Modern Aquarium

Page 1

From the Editor's Desk

re you providing the correct environment for your fish? At the very least, are your fish being kept in the water conditions that they require? I'm referring, of course, to such variables as pH, temperature, hardness, etc. These are the minimum requirements that fish need to do more than survive in their tanks. While it is true that many fish are tolerant of varying water conditions (providing that they are acclimated to those conditions properly), for fish to really thrive they should be in an environment like the one they came from originally. This is especially true for wild caught fish, but no less advisable for those that have been tank-raised. As an example, let's look at how people keep Discus, the topic of last month's cover article by Ellen Halligan. In the article, Ellen states that Discus seem to do best in water whose pH is in the range between 5 and 7, clearly on the acidic side. Ellen also states that Discus prefer a water temperature between 84 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but can accept a range between 79 and 90 degrees. Over the years I have read quite a bit of literature regarding Discus, having kept them myself several times and I've read of people keeping and breeding Discus in all types of water conditions. Hard water, soft water, acid water, alkaline water, they all seem to work. In addition, many people keep Discus in bare tanks, while others keep them in well planted tanks. Discus are kept in specimen tanks as well as community tanks (this seems to be the subject of a great deal of controversy, as many Discus "experts" feel that they should not be kept in community). Somehow, the Discus seem to do okay despite our best intentions. But, to go back to my opening question, are they being provided with the proper environment? Do you think that fish that are from an environment of soft, dark acidic water and live amongst tree roots can really be happy in a stark, bare tank with neutral or alkaline water? Doesn't seem likely, does it?


In all fairness, 1 should point out that most of the reading I've done indicates that there are problems associated with breeding Discus in hard water. But, no one seems to have a problem with keeping Discus in bare tanks. When first keeping Rift Lake cichlids I started, like many aquarists do, with mbunas from Lake Malawi. Having done some research before hand, 1 set up my initial tank with a crushed coral substrate to ensure the proper pH and water hardness. I carefully cycled the tank, adding just a few fish initially. I fed only the recommended vegetable based food. Sounds good so far, right? Still, I was not providing the right environment for my fish to thrive in. Why not? I had landscaped the tank with several pieces of (politically correct) artificial coral, including two large pieces that formed a back drop for the tank. There was just one problem. There were no horizontal surfaces for the fish to spawn on. As a result, for almost a year and a half, there was no breeding activity in the tank, despite everyone's assurance that these fish breed like crazy. After doing more research, I soon realized my error and re-decorated the tank, this time using flat pieces of red shale siliconed together and piled on top of each other to create a rock structure. Voila! The fish began spawning soon afterwards and kept breeding for as long as I kept them. Clearly, here was an instance where water conditions just were not enough to create the proper environment. Now that you've decided that providing the proper environment for your fish is something that you'd like to do, how can you accomplish this goal? There are several ways. Start by reading up on the fish you keep. Often, you can find books that include photos or illustrations of the natural environment of the fish. Take note not only of the water conditions described, but also of the settings the fish are in. Look for things such as plant life, rock placement and quantities, as well as other landscape items. Also take note of other fish or types of fish that seem to share the environment. In some instances, fish do best when there are other fish around them to indicate relative safety to them. Talk to fellow aquarists and find out how they keep the fish. If you can, take a look at how they've set up their tanks. I've learned a great deal by visiting fellow aquarists and looking at their tanks. Don't ever settle for just keeping fish alive if you really want to do the right thing.

DOUG CURTAIN t was 1904 and the Panama Canal was under construction. The big problem was yellow fever-producing mosquitoes. The workers were dropping like flies. The head of mosquito affairs was in his office and during a coffee break was discussing the mosquito problem with his colleague, Dr. Van Knows-ItAll. His colleague suggested trying out a fish he heard about that could eat its weight in mosquitoes. The name of the fish was Gambusia affinis. "Huh ?" was the director's reply. (He is the one easily recognized by the 1" hole going through his head.) "I never heard of such a fish." At about this time, Alfred the Porter was cleaning up the spilt coffee and cigarette butts dropped due to Dr. Van Knows-lt-All's excitement. Alfred said he heard of a fish that ate 165 mosquitoes in a 12 hour period in a mosquito eating contest. It was called, ironically, a mosquito fish. The director was pleased with Alfred's input and proceeded to import Mosquito Fish. It's sometimes hard being a Rocket Scientist. The rest is history. The Panama Canal was completed and Alfred was promoted to counting the number of mosquitoes being eaten in the local contests, which was now the big craze. Since these contests last twelve hours, other festivities were incorporated similar to the old Roman orgies. The mosquito fish became a national hero and everyone had one or two or three in his home. Now I'm sure every aquarist would like this fish as part of his collection. "What," you say. "This fish has no color and cannot be kept in a community tank because it nips fins." True, but look at the ten points on the plus side:



Can be kept at 37 to 86 degrees F.; pH and water hardness not important.


