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AOUARITJTVL.

Vol. XI, No. 10

December. 2004

FEATURES Editor's Babblenest

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Guest President's Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Focus on our Youth

4

A Fish's Home: Safer in a Tank

5

Tips For Fish Breeding

6

Our Generous Members

9

Looking Through The Lens

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The Happy Hour

12

Our Scheduled Speaker: Joseph Graffagnino

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Second Sight (Reprint column) "To Strip or not to Strip..."

15

The Moon's Warm Smile

19

Wet Leaves (Book Review Column)

. . . . . . . 21

Stranger Than Fiction

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G.C.A.S. Happenings

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Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

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Articles submitted for consideration in MODERN AQUARIUM must be received no later than the 10th day of the month, three months prior to the month of publication. Copyright 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 7:30 P.M. Meetings are held at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact: Joe Ferdenzi (516)484-0944. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http: //ourworld. CompuServe, com/homepages/greatercity


by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he current (December 2004) issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist features articles by "junior" aquarium hobbyists, and Aquarium Fish Magazine has a column titled "FishKidz." And now, after over ten years of publishing "Series III" of Modern Aquarium, we finally have a "Junior" member authoring the featured (cover photo) article. I have no idea how many times I have asked for contributions from younger aquarists, but I'm sure that I did so very often. So, first, I want to thank our lead author this month, Victoria Bohme, for her contribution. Next, I want to thank her dad, Greater City member Tom Bohme, for bringing her to meetings, and encouraging her. Finally, I want to thank Claudia Dickinson who helped put it all together with her efforts on "Focus on our Youth." No one is going to mistake Greater City member Elliot Oshins for a "junior" member. But, his article this month attests to the fact that he is certainly "young at heart." So, this issue of Modern Aquarium contains contributions from both younger and more mature members, and members everywhere in between. Does it have contributions from you? If not, why not? Next month, at the Greater City Holiday and Awards Banquet, among the awards that will be given out will be Author Award Program certificates. Every original article, drawing, and picture that is used in Modern Aquarium gives you points that are accumulated to earn you certificates. This is similar to our Breeders Award Program. But, every five points credited in a calendar year (and just one article of 500 or fewer words earns the author five points) also gives the author one chance in an "Authors' Only" raffle. This raffle is always aquarium hobby related, and always something unique. (In other words, not something you can buy for yourself at a local store.)

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Last month was the first Greater City meeting held at our new starting time (7:30pm, instead of 8:00pm), and from what I could see, it was a success. Most of our members got the word of our new meeting time and showed up earlier. Nearly everyone was in attendance by the time our speaker started. The raffles (our last order of business at meetings) ended almost exactly at 10:30pm. I just hope we don't get "meeting time creep," and slowly start our meetings later and later. (For members who like to socialize well into the night, there are many fine restaurants in the area that you can go to with your friends, so you can continue conversations started at the meeting.) Starting with this issue of Modern Aquarium, we are listing the names of people who contributed to our auction. If you put items in our auction last month, and do not see your name on page 9, then you missed the sign-up sheets on the auction table. Of course, you can still donate anonymously (just don't put your name down), but if you're not that shy, then we'd like to recognize your contributions. To be fair to everyone, each name will only appear once, regardless of the number, size, or retail value of the item donated. (Otherwise, we'd be trying to figure out how to recognize someone who donated one bag of a dozen fish, as compared with someone else who donated six bags with one pair in each bag, etc.) While talking to one of our members, I found out another member is an accomplished cook (someone you might have never guessed!). This was mentioned to me because the member I was talking to thought it would be a great idea if Modern Aquarium had a "Meet The Members" column. Usually, the only time we read about our members is when one of them does a program (see the bio Claudia did for Joe Graffagnino on page 13 this month). I've floated the idea of having someone interview and do mini-bios of members before (not necessarily as extensive as Claudia's speaker bios — maybe just a half page per member), and even had some people express an interest in doing them. I am again asking for a volunteer to do a "Meet The Members" column. Only one person has volunteered to take over the job of Exchange Editor, and to write a regular Exchange Column. While that person is certainly qualified (frankly, overqualified!) for the job, I am making one final request for a volunteer, as I want to get as many GCAS members involved with Modern Aquarium as I can. Please contact me at GreaterCity@compuserve.com, or at our meeting, if you are interested.

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


urged our readers to get more involved in the hobby. And, while it may be true that more of our members being involved would help GCAS by having more help with the various chores and tasks associated with the club, it is those who help who end up benefitting the most. Let me share with you some of the events that went on during the convention weekend. On Friday, those attending the convention, who so desired, had a choice of three by WARREN FEUER field trips to go on; there was a collecting trip for native fish, a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium, and From time to time, Joe will invite various the trip that I chose, a private tour of the offices of members to write a guest "President's Dr. Stanley Weitzman at the Smithsonian Institute. Message." This will enable others to present This was a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes their views on the past, present, and future of the Society. This month, Joe has invited and look at the work being done by a pre-eminent Warren Feuer to be his guest writer. ~ED ichthyologist who has devoted an entire lifetime to working with the fish we keep. Stan and his lovely tay calm, people. I am neither auditioning wife, Marilyn, personally guided us through their for Joe's job, nor trying the throne on. Joe offices and showed us what goes on. This column asked me to fill in for him this once, and I is not the proper forum for a complete discourse on am extremely honored to have this opportunity. what we saw, but suffice to say that it was a In the middle of October, I attended the privilege and honor that I will treasure for quite first All Aquarium Catfish Convention, held in some time. Laurel, Maryland, and hosted by the Potomac After leaving the Smithsonian, we visited Valley Aquarium Society. It was an incredible the National Zoo and were given a private tour of experience. the zoo's Amazonia Hobbyists literally exhibit, where we came from all over observed their the world to fabulous biotope attend! I think that tanks containing everyone who aquatic life from attended had a that one area of the great time, and we world where so all shared some I many of thefishwe wonderful times. I keep come from. There were great I Highlights included programs, fabulous | the freshwater speakers, some I stingray tank and an wonderful field I enormous tank trips, and the If holding several 15 chance to learn 1 foot plus Arapaima from the best (and gigas specimens. share war stories). We were allowed to (left to right) GCAS members Mark Soberman and I am so incredibly Warren Feuer with Ian Fuller photo by J. Graffagnino see the behind the glad I went. scenes workings of Keeping fish is a rewarding and fun the exhibit's filtration, nursery, and nutrition areas hobby. However, getting involved in the society as well. aspect of our hobby is, in my opinion, what keeps The rest of Friday and Saturday were most people involved for so many years. As I spent in and out of many incredible presentations reflect back on this "catfish lovers" meeting, I am by catfish gurus from all over the world on every struck by the fact that I know so many of the type of catfish there is. It was not without a great people who attended and that I know so many of deal of pride that I attended a Cory dor as forum them from attending various fish shows, auctions whose speakers included our own Mark Soberman, and conventions. It is almost always the same a Cory dor as keeper and breeder of considerable group of people who benefit from this sharing. ability, achievement and renown. Over the years, during my stay as editor of I got to meet new friends from all over the Modern Aquarium and woven throughout Al world, as well as spend a block of special time with Priest's current tenure as such, we have constantly old friends such as Lee Finley, Charley and Ginny

