__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


From the Editor's Desk

o quote a former president of the United States, "here we go again!" We are on our way to another year of Greater City meetings and events. And what a year this should be. As you probably know by now, Greater City is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. 75 years, that is quite an accomplishment! If we were talking about a marriage, this would be the diamond anniversary. And. to commemorate this, you will undoubtedly see diamonds popping up all over the place in relation to GCAS. We are featuring it on our magazine logo (see the back cover) as well as our 75th Anniversary Tee Shirts. I think that it says a great deal about our past and present members that, at 75 years old, the Greater City Aquarium Society seems to be getting better and stronger each year. To me this indicates that the "founding fathers" of the society had the right idea about how an aquarium society should be, and subsequently, we've followed those guide lines and made changes only when necessary. So, what are the principles upon which Greater City exists? In my opinion, they're really quite simple. Of primary importance is the learning and sharing of proper aquarium keeping. Next is breeding fish, and raising fry. Also of significance is the introduction and sharing of new species in the hobby, as evidenced recently by Joe Ferdenzi's supply of Archocentrus nanoluteus (see the March, 1996 Modern Aquarium). Don't forget to include a friendly and comfortable atmosphere and you have the primary ingredients. As extra treats, include terrific auctions and raffles, great speakers and an award winning magazine. What's not to like? As I stated, these have been the consistent principles that guide Greater City, not some fly by night, "flavor of the month" practices. Obviously, they work, and work well. As I write this, summer is in full bloom. Just like a "real" magazine, we work on Modern Aquarium several months ahead of time. Unfortunately, during the September - June time

T

period we are often working on the current month's issue. During the summer, however, we get to work on the coming months to get a head start on the year. As a result, even though this is the September issue, we are still in "summer mode" which means laid back and half speed. This should help to explain our "lazy" theme to this issue. In addition, we have Mary Eve Brill's recollections of our April 1996 Show. It's always a pleasant surprise when one of our members presents an article they've written without having been asked or sometimes even pushed into writing. As I've said before, everyone has different experiences and perspectives on the hobby and I would like to use Modern Aquarium as a forum to present all of them. So, please, surprise me and write an article. Several of our members did just that last year and wound up with awards from the Federation of American Aquarium Societies. We were the recipients of 11 awards in the 1995 FAAS Publication Awards Competition. Detailed within this issue is the outcome of the competition. I would like to congratulate all the winners and thank everyone from GCAS who participated in the contest. A special thank you goes to Al and Susan Priest, who did a tremendous amount of work to produce the impressive package containing our entries that was sent to FAAS. I'm certain that their hard work helps distinguish our entries among the many that are received. The start of the 1996-1997 season has brought some changes to the Board of Directors. We say good-bye and thank you to Steve Sagona and Jack Oliva who have left and welcome and wish good luck to Tom Bohme and Rose Sileo, our new Board members. Both Jack and Steve gave selflessly of their time and talents while on the Board, Jack even served as President of Greater City. And away we go. Our 75th year. Let's all make it extra special. Warren Feuer


President's Message JOSEPH FERDENZI

"Knowing that Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - William Wordsworth s we begin our 1996-97 season, heading into our 75th Anniversary year, it seems appropriate to review a bit of our recent past. As a club, we have achieved most of our goals. We are financially solvent, with more funds available to us than at any time in the last decade. Our membership roster tops 100 and continues to rise. Every meeting is well attended and features an auction of home-grown fish and plants that is rivaled by no one. We steadily produce Modern Aquarium, our outstanding magazine, recipient of more awards than any other club publication in the United States. As a paean to the new age, you can find Modern Aquarium and news about our society on the World Wide Web, which makes us available by computer to a global audience. On the more traditional front, we hold bi-annual fish shows at a time when no other club in New York City or on Long Island is able or willing to do so. Our present and near future seems secure. But, I am concerned about our long term

A

future. 1 see changes occuring around us that might overwhelm select societies such as ours. These changes - economic, social, and cultural may create a future where there is no time or patience for the subtle beauty of the home aquarium, for breeding fish, or propagating aquatic plants. It may create a world where everyone can get an "instant" aquarium at some giant, warehouse-style pet center. People will "converse" via the electronic super-highway. What need will there be for monthly meetings? The local breeder and personalized pet store will give way to mammoth Far East fish farms selling directly to large retailers. Small manufacturers specializing in aquarium products will continue to be swallowed up by international conglomerates. Where do we stand in all of this? Well, we will stand nowhere unless each one of us strives to do our individual best. Is each of us trying to share our enthusiasm with others, especially younger people? Are we breeding our fish and sharing them with others, or do we just collect and warehouse animals till they die? Do we try to propagate plants and aquatic invertebrates that are not generally available without our efforts? Look at yourself honestly. Are you in it because you love nature, or because you like coffee and cake on Wednesday night? The Society has achieved its goals through the hard work of many. Have you achieved your goals?

