Modern Aquarium

Page 1



FEBRUARY 1995 volume II number 2


AQUARIUM ON THECOVER The Ennegcgnthus obesus on this month's cov€fr:is an example of a native freshwater fish of the type discussed in "Read, Go, Enjoy" by Chuck Davis in this month's Issue. Photo by Joe iozito GREATERC»TY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members President , . . . , . . ., Joseph Ferdenzi Vice-President

Series III

Vol. II, No. 2

February, 1995

FEATURES Editor's Desk


Cichlids Are Not Just "Cold Fish"


Read, Go, Enjoy!!!


G.C.A.S. Breeders Award Program


. . . . i- - - • Ben ttaus

Treasurer .:v ... . .... . . Emma Haus Corres, Secretary . . . * . . Greg Wuest Recording Secretary

... . P a t Piccione

Membership . . . . . . ,,,. . Susan Priest Members At Large Mary; Ann Bugeia ;: Joe Bugeia Don Curttn : ; :;; : ; |:i Ooug Curtin :Mark Sobermari Jack Oliva Steve SagonaVincent Sileo Warren Fetter ^::1;^|P':;1I:;;::;:.'' •;.

Great Aquatic Plants For Low Light Tanks . .


Shooting Ourselves In The Foot


Wet Leaves (Book Review)


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


MODERN AQUARIUM Editor , . . » , . . » , ,..,,,» /Warren Feuer Assistant Editor:, . . : ,? Alexander Priest Art-CJirector ,:.;.,. , ,:Stephan Zander Adverttsing-Mgr, . , . ; Mark Soberrnan Executive Editor . . . . Joseph Ferdenzi Printing By Postal Press

Articles submitted for consideration in MODERN AQUARIUM must be received no later than the 10th day of the month, three months prior to the month of publication. Copyright 1995 by the Greater City Aquarium Society. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form of the articles, illustrations or photographs appearing in this magazine is prohibited without express written prior permission. Unless other rights have been retained by the author, and noted in the article or photograph, the Greater City Aquarium Society generally grants noncommercial reproduction rights to other recognized aquarium societies and naturalist organizations upon request. The Greater City Aquarium Society meets every month, except during July and August. Meetings are the first Wednesday of the month and begin at 8:30 P.M. Meetings are held at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact Warren Feuer at (718) 793-8724.

From the Editor's Desk


e all have to do things we don't want to. Depending upon the situation, and the amount of control we have over that situation, the amount of less than desirable chores varies. Recently I attended such an undesirable event. I'm referring to the closing of Nature World. Anyone involved with Greater City on anything more than a casual basis (and many non GCAS members as well) knew Nature World. Its owner. Steve Sagona. and before him. Francis Lee were active and loyal GCAS members, providing a great deal of support for the club through the store. In addition, many of us considered Nature World a "hang-out", a meeting place where we could get together and spend time talking about and checking out our favorite subject, fish, without feeling like we were in anyone's way. There always seemed to be new fish to check out, books to browse through for information or to settle the inevitable difference of opinion regarding this fish or that fish. If you felt like, you could even buy something with the knowledge that you weren't getting taken for a ride, and that the advice you were given was sound. This was advice based upon experience and know-how, not sales hype. Products were sold because they were what you needed, and of the proper quality. Several times I was talked out of buying something I did not need. I guess what I'm saying is that Nature World was a quality store. If that's the case, then why is it closed0 From a strictly bottom line basis, it's easy to say why. Steve found that his cash in-flow was not enough to pay all his costs and decided to pursue other methods of making a living. But why was that the case? There are many possibilities. First off. the economy in New York is not in the greatest condition. A recent article in the New York

