Modern Aquarium July 2012

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July 2012 volume XIX number 5

North American Native Fishes Association

2012 NANFA Convention Sept 13-16, 2012 Salt Fork State Park, Eastern Ohio Hosted by the Fish Division of the Ohio State University Museum of Biodiversity The convention features Friday night banquet and auction Great lineup of speakers on Friday Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday field trips All for just $75 For additional information including a schedule and on-line registration visit Or contact Brian Zimmerman 330-417-9476 T-shirts available soon‌

Series III

ON THE COVER This month's cover features Austroloheros Sp. "red ceibal." For more information about this very attractive, and modestly sized Central American cichlid, see Jules Birnbaum's article on page 12. Photo by Alexandra Horton GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members

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

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 Programs N.E.C. Delegate Technology Coordinator

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

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

Vol. XIX, No. 5 July, 2012

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2012 Program Schedule President’s Message

Last Month's Caption Contest Winner Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers Rules for August's Silent Auction/Fleamarket Cartoon Caption Contest Fish Bytes

by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica

G.C.A.S. Bowl Show Rules My Experience Breeding Austroloheros Sp. "Red Ceibal" by Jules Birnbaum

Pictures from our Last Meeting by Susan Priest

The 2011 FAAS Publication Awards by Alexander A. Priest

Our Generous Members Wet Leaves

by Susan Priest

It Does Exist!!! by Steven Hinshaw

Curaçao's Lionfish: Part 2 by Stephen Sica

G.C.A.S. CARES and You! by Tommy Chang

G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter When Fish Attack!

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) Flying Colors

2 3 4 5 6 6 7 9 11 12 14 16 18 19 21 23 26 28 29 30

From the Editor


by Dan Radebaugh

ast month’s cartoon caption contest drew a lot of responses, and the margin of victory was slim, but Denver Lettman came through with the winning entry. That's two wins in a row for Denver! This month Elliot Oshins presents us with a drawing that certainly gave my imagination a jolt―but I’ll let you see it and imagine a caption of your own. Steve Sica’s “Fish Bytes” gives us a look at what’s going on in other aquarium society publications, and later in this issue Steve completes his two-part series on "Curaçao's Lionfish." I know it must be tough on Steve and Donna to travel all around Florida and the Caribbean, scuba diving, lying in the sun, sampling the local cuisines, all to report to us on the progress of the lionfish invasion of those waters. Their tireless dedication and tenacity should be an inspiration to all! I do want to thank Steve for pointing out in this installment of his ongoing lionfish saga something that generally goes unmentioned in articles relating to invasive species, namely that the overall impact of these species on their adopted environments is arguably sometimes other than totally negative. Perhaps this more controversial view is something that Steve or another brave soul might want to further explore in a future article. From the adventures of hunting lionfish, Steve Hinshaw takes us to the joys of hunting aquarium hobby arcana in “It Does Exist!!!” Never underestimate the power of positive thinking―to say nothing of persistence and a bit of luck. You’ll find Susan Priest’s “Pictures from Our Last Meeting” on page 14. People in Nature, a compendium of articles on wildlife conservation in Central and South America, is the subject of Susan’s “Wet Leaves” this month (see page 19), and the conservation theme is carried on by Tommy Chang in his “G.C.A.S. CARES and You!” as he brings us up to date on what we’re doing to 2

reinvigorate our club’s commitment to this worthy project. On pages 12 and 13 Jules Birnbaum recounts his experiences with Austroloheros sp. “red ceibal,” the modestly sized, attractive Central American cichlid that adorns our cover this month. The Undergravel Reporter provides us with an exposé on domestic violence in the hobby (“When Fish Attack!”), and our “Fin Fun” puzzle this month celebrates the Fourth of July with “Flying Colors.” A look at Al Priest’s summary of this year’s FAAS Publication Awards (page 16) will reveal that Modern Aquarium can boast some flying colors of its own. My thanks and congratulations to all of our authors for another great year! 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 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!

July 2012

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 7

Meet the Experts of the GCAS

April 4

Felicia McCaulley Tips and Tricks to Aquarium Photography on a Budget

May 2

Jeff Michels Dwarf Cichlids

June 6

Rich Levy

Virtual Fishroom Tours: Joe Ferdenzi and Jules Birnbaum

July 11

Rich Levy

Virtual Fishroom Tours: Jeff Bollbach and Rich Levy

August 1

Silent Auction

September 5

Felicia McCaulley Seahorses

October 3

Rachel O'Leary Freshwater Invertebrates

November 7

Joe Ferdenzi GCAS 90th!

December 5

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 2012 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)

July 2012


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


uly is a time of celebration, and we at Greater City do have a few things to celebrate. First of all, we should celebrate the talent and generosity of our members. Last month’s “Virtual Fishroom Tours” were very well presented and received (technical glitches notwithstanding), and I have no doubt that tonight’s presentations will be equally rewarding. It’s great that we have members who can (and do) provide this kind of enrichment for the rest of us! Another reason for us to celebrate is the release of the annual FAAS Publication Awards (see Modern Aquarium, pages 16-18). Our authors once again garnered many awards, and Modern Aquarium itself won first place among publications with more than six issues per year. Still another item of note is that Sean Cunningham has been named to take over the vacant Corresponding Secretary position on our Board. This is an important post, and we look forward to Sean’s involvement. Please offer him your congratulations! In my President’s Message last month I mentioned a request for our aid in helping out a homeless shelter with an aquarium project. I am pleased to tell you that we were able to secure a few items for them, including another aquarium! I’m sure they could use a few more things, like lights, filters, and so forth. If you have anything you’d like to donate, please let me know. Remember, next month is our Silent Auction, so there will be no bowl show, regular auction or raffle. See you then!


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

June's Caption Winner:

Cartoon by Elliott Oshins

Denver Lettman

I dunno – lately I feel like a fish out of water.