Exchange Issues and Exchange Issues should be mailed to Alexander A. Priest 1558 McDonald Street Bronx, NY 10461-2208 Correspondence to Modern Aquarium should be mai Warren Feuer 68-61 Yellowstone Boulevard Apt. 406 Forest Hills, NY 11375

Correspondence


modern AQUARIUM Gets Lazy Produces First "Lazy Man" Theme Issue ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he results of the judging of 1995 publications by the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) are elsewhere in this issue. Greater City's Modern Aquarium has done very well in the two years in which we entered. Last year's announcement of the results of the 1994 FAAS competition was especially gratifying, since that reflected Modern Aquarium's inaugural year (at least in its present, Series III, incarnation). In the 1994 judging, our President, Joseph Ferdenzi, and our Editor, Warren Feuer, were awarded First and Third place certificates, respectively, in the "Best Author" category. The Second place certificate in that category was awarded to Craig Morfitt, President of the Bermuda Fry Angle Aquarium Society. (I LOVE that society's name!)

T

An idea was bom for Modern Aquarium to have an issue with the First, Second and Third place 1994 Best Authors. For this, we needed the cooperation of Craig Morfitt who is not only President of his society but also Editor of their publication, Fish Tales. I've never met Craig but, in corresponding with him (by mail and most recently on Greater City's Internet site), I've found him to be friendly and helpful. In spite of his busy schedule, he readily agreed, and sent us an article. Thanks. Craig! We selected the theme of "Lazy Man" (no sexism intended) and each author (with more or less seriousness) tackled that topic. Charlie Sabatino, our Catfish Chronicles columnist, then devoted his column to the "laziest" catfish he knew; and the Undergravel Reporter provides guidance to the ambitious, but lazy, author. And that's the story behind this "Lazy" issue.

A Lazy Man's Guide to Growing Daphnia JOSEPH FERDENZI

W

hen I started out in the aquarium hobby, circa 1965, it used to be that you could walk into virtually any pet shop and it would have live daphnia for sale. Today, just the opposite is true; walk into virtually any pet shop and you will not find any live daphnia for sale. It seems strange that such a fate has overtaken what was once the most popular live food in the hobby. None other than the famous pioneering aquarist, Dr. William T. Innes wrote the following about daphnia in his classic book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes (first published in 1935, and reprinted numerous times thereafter): "Daphnia are the best known of the living foods. They are of almost universal distribution. . . . Nearly all professional fish dealers and breeders also sell live Daphnia. Some collectors have routes which they serve." Certainly, the

same could not be said today. Just how, then, is one supposed to obtain live daphnia nowadays? Well, dear reader, the most practical way I know of is to culture your own. I find culturing daphnia to be far easier than just about any other live food, including worms of any sort. Daphnia tolerate a wide range of temperatures as compared to worms, nor do you have to control sodden earth, fungal growths, or a host of other culture problems. No, daphnia live in fresh water. For some reason, I find this medium easier to deal with than dirt. For years, I. like many of my friends in the hobby, have been culturing daphnia outdoors. This is really simple. Set up any large container that will hold water. Locate it where it will get some sun. Throw in any kind of vegetable matter. 1 prefer grass clippings, dried alfalfa hay and rabbit food (pellets). The last two can be


I im CRAIG MORFITT t seems that everyone would love to have an aquarium in their home but they do not want to have to 'work' to get it. How many times have you heard someone say "It looks lovely, but doesn't it take a lot of work?" Well, for all of you who want a fish tank but hardly want to lift a finger, here is the guide for you. I will lead you through some of the aspects of fishkeeping, keeping your laziness in mind.

I

SELECTING AQUARIUM

AND

PURCHASING

AN

This is a necessary evil. If you want a pretty aquarium in your living room you have to buy one. This will usually entail you having to drive to a pet store. If you go to one of those reputable fish stores the owner may engage you in a long conversation in an attempt to determine exactly what you want. He will probably attempt to teach you the basic guidelines for setting up and maintaining the aquarium and will probably take you on a guided tour of his store, showing you which fish are suitable for beginners. Of course, this would be a complete waste of your time and the owner probably wouldn't sell you any fish with the tank. I suggest that you steer clear of these specialty stores and go to one of those all-purpose pet stores where the staff know very little about fish keeping. If you find the right store you should be able to walk in, point out the size and type of tank you want and be out of there in no time flat, without having to endure a barrage of questioning akin to the Spanish Inquisition. An added bonus with this type of store is being able to take home a few bags of fish together with your tank. If you are really fortunate, you may know someone who has an aquarium which they no longer want. This could save you a whole lot of work as he will be only too glad to sell it to you without any questions and it's a no-brainer for you everything is already set-up.