Hearty eater. Eats anything but likes mosquitoes and it's own young best.


Will not bother snails or plants.


Can stand bad water conditions and over-crowding.


Easy to sex. Females are the big ones and males are the small ones.


Fish hang out in schools.


Very active fish. They swim at all levels moving very fast, probably looking for a meal.


Matures in 3 weeks at 80 degrees F.


Very prolific breeder. If the Guppy is called the millions fish then this fish should be called the trillions fish.

10. Basically disease free. If you think you can't enjoy this fish because of the lack of bright color, put sixty fish in a well planted 30 gallon octagon aquarium and just watch the activity. You won't get tired watching them zooming around the aquarium. On May 16th 1996, at the Big Apple Guppy Group, I bid on and received a trio of Gambusia affinis for $3.50. A steal, since you won't find these in a fish store. You will find them in the wild in Florida and Texas. I brought them home and placed them in a 2'/2 gallon stainless steel aquarium containing #2 gravel, snails and a clump of Anacharis. The temperature was 80째F and the pH was 6.8. An overhead fluorescent light was on a timer set for 14 hours. 1 read that mosquito fish females love to eat their babies. There were two females 1 '/2 inches in length and one male 3/4" in length. I figured I better keep them well fed to aid in any baby survival. Feeding them twice a day with newly hatched brine shrimp and my mixture of powdered food, the fish grew nicely and were robust. On June 20th, one month later, I noticed some baby fish on the surface of the water above the floating Anacharis. I positioned them in a net and scooped them out with a small coffee measuring scoop to avoid injury from the net. After removing one half gallon of tank water to a one gallon drum bowl, I then added 22 baby fish which were approximately 3/8ths of an inch long. The next day they got their first feeding with newly hatched brine shrimp. After 3 weeks the males had gonopodiums and the females had gravid spots. On July 4th, the second female produced 29 fry. At least this is what I saved. This went on about every two weeks. The batch of July 16 produced 19 fry (7 females, 12 males). I believe the greater amount of males is due to the 14 hours of light. In the wild, six females to every one male are produced. I find my guppies, which are also under 14 hours of light, produce many more males than females. At 6 weeks of age, the July 16 batch females gave birth to fry, none of which I saved.

"The Rest Of The Stor-v:

In JMew York JOSEPH FERDENZI he Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi) continues to be one of the most popular aquarium fish of all time. Hundreds of thousands are bred annually in places far from its South American home. Of course, it was not always this way. At one time, it was rare and expensive. The Neon Tetra was introduced to the aquarium world by a collector named Auguste Rabaut, who brought some back to France in 1935. In Paris, Rabaut sold the fish to J. S. Neel, who dubbed them "Neons." Neel, in turn, sold all of them (less than fifty) to Walther Griem of Aquarium Hamburg, then the world's largest and most prestigious aquarium concern. It so happened that Fred Cochu was in Hamburg at the time. Cochu was a fish collector and owner of Paramount Aquarium, a wholesale company located in New York City. Griem agreed to let Cochu bring six Neons back to the United States. Cochu was returning to New York by way of a giant airship, the "Grafspey." He got back O.K., but only one Neon Tetra arrived alive. It created some fanfare in the press, where it was promptly dubbed "Lonely Lindy" (after the world-famous American aviator, Charles Lindbergh). The fish had been intended, in part, to be a gift for Dr. William Innes, publisher of The Aquarium magazine and author of Exotic Aquarium Fish. Well, in any event, Dr. George Myers described the fish and named it in honor of Dr. Innes — Hyphessobrycon (since changed to Paracheirodon) innesi. Shortly thereafter, Rabaut brought 4,000 Neons into New York, where they were all sold to Cochu for the then princely sum of $1.00 each. (The sum of $4,000 in 1936 was more than what four average families earned in a year!) Cochu, in turn, wholesaled each Neon for $4.00. They were sold retail for $10.00 (an average week's salary!) each. (Socolof 1996) Meanwhile, Innes featured the Neon Tetra on the cover of the November 1936 issue of The Aquarium magazine. The fish, needless to say, was highly sought after. Rabaut and Cochu (who, by now, had formed a partnership) had a virtual monopoly on the fish and continued