Times reported that we are lagging behind the rest of the country economically, and experiencing a stagnant economy. This means less people have money to spend, and less of them are spending it on hobbies such as tropical fish Steve had geared Nature World towards specializing in African cichlids, reflecting Steve's own interests. Specialist stores often struggle to survive, even in the best of times. In addition. Nature World was a small store not really centrally located. All of this eventually led to its closing. On top of all this, we at GCAS are somewhat to blame. We just did not patronize Nature World enough. I know this is true because in the final weeks of Nature World, as Steve held his final sale, and many prices were reduced, many of our members came by. Many for the first time. This is not right. We all have access to mail order prices, and, with multiple tanks and limited incomes, have to watch our money. For these reasons, we tend to shop the mail order discount route Let me tell you. Steve's prices were very competitive, and. to me. the difference was more than compensated for by the advantage of dealing with someone I know and trust. Modern Aquarium contains advertisements from several pet shops, each of them a quality store. When soliciting advertising, whether a store or a manufacturer, we consider only quality prospects. In addition to high quality editorial content, I feel it is our responsibility to present quality advertisers, so we are selective These fine people support Modern Aquarium and Greater City with their ads. and it is our responsibility to return that support by patronizing them. It is our responsibility to make sure that more quality stores don't fail. If you have any experience at all with the different levels of pet shops around, you know how much we suffer when the good ones close. As I've said before (and will surely saymany times again), I'm greatly honored to share the editorial masthead with my associates Al Priest. Stephen Zander, Joe Ferdenzi and Mark Soberman. As you may or may not know, I recently spent several weeks recovering from eye surgery. During this time I not only found out how capable they are by the fine January. 1995 Modern Aquarium they produced, I also found out what good friends they are. Thanks to them and everyone else whose well wishes have helped my recovery..

Cichlids Are Not


ichlids have become among the most popular species of fish with both hobbyist and scientist, and it's no wonder why. With seemingly high intelligence and noticeable personalities, they are more than merely "cold fish." They are interesting and highly diversified "pets." There are over a thousand different varieties of cichlids spread across Africa, Asia and the Americas. The uninitiated aquarist should be wary, for the cichlid family is full of surprises. Some remain under three inches in length and have amenable dispositions. Others grow with lightening speed and rapidly take on the personality of a professional wrestler. Even long time bred pairs sometimes fight so violently that it's a good idea to keep a hospital tank ready for the casualties.


Some cichlid species are so difficult to manage that only an aquarist with many years of experience would be recommended to care for them. On the other hand, other types of cichlids could be kept and even spawned inside of a garbage can half filled with water. These fish spawn easily and produce hardy fry which they provide excellent parental care for. It is not unusual for pairs of these avid breeders to rearrange your tank decor as they see fit. It's amazing the way they move gravel, plants, and even rocks around to suit their needs. This "customization" of their environs seems to be a universal trait of most cichlid pairs while breeding occurs. The easiest way to describe the various species of cichlids is to first divide them into three groups. The first two are arbitrary and scientifically meaningless (please forgive me, Dr. Loiselle!): Dwarf cichlids are mostly members of the genera Apistogramma, Microgeophagus, and Pelvicachromis. Although certainly not restricted to these three families, they represent dwarf cichlids to many. They are beautifully colored, even-tempered, and rarely grow beyond three inches in length. They are a bit more

Apistogramma pertensis — A dwarf cichlid

^•d+*u*+~- IfaS 0

ichlasoma citrinellum — A cichlid

READ, GO, ENJOY!!! CHUCK DAVIS his article will be unique for me, in that it will have two distinct purposes. Initially, I intended to write about a few native fishes that can be collected within a reasonable drive, fish that have been favorites with me. and the interesting and fun things that that can lead to. But when my good friend, Al Miller (formerly of Brooklyn, NY. now a full-time resident of sunny Deerfield Beach, Florida) sent me a wonderful book — Thompson's Guide To Freshwater Fishes — I felt compelled to include a few "book review" type paragraphs to suggest that any reader interested in native fishes for the home aquarium should pick up this handbook. So that's where we'll stan. Thompson's Guide To Freshwater Fishes was written and illustrated by Peter Thompson and published by Houghton Mifflin


