Modern Aquarium April 2010

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April 2010 volume XVII number 2

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Series III ON THE COVER Our cover photo this month features a colorful collection of African cichlids residing at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. For some insight on keeping and breeding Lake Malawi mbunas, see Tommy Chang’s article, “The Pseudotropheus polit Project,” on page 13.

Vol. XVII, No. 2 April, 2010

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2010 Program Schedule President’s Message

Photo by Mark Neufeld

The N.E.C. 2009 Article Competition GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

G.C.A.S. Sponsors and Advertisers

Board Members

President Vice-President Treasurer Corresponding Secretary Recording Secretary

Dan Radebaugh Mark Soberman Jules Birnbaum Warren Feuer Edward Vukich

Members At Large

Claudia Dickinson Artie Friedman Ben Haus Leonard Ramroop

Pete D’Orio Al Grusell Emma Haus

by Claudia Dickinson

Wet Leaves by Susan Priest

My Favorite Aquarium by Stephen Sica

The Pseudotropheus polit Project by Tommy Chang

Committee Chairs

A.C.A. Delegate Bowl Show Breeder Award Early Arrivals F.A.A.S. Delegate Members/Programs N.E.C. Delegate Technology Coordinator

Tonight’s Speaker: Tim Nurse

Claudia Dickinson Leonard Ramroop Warren Feuer Mark Soberman Al Grusell Alexander A. Priest Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Warren Feuer

Looking Through the Lens Photos from Our Last Meeting by Claudia Dickinson

Fishkeepers Anonymous by Susan Priest

Cichlidically Speaking by Claudia Dickinson

G.C.A.S. Breeders Award Program

MODERN AQUARIUM Editor in Chief Copy Editors Exchange Editors Advertising Mgr.

Dan Radebaugh Sharon Barnett Susan Priest Alexander A. Priest Stephen Sica Donna Sosna Sica Mark Soberman

G.C.A.S. Bowl Show Rules Member Classifieds The Undergravel Reporter G.C.A.S. Happenings Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

2 3 4 5 6 7 9 11 13 16

18 19 23 30 31 32 33 34

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh

s those of you who attended our meeting last month already know, The NEC (Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies) has announced the winners of its 2009 Article Competition, and Modern Aquarium authors did extremely well. We distributed the awards (or most of them) at last month’s meeting, and you will find the complete list of winners on page 5 of this issue. Our authors placed in all four article categories, sweeping two of them, and winning nine of the twelve prizes awarded. These include three out of the four 1st Places, three out of the four 2nd Places, and three out of the four 3rd Places. Our winners this year include Al and Sue Priest, Michael Vulis, Marsha Radebaugh, Jannette Ramirez, Elliot Oshins, and Claudia Dickinson. This really is a remarkable showing, and I hope you will join me in saluting all of our authors for their consistently high-quality contributions! Appropriately enough, in this issue we debut a new author, as new GCAS member Tommy Chang shares with us some of the trials and tribulations of purchasing, keeping, and breeding Lake Malawi cichlids. Be sure and see his article, “The Pseudotropheus polit Project,” on page 13. Tommy also turns up on page 18 as the subject of last month’s “Fishkeepers Anonymous.” Welcome aboard, Tommy! In addition to his roles as Exchange Editor and traveling aquarist extraordinaire, we often count on Steve Sica to let us know about “a few of his favorite things.” Mostly these are aquarium inhabitants – either animal or vegetable – but this month it’s the actual aquarium! Does that count as mineral? Modern Aquarium took first, second, and third place awards in the NEC’s “Continuing Columns” category, and each of those awardwinning columns returns this month. In “Wet Leaves” this month, Sue Priest gives us a very positive review of David Alderton’s book, the Encyclopedia of Aquarium & Pond Fish. The Undergravel Reporter continues to delight us with unusual aquarium anecdotes, and Claudia



Dickinson returns with a new installment of “Cichlidically Speaking.” Claudia also contributes an introduction to our guest speaker Tim Nurse, as well as her regular photo column, “Looking Through the Lens.” You’ll also find in this issue rules for our Bowl Show, as well as the details of our Breeder Award Points program, including an official BAP application form. The “Fin Fun” puzzle rounds out the issue. Remember, Modern Aquarium is produced by and for the members of Greater City Aquarium Society. Our members are our authors, and we always need more articles. I know several of you are keeping and/or breeding fish that I would like to know more about, and I’m certain other members would be interested as well. Share your experience with us. Write about it! If you’re a little unsure about the state of your writing technique, don’t worry – that’s why there are editors. If you have an article, photo, or drawing that you’d like to submit for inclusion in Modern Aquarium, it’s easy to do! You may fax it to me at (877) 299-0522, email it to gcas@earthlink. net, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

GCAS Programs



t is our great fortune to have another admirable cast of speakers who have so graciously accepted our invitation to join us throughout the coming season, bringing us their extensive knowledge and experiences. You certainly won’t wish to miss a moment of our prominent guests, not to mention the friends, fish, warmth, and camaraderie that accompanies each meeting. I know I can barely wait to see you here! Enjoy! Claudia March

Jeff Kurtz TFH ‘Q & A’ columnist The Role of Writing in the Aquarium Hobby


Tim Nurse Diving Lake Tanganyika


Ken Davis Adventures in Uruguay

June July

GCAS Visit to the Bronx Zoo with Director Jim Breheny! Jeff Bollbach Fishroom Tour: Missouri Aquarium Society


Silent Auction




Rusty Wessel Mexico - The Panuco Valley: Livebearers and Cichlids of the Region


Joseph Ferdenzi


Holiday Party!

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


notice that our speaker schedule for the coming year is very nearly complete. Our speaker last month was Jeff Kurtz, Q&A Editor for Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine. Jeff’s topic, “The Role of Writing in the Aquarium Hobby,” was not exactly mainstream fish club meeting material, and I know that some of us had concerns as to how it would go over. Nevertheless, everyone seemed very attentive during the talk, and I was most impressed by the interest shown during the Q&A at the end. I commend Claudia for taking a little bit of a risk and having it pay off. In fact, as I peruse the lineup for the rest of the year, I also commend Claudia for putting together a solid, traditional, yet still rather adventurous program schedule. This line of thought led me to consider the contributions of our other Board members. We all know there is a Board, and that it is responsible for doing stuff, but I suspect that most of us would have to think a bit to identify exactly what all the “stuff” actually is. Well, take a moment to replay everything that happens when we all show up for a meeting. There is a place to meet. With chairs and tables. And a computer and a projection screen. There are always refreshments ready. There are containers for the bowl show. There are raffle tickets, door prizes,

items to be raffled, our monthly magazine to hand out. There are ribbons, certificates, and other prizes to be awarded. Photos are taken. There is an auction to run, and money to be handled. There are new members to welcome, speakers to engage and help get to the meeting place on time. There are letters to be written to take care of various necessities. Someone has to keep records of what we talk about and decide. Breeder Award Points need to be recorded and tallied; likewise for Author Award Points. There’s still more stuff, but you get the picture. When you have a moment, please take a look at the blue box on the first page of Modern Aquarium. See who’s doing what. If you think someone’s doing a good job, tell them so. They’ll appreciate hearing it (though they may not admit it).


