Modern Aquarium

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AQUARIUM ON THE COVER feature articfe in this month's ft/1 6 dern : Aou air u m ?*s all aboyt ;£6mrnurHty aquariums '. The Swordtail {Xiphtiphorus momezumae} on our cover is an example of: a suited ;to a community j :; Phot<i:by Jpe:Lo2itO ;v: i


Vol. IV, No. 6

June, 1997

FEATURES Editor's Desk


President's Message


Board MerWbers ;:; ; • : • President C ; ; . . . , . .,,; Joseph Ferdenzi

Our Community - Part II



Addendum To:


. - . ..''•.: '. . ,T: JBen Hays;

Treasurer . . . . , . . , , . . >i£mma;HaU§;

The Neon Tetra in New York .


Corres.: Secretary

1997 Show Winners . Recording ^Secretary;;

. . . . . 10

spat Ptccione

Members At Large f:,.:. 5 P" Mary Ann;Bugejgi;!::::: V:l:il:?!: Joe:Bugeta Tom Bohme | 1 Rose Sileo Vincent Siieo ': ihf; Mark; Saberrnan ::-:-ij*,:;-'x : ' •• • Warren •' g Committee Chai rs . Award . . . . . •. Ffank Treuman;; MemiJershtp > ,;. . * - :i. i i? -Susan • Priest

The Amusing Aquarium


'Treasure Chest" Hobby Builder: Gian Padovani


Surfing The Pubs (Exchange Column)


Filter Magic


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


MODERN AQU ARIUM Editor- . . . .".;•; . . ^ ;.S:^Warren;Fetier g Editor , , :,<::::Aje^3nd;er*;PnSstj; Photo/Layout Editor • . . . Jason Kerrier;; yBefnard Harrigan production jOirector Advertising Mgr. , . , : Mark; Sotierman ; :::i^it6rial Assistant . .'.\j Pat iftcciane ; :Ekecut(ve Editor .:. . Jo^ph Ferde|i2;j; Printing By Postal Press

Series III 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:

From the Editor's Desk

o everything there is a season. Recognize the phrase? It comes from the Book of Ecclesiastes (thanks, Al) and, to me, it is a pop icon of the 60's. It was reported to be President John F. Kennedy's favorite Bible passage; and the Byrds, a folk rock group, turned it into a popular song. And, it best describes what is happening in Greater City now. This is a time for change. Where it once was a time to join, it is now a time to leave. Several people are leaving the Board of Governors. Several months ago, Doug and Don Curtin announced that they could no longer serve on the Board. For one thing, their mother now requires constant attendance. On top of that, Doug and Don, both retired, simply want to enjoy life without any responsibilities or commitments to be anywhere or do anything at any given time. It's kind of called taking time out to smell the roses. Both brothers have been constant contributors to the club, often bringing vast amounts of their exquisite plants to shows and auctions. Never once did a Curtin brother ask for anything for his plants, donating all sales proceeds to the club. Aquarists and club members like them do not grow on trees. Mark Soberman will no longer be the Program Director. After serving in this capacity for almost 10 years, Mark felt it was time for another to function in this role. As Program Director, Mark combined his endless list of contacts in the hobby with his salesmanship skills to bring us top grade speakers year in and year out. Because we meet on Wednesday nights, it is often difficult to have speakers come to our meetings. Many of them have outside jobs and speak more as a hobby than vocation. Mark occasionally needed all his skills as a salesman to get a speaker to come to the club. His role in the club is usually overlooked, even taken for granted. From now on, it will be someone else's responsibility, and we'll see how they do. In addition to the above, I am also leaving the Board. I just don't have the time to


serve Greater City as a Board member. Two children, a demanding job, and a wife in graduate school, is a time-demanding combination. In addition to the time spent as a Board member, my responsibilities as Editor of Modern Aquarium eat into the time I have. It is simply a matter of my personal life having to take priority. I'm hoping that by leaving the Board, I will now have enough time to continue on as Editor. Time will tell. Perhaps most significantly, Joe Ferdenzi has decided not to run for President for the 1997-1998 season. Joe has been President of Greater City since 1986 and has succeeded in making Greater City one of the major clubs in the hobby. Through Joe's incredible combination of knowledge, patience, tact, organizational skills and management, Greater City has blossomed under his stewardship. I consider myself privileged to have worked very closely with Joe for several years, and I've learned a tremendous deal from him. Not just about fish, but more importantly, about life. I consider myself fortunate to be able to say that I am friends with Joe. Needless to say, this presents an opportunity for others to help. GCAS works because of the selfless efforts of many who care and contribute their time and abilities to help. Many times in the past I've written about the need for your help, and the response has, quite frankly, been so-so. True, some have stepped forward and helped, and their assistance has been great. As for the rest, I guess you must think that the club runs itself. It does not. Everyone's help is needed and appreciated. So what's your excuse? As I write this, our 75th Anniversary Tropical Fish Show has just ended. Here is a clear example of what I am talking about. Although Joe asked each member to participate in the show by entering fish, only about a third of the members of Greater City entered fish. And it's the same people who enter fish every show. I refuse to believe that the rest of you don't have one or two fish worth entering. It is just not possible. As we break for the Summer, take some time to think about how you might be able to help out at Greater City next year. Yes, it is only a hobby, and each of us have lives to lead; but, if you enjoy coming to meetings at Greater City and want the club to continue doing as well as it is, your help, and every member's help, is a must. Have a great Summer. Warren Feuer

