Modern Aquarium

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1994 —

April 2013 volume XX number 2

20th Anniversary — 2013

Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies

Andre Carletto


38 Tropical Fish Convention April 5-7, 2013

Charles Clapsaddle Mark Denaro Lee Finley Todd Gardner

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Series III ON THE COVER Our cover this month features Tilapia synyderae, the smallest member of the genus Tilapia. For more information on this West African cichlid, see Joe Graffagnino's article, "Black Eggs," on page 27. Photo by Marsha Radebaugh GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members

President Dan Radebaugh Vice-President Edward Vukich Treasurer Jules Birnbaum Assistant Treasurer Ron Wiesenfeld Corresponding Secretary Sean Cunningham Recording Secretary Tommy Chang Members At Large

Vol. XX, No. 2 April, 2013

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2013 Program Schedule President’s Message March's Caption Contest Winner Cartoon Caption Contest Should You Be Cooking for your Fish? by Jules Birnbaum

G.C.A.S. Bowl Show Rules Fish Bytes by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica

Claudia Dickinson Al Grusell Emma Haus Leonard Ramroop

Pete D’Orio Ben Haus Jason Kerner

Committee Chairs

A.C.A. Delegate Bowl Show Breeder Award Early Arrivals F.A.A.S. Delegate Membership N.E.C. Delegate Programs

Claudia Dickinson Leonard Ramroop Warren Feuer Mark Soberman Al Grusell Alexander A. Priest Marsha Radebaugh Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Mark Soberman Technology Coordinator Warren Feuer

MA Classics The Guppy King – Paul Hahnel by Dan Carson

Lionfish of the Turks & Caicos by Stephen Sica

Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers Wet Leaves by Susan Priest

The Tao of Greater City by Wallace Deng

Member Classifieds Black Eggs: Tilapia Snyderae by Joseph Graffagnino

2 3 4 5 7 8 10 11 13

17 19 21 22 24 27

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. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter Spawned in the USA

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) It Must Be April!

28 29 30

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh


aught up in the historical tone of last month’s meeting, I felt inspired to follow up in a like vein in this issue, so for our MA Classics article I chose one that I’ve been thinking about for some time, by former Editor Dan Carson from the October 1969 issue of Modern Aquarium. Those of you who were here last month will remember the cover of that issue from Joe Ferdenzi’s presentation. What with the present day availability of so many high quality specialty foods, the idea of cooking for your fish wasn’t as unusual years ago as it seems today. (See another MA Classics article, “Feed Your Fish Some Gourmet Cooking,” by Mary and Dan Carson, which was reprinted in the September 2010 Modern Aquarium.) Jules Birnbaum updates this old concept as he reviews a new product in “Should You Be Cooking for Your Fish?” on page 8. As we’re accustomed to, Steve Sica’s “Fish Bytes” takes us on a tour of the publications sent to us by other clubs around the continent. Always entertaining, the end of this month’s contribution leaves us wondering if this time he shouldn’t have changed the spelling of “Bytes...” Also, continuing his personal survey of the ongoing lionfish invasion of our Atlantic coastal waters, Steve and Donna this month take us to the Turks & Caicos islands to assess the state of the invasion there. In “Black Eggs,” Joe Graffagnino tells us about his experience with our cover subject, Tilapia snyderae, and Sue Priest, in her Wet Leaves column, brings us up to date on the uses of the familiar zebrafish (Danio rerio). This issue also features a return of “The Tao of Greater City,” a display of photos


by Wallace Deng from our Facebook page, Greater City Aquarium Society Fishy Friends. Sign in and visit us some time, Facebook folks! Our politically alert Undergravel Reporter muses on presidents and taxonomy in “Spawned in the USA,” and the issue closes, as always, with our puzzle, “Fin Fun.” * * * Remember, as always, we need articles! Modern Aquarium is produced by and for the members of Greater City Aquarium Society. Our members are our authors, and with ten issues per year, we always, 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, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

April 2013

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 6

Joe Ferdenzi 90 Years of GCAS!

April 3

Larry Johnson Lake Malawi

May 1


June 5

Leslie Dick Livebearers

July 3


August 7

Silent Auction

September 4


October 2


November 6


December 4

Holiday Party!