Articles submitted for consideration in Modern Aquarium (ISSN 2150-0940) must be received no later than the 10th day of the month prior to the month of publication. Please fax to (877) 299-0522, or email to Copyright 2010 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 January and February. Members receive notice of meetings in the mail. For more information, contact: Dan Radebaugh (718) 458-8437. Find out more, or leave us a message, at our Internet Home Page at: http://www. or


April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The NEC 2009 Article Competition Breeder Articles 1. Bubbles In The Wine 2. Breeding Rhinogobius duospilus 3. Breeding the L-387, an undescribed Loricariid species

Alexander A. Priest Michael Vulis Amanda Parker


Marsha Radebaugh Jannette Ramirez Elliot Oshins


Barry Lynch Caz van Slyck Susan Priest


Claudia Dickinson Alexander A. Priest Susan Priest


Humor Articles 1. The Fishkeeper's Wife's Top Ten 2. The Twelve Days of Christmas (fishkeeper version) 3. The Fish Mobile

Open Articles 1. Lessons Learned 2. Ethical Fishkeeping 3. My First Favorites

Continuing Columns 1. Cichlidically Speaking 2. The Undergravel Reporter 3. Wet Leaves *tropical Fish society of rhode island

**Norwalk aquarium society

***Long island aquarium society

2010 American Livebearer Association Convention The 2010 American Livebearer Convention will be hosted by the Greater Detroit Aquarium Society. Chris Singer is the chairperson. April 22 - 25, 2010 Convention registration is open! For more information, visit Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


GCAS Thanks You! Our Generous Sponsors and Advertisers The Greater City Aquarium Society extends our heartfelt thanks to the following manufacturers for their generous donations. Thanks also to our advertisers, whose contributions to our success as a Society are deeply appreciated. Please patronize our supporters. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Technology Inc Ecological Laboratories HBH Pet Products Koller-Craft Kordon, LLC Marineland Microbe Lift Ocean Nutrition America Omega Sea Red Sea


Rena Rolf C. Hagen San Francisco Bay Brand Seachem Zoo Med Laboratories Inc. Cameo Pet Shop Coral Aquarium Nassau Discus World Class Aquarium Zoo Rama Aquarium

April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The G.C.A.S. Proudly extends a most Warm Welcome to

Our Guest Speaker

Tim Nurse Speaking on Diving Lake Tanganyika by Claudia Dickinson


rowing up in the rural setting of Bethany, Connecticut, Tim Nurse was surrounded by woods and streams and numerous animals which instilled in him a passion for nature and the great outdoors that remains with him to this day. Today, he enjoys hiking and hunting, and keeps the freezer supplied with venison to last throughout the year. Once the freezer is full, he picks up his camera and turns to focusing on wildlife and capturing his adventures on digital. Receiving a 30-gallon aquarium from one of his co-workers that was intended for “the kids,” Tim and his family went in search for fish to join the mollies that already inhabited it. After looking through the selection, they decided on loaches, swordtails, and an angelfish. Picking up a small container to scoop out the angelfish that had just been used to strip Otopharynx tetrastigma, little Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

did the shopkeeper know that there were two small O. tetrastigma fry stuck to its edge. These fell into the bag along with the angelfish and made it home to the Nurse household. Fascinated by the young specimens, Tim Nurse ascending Mt. Tim recalls spending Washington, NH. much time researching them in an attempt to find their identity. He says, “In the process I learned about cichlids and was hooked.” Tim’s interest in cichlids grew exponentially, as did his number of tanks, and in his present home his fishroom holds 30 tanks in various sizes up to 135 gallons. His focus has remained on cichlids, mostly of the Rift Lakes of Africa, but more recently expanding to other regions.

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Founder of the New England Cichlid Association,, and currently serving as the organization’s Vice President, Tim has traveled to Lake Tanganyika, is a sought after speaker throughout the northeast, and has written about his experiences in the American Cichlid Association’s Buntbarsche Bulletin.

At Bond Cliff, White Mountains, NH.

It is with great pride and heartfelt thanks that we warmly welcome Tim tonight as he brings us his experiences in Diving Lake Tanganyika.

Photos by Steven Ginnow Tim photographing in Elizabeth Park, Hartford, CT.


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

females and similar species, as well as varieties within a species. Some of the photos are included purely for their artistic value, which is considerable. Simply stated, this is a stunningly beautiful book. Most of the “practical pages” are near the a Series On Books For The Hobbyist beginning of each of the three sections. For example, in the section on marine aquariums there by SUSAN PRIEST is practical advice on siting and substrate, selecting his book was given to me as a gift. If I had decor, and preparing the tank, to name but a few. come across it on my own, my peevishness “Position sessile invertebrates in a well lit part of when it comes to books which include more the aquarium and relatively close to a powerhead than one “genre” of fishkeeping where there is a good flow of (in this case freshwater, marine, water that will waft food to and pond topics are all included them and carry away their Encyclopedia of between its covers), I would waste.” Aquarium & Pond Fish have passed it by. Fortunately The bulk of the text is By David Alderton for you, the loyal readers of this made up of what the author DK Publishing, 2005 column, that’s not what calls “directory pages.” happened, and you now have Categories (chapters) entitled access to this assessment of its killifish, livebearers, cichlids, virtues, which more than outweigh its shortcomings. etc., consist of detailed descriptions of individual “The definitive guide to choosing and keeping fishes. Here is an example: Aulonocara freshwater or marine fish, for aquariums and hansbaenschi Blue Peacock Cichlid ponds.” Our author is not short on origins: eastern coast confidence that he is of Lake Malawi up to the task of size: 4 in (10 cm) delivering it all. Let’s diet: prepared foods, see how he does. live foods, vegetable Very early on matter (right after the water: temp. 72contents), is a one 79EF (22-26EC), page tutorial entitled hard (150-200mg/l), “How to use this alkaline (pH 7.5-8.0) book.” It gives us a temperament: males good idea as to what are antisocial. we can expect going forward. “Practical These five pages,” “feature pieces of basic boxes,” and “directory information (origins, pages” are illustrated. size, diet, water, and This leads us to expect temperament), in a high level of addition to the organization of scientific as well as material, which our common names, are author delivers provided in every admirably. Rather fish directory. These than describing these are followed by a categories, I will offer paragraph or two you brief examples of each of these. providing even more specific information. In the Before I do that, I want to comment on what I example of the blue peacock cichlid, plenty of consider to be the most distinctive and appealing caves and very good oxygenation are among the feature of this book, which is the photography. recommendations. Throughout its 400 pages, the color photos of fish Nearby is a “feature box” which describes the offer unrivaled detail. They serve to clearly identify ‘sensory pores’ on the heads of Aulonocara species each species being described. They illustrate quirks which they use to locate invertebrate food sources of behavior, styles of breeding, and lifestyles in the which are near to them but not visible in dark wild. They also provide comparisons of males vs. surroundings, and may also help in locating their


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


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


own eggs and fry. These pores have sometimes been mistaken for hole-in-the-head disease. In the section on ponds there are a few practical pages which describe “cold water fish in the home.” There are pointers on how to set up an aquarium for them, along with some tips if you are considering (or already have) an indoor pond. There is a feature box tucked in between the directory pages on the different varieties of goldfish which says “Although many of the foods marketed for goldfish float, and therefore encourage these cyprinids to feed at the surface, this is contrary to their instincts. Like their carp ancestors, goldfish are bottom-feeding fish by nature.” Other features of the book include “at-a-glance directories” (basically these are charts which mostly deal with diseases), a glossary, and an index of common and scientific names, as well as a general index. One glaring omission was that the list of “useful websites” did not include This book is available in secondary markets for much less than the publishers price of $35.00.


