Modern Aquarium

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Series III

Vol. IV, No. 3

March, 1997

FEATURES Editor's Desk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Barbs in the Community Aquarium


The Mystery of the Innes Angelfish


What's In A Name?


G RE A TEB G tT Y A QU AfflU W S Q Clj y


.Board Members ;



;•;..;•:. ; -

President :;

.Secretary; 1| | | | Pat ^cm

Jare Sausaman: An Obituary


Wet Leaves (Book Review)






Henry Ford and My Fish Tanks


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


Tom Vincent1 Siieo • : • . | | | | | i ;: | Warren 'Fieue'r'' .'•'• ''"^ '•" -"^\^J:^ijjii. -'

Commit tee Ghaks : |i ; ; i | | | | | | | Award;;: .; , :, | , .>Ffank.,;I:reuman . • • / - , ; .. , : ,"'.;. /'••.•Sus%n- Pf rest j Spring S No w . , !.• . . : Ei{en> Ha}ligan;:;-and ; : :::;:;•:, ;:;:i>i . :; :: : Vincent Si!e«:.:

::Feuer Editor , ;•'.• .•'•, Alexander" :Priis|| Editor: | p Jason Kerner l|||||ction Director;:,; ;B0fnard.: Barr^gan ||^||||ritsing Mgrv , , , . Mark Sober roan Editorial Assistant . ... . R3t:;,f?fCGione. Executive Editor %^ \ . Joseph Ferderrzi Printing By Postal Press Series ill design concept by Stephan Zander

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 1997 by the Greater City Aquarium Society Inc., a not-for-profit New York State corporation. All rights reserved. Not-for-profit aquarium societies are hereby granted permission to reproduce articles and illustrations from this publication, unless the article indicates that the copyrights have been retained by the author, and provided reprints indicate source and two copies of the publication are sent to the Exchange Editor of this magazine. Any other reproduction or commercial use of the material in this publication is prohibited without express written prior permission. The Greater City Aquarium Society meets every month, except during July and August. Meetings are the first Wednesday of the month and begin at 8:00 P.M. Meetings are held at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact Vincent Sileo (718) 846-6984. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http: //ourworld. CompuServe. com/homepages/greatercity

From the Editor's Desk


very month, the editorial staff of Modern Aquarium goes through a cycle that results in the product you see before


The cycle starts (ends?) at the editorial board meeting, which usually takes place the third week of each month. The final pass is made through the current month's issue (for example, February's issue was finalized at the January meeting) and any last minute changes and/or corrections are applied. A master copy is printed. Any artwork is added at this point and the issue goes to press. Then, planning begins for the next month. We decide which articles to include in the next issue and what else needs to go into the issue. Any and all differences that may arise are resolved by group consensus. Then the work begins. Over the next few weeks each article that will be included in the issue is read, re-read, and read again until the issue is squeaky clean. It is not unusual for there to be 3 or 4 discussions each day over a given issue. And, bear in mind, all this is going on while we each try to do our "regular" jobs. So conversations are held between meetings and crises, and what ever else may arise in our daily work lives. In addition, faxes containing the latest versions of each article go back and forth among us. Let's just say that describing this monthly process in writing does not quite capture the essence of it, but, hopefully you get the idea. What is especially significant to bear in mind is the tremendous amount of time that is involved besides the time we spend with each other working on the magazine. Whether it's typing, proofreading, formatting, designing, enhancing, selling ad space or printing the magazine, each member of the editorial board contributes a great deal of their own personal time. Is it worth it? Qualitatively, the answer is clearly "yes". Modern Aquarium continues to win more and more awards as well as critical acclaim. Several of our articles have appeared in