to bring them into New York (Socolof 1996). In the December 1936 issue of The Aquarium there were three advertisements for the Neon Tetra. One was the wholesale ad of Paramount (Cochu's), the second (see page 10) was for Empire (the retail store owned by Paramount, located only one block from the famous Aquarium Stock Company), and the third was, of all things, the ineptly named Odewald Bird Company of 32 Cooper Square (I don't know how this wholesaler got their Neons). By this time, the wholesale price of Neons had "dropped" to $3.00 each (in quantities of less than a dozen) or as little as $2.00 each in lots of 100 or more. (Back in Hamburg, German aquarists were already breeding the Neon [Ladiges 1936].) Anyone who had Neons for sale made money. The fish was in New York to stay. Naturally, it would only be a matter of time before someone would exhibit the lovely Neon Tetra at an aquarium show. As it turned out, the first time a Neon was shown at an exhibit in New York was at the 10th Annual Show of the Greater City Aquarium Society, in August of 1937. Indeed, the show and the Neon made the front page of the New York Times (August 29, 1937)! This article is reprinted in its entirety for your enjoyment — it is a very interesting piece (note especially the evocative descriptions of the fish exhibited). As noted in the article, this first show pair of Neons was owned by one James Carter of 220 Bainbridge Street, Brooklyn. He had purchased them in April of 1937 (probably cost him a week's salary even then). Fittingly, Carter took home the silver trophy for the Best Pair of fish in the show. Once again, Greater City had shown itself at the forefront of the aquarium hobby. Excelsior! Acknowledgements: Ladiges, Dr. Werner "A Jewel of a Fish," The Aquarium, December 1936, pp. 157-58 Socolof, Ross. Confessions of A Tropical Fish Addict (Socolof Publishers, Florida, 1996), pp. 178-82.

New York Times: August 29, 1937

New Fish Overshadow Guppys To Win Prize at Tropical Show Neon Tetras, Like Sign of Their Name, Get Highest Award in First Appearance Here — Bee, Pencil, Knife and Red Helleri Popular at Aquarium Society Display

Popular tropical fish of the past decade, family members of the guppys, bettas (Siamese fighters), gouramis and feather fins, are being challenged in popular fancy by a strange assonment of newcomers, according to collectors at the tenth annual show of the Greater City Aquarium Society of Brooklyn, now on view at the Turn Verein, Bushwick and Gates Avenues. Guppys with their variety of classes and apparent hardiness still receive more attention than any other species, it was declared. Likewise the resplendent bettas in pastel shades of magenta continue to attract fanciers, but the current exhibition, the collectors said, indicates a trend toward fish that vaguely resemble something else. Neon tetras are typical. Never seen in this show before, the tiny fish from South America look like miniature neon signs floating in a tank. They have iridescent blue-green bands extending the length of their slender forms to tails tipped in scarlet. About one inch long, the neon tetras show to best advantage in the murky shadows of a plant-filled tank. A pair of tetras owned by James Carter of 220 Bainbridge Street, Brooklyn, won a silver cup twice the size of their aquarium. The award was the highest in the show, being for the best pair in all classes. Mr. Carter said the fish were captured at a secret spot five weeks' journey inland from the coast of South America. The prize tetras are eight months old. Mr. Carter has nursed them since April. Seldom seen heretofore in this company are the bee fish. Also small, they seem like honey bees under water and oddly at home among tropical marine vegetation with rising bubbles of air. Characteristic are vertical stripes of black and yellow, soft in texture, as on a bee. The knife fish are thin, pointed creatures in cold gray colors. They remain motionless for the most pan, poised like stilettos when in flight. Three types of hatchet fish are on display. They might have been called cleaver fish. The under part hangs in the shape of a cleaver. The derivation of the name for pencil fish is less clear, but the fish are more fun than the others. Almost smaller than neon tetras, the pencils have one unaccountable way of living. They face

the same direction, no matter how many are in a tank. Tap the glass and, at electric speed, they switch in the opposite direction. Introduced at this show are the red helleri with black fins, a refinement on species from Mexico. A pair of velvety black sail fins, mollienisia latipinna, native to Florida, were observed with the closest interest because of their perfect conformation. The delicate feather fins of South America and mosaic gouramis of India, sheer as cobwebs, floated indifferently before admiring fanciers. Paradise fish drawn from the South China coast proved a relief after an unbroken row of guppys whose forefathers basked in Venezuelan waters. About 1.000 fish are on view. They represent the favorites of 200 amateur collectors and five dealers, the latter showing illuminated community tanks. Sixteen major awards were announced last night by the judges, Louis Troemner, president of the Philadelphia Fish Culturist; George Walker, vice president, and Frederick K. Stoye, author and lecturer. Harry Plotnick, president of the society, was chairman of the show. It will close tomorrow night. Competitors were divided into three classes, novice, fancier and dealer. Silver cups were awarded to the following, and will be presented at the annual dinner of the society in November: BEST PAIR IN SHOW James Carter BEST COLLECTION ON POINTS Novice-Julius Kreutzer Fancier-Joseph Braun Sr. COMMUNITY TANK Novice-George Hergert Fancier-Joseph Lauchaire Dealer-Aquarium Stock Co of Manhattan. BEST LABYRINTH Novice-Mr. Hergert Fancier-Mr. Braun BEST BETTA DISPLAY Fancier-Mr. Braun Sr. BEST GUPPY DISPLAY Novice-Mr. Hergert Fancier-Mr. Lauchaire BEST EGG LAYERS Novice-Primo Ynoscenzio Fancier-Donald Gross BEST LIVE BEARERS Novice-Mr. Hergert Fancier-Virgo Nielsen