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

Obviously one volume, however broad its scope, cannot possibly include detailed information on more than a modest percentage of aquarium fishes. The author has chosen “those species most commonly sold in aquarium stores, while also allowing for the inclusion of some of the more unusual species that occasionally become available.” Now we must ask ourselves, did Mr. Alderton indeed deliver it all? I would have to say that this work truly does provide its readers with the encyclopedic scope of information which its title promises. That is high praise coming from a nit picker like me, and having said that, I will keep my very minor gripes to myself. This is truly a book for fishkeepers of all levels of experience, including those with no experience at all. By that I mean that its eye catching photography, along with its distinctive size, could easily qualify it as a “coffee table book.” When your visitors look at it and start asking questions, if you don’t know the answers you can simply look them up!

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S 19(NY)



everal years ago, Joe Ferdenzi wrote a series of articles that I believe were entitled “My Favorite Aquarium.” I recall eagerly reading these stories. They may have been my favorite article series since I have been a member of Greater City. Likewise, anyone who has more than one aquarium must have a favorite. In fact, even if you have just one, that has to be your favorite! I have seven small fish tanks ranging from 5 to 36 gallons. For no special reason, I always considered that eight gallons would make the ideal small aquarium. Thanks to my lovely wife’s generosity, she presented me with an eight gallon Oceanic Bio-cube for my birthday two years ago. This is the smallest of the three bio-cube aquariums in their lineup. The glass tank is divided into two sections. The front eight gallons is the primary housing, which is separated by a black plastic wall from the narrow back that houses the filter, sump, and small submersible water pump. There is a long, narrow window on one side to monitor the pump’s water level.

The unit is a self-contained cube of approximately fifteen inches in length, width and height. The top is a matching hinged hood that completely opens; the front of the hood has a small lid that also opens to feed Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

the fish. The hood contains two compact fluorescent bulbs and two .75 watt blue LED night lights. All of them are protected from condensation and water by a clear plastic cover. Each fluorescent bulb―an actinic blue and a 10,000K daylight―is 18

watts. The aquarium sits atop a matching black stand that has one adjustable shelf in the base that sits behind a smoked glass-like (actually plastic) opaque door. I keep the two fluorescent ballasts on the bottom shelf and water changing gear on the top shelf. When the lights are on, the ballasts emit a low hum. The LEDs are noiseless. I operate each lightset by separate timers. When the fluorescents turn off at night, the LEDs remain on for an additional half hour. The tank is landscaped with black number five stones, with one small piece of driftwood centered in it. The driftwood is surrounded by low-light plants. The right rear area has

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Java ferns; the left and front various anubias plants. Several alleged “easy to keep plants” have had a temporary home in the aquarium. Since the primary lights are on less than five hours daily, their survival has been feeble.

At one time or another, the aquarium has been home to hatchetfish, zebra danios, pencilfish, threadfin rainbowfish, and currently, three green rasboras, the survivors of ten originals. These remaining fish have


resided in the tank for more than a year with no signs of distress. I currently have vague plans to relocate the rasboras and try some other small fish. As yet I have not decided who will be the new tenants. I’ll wait until something catches my fancy. With a small fish load and several plants, maintenance has been easy. Replacement filters are somewhat pricey, so I made my own from inexpensive filter media. If you want a small “mobile” aquarium that is quite attractive and does not require a large space, I endorse this aquarium wholeheartedly. If eight gallons seems too small for you, the next size is fourteen gallons. I think it costs only about thirty dollars more. Both sizes use the same stand. I did not currently price either aquarium but I think that you can probably purchase either complete setup of tank and stand in a price range of approximately $250 to $300.

April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Pseudotropheus polit Project or

What I Learned about African Cichlids and Hybrids by Tommy Chang


even moderately bad water conditions, depending on seudotropheus polit is a maternal mouthbrooder the species. from Lake Malawi. It is a dimorphic mbuna With these cichlids, I did everything wrong. I (rock dweller) from the Lions Cove area of kept my mbuna in a 30-gallon long. My Melanchromis the lake on the western shore, the same source as auratus were dimorphic, so they were easy to sex and for the ubiquitous Labidochromis caeruleus. Males pair up, but I didn’t know they were harem breeders when colored are a brilliant whitish blue with a black and extremely aggressive. I bought the dominant face mask. The females have a rust-orange hue, with male and a yellow female from my local fish store. bluish fins. It was first called Pseudotropheus sp. I also had one or two fish of the Metriaclima genus, “polit” when discovered, as the genus Pseudotropheus first known as Pseudotropheus sp. “zebra,” red and is a temporary designation for species with as yet blue and OB (OB stands for unclassified taxonomies. Orange Blotched) zebras, They are similar to fish of the also extremely aggressive. Pseudotropheus perspicax Later it got even worse, group. since I kept Melanchromis A new member of the johanni juveniles in a GCAS, I am also a “newbie” 20-gallon long. The LFS to fishkeeping, so this article (local fish store) had told me is from the viewpoint of a they were peaceful fish from half-experienced neophyte Lake Tanganyika. Please on the topic of African understand that this was cichlids, particularly the before the days of the internet Lake Malawi cichlids, and Pseudotropheus polit and online fish forums. These most specifically mbuna fish are probably worse than M. auratus, and they are (rock dwellers). It also touches on the topic of hybrids. definitely not from Lake Tanganyika! My fish were So why is this article entitled the “Pseudotropheus all sub-adults, and lacked the proper male to female Polit Project (P3 for short)?” ratios. I wanted to, but could not breed them. I then Well, let me start with a little introduction about went away to college, and gave up the fish hobby for myself. I got my first aquarium when I was a young a while. lad growing up in Brooklyn at the age of nine. Like This brings us to today, when I finally joined the most beginners, I had danios, tetras, tiger barbs, and GCAS. Determined to finally breed aquarium fish, I angelfish. I didn’t even know about water changes. I returned to the Africans. I had done a lot of reading did do them, but more often than not I would merely on the internet about cichlids and hybrids, and why top off the evaporated water. It was a long time ago, so hybrids are bad, so this gives you a clue about the other I don’t remember all that happened, but I do remember half of this article’s title. I wanted to add to the hobby that I never had fry in my 10 gallon tank. by breeding high quality yellow labs (Labidochromis In high school I moved on to “bigger” things. I caeruleus), and perhaps get started earning breeder don’t remember how I got into African cichlids, but I points. I decided to set up a species-only tank with became hooked on these colorful, aggressive fish from these common fish (common in the hobby but not in Lake Malawi. I knew that Tanganyikans existed, but the wild). I hadn’t done enough reading at this point that is an entirely different story. It’s debatable whether about the notorious hybrids L. caeruleus x Metriaclima or not breeding African cichlids is more advanced and estherae (the red zebra). “bigger” than, let’s say, breeding the graceful angelfish I was so anxious to get yellow labs that I went to (Pterophyllum scalare). I say this because, being my local fish store and, since they looked like yellow mouthbrooders, Malawi cichlids breed like rabbits in labs, I bought six juveniles (or what I thought were almost any kind of environment, whether in good or Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


juveniles. I actually convinced myself to buy fish I had rationalized were only an inch long but which were in reality almost mature two inch specimens). Four of them are spectacular, but one of them should have been culled in my opinion, as the black stripe across the dorsal fin was rather thin and ragged. I didn’t then know that hybrids can look like either parent or in between, and that yellow labs and red zebras readily hybridize. I read on that one expert believes that the majority of the so called yellow labs are actually hybrids of yellow labs and red zebras. So I looked at my electric yellows and began to notice strange things about them. I began to suspect that they were hybrids, because they were much more aggressive than I thought they should be. I noticed that their scales had white spots like red zebras have. I looked at their shape, asking myself questions like, “Now isn’t that how a red zebra is shaped?” I posted any questions I had about hybrids, and what yellow lab hybrids would look like. In fact I beat this subject to death! I think people were actually getting exhausted by all my questions about “yellow lab hybrids.”