Guest President's Message

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

December 2004


Killifish Association all ho Id yearly conventions. Eckstein, Ray Lucas, and many fellow hobbyists I have attended at least one of each of these and from our metropolitan area such as our own they are fantastic. Whatever your interest, cichlids, Claudia Dickinson, Joe Graffagnino, Larry Jinks, Jack Borgese, mzm&m&j; killies, livebearers, '^•^••••••ffgS^". • •,'/,... ;f 3388811 plants, anything in David and Janine the hobby, there is Banks, Chuck a group getting Davis, and so many together to share others. If all of their knowledge, these names aren't passion and familiar to you, experience. I urge then you are among you to attend. You those who are won't regret it. missing out. the Although Corydoras Forum speakers Eric Bodrock, Mark Soberman, B e t w e e n photo by J. Graffagnino i n f o r m a t i o n the All Aquarium Don Kinyon, and Ian Fuller a v a i l a b l e in Catfish Convention Modern Aquarium, announcements at Greater City was a unique opportunity clearly intended for those meetings, and, well beyond that, all the information with a specialized focus, there are many such available on the Internet, there is no excuse for events for those whose interests may be more missing one of these get togethers if you want to general. Every year, the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies holds a convention in nearby goConnecticut [Editor's Note: see page 20]. The American Cichlid Association and the American mmifKymK

Focus on our Youth by CLAUDIA DICKINSON and VICTORIA BOHME Photo by TOM BOHME am certain that you recall our festive holiday parties at the Palace Diner when we would gather as one, with our friends and our families to celebrate the season and our good fortune in having each other. Victoria Bohme, then a vibrant little girl of six, added a new dimension to our gatherings as she accompanied her mother and father. Her radiant smile and delightful laughter filling the air with cheer, Victoria danced about the room, passing out treats and spreading good tidings to all Well, Victoria has grown into a lovely young lady of eleven, and she is still dancing, a pastime turned to passion, and one which she now practices more than eight hours a week! She has also taken up another hobby as she follows in her father's footsteps (it must be that GCAS upbringing!) with her own 10 gallon aquarium. This past July, I invited Victoria to join me in this column and welcomed any thoughts and suggestions that she might have. Victoria was brimming with ideas and speculated that we should write about how our club has given many fish, including exotic ones, a home away from polluted and diseased waters. She went on to suggest that we could also explain how our club members organize their tanks with objects that might have been found in the native waters of the fish. She said the only problem was that she didn't know what kind offish our members had and if I knew what kind offish they had, that would be great. Then our usual..."e-mail my dad if you have any other ideas...Thank you! Love, Victoria." We did a lot of e-mail through Dad ~ thanks Dad!!! As we set about our mission, it was clear that before we began to learn about the tanks and fish of our fellow GCAS members, we would first wish to hear of Victoria's own 10 gallon tank. What species offish is she keeping? How is her tank set up and what opportunity is she giving her fish to live in a home away from polluted waters? Victoria immediately took pen in hand and launched into the project, bringing us tremendous pride in our youth, as she unequivocally captures our minds and our hearts in her story (on the facing page -4).

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December 2004

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


FiSfe'S Safer in a by VICTORIA BOHME, age 11

y name is Victoria Bohme. In my home I have many fish, I would like to talk to you about my aquarium. I have had my aquarium for about a year and a half. It is a 10 gallon tank (20 x 12 1/2 inches) with seven fish. There are three goldfish, one albino corydoras catfish, and three liberty mollies. The goldfish originated in China and eventually made it's way to Japan. Goldfish have been selectively bred for hundreds of years. As a result, many different types of fancy goldfish exist today. Since they are a man-made fish, they will be found mainly in aquariums. The albino corydoras catfish is found mainly in South America and lives for about five years. They live in water with a pH of 6.5-7.5, with many aquatic plants, bogwood and leaves. The liberty mollies come from the southeast coast of the United States and along the Gulf of Mexico. They live for about two years, and are found in saltwater lagoons (saltier than the sea), sulphur springs (not many fish can survive), deep cave systems where they adapted to total darkness, and mountain lakes where thin layers of ice form during cold winter snaps. My father and I purchased the goldfish and the catfish from Cameo Pet Shop. From a shopper's point of view, it is one of the cleanest pet stores I have been to, and all of their fish appear very healthy and colorful. We got the liberty mollies from Don and Doug Curtin. These are the most active fish I have ever had, as we originally started with 8, and 5 have jumped out of the tank over the last several months. As a matter of fact, another liberty molly jumped during the writing of this article, leaving me with only two.

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

All of my fish are herbivores, and I feed them spirulina based goldfish flakes from Wardley®. This provides them with all the nutrition that they need. I supplement their diet with floating water sprite, which also provides the fish with shade, shelter, and oxygenation. For filtration I use a Whisper outside power filter because it is very easy to clean or c h a n g e the cartridge, and it keeps the water very clean. I also add a small amount of aquarium salt as mollies and goldfish both seem to stay healthier with it. As you know, many waters are polluted. By taking fish from open water and putting them in a tank, you give them a comfortable and safer home. This can be very helpful hi the survival of an endangered species. I give the fish a more comfortable feeling by putting the following in the tank: • a designed background paper • colored gravel • large and small rocks • clear acrylic stones • shells to keep the pH close to neutral (7.0) or above • a plastic sign that reads "No Swimming" • live plants to provide natural oxygen You should also put many colors and objects in the tank as I have. These things make the fish curious and after a while they begin to like it. These colors and objects make the fish happy, and you know they are safe. I believe we should all give fish a safer and happier home.

December 2004


Tips for Fish Breeding by JOE GRAFFAGNINO

Sexing Fish Determining the sex of a fish can be very easy, or very difficult, depending on the size and type offish. In the majority of cases, the male has the most color and appears more vibrant than the female. Size is a factor, in that the female of many species are larger and more robust in the mid-section than the male. Anal and dorsal fins are generally more pointed in a male and more rounded in females. Genitalia on some fish are visible on males, and appear as an out belly button on females. But for some other fish, you can't determine sex unless the fish are "probed," and with some species even then you cannot be sure. This is why people usually start with a group of six to eight fish, and let the fish choose their mates. A group like this will allow for accidents and premature deaths, and still have the odds in their favor that different sexes will be present. Is there such a thing as gay fish? Yes, there is. Condition The Parent Fish You need to feed the adults to bring them into top spawning condition. Approximately two weeks prior to the date you would like the fish to spawn (and after you have the spawning tank ready with plants, lighting, and the correct water temperature and pH), feed the adult fish heavily with high protein food (such as live brine shrimp, live black worms, live daphnia, and live microworms). If live foods cannot be obtained, then use high quality frozen brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. You will encounter a higher number of fry, better growth ratio, less fry dying, and more frequent spawns. You can even make your own food. To do so, first look for ingredients that are highest in protein and then fats. Next, look for high vitamin and mineral content, along with color enhancers (such as beta-carotene or Vitamin A). Select ingredients with small percentages of fillers (for example, ash, fiber, or moisture). Provide Proper Fry Nutrition Fry require growth foods, and should be fed two to three times each day. Feed fry live microworms, live baby brine shrimp (rinsed in cold tap water), white worms, Grindal worms, and/or infusoria. Other foods for fry would include Liquid SmallFry速, cyclops, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs, micropellets, crushed flakes, or flake food specialized for baby fish.