We have just received from South America and East India Two Shipments of

I\EW and DESIRABLE FISHES Kissing Gurami (New jpec.) Gyntnocorymbuf including Barbui parlipeniatona Barbuf nigrofaieiatui Krypioplrrat bicirrhui HtlcTogramma tleindachnerl Acanlhophthalmut kulilii Rasbora htleromorpha Carntfirlta ilrigtla Gebiut Barbui litteya Scolophagut arfus Anotlomui anotlomtit Sympliytodon diteui Ptcllui argeitttui and the magnificent Hyphesobrycort innesi or Neon Light Tctra .


Have You Ordered Your Copy of



"LIFE AND LOVE IN THE AQUARIUM" By C H. PETERS Uluttraud by H. UHLIG 300 fishes illustrated, 100 in full color, 400 pages of interesting, informative data on Breeding. pH, Aeration, Heating, etc. Postpaid #3.00. Don't Risk Losing Your Fish—AERATE! MARCO PUMP. The same reliable A DUPLEX PUMP. Two-cylinder, large motor to supply twelve aquariums. pump at the reduced rate. UNIVERSAL PUMP. Equipped with Standard, ? 12.50 Universal Motor to operate on A. C. (Fjciory Plica lo Dulcn) or D. C. Current. Speed controlled by rheostat. SIMPLEX PUMP. An inexpensive Aera Pump Uniu without motors. Easy to connect with your own motor. tor to supply six aquariums. Filtcrt to Satisfy Any B«<t«ilr»m««t—V(* i4 rt» Ut« «f Activated Carbon l« M FVton D E A L E R S . A S K F O R rtlCE L I S T *NO CATALOG ISSUED EMPIRE TROPICAL FISH IMPORT CO., 37 Murray St.. New York City

In this December 1936 ad from Empire, the "Neon Light Tetra" is clearly the "star of the show." (Note that "Hyphesobiycon" is misspelled — it should have a second "s" after the first.)


| N;

An artistic recreation based on the discovery of the ancestral remains of the NEOWTET/M, 10

GCAS ROLL OF HONOR (Up to the 1994-95 Award Year) Gene Baiocco Joe Bugeia Mary Ann Bugeia Dan Carson

Charles Elzer Ben Haus Emma Haus Herb Fogal

Paul Hahnel Jack Oliva Herman Rabenau Marcia Repanes

Nick Repanes Don Sanford

BREEDER OF THE YEAR (Since 1981) 1981-82 1982-83 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88

.... .... .... .... .... .... ....

Ginny & Charlie Eckstein Ginny & Charlie Eckstein Rich Sorensen Rich Sorensen Yezid Guttierez Joe Ferdenzi Patricia Piccione

1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95

..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... .....

Joe Ferdenzi Francis Lee Eddie Szablewicz Dominic Isla Steve Sagona Joe Ferdenzi Steve Sagona

i }

ALL-TIME BREEDER AWARD STANDINGS (As of June 1996) Joe Ferdenzi ....... Steve Sagona ....... John Stora ......... Jose Aranda .......

735 points 570 points 540 points 505 points

John lannone ............ Ginny /Charlie Eckstein ...... Rich Sorensen ...........

490 points 445 points 420 points

AOUARIST OF THE YEAR (Since 1990-91) 1990-91 . . . . Diane and Harold Gottlieb 1991-92 . . . . Doug and Don Curtin 1992-93 . . . . Mark Soberman

1993-94 1994-95

. . . . Warren Feuer . . . . Steve Sagona

BOWL SHOW CHAMPIONS (Since 1983-84) 1983-84 1984-85 1985-86 1986-87 1987-88

.... .... .... .... ....

Tom Lawless Tom Lawless Joe Ferdenzi Joe Ferdenzi Mark Soberman and (tie) Mary Ann & Joe Bugeia

1988-89 1989-90 1990-91 1991-92 1992-93 1993-94 1994-95

.... .... .... .... .... .... ....