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 gcas@earthlink. net. Copyright 2013 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: or Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


irst of all, I’d like to express my thanks to former President Joe Ferdenzi for his outstanding presentation last month on the 90-year history of the GCAS. Very entertaining and informative, with great coordination between the slides and the text. I was also impressed by the turnout for the meeting in the face of a rather negative weather forecast. I know that many of us are still sensitive to the possibility of inclement weather after the two storms last November that effectively washed out our meeting that month. Joe was originally scheduled to present his program at that November meeting—I’m certainly glad that he didn’t get washed out twice in a row! About a week or so before last month’s meeting, Dan Puleo contacted me about an idea he had for a new project, which he eventually entitled “The LFS Report.” The idea has several facets: first, to identify to our members where the fish shops are located around our area. This is a great idea, since, even in these days, when many private pet shops are giving up in the face of a poor economy and low-priced competition from the large chains, there are still more small shops around than most of us realize. Second, we could alert our members to special offers available at some of these shops, and third, we would increase awareness of the GCAS among shop owners, who might then refer potential members. All in all, it seemed like a good idea. While Dan had originally conceived of The LFS Report as a regular column for Modern Aquarium, we both (he first, really) came to the conclusion that, given the deadline pressure for printing the magazine, a stand-alone piece would enable us to give our members more timely information on special sales being run at the various shops. The end result of all this you saw for the first time at our March meeting. As promised, Dan had info on special pricing at several shops in Manhattan and Queens, and he included a special “Spotlight” feature on our friends at Cameo Pet Shop, whose advertisements have appeared in each issue of Modern Aquarium for as long as I can recall. Great job, Dan! We look forward to more.



April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Cartoon by Elliott Oshins

March's Caption Winner: Horst Gerber

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Support Fish in the Classroom! If you have any 5 or 10 gallon tanks, or any filters, pumps, or plants that you could donate to NYC teacher Michael Paoli's classrooms, could you please bring them in or email Rich Levy ( If you'd like to donate larger tanks, be sure and email Rich so he can make sure Michael can accommodate it.


April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Modern Aquarium Cartoon Caption Contest Modern Aquarium has featured cartoons before. This time though, you, the members of Greater City get to choose the caption! Just think of a good caption, then mail, email, or phone the Editor with your caption (phone: 347-866-1107, fax: 877-299-0522, email: gcas@ Your caption needs to reach the Editor by the third Wednesday of this month. We'll also hand out copies of this page at the meeting, which you can turn in to Marsha before leaving. Winning captions will earn ten points in our Author Awards program, qualifying you for participation in our special "Authors Only" raffle at our Holiday Party and Banquet. Put on your thinking caps!

Cartoon by Elliot Oshins

Your Caption:

Your Name:

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013


Should You Be Cooking for Your Fish? T by Jules Birnbaum

here are only two things that mean either life or (American Killifish Association), in its “Beginners death for your fish: water conditions and food. Guide,” has a recipe for gel food by Dan Katz, a However, I don’t think you want to spend your respected killifish breeder. time in the kitchen, cooking for them. Most of us are I’ve tried several of these recipes and found them taught that a good flake food is all we need use to feed to be messy and time consuming. A few breeders opine our fish. Just throw in some flake food twice a day, that the store-bought gelatin clogs up the digestive and that is all the fish need. The label states that it systems of some fish, although I have not experienced contains all meat, veggies, and bulk. this problem first hand. Joe Ferdenzi recently gave me A little common sense tells us that fish are some gel food he prepared from his own recipe. The animals. Like humans, there is no perfect food that secret Ferdenzi formula was accepted by all my fish we can exclusively eat over and over again without from day one. This is not always so when introducing getting bored out of our minds, to say nothing about a new food. Joe prepares it, places it in flat plastic the potential effects on our health. If you feed flake bags for easy storage, and then freezes it. Maybe he food in too large a quantity, will share his recipe with the water gets fouled from us some day. the leftovers, and a large I like trying new amount of algae is likely ideas introduced into the to appear, perhaps even hobby. One particular gel accompanied by a foul food was introduced to me smell. If we read enough by the well known aquarist we get the message that, Ted Judy. You might have just as in the wild, our seen it in some of his and fish need some variety. others’ videos. Repashy William T. Innes, in his is a prepared dry powder book Exotic Aquarium that one mixes with hot Fishes, first written some water and then allows to 80 years ago, was of the dry. Allen Repashy first opinion that living foods developed this food for are best. However, these reptiles, then a few years foods are not always ago he developed a variety available, and live foods for tropical fish. The food are becoming quite comes in a powered form. expensive. The gel used is made with A pound of blackworms is currently going from algae and plant fibers. It is free of starch, gluten $20 per pound locally, or $36 per pound to be delivered binders, and other industrial by-products. overnight. Innes states that each manufacturer of fish There is really no mess. I just measure food thinks his is the best, but that there had not been the dry food prescribed on the label, add the proper an impartial, competent, comparison made. He goes amount of water, stir, place in a plastic container saved on to state that in a pinch you can grind up a puppy from take-out food, and let sit until firm. You can also biscuit, and gives a recipe of powdered puppy biscuit: use an old ice cube or other similarly sectioned tray. use powdered dried shrimp and water, with and an egg Repashy preparation can also be seen on YouTube. It beaten in. Then spread on a cookie sheet and lightly is then ready to feed or store, either in the refrigerator cook. Not too many of us are going to go through or freezer. My year’s experience with preparation of the time and mess of preparing and cleaning up to this food indicates that four ounces of powder makes accomplish this. about two pounds of food. The prepared food will Exotic Aquarium Fishes’ thorough chapter last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator, or a year if dealing with fish food also discusses using baby foods frozen. mixed with gelatins. The use of gelatins has lead I cut it into appropriately sized cubes and simply to a number of recipes for gel fish foods. The AKA drop a cube in each tank. This being a new food for 8 April 2013 Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