Company of Boston in 1985. Interestingly, Peter thanks a Bill Kenny for his help with this book. One can't help but wonder if that is the same Bill Kenny who is active in the organized hobby up that way as a speaker, judge, author and photographer. This book originally sold in soft cover for $10.95, but may be purchased at a discounted price now. This book can act as a competent field guide, since it comes equipped with 119 color illustrations by the author. The drawings cover 113 species of fish from 22 families. Apart from the artwork, the catalogue of fishes gives a concise passage for each family and the 113 individual fish species including: field identification; habitats; natural history; collecting information; and handling tips. Also size, common name variations and a helpful locator map accompanies almost all of the species. But the text doesn't stop there. Thompson has also included an educational introduction that points out fish anatomy; field identification; methods of collecting, transporting, and handling fish; and some specifics on keeping, raising and breeding the fish you collect. An appendix of aquatic plants, a glossary of terms and an active bibliography round out this worthwhile book.

And now on to my original purpose, telling you about three of my favorite native fishes. The first is a sunfish — no not the black banded sunfish (Enneacanthus chaetodon) — this is the orangespotted sunfish (Lepomis humilis). It is common to western parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, West Virginia and down through the Missouri/Mississippi drainage: though some spots for collecting have been found much closer. The Orangespot only reaches a size of 3 - 5 inches and is an ideal aquarium fish that can tolerate water temperatures up to 80°F, but a heater is rarely ever necessary for an indoor aquarium. These gorgeous fish will rival most any aquarium fish for color, deportment and behavior. They are covered with orange spots (as you may have already guessed) and often sport a red belly and breast. They have similar habits to the smaller cichlids, but rarely do the damage to plants that most cichlids are noted for. "O-spots" are not picky eaters and once established in an aquarium, they are not shy to come to the dinner table. The second favorite native fish that 1 collect within a reasonable drive is the Tadpole Madtom (Noturus gyrinus). This Madtom is a small catfish similar in appearance to its larger cousins, the Bullheads; but this fellow only grows to about 4 - 5 inches and won't eat you

out of house and home. Found under the cover of rocks or logs, this beauty usually feeds under cover of darkness. A common way to collect these catfish is to check out cans and bottles submerged in known habitats, for they often take up residence in these discards and spawn there. Their size makes them excellent aquarium residents and awesome creatures to observe. Finally, I would like to suggest any of the Daners, but in our area two common darters that can be collected are the Swamp Darter (Eiheostoma fusiforme) and the Tesselated Darter (Etheostoma olmstedi}. Both are quite small, averaging 2 to 3 inches in length and make good fishtank inhabitants since they hail from slow moving waters. Through there are numerous darters that are more colorful than these two, what they lack in color they make up for in their antics. They have periods of hyper-activity and enjoy flashing in and out of the densely planted area of the tank. So now you have a book full of native American fish species that you can collect and keep in an aquarium, and you can also "suffer" all the joys of natives through collecting, transporting, maintaining, and if you're lucky, breeding. Good Fishing, my friends . . .

Master Breeder 300 points (At least 30 points from each of the 5, 10 and 15 point categories and 40 points accumulated from the 20 point category. 170 points may be from any category) Grand Master Breeder