Jason Ryan Eddie Szablewicz Eddie Szablewicz Steve Sagona Steve Sagona Steve Sagona Carlotti DeJager



Thomas Bohme (Serrasalmus nattereri)


......... .........

Don & Doug Curtin Steve Gruebel


GCAS PRESIDENTS (Post 1945 — number in parenthesis = consecutive terms) 1946-49 1950-51 1952-53 1954-55 1956-57 1958 1959-64


Elliott Whiteway (4) Robert Greene (2) Robert Maybeck (2) Leonard Meyer (2) Sam Estro (2) Leonard Meyer (1) Gene Baiocco (6)

1965 1966-68 1968-70 1970-72 1972-73 1973-75 1975-76

Andrew Fazio (1) Charles Elzer (2) Walter Hubel (2) Dave Williams (2) Dan Carson (1) Herb Fogal (2) Richard Hoey (1)

1976-77 1977-78 1978-79 1979-81 1981-84 1984-86 1986-97

Ted Tura (1) Gene Baiocco (1) Louis Kromm (1) Don Sanford (2) Brian Kelly (3) Jack Oliva (2) Joe Ferdenzi (11)




Creature Modern Aquarium Series III is part of a proud heritage. Series I appeared briefly during the late 1950's. Series II was published from November of 1968 through December 1974. The articles in these volumes are as valuable today as they were when they were first written. As part of our 75th Anniversary Celebration, we will print one article each month from the Modern Aquarium "Treasure Chest." This month's gem was originally published in December 1970. The small cartoon was printed with the article. The larger cartoon showed up in September of 1971. The author is a past President of the club and long-time Board member, as well as one of the recipients of the "75th Anniversary Membership Awards." We hope you enjoy . . .

I RAISE TROPICAL FISH IN MY BATHTUB - ORA POOR MAN'S OUTDOOR POOL JACK J. OLIVA For the past 15 years, I have raised thousands of tropical fish in my bathtub. Now I can just picture all the raised eyebrows and the questions going through the minds of the readers: "A bit unsanitary, isn't it?" or "Kind of hard on the fish when you bathe." Well let me assure you, everything is quite proper and safe for both my family and


my little finny friends. You see, the bathtub is buried in my backyard and serves very nicely as a small outdoor pool! The tub is an old discarded one I acquired over 20 years ago. After removing the two faucets, drainpipe and overflow drainpipe, I was faced with the problem of plugging up 2 large and 2 small holes. 1 measured the diameter of the holes and purchased 4 appropriate sized boiler plugs in a hardware store. These worked out fine. Only one rubber washer required replacement over the years, and this was accomplished in half an hour even though the tub was in the ground, sans the water of course. For the first 5 years the tub stood in my basement. I converted an old cabinet door frame into a cover by replacing the center panel with glass. Then I mounted a 40 watt fluorescent fixture to the frame in such a way that the tub received full benefit of the light. Eighty pounds of gravel, some rocks and a few dozen Vallisneria, Sagittaria and some floating Anacharis, completed my 100-gallon-plus "Indoor Pool." I stocked it with a few pairs each of Red Swordtails; Green Swordtails; Red, Gold and Black Platies and all the Guppies culled out of my breeding stock. For years, I don't think there were fewer than 400 fish in that tub. While it is true that the full beauty of tropical fish can only be appreciated when viewed from the side, there is a certain fascination about looking down into a body of crystal clear water and watching the inhabitants dash about between rocks and plants. It is like seeing them in their natural habitat while out on a field trip, with the added satisfaction of knowing you can catch them any time you want! When 1 moved to my present home, lack of space necessitated the tub being placed in the backyard. I dug a hole deep enough to sink the tub in the ground up to the curved rim. A 6" border of cement helps keep out dirt and provides a convenient work platform. At the start of the second summer, I found I had a clean-up chore, the likes of which I had never seen before in over 20 years of maintaining aquariums indoors! The tub had to be emptied one pail of water at a time. I had the foresight to dig a "drywell," in lieu of a drain, alongside the tub so I have never had a problem with mud. However, the bottom of the tub was covered with 3" of dirty, foul smelling, black muck, which contained just about every variety of crawling, slithering creatures you could find in any stagnant pond. The gravel went out with the muck and has never been replaced. Water



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GCAS — Society Issues; Member Profiles and Experiences

Modern Aquarium 1995 Article Index GCAS Award Winners [1995-96 Award winners] An Interesting Bit of GCAS History [A NY Times article surfaces] — Lee Finley Rules For The Silent Auction [Rules of a GCAS Tradition] Good News! [NEC 1995 publication awards - 7 of which went to GCAS] Aquarium of the Americas [A visit to a public aquarium] — Sara Monheit The 1996 GCAS Show Award Results [Winners in our 1996 Show] FA AS Publication Award Program [1995 Awards - 11 of which went to GCAS] . A Tribute [To GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi on his 10th year in office] The 1996 Greater City Show [A recap of our Spring Show] — Joseph Ferdenzi . . WOW!! What A Weekend! [A participant's view of our Show] — Maryeve Brill .

