gratitude and joy the soldiers experienced from the flood of packages received from United States individuals and corporations alike, that were filled with every item imaginable, from toothpaste to packaged soup. Every article was, and is, savored and appreciated. This soldier had met with the President, and had dined across from our First Lady. He had been the hero of parades, and had huge galas held in his honor. Throughout all of his narrative the soldier spoke with such a calm and kind demeanor ~ he was proud of his country and of his fellow comrades. My heart burst with admiration and pride in this young man, with his young family of three children, and his wife who had waited so long for him to return home safely. It was then that this exceptional soldier calmly stated "when I return to Germany, I know for certain that I will be called to Afghanistan." Beside me, his young son's head toppled silently forward, as his daughter comfortingly wrapped her arm gently around her brother's back. And what does this have to do with a catfish convention? This was a real world that is so far away that aside from our TV's, most of us cannot see ~ at times eye opening, at times chilling, and that much more a reason to appreciate that which we have, and the great fortune of each other and our precious bonds shared through this wonderful hobby. The magnitude of warmth was immeasurable as I stepped over the threshold of that hotel into the laughter and arms of true friends. It was the first All Aquarium Catfish Convention, hosted hi style by the Potomac Valley

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

Aquarium Society, at the Best Western Maryland Inn, in Laurel, MD. What a Grande affair, and how exciting to be a part of this, our first convention focusing solely on the science and practical husbandry of catfish! Surely I must check in, as the hour was getting late, but never mind that, as around the corner I spotted the twinkling eyes and beaming smile of Ray Lucas alongside Michael Newman, and a bit further down the hall a gathering of dear GCAS members Mark Soberman, Warren Feuer, Joe Graffagnino and Ron Kasman. From here on the weekend spun with friendships, catfish ~ of course and fun!!! It was Thursday night, and after socializing and catching up with who had arrived and who would be coming in the following days, I decided to go up to capture a bit of rest while I was able. For those who could roust themselves out early (which was not me!), Friday morning brought three fabulous field trips. One group, led by Bob Brock, collected catfishes in Unicorn Pond and the Chester River in Queens Anne County, Maryland. The second field trip focused on exploring the corners of "our nation's attic" that are dedicated to fishes and other wildlife. This group was first led by Dr. Stan Weitzman and his lovely wife Marilyn, who took them through a fascinating behind-thescenes viewpoint of the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. The group then went on to the Amazonian exhibit at the Smithsonian's Zoological Park with curator Vincent Rico. This display was quite the talk as attendees viewed the immense Amazonian aquaria and its inhabitants. A third group had the opportunity to tour the National Aquarium in Baltimore at Inner Harbor. The day flew by for those of us who remained back at the hotel, as we visited with aquarium hobby champion (and wonderful person on top of all of that!), Ray "Kingfish" Lucas, and our dear aquatic literature guru, Lee Finley, of "Finley Aquatic Books." Treasured friendships, all too infrequently indulged in, were shared over a delicious luncheon at what would soon become a most memorable home style local diner, as Michael and Francine Newman, Chuck Davis and I finished our meal over steaming hot tea and a luscious array of delicious pies. Four o'clock brought the Field Trip buses back, as those who attended began to fill the main foyer, brimming with stories of their day's adventures. Much to my great delight, my dear friends Ginny and Charlie Eckstein soon arrived by