national hobby magazines. The magazine presents Greater City in a wonderful light to those who can only know us by what they see in Modern Aquarium. However, one might ask whether the amount of time spent and personal sacrifice is a worthwhile trade off against the time that could be spent with family, friends, or just doing other things. Speaking for myself, I can say that I've gotten a great deal of personal reward and growth from my experience as Editor of Modern Aquarium. To the best of my knowledge, all of my fellow editorial staff members feel the same way. Modern Aquarium is a labor of love. More than that, we all are willing to, or can make the sacrifices necessary to guarantee Modern Aquarium's success, for now. The point to this whole preamble came to me as I read several of the articles that appear in this issue, as well as some that are scheduled to appear in future issues. I'm continually impressed by the quality of writing by our contributors. Having a forum to present their work is what makes Modern Aquarium so special and worth the work to make it the best it can be. And you lucky devils, the readers, get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of everyone's labor at your convenience. I hope you enjoy and appreciate that privilege. On another front, as you read this, March 1997 is beginning. Plans are well underway for our 75th Anniversary Fish Show, to be held May 17th and 18th. This does not in any way mean that no more help is needed. On the contrary, as much help as possible is wanted. There is an incredible list of activities that are associated with putting on a fish show and everyone's help is needed. But, besides your help in setting up, running and post-show clean up, how about entering a fish into competition? I'm ashamed to say that at last year's show only 20 some odd GCAS members entered fish. Not a great turn out, I'm sorry to note. I'm sure each and every one of you has a fish or two that are worth showing off and entering into competition. No one need feel ashamed or embarrassed to participate. Remember, this is our club's show, and it celebrates our 75th Anniversary, to boot. Let's all help to make it a special show. Warren Feuer

CHUCK DAVIS s a former retailer, and now "senior" aquarist, writing a discussion of "barbs" (in general) as community aquarium inhabitants should not be a concern. Then why is it? That old fish-tale about barbs as fin-nippers is the root of the problem. Are barbs chasing, bullying, fin-shredders? I think not. They are certainly not more so than many other fish that are also accepted as community tank fish, like some of the gourami species (snakeskin, three-spot, opaline), and fish like redtail sharks, angelfish and paradise fish. Some barbs can be chasers and do a little nipping, but much of that can be controlled by the aquarist. It should be noted that for whatever reason, any fish can assume the role of "tank boss." I have had this happen with male swordtails, pleco catfish and bala (tri-color) sharks, all of which I consider good community tank fish. The key is providing the right environment. A well planted tank with plenty of both swimming area and concealment space is the answer.


Barbs are carp, and there are many, many species of barbs. Some are very large and not suitable for most home aquariums, while others are small and adapt well to life in a glass home. Barbs can be excellent hobby fish for many reasons: an unusually large group offish to choose from; they are easy to maintain; they are reasonably priced; they are in good supply; they are a hardy group of fishes; and they come in a variety of pleasing colors. Barbs often have "barbels" or "whiskers" (hence the name barbs), though some species of the group do not and yet others have one or two pairs. These barbels are used to search out food and space, much like a cat's whiskers. Some of the larger barbs are suited only for the very large aquariums — like Barbus schwanefeldi (tinfoil barb) or Barbus filamentosus (black-spot barb). I have seen these two species reach almost eight inches in 100+ gallon aquariums. So for reasons of size alone, many barbs can be eliminated as a standard community tank fish. Here are a few sure bets for barbs that will do well in an average community tank set-up:

Barbus titteya - the Cherry Barb - one of the most peaceful of all the barbs, it has beautiful contrasting colors and only reaches a size of about 1 Vi to 2 inches. Barbus oligolepsis - the Checkerboard Barb - an active but peaceful barb with great color and interesting markings. They range from 2!/2 to 3 inches in size and can be spawned at home. Barbus conchonius - the Rosy Barb - is a very popular and hardy fish from Asia. They are easy to sex and breed in the proper setting. They are now available in a long-finned variety. They are colorful and active; a great fish. Barbus gelius - the Golden Dwarf Barb - a beautiful fish with brilliant color. It is more torpedo shaped, like the Cherry Barbs. It is small; about 11A to 2 inches. Barbus nigrofasciatus - the Black Ruby Barb - these are a very colorful and active fish, not as common as their cousin, the Rosy Barb, but just as desirable. They can be bred and will reach a size of about 2J/2 to 3 inches.

e Rest Of Ttie Stor-v=

aft we <$nne& JOSEPH FERDENZI hortly after I became President of the Greater City Aquarium Society, I received a set of stationery for my use. heading depicted an Angelfish (see



(grea ter ^J

publication of The Aquarium magazine until 1932, and the first edition of his all-time classic book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes, did not appear until 1935. He had, however, published a highly

~Sri'auanum QUEENS, N. Y.