500 points

POINT CLASSIFICATION: ANABANTOIDS: 5 pts - None 10 pts - All species not listed otherwise. 15 pts - All Macropodus except opercularis, all Bena except splendens and macrostoma, all Belontia, all Trichopsis and Helostoma 20 pts - Osphronemus gourami, all Sphaerichthys and Bella macrostoma CATFISH: 5 pts - None 10 pts - Corydoras aeneus and paleaius (including albino forms) 15 pts - All Ancistrus, Aspidoras, Brochis, Dianema, Hoplosternum & "Whiptail" Loricariids, all Corydoras not already listed 20 pts - All species not listed otherwise CHARACINS: 5 pts - None 10 pts - All Emperor Tetras 15 pts - All species not listed otherwise 20 pts - Exodon paradoxus, Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi, all " H a c h e t Fish" complex, all Prochilodus complex, all Anoswmus, Paracheirodon axelrodi, all Phenacogrammus, all Serrasalmidae including Metynnis, Myleus, and Serrasalmus CICHLIDS: 5 pts - Cichlasoma nigrofas datum and Herotilapia multispinosa 10 pts - All species not listed otherwise 15 pts - All Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids not listed otherwise, "Red Devil" complex, all Etroplus. all Apistogramma complex (Apistogramma, Apistogrammoides, Nannacara), all Geophagus, all Lake Victoria Cichlids, Haplochromis moorii 20 pts - All Symphysodon, all Uaru, all Crenicara, Astronotus occellatus (all color forms), all Lake Tanganyika mouthbrooders except Tropheus and Tilapia, Cichlasoma group Parapetinia (except salvini and trimaculatum)

CYPRINIDS: 5 pts - Tanichthys albonubes, all Danio complex, all Australian Rainbows (except Pseudomugil) 10 pts - All species not listed otherwise 15 pts - Barbus nigrofasciatus, Barbus semifasciolatus, all Rasboras 20 pts - Barbus schwansfeldi, all Cyprinid "Shark" complex, Koi KILLIFISH: Due to the spawning habits of killifish, all species of killifish to be bred must be reported to the B.A.P. Committee Chairman prior to spawning so that proper witnessing techniques may be applied. All spawnings must be reported so that the date may be recorded. 5 pts - Aphyosemion australe (both color forms) and gardneri (all color forms). all Oryzias. Apia, panchax, Epiplatys dageti* and sexfasciatus,* all Rivulis not listed otherwise 10 pts - All species not listed otherwise 15 pts - All annuals except Nothobranchius guentheri and those not listed otherwise, Fundulopanchax sjdestedti. Pseudoepiplatys annulatus, Aphyosemion "Diapteron" Complex, all Procatopus, Lamprichthys tanganicanus 20 pts - Cynolebiasdolichopterus, Nothobranchius rachovii*. Pterolebias zonatus, Rivulis xiphidius (* means: all color forms) LIVEBEARERS 5 pts - All species not listed otherwise 10 pts - All Goodeidae complex, all Belonesox 15 pts - All livebearing Halfbeaks 20 pts - Anableps anableps ALL OTHER SPECIES: 5 pts - None 10 pts - Badis badis. all Sticklebacks, Peacock Gudgeon (Tateurnida ocellicauda) 15 pts - All species not listed otherwise 20 pts - Scatophagus argus, all Monodactylus, all Loaches, all Eels, all Mormyrids, all Lungfish complex, all freshwater Stingrays, Dogfish and Sawfish, all freshwater and brackish Puffers, all Arrowanas, Bowfms, Arapaima, all Snakeheads. all Mudskippers First Time Spawning Bonus Points 1st time within G.C.A.S. . . Additional 10 pts 1st time within the U.S.A. . Additional 50 pts* 1st time in the hobby . . . Additional 100 pts* *You must write an article and have it published in an established periodical.

General Information SPECIES: Points are awarded only once for each species or subspecies. "Mollies" are a genus which contains several species: Poecillia latipinna, P. sphenops and P. velifera. Being separate and distinct species, these are awarded separate point values; whereas the different color varieties of the common Molly are not. Gold, Silver, Ghost, Marble, Black, Black Lace, Blushing, Veiltail, etc., Angelfish are all members of one species, that is Pterophylum scalare. If you spawn Pteroph\lum alt urn or P. dumerili, these are separate species. CHANGES IN POINT VALUE: From time to time the point value for a species may be changed due to new experience or conditions. If the number of points is increased, the new point value will go into effect immediately. Should a point value be decreased. a cut-off date will be announced which gives sufficient time to allow breeders who are in the process of qualifying to complete their work. No point increase or decrease shall be retroactive from the date of that change. BASIC PROGRAM AWARDS: Breeder's Award Committee certificates will be presented to every individual for a successfully completed and witnessed spawning. Distinctive certificates will be issued for the Breeder and plaques or trophies for the Advanced Breeder, Master Breeder and Grand Master Breeder. To qualify for an award, the following rules for the correct witnessing procedure must be observed: Witnessing 1) Fry are to be witnessed as soon as possible after they are free swimming.