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car, and then TFH Editor-in-Chief and friend David Boruchowitz, ACA fellow comrades Bob Randall, Kathy and Marvin England, more GCAS andNJAS friends Michael Foran, Larry Jinks, Jack Borgese, Frank Nell, and so many PVAS, as well as more ACA friends ~ Ron Nielson, Francine Bethea, George Richter ~ the list was endless. The speakers were, shall I say, "awesome" as Heok Hee Ng, of Singapore, and currently working in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the University, took center stage first to speak on "Not another @#%&*I Loach: My (Mis)Adventures Wading the Hillstr earns of Sumatra and India. " Local aquarist and ACA BOT Member Ron Nielson was up next with "Catfishes of Africa. " The drums were rolling for the evening's performances as we could barely wait for our own GCAS Vice President Mark Soberman to take center stage in the "Corydoras Forum." A dinner break brought a large entourage of us catfishophiles back to our newly-found favorite family style diner for another delectable repast. A quick but delicious meal satisfied our hunger and filled our need to talk over the afternoon's events. Getting Mark back to the hotel was our all-important mission in order for the 'show to go on.' Noted German author of "The Mergus Catfish Atlas I," Ingo Seidel, was the first evening speaker on "Mouthbrooding Catfishes of Loricariid Subfamily Loricariinae. " Then came the highly anticipated "Corydoras Forum." Mark Soberman opened the forum with a PowerPoint速 presentation, skillfully manned by Warren Feuer. The panel consisted of renowned catfish experts Mark Soberman, Eric Bodrock of "All Oddball Aquatics," Ian Fuller, author of "Breeding Corydoradine Catfishes," and Don Kinyon. Here I must stop and tell you ~ it was nothing short of fabulous! The forum went into the night and we could have easily stayed longer ~ in fact, many of us did! Most of all, the immense pride that I felt in Mark was overwhelming. He was truly, and most assuredly ~ a star! When Mark spoke, the audience listened. He was clear and precise, and spoke with the knowledge that is his, and he was listened to with respect from fellow hobbyists, as well as fellow catfish experts. And by this, I mean experts from all over the world. Mark was magnificent ~ truly a star!!! By now the hour was late, or shall I say early...in the morning! Hugs for wonderful friends! As I was about to turn in, Ian Fuller asked me to wait just a moment and before I could blink he melted my heart with a gift of a beautiful handcolored charcoal of my favorite Corydoras barbatus. It is so lovely, and I was so very touched ~ I shall treasure it always.

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Christopher Scharpf of the North American Native Fishes Association (NANFA) began Saturday morning bright and early with "Spawning Madtoms: It Can be done, and I've Got the Video to Prove it!" Heok Hee Ng was up again with "In Waters Fast: All you ever wanted to know about Asian Hillstr earn Catfishes. " Dr. Stan Weitzman spoke on "Hearing in Catfishes: The Remarkable Ear Horn o/otocinclus. " In the meantime, the fish showroom was filled with a large variety of exceptional specimens as entrants for the huge all fish show, as well as the catfish show were readied for judging. Attendees gathered in the showroom and vendor room, spilling out into the hallways while partaking in swapping stories and sharing ideas on all things catfish. Everyone looked forward to Lee Finley's presentation and we were well-rewarded as he gave a remarkable program on "Catfishes as Aquarium Inhabitants: A Preliminary History. " Ian Fuller was exceptional with his astute insight as he presented "I Did it My Way: Breeding Cory dor adinae Catfishes11 and was followed by Ingo Seidel on "The Loricariid Catfishes of Subfamily Ancistrinae: Ecology, Care and Breeding in Captivity. " Was it already time for dinner? We convened for refreshments and more socializing in the atrium before settling into the International Ballroom for the Banquet and Awards Dinner. The buffet table was laden with savory steaming trays of meats and seafood (catfish?!?!?), with crisp roasted vegetables, toasted rolls and wonderful salads to accompany the feast. Huge, luxuriously rich, double-chocolate brownies, spilling over with walnuts, were the perfect touch to complement our repast. As we finished our meal, thank you's were given to the many who had worked so tirelessly to make the weekend the unequivocal success that it was. A thunderous round of applause filled the room for the PVAS, the speakers, the contributors and all who had made this most memorable weekend a reality. Awards were announced and beautiful engraved mugs and vases were presented to the winners of the fish show. Highly acclaimed catfish expert, author and contributor to www.PlanetCatfish.com, Shane Linder, rounded out the evening with a presentation on "Collecting Catfishes in Venezuela and Colombia. " A surprise speaker was to follow, and to all of our delight, it was announced that Lee Finley would fill that bill perfectly. Sunday awoke with packing and organizing our fish purchases for their travels home. Then it was off to the International Ballroom which had been transformed into a huge

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


auction, beginning with the generous donations of manufacturers' dry goods, brought to us through the eternal goodwill of Ray "Kingfish" Lucas, and followed by a spectacular array of fish of the catfish variety, as well as something for everyone and anyone's tank. Very hard to resist ~ finding most of us giving into temptation and coming away with a few more passengers to tuck away into our suitcases.

However, I am stalling here, just as I did on that Sunday putting off those last bittersweet moments when it is time to say our goodbyes. We came for catfish but we knew, and rightly so, what we would also find friendships that feel like family, camaraderie that regenerates the soul, and an unspoken common bond that warms the heart It was indeed a Grande affair....

The GCAS was well-represented by Warren Feuer and "Corydoras Forum" speaker, Mark Sobermen.

The "entourage" dines at the favorite local diner; Joseph Graffagnino, â&#x20AC;˘I! Mark Sobermen, Ian Fuller, Chuck Davis, Charlie Eckstein, Ginny Eckstein, Warrren Feuer, Ron Kasman, Francine Newman, and Michael Newman. GCAS and NJAS members Ron Kasman, Jack Borgese, and Joseph Graffagnino join Cory dor as authority Ian Fuller.