SETTING UP THE AQUARIUM This is a problem which you would do well to avoid. After all, what fun or satisfaction could anyone possibly get from spending hours fiddling with filters, heaters and air-pumps or messing around up to your arm-pits in water attempting to make the plants stay in the gravel and look halfway decent. This is a lot of work but there are ways around it. If you are able to buy that second-hand tank from a friend you should make it a condition of purchase that he transport the tank to your home and set it up for you. If he really wants to sell the tank he will agree and you get an aquarium up and running without lifting a finger. It won't be quite as easy if you are purchasing a new tank from a store but there are still ways around all of this work. If the tank is a fairly large one and is deemed to be a good sale for the store, they may also agree to set it up for you as a condition of purchase. Failing that, one of the store's employees may agree to do the work for you if you pay him for his time. Of course, when someone else sets up your aquarium you do not get the satisfaction of creating a beautiful display with your own sense of style and artistry, but who really cares about that so long as somebody else is doing the work. PURCHASING FISH As previously mentioned, avoid the stores with the knowledgeable employees. They will talk to you about "new tank syndrome", tank-cycling and fish limits. I'm sure you don't actually want to learn about how to care for these fish, do you? Of course not - you just want something pretty to swim in your new tank. Go back to the store where the employees know little, or care little, about fish-keeping. Buy as many fish as you think you need, take them home and dump them into your tank. Quarantining fish in separate tanks and


KEEP 'EM, BREED 'EM WARREN FEUER ne of the great pleasures of fish keeping is breeding the fish you keep. Once you've mastered the daily, weekly and monthly ins and outs and are successful in keeping your charges healthy and happy (for example, making sure there are compatible tank occupants) there's nothing like being able to re-produce your pets. Watching little fry become fish, and eventually even re-produce themselves is quite rewarding. Being among the first to breed a new, or especially difficult fish can give you bragging rights, for at least a day or two. Like every undertaking, there is a learning curve associated with breeding fish. Not all of us, however, have the time to spend on breeding fish. With that in mind, I'd like to recommend some fish that even the lazy, and/or time-strapped among us can breed. Bear in mind, that these fish are even suitable for beginners! While all fish reproduce themselves (otherwise they'd quickly become extinct!), some are much easier than others to breed within the confines of the

O

home aquarium. Some you even have to work at to prevent from breeding! These fish are "born to breed." Through it all, try to bear one thing in mind, one never really breeds fish, rather one provides the proper environment for the fish to act on their natural instinct and ensure their species' survival. With that in mind, let's take a look at some sure winners: LIVE BEARERS: Are there many among us who haven't kept guppies and found that a tank of three fish is soon a tank of 30-50100? It seems that guppies re-produce themselves almost instantly. Some live-bearers, such as guppies, platties and sword tails are about the easiest fish to breed. With minimal attention they re-produce and re-produce, and re-produce. You know what I mean. By minimal attention, I'm referring to basic fish-keeping necessities such as water changes, proper feeding and suitable environment. Of course, don't expect your feeder guppies to breed in a tank with the killer cichlids they're being fed to. In general, a

The Lazy Man's Guide Tojf II I ;,: Breeeling Fish i|f (Or, How to Get Breeder's Points Without Really fry A few; month's: ago, I was approached by an acquaintance for adviceregarding breeding fish. In;this case, specifically, the easiest way ;io ensure success: in breeding, i^'What was; the goal"?" i asked; -"Simply to get some breeder's points" (this person is not a member of GC AS; so if any :6f this seems familiar, you're;probably being paranoid!!), <•;''•': ;: : ; "That's an easy One,": 1 Said. "Just get some guppies, piatys, or swordtails, and make sure that you have at least one male" I advised. " : • :,:•;••.'•" :;• "Nah," the aspiring breeder responded "They're too much work- for me. i*You have?.to separate the females and get?one: bf those breeding traps to make sure that the babies don't get eaten,^: Wow«is this guy lazy^ I thought to myself. I'm not the type to give up easily -when askeB for!advice, especially regarding fish, so 1 thought for a few; moments before offering my next -suggestion,..; ; ••'^{•: :• .' . . ' •• :; •••: '':•".''::':;'::.:: .?%£'•' %£': , \-\ •; "B6n I:said (he's so lazy: that he doesn't use his flillname. Bob) "I have the perfect fish for you^Psettdotrophetts Zebra; a Lake Malawi mouth brooding cicliH<L" I :explained to Bo that the femate Zebra:w»ll carry the fertilized eggs in her mouth for: aroun<l fifteen days beforereleasing^ fry, by then big enough to eat fjnfely crushed flake food and Tabi-Mins 1 counseled Bb to make sure and provide plenty of hiding places for:.the fry and other than following good:fishkeeping : procedures, there was nothing else between him and those Certificates he desired. Bo, being a trolly lazy person; didn't want to wait for young fish to mature so he made me an offer 1 couldn't refuse and took several of mysadultS;-1:p."-'•• :• ; t •• : ";