Eggs must be spawned by the Breeder's own fish


The witness must see the breeding pair


if one or both parents die, they must be preserved for witnessing

The aquarist must raise at least 10 fry to 60 days of age (60 days after free swimming for egglayers), except for species as may be, from time to time, designated and approved by the Board of Governors. These fry must be brought to a meeting and presented for witnessing.

When an aquarist wishes to have a witness verify fry, he/she should contact a member of the B.A.P. Committee or the Board of Governors, who will then designate or suggest a suitable witness. Note that all members of the B.A.P. Committee and of the Board of Governors are witnesses. Witnesses will supply the form which is to be the official record for the Breeders Award. It is the Breeder's responsibility to be sure that all information is complete and that all signatures are properly entered. The completed form will then be taken to the B.A.P. Chairman by the witness.

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

4 classes

Expert Specialist Award

7 classes

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

It of Species Required




Cichlids (Old World) . . 8 (No more than 4 species may be mouthbrooders) Cichlids (New World) Characins Catfish


. 8 4

4 (1 species must be other t h a n Corydoras, Aspidoras or Brochis) 8


8 (1 species must be other than a 5 point one)


7 (At least 2 species must be an Annual)

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Great Aquatic Plants for Tanks JOSEPH FERDENZI

b e a u t i f u l l y p l a n t e d , freshwater aquarium—the goal of many an aquarist. Indeed, the use of live plants is strongly recommended. They add beauty, benefit your fish, and are a source of growing enjoyment. Unfortunately, many aquarists seem to have difficulty maintaining live plants. Failure is often due to a number of factors. One of the primary reasons is usually lack of adequate lighting. If you feel that this might be your main problem, here is a short list of my favorite "low-light" aquatic plants.


3. Anubias nana — a wonderful plant from Africa. This plant produces deep green, heart-shaped leaves on short stems. The leaves and root structure are rather tough and withstand a wide variety of conditions. The roots, which should be solid white, are worked into the gravel. There are many species of Anubias, but, for me, this is the one best suited for the average aquarist and is one of the most commonly available. Compact, yet full in appearance, it makes a great foreground plant and will rarely outgrow any aquarium. On occasion, it will flower, producing a white "flower" resembling those of the terrestrial Spathyphillums or "Peace Lilies."

1. Java Fern — an all-time favorite from Southeast Asia: it is a true fern. This plant does well under almost all water 4. Aponogeton crispus — a conditions. The plant grows lovely plant from Southeast large solid green leaves that Asia. It grows from a small, dark brown "bulb" planted in are spear-shaped and attached gravel. It develops long, to a root system that resembles a horizontal stem. white roots and light green leaves t h a t are t a l l , The "stem" also has thin, dark spear-shaped, and wavy. This brown roots. Although these plant frequently flowers, roots can be planted in gravel, it is recommended that the producing small white flowers in a cluster on a long "stem." plant be held down by placing This is a good plant for the the roots under a piece of driftwood or rock. The plant Java Fern back or sides of a tank. is so versatile, it can even be While this plant does not have as long a life span as the others, its great beauty grown in a bare tank without gravel, or by tying and ease of growing make it a very desirable it to wood or stone placed above the gravel. The plant. leaves are tough and are not eaten by most fish or snails. All of these plants should be available at your local aquarium store. If the store does not 2. Java Moss — another great plant from carry them, perhaps the dealer can order then Southeast Asia. This plant consists of thin, from the local wholesaler. If your dealer is delicate green "stems" and tiny "leaves" that unsuccessful, you should try looking in the grows beautifully as a "bush" or as a mossy national aquarium magazines because they often cover over rocks or driftwood. It is very carry ads from mail-order firms specializing in undemanding as to water conditions. This plant aquatic plants. These four plants are commonly has no root system, and is simply placed in the carried by them. tank, on top of wherever you want it to grow, Just remember, "low-light" does not including bare tanks. As this plant grows and mean "no-light." These plants should get around matures, it adds a great deal of natural beauty to twelve hours of illumination. However, given a tank and also provides a hiding place for baby fish or shy fish. their undemanding needs, these plants should soon be giving you a "green thumb."