Experiment on what you feed your newborn fry. Be careful what you feed, and how much you feed. Not all fry can have the same type foods. Some catfish fry cannot take brine shrimp because it cuts their stomach lining. Many fish that are plankton feeders can only have a high quality flake food and not "live" baby food until they are several months old. The differences between adult fish foods and fry foods are that fry food should have the highest percentages in protein, and at least 10% more in fats than adult food. While fry food should be high in mineral and vitamin content, there is no need for Beta Carotene or other color enhancers. For both adults and fry, each feeding should be small, and not more than all the fish can eat in a few minutes. One trick I learned from Tom Miglio is to make a "fish food sandwich." A fish sandwich consists of giving the fish (adult or fry) a pellet or flake food in a small amount. After consumption, feed a portion of high protein food such as live black worms, brine shrimp, or frozen food. Then, follow it up with another dose of pellet or flake food. (Again, feed in small amounts.) The reason for this is that foods high in protein can pass through a fish very quickly, and the fish receives little value out of that expensive food. By providing pellet or flake food, the high protein food comes in and is packed between flakes or pellets which take longer to be digested, thus providing the maximum benefit to the fish who now gets all the protein with none wasted. Use Grow-Out Tanks Baby fish (especially cichlids) require a lot of space to grow. For fish that provide parental care to the fry, I recommend leaving the fry with their mother (if possible) for 10 days. In this time frame, the mother imparts correct behavior and the traits to become a good parent. Breeding traps can be used to keep baby fish in the parents' tank so that you can feed them high quality food without the fry wasting energy searching for the food. If the fish is an egglayer, the parents generally take care of the eggs until hatching and, in some species, for a preset time thereafter (10 days to 4 months). If the aquarist wants to hatch the eggs artificially, a bucket must be used to transport the eggs. The eggs should be moved along with the rock, plant, or cave on which they were laid. The eggs must not be allowed to be exposed to the air. They should be moved to a smaller tank that contains the same water (and at

December 2004

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


the same temperature) as the parents' tank. Use Methylene blue or Acriflaven as an anti fungus medicine. Airstones should be placed under the rock, plant, or cave to provide adequate aeration for the eggs. Adjust the air flow so that it is not enough to cause the eggs to be dislodged or injured. The aquarist should remove any fungused eggs immediately with a small siphon tube, otherwise good eggs will get fungused and die. Once the eggs hatch, do not feed the fry until the yolk sac is gone, or you will pollute the tank. The fry will not eat while they are feeding off their egg sacs. Once the fry have hatched and the yolk sac disappears, move them to a "grow out" tank. Use water from the parent tank, maintaining the same temperature. Wrap airline tubing around the heater to protect the fry from getting burned. In the filter, add whatever special requirements the fry may need (such as dolomite for African cichlids, or a bag of peat for soft water fish). One way to add these special items is to use a nylon stocking that contains activated charcoal, ammonia pellets, and either dolomite or peat, etc. Place an airstone in the center of the nylon stocking and use a rubber band to tie it to the nylon to prevent the ingredients from escaping. Have the airstone attached to a gang valve to regulate the water flow in the fry tank. If a sponge filter is being used, you can cram the nylon stocking into the sponge opening or rubber band it to the stem of the airline tubing as it exits the sponge. If a box filter is used, place a piece of air conditioner filter over the top of the box filter so the small fry can not enter the filter. Tie the filter down with rubber bands. An alternative to a separate grow out tank is to float a worm holder box in the adult tank and affix small pieces of styrofoam to the sides of the worm holder. You can also use a plastic shoebox with nylon affixed to an air stone. The shoebox floats inside the main tank. A siphon tube can be used to refresh the water into the box from the main tank. Use a siphon tube with a bulb on top, and nylon over the exit portion (the nylon will prevent any fry from entering the main tank when the water is being replaced). For fish with extremely small fry (such as paradisefish, Bettas, and terras), use airline tubing with the airstone attached to do water changes. Start the siphon as usual, and as the water is removed, the airstone prevents the fry from being sucked in. Routine Tank Maintenance All fry need frequent water changes to remove decaying food and to promote rapid growth. Remove 10% of the water daily, replacing it with aged or dechlorinated water. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Get a good water test kit, and use it regularly. In addition to being able to test for potentially toxic chemicals (such as ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates), a good kit should be able to test for pH (that is, whether the water is acidic, neutral, or alkaline) and general hardness (the measure of dissolved calcium (Ca++) and magnesium (Mg++) ion concentrations in water). Water is acidic if it has a pH between 4.5 and 6.9, neutral if it has a pH of 7.0, and is alkaline if it has a pH between 7.1 and 9.0. Very hard water ( 1 1 - 2 2 degrees of hardness) has a GH (General Hardness) between 200 and 400 parts per million ("ppm") of dissolved minerals. Hard water has a GH of 200 ppm. Soft water has a GH between 50 and 100 ppm. Very soft water has a GH between 0 and 50 ppm. Adjust Water Parameters Once you have used your test kit, learn the water parameters suitable for the fish you are trying to spawn, and adjust the water accordingly. Keep testing the water to be sure that the chemistry has not changed. Here are some examples of fish requirements in pH and water hardness: South American cichlids (generally) require a pH of 5.5 - 7.0, and soft water. African cichlids (generally) require a pH of 7.2 - 8.5, and hard water. Hoplosternum and Tatia catfish of South America require a pH of 6.6 - 7.0, and soft water. Synondontis petricola and Synondontis multipunctatus of Lake Tanganyika require a pH of 7.4 - 8.5, and hard to very hard water. Synondontis schoutedeni and Synondontis angelicus are from the Congo/ Zaire river basins, require a pH of 6.6 - 7.0, and soft water. Understand that your tank's substrate, such as natural gravel, dolomite, crushed coral, leaves, sand, bare bottom, or glass gravel (which should be avoided with catfish and loaches), can affect the hardness and pH of the aquarium water. Live plants make the water softer, because they take up the minerals in the water for their growth and propagation. Sand, crushed coral, or dolomite will raise the water hardness. To increase water hardness, add kosher salt and/or Epsom salt to the water (clamshells and certain gravel types such as sand or dolomite also increase water hardness). To reduce water hardness, you can do water changes, and add tap water conditioners and aquarium water softeners. Reducing water hardness means to deionize the water. Deionized

December 2004


water is free of all minerals and pollutants, including calcium, magnesium, carbonate, nitrate, phosphate, ammonia, chlorine and chloramine. Filtration Sponge filters are great for fry tanks. However, use a platform to raise the sponge off the bottom of the tank. A pizza pie plastic three-legged separator (used to keep the pie from the cover of the box) is great for this purpose — simply use aquarium silicone to glue it to the plastic center of the sponge device. In this way, the fry don't get trapped under the sponge, and decayed food is not trapped there to pollute the tank. In addition to sponge filters, box, canister, overflow, undergravel, and wet/dry filters can be used. With box, canister, and overflow filters, water conditioners can be added to reduce or raise certain water chemistry. As an example, dolomite can be added to raise the pH and water hardness, while peat or a water softener can be used to reduce the water hardness or the pH. Must-have ingredients (in all except sponge and undergravel filters) for breeding and fry raising tanks are charcoal and ammonia chips (good for 3 - 6 months).