your fish, they will likely not be used to seeing food larger than they can get into their mouths, so it should be first introduced when the fish are hungry. The cube stays together while they graze on it, and it will not foul the water. For those fish that don’t come to the bottom to feed, some of the food can be placed near the surface. My experience has shown that it took a few days for my fish to get used to it, but once they do, the livebearers, cichlids, and killifish especially go crazy for it. I have a group of juvenile Moanda jewel fish (African ) just purchased from Ted Judy that were raised on this food. The first time I put some in their tank it never reached the bottom. It was fascinating to watch them rip it apart. Some of the uses for this food are: First, as a grazing block food which can be used to feed fry during short vacations. Second, as a fry food, so that they have constant access to food throughout the day. Third, it is an excellent means of administering medications or vitamins, by mixing them in while preparing the food. Fourth, you can use it as a regular supplemental grazing food. It usually takes no more than a few minutes for the cube to be consumed in my heavily stocked tanks, and an hour or two where there is a low bio-load. Repashy makes several blends to choose from. They sell it in plastic bags from to 2 oz. to 64 oz. You can purchase it online at Ted’s Fish Room, Swiss

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Tropicals, Amazon, and at some pet shops. (I get no remuneration for this plug). S o m e aquarists have complained about the cost of Repashy, but I find that, when prepared, this food is comparable in cost to other foods, and less expensive than live, freezedried, and frozen foods. An important point to remember is that with a varied diet your fish will live a longer and healthier life (and so will you). I recommend giving it a try to supplement your fishes' diet, but don’t upset your spouse’s kitchen. It is easy to prepare, and has no smell, but you might still get thrown out of there. My Repashy is now prepared in our laundry room or my fishroom. The only thing I do with it in the kitchen (in general the only thing I do well in the kitchen) is boil the water.

April 2013


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:

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

6 10

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

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

An occasional column for society exchanges, guest appearances, articles, and items of general interest. We try not to bite off more than we can swallow. If you wish to offer comments, suggestions, or any information that you would like to see in this column, the authors encourage you to contact us through the Editor (, or at a monthly meeting.

by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica


and be safe. Donna is dog-sitting, so I recline on the t’s Wednesday evening, and in an hour the couch in our den to contemplate what to do to keep November 2012 meeting of the GCAS is about busy this evening. Donna’s charge, an extremely to begin. Looking out my front door into a affectionate female rescued dog from Tennessee, raging blizzard, I see two branches from the tree takes up station on my torso and rests her head on in front of my house lying in the street. Is this a my chest. Her owner is in travel status and missing penalty for living on a hill? I have observed this the bad weather. The dog and I are sort of nose-totree for over twenty years and it never lost a branch. nose. There’s nothing like curling up with a cute Now a few feet from my window, there are three and loving dog while a blizzard rages outdoors. I huge trees, currently upright. I estimate that each probably should light the fireplace to perfect the one is at least 80 or 90 feet tall. Except for a dent in moment, but I decide not to get up and make the my car last month from a falling branch on a windy “long” walk to our living evening, I have managed room. I’d better conserve to avoid disaster with this energy for tomorrow’s threesome (or should I say cleanup, I rationalized. treesome?) since 1990. Lying on the couch in the The next day, I discovered den will have to do for that ice broke off the rear now. wiper arm of our Subaru It turned out to be Forester. That evening our a good move. The next electricity went off line at morning I find that limbs 5:42 PM, just as Donna have fallen all about my was about to cook dinner. property and that of my The phone had rung, so neighbors. Except for my she put off cooking and spoke for about half an Hey pal, “Where’s Donna?” “A grunt saw her hugging a inability to find gasoline, this storm affected me hour. Almost immediately funny looking dogfish.” “I don’t believe it!” worse than did last week’s hurricane Sandy. after she turned on the oven the power went out, I decided to begin my column with the above so the food went back into the refrigerator. Hello narrative so that I could avoid reading a computer salami sandwich for me! Donna won’t eat the full of fish publications. Ironically, this column stuff. She said that if the phone hadn’t rung she won’t appear until next spring, when most of us would have had sufficient time to cook, and we will have forgotten about many of these events… would have had a lovely dinner by candlelight. so now a brief word about fish. I’m not complaining; many people had no power The Kitchener Waterloo Aquarium Society for weeks. Many lost their homes and all of their is establishing a marine achievements program, possessions. Back to Wednesday evening. MAP (similar to BAP for freshwater fish and HAP Donna says nothing about the weather but I for aquatic plants and AAP for authors). The decide that we should skip the meeting to stay home