Shooting Ourselves In The Foot A series by "The Vndergravel 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 G reater City Aquari u m Society. ow can we survive as a hobby if we keep "shooting ourselves in the foot." so to speak? Often it's the people with the best of intentions who do us more inadvertent harm than our most avowed enemies. Several examples come to mind. The classic story of the boy who cried "wolf" is well known. The moral of that story is that, eventually, people will stop heeding your cry of danger, if you repeatedly sound false alarms. I still see in publications of some aquarium societies stories of Federal legislation which will absolutely prohibit the keeping of anything but native American fish, and then only if you have a proper license. It may be that whoever originally wrote that article firmly believed it. Yet, in spite of the fact that it has repeatedly been shown to be untrue, that story still circulates. The truly terrible thing is that such a thing could actually happen, if we are not vigilant. False alarms reduce our vigilance. Another example: In the December. 1994. issue of Aquarium Fish Magazine, there is an interesting article which, to my way of thinking, went about trying to do something worthwhile in the wrong way. Now, let me get one thing clear from the start, the author of that article is a very well respected aquarist. I will readily concede his dedication to the hobby, his knowledge, and his earnestness. I do not believe that he would intentionally slight a fellow hobbyist. Yet, in the just cited article, he appears to stereotype and insult women, men. and photographers of either sex, all by trying to say something good and worthwhile. What that author was attempting to do in his article was to acknowledge the contributions of women to the hobby. The problem, as I see it, was the way he did it. Instead of merely recognizing the achievements of individual women (some of whom he named I also know and have the utmost respect for), he asked



himself "Why do I think women are better aquarists than men?" He proceeded to answer his question by stereotypes. Men, you see, can't or won't follow instructions (such as directions on a filter) and "can't focus long enough." Women "are home more" (sexist, nowadays) and are generally more observant of behavior (another stereotype). So what does he suggest for males with typical male attention deficit disorder who spend too much time away from home? Simple, become a photographer — as if photography did not require attention to detail, patience, and keen powers of observation! Why would someone who intended only to praise the achievements of women come out sounding like a traitor to his sex, a chauvinist who believes women are more likely to stay at home, and someone who holds a poor impression of photographers (none of which I believe are true of him)? One possible explanation might be the unfortunate competitiveness which has arisen in the hobby and which this reporter has repeatedly denounced in the past. Some aquarium society newsletters are obsessed with points won at bowl shows and exhibitions. Breeding is not an effort to preserve a species by careful selection for desirable traits. Rather, it becomes a numbers contest in which the production of fish fry, and the accumulation of "breeders' points," is the dominant concern. Why must anyone ask the "reason" a person, sex or race is "better" at anything than another? How does one define "better" in the aquarium hobby? Is it more spawns? More spawns of difficult to spawn fish? Longer captive life for certain species? More discoveries of previously unknown species? More tanks in operation? More varieties raised? This, I contend, is where the drive to win "points." trophies and awards has led this hobby. We can no longer praise accomplishments without "ranking" achievements and deciding winners and losers. When we do that, we literally shoot ourselves in the foot. Instead of cooperation, the emphasis is on competition. There is a place for friendly competition in the hobby. If nothing else, it provides a stimulant to excel and improve. There is a need to be aware of current issues and to be willing to respond in a meaningful and decisive way to potential threats. But we should realize that there are those who need to be the center of attention, whether as contest "winners" or as spreaders of rumor. They, and the atmosphere they create, are not always in our best interests. Even well-meaning aquarists can be caught up in this atmosphere without realizing it.