8


community tank is not the ideal breeding site, either. Given proper shelter some babies will, however survive in this setting. In one of my community tanks, several velvet sword-tail babies survived and eventually produced babies themselves. For greater success, though, you should use one of those live-bearer traps or provide some floating plants for the babies to hide in. Remember, the parents will eat the babies as will other member of the tank, so act accordingly. Not all live-bearers are easy to breed successfully. Notice 1 ended that previous sentence with successfully. This means that not only are babies produced, but survive. For example, many people try unsuccessfully to keep and breed mollies. Who isn't attracted to the black molly, or the magnificence of a sail fin molly? Be sure to do your homework before bringing these fish home. Unlike many of their fellow live bearers, mollies prefer, in fact, almost require water that is on the alkaline side with more than a token amount of salt added. In fact, some aquarists use mollies to cycle their marine tanks. To successfully breed them, you should provide mollies with a tank that has the proper water conditions. CICHLIDS: Switching over from live bearers to egg-layers, there are quite a few fish

you can keep that are "born to breed." Almost all of them are cichlids, which can be good or bad news depending upon your impression of cichlids. To some, the term cichlid implies an aggressive, nasty and big fish. While that is certainly true for some of the cichlids (several of which happen to be easy breeders and excellent parents), it simply is not a fair statement in general. While some of these fish are downright nasty, that is really the exception rather than the rule. In fact, most of the aggressive behavior attributed to cichlids is exhibited only during mating and breeding cycles. Provided with the proper tank set-up (which definitely varies from specie to specie) much of this behavior can be controlled. Why don't we take a look at several examples? The Convict cichlid (Archocentrus "Cichlasoma" nigrofasciatus) is one of the easiest to breed. This Central American cichlid is one of the most prolific fish an aquarist can keep. Once a breeding pair starts, it is almost impossible to stop them, short of placing them in separate tanks. In addition, they are excellent parents, guarding their fry with a determination that is most remarkable, given their relatively smaller size. This is a great fish to start with. Another fish in the same size range that provides excellent parental care is the Firemouth,

:• Not long afterward: Bo called me ^ land: producing too many B|bies.; Since^ Psentdolrophevsi- Zebra is not a piscivorous fish :andwjj| ^generally accept fry in their tank without rti^jor problems Bo: was in:the midst of a population lexplosioh;: I suggested to: Bo that: he seli some of the fry < Guess what his: answer was?,.; "Yes" too;: :;: much work. "You have:to:eaten:the fry; put:them »n:sonie sort of container and:thert§: bring theni: Ito a pet store, or drag them to a club meetingahd hope someone will take them. That much wor! sis not forme." ..... - : ;::•;:• ::..*.:-. '..'•'.,.- . . . . . ,%.•:£' . J:'--.hi : -. ;: : ;•; "Well," I suggested-"Why not use some form ofnatural birth control?" 1 keep a SynodontjS feupterus in rny:-Zebra :tahk;:and that keeps th^fnumberofffiy down. : ;; . :.:1I! : Finally, a satisfied customer!\ Weli£ for a short time, anyway/The other day; Bo left: :i|:; : message on my answering machine, say ing: only that he; needed some more advice from me. H^;: ;: probably wants to kjuny; if there;:are any mouth:: brooding marine fish. ; ; 11