Illustration 1 regarded book by 1924 which was called Illustration 1). The Angelfish logo hardly Goldfish Varieties and Tropical Aquarium Fishes surprised me; after all, it appeared on our enamel (first published in 1917 — it is a wonderful pins and all our trophy medallions. However, it book; I have the fourteenth edition from 1931 — was an unusually drawn Angelfish, and hardly more about it later). Well, as looked like the Angelfish that you might expect, the June was part of the "official" club 1924 issue of Nature Magazine logo designed in 1969 (see had an ad for that book (see Illustration 2). Illustration 3). Look at the Some time after that, I Angelfish drawing in the ad — came into possession of a metal it is exactly the same as the stamp that was obviously the one on our stationery! How source for the Angelfish drawcould this have happened? ing depicted on the stationery. Now, you must recall I assumed that the stamp had that Innes, by profession, was a been custom-made by the printprinter. Perhaps he made metal er who produced our stationery. stamps of this Angelfish and Unfortunately, 1 do not Illustration 2 sold them (?). Unfortunately, remember when or how I came our metal stamp bears no marks that would give to possess the stamp. I tucked it away, thinking we might put it to some use in the future. a clue to its origin. It is simply a metal stamp (the metal appears to me to be brass) mounted on The next part of the story brings me to a gift 1 received from Ben a small wooden block. The and Emma Haus (respectdimensions of the stamp and block are 1 1/8 inches wide, ively, our long-time A ALLIED V ice-President and TONH E AQUARIUM SUBJECTS 1 7/8 inches long and Treasurer). It was a set of it ** Goldfish Varieties & Tropical 13/16ths of an inch tall (the wooden block comprises magazines from the early Aquarium Pishes", byWm.T.Innes former President of the Aquarium 1920s entitled Nature Society oFPhiia.;250 pages, 195 5/8ths of an inch of that). illustrations. Tells all about the (Does this description mean Magazine. The June 1924 fancy varieties of the Goldfish, and issue contained an article on nearly SOOtropicais; how to breed anything to any of you them, etc.,etc. For the beginner aquarium fish by none other or the advanced expert. old-time printers out there?) A complete, practical, handsome than the legendary William Have we had this book, sent postpaid anywhere for T. Innes. Of course, Innes $4.00 Enlarged edition now ready. metal stamp since 1924? was not quite as legendary INNES &/SONS - 133 N. 12th St. - Phila in 1924. He did not begin Illustration 3




Young Mens Christian Association 570 Jamaica Avenue

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Illustration 4

An Angelfish is advertisement in the featured prominently January 1919 issue of on the cover of our Aquatic Life which 1933 Show Journal used this unique (see Illustration 4 on Angelfish stamp (see prior page), but it is Illustration 6) (an ad not the one on the which is of great historical significance metal stamp. Nor is in itself— Paullin was the metal stamp the the first breeder of source of the Angelfish in the U.S.; Angelfish on our 1933 the price being asked Judge's Medal (see for the fry was Illustration 5 for an astronomical for the artist's rendition of that times) On the page medal). So, if we opposite the one that possessed the metal contains the Paullin ad stamp prior to 1932, is an advertisement for we obviously didn't use it much. Illustrations Innes' book > Goldfish Varieties, that looks Personally, I doubt exactly like the ad in the 1924 Nature Magazine. we've had it since 1924. Remember, Greater Obviously, this Angelfish drawing was widely City Aquarium Society was founded in 1922. used. Note that Paullin was from Philadelphia, Therefore, although it is theoretically possible as was Innes. Perhaps, Paullin got his stamp we've had it since then, it is improbable. from Innes. I wonder whether Innes used the stamp on the spine of the 1917 (First Edition) of Goldfish Varieties? Young If we did obtain this metal stamp from Innes, directly or indirectly, it would be quite an PteroyHyllum Scalare heirloom. I wonder how many are still in existence. Does anybody out there have the answers?