Male Labidochromis caeruleus (electric yellow cichlid)

Metriaclima estherae (red zebra cichlid), with Metriaclima greshakei (ice blue zebra) in background

On the web forum, I further learned from one of the administrators that one should buy from reputable sources, such as the sponsors of the site, or breeders with a good reputation. Not having done that, I decided I was ill-prepared to pursue breeder points. 14

By now I had convinced myself of the dubious pedigree of my new fish from the LFS, and believed with high probability that I had hybrids, so I decided to start over and do it right. I researched several other species that were not well known for hybridizing easily with others of their genus or of other genera. I wonder if there is such a fish? Anyway, I liked Pseudotropheus polit. Thus the P3 was born (and this article’s title). I vowed I would go about things correctly. I resolved to get a notebook and start a journal, detailing my activities and observations of water conditions, behavior of the fish, and so forth. I would label my notebook with this title and keep a record of everything. I decided to set up my 30-long as a home for my yellow lab “hybrids.” When I got the money together I would set up a species-only tank with the polits in a 55-gallon. I had even seen advertisements from online retailers that they had F1 polits. “F1” in cichlid breeding parlance popularly means once removed from Wild Caught (WC or F0). That is, they are offspring of wild caught parents. The next step was posting on the two forums I was involved with and asking about P. polit. I Googled™ for Pseudotropheus polit, as it is now known, as well as for Pseudotropheus sp. “polit,” as it had been previously known. I had the six yellow labs which I would house in my 30-long, which meant that my plans for a Neolamprologus brichardi colony in that tank were dashed. I would order 15-20 F1 P. polit juveniles. So I called some online retailers, and learned that it was poor planning to ask about purchasing fish without having a tank cycled and ready to house those fish. Good advice, because you never know what the retailer will have on hand. So now my grand Plan P3 was half dashed. It was dependent on whether I could find enough F1 polits at the right time. I didn’t want to give up on P3, so I continued my research. Breeders of guppies know basics like you need at least 13 tanks to separate males and females and to raise fry, and that one should breed for size and desired qualities. I had read on a web site that African cichlid breeders were basically breeding for dominance. P. Polit is a very aggressive harem mouthbrooder, and you should keep one male to three or four females. Only the dominant male will color up in one small tank. My plan was to keep excess males with my yellow labs, and to select for coloration rather than dominance. I learned, however, that females need to be present for the males to color up. So it was going to be very hard to get more than one (the dominant) male, to color up at the same time, and mate the most colorful ones to the females. Perhaps if I had a big enough tank and more females, more than one male would turn that brilliant white that is the hallmark of the species’ beauty. With only three tanks, including my 20-long fry tank, I had not enough space to do a full breeding program. The P3 was a bust!

April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Some time later, while buying some dry goods supplies for my hobby, I saw some maingano (Melanchromis cyaneorhabdos). They were true juveniles, and the LFS had many of them at a reasonable price, and above all they looked clean, as they should look to be maingano. Determined to pursue breeder points, I did my research. My aspirations again took a tumble as I learned that M. cyaneorhabdos hybridize easily with Melanchromis johanni and Melanchromis interruptus, so now I am thinking these are hybrids as well! Managing some courage, I confronted the manager of my LFS and sort of interrogated him. I asked whether their wholesale suppliers bred their fish in species-only tanks. He said they did. So I decided to take a risk, realizing that my fears of hybrid fish were probably unfounded. It is true that some unscrupulous wholesalers deliberately produce, and introduce hybrids into the hobby. The pet store chains, often with contracts, then buy from these wholesalers from Asia and the Czech Republic at reduced prices in an effort to increase their bottom line. It is well known in the hobby that nearly all, if not all Malawi cichlids are mouthbrooders, and that any Malawi cichlid may cross with any other Malawi cichlid in the confines of an aquarium or the limited space of a breeding pond. I actually came across a Craig’s List advertisement for hybrids of kenyi (Metriaclima lombardoi) and yellow labs! The ad used the term “probably will be…” when describing traits. This is just the problem with African cichlid hybrids. They may not act like the species they appear to be, and will in some cases look slightly off as well, ruining any carefully stocked Rift Lake cichlid aquarium setup. So African cichlid hybrids are frowned upon, and no pet store will say a Rift Lake cichlid is a hybrid whether they know it for sure or not. For example, not so long ago, a fully grown male peacock (Aulonocara) used to fetch about thirty to forty dollars; if wild caught, almost double that. According to Douglas Duhamel, “Some unscrupulous breeders are using purebred males of more expensive fish such as sunshine peacocks, and are cross-breeding them with cheaper African cichlids like female Mbunas.” This again is for the bottom line. Do an online search, shopping for “hybrid fish species,” and you will see that many online retailers knowingly sell hybrids of other fish species, but I could not find any references in print or online that advertised African cichlid hybrids for sale. One source has spotted “solid electric yellow” at a chain pet store. On I learned from a response to one of my posts that some yellow lab x red zebras, without the hallmark black stripe on the dorsal fin, were seen and sold as pure bred specimens. Some electric blue johanni are probably a cross between maingano and M. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

johanni. Pet stores often don’t know their own stock or what hybrids are; they just sell what looks good or is in demand to augment the bottom line. So hybrids come from chain stores, the LFS’s, and unknowledgeable or unscrupulous hobbyists. One of the administrators at Eastcoastcichlids. org had warned me, “know your source,” and then don’t worry about the various crosses humans have made. His point was if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it is probably a duck. Well, true…mostly, but I don’t want to get into discussions about the nature of reality and all that philosophical nonsense. It’s more fun just taking care of my fish. The Pseudotropheus polit project is at this point on the back burner. Eventually I will somehow get rid of the fish I bought in a rush from my LFS, the yellow labs, the mainganos, and the rusties (Iodotropheus sprengarae). I will breed these species not for further continuing the lines for future breeders, but for tank stocking. I will also master the mechanics of holding and stripping females of their fry and raising those fry, a skill needed for the future of the P3. At some future point, I will find some F1 or WC polits, and breed to add to the hobby more availability of Pseudotropheus polit.

References “Who Needs Another Hybrid?” Dr. Ronald M. Coleman et al 2. “Hybrids” by Kevin Thurston Thurston_Hybrids.html 3. “Cichlid Hybrids” from Sydney Cichlid Aquarium Pages 4. “How to Shop For Quality Tropical Fish, Avoid the Scam of Buying Hybrid Fish Advertised as Purebred,” by Douglas DuHamel to_shop_for_quality_tropical_fish Photos: Page 11: P. Polit: wiki/File:Pseudotropheus_polit.jpg Page 12: yellow lab: File:Labidochromis_caeruleus_(male) Page 12: red zebra: calwhiz/2869189077/

April 2010


Looking through the Photos and captions Welcome back to the GCAS after our two-month winter hiatus! What a wonderfully fabulous evening it was to see all of you again and to welcome our special guest speaker, Jeff Kurtz. Jeff is the extraordinary ‘Q & A’ columnist for TFH. Through his years of experience on many levels, he brought us superb insight to writing on the aquarium hobby and bringing our work to a professional level. Heartfelt thanks to Jeff for taking the time from his family and job in Ohio to join us for the evening! Also, warm and heartfelt thanks to Jeff Bollbach, Jules Birnbaum, and Harry Faustmann for your wonderful and generous help in making Jeff’s visit possible!