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013


previously established marine breeding initiative, or MBI, whose website is, reported the 500th successful breeding in September 2012. The Bucks County Aquarium Society had the good sense to reprint Jules Birnbaum’s “That Dreaded Green Stuff” in its October 2012 issue of The Buckette. Jules did a masterful job of writing about algae, and how to either avoid or work around it. As he said in his article, don’t bother to call him for help, because he’s up to his (fill in a descriptive word) with his own algae. The January 2013 The Buckette has a detailed synopsis of Joe Graffagnino’s recent guest lecture at the BCAS, comparing old world and new world catfish. Did you know that the Amazon basin contains about 560 catfish species, the Congo basin contains about 1,300 species, and the Mississippi basin contains 250 species? I didn’t. The December 2012 online issue of the In Depth newsletter of the Tropical Fish Club of Burlington (Vermont) has a basic killifish primer by David L. Banks, Jr. entitled “Dave’s Top Ten list for ‘tips for beginner killifish keepers.’” I do not think that many fishkeepers specialize in barbs, but in the January 2013 In Depth, Banks wrote “Odessa Barbs, Spawning An Egg Scatterer.” This may be a fish to try some day. The January 2013 issue of Fins and Tales from the Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society has a more detailed (and by the way, excellent) article about killifish entitled “Dazzling and Stunning, Killifish” by Al Ridley. For swordtail fanciers, Ridley, a member of the KWAS for over thirty years, also authored “Xiphophorus netzahualcoyotl and Xiphophorus mayae.” Ridley’s writing style is business-like and to the point, but it contains much information. The February issue of Fins and Tales has a fascinating article, “Somewhere down the Lazy River, Constructing a River Riparium Tank” by Don Rhodes. The article opens with my initial question. “So what is a Riparium? A Riparium is an aquarium that recreates the habitats at the edge of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. A Riparium Zone is the area between land and a river or stream.” This article is well written, and illustrated with many photographs. The finished tank was stocked with hillstream loaches and a school of white clouds. I think that you can access this article online from the KWAS website, The January 2013 Cichlid Blues, newsletter of the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association, has Ron Coleman’s “Reflections: Three Interesting Fish Books.” The first book is about Peter Artedi, a contemporary of Carl Linneaus. For history buffs, 12

as well as for someone who likes a good (murder?) mystery, this may be a good read. Coleman’s review is positively intriguing and delightful. The second book review is about cichlids, and a former member of the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association, who is a professor of ichthyology at the University of California, whom the reviewer knew well. The final book is about the cichlids of Lake Victoria. The reviewer quotes a story by the author Tijs Goldschmidt, who in the 1950s caught an unnamed lively specimen with purple flanks. He was already inundated with over one hundred and fifty new species, so he released the fish because “at the time I couldn’t face discovering another new species. I don’t think it was ever caught again!” Nile perch can grow to over one hundred and fifty pounds. Coleman points out that the introduction of Nile perch years before finally took their toll on the ecosystem. The January/February 2013 PCCA Cichlidae communiqué, #195 has a logical and rational discussion of hybrids in the natural world of cichlids. Read “Oh Hybrid, where dost thou belong?” by Mark Tomasello. What do you think? Many years ago I wrote an article about diving with a dolphin. I was informed that a former editor of this prestigious publication was contemplating using one of my photos on the cover, but decided against it because a dolphin is not a fish. With this in mind, I wish to conclude my column with a photograph of the newest member of our family. I am hoping that the current editor of Modern Aquarium may not actually be as smart as he looks. I offer a new species of dogfish. I must admit that it is a hybrid, a 9.8 kilogram female of the species Cordelia. She came into our lives on October 25, 2012, via a North Shore Animal League e-mail seeking donations for her pending heart surgery. Donna’s father left this world on that day. Thanks for our gift, Dad!

April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

MA Classics Joe Ferdenzi's talk last month on the history of the GCAS contained a slide of the cover shown below, which features a photo of the renowned guppy breeder Paul Hahnel. This seemed like a good time to showcase Dan Carson's article on Mr. Hahnel in the October, 1969 issue of Modern Aquarium.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013



April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013


Bucks County Aquarium Society Volume XX, Issue # X



April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

LIONFISH OF THE TURKS & CAICOS Story and Photos Stephen Sica


y wife Donna was searching the internet last May when “JetBlue Getaways” sent us an e-mail for a neat little trip to Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos islands. A few days later she received another e-mail with the price lowered by one hundred dollars. When it comes to bargains in the supermarket, Donna likes to go for it. For instance, you can never have too many Philly cheese steaks in your freezer, right? Now, I’m not attempting to compare traveling and vacationing with food or even grocery shopping (Editor Dan has already cited our hardships while being on vacation in his Editor‘s Comments last May), but in Modern Aquarium anything is possible. When we get the travel itch we tend to scratch it. Donna reasoned that we could leave on a Monday, do three days of diving, and return home on Friday. We hadn’t been in ‘Provo’ for many years since we went diving with Club Med for a