. .

. . .. . .

1/96 1/96 4/96 4/96 5/96 5/96 5/96 9/96 6/96 6/96 9/96

GENERAL INTEREST & MISCELLANEOUS The Bill Jacobs Chronicles — Joseph Ferdenzi 2/96 Death of a Champion [Fish show experiences] — Joseph Ferdenzi 4/96 A View With A Difference [Pond View Koi Farm] — Joseph Ferdenzi 5/96 Pond View Koi [Raising Koi] — Charles & Maria Wagner 5/96 The Editor's Dilemma [Problems of a publication's editor] — Alexander Priest . . . 11/96 Dry Foods for Wet Pets [Analysis of some commercial foods] — Joseph Ferdenzi . 11/96 Ol' What's-Her-Name [Learning about life from a fish] — Susan Priest 11/96 "HOW TO" ARTICLES

The Beautiful 10 Gallon Aquarium [Setting up a small tank] — Donald Curtin . . . . 5/96 How To Have A Natural Aquarium — Bernard Harrigan 10/96 Setting Up For Discus [How to prepare a Discus tank] — Ellen Halligan 12/96 JUNIOR MEMBER ARTICLES Kitten Fish [Corydoras aeneus] — Charlie Harrigan [age 8] KILLIFISH The Rainbow Annual [Nothobranchius rachovii] — Joseph Ferdenzi




A Lazy Man's Guide to Growing Daphnia — Joseph Ferdenzi



Ups and Downs [The highs and lows of fishkeeping] 1/96 There Oughtn't To Be A Law [Do we need a "save feeder fish" law?] . . . . 2/96 Quit Yerbitching [Proposal for "The Carp Award"] 3/96 The Wetter Half [How to involve your significant other in the hobby] . . . . 4/96 Were You There [Our 1996 Show] 5/95 Friend or Foe? [Aquarium societies vs. pet shops] 6/96 The Lazy Person's Guide to Award Winning Articles [On winning awards] . 9/96 Beginner's Luck? [What "beginner's luck" really is] 10/96 Teaching Your Fish To Read [Don't believe all you read] 11/96 You Don't Have To Be Crazy, BUT [Strange things fish hobbyists do] . . 12/96 OTHERS President's Message [The future of the hobby] — Joseph Ferdenzi 9/96 A Lazy Man's Guide To Fish-Keeping [Humor] — Craig Morfitt 9/96 The Lazy Man's Guide to Breeding Fish [Humor] — Warren Feuer 9/96 "Aquarists Library" Survey [Opinion on what makes a good fish book] . . 11/96


PLANTS "AQUATIC GREENHOUSE" Column — Vincent Sileo Acorus family Aglaonema and Anubias OTHERS Plants 'n Pieces — Charley Sabatino Amazon Swords — Vince Sileo REPTILES/ AMPHIBIANS Hell What? [Cryptobranchus alleganiesis salamanders] — Chuck Davis

5/96 6/96 3/96 4/96


SPAWNING/BREEDING A Tale of Two Festae [Cichlasoma festae] — Joseph Ferdenzi 1/96 The Rainbow Annual [Nothobranchius rachovii] — Joseph Ferdenzi 2/96 A New Dwarf Cichlid [Archocentrus nanoluteus] — Joseph Ferdenzi 3/96 Long Live The King [Angelfish] — Doug Curtin 3/96 Synodontis Multipunctatus by way of Lake Victoria's Secret — John Moran 6/96 Keep 'Em, Breed 'Em [Easy to breed Live Bearers & Cichlids] — Warren Feuer . . 9/96 The Lazy Man's Guide to Breeding Fish [Pseudotropheus Zebra] — Warren Feuer . 9/96 A Tail Of Two Corys [C. similis and C. axelrodi] — Mark Soberman 10/96 Kitten Fish [Corydoras aeneus] — Charlie Harrigan 10/96 Lake Tanganyika Tango ["Daffodils" and 7. transcriptus] — Warren Feuer 12/96 A Short Story About A Small Fish [Telmatochromis burgeoni] — Mark Soberman . 12/96 SALT/MARINE/REEF Lighting The Marine Aquarium — Vincent Sileo