If you would like some easy Breeder'si Points; Here are some> Do's and Don'ts: S:DO read up on this and any subject .If! | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | 11111 :?DOX: provide hiding places -for the:: fry '. • ..••iJlllfll |||I if; I1|1111|11|:I:|5 Qll; • : ':p:;:;:.-.:ll: : : : ::DON'T pile loose rocks in the tank (cichlidsjdig and move things around) g; 'illllf ::DQ use a Safe adhesive sucti as :siliconecementto connect rocks together s DON't feed such items as: B lack and Tubifex worms ::DO feed-vegetable foods such as Spirulina ;:fiON't put:one male andione:female alone in a tank, you'll probably soon end up :with one male. DON't worry: about overcrowding (to a limit);::: Because of their territorial nature^ the aggressiveness llli IIli)f these fish can actually be diffused;:^then they:are "packed iti." However^ be sure to do water changes and watch the amount:Qf food given. 1 DO provide:as large a: tank as possible,-regardless of stocking amounts •:: lillllllllll DON'T waste time with plants, i These fish ;will quicklyluproot: thenC ' •", DO follow a regular maintenance: schedule.:tiAs hardy as these fish are, they stii L need good tank ; conditions to thrive and reproduce. Byein BoJiMr. Lazy£does;tank maintenance regularly.


Herichthys meeki. Here is another rather small fish that is absolutely fearless in the care of its offspring. The only problem with these fish is that once they start breeding, they just don't stop. From the other side of the world, the ever popular Kribensis (Pelvicachromispulcher), and the dwarf Jewel Cichlid (Anomalochromis thomasi) are two other small cichlids that breed quite easily. On the positive side, there always seems to be a demand for these fish, so a home can usually be found for your fry. A larger, but almost as prolific fish is C. nicaraguense. I've never kept this fish but from the experience of several members of Greater City, I can tell you that once a breeding pair is established, they spawn and spawn, each brood numbering in the hundreds. Protective parents, they tend to cause havoc in community tanks by choosing a section to breed in and making sure that no one invades their space! If the tank is not big enough, this can result in tragedy. That is why it is often best to provide a breeding pair with a tank of their own. C. nicaraguense is a fish that takes on magnificent colors while spawning. Don't miss this one if you have the space. Moving along to the big boys, I can't think of a fish that better exemplifies parental care than C. davii. This is a large, mean fish that exactly fits the stereotyped misconception of cichlids that I presented above. However, when it comes to parental care, they are perfect parents. 1 guess we mistakenly assume that because a fish is big and nasty, that behavior will carry over to its parental behavior. In reality, it is probably only humans, the "most evolved" species that abuses its offspring. Like many other cichlids once a pair starts spawning they keep on going. In the wild, fish fry are at, or near the bottom of the food chain and there are no such things as grow-out tanks to shelter fry. Therefore, the more spawn produced, the more that have a chance to survive and continue the species. Fish just don't get the concept of birth control or planned parenthood. It therefore becomes the aquarist's responsibility to control these matters. There is always some interest in the big cichlids such as C. dovii, however limited, so small amounts of fry can usually be disposed of. If you don't mind doing it, the fry can be used as feeders for some of your other fish as well. Reading my companion piece to this article ("The Lazy Man's Guide to Breeder's Points") will give you some sense of what it's like to spawn mouth brooders. Although my article specifies Lake Malawi mbunas, the rules pretty much apply to mouth brooders from the 10

other major rift lakes (Tanganyika and Victoria). Some, such as Cyphotilapia frontosa should not be grouped in the easy to breed category. Others, such as the various Haplochromis species from Lake Victoria and the peacocks from Lake Malawi, can be. In many ways, just as appropriate a cichlid for the beginning/lazy breeder as the mouth-brooding mbuna, are the egg-laying Lamprologus,NeolamprologusandJulidochromis species of Lake Tanganyika. Mostly substrate spawners, they are excellent parents, as they are most attentive to the eggs and newly hatched fry. I have spawned several of these fish, providing them with "nests" composed of flat rocks layered one upon each other (and siliconed together). The fish have done the rest, and most times the first indication of spawning is the appearance of fry. I especially recommend Julidochromis transcriptus. There are, of course, many other egglaying fish that can be bred in the home aquarium. Some, such as the Zebra and Leopard Danio, are even considered easy to breed. While this may be true, I consider them too much work for the "lazy" breeder. For one thing, separate spawning tanks are a must for these fish, as opposed to a suggestion for the above mentioned fish. In addition, parents must be removed as they will usually eat the eggs they have just laid and fertilized! Once the now-separated eggs have hatched, the fry must be cared for. Most of these fry will only eat live foods at first, and very small ones at that, necessitating cultures of paramecium, rotifers, micro worms and any other small life forms. Subsequent foods can be baby brine shrimp, and sometimes finely crushed flake food. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a lot of work to me! Again, if you are a "lazy" breeder, it is probably too much work. Fortunately, not everyone is a "lazy" breeder. In fact, most aquarists aren't. As a result, many of the egg laying tetras, killies and catfish have been successfully spawned in the home. If you feel that you identify most closely with the "lazy" breeder I've described, perhaps you will get some inspiration from this article and breed something new. Try it, you might like it.