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

week. We even stayed an extra day when American Airlines’ flight attendants went on strike, and we had to fly to Miami on an airline unknown to us, but that’s another story, as I like to say. Oh, in case you’re wondering about our dietary habits, we don’t eat Philly cheese steaks. As a matter of fact, we don’t really care for cheese steaks no matter where they’re from, so why did I mention them? You should know that I always diverge from my topic when I’m stuck for a thought. Hey, maybe I really should try a cheese steak! For inspiration? But back to our story. We decided to stay at a modest resort, across a small plaza from the dive shop. From this location it was a five minute ride in the shop’s “dive bus” to the dive boat dock. In fact, there were two docks, depending on where the captain decided to go diving. Some dive locations were around Provo, and others were on neighboring West Caicos. It took about an hour, usually longer,

April 2013


to reach each dive location. The deserted island of West Caicos is considered more pristine, and a prime diving area. It takes about seventy-five minutes each way, so it’s a long day. Fortunately, the boat crew rinses all the dive gear for the next day and even relocates it to one of Dive Provo’s three boats for the following day’s diving. Our first day did take us to West Caicos. Upon our arrival, our boat motored past the beachside skeleton of a resort complex that had never been completed due to the economic recession. The boat crew said that the financier was a large brokerage company that had collapsed. Anyway, we anchored close to the island, listened to the dive briefing, and jumped in. These were guided dives, which I like so that I don’t have to pay attention to where I’m going. This makes it much easier to take photographs. As I have mentioned in other articles, it’s easy to get lost underwater, especially if the visibility is poor. If the water is shallow—say thirty feet or less—I would swim to the surface to get my bearings and find the boat, while Donna waited below. I would signal from the surface to her the direction, submerge again, and we would swim together underwater to the boat. Swimming below the surface is much easier than on the surface. Occasionally it would be difficult or impossible to equalize ear pressure

Donna displays an “eat a lionfish sticker” in the Dive Provo shop and office.


and submerge again, so I would surface swim while Donna continued underwater. The reefs in Provo usually begin at a depth of fifty feet, so all shallow dives are at least that deep. We tend to enjoy the majority of our diving at above forty feet. In my viewpoint forty feet is the maximum for shallow diving; I prefer twentyfive to thirty. There is more sunlight, the water is warmer, and you can stay below longer. Shallow is easy. The sport-diving rule of thumb is sixty feet on average for “routine” diving, with the absolute maximum depth being 130 feet. I dove beyond 130 feet once, in Belize’s blue hole. We like to stay above 100 feet unless a deep wreck does not afford that option. At a site named Spanish Anchor, during a fiftyfive minute dive to sixty-nine feet during our initial diving day in West Caicos, Donna and I saw two lionfish. After the dive, during our lunch break and surface interval to de-gas nitrogen between dives, I

asked Nigel, our British divemaster, if he had seen any lionfish during the dive. Without hesitation, he replied that he had seen at least twelve. Huh? Donna and I looked at each other. I said to her, “Where were we?” Nigel said that the Turks and Caicos had numerous lionfish. During the second dive we saw sharks, stingrays, spotted drums, and schools of large jacks, but no lionfish. The next day we were diving Provo’s Grace Bay with divemasters Bill and Meevis. Meevis, a petite female, was from an obscure eastern European country. I don’t recall which, but it may have been Montenegro. She knew the reefs very well; we saw more sharks, numerous lobsters, moray eels, puffer fish, and anemone shrimp, but only one lionfish during the two dives. I assume that there were more; we just didn’t see them. Our third and final diving day took us to Northwest Point off Provo. Again we saw sharks, stingrays, and two turtles. Donna was happy to

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

see the turtles, which are probably her favorite sea life. All told, Donna and I saw only three lionfish between us during six dives. The divemasters and boat crews insisted that there had been many more than that. Based upon my personal observations and an extremely small sampling of the local waters of West Caicos and Providenciales, my current opinion is that these two islands may have a sizeable population of lionfish, but are not overrun by them. At a later date I intend to show you some of the sea life, briefly mentioned here, that we encountered in West Caicos and Provo. Until then, have many happy readings in Modern Aquarium. Oh, by the way, has any of you ever heard of Guy America Airways?

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

This lionfish is surrounded by fry. I tried to identify if the fry were lionfish, but they were too small for my eyesight. They did not look like tiny lionfish.