Same Size as the Cut

$7.50 Each

Larger Size $12.50 Each

WILLIAM L. PAULLIN Illustration 6 Well, Innes apparently put it to more frequent use. For example, I also discovered that Innes had stamped it on the paper spine plate of the aforementioned Goldfish Varieties from 1931 that I own. (By contrast, the paper spine plate of his Exotic Aquarium Fishes features the frontal view of a Hatchetfish.) I subsequently found an

Exchange Issues and Exchange Issues should be mailed to: Alexander Priest 1558 McDonald St.; Bronx, NY 10461 Correspondence to Modern Aquarium should be mailed to: Warren Feuer 68-61 Yellowstone Blvd, apt. 406 Forest Hills, NY 11375


bottom dwelling fish (other plecos, cats, black ghosts, eels, etc.) if there is insufficient space, territory markings or hiding spaces, so be careful. Fish sold under the name "Butterfly Pekoltia" can be any one of the following: Lithoxus sp. "Butterfly" (L52) is imported from Columbia, Pekoltia pulcher (LI68) from Brazil or Pekoltia sp. aff. (LI70) from the Rio Urbaxi. This group of fish is quite handsome, remains small (probably 5 inches max.) and is reasonably priced. Furthermore, while these fish may be difficult to tell apart (unless you know where they were collected), they all have the same characteristics. Butterfly Pekoltias have sleek, flat bodies sporting a beautiful brown and white zebra striping pattern. Their fins are relatively large (hence the name Butterfly) and are also striped. Males of some of these species have impressive odontodes (i.e., spines) on the primary pectoral fin rays; I've seen some with spines as long as 1/4 inch. Butterfly Pekoltias are great algae eaters and driftwood grazers, but are plant friendly. Feeding should consist of fresh vegetable matter, sinking pellets and meaty frozen foods. Unfortunately, Butterfly Pekoltias tend not to be in the best of shape when initially imported, so be careful if you decide to purchase one (see "Zebras, Mangos and Gold Nuggets: Keeping Them Alive" in the February '96 Modern Aquarium). They are seasonably available in various sizes in the $15.00 range retail.

The next fish sold under the names "Butterfly Cat" or "Butterfly Hara Cat" is actually named Hara hara and belongs to the family Sisoridae, which is a group of catfish that is poorly represented in the hobby. In a nutshell, Sisorids are cool water Asian Hillstream Catfish and the Hara hara cat is probably the most common of this family in the hobby. It is found in most of Asia, and is a small (~3 inches), peaceful schooling fish—similar to Corydoras catfish. They have the coolest salt and pepper patterning either in shades of brown or grey, with great barbels and finnage. Like all Sisorids, highly oxygenated moving water is required, as well as a pH of 6-7.2, hardness to 20 dGH and temperatures of 54-82°F (depending on origin). Hara hara's are not picky eaters, provided it is small enough for their petite mouths. They are considered difficult to keep and are occasionally available in the $2.00-3.00 range. Its amazing how one adjective can be associated with three very different fish. Of course, there's more where these came from, and I will address them in future articles. Much Success!!! References Riehl, Dr. Rudiger and Baensch, Hans A./'Aquarium Atlas Volume I", Baensch Pub., 1982.

"An experiment gone AWRY, adding shark cartilage to goldfish food!"

WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist SUSAN PRIEST

he first thing I learned was not about this book, the author, or even the fishes, but about myself. I found out that 95 times out of 100, the first thing I turn to in an aquarium book is the index. What did I find when I opened this book to the traditional location for an index? A chapter entitled "Learning More About Cichlids," which I would describe as a pro-active bibliography. A little more on this later; the author compels me to begin at the beginning. In his introduction to the Second Edition, Dr. Loiselle gives his reasons for revising his earlier work. They include a d v a n c e s in the understanding of the biology and evolution of cichlids leading to the necessary changes in nomenclature, along with the expanded number of cichlid species available to aquarists. More urgently, he writes on page 6 of "the need to alert readers to the threats facing cichlids and indeed, all tropical freshwater fishes in nature" and that "the enthusiasm and expertise of amateur aquarists affords them an opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the conservation of threatened cichlids." Clearly, Dr. Loiselle's goal is to get us involved! Chapter 1 is entitled "What Is A Cichlid?" What might the reader expect; a few pages dedicated to taxonomy? This chapter has 52 pages. Some of the sub-headings include: an introduction to cichlid diversity, distribution and evolutionary history of cichlids, cichlid power out of place (by this the author means breeding populations established in areas outside their natural range), and cichlids in peril. This last topic was not covered in the first edition, as there was virtually no threat to the cichlid species at that time (a short 9 years earlier). "My object in this chapter has been to bring cichlid enthusiasts a fuller appreciation of the place their favorite aquarium fish occupy in the complex web of life." (p.59) Chapters 2-7 address the many aspects of the aquarium husbandry of cichlids. Chapter 7, "Breeding Cichlids Under Aquarium Conditions," will be of particular interest to the


conservation-mindedhobbyist. Dr. Loiselle starts out by making the distinction between monogamous and polygamous "mating systems" (in the frame of reference of a single breeding episode). Within these systems, the more familiar "behaviors" such as mouth brooding vs. egg laying, or parental vs. non-parental care, take on new meaning. Whether your cichlids are peaceful or pugnacious, this chapter is a guide to taking advantage of their temperament, in the context of breeding, thereby leading to a successful outcome. More than half of this book is devoted to the "Catalog Of Residents For The Cichlid Aquarium," (chapters 8-11). As a means of organizing this material, the author established "groups whose shared characteristics dictate similar approaches to their maintenance." (p. 187) As criteria for selecting the species to illustrate these groups, Dr. Loiselle used aquaristic desirability and commercial availability. (He confesses to including a few of his personal favorites.) Coincidentally (or not), these groups often hail from the same or neighboring geographical locations. This section does not read like an "atlas" or an "encyclopedia" of fishes. Rather, it is more like the script of a television nature program. This brings me back to the beginning, (or should I say the end). What do I mean by a pro-active bibliography? 1 mean that it leaves the reader with no excuses. Dr. Loiselle makes sure we know how to retrieve scientific literature from public libraries, how to keep up with ongoing research, and what steps we, as aquarists, can take to become part of conservation programs. There is also an "annotated" list of references. For example: the listing for African Cichlids Of Lakes Malawi And Tanganyika, by Axelrod and Burgess (TFH 1988), tells us that it "provides a useful checklist of Lake Malawi cichlids as well as color photographs of species not illustrated elsewhere" (p.440). I would never risk offending the author, but I'm sure he won't feel that I am belittling the value of his own work when I say that this collection of information and its sources is uniquely valuable. This book is lavishly illustrated with color photographs, however the photo credits are conspicuously absent. (Judging from the photo credits in the first edition, the vast majority of the photos were taken by Dr. Loiselle.) This is not a book for the casual reader, or the casual aquarist. It is, however, required reading for anyone who is interested in conserving the biological diversity of the planet Earth. L


Creature Cfjest This month, we are continuing the "Tetra" article which we began in our February issue. The second part was first printed in the November 1973 Modern Aquarium. In addition, and by the same author, we are including a small article from the May 1972 Modern Aquarium, on a totally different subject. We hope you enjoy . . .