Our dear GCAS friend and catfish authority, Lee Finley of "Finley Aquatic Books." [The distinguished Chuck Davis j along with GCAS Catfish Stars, Champion of the Aquarium Hobby,Ginny and Charlie Eckstein Ray "Kingfish" Lucas relaxes for a moment in his new easy chair!

Best buddies and Corydoras experts Ian Fuller and Mark Sobermen. (Michael Foran's bright smile ij emulates the Grande weekend that _ XfTAO , , he has enjoyed with fellow The NJAS was represented in style ^ , t - . i T- i xr 11 r T- i ,catfishophiles. by Frank Nell, Larry Jinks, and Jack Borgese. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

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WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST

his book should be subtitled "the biggest little book about killifish." It is a small paperback book, very affordably priced, and it is a cornucopia of facts, suggestions, and "do'sand-don'ts." It is also very reader-friendly, and is especially well-suited for young people of all ages! Where to start? The first chapter is entitled "Useful Facts About Killifish." I have repeatedly read this to be "unusual" facts about killifish. The only explanation I can come up with is the fact that killifish are, indeed, unusual fish! Anyway, each chapter contains several "categories," if you will. For example, the category in chapter one in which the author discusses "the life patterns of killifish," in addition to the annual (or soil spawning fishes), and the non-annual (or plant spawning fishes), he designates a third variety of killifish. There is also group of "semi-annual" killifish which, like the plant spawners, live in an environment which carries water all year, and, like the annuals, deposit their fertilized eggs into the substrate (usually consisting of mud). Some of the other chapter titles include "Advice for Buying" (which includes such categories as age at purchase, distinguishing the sexes, and exemplary communities), "The Right Aquarium for Killifish," and "Acclimation and Maintenance." There are separate chapters dedicated to proper nutrition, and to the raising of food animals. Just by reading the list of contents you have already learned that killifish need live foods! By the time I had read the eight page chapter on breeding (along with the chapters leading up to it), I felt confident enough to make an attempt at reproducing some of these fish. I would like to pay a little bit of special attention to one of what I have called "categories" in the chapter on breeding. Deterioration due to inbreeding is a problem which can, and does, affect all varieties of captive-bred tropical fishes, however I have rarely seen the subject covered in the many discussions of breeding which I have read over the years. This author wants us to be vigilant in the following ways:

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

• keep AT LEAST three breeding pairs of each species • regularly cross in new specimens of the same species, making every possible effort to add fish from the same geographic location • with strains which have been bred in aquariums for a long time, and for which the geographic location cannot be used as a factor, choose new fish which are identical in appearance to those you already have Use these precautions to prevent manifestations of "genetic deterioration"such as: • physical malformations • susceptibility to disease • sterility (inability to reproduce) • lopsided sexual distribution of the fry (more males than females, or vice versa) As more and more species of every classification of tropical fish, not just killifish, become extinct in nature, these issues become crucial. The final chapter is titled "Popular Killifish Species." The author wisely understands the limitations of his "venue," and does not attempt to present a comprehensive description. Rather, he discusses several genera and their defining features. This book, as with every title from this publisher which I have read, is a pallet of visual variety. It has drawings, diagrams, charts and color photographs. At the end, it offers the reader addresses (of organizations),and literature, as well as an index. Consider this book to be an excellent first step as you begin to explore the kaleidoscopic world of killifish. By way of a post script, I would like to add that as a consequence of having read this review, you should have learned the correct spelling of the word "killifish," there is NO "e."

Addendum to "Love, Luck, and the Lonely Loach" At the end of this article, which was printed in the October 2004 issue of Modern Aquarium, I made a plea for an adoptive home for my fish. I am happy to report that the "lonely loach" went home with Sallie Boggs. I cannot imagine a better possible outcome!