April 2013


35th Annual Auction April 20th at 11:00am St. Matthews Over The Rainbow Child Care Center 214 Kinne Street, East Syracuse, NY, 13057

Registration will begin at: 10:15 to 11:00am

Additional imformation: Pre-registration is required for sellers Buyers register at the auction *CASH ONLY* Unless you are a CNYAS member

For further instructions & directions: Call: (315)-454-4792 e-mail: Or visit our website at:


April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

problems. Also, “Zebrafish are great for screening molecules to identify promising drugs. Researchers simply put the compound into the water, and the fish absorb it through their skin.” The aforementioned laboratory at Harvard University was the first in the world to develop a drug through research using zebrafish. a Series On Books For The Hobbyist The photo of the Danio rerio which you see here is the same one which accompanied this by SUSAN PRIEST article in Popular Science magazine. It is a longhis is not so much a review as it is a report on finned variety, quite possibly developed via an individual article selective breeding by a from Popular hobbyist such as yourself, and is not typical of the Science magazine which I Popular Science, February 2013 short-finned danios used hope you will find to be of “Will This Fish Transform Medicine?” by medical researchers. particular interest. Please by Virginia Hughes The article also has a take an extra moment to mightily magnified photo read the title box to your of the brain of a three day right. Every fishkeeper is familiar with the zebra old zebrafish which has been stained to show danio (Danio rerio), AKA the zebrafish. If you detail. Very cool! (Photo credits not found.) Trivia: In 2004 a fluorescent zebrafish, most have never actually kept any zebrafish, you have often called a surely seen them for “Glofish,” became sale in pet shops, the first genetically and/or read about modified animal to them in hobby be sold as a pet in the magazines. They U.S. have been among the This article has standard bearers of the given me a new tropical fish hobby for perspective as I look very many years. around at my Now they have a new aquariums. Maybe a claim to fame. cure for A.L.S or I n 1 9 8 8 Parkinson’s disease scientists learned to is lurking among selectively mutate the DNA of zebrafish. What does this mean? I don’t those Anubias plants! really know. What I do know from reading this article is that because of this, growing numbers of Science Geeks Take Note genetic researchers are choosing zebrafish over rodents for use in their research. “The field is on Popular Science magazine has been around fire,” says Leonard Zon of Harvard Medical School. He uses zebrafish in his laboratory to study skin since 1872. (Yes folks, that’s an 8!) Its cancer, blood diseases, and stem cells. founder, Edward L. Youmans, intended for it The three major advantages of using zebrafish to “disseminate scientific knowledge to the over rodents for medical research are: educated layman.” It became an outlet for the 1) A female zebrafish spawns hundreds of embryos writing of such authors as Charles Darwin, just three days after fertilization, whereas a female Louis Pasteur, and Thomas Edison. It has mouse takes three weeks to produce ten pups. undergone many name changes over the years, 2) One tank with a few dozen zebrafish in it can be and has remained a monthly publication maintained for 6½ cents per day, whereas five mice throughout. Today it is translated into 30 in a cage cost 90 cents per day. languages, and goes out to 45 countries. As of 3) In their larval stage Zebrafish are transparent. March 2010, all issues, including May 1872, A particular advantage of this transparency which was the first, are available for free on feature is that it can dramatically speed up research GOOGLE books. There is a one year delay results when exceptionally rare illnesses are being on recent issues. studied. (This is not to say that the process isn’t still a very lengthy one.) It can also be used as a diagnostic tool for babies with mysterious health


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


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


The Tao of Greater City Photos by

Wallace Deng


arly last year, Greater City’s Gypsy Mermaid, Sharon Barnett, created a Facebook page for us so that we could keep up with one another’s fishy activities online. Appropriately enough, she called it Greater City Aquarium Society Fishy Friends. It’s been a fun experience for those participating, but, in the tradition of the “law of unintended consequences,” the most notable result was the emergence of a new star in our midst, namely “Wallace Tao,” the Fishy Friends nom de plume of Greater City member Wallace Deng. Wallace has sent us a seemingly never-ending stream of fantastic photographs—and not just of fish! To be sure all of our members have a chance to see them, this column made its debut in our December 2012 issue.

Jumping spider.

Melanotaenia praecox pair.


Pseudomugil connieae.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Hemigrammus bleheri: Rummy nose tetra.

Face on tree.

Melanotaenia papuae - 2 months, 1 1/8th inches.

Flower in Jeff Bollbach's garden.

Nerite snail -- a nice algae eater.

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

Gobiopterus chuno: Sumatran glass goby. April 2013


Member Classifieds WANTED: For Restoration Project: Does anyone have some pieces of bubble-edge glass? Perhaps from a broken or old tank? Need three pieces -- Will pay! Please contact Steve: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR SALE: Need 6 1 2 3 1

to part with 10 fully set up tanks: Ten-gallon tanks 20-gallon-long 0-gallon tanks 125 gallon tank with wood stand and canopy