.a


A Column by CHARLEY SABATIIMO

Banjo Cats: The Couch Potatoes of the Aquarium ooking for something unusual? Don't want to spend a fortune? Want a fish that's peaceful? Want a fish that acts like a rock? Yes, my friends I'm talking about the Banjo Catfish. A fish that, according to some people, acts the same whether it's alive or dead. While I won't dispute the fact that it's not the most active fish in the hobby, it does have a sort of charm. Actually, there are several species sold under the name of 'Banjo Cat' and, for the most part, they all require roughly the same aquarium conditions and exhibit the same behavior (or lack of it). Furthermore, since most if not all of these Amazonian natives are imported (captive breeding is apparently rare and usually not intentional-at least for the aquarist), one or more species can be found in every tankful. For example, you can find Dystichthys sp. which are regular 'flat head' Banjos and can be found in several shades of mottled brown. The 'Craggy Headed' Banjo (Bunocephalicthys sp.) has an interesting crest on its head in a 'Mohawk' fashion. The 'Bumpy Headed' Banjo of the genus Amarilia is my personal favorite, and is the most obscure looking. The Whiptail Banjo (Platystacus sp. or Apredo sp.) has an impressive many rayed anal fin that runs along its long tail. It is sexually dimorphic with the males colored black and white and the females

L

11

brown. While the regular and Craggy Headed banjo cats are quite common in the hobby, the Bumpy Headed and Whiptails are rare imports. I check every tank of Banjo cats for contaminants (see the Catfish Chronicles 10/95) Banjo cats are not picky about pH and hardness. Some will even thrive in brackish environments. These fish are nocturnal, so hiding places are in order. Some literature suggests sandy bottoms or leaf litter to allow them to burrow. While it would be great for a 'biotopic' system, it is by no means required. Also, stay away from sharp gravel or glass as it may injure them. Banjos grow to 3"-6" in size (9" for the Whiptail Banjo) and are reasonably priced (I've seen tanks of banjo cat tanks with prices as low as $0.99). They are well behaved community residents, though some references suggest that certain species tend to burrow, so watch any delicate plants (I have not had a problem). They generally thrive on most meaty live, frozen or prepared foodsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;remember to feed at night. The literature recounts some strange behavior from Banjo Cats. Banjos have been found to shed their skin periodically. Currently, it has only been seen in tanks of just banjo cats, but it is assumed that it occurs in the community tank as well (the skin is probably eaten by it or other fish soon after shedding). Furthermore, when frightened, banjos have been known to pump water through their gills and propel themselves across a tank like an octopus. I have flashed a light into a dark aquarium containing a Craggy Head Banjo Cat, only to see it curled up in a ball and bouncing all around the tank. I thought it was going into shock, but repeatedly saw the same behavior night after night. Now don't let your first impression of the Banjo Cat turn you off. You could be missing out on a great community resident. Much Success!!! References Axelrod, Dr. Herbert, A., "Atlas of Aquarium Fishes", 6th Edition, TFH Pub.. 1991. Ferris,Dr. Carl, "Catfish in the Aquarium", Tetra Press, 1991. Riehl, Dr. Rudiger, Baensch. Hans A.."Aquarium Atlas Volume I", Baensch Pub., 1982. Riehl, Dr. Rudiger, Baensch, Hans A./'Aquarium Atlas Volume II". Baensch Pub., 1993.


The Federation of American Aquarium Societies Publication Award Program Results of the 1995 Competition

T

he Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) is composed of aquarium societies in the United States, Canada, Central and South America. Its main purposes are to further the growth and activities of aquarium societies; to serve as a mechanism of communication among aquarium societies; to promote the maintenance, propagation and growth of tropical fishes and other aquatic life forms; and to represent aquarium societies before governmental bodies. FAAS has a Publication Award Program to recognize the efforts and contributions made by aquarium society publications to promote interest in the fish hobby, share information, and encourage communication. GCAS entered this Award Program for the first time last year with articles published in Modem Aquarium in 1994, winning 10 awards. This year, with our 1995 articles, Modern Aquarium won 11 awards. Congratulations to all the winners! See the January, 1996, issue of Modern Aquarium for our 1995 Index of articles. A list of society abbreviations is at the end of this article.