November 2004

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wa rd I ey

BIRDS, REPTILES SMALL ANIMALS TROPICAL & MARINE FISH

HUGE SELECTION OF LIVE ROCK & ALWAYS IN STOCK MARINE FISH & INVERT -

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November 2004

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


Leaf Well Enough Alone! A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

ometimes, you have to work at doing nothing to get just the right look and chemistry in your tanks. For example, I know several members of our society who put leaves in their tanks. Our President once confided to me that he sometimes uses magnolia leaves, which he collects himself. Our Modern Aquarium Editor, who specializes in anabantoids that generally require tannic (that is, tea colored and acidic) water orders almond leaves from the Internet. Our Programs Chairperson does them both one better and cooks oak leaves before putting them into her tanks! (O.K., she boils her oak leaves, but isn't boiling something the same as cooking it?) I generally kill almost any live plant that I put into my tanks. So, I don't need to collect, order, or boil dead leaves, for my tanks. I have more than enough dead leaves accumulating on the substrate of my tanks, because those leaves fell from once healthy plants I was foolish enough to think I could grow. When someone asks me why I haven't cleaned up the mass (or is it the mess?) of decaying leaves in my tanks, I simply say that I am working hard at creating a substrate of leaf muhn. That sounds almost as if I know what I'm talking about, doesn't it?

S

Everyone seems to complain about ''hair algae." While I haven't found a definition that everyone agrees totally upon, most people who talk about hair algae mean filamentous algae that looks, well, like hair. In small amounts, scattered here and there in a tank, hair algae is unsightly â&#x20AC;&#x201D; O.K., downright ugly. But, ignore it, and it spreads along the bottom and over rocks, caves, etc. After a while it looks almost exactly like tall grass swaying in the wind. So, I work very hard at ignoring it until, in combination with my carefully planned muhn substrate, it acquires that "natural" (that is, untouched by human hands) look. I know people who cut up and tape black plastic bags on the backs and sides of their tanks. Other aquarists purchase backgrounds that can range from simple and relatively inexpensive pictures printed on a roll of plastic sold by the foot, to elaborate and costly real rock or cork walls. They do this so that if someone looks into the tank, that person is unable to see through the tank (to hide air lines, pumps, filter tubes, hang-on outside filters, wires, heaters, etc.). My solution to this is the same one I just described, that is I work very hard at doing nothing. I just let the back and sides of the tank accumulate algae. Occasionally, I clean the front of my tanks (I enjoy looking at my fish), but I leave the back and sides alone. The result is a very natural-looking "background." It's natural looking because it is natural â&#x20AC;&#x201D; algae is a living, naturally occurring, plant. I've worked so hard at doing nothing to create a background for my tanks that, for some of them, it's just about impossible to see anything at all behind them. I also have the added benefit that algae provides some biological filtration and is a source of micronutrients for fry. For years, I've tried to raise molly fry to adulthood. I would remove the fry, or the parents. I would feed liquid fry food, or very fine powdered food, or microworms, or baby brine shrimp. Each time, the fry would die. The one time I just left the fry in with the parents and did nothing, I had success. Moral: "leaf well enough alone!

Šfattuatp With sadness, we note the passing of Robert Carpentieri, who died at the age of 81, on October 2,2004. Bob had been a member of Greater City for many years, and was also active with the East Coast Guppy Club. Bob was known for his excellent fancy guppies. He resided in New Rocheile, NY. Bob's son, Sam, was also an avid guppy breeder, and the two of them usually attended meetings and shows together. We extend our sympathy to the entire Carpentieri family.

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

November 2004

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November 2004

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


Fin Fun Killifish Eqq Hunt From several of the articles in this issue of Modern Aquarium you must have learned by now that some killifish lay their eggs in plants (or, as an alternative in the aquarium, in spawning mops), and some in soil (again, as an alternative in the aquarium, peat moss is a commonly used alternative). If this issue has encouraged you to acquire and attempt to spawn killifish, you'll need to know which egg laying method is used by which species. In the column on the left below are the scientific names of a number of killifish (unfortunately, many killifish do not have agreed upon "common" names). See how many you can correctly identify as being either a "plant spawner" or a "soil spawner."

Plant Spawner

Species

ijk Spawner

Nothobranchius guntheri Aphyosemion australe Lucania goodei Simps onichthys magnificus Jordanellafloridae Pterolebias zonatus Campellolebias brucei Rivulus xiphidius Nematolebias whitei Aplocheilus lineatus

solution to Last Months Puzzle-. Name That Loach Common Name

Scientific Name

Hora's Loach Weather Loach

Botia morleti Misgurnus fossil is

Orange Finned Loach

Botia modest a

Long Nosed Loach

Acantopsis dialuzona

Banded Loach

Botia helodes Botia sidthimunki

Dwarf Loach Cinnamon Loach

Pangio pangia

Clown Loach, Tiger Loach

Botia macr acanthus

Banded Loach

Botia striata Leptobotia mantschurica

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Manchurian Loach

November 2004

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

November 2004 volume XI number 9

Modern Aquarium  

November 2004 volume XI number 9

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