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Spawning Aids Live plants - Paratilapia polleni (Madagascar cichlid) uses the roots of live plants to lay their eggs. Some killifish require plants to lay eggs, and annual killifish require peat (or mud) to spawn in. Anabantoids such as certain Gourami and Betta species, along with Hoplosternum catfish require plant matter to solidify their bubblenests. Artificial plants or spawning mops are used for spawning of tetras, rainbowfish, and some killifish. Wood Pseudotropheus acei requires wood in the aquarium. Certain plecostomus catfish require wood in their diets, as do whiptail and driftwood catfish. Caves Many cichlids and catfish use caves for spawning. Egg crate This lighting material is used to Protect small females from large males. It is used mostly with over-eager cichlids such as buttikoferi, dovii, and chocolate cichlids. General Breeding Requirements Adequate aquarium tank size Good heater Good thermometer

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Good filtration Good food Regular cycle of water changes. Make water changes a habit, and change the same percentage of water each time. Always use a "tap water conditioner." Try to keep the replacement water the same temperature as the tank water (with some exceptions). Never overcrowd your tanks Fry require "grow out" tanks

How To Breed Bettas (bubblenesting species) Keep the tank covered to maintain high humidity. Fill with six to eight inches of water and plants. A sponge or box filter is the best, with very slow bubbles. Once the bubblenest is made, and spawning is over (indicated by the fact that the female is not expelling any more eggs), remove her from the tank. Allow the male to care for the fry. Once the fry are free swimming, remove the male. Once the yolk sac is gone, feed the fry. Keep the tank covered with no aeration or filtration for two weeks until the labyrinth organs are developed. Surface air more than three degrees cooler than the water can cause the fry to die. Use plants instead of filtration. Killifish (non-annuals) (lifespan: 1 - 3 years) Use synthetic spawning mops. Eggs on mops appear to be little pearls. When they are ready to hatch, the eggs turn from a white or clear to a dark brown. Remove the mop and place it into a separate container, such as a plastic shoebox. Add a half-drop of Acriflaven, and more water. When eggs start hatching, perform water changes slowly to remove the Acriflaven. Rainbowfish Same as non-annual killifish (above). Annual Killifish (lifespan: one year) Use ajar or small vase inside the tank and fill the jar/vase half way with peat moss. The killies will jump into the peat moss to lay their eggs. When the spawning season is over, or when they stop breeding, remove the jar/vase. Remove the peat moss and gently squeeze it out. Place it into a plastic bag and store it in a cool dark place. When the species of killifish egg is ready to hatch, place the peat in a small plastic container having the required water conditions and temperature for hatching. Some killifish take 3 months, some 6 months, depending on the species. Find this out from the person you got the eggs or killies from.

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


Tetras, Panics and Barbs Many species lay their eggs on leaves; others are egg scatterers. Fill the bottom of a 10 gallon species-specific tank with marbles and a box or sponge filter. The fish will zoom back and forth, either at dusk or early morning, depositing eggs, and on the way back they will try to eat as many as possible. The marbles will save the eggs. Another option is to have a cheesecloth, or small plastic knitting or sewing "grid," that you can lay over the tank bottom, supported by stones or bases from sponge filters. The holes are small enough to allow the eggs to fall through, which will prevent the adults from eating the eggs. You could build a trap with a bottom and four sides, and it can be inserted and removed from whatever size tank you're using it in. This way, the parent fish can go in and out very easily and this still protects the fry. Goldfish Keep the water very cool (40째 to 50째 F). In March or April, slowly start raising the water temperature. This will trigger spawning. Use synthetic mops. A box filter is best for this species. They can be kept in a small pond outside and brought indoors for spawning. When sexually mature, males get bumps on their head. The females throw eggs everywhere, and the males

release milt everywhere. If you have several couples in a tank, it will appear that the tank becomes milky white. After spawning, remove the parents to another tank and raise the fry in the spawning tank. Cichlids Add water, a rock or a cave, give them enough time and, when they start spawning, future spawns will be on a regular timetable. With many cichlids of South and Central America, on the third spawn, the male usually tries to kill the female. After the second spawn, use the egg crate method for rock spawners. DO NOT CROSSBREED KILLIFISH, RAINBOWFISH OR CICHLIDS, AS ALL THE FEMALES ARE SIMILAR IN APPEARANCE. CREATING A CROSSBRED FISH WILL POLLUTE THE SPECIES. CROSSBRED OR HYBRID FISH CANNOT BE ENTERED INTO ANY OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED FISH SHOW.

Catfish species Because of the wide variance in the species and within the same grouping, it is necessary to research each species individually.

Our Generous Members You may have missed it, especially since last month was the first time we had it, but there is now a sign-up sheet at the auction table. Those of you who would like your donation to be recognized in Modern Aquarium should add your name to the list Last month, the following members donated items to the auction: Andre Carletto Charley Sabatino Anton Vukich Rod DuCasse Mark Soberman Ed Vukich

Our Generous Sponsors The following companies and stores have donated to, or sponsored, the Greater City Aquarium Society, and the aquarium hobby in general. We want to acknowledge (and thank) them, and we encourage you to please patronize our friends and supporters, whenever possible. Thank you! Aquaria, Inc. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Boyd Enterprises Cameo Pet Shop (Richmond Hill, NY) Gulfstream Tropical Aquarium (Magfloat magnets) Hikari Sales USA, Inc. Kent Marine Inc. Kingfish Services ( http://www.kingfishservices.net/) Kordon/Novalek, Inc. Marineland Labs Nassau Discus Novalek, Inc. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Ocean Star International, Inc. Omega Sea Penn Plax, Inc. (Pro Balance food) Perfecto Manufacturing Seachem Labs SpawnedinthelJSA.com Tetra The Pet Barn (Franklin Square, NY) Wardley World Class Aquarium (Brooklyn, NY) Zoo Med Labs, Inc.

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Photos and captions of our November 2004 meeting

Al and Sue Priest, wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Sue Priest shares fellow GCAS Member Brad Dickinson's excitement over preparations for a new betta to be placed on his classroom desk. The immense dedication in the past 20 years of our guest speaker, Andre Carletto, to killifish | collection, discovery, and research, has culminated with the supreme honor of the recent naming of Simpsonichthys carlettoi in his honor.

This pirate ship will be a perfect addition to "MA" Junior Author Victoria Bohme's aquarium, which you will be certain to take great delight in reading about on page 5!

It was definitely a team effort as Victoria Bohme wrote the article, "A Fish's Home: Safer in a Tank," while Dad (Tom) took photos and gave encouragement! GCAS members Pamela Pelton and LaMont Brown may well be inspired to bring home a few killies from the evening's auction after listening to such an impressive program! Al Grusell may just squeeze in another small tank alongside his tetras and livebearers to direct his aquatic talents towards killies.

I mm Artie Friedman and Joseph Graffagnino preview our December topic on "Successfully Raising Fry" when Joe will treat us as our guest speaker. "MA" author Elliot Oshins takes us on another charming journey; this month it is to 'Shangri La' as we join him in the GCAS "Happy Hour" on page 12.

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December 2004

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


by Claudia Dickinson

GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi extends a warm greeting to our guest speaker Andre Carletto.

GCAS Corresponding Secretary Warren Feuer and Vice President Mark Soberman will both return home with new aquatic literature, as winners of the evening's Door Prizes!

OUR NOVEMBER BOWL SHOW WINNERS

1st Place: Evelyn Eagan

2nd Place: Bill Amely

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

3rd Place: Evelyn Eagan

December 2004

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by ELLIOT OSH1NS

ome bars have what they call "Happy Hour." I call our club meetings, not only the "Happy Hour," but Shangri-la, like in the movies. It's a place to meet old friends, and make new friends, and to learn about different species offish and plants. It's also great just shooting the breeze, or to say it properly, have good conversation. The President opens the meeting with club business, and hands out the breeders' awards, if w '^^f^^^zm^m they are due. Once a month the club invites a guest speaker. One of our illustrious members, who travels a great distance to be at the meeting, hands out the resume of the evening's speaker, and also is nice enough to bring cookies and candies. A treat to all. Many thanks. When you hear applause, you know it's time for the guest speaker. Most speakers will also have a slide show. I find it very helpful and informative. I have to admit there are times when the lights go out, I also go out — that is, to sleep. (You're lucky that I don't snore.) I try and stay awake, but dark rooms have that effect on me. When you hear much more applause, the lights come on and we take a short break, followed by the presentation for the bowl show, and get ready for the auctions and raffles. Blue, red, and green ribbons are given out for the bowl show. Some members bring in very nice and colorful fish. One member (I am not at liberty to mention his name) brought in a fish for laughs. Its head looked like Quasimodo. Nobody even noticed the fish with the unusual abnormality. I've tried to enter the bowl show; unfortunately, every time my fish