President's Message JOSEPH FERDENZI his will be my final President's message. I write it primarily to let you know what an honor it has been to serve as President of this Society for the past eleven years. When I was first elected, back in 1986, I was determined to reward the trust the club had placed in me. The Society had been around since 1922; it would not falter under my leadership, or so I vowed to myself. Fortunately, I had a great deal of help. • Ben Haus was already the Vice-President. Ben had many responsibilities at the time — FAAS liaison, Queens Botanical Garden coordinator, Bowl Show Chairman, and who remembers what else. Ben always approached his tasks with affability and calmness. Nothing ruffles Ben. He is exceedingly intelligent, and knows what is important and what is not. He works hard for the club, and never seeks any glory. He is and will continue to be the perfect Vice-President. I am very fond of him as well. Emma Haus was Emma Jordan when I joined the club in 1984. Even then, Emma was the Treasurer. That job is one of the most important, yet least glamorous positions anyone can have in any organization. By the time Emma retires from that office, she will have smashed any previous record for length of tenure. You could not find a more decent and honest person on the face of the earth. She has been the voice of fiscal conservatism on the Board, and we are all grateful to her — 1 especially. Pat Piccione has been our Recording Secretary for the vast majority of the years that I have served as President. This is another job high on labor and low on glory. Pat does it beautifully. Plus — and this is a big plus — she has an unrivaled sense of humor. More than once, she has kept us from becoming too serious about ourselves with one of her patented quick quip deflators. No club would be complete without a hospitality chairperson. Fortunately for me, one person has been there for the Society for all the years I have been President. That person is Mary Ann Bugeia, who has been, at all times,


indispensably assisted by her husband, Joe. Indeed, the two are inseparable in my mind. Month in and month out for over a decade, the Bugeias have been lugging coffee and cake to the meetings. Who of us can say we would have been as consistent? Plus, no one is chippier than Mary Ann — she is the one we go to whenever we plan a party. If that weren't enough, Mary Ann and Joe give unselfishly of their time. There has never been a major event at which the Bugeias have not been present and working. They are the salt of the earth. My predecessor in office is a wonderful gentleman by the name of Jack Oliva. Jack had served on the Board many years before I joined, yet, at my request for his help and guidance, he continued to serve for many years thereafter, retiring only last year. Jack has been a member since the 1960s and has always done his best for our club. Jack, and his lovely wife Kathy, are among the finest people I have ever met. Early in my tenure, I recruited a new member to the Board of Directors. His name was Mark Soberman. Somehow, I talked Mark into becoming the Program Chairman. This is a very time consuming, and, needless to say, important job. Mark has done it nine years running. Over that time, Mark and I have enjoyed a wonderful friendship. He and I both appreciate the entire spectrum of the hobby — breeding fish, collecting literature, learning its history, attending shows, etc. Over the years, Mark has brought some wonderful speakers to our meetings, and he has always been a gracious and respected ambassador for our Society. Don Curtin, and his brother Doug, have also served on the Board for many years, until their retirement earlier this year. Both brothers are accomplished aquarists, and they gave unselfishly of the fruits of their labor. Our monthly auctions were always the finest due, in large measure, to their donations of aquatic plants (the best in quality and variety) and fish. Of course, they, like other Board members, were always to be seen giving of their time at club functions. I am grateful to both of them. The above mentioned individuals served with me the longest, and deserve my special thanks. In more recent years, another group of people have also stepped forward to make the Society the envy of the hobby. I am referring to people who have, in addition to all their other efforts on behalf of the club, worked to reestablish the Society's magazine, Modern Aquarium, as the best club publication in the U.S.A. (so voted twice in a row in the most recent judging by both the Federation of