Kingfish (

Good for the Hobby – Organizations – Industry Ray “Kingfish” Lucas Celebrating 23 years in the business (1989-2012) of participating at your events. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

July 2012


Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Technology Inc. Cameo Pet Shop Cobalt Aquatics Coral Aquarium Ecological Laboratories HBH Pet Products Kingfish Koller-Craft Kordon, LLC Marineland

6Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Microbe Lift Ocean Nutrition America Omega Sea Red Sea Rena Rolf C. Hagen San Francisco Bay Brand Seachem World Class Aquarium Zoo Med Laboratories Inc. Zoo Rama Aquarium

Misc July 2012


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Modern Aquarium Cartoon Caption Contest July, 2012

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)

July 2012



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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 Derek P.S. Tustin’s “The Names You Know, the People You Don’t: Dr. Herbert Axelrod” in the February 2011 Tank Talk (Durham Region Aquarium Society) is a thorough and entertaining rehash of the man’s career―both the good and the bad. Tustin states that Axelrod currently resides in Switzerland. I guess that he wants to be near his money. KWAS Exchange Editor Zenin Skomorowski is usually kind enough to mention a Modern Aquarium article or two in his “Report” column. Kitchener’s Fins and Tales always seems to contain an interesting article or two, so I make sure to peruse their publication, either sooner or later, but usually later. In the July 2011 issue, Don Rhodes authored two articles, “Put (a) Cork in it!” on how to construct an in-water cork background for your aquarium. It seems like a lot of work to me, and I‘m not sure that I like the look, but if you want to try something different…Rhodes also wrote “Orinoco Flow Aquascaping Article” about his “attempt to replicate some of the facets of a stretch of the Orinoco River in South America” to provide a biotope-like home for a school of cardinal tetras, using his aforementioned cork background. He offers a good description of the plants that he used and the tank’s overall aquascape. From Modern Aquarium’s August 2011 issue, The Youngstown Aquarist (Youngstown Area Aquarium Society) reprinted Alan Mark Fletcher’s “How World War II Contributed to the Golden Decade of the Aquarium Hobby, the 1950s.” Fletcher’s story originally appeared on the Aquarium Hobby Historical Society website. The January 2012 The Buckette reprinted Jules Birnbaum’s “Odds & Ends, or Anything Worth Learning is Worth Repeating,” which originally appeared in the November 2011 Modern Aquarium. I remember Bernard Harrigan’s Modern Aquarium seahorse articles and illustrations from a couple of years ago. If anyone has an interest in breeding or just keeping seahorses, the February 2012 July 2012 9

ere is my first column for 2012. Let’s hope that there is something worth mentioning! Well now…the December 2011 issue of Bucks County Aquarium Society's The Buckette reprinted Al Priest’s “Leaf Spawning Using Indian Almond Leaves for Blackwater Species” from Modern Aquarium’s October 2011 issue. In the same issue, Dave Kelly’s “The Water Column” exuberantly praises Joe Ferdenzi’s November 2011 “Nostalgia Notes” from Modern Aquarium. As “you move through the decades…it is easy to recall a nation of high standards, limitless opportunity, and world class innovation.” Way to go, Joe! Dave Kelly writes that “Mr. Ferdenzi transports us to the golden age of the hobby.” I thought this is the Golden Age. Oh, maybe it’s a new Golden Age. I was attempting to catch up on several publications sent to me via e-mail in the first half of 2011, and saw Harry Faustmann’s original, brief article, “Home Grown With Harry: Daphnia” that was published in the April 2011 issue of the LIAS' Paradise Press. During 2011 many of Harry’s brief, growing fish food articles were reprinted. Very interesting if you don’t raise food for your fish, and a good read if you do. Tim Mousseau of the Motor City Aquarium Society is endeavoring to write a semi-regular column begun in 2011 named the “Guppy Corner” for TropiQuarium. In his February column, some of the breeding methods he mentions include using a five gallon tank, breeding fish between three to five months of age, daily water changes to help the female give birth, and using some Epsom salt for females who just won’t birth their fry. Also, remove the male after impregnating the female, and check the gravid spot just behind the stomach for a dark brown or black color change to indicate imminent birth. These may be self-evident to guppy breeders, but they’re new to me. By the time you read this note about Tim’s column, he should be well on his way. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Buckette reviews their recent lecturer, who offered new information to me, so I hope it still applies today. an online site to purchase these animals. See www. He suggests that you use only packaged topsoil when The company is located in potting or repotting water lilies. My current non-fish Florida. Out of curiosity, I perused their prices. I or pond related gardening experience with packaged have no experience as to the fair market value of a topsoil is that many of the allegedly name brands seahorse, but these look rather pricey. Various species are filled with wood particles and stones. In other were advertised at between fifty to eighty dollars per words, the soil is poor quality. Fertilize water lilies seahorse. It seems to me that establishing a pair in an with one large plant tablet, any brand, per gallon per aquarium would be an expensive endeavor. month during the pond season. A mixture of water The October 2011 issue of Fins and Tales may and vegetable oil sprayed on the leaves once a week contain the “definitive” article about raising “White will control aphids. This also works for garden and Worms (in Technicolor)” by Jayne Glazier. house plants. Cichlid fanciers might enjoy the Some observations from “Shrimp Keeping and Pseudocrenilabrus philander-disperses. This fish Spawning Additions” by Art Hemmerlein in the May is commonly known as the dwarf copper mouth 2012 edition of Fish Tales, the publication of the Tribrooder, and I base County Tropical my opinion on a Fish Society: photograph in a Cherry shrimp are KWAS November the most hardy in 2011 breeding reference to water article by Brent quality. Start them Lemanski. in the water that Last June, you purchased Warren Feuer them in and try to trekked to Bermuda get as much of it as to lecture about possible. Abrupt Lake Tanganyika changes in pH and shell-dwelling hardness can be cichlids at the fatal. Change ten Bermuda Frypercent of their Angle Aquarium water every two Society…and weeks. Leave speaking of GCAS molted shells in members, Dan tank for nutrition. R a d e b a u g h ’s Thinly sliced M o d e r n and frozen, not A q u a r i u m blanched, zucchini article, “Going and spinach are the Distance with a good non-live Paratheraps food that may not synspilus” was be eaten until the reprinted in the second day, so do Bermuda Frynot overfeed. Try Angle’s Fish Tales part of an algae April/May 2011 wafer occasionally. issue. Do not feed daily. For the Shrimp probably r a i n b o w f i s h Donna prowls a shipwreck seeking fish gossip while this squirrelfish does eat bacteria and aficionado, the its best "I’m not here!" act. The fish will talk, or at the very least gurgle, if microorganisms on May 2012 issue Donna finds it. plants, so keep Java of the Honolulu Aquarium Society's I’A O Hawaii moss in there with them. Keep water conditioners and recounts both an early and current experience with food with copper out of the shrimp tank (the author rainbowfishes in David H. Yoshishige’s “Returning to claims that a few commercial fish foods contain Pseudomugil furcatus.“ copper), and finally, there are many interesting shrimp In Bill Janetos’ 2001 article, “Some Tidbits For websites; the author suggests and Pond Hobbyists,” reprinted in the same publication (NHAS The Granite-Fisher) in April 2012, I found some interesting tidbits, as the title suggests. This is 10