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see me approaching with a net, they go bonkers and do a disappearing act. I have to bribe them with worms to see their faces again. Members and guest speakers alike bring in some fantastic fish for the auction. It's a wise course of action to hold your hand up high to bid. Regrettably, I've seen hands go down so fast they create a breeze in the room! The club is still one of the best places to buy fish, The raffle is the last business of the evening. We all sit in anticipation, our eyes glued to the numbers on our tickets. You'd think they were giving away a trip to the Bahamas. It's still fun to be a winner, even of a small can of goldfish food. It's part of ___ msmm^mmm * ke e n j o y m e n t of belonging to the club. As they say... there are a thousand stories in the Asphalt Jungle. There must be some very interesting stories in the water world of Pisces, as well. One of the nice perks of the fish club is getting together outside the meetings with some of the members. Whether it be for coffee, to attend an auction, or just a visit to some of the local fish stores, it's a great way to spend the day. It might be nice to have a meeting one night without a guest speaker. Members can swap fish or fish stories and add calories from all the good refreshments always on hand. Once again, many thanks to the members that handle that end of the club. I have to get a tank cycled, as I hear there's going to be very interesting fish at the next meeting.

CONVENTION 2005 April 8-10 EconoLodge East — Indianapolis, IN \

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Go to: http://www.livebearers.org for details December 2004

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


G.C.A.S. a< moat Wowm Jretccwne

Joseph Graffagnino "Now That They Have Hatched.. Successfully Raising the Fry" December 1st 2004 By Claudia Dickinson he long hours spent tending to his business were eased by Pete, Graffagnino's four 10 gallon tanks, which lined the wall of thej Graffagnino Meat Market. These aquariums, housing black mollies f and guppies, prevalent fish of the early 1950s, also served as a great attraction to customers, as well as catching the fascination of his young son. I Joseph Graffagnino took after his father, and to this day he is just as j passionate about his fish (aquatic that is!) as he is his meat and potatoes! When Joe's own son was two years old, and constantly under his I wife' s feet, Joe recalled how his father's fish had captured his attention, and so he purchased a 20 gallon tank and stand, much to his son's (and his | wife's) delight! The aquarium housed a wide assortment offish, including [ livebearers, killifish, terras, and barbs. Naturally, soon it was time for an | additional ten gallon tank to place underneath for all of the babies! The Joe Graffagnino acquisition of that first 20 gallon tank was thirty years ago, and Joe's great photo by Claudia Dickinson love of the hobby has grown and flourished over the ensuing decades. His various positions with the US Postal Service over the years have dictated the species offish Joe has kept. During the periods that he has held administrative roles, his tanks were inhabited by the more demanding South American cichlids. When his job took him traveling for lengths of time, his aquariums reflected that manner of life through the less demanding residency of African cichlids and catfish. Whatever the species offish, Joe's accomplishments have been great, as he has attained the rank of Grand Master Breeder in the Brooklyn Aquarium Society, achieved the status of Master Breeder in our own Greater City Aquarium Society, and was Breeder of the Year in the Brooklyn Aquarium Society for the years 2000 and 2003. An active member of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society, it is there that Joe serves as Corresponding Secretary and Chairperson of the Breeder Award Program. He is also a member of the American Cichlid Association ("ACA"), the Greater City Aquarium Society, and the North Jersey Aquarium Society. We all know Joe here at the GCAS as that most special man who is always ready with a warm smile, welcome words of wisdom, and the kind offer of a helping hand! An author of numerous articles on fish as well as plants, Joe has had his writing and photographs published in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine, the Buntbarsche Bulletin of the ACA, as well as in society publications, which include many here within the pages of our own Modern Aquarium. Entering his fish in shows across the tri-state area, as well as Rhode Island, Joe's entries continue to do exceptionally well, consistently winning top honors. Joe's extensive knowledge and personable nature have brought him several invitations to serve on panel discussion sessions of local societies.

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

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Maintaining a small seasonal pond, Joe is also interested in plant propagation. His knowledge of plants in regards to their individual needs and maintenance is further evidence of his consummate understanding of the "complete aquarium." Consisting of fourteen aquariums, varying in size, with his two largest at 180 gallons each, Joe's basement fishroom is currently focused on African cichlids, Central American cichlids, African catfish (Synodontis, such as S. angel feus and S. schoutedeni), South American catfish (a variety of Hoplosternum species) and pigmy driftwood catfish in the Tatia family. He also has an 11 foot long Colombian female redtail boa named "Butch" (well...they thought she was a he when they first acquired her!). Butch has been a family pet since Joe purchased her as a gift for his son's confirmation twenty years ago. Upon deciding to breed her, the Graffagnino' s borrowed a male from a pet shop. The couple got along famously, and after a 6 month gestation period produced 34 baby boas! Joe's lovely wife, Rose Marie, is supportive of her husband's hobby, and will gladly help him out by feeding the fish while he is away on business trips. The couple have three children, Joseph, 32, who is married and has one child, Maria, 30, who is married and due to have a son in March, and Theresa, 26, who is engaged to be married next November. There is little doubt that Mia Rose, Joe's 16 month old granddaughter, will have the great delight of a surprise aquarium from Grandpa in the near future ~ and so the Graffagnino aquatic tradition will carry on! It is with great warmth and pride that we welcome Joe tonight as he brings us his wealth of knowledge, gained through years of experience, in his presentation "Now That They Have Hatched.....Successfully Raising the Fry."

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December 2004

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


ccond Reprints deserving a second look ur scheduled speaker this month is an expert fish breeder. This article by him originally appeared some time in 2002 (he is uncertain of the exact publication date) in Aquatica, the publication of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society. While the author refers to stripping "her" (that is, the female) of eggs, it should be noted that many anabantoids (such as gouramis and bettas) are paternal mouthbrooders (meaning that it is the male who holds the eggs in his mouth until they hatch). While the same procedures for stripping a fish of eggs should work for either sex parent, references to parental care after the fry hatch and are released from the parent's mouth are generally not applicable to mouthbrooding anabantoids.

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To Strip Or Not To Strip... That Is The Question! by JOE GRAFFAGNINO

Now don't get excited, I am referring to the mechanism of stripping fish of their eggs or fry for artificial incubation. All of you perverts can leave now and the serious fish breeders remain and read on. The act of striping a fish of her eggs is a complicated process that involves a multitude of equipment and good timing. The only fish you can strip are mouthbrooders. The only ones that I am familiar with are African cichlids, although I am certain that the same technique can be used for other types of mouth brooding fish. A true naturalist would want the pair of fish to release the fry naturally in a perfect environment, without predators or parental problems to endanger the baby fish. This would be the best way to have fish spawn because I believe the fry learn or "it" is imprinted onto them, that this natural act makes them better parents. The parents take care of the eggs and, after hatching, they take better care of the fry. Generally the father patrols the perimeter to keep potential problems away, while the mother cares for and nurtures the young fish. If danger enters the vicinity, the mother takes the fry back into her mouth, holding them in her buccal cavity, until the danger passes. She then releases them to feed and explore the area. This will continue until the pair is ready to spawn again, which can be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. At this time they will either chase the fry away, or eat them. In an aquarium, I like to keep the mother and babies in a separate tank, with water from the Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