American Aquarium Societies and the North East York). Back on the local scene, I have been the Council of Aquarium Societies). These people recipient of the kindnesses of many distinguished include our distinguished Editor (and prolific hobbyists — too many, fortunately for me, to author), Warren Feuer; our exceedingly hardmention individually. However, there are three working Managing Editor, Al Priest (if you saw such hobbyists who enjoy such an extraordinary what goes on behind the scenes, you would know reputation in the aquarium world that they hardly that "exceedingly hard-working" is an needed to help me to augment their fame, but understatement), assisted by his talented wife, helped me nevertheless: Bill Jacobs, Rosario Sue; our resourceful Art Director, Jason Kerner; Lacorte, and Paul Loiselle. Each is a gentleman and our indefatigable publisher, Bernie Harrigan. and a friend. I not only admire each and every one of them, I Of course, friendship has been the main am in awe of all the fine work they perform each benefit I have derived from my involvement in and every month. I do myself honor to consider the aquarium hobby. I have met so many them my friends as well. wonderful people at all levels of the hobby that In addition, I wish to mention the naming all of them, with accompanying fond following people who have either served or are memories, would take a book (maybe someday serving on the Board of Directors and are also — hey, Ross Socolof wrote such a book). I am active members of the Society, to whom I am so proud and grateful to have encountered each grateful for their dedication to the club: Frank one. Some of these relationships go beyond the Treuman, Greg Wuest, Diane and Harold aquarium world. In addition to some of the Gottlieb, Steve Sagona, Vince and Rose Sileo, people already mentioned, Greater City members and Tom Bohme. Of course, both I and the such as Horst Gerber and Francis Lee have Society were aided in our work by numerous become close personal friends to me and my members who gave of their time and effort. family. Perhaps none of these wonderful things Indeed, I fear their names are too numerous to would have happened had I not accepted the recite without risk of leaving out a deserving office of President. And, certainly, that mention. Rest assured that I know who each of acceptance would not have been possible for all them is. However, I would be remiss if I did not these years had I not had the support of my single out two long time members, Marcia beautiful and loving wife, Anita, and my three Repanes and Gene Baiocco, for special mention precious children, Francesca, Marisa, and Dean and special thanks. Angelo. Being President has also exposed me to I know that under my successor in the many current Presidents and past officers from office of President, and with the help of all its other local societies. Included in this galaxy of valued members, Greater City will continue to be stars are hobbyists such as Seth Kolker one of the outstanding clubs on the North (President) and John Todaro of the Brooklyn American continent. I will continue to bask in Aquarium Society; Ken Smith (President) and Pat the glory of being one of its grateful members. Smith of the Nassau Aquarium Society; Vinny Kreyling (President) of the Long Island Aquarium £ | £ H L I D S G<k Society; Chuck Davis, ,**** Kevin Carr (President), and C"**S Dore Carlo of the North Jersey Aquarium Society; 350 Fish Mark and Anne Broadmyer, Amnicon CteftSd Association 1W Convention All Cichlid Show and Sal Silvestri of the Norwalk Aquarium Society. From beyond our tri-state area, I have been fortunate '"^SOfe to form friendships with such d i s t i n g u i s h e d C\c^dS hobbyists as Dorothy For Hotel Reservations Call Reimer (of London, Wyndham - Northwest Canada), Craig Morfitt (of (530) 773-4000 For Registration Information Call. Bermuda), Lee Finley (of Jan & Don Cave July 10-13,1997 Rhode Island), and Ray (530) 980-5933 Wyndham Northwest Lucas (of Boston, New


to our Community SUSAN PRIEST hen you're a beginner, it's easy to buy fish. "I'll take one of those, two of those, and three of those." Before too long, reality comes splashing into your life. The first fish gets eaten, one of the pair has carved their initials in the dorsal fin of other, and the trio have outgrown their tank by the next full moon. You later leam that the first fish is a shoaling or schooling fish, and you should have bought at least eight of them, that either one of the pair will get along with every other fish on the planet except another of its own kind, and that each of the trio will grow to be 18" long. Well, the first fish has become fertilizer, the pair can be donated to a G.C.A.S auction (in separate bags), and the trio can be contributed to the Charlie Sabatino Rehabilitation Center for Catfishes with Curvature of the Spine. It's time to get down to business.