TFH columnist and our evening’s guest speaker, Jeff Kurtz, receives a warm welcome on behalf of all of the GCAS from President Dan Radebaugh!

Jeff Kurtz, noted author and TFH ‘Q & A’ columnist, receives a GCAS logo lapel pin after an excellent and enlightening presentation on our role as writers in the aquarium hobby.


Jim Breheny, Vice President and Director of the Bronx Zoo, and GCAS President Dan Radebaugh discuss our June meeting which Jim has been so kind and generous to host at the Zoo! We can barely wait, and THANK YOU, Jim!!!

A warm and heartfelt GCAS welcome to new member, Alex Rivera! We are so glad to have you as part of the GCAS family, Alex!

April 2010

Jason Irizarry is the lucky winning ticket holder for one of the evening’s Door Prizes!

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Lens with the GCAS By Claudia Dickinson

Ardent writers, Margaret and Jim Peterson enjoy the evening’s program and find a common bond with our guest speaker. Jason Kerner has a new bunny to bring home to join his real life Senegal! Will Mark Rubanow’s Door Prize win turn his noted career with discus towards a saltwater slant?? We will have to check back with him on that one!

Our guest speaker, Jeff Kurtz, and Corresponding Secretary Joe Ferdenzi and Harsha Perera discuss GCAS the new shipment of fish that has recently Warren Feuer enjoy spending time arrived at Harsha’s Zoo Rama Aquarium after Jeff’s outstanding presentation. in the Bronx. What great fortune we have in our new GCAS Treasurer Jules Birnbaum!

Fish buddies Mark Rubanow and Artie Friedman are glad to have another Bob Hamje receives second place in the GCAS year off to a great start! Alexander Priest receives first place evening’s Bowl Show with his calico in the evening’s Bowl Show with his goldfish. Betta macrostoma.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010



ello to all of you, the long-time fans of Fishkeepers Anonymous, as well as you newcomers, of which I know we have a few. Actually, last month’s author is not only new to Modern Aquarium, but he has only been a member of the GCAS since November of 2009. If you haven’t met him yet (OOPS, what am I saying; of course you have met him, right here in the March 2010 episode of this column), please join me in extending a warm welcome to Tommy Chang, a man of many talents. What part of Tommy’s bio stayed with you after you had turned the page? For me it was the “ethereal” saltwater tank with that single blue damselfish. It made me yearn to see a photo of it, but at the same time I could picture it so clearly in my mind that I didn’t really need one. A picture Tommy Chang might actually diminish its image for me. Tommy is a man who thinks big, and his big thoughts overflow to become the BIG fish room of his dreams! In addition to his many accomplishments, he can now also add the If you haven’t title of “author” to his been an anonymous Suggested Questions credits. Elsewhere in fishkeeper yet, you 3 Please introduce yourself. this issue you will find may find me tapping 3 Tell us about your favorite aquarium. his first feature article you on the shoulder 3 What was your very first fish? fo r M o d e rn one day soon. If you 3 Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. Aquarium. I have a were inspired and 3 Is there someone you think of as a mentor? feeling we can look entertained by Tell us about him or her. forward to many more. Tommy’s story and 3 Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” would like to tell us 3 If you were a fish, which one would you be? Tha n k s very your own, then don’t 3 Who is your “Hobby Hero?” much, Tommy, for wait to be asked! 3 What fish which you have never kept would being our 26th Suggested questions you like to acquire? anonymous fishkeeper. are to the left of this 3 Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” I’m sure that becoming paragraph, and here is 3 Describe your most memorable fishkeeping a regular reader of the e-mail to use: experience. Modern Aquarium 3 What changes have you seen in the hobby will contribute greatly during your tenure as a fishkeeper? to your ongoing 3 What advice would you give to a education as an beginning fishkeeper? aquarist. No matter 3 What are your fishkeeping goals? how long we keep fish, - OR write a narrative story all of us continue to learn from one another.


18 10

April 2010 2010 April

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

Cichlidically Speaking Your Link to the American Cichlid Association

by Claudia Dickinson

First appearing in the February 2001 issue of the American Cichlid Association’s Buntbarsche Bulletin, my ‘Cichlidically Speaking’ column ran until August of 2005. Its commentary covered current ACA news, as well as relevant cichlid research and conservation efforts. As your ACA Club Delegate, I continue to bring you that column here in the pages of Modern Aquarium. Let us think of it as ‘Volume II,’ or now on its second year with the GCAS, ‘Volume III’?!

erhaps one of the most defining benefits of membership in the ACA, just as with the GCAS, is the strong bond of fellowship that is found amongst a group of people with like minds. After all, where else can you discuss changing water in your fry tanks, rejuvenating a culture of microworms that has existed on the sideboard of your kitchen stovetop for over a decade, being late for work because you did not want to leave the long-awaited spawn in progress of your rare Iranocichla hormuzensis, your upcoming trip to the Amazon… to collect cichlids, of course, the success of the anti-netting devices (ANDs) in Lake Malawi, the aquarium facility refurbishments in Madagascar and Kenya, or the 75-gallon aquarium that you just set up in your local public school’s seventh grade classroom, complete, naturally, with CARES conservation priority Lake Victorian cichlids? This unique, shared camaraderie of cichlidophiles is arguably the foundation for all else that is the ACA. It can bring laughter in good times, and strength when you need it most, and a peace in the knowledge that there is a vast circle out there for you of true and dear friendships that span the globe.


ACA Website and Forum: The newly renovated ACA website and forum at is a place where members and guests can visit regularly to talk about all things cichlid, ask questions and offer answers, post photos, search for cichlids, sell cichlids, and enjoy friendships. Here lies the opportunity to ask some of the world’s leading cichlid authorities the questions that you want answers for. Have a one-on-one conversation with celebrated cichlid greats such as Wayne Leibel, Ron Coleman, Eric Hanneman, and Rusty Wessel, and learn from photography expert Mo Devlin just how to take that perfect cichlid shot. But it doesn’t stop there as you will have the chance to view Mo’s exquisite photographic masterpieces in ‘Today in the Fishroom,’ and share your own photographs with other members. Through the immense efforts of the Website Committee, for which we are enormously grateful, the ACA website and forum is where you will discover all of this and so much more. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


This extraordinary series of images of discus spawning, taken by Klaus Steinhaus in one of his aquariums, is a sampling of what you will discover on the ACA forum at

ACA Convention Milwaukee 2010 The annual convention, this year to be held in Milwaukee, is another fabulous means for us to partake in the great benefit of the ACA that is fellowship. Ted Judy and the Milwaukee Aquarium Society have been working diligently to bring us an extraordinary event not to be missed! Be sure to register at! ACA Convention 2010 Hosted by the Milwaukee Aquarium Society, the dates are July 22nd to 25th and the site is the beautiful Olympia Resort and Spa. Be sure to get your room reservations now by calling 800-558-9573. The group code for our special convention rate is MAC10. Please be certain to register for the convention today at! It’s all about cichlids, and cichlidiots. I can barely wait to see you there! 20