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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

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March 2010 July 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


My Experience Breeding Australoheros sp. "Red Ceibal" by Jules Birnbaum


hese fish are housed is a 55 gallon tank that is next to the TV in my den. I can watch sports (baseball, football, hockey, basketball, golf), news, and my fish tank. The red ceibal is a 5-inch cichlid from Central America. I acquired mine from fellow GCAS member Ed Vukich at one of our auctions. There were six one-inch juveniles, and I managed not to kill four―three females and one male. The red ceibal comes from Uruguay in South America, and is named for the area of Arroyo Ceibal, A breeding pair can have very intense color when spawning. They are omnivores, and don’t need any special pH. Ceibals are characterized as substrate spawners, so some gravel and a breeding cave is in order. A male can reach seven inches, so it would be advisable to provide a pair with at least 30 gallons. If you want them to breed, perform regular weekly water changes and keep the temperature at 78 to 80 degrees F. Although live food helps condition them, it is not a necessity to get them to spawn. I also feed my pair white meat chicken, and fish from our dinner table. The red ceibal was written about in the July, 2009 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist. The tank is planted, and houses one male red ceibal about 5 inches in length and three females, each about three inches. Their tankmates are two corys, two loaches, and a nine-year old gold severum that I measured at ten inches long. He is so old that he does not upset the plants or his tankmates. He stays in one corner of the tank, and I hand feed him. I do 50% water changes once a week, and recently added several large Anubius species plants and a group of Java ferns, as these fish don’t bother live plants. There are 12

two Emperor model 280 filters, with a sponge pre-filter on the intake pipes so the fry are not sucked into the filters. I placed a small clay pot and medium sized flowerpot next to each other at one end of the tank, giving the impression of his-and-hers caves. I knew something was up with one female and the male when they started hanging out together and the basic colors of tan and black wavy design grew more intense, which happens when cichlids are in breeding mode. Another characteristic is the excavation of sand, both as a barrier and to make a nest. The female and then the male both favored the smaller pot, and began going in and out. There were some arguments between the pair, as is usual with these fish. The male chased the cory away, and the loaches also seemed to get the message. Every once in a while the severum swam over to the ceibals’ side of the tank, but these much smaller fish develop tremendous courage when breeding, and the male drove him away. The eggs were laid in the small pot, either in the rear or on the inside roof―it was hard to tell for sure. Most of the care was handled by the female (sound familiar?) with the male moving sand around outside while keeping the snails and the cory away. Since these fish are such great parents, I kept a small night-light on so care could continue at night. Some catfish are nocturnal, so the light helped the parents keep them away from the eggs. Many cichlids are like feral cats I’ve seen, moving their young to new locations for safety. One day I saw the female ceibal hovering over

July 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

something near a very small lava rock near their breeding pot. This turned out to be a small mass of wrigglers, which she took out of the pot during the day, allowing the fry to graze on whatever food was out there. I noticed that toward evening she placed them in her mouth and moved them back into the pot. She also placed gravel on the floor of the pot to make some sort of bed for the fry. This might also be done to provide the fry with microscopic food attached to the gravel. During the day the fry, now about a week old, are herded outside the pot, which might be done for the fry to find food, and also for acclimation to their surroundings. All this time the male is housekeeping, and guarding the small group of about 20 fry. At this point I am using a turkey baster to shoot brine shrimp down to the substrate where a daytime nest was dug for the fry by their parents. I don’t plan to remove the fry, because I have a lack of available tanks. Downstairs in my

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

main fishroom a pair of koi angels are caring for a small spawn of some thirty fry. I keep bringing fish to the GCAS auctions to find homes for the fish that keep breeding. Cichlids are very good at this. Who knows? There might be someone out there with a spare tank for the fascinating red ceibal fry (and maybe the koi angel fry as well)! Photos by Alexandra Horton.

July 2012


Pictures from our

Rich Levy (center) with Joe Ferdenzi (L) and Jules Birnbaum (R). Rich took us on a “virtual tour” of their fishrooms.

Jason Kerner, our “Computer Hero.” His superior skills brought the virtual tour to life.

Ed Vukich conducting the auction.

Door Prize winner: Elliot Oshins



July 2012 July 2012

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

last meeting

Photos by Susan Priest

A warm welcome to:

New Members: Tony and Cheryl Franz

Returning Members: Orel, Gabriella, and Flor Munoz

Bowl Show Winners

1st Place: Jerry O’Farrell

2nd Place: Rich Waizman Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

3rd Place: Bob Hamje July 2012 July 2012



The 2011 FAAS Publication Awards by ALEXANDER A PRIEST


embership in the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) is open to aquarium societies in North, Central, and South America. Formed in 1973 to fight against a proposed federal law which would have severely restricted the importation and transshipping of tropical fish, FAAS is now primarily a virtual, web-based organization providing information to help societies run better. FAAS has a Publication Award Program to recognize the efforts and contributions made by aquarium societies and their members through their publications to educate their members, and to promote the hobby. Articles and artwork from non-commercial publications during a calendar year are submitted for judging. There are 31 categories for consideration, up from a previous 30 (a new “Conservation” category having been added starting with the 2011 publication year). Some awards offer a junior level competition based on the age of the individual author. As a FAAS member, the Greater City Aquarium Society participates in the Publication Awards Program. For the 2011 Publication Awards, nine clubs submitted a total of 293 entries (up from 248 for the previous year). FAAS gave out 93 Publication Awards for works published in 2011, as follows: • 27 First Place awards • 25 Second Place awards • 22 Third Place awards • 19 Honorable Mention awards. The two categories with the most entries for 2011 were “Best How-to or Do-it-Yourself Article” (29 entries) and “Best article on a species of fish” (27 entries). The two “Marine” categories (“Best Marine Article - Fish” and “Best Marine Article - Invertebrates”) had the fewest entries, with a combined total of only 8 entries. There were no entries in the “Best Judging Article” category. An e-mail from FAAS notes this category has been falling off over the years, perhaps indicating that clubs are doing less shows. While Greater City authors did very well, we could (and should) have done even better. When I announced the 2010 winners last year, I wrote: “Look at the 2010 Article Index in the March issue of Modern Aquarium and you’ll see no articles on killifish, cyprinids, plants, loaches, or rainbowfish, and that’s just to name a few of the areas I know some of our members are interested in. So, please consider sharing your interest and knowledge by writing articles.” That same statement could equally apply to our 2011 articles. (OK, we had one article urging folks to “Adopt a Goldfish” and they are cyprinids, but it wasn’t really an article on the care and maintenance of a member of the family Cyprinidae.) At our monthly auctions, I see bags of plants donated by members — everything from duckweed to giant Madagascar Lace plants. I see killifish, catfish, livebearers, anabantoids, freshwater shrimp, snails, and so much more. But where are the articles on their care and maintenance in Modern Aquarium? In 2011, there were a total of five articles on anabantoids, and I wrote each of them; yet I know there are others members keeping gouramies, bettas, and Badidae (Badis and Dario species). Some of our members go to regional and national shows and conventions, including those of the American Cichlid Association, American Livebearer Association, American Killifish Association, Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies, and International Betta Congress. Where are the articles about those shows and conventions? To those of you who have gone, I say: “Please share your experiences—good and maybe even not-so-good—with us in an article.” You might encourage others to go next time. All the awards for all participating societies are listed on the following pages. For specific details, such as the title of award winning articles (and even a readable copy of some first place articles), go to: Congratulations to all the winners, and a very special thanks to Greater City members who made the extra effort to share, in writing, their knowledge, experience, opinions, or even a laugh or two with the rest of us. Whether or not you were recognized by FAAS for your efforts, if you contributed to Modern Aquarium you are automatically participating in Greater City’s own Author Award Program!

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


July 2012

July 2012

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Best Editor and Publication more than 6 issues 1) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS 2) Klaus Steinhaus - DRAS 3) Jayne Glazier - KWAS HM) Joel Antkowiak - ACLC

Best Article on a Species of fish 1) Doug White & Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 3) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS HM) Joel Antkowiak - ACLC HM) Stephen Sica - GCAS

Best Editor and Publication, 6 or fewer issues 1) Greg Steeves - HCCC 2) Jose M. Centeno - AAA

Best Marine Article - Fish 1) Stephen Sica - GCAS 2) Stephen Sica - GCAS 3) Stephen Sica - GCAS

Best Changing Cover, Original Art 1)Joel Antkowiak - ACLC 2) David Ramsey - AAAA 3) Jayne Glazier - KWAS HM) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS

Best Marine Article - Invertebrates 1) Michael Steffen - ACLC Best Article on Aquascaping or Design 1) Don Rhodes - KWAS 2) Scott McLaughlin - ACLC 3) Edward Vukich - GCAS

Best FAAS-Related Article 1) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS Best Exchange Article 1) Zenin Skomorowski - KWAS 2) Stephen Sica & Donna Sosna Sica - GCAS 3) Michael Steffen and Suze Glesky - ACLC HM) Zenin Skomorowski - KWAS Best Review Article 1) Susan Priest - GCAS 2) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 3) Susan Priest - GCAS Best Spawning Article under 500 words 1) Austin Braganza - MAS 2) Ed Koerner - KWAS 3) Terry Clements - KWAS Best Spawning Article, 500-1000 words 1) Alan Sharples - AAAA 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 3) Joel Antkowiak - ACLC HM) Jules Birnbaum - GCAS Best Spawning Article more than 1000 words 1) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 3) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS HM) Ken Seiders - AAAA Best Article on a Genus of fish 1) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 2) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 3) Greg Steeves - HCCC HM) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS

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

Best Article on Plant Maintenance, Cultivation or Reproduction 1) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 2) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 3) Brent Lemanski - KWAS HM) Rob McLure - MAS Best Show Article 1) Greg Steeves - HCCC 2) Joel Antkowiak - ACLC 3) Kurt Johnston - ACLC HM) Zenin Skomorowski - KWAS Best How To or Do-It-Yourself Article 1) Rick Glencross - DRAS 2) Don Rhodes - KWAS 3) Michael Steffen - ACLC HM) Michael Steffen - ACLC HM) Dan Schacht - HCCC Best Article on Health/Nutrition 1) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 3) J W Wood - AAAA HM) Craig Standefer - HCCC HM) Jayne Glazier - KWAS Best Collecting Article 1) Tim McCaskie - DRAS 2) David Ramsey - AAAA Best Traveling Aquarist Article 1) Dick Mattinson - KWAS 2) Dick Mattinson - KWAS 3) David Ramsey - AAAA

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


Best Humorous Article 1) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS 2) The Undergravel Reporter - GCAS 3) Brent Lemanski - KWAS Best Cartoon 1) Bob Kulesa - ACLC 2) Bob Kulesa - ACLC 3) Eliott Oshins - GCAS HM) Bob Kulesa - ACLC Best Conservation-related Article 1) Ad Konings - HCCC 2) Greg Steeves - HCCC 3) Kory Watkins - HCCC HM) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS

Best Continuing Column 1) Joel Antkowiak - ACLC 2) Michael Risko, Jr - AAAA 3) Susan Priest - GCAS HM) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS Best Article, All Other Categories 1) Walter Wooten - HCCC 2) Alan Mark Fletcher - GCAS 3) Tommy Chang - GCAS HM) Michael Steffen - ACLC Author of the Year 1) Derek P.S. Tustin - DRAS 2) Alexander A. Priest - GCAS 3) Dan Radebaugh - GCAS

Legend HM = Honorable Mention AAAA = Atlanta Area Aquarium Association - FishTalk AAA = Asociación de Acuaristas de Aguadilla - El Ojo de Agua ACLC = Aquarium Club of Lancaster County - Tank Tales DRAS = Durham Region Aquarium Society - Tank Talk GCAS = Greater City Aquarium Society - Modern Aquarium HCCC = Hill Country Cichlid Club - Lateral Line KWAS = Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society - Fins & Tales MAS = Milwaukee Aquarium Society - SPLASH SAS = Sacramento Aquarium Society - Tropical News

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 Sharon Barnett Jules Birnbaum Jeff Bollbach Carlotti de Jager 18