Call Gerry: 347-837-5794 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FOR SALE: Fish Hobbyist’s Dream Home: $189,000! Fishroom: 15 X 26 – Almost 400 square feet. 10 Picture-window tanks, with builtin wall shelving underneath for storage. Room for more tanks, with pressurized air system throughout the room. Full sink (hot/cold) with work space; ceramic tile floor. Pond Room: 12 X 16 – Almost 200 square feet. 300 gallon indoor pond for tropical fish. Mag pump, ceramic tile floor, large cathedral windows, lots of light for growing plants. Gorgeous views. Great place to read the Sunday papers. Rest of House: 2 BR, 2 BA, HUGE kitchen with 49 cabinets and drawers. All rooms huge, LR/desk area. Almost 2,000 square feet. Central A/C. Climate: 340 sunny days last year. Mild winters with absolutely NO snow shoveling. Location: Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. Great name, huh? Was formerly called Hot Springs (and yes, we’ve got ‘em). Very friendly community. Cars actually stop for you to cross the street. Rarely hear a car horn. Two blocks from town. 24

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

House Location: On historic site for Geronimo and his braves, where they ground holes in huge boulders (on the southern edge of the property) for cooking maize. Evidence still there (placard next to property). Just 20 feet below us stands a fish pond stocked with trout, and another hundred feet down is the Rio Grande River, for rafting, tubing, and fishing. For even greater bass fishing, we’re only five miles from Elephant Butte Lake, the largest lake in New Mexico, which also features water sports such as boating, swimming, fishing, jet skiing, etc. There are two marinas. View: Tremendous! From the front porch (completely tiled) you have the best view of Turtleback Mountain rising majestically above the park and river in front of you. Breakfast on the porch is breathtaking! Lunch too! Taxes: Only $600 per year. Summing Up: We’ve lived here for 19 years, and I both the fish pond and the fishroom built for my hobby, but I’m now 83, and it’s time to retire from the hobby. We watched our grandchildren grow up as they spent all their summers here. Irreplaceable memories. You could have them too. Charlie Kuhne: (575) 894-2957

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2013



April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Black Eggs Tilapia Snyderae Story and Photo by Joseph Graffagnino

have bred many species of fish, but I had never before seen black eggs. I was amazed when I saw them—and from a West African cichlid, no less! I obtained a breeding pair of Tilapia snyderae from fellow fish breeder Vinny Babino. Vinny informed me that these are very beautiful fish with striking color markings. They are aggressive fish when spawning and protecting their young, and they are the gift that keeps on giving—once they start spawning you can’t get them to stop. Tilapia snyderae are the smallest of all Tilapia, and they hail from Lake Bermin, a volcanic crater lake in Cameroon, West Africa. This species’ common name is “Snyder’s dwarf tilapia.” There are three colors that these species can display, based on their mood, and especially during spawning. They can go from a pale bland color to a green, and to a red. In spawning dress both the male and the female are absolutely stunning, with a green top that goes to the middle of their body (the lateral line, which extends from the head through the anal fin). The lower portion of the body is an orangered. But that’s not all; the face changes color as the mouth becomes a dark black, while the lips become pure white—truly amazing coloration on a fish that gets no larger than four to five inches. When I received this beautiful pair of fish, I realized they were too large for a 20 gallon aquarium, so I quickly did some rearranging, and moved them to a 30 gallon-wide aquarium. I believe in species tanks, so I kept them by themselves. After less than one month in their new home, they started moving large amounts of gravel in the tank. They really like to landscape! Four days after the landscaping began the female took up residence in a small clay breeding cave that had an opening the size of a


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

thumb, which the male clearly could not enter. I assumed that they would lay their eggs on the glass bottom, since they made it bare by moving all the gravel away. A day or two later I used a flashlight to see into the cave, and lo and behold! I saw around 20 or so black eggs. A few days later they must have hatched, because the parents moved the fry about a foot away from the cave and under a piece of coral. I was concerned for the fry, because this tank was overrun with Malaysian burrowing snails, who I thought might go for the babies. However, within a few days my snail problem was a problem no more. Once their yolk sacs disappeared and the fry started free swimming, I fed them microworms, vinegar eels, and frozen baby brine shrimp. They grew quickly, and they seemed to clone each other, for although I initially counted around 20 eggs, I now counted about 80 swimming fry. I highly recommend this beautiful but aggressive West African cichlid as an addition to your fishroom in a species-only tank. Since they only live in Lake Bermin, they are on the IUCN red list (critically endangered), and are of course on the CARES list, so maintaining this fish in our aquariums will help insure it against extinction. Please share this wonderful fish with members of this and other local fish clubs, and let everyone enjoy them!

This article originally appeared in Aquatica, the journal of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society, Vol. XXIV No. 5, May/June 2011.

April 2013


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Mario Bengcion 2 Richard Waizman 3 Richard Waizman

Yellow Lab Black & Blue Betta Gold & Black Betta

Unofficial 2013 Bowl Show totals to date: Mario Bengcion 5 Richard Waizman


A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Bill Amely, Sharon Barnett, Mario Bengcion, Jules Birnbaum, Jeff Bollbach, Arne Bristulf, Albert Chang, Pete d'Orio, Warren Feuer, Michael Gallo, Walter Gallo, Jeff George, Horst Gerber, Al Grusell, Jason Irizarry, Andrew Jouan, Michael Macht, Dan Puleo, Dan and Marsha Radebaugh, Leonard Ramroop, Steve and Donna Sica, Mark Soberman, Ed Vukich, Eddie West, Ron Wiesenfeld, and Jeffrey Ye! A special welcome to new GCAS member Joseph Gurrado!