April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Babes In The Cichlid Hobby need YOU! It’s time again to join together in support of cichlid research and conservation by choosing an item or more to bring to the convention for the celebrated Babes In The Cichlid Hobby annual silent auction! The Babes, and our cichlids, need you! For further information, be sure to contact Pam Chin at ACA 2010 Board Of Trustees The ACA Board of Trustees for 2010 is in place, has outlined objectives and goals, and started right in on work for the coming year. A warm welcome to Chair Mo Devlin, Vice Chair Phil Benes, Secretary Dean Hougen, Chris Borgese, Li-Wei Chei, Steve Edie, Eric Hanneman, Ted Judy, and Patrick Kelly. Many thanks to this group of talented and knowledgeable individuals for volunteering to place their time into guiding the ACA into 2011! News On The Cichlid Scene… Enigmatochromis lucanusi Lamboj 2009 In the spring of 2004 a beautiful new dwarf cichlid arrived from Guinea, imported by noted collector, author, and speaker, Oliver Lucanus. Initially, it was thought to be of the genus Pelvicachromis and, due to the brilliant blue dorsal fin, was soon referred to in the aquarium trade as Pelvicachromis sp. ‘blue fin,’ or P. sp. ‘blue fin.’ Upon close analysis of six preserved specimens, it became clear to Dr. Anton Lamboj that not only was this a new species, but it exhibited a distinct divergence from Pelvicachromis, and in fact it was a new genus. In 2009 the formal description of the new genus, Enigmatochromis, with the new species, E. lucanusi, was completed and published in Zootaxa. In the aquarium, the requirements for maintaining and breeding this lovely West African cichlid are similar to those of the genus Pelvicachromis, with soft water, a pH of around 7.0 or slightly less, and a temperature of around 77º to 79º F (Lamboj, 2010). Although larger tanks are always optimal, successful breeding has been achieved in aquariums of 15 gallons (Lamboj, 2010). Indigenous to a limited range in nature, E. lucanusi holds a place on the CARES Conservation Priority List, and is well worth our attentions as an attractive and enjoyable inhabitant of our aquariums.

For detailed information on Enigmatochromis lucanusi please be certain to see Dr. Lamboj’s complete account in Buntbarsche Bulletin #256, February 2010. It is a true treat to have the data and observations directly from the describer of the genus and species. Anton Lamboj

Pair of Enigmatochromis lucanusi in the aquarium of Dr. Anton Lamboj. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


David Schnell

Claudia Dickinson

David Schnell

Where else but amongst each other could we share these photos?!? What great fortune we have in one another through our strong bond of fellowship and like minds that is the ACA, the GCAS, and our fellow hobby clubs and organizations!

Join the ACA! Be certain that you are a part of the ACA by sending your dues through PayPal to or you may prefer to print out the membership application at and send it to: Marty Ruthkosky ACA Membership Chair 43081 Bond Court Sterling Heights, MI 48313 Please feel free to contact me during our meetings with any questions that you may have, or e-mail at I’m sure you will find becoming involved with such a special group of individuals as rewarding as I have! Until next time‌ Keep on Enjoying Your Cichlids! Claudia


April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Greater City Aquarium Society Breeders Award Program


he purpose of the Breeders Award Program (BAP) is to give our members the opportunity to gain enjoyment as well as experience in the entire range of fish breeding and maintenance. Questions about the BAP should be referred to any member of the GCAS Board of Directors. The program has two divisions: the Basic Program and Specialty Program. The Basic Program has five recognized levels; Breeder, Advanced Breeder, Master Breeder, Grand Master Breeder, and Senior Grand Master Breeder. It classifies fish as to the degree of difficulty and respective point value. Additional levels may be created if necessary at the 1,000 point level and beyond, as required. The Specialty Program, however, does not recognize point value and only recognizes mastery in one specific category of fish.

THE BASIC PROGRAM LEVELS Breeder ······································································································ 50 points At least 20 points must be from the 10, 15 or 20 point categories Advanced Breeder ···················································································100 points At least 40 points must be from the 10, 15 or 20 point categories Master Breeder ·······················································································300 points At least 30 points from each of the 5, 10, and 15 point categories, and 40 points accumulated from the 20 point category. 170 points may be from any category. Grand Master Breeder ·············································································500 points Senior Grand Master Breeder ·································································800 points

POINT CLASSIFICATION ANABANTOIDS 5 points none All species not listed otherwise. 10 points 15 points All Macropodus except opercularis, all Betta except splendens and macrostoma, all Belontia, all Trichopsis and Helostoma. 20 points Osphronemus gourami, all Sphaerichthys and Betta macrostoma.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


CATFISH 5 points 10 points 15 points 20 points CHARACINS 5 points 10 points 15 points 20 points

CICHLIDS 5 points 10 points 15 points

20 points

none Corydoras aeneus and paleatus (including albino forms.) All Ancistrus, Aspidoras, Brochis, Dianema, Hoplosternum, and “Whiptail”Loricariids, and all Corydoras not already listed. All species not listed otherwise.

none All Emperor Tetras. All species not listed otherwise. Exodon paradoxus, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, all members of the “Hatchet Fish” complex, all Prochilodus complex, all Anostomus, Paracheirodon axelrodi, all Phenacogrammus, all Serrasalmidae including Metynnis, Myleus and Serrasalmus.

Cichlasoma nigrofasciatus and Herotilapia multispinosa. All species not listed otherwise. All Lake Tanganyika Cichlids not listed otherwise, “Red Devil” complex, all Etroplus, all Apistogramma complex (Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, Nannacara), all Geophagus, all Lake Victoria Cichlids, Haplochromis moori. All Symphysodon, all Uaru, all Crenicara, Astronotus occellatus (all color forms,) all Lake Tanganyika mouth brooders except Tropheus and Tilapia, Cichlasoma group Parapetinia (except salvini and trimaculatum), all Madagascar cichlids.

CYPRINIDS 5 points Tanichthys albonubes, all Danio complex, all Australian Rainbows (except Pseudomagil). All species not listed otherwise. 10 points 15 points Barbus nigrofasciatus, Barbus semifasciolatus, all Rasboras. 20 points Barbus schwansfeldi, all Cyprinid “Shark” complex, Koi. KILLIFISH Due to the spawning habits of killifish, all species of killifish to be bred must be reported to the BAP Committee Chair prior to spawning so that proper witnessing techniques may be applied. All spawnings must be reported so that the date may be recorded. 5 points Aphyosemion australe*and gardneri*, all Oryzias, Aplo. Panchax, Epiplatys dageti* and sexfasciatus*, all Rivulis not listed otherwise. All species not listed otherwise. 10 points


April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

15 points

All annuals except Nothobrachius guentheri and those not listed otherwise, Fundulopanchax sjoestedii, Pseudoepiplatys annulatus, Aphyosemion “Diapteron” complex, all Procatopus, Lamprichthys tanganicanus. 20 points Cynolebias dolichopterus, Nothobranchius rachovii*, Pterolebias zonatus, Rivulis xiphidius. * all color forms LIVEBEARERS 5 points All species not listed otherwise. 10 points All Goodeidae complex, all Belonesox. All livebearing Halfbeaks. 15 points 20 points Anableps anableps. ALL OTHER SPECIES 5 points None. 10 points Badis badis, all Sticklebacks, Peacock Gudgeon (Tateurnida ocellicauda.) All species not listed otherwise. 15 points 20 points Scatophagus argus, all Monodactylus, all Loaches, all Eels, all Mormyrids, all Lungfish complex, all freshwater Stingrays, Dogfish and Sawfish, all freshwater and brackish Puffers, all Arowanas, Bowfins, Arapaima, Mudskippers. The C.A.R.E.S. Preservation program: The Greater City Aquarium Society supports this program. As a symbol of our support, any fish that is part of the C.A.R.E.S. program and is bred as part of the GCAS BAP will receive an additional 10 points. It is the responsibility of the breeder to notify the BAP Committee that the species that has been bred is part of the C.A.R.E.S. program. The committee will verify that fact and award the bonus points.