COVER PHOTOS Cichlasoma festae photo by Joseph Ferdenzi Synodontis schoutedeni photo by Donna Forman Archocentrus nanoluteus photo by Joe Lozito Carassius auratus (Fancy Goldfish) photo by Donna Forman Cyprinus carpio (Kohaku var. Koi) photo by Shin Nippon Kyoiku Tosho Co Synodontis multipunctatus photo by John Moran Pomacea sp. "Apple Snail" photo by Susan Priest Corydoras similis photo by Mark Soberman Planted "Natural" tank photo by Jason Kerner Symphysodon aequifasciatus (Discus) photo by Fred Rosenzweig

1/96 2/96 3/96 4/96 5/96 6/96 9/96 10/96 11/96 12/96

REPRINTS Show Going Crazy [from the North Jersey A.S. Reporter] — Chuck Davis


"FIN FUN" (Puzzle Page) "Every Family Has One" [Find the "odd man out" in the group] "T'is The Season" [Identify the spawning method of certain fish] "What's My Problem?" [Identify the cause of some sicknesses] "According to Webster" [Fish hobby terms] "What's In The Pond" [Word search of items found in a pond] "What's In The Lake" [Match the Rift Lake cichlid with its lake of origin] "Back To Work!" [A test of how well you've read this month's issue] "Dark Shadows" [Is it Nocturnal, Diurnal, or Crepuscular?] "Meals Fit For A Fish" [Match the fish with is primary food preference] "Let's DISCUSs It" [Find the Discus related terms]

1/96 2/96 3/96 4/96 5/96 6/96 9/96 10/96 11/96 12/96






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Awards I'd Really Like To See A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

; 1 rv;; spite of popular; demand; to thes i contr ary; this humor; arid i n f ormattpb: IeplurnriKContfnues; As usual g; iti does* ;;NOT \trt6cessarilyK represent : ?• opinions;? of trie si Editor,::: or:-of IGreater^ City;:; Aquaiiu hi Sobiety;

his month, Greater City presents its Annual Awards. GCAS is not unique in this. Virtually every other society does the same thing. And, virtually every society awards and rewards the same things (albeit under different names). Awards are neither good or bad in and of themselves. Awards are like military medals. When a bunch of armchair generals devote most of their efforts to giving themselves medals and awards, the meaning (and therefore, the real value) of the awards decreases. When real accomplishments which advance a cause (be it military or hobby) are recognized with awards, the awards take on meaning and are of value. Breeders awards often tend to reward serendipity and happenstance, and short-term skills. (Since a person can only house and care for a finite number of fish, once a fish has been bred and the points for this have been credited, a person interested in collecting more such points must dispose of that fish to make room for new fish to use for breeders points.) While not commenting on the merit of any of the awards given out by GCAS (which, by the way, are generally in the latter class of well-deserved recognition of accomplishments), I'd like to suggest some additional awards.


OLD MAN OF THE TANK This award would given to the aquarist who maintains a healthy fish significantly beyond the normal life expectancy for the species. This directly rewards aquaristic skills. Think about it. Who has better demonstrated her or his skills as an aquarist: a person who collects breeders points for platies, guppies and swordtails, or one who has maintained a Neolamprologus leleupi for 10 or more years?


BEST ADVISOR This award would be given to the person most willing to help others. All too often (especially in our fascination with "winning" and acquiring "points") knowledge is not shared simply because of the fear of losing one's "edge." When a person willingly and freely shares time and "secrets" with you, without worrying that by doing so, you will acquire more "points," that person has exhibited behavior in the best interests of the hobby. This type of behavior needs to be reinforced by being recognized and rewarded. MOST HELPFUL HANDS While similar to the previous award, this would be given to that person or group of persons who have given freely of their time to the society as a whole. This would include those small but time consuming tasks such as preparing a meeting room and cleaning up afterward. It would include time spent staffing tables at shows and exhibits, distributing flyers, addressing envelopes, assisting with auctions, bowl shows, collecting dues, membership, tee shirt sales, etc., etc. These volunteers do as much, if not significantly more, to advance a society as a whole as a person who is entitled to "points" because a molly gave birth. THE WRITE STUFF This award would be "points" given to contributors to Modern Aquarium, with additional points for the best individual articles and for frequent contributions. If people are willing to "breed for points," doesn't it seem likely that others will be willing to "write for points?" Recent FA AS rules now limit the number of articles that can be submitted for judging in that competition. As a result, some quality articles may have no chance at being judged. I propose all article writers receive some "writers' points" for each article. Then, a committee reviews all articles submitted in a year, awarding additional "quality points" where merited. There is a saying something like this: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime." Spawn a fish, and perhaps a few members who successfully bid on the fry at auction will benefit. (Assuming that the fry are of quality stock, something unfortunately not required for breeders awards.) The valuable lessons which could be learned from articles written by those who have "been there" can prove to be a lasting benefit to all of us.