spawning tank (same temperature and pH) for ten days. This gives the mother a chance to build her strength up, and she will not be harassed by other fish. It also provides time for the bonding process between parent and offspring. This is where the imprinting, teaching, learning, whatever you want to call "it" takes place between parent and fry that imparts knowledge and procedures for good parenting. Fry that are stripped have to re-learn this via heredity and trial and error methodology. Too bad we don't live in a perfect world. For the aquarist there are many times when young fish are just bad parents or they were stripped from their parents prior to knowing how to be a good parent. In these cases the aquarist does not want to lose a valuable fish that is holding equally valuable fry. In many instances young parents eat or spit out their eggs prior to hatching because the male didn't fertilize the eggs, the mother is being harassed by other fish, or the mother fish may get hungry and the instinct to not eat hasn't taken control yet. The aquarist may determine that he doesn't have another tank for holding the mother and fry, and/or other fish would eat the fry, if left in the original tank. The aquarist may realize that the faster he removes the eggs or fry, the faster the parents will spawn again, thus increasing his stock of fry, which to him is like money in the bank. Whatever the reason, the aquarist has determined that the mother fish will be stripped of her eggs or fry. Now, how is this accomplished successfully?

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The equipment that is needed: Hatchery tank & plastic bottles - I prefer a 10 gallon high (8" Wx 16" L x 17" H) tank. This size tank is hard to find. I like this size tank because (thanks to a tip from Tom Miglio) it can fit a portion of a Coca ColaÂŽ plastic case holder that is cut or sawed down to have fit three 2 liter plastic bottles in the large holes and three 1 liter or smaller plastic bottles in the small holes. In this way you can have 6 hatchery containers working simultaneously. With this method, rigid airline tubing is needed with an inch or so of flexible airline tubing at the end that the airstone will go into. It is important that the airstone be at the very bottom of the plastic bottle in order for the air bubbles to move the eggs and keep them in constant motion. Use three sponge filter stands to keep the Coca Cola plastic case holder off the bottom of the tank. Another way of hatching eggs is through the use of a one liter plastic bottle to which aquarium sealant is applied to the bottom of the bottle and to a flat rock or piece of slate. A small hole is made at the base of the bottle where flexible airline tubing is inserted, this is worked up to the top of the bottle (where the cap usually goes) and an airstone is inserted into the tubing. The tubing is then drawn down to the base of the bottle and aquarium sealant is applied to the exterior of the hole where the tubing went in, to ensure the water from inside the bottle does not leak out. It is important that the airstone be at the very bottom of the plastic bottle in order for the air bubbles to move the eggs and keep them in constant motion. I learned this method from Joe Ferdenzi: invert a two liter plastic bottle. Cut the bottom off where the indentations start to make it a flat bottom. Get a black plastic bottle holder that the two liter bottle fits into (it has a flat bottom with 4 holes on the edges and is V/2 - 2 inches high). Place this plastic bottom over the bottom of the plastic bottle that you cut the bottom off so it will fit like a new bottom. Get a piece of rigid, flat plastic and place it on the top of the bottle, using aquarium sealant to secure the inverted bottle to the flat plastic piece. Get a piece of rigid airline tubing with a inch of flexible airline tubing at the end that an airstone will go into, insert the rigid tubing through one of the holes in the base of the black plastic bottle holder. It is important that the airstone be at the very bottom of the plastic bottle in order for the air bubbles to move the eggs and keep them in constant motion. With the last two methods using single bottles, a regular 20 gallon tank (13"W x 17"H x 24"L) would suffice. You need tanks of this size to keep the water temperature the same, both inside and outside the bottle, and the bottle should be

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60% filled with the original tank water. It is very important to ensure the eggs or fry have the exact same water conditions as in the tank they came from. The plastic hatchery bottle is representing mom's mouth as she would constantly rotate the eggs and/or fry with their yolk sack. This ensures that each egg obtains equal amount of water, heat and rotation to have a successful egg incubation. Important note - when using aquarium sealant always apply it in an open, air circulating area and always let the applied sealant dry and harden for 2 days. Net - the net must be large enough to catch and hold the mother fish, yet the holes must be small enough so that the eggs do not fall through. I recommend the use of two nets, because the mother must be caught quickly before she tires and panics where she might eat the eggs or fry or worse spit them out into the tank full of hungry predators. Heater - this is one of the most important devices you can buy for your baby fish. DO NOT GO FOR A CHEAP HEATER. A quick tale of stupidity on my part should emphasize how important a heater is. Not long ago I noticed that I had two Haplochromis nubulis (Lake Victorian African cichlids with large mouths) which were holding either eggs or fry. I use these fish for holding Synondontis multipunctatus (Cuckoo catfish) fry. I stripped the two females and they held 210 eggs, of which 25 were catfish eggs. They were newly laid, because the embryos had not started to form yet. The nubulis eggs were a pale yellow/beige and the catfish eggs were half the size of the nubulis eggs and were a clear aquagreen color. Also, at this time, my Labeotropheus fuelleborni was holding eggs/fry, I stripped her of 27 eggs. This was a first time spawn for the L. fuelleborni, I had waited approximately 10 months for this. You talk about "a feast or a famine," this was it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; feast time! Naturally, being the old-time breeder that I am, I had duplicate equipment of everything you could possibly need, just hi case. As luck would have it, I was making a new fish room and I had used up all the spare tanks and aquarium supplies I had for the new room. I was filling and acclimating tanks while still maintaining fish in the original tanks. When I filled up the hatchery tank, I needed extra equipment, so I went to my local aquarium store and purchased rigid airline tubing, aerator airstones, flexible airline tubing, and a heater. Well I only needed this heater for an emergency and it wasn't going to see much usage

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


because within a week I will have the new tanks established and could move everything around and the equipment now in use would become spare again. I didn't have much money, so I opted for the least expensive heater in the store (a 50 watt heater that hangs off the top of the tank). I should have realized the other submersible and top tank heaters were going for $20.00 and up and this one went for $8.00. I put all the eggs into different hatchery bottles and had the airstone going into the tubing and the eggs were tumbling correctly and the heater light went on at 80 degrees F. I went to the fish room the next morning and the heater coil got stuck. The water was at 95 degrees F, and all I got for my troubles was "poached" eggs. I prefer submersible heaters such as Ebo-Jager or other high quality heaters. Always wrap airline tubing around the heater coil so that if fry swim against the heater they won't disintegrate. Baby fish are drawn to heaters because of its light and the heat given off. The problem is that it works like a moth to a bug zapper. If you have airline tubing around the heaters coil, it won't burn the fish. The airline tubing will not effect the temperature of the tank or harm the heater. Acriflavine or Methylene Blue - anti-fungus medicine. With Acriflavine, you turn the water yellow (and also your fingers), and with Methylene Blue you turn the water blue (and also your fingers). Both are manufactured by Kordon. This is a must for eggs that haven't started developing yet. Nothing hits eggs faster than fungus. Unfertilized eggs are the first to be hit with fungus, and because of the sticky quality of the eggs, the fungus will attack fertile eggs as well. I recommend using as little of the medication as possible. One half of a drop to one drop maximum; you want a slight discoloration of the water in the plastic bottle. After a day or so, when the eggs start developing, start water changes of 10 - 20%, to reduce the amount of anti-fungus medicine in the bottle and always use water from the original tank to refill the hatchery bottle. Once the embryo has fully developed and is about to hatch, have clean water from the original tank, with no medication in it, for the fry to emerge into. Aerator - have a good quality aerator that can easily put air into a couple of these bottles. Have the airline tubing that connects to the aerator work with a gang valve. In this way the air bubbles can be controlled for less or greater intensity. This control of the air bubbles will be crucial to the correct tumbling of the eggs. Too great of an air flow and the eggs become damaged and break by bouncing around too much. If there is not enough Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