Guenther Horstmann, GCAS Tetra Werke is more than just a fish food factory. Tetra Laboratories, a complex of modern, well equipped scientific laboratories staffed with trained researchers, is in constant search of new and better products, as well as improvements of old ones. More than 350 scientifically experimental aquaria are maintained


here, and exhaustive tests check the quality of every Tetra product. A unique gas test, for example, pinpoints any possible defects in packaging. Such defects might lead to spoilage, and Tetra is concerned that its products reach the hobbyist in the best possible condition. Knowledge about fish nutrition and aquarium care is constantly expanding at the laboratories. Over the past twenty years a great number of new Tetra products have made their appearance. There are now special Tetra foods for Goldfish, for marine fish, for baby fish — both egglayers and livebearers. TetraMin Flakes, TetraTube Food, Tablets, and TetraTips make it possible for the hobbyist to meet the precise feeding requirements of every fish, the surface feeders, middle feeders, and the scavengers alike. And a variety of nutritious freeze-dried foods is available in Tetra FD-Menu. But there is more to aquarium care than just feeding fish. The Tetra-Care line includes a full range of products to safeguard fish health and condition aquarium water for maximum growth of both fish and plants. With the new Tetra Test Kits, the hobbyist can measure and regulate the vital factors of pH, nitrite content, and water hardness in an aquarium. Although the care and breeding of tropical fish is one of the most popular hobbies in the world today, it is a sad fact that the average hobbyist gives up his aquarium after only about six months. There are plenty of reasons for this problem; as experienced hobbyists know, caring for an aquarium is not as easy as it might appear at first glance. Yet the dedicated aquarist who has learned how to keep fish properly considers the effort a rewarding and lasting pleasure. The aquarist of twenty years ago would certainly be surprised to see the state of the hobby today. Over the brief span of two decades, the care and breeding of tropical fish has grown from a demanding pastime practiced by a small group of enthusiasts to the second most popular hobby in the world. Miss Hoffmann explained that the staff of Tetra Werke is proud to play a role in this development and is grateful for the continued support of aquarists everywhere. With the combined efforts of hobbyists, scientists, and manufacturers, the next two decades promise still more growth in the ever expanding hobby. Not only does Tetra Werke provide us with the most essential tools for aquarium care, but there are numerous publications as well, containing articles on new and unusual fish, news on developments in aquarium science, many valuable practical tips, and a wealth of full-color pictures. The

Aquarium Digest International is also published in English and provides helpful advice for the aquarist. Tetra's Export Division is located about 15 miles away from the factory. Carton upon carton of all kinds of Tetra products are stacked in a warehouse with more than 30,000 square feet of space. The different languages and characters, such as Russian, Japanese or Arabic on the freight bills give this place an international touch. More than 20,000 pounds of TetraMin go to Brazil each year. Since the introduction of the flake food to newly caught tropical fish, the death rate of the fish has dropped to almost nothing. Not only have the fish discovered a taste for TetraMin, Miss Hoffmann explained, but also the native fishermen of tropical South America were found to use the flakes to make themselves a bowl of soup with hot water. No wonder that the supply of the flakes is kept

behind locked doors now, but on a strenuous expedition into the jungle, natives are often given a ration of TetraMin to keep them in the best of condition. Obviously the soup made from the flakes is as nutritious to man as it is to the fish. Through the window of the cafeteria I watched a truck being loaded to expedite "the food for the world of fishes" literally into every corner of the world. I would like to thank Tetra Werke for the opportunity to visit their facilities, and I would like to thank Miss Hoffmann in particular for providing me with written and photographic material to support this article. I sincerely hope you all have enjoyed reading about one of the greatest inventions in tropical fish keeping.