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

Rod Du Casse Michael Macht Dan & Marsha Radebaugh Ed Vukich

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Here are a few quotes from the introduction. “Our purpose with this book is to highlight South and Central American approaches to wildlife management.” “In this volume we see how community-based approaches are vital.” “In a society where all creatures are considered to be a Series On Books For The Hobbyist close relatives, single species models well suited to temperate zones must be modified to protect by SUSAN PRIEST biodiversity.” ow many of you can name the speaker and There are three chapters dedicated to the the title of the program from the September fishes and fisheries of South America. Their 2000 GCAS meeting? (Don’t be too hard problems as well as their strengths are described. on yourself if you can’t. I had to look it up. I’ll tell The largest threat to fishes of the Amazon basin is you why I did so a few paragraphs from now.) not over-fishing, but the disruption of habitats. This book touches on a wide variety of animal Two examples of this are turbidity due to sediment topics. Crocodiles, outflow from deforested turtles, birds, assorted areas, and abnormal four-footed mammals, and changes in water levels. People In Nature even human populations Both of these conditions Kirsten M. Bodmer, et. al., editors come under discussion, result in a decrease in fish Columbia University Press, 2004 but I will make an effort reproduction. to keep the needle of my One of the main compass firmly pointed activities of Peruvian toward F, for fish, of course! (I owe it to you after riverine fisheries has become the gathering of last month’s review, which was of interest to the information. How much fish is being caught? philosophers among you, but not necessarily all of How much fish is consumed in any given the fishkeepers.) household? How much This is another of is immediately those “compilation of consumed? How much articles” books with is preserved, and by which we have become what methods? What familiar, and which have species? What source so much more to offer us areas? What is the than an average book. water temperature? This one is made up of a These are just a few of collection of conference the questions asked of presentations. These the local fishers by the conferences take place planners. Then there in South America twice are the commercial a year, and are fisheries which supply international in their large cities. The list of scope and participation. questions for them is The articles were written e v e n m o r e by a wide variety of overwhelming. The researchers. Most of disappearance of some them were originally spec ies, and the written in either Spanish reduction in size of or Portuguese, and were others must be later translated into evaluated. The English. This seems like boundaries of protected the best place to mention zones (where fishing is that I was mightily prohibited), and of impressed by the sustainable use zones readability of these (where local translated works, all of communities can fish, which were originally but outsiders are written by scientists in a language other than my restricted) are impossible to enforce. In some areas own, as well as by the absence of even a single fishes are rotated between lakes, and quotas have typographical error. Kudos to the editors! been established. The education of fishers as to



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which fishes they should not be harvesting, and why, is a very slow process. “An index of catch per unit, when recorded for a given length of time, allows an evaluation of the abundance of the resource.” (I think someone forgot to translate that part!) Even though I have given you a very small sampling of the issues that need to be addressed, you can clearly see that it is an extremely daunting task to develop plans for fishery management. In trying to sum up all that I have read here about the “problem” of developing such a plan, the best that I have been able to come up with is to say that the quest for these solutions is still in its infancy. In September of 2000 our speaker was Scott Dowd, and the topic of his program was Projeto Piaba. Scott is the Senior Aquarist of Freshwater Fishes at the New England Aquarium (Boston MA). Scott, along with Dr. Ning Labbish Chao of the Universidade do Amazonas of Manaus (Brazil), was one of the founding developers of this project. As documented in one of the chapters on fisheries, through their work it has been established that the collection of ornamental fishes, in particular the Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi), from the Rio Negro, is a sustainable practice both ecologically as well as economically. Since 1990, the ornamental fish trade has contributed more than 60% of the economy of Barcelos without unduly depleting fish populations. Projeto Piaba has become a role model for ecology projects throughout the world. I would like to briefly revisit a theme which we have encountered earlier in the year. Once again I quote from the introduction. “Non-human nature is an integral part of human lives and spirituality.” Sacred rituals, food taboos, and management of communities by shamans persist in many areas of South and Central America. If an animal or a geographic area has spiritual value as well as ecological value, then it is much more likely to be protected in the long run by community based initiatives similar to Projeto Piaba. Are you curious about the animal in the photo on the cover of this book? If you’re not, then just skip over this paragraph. If you are, then let me introduce you to the White-Lipped Peccary. The one in the photo is young. Adults weigh around 50kg (one kilogram = 2.2lbs), and they form “herds” of around 100. There are communities which establish refuges for these animals, never knowing when or even if they will ever be needed. The peccaries are migratory, and occasionally they travel into areas where they are hunted by jaguars, or exposed to diseases for which they have no immunity. If, however, they arrive at one of these caring communities, they will have a safe refuge. This book has an extensive bibliography, as well as a detailed and cross-referenced index. I


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

found no indication that it was part of a series. There is very little in the way of illustration (an occasional graph, chart or partial map). I would have liked to see a photo of a “floating meadow,” or a herd of White-Lipped Peccaries, but that is not what this book is all about. It is about informing us, and raising our awareness. Awareness of what? Awareness that all of life is precious, and that we are its caretakers. REFERENCE: Modern Aquarium, September 2000, “A Speaker Profile of Scott Dowd,” by Claudia Dickinson.

Author’s Note #1 Twice lately I have noticed back issues of Modern Aquarium on the auction table. At first it made me sad to think that anyone who had some didn’t treasure them. But then it made me happy to think that they brought them to a meeting instead of just tossing them in the recycle bin. But then it made me sad when no one bid on them. But then it made me happy to know that the person who took them home had something way more special than they knew. The point I am trying to make here is that if you ever have an opportunity to get your hands on any back issues of Modern Aquarium, don’t let it pass you by. They are more collectable than stamps, and are almost as valuable as a winning Powerball ticket. Even if you already have a complete set, pick them up anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much they are worth to someone shopping on e-bay. (The issues which contain book reviews or photos of Joe Ferdenzi are especially in demand!) Author’s Note #2 I’m going to give all of us a break from Wet Leaves for the month of August, but I’ll be back in September with a wonderful children’s book. See you then!