Greater City Aquarium Society It / f

Queens - New York City, NY


\l/ Presents its 75th Anniversary:

Fish Show and

Auctions Saturday May 17 and Sunday May 18, 1997 La Guardia Marriott (102-05 Ditmars Blvd, East Elmhurst, NY)

Competition and awards in 14 categories! Raffle for a 30 gallon custom tank and cabinet! Dry Goods Auction on Saturday! Fish and Plant Auction on Sunday! Noted speakers (to be announced)! Open to the Public - Free visitor parking and Admission! Greater City members available to answer fish keeping questions! For information, contact: Vincent Sileo (718)846-6984 or the Greater City website 22>'

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Let's extend a warm welcome to our newest members: Michelle Romeo (new) and John Cosgrove (returning member) Last month's BOWL SHOW WinnersflF Steve Sagona (King Siezei) 2nd - Tom MjgliO p- kalambo); 3rd - StewSagpna (Trewavase)

THANKS! Wjywisf to extend our w|rmej| thamks%j last month's gues|lspeake;r, §^| Silvestri, who informed and intertained us with a slicji shgW presentation about the cichlids of Lake Tanggilyika W|::also want to sincerely thank Seachem Laboratories and Jungle for their;: generous donations to last r|MlifsJipille. Remember oil| :a<iyertisers and donors when you:?;:|nak§ ypuripext hobby purchasjejss Coviircil :APRIL 11-13, 1997: Hartford Marriott Hotel - Farmington, CT. Noted speakers. Auction* Saturday night banqueJ;H Raffl|||:: Door Prizes. ; F^|;li|ifi)rrnation, call Janine & David Banks (802)482-3616 or Pennf |$|. A|lplf 008)371 -0593.... Here are meeting times and locations of aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New GREATER CIT^ AQIJ ApWM SOCIETY


February,5;^;fi'ir. Stbye Stewart speaki|;igi:on: "^pjleetiug Aqyat^Literature." :%1|;| Meets'i :8:00 %$£ - 1st Wednesday of:;ea||i niof |h at |h-| ..Queens Botanical Garden %^ Vincent Sileo ":ls\4

January;:: if) - Derek Sacerdote: "Extremt jfphJeeejpiijg. " (Build it/Catch it youiisejfj}:: ;:8PM: Education Hall, Aquarium for lUildlife Conseiiation (N,p; | jllbntact:1BAS Events ijelephone: (7 1 8) 83J:-4435;:



• Bi'dC(|lyn Aquarium Society,,,,......:S

Big Apple Guppy Club

iPO P.M. - lisihursday of each month at: the Queens ^Contact: Sliplien Kwartl|? / Ed Ric|pond Telephone: (ff||8|^6SQ6 / (718)7^1-0166

0 P.M. - 3^::::T0|ursday:fof|Sach at the Queensi:;:BptaGD|caI:::Ga:rd|n1: CoriJjt: Mr. ppnaj^eurtiri:; :;?: TeleiloDe;...<^|||i3:i-0538 ...JjP^

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:06!|iM.. - 3rd Friday of each month at Hol^vilife;|P|irSKis;:a|ii|:::,.;|Qg, 249 Buckley Rd. Holtsville, 'N?l!liil|||Pl Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066

Meets: 8:00 P.M,jltnd Tuesday of each m9n|h:¥a|x::tbe;: Wferrick Park Golf Course, 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 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 |c If you read "Mosquito Fish: National Hero" in this issue of Modern Aquarium, you already know a considerable amount about Gambusia affinis. However, you should be aware that there are other fish which are also referred to as "Mosquito Fish." Below are the scientific names and the common names of several of these. Draw a line connecting the common name with the correct scientific name.

Scientific Name

Common Name (M. means Mosquito fish)

(Reference: Baensch Aquarium Atlas I, II & III

One Band M.

Flexipenis vittata

Pellucid M.

Gambusia regani

Regans' M.

Gambusia panuco

Tropical M.

Gambusia sexradiata

Spotted Tail M.

Gambusia atrora

Holbrook's M.

Gambusia affinis holbrooki

Terraba M.

Brachyrhaphis terrabensis

Black-fin M.

Gambusia rachowi

Rio Panuco M.

Heterandria bimaculata

Mangrove M.

Gambusia marshi

Puebla M.

Gambusia rhizophorae

Rachow's M.

Heterandria jonesi

Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: Let's DISCUSS It!

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