Âť Best Editor/Publication More than 6 issues/year 1) Calquarium - G. Kostera - CAS 2) Modern Aquarium - W. Feuer - GCAS 3) Fancy Fins - H. Padgett - CCAC Number of GCAS Entries - 1

* Best Spawning Article - less than 500 words 1) Spawning the Clublets - D. Grimbly - CAS 2) More Australian Desert... - S. Van Netta -SCAS 3) Breeding the Paradise Fish - E. Shim - CAS Number of GCAS Entries - None

* Best Editor/Publication 6 or less issues/year 1) SCAS Journal - D. Grover - SCAS 2) Cichlidae Communique - K. Zadnick - PCCA 3) Tank Topics - K. McGill - GAAS Number of GCAS Entries - N/A

*Best Spawning Article- 500 to 1,000 words 1) How We Got Luckv with... - D&S Grover-SCAS 2) Corydoras Pygmies - F. Allen - CNYAS 3) The Trials and Tribulations... - E & R Rude - CAS Number of GCAS Entries - 1

* Best Non-Changing Cover 1) Fancy Fins - CCAC 2) All Wet Gazette - MeCAS 3) Number of GCAS Entries - N/A

*Best Spawning Article - over 1,000 words 1) Lethrinops "Yellow... - D. Ball - SCAS 2) Daffodils Come Out... - S. Machel - YATFS 3) Elassoma eversladi - P. Rollo - DCAS Number of GCAS Entries - 4

* Best Changing Cover 1) Calquarium - CAS 2) Modern Aquarium - Kerner/Zander- GCAS 3) Aquatica - BAS Number of GCAS Entries - 1

* Best Article on a Family of Fish 1) Dwarf Gouramis of the... - T. Judy - SCAS 2) Dazzling Discus - J. Todaro - BAS 3) Australian Native Fish - P. Unmack - SAS Number of GCAS Entries - 1

* Best Exchange/Review Column 1) The Best of the Rest - R & P Coogan - KAS 2) Fireside Reading - H. Padgett - CCAC 3) Exchange News - E & R Rude - CAS Number of GCAS Entries - None

* Best Marine Article 1) My Favorite Fish of the... - G. Schiemer - BAS 2) A Practical Guide to... - D. Shtob - BAS 3) The Joys of Harboring... - S. Priest - GCAS Number of GCAS Entries - 1

* Best Continuing Column by One Author 1) Ask Pam - P. Chin - PCCA 2) The Guppy Corner - S. Kwartler - BAS 3) From Hear to There - M. Douglas - GSAS Number of GCAS Entries - 2

* Best Horticulture/Aquascaping 1) Aquatic Plants Something.. - V. Sileo - GCAS 2) The Undersea Garden - T. Quinn - SCAS 3) Propagating Aponogeton... - D. Ball - SCAS Number of GCAS Entries - 3

14


BIRDS, REPTILES SMALL ANIMALS TROPICAL & MARINE FISH

HUGE SELECTION OF LIVE ROCK & ALWAYS IN STOCK IN: MARINE FISH & I N V E R T E T E ROOM

THE PET BAR1S[ FRANKLIN SQUARE'S COMPLETE PET CENTER 212 FRANKLIN AVE FRANKLIN SQUARE, NY 11010 Cqrrie see our large Aquarium Plant display and receive I ONE FREE cultivated plant, just for stopping by! EXOTIC FRESHWATER FISH AFRICAN CICHLIDS IMPORTED GOLDFISH AND KOI

516^775-8183

CORAL AQUARIUM 75-05 Roosevelt Ave Jackson Heights, NY 11372 718-429-3934 Open Mon.-Fri. 10AM-8:OOPM Sat. 10AM-7:OOPM Sun. 12PM- 5:OOPM SALTWATER FISH