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by Steven Hinshaw

asn’t I elated when Ray Wetzel out of New did find several October and December 1956 issues Milford, New Jersey agreed to sell me his without much effort. Ray related his insight in one of extra copy of the November 1956 issue The our correspondences: Aquarium, v25, no. 11! It does exist!!!! The goal of “As for the November ‘56 issue, aside from the (photo)copy you sent me, I can’t recall seeing having physical examples of publications advertised that issue anywhere in recent years – “recent years” on 19th Edition Exotic Aquarium Fishes dust jackets meaning the last 20 to 30 years or so. As for the has been attained (figs. 1, 2, 3, & 4)! issue I’ve sent you, I bought it in October 1956 at Carefully thumbing through the magazine I am one of my local fish stores (they always came out one refreshed by the quality and substance of the writing, month ahead of the cover date). I don’t buy and sell aquarium literature as a let alone the nostalgia it generates. Also fun was to sideline, but in acquiring magazines see the advertisement for the 18th I’m missing I had to sometimes take Edition of Exotic Aquarium Fishes several issues as a lot, regardless (fig. 5), no doubt soliciting the reader whether I had any of the rest of to purchase “backstock” before the them. So lately (the past few years) 19th Edition came out in the months I have included some of my extra copies of aquarium magazines soon to follow (and generating the (The Aquarium, Aquarium controversy of a 1956 vs. 1957 Journal, Aquatic Life, etc.) in publication). my club’s twice-a-year auctions Some of you may know (Spring and Fall). To my surprise, Ray, as he is the moderator for they do command a fair amount of the Yahoo! Group, the “Aquarium money, depending on their scarcity. Most often, that scarcity would Hobby Historical Society” (AHHS) equate to their age – such as the and a member of the North Jersey earliest issues of The Aquarium Aquarium Society (NJAS). I of the 1930’s, but in cases such am honored to have made his as not having a large press run, acquaintance. Of course it is nice or perhaps not having nearly as much demand for an issue on the to check off an item on the wish newsstand in a certain month, this list, but what really makes this can also directly affect the price of issue special is the story that comes these magazines. with it. Ray actually bought this While it’s strange why one Figure 1: Cover of The Aquarium, November magazine hot-off-the press-brand- 1956, v.25, no. 11. certain month may not have had as new back in October 1956! About much of a demand, while months preceding and following that month show no decline, five years ago he found a trophy copy on Aquabid. I have noticed that interest in the hobby waned com (where I discovered him), but he kept his original somewhat towards the latter part of the 1950s – this purchase as a matter of purpose. There is no good would be late 1958 through early 1960 – then picked reason why this November issue was so hard to find. up again (since I’ve lived through it). While I have Even with Joe Ferdenzi’s help I could not find it, but no explanation for the scarcity of the November ‘56

Figure 2: The Aquarium November 1956 with 19th Edition “Innes” Dust Jacket. Note the background color on the magazine is not yellow.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Figure 3: Aquarium Fish in Color with 1956 19th Edition “Dutton” Dust Jacket. Note the title of the book is different than the title on the dust jacket.

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Figure 4: The cover of Aquarium Fish in Color by G. MandahlBarth. Note that this is the Dutton printing of the original Danish text by the same author. Figure 5: Advertisement from the November 1956 issue of The Aquarium magazine for the 18th Edition of Exotic Aquarium Fishes by William T. Innes.

issue, just going with other extra issues I’ve sold from the 1950s, and the relative scarcity or abundance of them circulating, it would not surprise me that the November issue might very well have brought a high price if I had auctioned it off. It was just the luck of the draw that the 8 to 10 issues I brought with me each time (to the auctions) didn’t include that issue.”

Indeed, “lucky” for me, he still had the November issue and accepted my offer! My first fish tank was a guppy bowl with guppies that I brought home from a first grade science/ecology unit (much to the surprise of my parents!). My first real aquarium was a ten gallon tank given to me at age ten by a family friend leaving for college. It has been mentioned that my first EAF was given to me by my mom.....and it goes on from there. For all of us, these are not uncommon stories, but ones we can’t help but share with other kindred spirits. I greatly enjoyed reading Ray’s reflection about getting his first EAF and meeting Dr. Innes in person. An excerpt from a subsequent correspondence follows: “My first EAF was also a gift from my mother, right around the same age as when you received yours. My junior high school had started a program of having the students join an in-school club of their choice. This was in the seventh grade, and naturally I joined the tropical fish club. It was there that I saw another student’s EAF edition, not having seen one before, and I asked my mother for one.


She got one (the 14th Edition) for me the following winter, in January ‘53, as part of my present for my upcoming 14th birthday that June. Yeah, I got that book a little ahead of time (like about five months ahead of time), but she knew how much I wanted it. I’d guess that at the time, the 15th Edition had not come out yet, but I was really happy she got that one (the 14th) for me. I seem to remember that it was somewhere around eight dollars (I was with her at the time – we went into a fish shop in NYC, on the way to my great aunt’s apartment). That was a LOT of money back in 1953; much more than I could have ever saved up for at that time. As for autographed EAF’s, when I got my driver’s license in 1957 I made an appointment with Dr. Innes and drove to Philadelphia to pay him a visit. He was getting frail by this time, but he signed my 14th Edition for me, and my copy of his February ‘54 80th Birthday issue as well. That visit was one I’ll always remember.”

There are few other items on my wish list. They do exist! More fulfilling than finding those books, however, will be meeting the people who have them. Their stories and insights are the energy behind my collection of Exotic Aquarium Fishes, and bridge the passion of keeping tropical fish to future generations.

July 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Curaçao's Lionfish Part Two

Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


n last month’s issue, with my wife Donna’s help, I briefly described some of my recollections of Curaçao and its lionfish and other sea life. Now allow me to describe how some dive professionals in the island’s tourist industry handle the lionfish issue. We did four dives with Adrian, a Netherlands native who has resided in Curaçao for ten years. Adrian was adamant in his quest to eradicate the lionfish epidemic from his adopted homeland. Of course even though lionfish are native to the South Seas of the Pacific, I find it exciting to discover and photograph them in U.S. and Caribbean waters. In my opinion, eradicating the lionfish is somewhat contrary to the good of dive tourism, but their destruction of all other small fish within their territory, including the very photogenic seahorse, does rather nullify that opinion. Adrian took us Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

to some seahorse habitats, but there were no seahorses to be found. He conjectured that they either moved to different locations or were eaten by lionfish. Unfortunately, since the lionfish has no natural predators in the Caribbean, I am coming to realize that it is probably impossible to eradicate this species. Furthermore, not all divemasters are on the hunt to capture or kill every lionfish in the island‘s waters―for that matter, this has been true on any island that we have visited. Adrian carries a short three foot fiberglass pole spear, with a trident on the business end and an elastic “rubber band” that doubles as a wrist thong on the back end. The band enables him to propel the spear a few feet forward with force. While leading the dive group, Adrian would be the first spot a lionfish. If he decided