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 1, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD Meets: 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 Email: 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

Brooklyn Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 12, 2013 Speaker: Mark Denaro Topic: Where Rare Species Are Common Meets: 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:

Long Island Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 19, 2013 Speaker: Vincent Kreyling Topic: The Long Windy Road Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) 8:00pm. Room 120 in Endeavor Hall on theState University at Stony Brook Campus, Stony Brook, NY Email: Margaret Peterson - Website:


Nassau County Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 9, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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:

NORTH JERSEY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting: April 18, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD Meets at: The Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 18, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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 Email: Website:

April 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The researchers decided to name each of the newfound darters after a U.S. President or Vice President. And so, a two-inch long Tennessee native whose males have vivid orange, blue, and green scales will now be known as Etheostoma obama. Layman and Mayden told Scientific American that President Obama earned the honor of having this fish named after him “for his A series by The Undergravel Reporter environmental leadership, particularly in the areas of clean energy and environmental protection, and because he is one of our first leaders to approach in spite of popular demand to the conservation and environmental protection from a contrary, this humor and information more global vision,”2 column continues. As usual, it does In addition to President Obama, Layman and Not necessarily represent the Mayden named the other darters after three U.S. opinions of the editor, or of the Presidents and one Vice President who are also Greater City Aquarium Society. known for making conservation a priority: Theodore Roosevelt (Etheostoma teddyroosevelt), Jimmy Carter (E. jimmycarter), Bill Clinton he title of this month’s column is taken from (E. clinton) and Al Gore (E. gore).3 a posting on the website of the British This is not the first species named in honor of newspaper, The Guardian on 1 President Obama. In 2009 President Obama had November 29, 2012 having the subheading: the “honor” of being the first U.S. President to “Obama is one of four presidents to have newly have a fungus named after him. Caloplaca discovered species of fish named after them for obamae is a species of lichen in the fungus genus their green credentials.” Caloplaca. Researchers Steve Layman from Geosyntec The discoverer of that fungus, Kerry Consultants in Georgia and Rick Mayden from Knudsen, states Saint Louis that he chose to University, honor President discovered five new Obama for “his species of darters in support of science the Duck and and scientific Buffalo rivers of the education.” He Tennessee river wrote the drainage. Darters manuscript for are native American publication of the fishes, and the Etheostoma obama, a newly identified species of species in the time smallest members of freshwater darter. (Image: © Joseph R. Tomelleri) between Obama's the perch family. election and his They are called inauguration.4 “darters” for their ability to get around rocks and OK, being the President of the United States other obstacles on the bottom of waterways. Most is a “Big Deal” and winning a Nobel Prize is also darters live in the creeks of northern Alabama and a really “Big Deal,” but having both a fish and a eastern Tennessee, a region, The Guardian notes, fungus named after you is pretty cool, in my “not typically hospitable terrain for Democrats.” opinion.






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

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Fin Fun In recognition of the time-honored tradition known as “April Fools Day,” we offer you these reverse multiple choice questions. In other words, your challenge is to pick out the WRONG answer. Have fun! 1) These fishes will often rise to the surface for a gulp of air. A) Gouramis B) Suckermouth catfish C) Paradise fish D) Corydoras catfishes 2) These fishes are all livebearers. A) Corydoras catfishes B) Mosquito fishes C) Goodeids D) Limias 3) These are all schooling fishes. A) Cardinal tetras B) Neon tetras C) Red-tailed black sharks D) Tiger barbs 4) These fishes are all endemic to Africa. A) Congo tetras B) Synodontis catfishes C) Kribensis D) Julie cichlids 5) These fishes all have horizontal stripes. A) Banded rainbowfishes B)Penguin fishes C) Licorice gouramis D) Altum angelfishes 6) These fishes all have spots. A) Pearl gouramis B) Heckel discus C) Decorated Synodontis D) Clown knifefishes

Solution to our last puzzle 1) The first editor of Modern Aquarium Series 3 was: ‚ Warren Feuer 2) The photo on the front of every issue of Series 3 used to be: ‚ glued on by hand 3) Modern Aquarium competes in publication contests sponsored by ‚ The NEC and ‚ FAAS 4) This was NOT a special theme issue in Series 3 of Modern Aquarium: ‚ Native Fishes Issue 5) The “newsletter” the club put out in-between “Series 2” and “Series 3” was ‚ Network 6) The person responsible for color photos inside Modern Aquarium is ‚ Dan Radebaugh 7) The “Editor’s Babblenest” was a Modern Aquarium column of: ‚ Editorials

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