COCONUTS Guenther Horstmann, GCAS I would like to say a few words about aquarium decorations. In particular, I would like to draw attention to one outstanding item which is both decorative and practical for use in tanks. I am referring to the ordinary coconut, which can be used in aquariums without a great deal of preparation. As everyone knows, a coconut has three "eyes," of which one is soft and easily pierced to drain the fruit. The next step for preparation is to saw two caps off, one on each end. Then the pulp must be removed. It would be useable in the aquarium at this point, except my experience has shown that it is best to scrape off all the fibre from the husk so that no food or dirt particles will be caught in it. There is room left for imagination as to how and where the holes should be cut, and if a smooth cut should be broken up with a pair of pliers for a more natural look. I prefer uneven edges. One will be surprised how well a coconut blends in with almost every plant. Once it ages, it will in addition, be covered with a beautiful coat of algae. More than the decorative points, I would like to emphasize its practical advantages. 1.


As soon as a coconut is introduced into an aquarium, you will find that one of any "cave fish" will take it into possession and make it his territory. If

you are lucky, a pair of medium sized cichlids will select it for spawning. A pair of medium sized cichlids (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum), having a choice of caves, slate and rocks, selected the easily guarded coconut on each of four spawnings in one year. 2.

The coconuts can replace the often recommended flowerpot, which always reminds me of water pollution, in every respect.


The green lawn of algae on top of the coconut suggests a prefect pasture for any fry on their first days out.


The danger of collapsing stone caves, especially when digging fish are present, is eliminated since one exit is always open for escape should the coconut tilt.


The coconut is a welcome refuge for smaller fish, such as Corydoras, when they are tired of their fellow tenants. I have also seen a Knifefish using it as a hideout to catch a Goldfish.


I would like to add that I have read in a certain publication that a coconut tends to help soften water.

Henry Ford and My Fish Tanks A series by "The Undergravel Reporter"


| | i | | | | | | | | | i ^

enry Ford's greatest genius lay not in the Model T or Model A automobile. Rather, his genius lay in standardization and interchangeable parts. Standardization. I think of that every night when I turn the lights on or off for my fish tanks. I have tank hood lights whose on/off switch is in the center rear of the hood, slightly to the right of center on the rear, and on the right end. Some operate by a twist of the wrist, others by depressing a button. One of my tank hoods of European design even has a "rocker" type light switch on the left end. Since I won't admit that I sometimes forget which switch is where and whether I should push or twist it, I usually reach over behind the hood, starting at about the middle. Then, I move my fingers to the right until I feel a switch. First, I push. If nothing happens, I twist (fortunately, all my twist switches to date twist in the same direction). To the casual observer, it looks like I know what I'm doing. Sometimes, however, I've run my hand over the back of the hood and realize that this is one of the hoods with a switch at the right end (that is, my right as I face the tank). So I simply continue moving my hand, all the while appearing to be removing dust from the top of the hood, until I reach the right end. Then I push, or twist, the switch. This results in a room full of tanks with hoods "hand dusted" only on the right side. Since only one of my tanks, of unusual design, has its switch on the left, I never make a mistake with it, with the result that this tank hood never gets "hand dusted" at all. Then, there are the test kits. You'd think that a manufacturer could calibrate its kits so that all test kits from that one company would require the same number of drops of tank water, in the same type and size container, with the



same number of drops of test solution to be added, and with approximately the same number of minutes waiting time required for the result. But, no, testing for hardness, pH, ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, copper, etc., using the corresponding test kits all from the same manufacturer still forces you to check the instructions each time, so you'll know exactly how many drops of what to use and how long to wait. Needless to say, the directions for these kits always seem to be printed in 6 point type (very tiny) on glossy colored paper. Sometimes I wonder if these water test kits are really intended to be eye tests for the aquarist. This confusing hodge-podge of switches and differences among water quality tests is nothing when compared to the lack of standardization of filters. You would think that at least one filter manufacturer would come up with line of filters such that their 40 gallon capacity filter uses the same filter sponges, bags, tubes, etc., as their 20 gallon filter — the only difference being that the larger filter uses twice as many of the same filter media. But, no — I have cabinets and boxes full of filter bags, cartridges, sponges, jars of different types of charcoal and bags of filter floss. I have enough collective filtering media to purify the water supply of a small mid-western town. Yet, I still have to check whether I have the items used by any given filter before I take that filter down for cleaning and media replacement. I've tried to stockpile supplies for certain filters, only to find that when that filter breaks, it is no longer being made and its "replacement" in the manufacturer's line takes, you guessed it, totally different filter media. This leaves me with "orphan sponges" and filter bags. Because I paid good money for them, I don't want to throw them out. On the other hand, they won't fit any filter I own or that is currently on the market. I have discovered that a sponge is a sponge is a sponge. Nearly any sponge suitable for aquarium use can be cut to fit the space reserved for any other sponge. You can cut a sponge into a semblance of a rectangle, cut or punch a hole half way through it from one end, and use it as a replacement for a sponge on virtually any sponge filter or as a prefilter/fry-catcher on the intake tube of a canister filter. Now if I could only figure out what to do with all those odd-size filter bags!