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Divemaster Adrian and his trident for spearing lionfish.

to “catch” it, he would either line up on the fish’s flank, or better yet, its top while looking down at it, and propel his spear into the body. Lionfish are bony, and his spear is small. I observed several flank shots bounce off if the fish was not hit hard enough. Spearing it from above was more successful. With this method if he missed, or did not penetrate the fish, it would not try to escape, so Adrian would have two or three attempts to spear each fish. If he successfully speared a lionfish, he would carry it on the end of his spear to an enclosed space in the coral such as a small crevice or cave, and take out his knife and stab the fish, pulling the spear out at the same time. This stabbing served as the coup de grâce to make sure the fish was dead, as well as providing leverage for removing the spear. Then he would push the fish into the crevice to make sure it did not float away. Back in the boat I asked him to explain his technique. He said that he did not want the dead fish to float away, because the spines retain their poison for several days, and someone might be stung by an unseen dead fish floating around the water. He also said that many lionfish are caught, either alive or dead, for research. While I was lagging behind the dive group, Donna told me that Adrian speared four lionfish on one dive. I 24

personally witnessed only one, because I was preoccupied with taking photographs. Since there are no groupers left in Curaçao to be predators toward lionfish, the scientific community and dive industry are trying to feed captive and dead lionfish to moray eels to train them to develop a taste for the fish. I also learned that lionfish are served in some restaurants as a delicacy at outlandish prices. The last time we were in Key Largo, I saw a cookbook with many recipes to prepare lionfish, so I looked it up on the internet. It‘s a soft-cover book entitled Lionfish Cookbook that sells for about seventeen dollars. It is published by REEF, that is, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation. To quote a reviewer, “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em!” Since the poison lingers in the spines, I would say that preparing a lionfish for a meal is a very touchy endeavor; I’ll stick to a good chicken breast. One often hears people say that many food delicacies, such as alligator and iguana, taste like chicken. I wonder if the lionfish does as well? Here are some additional photos of Curaçao’s lionfish, and Adrian hunting lionfish, along with a few more fish and creatures of the underwater world that we saw. The lionfish are self-evident, but I have briefly captioned the other photos. So, until our next adventure…bon appetit!

Speared lionfish. Looking for a safe place to finish off the fish and dispose of the body. Venom is active for several days, and longer in some instances.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Porcupinefish, Diodon hystrix. Can inflate itself with water to extend its spines.

Graysby, Cephalopholis cruentatus. In the grouper/sea bass family, most are reddish brown, but this specimen is gray. Foreground fish is a bicolor damselfish, Pomacentrus partitus.

French angelfish, Pomacanthus paru. This beautiful specimen swam directly at me but about three feet to my right. As we passed each other, I turned my camera to the side and took a quick photo with no adjustments. It swam by, did not flinch, and just went on its way.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Caribbean reef squid, Sepioteuthis sepioidea.

Bearded fireworm, Hermodice carunculata. Bristles can easily penetrate and break off into skin, and cause a painful burning sensation and irritating wound.

July 2012


GCAS CARES and YOU! by Tommy Chang


.A.R.E.S. is an acronym for Conservation, Awareness, Recognition and Responsibility, Encouragement and Education, Support and Sharing, which was founded in 2004 by our very own club member, Claudia Dickinson. Claudia not only arranges the speaker schedule for our club and is involved in our club in other substantial ways, but is also a Fellow of the American Cichlid Association as of 2010, which signifies a lifetime of hard work in the fish hobby and hobbyist community. Among Claudia’s peers on the national level in our club are Joe Ferdenzi and Al Priest, both of whom who are involved with the CARES effort. To put it in a nutshell, CARES is a program which involves aquarium hobbyists in the conservation of at-risk species of fish that are suitable for the aquarium by encouraging and assisting hobbyists to keep, breed, and distribute them, while adding to the body of knowledge on how to care for and breed them. A major CARES goal is the building of a solid base stock amongst the aquariums of hobbyists of each species on the CARES Priority List. CARES provides a network of contacts to other hobbyists who are part of the effort, and also to professionals of the scientific world as we work together in the global endeavor to preserve conservation priority fish for future generations of hobbyists and scientific study. Please see the website for further information. To quote the website: There is not a continent on earth whose waters and fishes have not been affected by the devastation and destruction caused from deforestation, pollution, agrochemical run-off, overfishing, global warming, and political unrest, all to the great misfortune of those fishes that remain in their natural habitats. As these tragedies to earth are occurring more rapidly than even the most paramount attempts at intervention can match, captive breeding of species at risk, both within the country of origin and outside of the country of origin, has become the quintessential answer for both short term and long term preservation goals. 26

We hobbyists can set aside tank space for at-risk species so that they will survive into the future, and maintain, breed them intelligently, and share them. CARES is also a social activity through networking with fellow hobbyists interested in preservation. Recognition is given to all who participate, and special recognition is given to the most outstanding individuals who partake in this effort of species conservation and maintenance. I want to publicly thank Joe Ferdenzi and Al Priest for being involved with CARES at the national level. And let’s not forget Sue Priest’s involvement in conservation with all the book reviews appearing in Wet Leaves concerning this important subject. I put it to you, what can YOU do? Both Joe and Al keep endangered species of fish in their fishrooms. How about following their lead by fostering at least one species in yours? You can play a role in helping by being part of the CARES effort at the GCAS! As your GCAS Support Team, Claudia and I look forward to having you join us in this united effort. Please look over the CARES Priority List and see what fish you may already be maintaining. Then, fill out the simple registration sheet and hand that to me at the meeting. You will likely be asked for a photograph of the fish, as CARES requires a positive identification. Now, where can you obtain at-risk species of fish? Many of our GCAS members are keeping conservation priority species, and will be your best source. Obtaining a species from a fellow hobbyist will give you the added benefit of sharing personal experiences in their care and breeding habits. If there is a species that you are searching for, the CARES Team will do their best to look into the availability of that species and possibly find a source for you. Please see the webpage for the CARES Priority List at: http://www. At our meetings, I usually sit next to Marsha Radebaugh and have the CARES table set up next to her Modern Aquarium and membership table as I help hand out the door prize tickets. Here you can register your species, ask about species that