osmatic pressure, degree of acidity (pH) and nitrogen compounds. This is a quote from the section on disinfecting water in the breeding tank: "Ultraviolet light is rich in energy and can be used to inhibit the growth of unwanted small organisms such as bacteria. It is especially A Series On Books For The Hobbyist suited for rearing tanks which are heavily SUSAN PRIEST populated with sensitive fry, or for breeding tanks with species such as the Penguin Fish n unanticipated spawning steered me-in which produce large amounts of sperm." the direction of my bookshelf. I pulled The largest section of the book, called out a few titles that I thought might be Breeding Instructions, presents each family of helpful. Among them was this undiscovered freshwater tropical fish and specific members of gem. I hadn't given this volume much attention, each family, from the standpoint of whether they but now that I have discovered it, I realize that are free-spawning, livebearing, brood tending, I will have to read it several times to take nest-building, etc. You will find information advantage of every thing it has to offer. about habitats (running vs. stagnant water), how The 139 pages of this book are to distinguish the sexes, equipment (soft absolutely packed with useful information. It is substrate, large leaf plants, etc.), water also enhanced by many color "action" temperature, pH and photographs, as well as DH, foods; you get the Aquarium Fish Breeding a charming collection idea. The eggs of by Ines Scheurmann of detailed drawings. some species are highly Barrens, publisher The drawing on page sensitive to light, and 39 illustrates the these are identified. It is an astonishing T-formation used during spawning by armoured compilation of USEFUL information. catfish, such as Corydoras. Throughout the text are paragraphs with Let's get back to the information. the heading "My Suggestion." The one on page 17 There are some general statements about (pay attention, Joe Ferdenzi) tells aquarists to soak breeding fish, some of which discuss what tiles and flowerpots in water and peat for 24 hours. distinguishes a species, and the undesirable The peat neutralizes the toxic aluminum consequences of cross-breeding. There is a short compounds. The book is peppered with shaded but excellent section devoted to aquarium plants boxes, such as the one on page 75, which pairs up in the context of spawning. For example, the breeds of fish with the appropriate size tank for description of Egeria densa, or Argentinian breeding them. Glass rods were recommended in water weed, informs us that it is suitable for two different places, for anchoring plants and free-spawning fish in colder water (59°-77°F). creating spawning grates. The section on reproductive biology and fish Anyone who is interested in behavior has such subheadings as Hermaphroditic participating in the Breeders Award Program Fish (fish with both male and female organs), (featured elsewhere in this issue), needs to know Brood Care, and additional strategies to increase more than which fish is worth how many points. breeding success. An example of the last is the No one book can provide comprehensive Cuckoo Catfish (Synodontis petricola) from Lake coverage of a topic as broad as the breeding of Tanganyika, which eats the eggs of female mouth freshwater tropical fish, but this particular title brooding cichlids while they spawn and presents practical advice on every page which substitutes her own which the cichlids will raise can immediately be put into use, to the benefit of for her. Practical guidelines include choosing both fish and fishkeeper. the right fish to breed, creating a "rainy season" You can be sure I will be checking out in your aquarium, and a breeding plan for the other titles by this author and publisher. problem fish. The 15 page section called "Water fjfje. want to encourage all GCAS membe:r|;;; Environment" deserves special mention. Here is to submit; revtewss;of ^aquadc books; an|p a quote from page 25: "Water, with few ! to whaisswe a: hope will be •:; al exceptions, is the environment in which series; a!;:MicIes, •; fertilization takes place and the embryo develops from egg to larva to fry." The main areas of emphasis are dissolved gasses, water hardness,