LIVE CORALS

LIVE ROCKS

INVERTEBRATES

TROPICAL FISH

FANCY GOLDFISH

LIVE PLANTS

WET-DRY FILTERS

PROTEIN SKIMMERS

BIRDS

REPTILES

DOG 5. CAT SUPPLIES

DOG 5. CAT FOOD

BIRD CAGES

RABBITS

HAMSTERS

COMPLETE AQUARIUMS

All Major Credit Cards Accepted

16


WET LEAVES

Apple Snail or Mystery Snail? Pages 35 and 36 are devoted to an explanation of this complicated topic. This material, along with more detailed descriptions of Pomacea and Viviparids elsewhere in the book have brought me to an understanding. I will try to summarize it for you. A Series On Books For The Hobbyist Around the turn of the century the earliest hobbyists in America, most of which were in the SUSAN PRIEST Northeast, collected snails locally. These snails were in the Vivipahdae family, and had been o quote the back cover, ". . . at last." known in the literature for almost two hundred This book is hot off the presses, and it years as "Mystery Snails." What you need to is the one we have all been waiting for. remember about Viviparids is that they are cool The sub-title reads: "Ampullariids: their climate animals. In the 1930's the first Pomacea identification, care and breeding." Its emphasis species arrived in the U.S. as contaminants with is the genus Pomacea. shipments of fish from South America. What you For almost as long as people have been need to remember about Pomacea is that they are keeping fish in tanks, snails have been there, too. warn climate animals. These two snails, although I have often been frustrated by the paucity of taxonomically different, looked very much alike. It information available on these freshwater was around this time that aquarists started heating invertebrates. Among my favorite inhabitants of their tanks. The apple snails (Pomacea) filled a my 90 gallon community tank are my two niche — a snail that mystery snails (at least I could take the warmer thought that's what they Apple Snails in the Aquarium water. Dealers started were — more on that Dr; GloriaI Eerera and selling "tropical" snails later). under the name Chapter One, TFH Publication^ "Mystery" as well as the entitled "The World of name "Apple." In the late 1960's the Pomacea Apple Snails," covers external as well as internal bridgesi, the dominant Apple Snail on the market, anatomy. A quote from a photo credit on page underwent a mutation which eliminated their green nine reads "Most of what projects from a snail's pigments. They no longer looked like the shell is the foot. The intestines and other organs Viviparids — they were now golden yellow. The are always hidden within the shell." The dealers of the day marketed them as "Albino operculum is used to close the aperture of the Mystery Snails." To take a page out of my shell when the foot and body are retracted. One colleague Charley Sabatino's book and "summarize of the most interesting things I learned is that the summary" — a cool water snail of the Viviparid apple snails breathe air. In addition to a gill, family is a true Mystery Snail. A warm water snail they have a lung connected to a "siphon"; an of the Pomacea family is an Apple Snail. appendage which is very flexible and can be In addition to chapters on American and contracted or extended as necessary to reach the Old World Apple Snails, the authors have surface. Think of it as a "snail snorkel." This included a chapter on "Other" aquarium snails. chapter also covers classification ("where apple "Here we will briefly discuss a few snails from snails fit") as well as their distribution and types six families that appear on a more or less regular of habitats. The entire book is full of excellent basis in pet shops." P.93. photographs, but I think this chapter includes A unique feature of this book is the some of the best. recipe page. Remember, only the foot of the Chapter Two, "Biology and Ecology," Apple Snails can be eaten. The glossary was discusses reproduction, feeding habits and especially welcome. In addition to the text enemies. Unlike most other species of snails, index, there is a photo index. I liked this feature apple snails have separate sexes. Females are very much. internally fertilized by the males and then they I will close with another quote from the lay egg clusters out of the water on emergent back cover: "The authors, both well—known plants. As for feeding, most of the Pomacea malacologists, have combined their different species are vegetarians. Some can feed on experiences to produce a book that should be on microscopic organisms. Their enemies include the shelf of every freshwater aquarist." I birds (Snail Kites and Limpkins), Caiman lizards, couldn't agree more. and Man — their shells are of interest to handicrafters, and they are used for food.

T

17


CAMEO PET S TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM Specializing in Tropical Fish and Aquarium Supplies Large Selection of Aquatic Plants Knowledgeable Staff Same Location Since 1947. (718) 849-6678

115-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418

TROPICAL FISH \T I• O. FOR OVER 40 YEARS I HUGE SELECTION ALL THOSE HARD TO FIND FISH NEWSHIPMEN1S,VVEEKI^FROMAROIJNDTHEWORLD THE STORE WHERE YOU SERVE YOURSELF AND SAVE!

TROPICAL FISH SUPERMARKET

2890 Nostrand Avenue Bet Kings Hwy & Avenue P Brooklyn, NY 11229

(718)338-5069

18

IMPORTED QOLDFISH ff KOI. MARINEFISHfir INVERTEBRATES.

AFRICAN CICHLJDS FROM LAKE MALAWI & TANGANYIKA.

POND CARE SPECIALISTS.

AQUATIC PLANT EXPERTS.

• PRC8-ES3ONALAQUARIUM MAINTENANCE.

Visit "LUCILLE", Our Pond& Falls In Our Backyard! You Can Build A Pond Too.

ASK US HOW!


1922 \P 1997

Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

SEPTEMBER 1996 volume III number 7

Modern Aquarium  

SEPTEMBER 1996 volume III number 7

Advertisement