First Time Spawning Bonus Points 1st time within GCAS ··································································· Additional 10 points 1st time within the U.S.A. ······························································Additional 50 points* 1st time in the hobby ···································································Additional 100 points* * You must write an article and have it published in an established periodical (including Modern Aquarium). For first breeder points the fish must be identified by both genus and species. At the discretion of the BAP Committee Chair first GCAS breeder points may be given for a fish that has not been bred at GCAS for a period of no less than 10 years.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


GENERAL INFORMATION SPECIES: Points are awarded only once for each species or subspecies. “Mollies” area genus which contains several species: Poeciliia latipinna, P. sphenops and P. verifera. Being separate and distinct species, these are awarded separate point values; whereas the different color varietes of the common Molly are not. Gold, Silver, Ghost, Marble, Black, Black Lace, Blushing, Veiltail, etc., Angelfish are all members of one species Pterophylum scalare. If you spawn Pterophylum altum or P. dumerili, these are separate species. A location or color morph variation, likewise, will not be considered a new species nor awarded first breeder points. CHANGES IN POINT VALUE: From time to time the point value for a species may be changed due to new experience or conditions. If the number of points is increased, the new point value will go into effect immediately. Should a point value be decreased, a cut-off date will be announced which gives sufficient time to allow breeders who are in the process of qualifying to complete their work. No point increase or decrease shall be retroactive from the date of that change. BASIC PROGRAM AWARDS Breeder’s Award Committee certificates will be presented to every individual for a successfully completed and witnessed spawning. Distinctive certificates will be issued for the Breeder and plaques or trophies for the Advanced Breeder, Master Breeder, Grand Master Breeder and Senior Grand Master Breeder. To qualify for an award, the following rules for the correct witnessing procedure must be observed:

Witnessing 1) Fry are to be witnessed as soon as possible after they are free swimming. A. Eggs must be spawned by the Breeder’s own fish B. If witnessed in the breeder’s tank, the witness must see the breeding pair. 2) The aquarist must raise at least 10 fry to 60 days of age (60 days after free spawning for egglayers,) except for species as may be, from time to time, designated and approved by the Board of Governors. These fry must be brought to a meeting and presented for witnessing. When an aquarist wishes to have a witness verify fry, he/she should contact a member of the B.A.P. committee or the Board of Governors, who will then designate or suggest a suitable witness. Note that all members of the B.A.P. committee and of the Board of Governors may be witnesses. Breeders will supply the form which is to be the official record for the Breeders Award. It is the Breeder’s responsibility to be sure that all information is complete and that all signatures are properly entered. The completed form will then be taken to the B.A.P. Chairman. 26

April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


In the Specialty Program, point values are not counted. However, the same requirements must be met as in the Breeder’s Award Program for each class of fish. For example, if, as part of an effort to achieve the Catfish Specialist Award, you spawn Corydoras aeneas (a 10 point fish,) you must abide by the requirements of notifying a witness, 10 fry minimum, etc. If all the requirements are met, the fish is then eligible in both programs. SPECIALITY PROGRAM AWARDS Awards in the Specialty Program are given to each participant upon fulfilling the requirements for certification in a class. The following Specialist awards are also given: Senior Specialist Award …………………………………………………………… Classes Expert Specialist Award …………………………………………………………… Classes

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Here is a list of classes in the Specialty Program and the requirements that must be met for certification in each class: Class

# of Species Required




Cichlids (Old World)


Cichlids (New World)










1 species must be other than a five point fish.



At least 2 species must be annuals.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

No more than 4 species may be mouth brooders.

1 species must be other than Corydoras, Aspidoras, or Brochis.

April 2010


Greater City Aquarium Society Breeders Award Application Form Name of breeder:__________________________________________

Fish name (Latin):_________________________________________

Common name (if any):_____________________________________

Is this fish in the CARES program? _________________

Date spawned:____________________________________________

Witness signature: ________________________________________

Date presented at meeting: _________________________________

Witness signature: ________________________________________ (must be at least 60 days after spawning)

PROGRAM USE ONLY ______________ + _________ + _____ = _________ Points for species First breed CARES Total points Certificate # : __________


April 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Our Generous Members Each month a blue sheet is located on our auction table where those members who donate items to the auction can indicate their donations if they wish to do so. Due to the immense generosity of those who donate, we have no shortage of items to be auctioned. A warm thank you to the following members and others who so generously contributed, making last month’s auction the bountiful success that it was: Bill Amely Mario Bengcion Jeff Bollbach Rod DuCasse

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Rich Levy Al & Sue Priest Dan Puleo Ed Vukich

April 2010


BOWL SHOW RULES There is a Bowl Show at every GCAS meeting, except our Silent Auction/fleamarket meeting and our Holiday Party and Awards Banquet meeting (December). These shows are open to all members of GCAS. Rules are as follows:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Only current GCAS members may enter fish in the Bowl Show. There is a limit of 2 entries per member per meeting. Unlike some other clubs, every month is an “open” Bowl Show at the GCAS (i.e., there is no “theme,” such that one month cichlids are judged, the next livebearers, the next anabantoids, etc.). Any fish that wins any prize (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) may not be entered again in the same meeting year. The current Bowl Show Coordinator is Leonard Ramroop, who usually also serves as judge (although guest speakers are often asked to do the judging honors). 2.5 gallon containers are available for use (brought to the meetings by the Bowl Show Coordinator), but entrants are responsible for providing enough (and suitable) water for their fish. For a fish too large (or too small) for those containers, entrants must supply a suitable container, which must be clear on at least three sides. Only one fish per container (i.e., no “pairs”). No plants, ornaments, or equipment (filters, airstone, etc.) are allowed in the judging tank (an external mirror, or opaque cards between containers is acceptable, as is a cover that does not obstruct side viewing). Points are awarded: 5 points for 1st Place, 3 for 2nd Place, and 1 for 3rd Place. Ribbons are awarded: blue for 1st Place, red for 2nd Place, and green for 3rd Place. The person with the most points at the end of the meeting season receives the Walter Hubel “Bowl Show Champion” trophy at the Awards Banquet. The decision of the judge(s) is final. A running UNOFFICIAL total of the points awarded is printed in Modern Aquarium. Only the tally of points maintained by the Bowl Show Coordinator is official. In case of ties: 1st Tiebreaker – most 1st Places 2nd Tiebreaker – most 2nd Places 3rd Tiebreaker – most entries

March 2010 April 2010

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

Member Classifieds EQUIPMENT: 3 Rena Filstar XP3 Cannister Filters -- Up to 350 GPH -- $50 each 1 Eheim Pro II 2026 $65 1 Emperor 280 Power Filter (single bio-wheel) $20 1 Emperor 400 Bio-Wheel HOB Power Filter $30 1 Coralife Turb Twist 18 watt with 3 extra (never used) UV bulbs $50 All nearly new, in original boxes. Call (631) 563-1404 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2-10’s---complete $15 each 2-20 Longs complete, no lights 20 each 1-20 high-complete, no filter 20 2-29’s complete 30 each Refrigerator 30 1-55 complete 60 1-65 with canister filter, full lighting, Laterite in gravel metal stand---$250 Some large wood, meds, rock, caves. “Complete” means heater, filter, full lighting (they were used as plant tanks), canopy. Call Charley: (917) 837-6346 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------46 bow tank, light, stand, all oak finish $310 Looking for Oak stand for 36g bowfront Call Ron: 718-464-8408 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Free Cyclop-eeze Call Tommy: 718-423-8995