airflow, then the eggs are not moving, and stay in one place. This prevents the eggs from having a continuous flow of water and air flowing around them, and destroys the embryo. Container to hold eggs -1 prefer a small container such as a plastic soup container from a Chinese restaurant. You could also use something the size of a Betta bowl. Once you strip the fish of her eggs and the eggs go into the net you need to move them from the net into this holding container. I prefer not to have the eggs hit the air. Submerse the container into the tank and move the net containing the eggs over the container. Then invert the net so the eggs drop into the container, which has the water from the tank in it. Now you can remove the eggs from the tank safely and put them into the hatchery bottle. All right, now you have all the ingredients and you are ready to catch the momma fish and strip her of the eggs. Using two nets in a slow fashion try to isolate the fish to an area such as a side glass or front glass where there is little obstruction in the way. You may have to remove rocks and ornaments prior to trying to catch the fish, as this will make it easier for you and the fish. Catch the fish in the net, and with your left hand (if you are right handed) hold the fish securely, but not tight. With the head pointed down into the net, remove the fish % of the way out of the water, leaving only its gills and mouth in the water. With your right hand use a fingernail or a two inch piece of airline tubing that has been cut diagonally on one side to have a pointed tip. Insert either the cut airline tubing or your fingernail into the mouth of the fish just enough to be able to secure a grip on the bottom lip. Apply gentle pressure to pull the lip down, so that the mouth is fully opened. This will cause the eggs or fry to tumble out and into the net. This action may have to be done several times to ensure all the eggs /fry have been removed and to provide the mother fish with a rest by easing her back into the water in the net, but never release your hold on the fish. Once you have ascertained that all the eggs or fry have been released, remove the mother fish from the net and gently place her back into the tank she came from. Slowly release your grip on the fish but gently hold her until she has regained enough strength to swim away on her own. Now comes the tricky part â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you must have the container close by and available immediately, because if you have to leave the eggs or fry hi the net for more than a minute the other fish in the tank will eat them right through the net. Move them quickly into the container, and then to the hatchery. When the eggs are in the hatchery,

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and if all goes well, you will see the eggs develop into fish and then emerge from their egg casing. African cichlid fry usually emerge between 27 and 30 days from the day of starting life's journey hi mom's mouth. If you notice eggs that are not developing (staying the same color or become paler or lighter) those eggs are not fertile and must be removed immediately, because they will fungus and contaminate the rest of the eggs. Important note - if the eggs stay in mom's mouth for 14 days, then generally she will carry the brood to full term and will release the fry when they are ready. If you happen to strip mom of eggs after 14 days, the embryos are already formed and you stand a much greater chance for the eggs to hatch. Any time an egg has less time in a hatchery, it will be better for the egg and for your chance of success. When the fry emerge from the egg they will have an egg sac on their stomach. Do Not Feed The Fish Until The Egg Sac Is Gone, usually within a week. Once the fry have emerged from the egg and are hopping around they can be moved to a "rearing tank." A rearing tank is a small tank, usually 5 gallon capacity. This aquarium should have a good quality heater in it, proportionate to the size of the tank, with the heating coil wrapped in airline tubing. It should also have a sponge filter, with a solid base to it, so that the sponge may not be able to fall to the bottom of the tank and possibly hurt any slow moving fry. There should be no gravel in this tank; this will make it easier to keep the tank clean. The water in the tank must have come from the parent's

tank. After the first week or so, depending on the species, start a 10%-20% water change, using tap water that has been conditioned. (By "conditioned," I mean adding dechlorinator to the tap water to remove the chlorine and any other metals that may be harmful to the baby fish.) Once the babies' egg sacs have disappeared and they are swimming normally, you can start the fry on baby flake food, baby brine shrimp, live daphnia or other high quality foods. If the mother holds the fish in her mouth to full term, the fry will have absorbed the egg sac and will emerge from mom's mouth very hungry. In this case, start feeding immediately. The food you feed the baby usually is not the same type food you feed to mom and dad fish. This is because the needs of the fry are different from the parents. Feed foods rich in protein and vitamins, and with a higher fat content, in order for the fry to "bulk up" quickly. If possible, feed your fry two or three times per day, but in very small amounts. This will assist them in growing faster. As with all young fish, the first 30 days are crucial to their survival. Once the fish get larger (triple their original size), it is time to move them to a "grow-out tank" which usually is a 20 -30 gallon tank for the fish to get larger, faster. It is also important to note that fish can be cannibalistic. Always try to keep the same size fish together. Take the larger fish and place them into smaller tanks in order for their siblings to catch up with the growth process. And that's it! Pretty simple process really, providing you're fast, and know exactly what to look for. Good luck in your stripping program.

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December 2004

ceil: 914-374-8073 Modem Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


The Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies 30th Annual Convention March 18-20, 2005 Marriott Hotel ~ Farmington, CT he NEC hosts the longest running consecutive general tropical fish convention in the country, and next year will be their 30th one! The convention is March 18-20, 2005. It will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Farmington, Connecticut. Since 1976, the NEC has hosted an annual convention open to those interested in furthering their knowledge of the aquarium hobby. Anyone from anywhere may attend, and people from all over the United States and Canada come each year. The NEC tries to bring in speakers that many clubs cannot generally bring to their monthly meetings. The NEC convention does not usually focus on a particular type of fish; the goal is to appeal to as many hobbyists as possible, and therefore keep a general focus. This has traditionally been both an educational and fun social event.

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What's Happening The convention begins early Friday afternoon,with some discussion groups, one or two sets of speakers, and a kickoff event early evening. Saturday is primarily speakers, with an awards banquet Saturday evening. The theme for the 2005 banquet is "The 1970's - We're Not Getting Older, We're Getting Better!" Feel free to dress the theme all weekend, and especially for the banquet! Sunday is a giant, all-day auction offish and plants. Traditionally, the convention has a photo contest, non-fishy bingo (for the non-fishy participants), and a variety of other activities throughout the weekend. Not to be overlooked is the fabulous Vendor Room with manufacturers' representatives to answer questions and introduce new products, fish, plants, and aquarium equipment, along with vendors selling their unique, fishy paraphernalia. Speakers The speaker lineup so far includes: Lee Finley - Banquet Master of Ceremonies Ian Fuller from England - Cory dor as Christel KasselmannfromGermany - Plants Dr. Anton Lamboj from Austria - West African Cichlids Rosario LaCorte - Killifish Gary Lange - Rainbowfish Dr. Paul Loiselle - Lake Victoria And watch for more! REGISTRATION information will be posted on the NEC website (http://www.northeastcouncil.org/) when it is finalized, along with a schedule of events. Registration information will also be made available on the Information Table at our meetings. CONTACT for further information please feel free to contact any of the people listed below: • Janine & David Banks (802) 372-8716 dbanks@together.net • Penny &AlFaul (978)534-3683 pennyfaul@yahoo.com • Christine & Frank Policastro (609) 371-1195 colonna@comcast.net • Wally & Sue Bush (860)276-9475 wbush27@aol.com Or, you can speak to our NEC Delegate, Claudia Dickinson, at any meeting.