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

you are interested in, and ask any other questions that you may have. Allen Wood, a past chairman of the American Livebearers Association, wrote an article on goodeids to help with the GCAS CARES effort. He has generously offered to send us some conservation priority livebearers for members of our club who are interested. Recipients must apply, and in the near future we will have applications for those who want Allen Wood’s fish. Please refer to the articles in earlier issues of this year’s Modern Aquarium for more information on Allen Wood and at-risk livebearers. Whatever your interests may be, cichlids or anabantids, catfish or livebearers, there are conservation priority species to be found in most, if not all genera. You may know about the plight of the Lake Victoria cichlids resulting from the introduction of the Nile perch into the lake, but you may not know that, as Al Priest pointed out to me in a recent email:

Logging practices in the region involve the removal of the largest trees, leaving leaf litter, small trees, and broken branches that dry out. The largest forest fire ever recorded took place in the old-growth forests of Borneo during 1982-83 and lasted for 18 months! More than nine million acres of rainforest were destroyed in east Kalimantan. This was the first time that living rainforest had been seen to burn! In Borneo and Sumatra alone, 14.8 million acres are estimated to have been destroyed prior to 1998.

As you can see, there are endangered species everywhere. Please consider using one of your tanks to keep, breed, and share an endangered species of fish. As conservation champion Dr. Paul Loiselle points out, “No one can save them all, but we all can save just one.”

Most of the fish I maintain are endemic to Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia (which includes the giant island of Borneo). This area has the highest relative rate of deforestation of any major tropical region. Indonesia also has the most endangered species, according to the World Conservation Union. Many species there have not yet been evaluated as to their conservation status, and many more risk becoming extinct before they even can be evaluated.

Characadon lateralis "los pinos" ― Endemic to Mexico. Photo from

Devario pathirana, the red-line torpedo barb. aquarium-size fish from India. Photo from

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

An endangered

Betta macrostoma" ― Endemic to Brunei and some parts of Borneo. Photo by Alexander A. Priest.

July 2012


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Jerry O'Farrell Albino Peacock 2 Richard Waizman White Crown Betta 3 Robert Hamje Blue betta

Unofficial 2012 Bowl Show totals to date: Robert Hamje 10 Carlotti deJager 3

Jerry O'Farrell

10 Richard Waizman 8

William Amely 5

A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Mervyn Bamby, Frank Bonnici, Flor and Orel Muñoz, Jerry O'Farrell, and Tony Wong! A special welcome to new members Tony and Cheryl Franz!

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

Next Meeting: August 11, 2012 Speaker: None Event: Silent Auction/Fleamarket 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:

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: September 14, 2012 Speaker: Mike Hellweg Topic: Fish Breeding Contest with Ted Judy 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: September 21, 2012 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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:


East Coast Guppy Association

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

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: September 11, 2012 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:


Next Meeting: July 19, 2012 Speaker: Sal Silvestri Topic: Breeding Dwarf Cichlids 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: August 16, 2012 Speaker: Tony Orso Topic: Asian Fishes 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:

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

When Fish Attack!

Video footage shows the sizable cat leaping up to the fish tank for a closer view, then seemingly mulling over how to finally make his killing. With the cat’s nose almost touching the water, the fish, instead of trying to swim for safety, comes up to the surface and the two animals have a stand-off. Against all expectations, the fish pulls the first punch and launches out of the water nipping the cat on the face—forcing it to make a hasty retreat. The amazing footage of the prey turning predator was uploaded onto YouTube2 and has been viewed nearly a half-million times since it was originally uploaded on February 19, 2012.

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.


t’s no secret that there are dog people and there are cat people. I happen to be a dog person myself. While I don’t actually hate cats, and wouldn’t go out of my way to harm a cat, I admit to getting a bit of satisfaction whenever a cat gets its “comeuppance.” Since I’m also an aquarist, seeing said comeuppance happen at the hands (or should I say at the fins) of a tropical fish is even better. Unlikely, you say? Yes, but it does happen, and at least once it was captured on camera for all to see. The British publication Daily Mail reported1

While this next item probably doesn’t concern most of us aquarists, I came across an interesting item in the New York Post3 about a local man (Riverdale, in the Bronx) who is being sued by his landlord for having fish tanks that leak and that smell bad. The landlord claims Christopher Toole, a former bank vice-president, is violating his lease by illegally breeding fish and running his “Society of Aquaponic Values and Education” (a nonprofit business that encourages urbanites to grow tilapia and other fish in their own apartments). Other tenants in his building complain of noise, presumably caused during water changes, and tank leaks of “fish-waste tainted water.”

On the left, the Oscar (inside white circle) can be seen looking up at the cat, who is leaning into the aquarium. The right photo shows the head of the Oscar (white circle again) out of the water and above the tank wall. The surprised cat has backed off. on an encounter between an Oscar and a cat. According to the owner of both animals, the cat had watched the Oscar every morning before he decided to pounce on his prey.

So those apartment dwellers among us who are fish keepers and who sell or auction fish might be well-advised to just keep quiet about it! -predator-cat-looking-lunch.html?ito=feeds-newsxml 2 3 1

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

July 2012 June 2012

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Fin Fun The Greater City Aquarium Society meeting would normally have been on the first Wednesday of this month. But, that was the Fourth of July, so our meeting was moved back a week. In remembrance of the Fourth, see if you can correctly match the common names of the fish in the left column with their scientific names in the right column. I think you’ll see the theme here without having to be told.

Common name

Scientific name

Red phantom tetra

Mesonauta festivus

Redtail splitfin

Aequidens pulcher Fundulopanchax sjostedti

Redtail shark

Hyphessobrycon heterorhabdus

White Cloud mountain minnow

Hyphessobrycon sweglesi

White piranha

Jordanella floridae

White Sands pupfish

Xenotoca eiseni

Blue acara

Epalzeorhynchos bicolor

Blue gularis Blue corydoras

Tanichthys albonubes

Flag cichlid

Serrasalmus brandtii

Flag tetra

Corydoras nattereri


Cyprinodon tularosa


Solution to our last puzzle: Common name

Scientific Name



_____ belly piranha

Pygocentrus nattereri

_____ catfish

Brochis splendens


_____ terror

Aequidens rivulatus


_____ snakehead

Channa micropeltes


_____ tailed shark

Labeo bicolor


_____ Texas cichlid

Cichlasoma carpentis

_____ eye tetra

Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenae


_____ devil

Cichlasoma labiatum


_____ fire tetra

Aphyocharax rathbuni

_____ spotted cichlid

Theraps bifasciatus



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July 2012 July 2012

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

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