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G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS UPCOMING EVENTS/SPEAKERS: February: Klaus Kallman (noted livebearer expert) March: Lee Finley (noted catfish and aquatic book expert) April: Silent Auction May: Terry Siegal (speaking on "Your First Marine Aquarium") June: Dr. Paul Loiselle (nationally renowned author:and cichlid expert) Our Fish Fry contest is now officially under way! G.C.A.S. members participating are: Carlotti DeJager

Gerald Gorycki

Robert Saltiel

Vincent Sileo

A.1 & Sue Priest : Mary Vasiliades

We wish them, and their new charges, all the best of luck! NEW MEMBERS Let's welcome the following persons who joined GCAS last:month: Richard Rivera :;;•*::

Michael Doherty

Here are meeting times and locations of aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: Big Apple Guppy Club

Brooklyn Aquarium Society


Meets: 8:00 P.M; - 3rd Thursday of each month at the Queens Botanical Garden Contact: Ms. Diane Gottlieb Telephone: (718) 261-4650

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 2nd Friday 9f gagh month in Old-Education Hall, the Aquarium :for Wildlife Conservation ; Contact: BAS Events Hppne If Telephone: (718) 332-6||7

•East Coast Guppy Association


Meets: 8:00 P.M. - IsfThursday of each month at the Queens Botanical G^eft*sss; Contact: Stephen Kwartler / Ed Richmond Telephone: (718)829-65067(718)761-0166

Meetssi^ P.M. - IstlW^ednesday of:each month at the Queens Botanical Garden Contact: Mr. Warreri Feuer Telephone: CM8f 793-8724 *S;

Long Island AquariuM Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 : ^M. •- 3«J Friday of each month at the Bayshore Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, Bayshore, NY Contact: Mr. Thomas Soukup Telephone: (516) 265-2682

Meets: 8:00 P;.M>:;3 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Merrick Road Park Golf Course, Merrick, New York Contact: Mr. Ken Smith Telephone: (516)589-5844

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at the Nutley American Legion Post Hall. Nutley, NJ Contact: Mr. Dore Carlo Telephone: (201)437-5012

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at the Nature Center for Environmental Activities, Westport, CT Contact: Mrs. Anne Stone Broadmeyer Telephone: (203) 834-2253


Fin Fun Warm or Cold? This month's issue of Modern AQUARIUM has an article telling us that cichlids are not "cold fish" and another article describing, and reviewing a book about, native "cold water" (non-tropical) fish. Next to each of the scientific names of fish below indicate whether the fish is "warm" (tropical) or "cold." Tanichthys albonubes Balantiocheilus melanopterus Cyprinodon nevadensis . . . . Notropis hudsonius Hybognathus hankinsoni . . . Culaea inconstans Cyrtocara compressiceps . . .

LOACH SEARCH The common names of several varieties of loaches appear below. Unscramble them. BREADR RITEG BREZA NCWOL FARWD


Apistogratnma cacatuoides... .:. . . NEW WORLEf Synodontisangeliai^ , . , |r . . . OLD WORL|| Trichpg^ter microlepis . I ;:•» . . OLD WORLp Symphyisibdon discus . . . ,:. . . . 1SJEW WORLl| Neo$ampix>k>gus leleupi . / ; . . . O L D WORLD: Cichlastiina uiba . . . . . . . . . . . NEW WORLDl A«jui(ien^ itacyl . . . . . . , ; . . . . NEWWORLlf Pachypanchax playfairii . X , . . OLD WORL^; Barbtis; tetra2!ona . . . . . . .^... . . pLD WORLlf Corydor^ aeneus . . . . . . • . . . I^EW WORL^: Betta imB|ilis\ . . ; . . . . ; . . . OLD WORLD Parachetrodon innesi . ,. NEW WQRLll


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