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2010


A Very Unusual Creature A series by “The Undergravel Reporter” In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of the Editor, or of the Greater City Aquarium Society.

ow many of you are old enough to remember comic book ads for “Sea Monkeys?” These “instant life” creatures, Artemia nyos, are a variant of Artemia salina, the brine shrimp many of us feed our tropical fish. Over 50 years since they were first sold (starting in 1957, under the name of “Instant Life,” changing to “Sea Monkeys” in 1962)1 they are still available. On the “Official Sea Monkey® Web Site2” you can still buy Water Purifier, Instant Life Eggs, and Growth Food, along with such “must have” accessories as Sea-Medic, Cupid’s-Arrow, Red-Magic Vitamins, and Banana Treat, among other things. (Hmmm...I wonder if “Cupid’s Arrow” works on people?)


If you ever bought one of these kits, as I did, I’m sure you were as disappointed as I was when you discovered that (1) they looked nothing at all like the cartoon image in the ad, and (2) even as adults they were very small and uninteresting. Well, now it appears that “Instant Life” “Sea Monkeys” have a competitor: “Dinosaur Shrimp” or “Triassic Triops®” also with their own website3. The difference is that Triops (Triops longicaudatus, A.K.A. tadpole shrimp) grow to about three inches, making them much easier to see than Sea Monkeys. There is even a recent book about them (OK, maybe 32 pages, including photos, is more of a booklet): Triops - A Very Unusual Creature, by Dr. Helen Pashley. An article in recommends them as a “low-cost, low-maintenance, low-commitment but high-interest pet.”4 (And if you get bored with them, you can feed them to your fish!)


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

Image by Lori Adams from the book “Triops: A Very Unusual Creature” You can keep “Sea Monkeys” or “Triassic Triops” in small containers, where the danger of leaks is minimal. But what if your 2 million plus gallon tank starts leaking? That happened recently when a crack appeared in the 270-degree acrylic walk-through tunnel of a huge aquarium filled with hundreds of sharks, located in a Dubai mall. It took 300 cleaners to mop up that spill.5 And I thought I had it bad when my syphon slipped out of the bucket last night during a water change! References:

Dubai Mall’s aquarium after visitor access was resumed. Credit: Reuters/Mosab Omar 1 3 4 -commit-to-a-family-pet-try-a-triops/ 5 leak-in-shark-filled-aquarium-in-dubai-mall/ 2

April April2010 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S17 (NY)

GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Al Priest 2 Robert Hamje 3 Richard Waizman

Betta macrostoma Calico Goldfish Butterfly Koi

A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Bill Amely, Mervyn Bamby, Steve Berman, Jules Birnbaum, Jeff Bollbach, Jim Breheny, Arne Bristulf, Tommy Chang, Brad and Claudia Dickinson, Rod Du Casse, Harry Faustmann, Warren Feuer, Artie Friedman, Michael Gallo, Walter Gallo, Horst Gerber, Joe Graffagnino, Al Grusell, Bob Hamje, Ben & Emma Haus, Mike Henderson, Jason Irizarry, Jason Kerner, Denver Lettman, Rich Levy, Jakleen Minassi-Haftvanni, Dick Moore, Flor Munoz, Harsha Perera, Jim & Margaret Peterson, Al & Sue Priest, Dan Puleo, Dan & Marsha Radebaugh, Jannette ramirez, Mark Rubanow, Donna & Steve Sica, Ed Vukich, Richard Waizman, and Herb Walgren! A special welcome Wiesenfeld!

to new members

Val Bialo, Michael Macht, Jon Mena, Alex Rivera,



Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: Greater City Aquarium Society

East Coast Guppy Association

Next Meeting: May 5, 2010 Speaker: Ken Davis Topic: Adventures in Uruguay Meets the first Wednesday of the month (except January & February) at 7:30pm: Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main Street - Flushing, NY Contact: Dan Radebaugh (718) 458-8437 E-mail: Website:

Meets: 2nd Tuesday of each month at at 8:00 pm. Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. Contact: Gene Baudier (631) 345-6399

Big Apple Guppy Club Meets: Last Tuesday each month (except Jan, Feb, July, and August) at 7:30-10:00pm. Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. Contact: Donald Curtin (718) 631-0538 Next Meeting: April 9, 2010 Speaker: Tony Pinto Topic: Asian Fish Meets the 2nd Friday of the month (except July and August) at 7:30pm: NY Aquarium - Education Hall, Brooklyn, NY Call: BAS Events Hotline: (718) 837-4455 Website: Next Meeting: April 16, 2010 Speaker: Hans Koop Topic: Discus Hans Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) 8:00pm. Greenhouse Meeting Room, Holtsville Ecology Center, Buckley Road, Holtsville, NY Email: Margaret Peterson - Website: Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Next Meeting: April 13, 2010 Speaker: Steve Abrams Topic: Collecting On Long Island Meets: 2nd Tuesday of the month (except July and August) at 7:30 PM Molloy College - Kellenberg Hall ~1000 Hempstead Ave Rockville Centre, NY Contact: Mike Foran (516) 798-6766 Website:


Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: April 15, 2010 Speaker: Mark Soberman Topic: African Catfish / Breeding Cory Meets: 7:30 PM Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 e-mail: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 15, 2010 Speaker: Mark Denaro Topic: A Week on the Peruvian Amazon Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS E-mail: Website:

April 2010


Fin Fun If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it probably will. You have a tank with just the smallest of openings at the top (for an airline, or maybe a filter or heater cord), and the fish that you were sure was “too big” to fit through that opening somehow managed to escape through it. Well, that’s not something we want to encourage normally, but just for fun, see if you can guide the fish below up and out of this bowl. Answer next month.

Answers to our last puzzle: Common Name Scientific Name Japanese Cress -------------------------------------------- Cardamine lyrata African Fern -------------------------------------------- Bolbitis heudelotii Orchid Lily -------------------------------------------- Barclaya longifolia Banana Plant -------------------------------------------- Nymphoides aquatica Lace Plant -------------------------------------------- Aponogeton madagascariensis Hornwort -------------------------------------------- Ceratophyllum demersum Star Rotala -------------------------------------------- Eusteralis stellata Java Fern -------------------------------------------- Microsorium pteropus Water Wisteria -------------------------------------------- Hygrophila difformis Water Hyacinth -------------------------------------------- Eichhornia crassipes

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April 2010 April 2010

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









1st Annual Tropical Fish & Aquarium Equipment Auction Featuring Joe’s kitchen

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 Set up and viewing 9:30am-11:30am Auction begins around Noon At

The American Legion 154 Porters Pass Kensington CT. 06037

Open to the Public – free of charge Forms and details will be on our web site soon Directions To The American Legion From Interstate 91 Take exit 21 for State Hwy 372 toward Berlin/Cromwell. Go west to Berlin Rd/CT-372/Route 372 (signs for NEW BRITAIN/BERLIN) Continue to follow CT-372 Turn left at CT-372/Worthington Ridge Continue to follow CT372Turn right at Porters Pass Destination will be on the right