Society Queens - New York City, NY

Presents its 75th Anniversary DIAMOND JUBILEE

Giant Fish Show Saturday May 17 and Sunday May 18, 1997 La Guardia Marriott (102-05 Ditmars Blvd, East Elmhurst, NY) Competition/awards in 14 categories! 4 Raffle for a 30 gallon custom tank and cabinet! (Free raffle ticket for every three entries in the show) 4 Dry Goods Auction (Saturday)! 4 Fish and Plant Auction (Sunday)! 4 Noted speakers! Saturday

9:00 AM - Fish Room and Manufacturer's Displays Open 10:00 AM • Speaker: Dr. Paul Loiselle • World Renowned Cichlid Expert 11:30 AM • Speaker: Rosario LaCorte - America's foremost Breeder 1:00 PM • Lunch Break 2:00 PM • Speaker: Ray Lucas • One of the Country's Best Known Hobbyists on "Getting to know a hobbyist and what the hobby is all about." 6:00 PM - Fish Room and Manufacturer's Displays Close 7:00 PM • Giant Dry Goods Auction


9:00 AM - Fish Room and Manufacturer's Displays Open 12:30 PM - Fish Room and Manufacturer's Displays Close 1:00 PM - Awards Ceremony & Giant Livestock Auction 3:00 PM - Raffle Drawing

For information or entry forms, contact: Vincent Sileo (718)846-6984 or the Greater City website Registration for show competition after May 9 subject to a Late Fee. No registrations accepted after May 14. 18

Fin Fun A Jumble Of This puzzle is a close cousin of "that scrambled word game" from a daily New York newspaper. In this version, you must unscramble each word to find the common name of a species of Barb. (HINT: none of these names were used by Chuck Davis in his article "Barbs and The Community Tank"). Reference: The Concise Encyclopedia of Tropical Aquarium Fishes Dick Mills, Crescent Books 1988. 1) SLAUURI



S _


















9) What is the name of the family of fishes that Barbs belong to? DINERAYPIC Y N

Answers to last month's puzzle, OiOOlUPHY



1) Which of the following lakes are "Rift Lakes?" (please underline): Tanganyika Albert Kivu Victoria Malawi Edward


2) The African rift lakes are found in the following part of Africa (please underline): a) North b) South c) East d) West 3) Which lake is the largest lake in the world (please underline): a) Tanganyika b) Malawi c) Victoria d)None of these (the largest lake in the world is L. Baikal in Russia) 4) Match these lakes with their ages: Lake Victoria^^^^

^2 million years

Lake Tanganyika^x^*^^- 1 million years Lake Malawi

^"^ 10-15 million years

5) Which rift lake is bordered by: Tanzania, Mozambique, and the Republic of Malawi? Answer:


6) Which rift lake was formerly known as Lake Nyasa? Answer:


7) The surface of this lake reaches 773 meters above sea level, but, at a depth of 1,423 meters, it also marks the lowest point on the African continent. What lake is this? Answer:


8) Name the African lake that has been "polluted" by the Nile Perch? (Hint - it is not a RIFT lake) Answer:



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