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


WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST he topic of this book is native fishes of North America (including the United States and Canada), and does not include fishes from Central or South America. It also does not include introduced fishes. There are upwards of 700 species of tropical fish in North America, freshwater as well as marine, and a great number of them are wellsuited for life in an aquarium. Some of the reasons which would render certain fishes unsuitable tank inhabitants are that they grow too large, require cool water, or have specialized feeding and breeding habits that are difficult to accommodate. However, there are many small, colorful, and interesting fish to be studied and enjoyed. When you are preparing for a collecting trip, acquire a state fishing licence (usually required), a collector's permit (if required), a field guide, maps, and a notebook for recording where you were, when you were there, and what was collected. Dr. Goldstein gets you started by providing an alphabetical state-by-state list of contact information. There is also a list of fishes which (at the time of publication) were protected by the federal status of either E (endangered), or T (threatened). The chapter on suitable plants warns the reader that many native aquatics require cooler temperatures than most home fishrooms can provide, and that "trial-and error may be the best teacher." There are some familiar names among the plants listed, as well as some new ones to be discovered. A lovely collection of line drawings of many of the plants compliments the text. The author believes that "live foods have the best acceptability and nutritive value." Most North American fishes are insectivores. He finds that insects are, as a rule, more nutritious than crustaceans (such as brine shrimp). He discusses a wide variety of insects, including which types of fish they are best suited for. As an example, "the nymphs (immature stage) of dragonflies and damselflies are useful to feed large fishes, however, they are predacious insects and should not be placed in tanks with small fishes."

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

Now we are ready to learn about the fishes themselves. The chapter titles consist of the name of an order of fish, which is further broken down into family, genus, and then species. By means of an example, I will choose a fish with which many of you may be familiar, and work my way back up to the order. Heterandria formosa, commonly known as the least killifish, is a member of the genus Heterandria^ the family Poeciliidae, and the order Atheriniformes. "The Order Atheriniformes" is the title of chapter 15. Don't let all of this nomenclature put you off. Once you have quickly moved through the preliminaries, the text itself is very conversational and informative. As an example, I will offer you a few excerpts from the entry about Heterandria formosa: "... it is the only member of its genus in the United States. Females are seldom more than one inch; males seldom attain one inch. A more appropriate name would be the least livebearer. It occurs in dense floating and shoreline vegetation of fresh or slightly brackish water. A delightful livebearer, peaceful and prolific. The young are birthed only one or two a day until the brood is completely expelled." Immediately following the contents of chapters, there is a chronologically arranged index of illustrations. There are twelve chapters, i.e., orders, each of which is broken down to many species of fish. It has a bibliography (list of literature cited), and a thoroughly cross-referenced index. Here is a quote from the dust cover: "Goldstein has provided a unique tool for American naturalists and a new dimension to the international hobby of breeding aquarium fishes. American Aquarium Fishes will be equally useful to both aquarists and biologists." Undoubtedly, there is something here to interest every reader. Whether you want to head for the nearest pond or stream with a net and a bucket, plan a vacation that takes you to many collecting sites, or, like me, be an "armchair collector" of fins and facts, your library will be enhanced by this handsome book. Editor's Note: this book, signed by the author, will be among those available in our "Author Award Program" raffle next month. to -wish a(t of our readers hiafi spirits and the 9est ofdeaCtfi as we cefefarate tnis joyfut season. (May (jjodfiCess you and yours, Sue

December 2004

21


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December 2004

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


Stranger Than Fiction A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

his month, I'm going to do something totally different. I'm going to be serious (or at least as serious as I ever get) by providing you with interesting facts and information that you can verify for yourself. So, remember, this is a SERIOUS article, so no laughing allowed! A species of puffer fish has helped scientists identify 900 human genes that went previously unnoticed. An international team of researchers has published the genetic map of the puffer fish Tetraodon nigroviridis in the October 21 issue of Nature. Unlike the Fugu puffer fish, Tetraodon is not poisonous and is common at pet stores. "By comparing Tetraodon genes to the human genome, we found about 900 new human genes that had been missed because they were difficult to find using conventional methods," said Hugues Roest Crollius, a researcher at Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. The Tetraodon has the smallest known vertebrate genome, with 21 chromosomes and more than 300 million letters of DNA. Having trouble keeping alive those goldfish that used to be given away free at fairs? Well, there is a goldfish named Max who is reported to be 19 years old, and still swimming, in his suburban Chicago tank. Steve Bennett was 12 years old when he won Max, and 11 other goldfish, at a school fair. Within a week, all were dead except Max. Now, 19 years later, Max is nearly a foot long, measured from nose to tail, according to an article in the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

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

Just in case anyone ever asks you, the attention span of a goldfish is only nine seconds. I know you've seen those "fish tank" screensavers on computer screens. Well, now you can have a "real" fake-fish tank (how's that for an oxymoron?) sitting next to your monitor. A new product being marketed is a plastic fish tank that connects to the USB port of your desktop or laptop computer. The tank comes with two floating plastic fish, a motor, and a blue light. After you fill the tank with the appropriate amount of water, you drop in the two fish, plug the USB cable into an empty USB port on your computer and watch the fish swim. And for my final factual report (and, remember, no laughing!), I want to mention that earlier this year, National Geographic' s Kids News reported that a research team led by marine biologist Ben Wilson, of the Bamfield Marine Science Centre in Canada, discovered that herring talk to each other by (how can I say this in a family publication without some government agent knocking at my door tomorrow?), well "breaking wind." Wilson and his team studied herring from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The team caught fish and put them in large tanks to watch their behavior. "It turns out that herring make unusual farting sounds at night," explained Wilson. Wilson and his team named the noise Fast Repetitive Tick (or "FRT"). No, I'm not making this stuff up, go to the Internet search engine GOOGLE and type: Fish FRT and you'll see I'm telling the truth! Herring apparently use FRT to communicate with each other in the dark. The noise seems to allow the fish to find each other without alerting predators. Traveling together can help fish stay safe from their enemies. Fish pass wind differently from humans. Instead of having gas, scientists say that herring gulp air at the surface. They store the air and release it through a hole in their rear ends. This was also reported in Britain's Practical Fishkeeping magazine, which commented that "The high-frequency fart, technically known as a Fast Repetitive Tick (FRT) can be heard by herring, but is too high-pitched for predators to hear, allowing the shoal to communicate to each other without getting rumbled." The scientists say that FRT sounds could be used to help fishermen find herring. (Hmmm â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I wonder if smelts communicate the same way?)

December 2004

23


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December 2004

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


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

December 2004

25


Fin Fun Triangle of Tetras Answer the questions below to find the common names of the 15 tetras in the triangle. The word "tetra" has been left off all the answers. 15 14

13

11

10 6

7 2

12 9

8 3

4

5

1) You might think this tetra would have trouble finding food 2) You might think this tetra has a special beat 3) You might think this tetra got scraped up 4) You might think this tetra was up all night 5) You might think this tetra is a drunk 6) You might think this tetra could help light up Broadway 7) You might think this tetra is Caesar 8) You might think this tetra is a ghost 9) You might think this tetra is a spider 10) You might think this tetra is a liberal 11) You might think this tetra is a Batman villain 12) You might think this tetra is named for a snake, but it's Latin for "red" 13) You might think this tetra should wear a red skullcap 14) You might think this tetra is sour 15) You might think this tetra is hot This month's puzzle, courtesy of Bernard Harrigan

Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: KILLIFISH EGG

Species

Plant Spawner

Nothobranchius guntheri X

Lucania goodei

X

Simps onichthys magnificus

X X

Pterolebias zonatus

X

Campellolebias brucei

X

Rivulus xiphidius

X

Nematolebias whitei Aplocheilus lineatus

26

Soil Spawner X

Aphyosemion australe

Jordanella floridae

HUNT

X X

December 2004

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

December 2004 volume XI number 10

Modern Aquarium  

December 2004 volume XI number 10

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