PART II: THE INHABITANTS OF OUR COMMUNITY Disclaimer When an article includes a disclaimer, it usually appears at the end. Not this time! I want to make it clear up front that this article represents the experiences of an amateur. In no way do I attempt to represent myself as having any expertise in the area of building a community of tropical fishes. I am merely describing what worked and what didn't, for reasons that can only be guessed (at least by me). I would also like to say that I will be using the common names of fish throughout the text. I will include Latin names on the accompanying chart. Something for everyone We were pretty sure of ourselves. We thought that we had provided enough hiding places, plant cover, light and dark areas, and open swimming space, to accommodate the needs and preferences of any fish we might put into this aquarium. Well, our very first Communicant taught us a quick lesson in humility. The first visitor to this aquarium was a beautiful turquoise male Siamese Fighting Fish. I can still picture in my mind how graceful he looked as he swam back and forth from one side of the tank to the other. "He must feel like he is in Heaven," I thought to myself, "after having been confined to a quart of water." After several "laps," he huddled himself into a corner near the surface and pretty much stayed there. You may

have noticed that I referred to him as a "visitor." We returned him to his bowl after a couple of days, when we realized he was not eating and was clearly uncomfortable. Next, we transferred a few fish from our starter tank. These were Swordtails and Cherry Barbs. They settled in and did well for a long time. At this point my memory blurs as to the sequence of additions, so I am going to refer you to the chart on the next page. I have arranged it alphabetically, since I can't reliably recall the chronology. If you are asking yourself whether this is a complete list, the answer is maybe. It is more complete than my unaided memory could have provided, since for the better part of the first year, I kept a log book; a diary of sorts, which included a running census. Water, water, everywhere The best advice I can offer (and I am not taking credit for it; I have read it in many an article written by those with much more experience than I), is to let your water determine which fishes you will keep. In other words, if you have soft, neutral water, then plan on keeping fishes which thrive in the same. HOWEVER, which fishes will do well in your water is something you can't learn from books; it is a trial and error process. Just because a certain fish should do well in your water doesn't mean that it will. There will be a few casualties

at first. Eventually you will be able to blend your personal preferences with those fishes which will thrive in your water. Once this balance has been established, your community should be trouble free. Make room on your shelf Just because you can't learn this from books, doesn't mean you don't need to read them anyway. At this point I would like to recommend two books; the first is uniquely useful, and the second is downright indispensable. The subtitle on the cover of School of Fish.' by Sarah Fell Kepler (Pets Pub Press, 1990) describes it as "a comprehensive guide to keeping freshwater tropical fish." This is an accurate description, but that hardly qualifies it as unique. What this book does which I have never seen anywhere else is provide specific information on compatibility of 100 fishes, as well as "suggested groupings." My second recommendation is actually a set of three (and soon-to-be four) volumes. I am referring to the Aquarium Atlas by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rildiger Riehl (Terra Press, 1991, 1993, 1995). These books are expensive, but every aquarist owes it to themselves and their charges to skip coffee breaks, buy a lower octane of gasoline, or even hold a yard sale, if that's what it takes to add these books to their library. Comments and observations Here are a few comments and observations on some of the Communicants, in no particular order. o Cherry Barbs are very fast swimmers. They occupy the middle and upper levels of the tank. When the male is pursuing the female, he takes on the color of a red Tootsie Pop. o Clown Loaches get along with everyone, and are active at all hours of the day and night. These fish are usually wild-caught, and have a reputation for being difficult to acclimate to an aquarium, but we have not had that problem. The literature says that they are prone to Ick, and we have lost a couple to this parasitic disease, with the rest of the tank inhabitants being unaffected. It is fun to watch them dig holes by picking up individual pieces of gravel and tossing them aside. The one we have right now has made him (or it) self "King of the Castle." 1 This book was reviewed by Al Priest for the "Wet Leaves" column of Modern Aquarium in January, 1995

o Bristlenose Pieces sport a distinctive bushy projection from their snouts. Ours scurries like a mouse on the bottom of the aquarium; and is an excellent algae eater. Its body is "armored" against "fin nippers" and it appears to be totally non-aggressive towards its tankmates. o Mollies are among my favorite fishes, but they haven't done well in our community, and we finally stopped trying to include them. They like a higher salinity than most of the communicants. o Angelfish (wait a minute; that fish is not on the chart!) I have always wanted to try including an Angelfish in this aquarium. I have been afraid they would either become an aggressor or an aggressee. One of these days I will give it a try. o Tiger Barbs. Early on, we purchased a school of eight Tiger Barb fry. They were so cute when they were tiny, but as they grew (at different rates) the larger members became troublesome. A couple of them were nipping at the fins of the Cory Catfishes, and had to be removed. There is one of these fish remaining. It is over five years old now, and behaves quite peaceably in spite of its solitary status. o Otocinclus are small sucker-mouth Catfishes. These are wonderful fish for a community tank; just not ours! For reasons which we have not been able to deduce, these fish have not done well in this aquarium. o Sunset Gouranti: the Baensch Atlas says that in a large community these animals wane or live retired in a plant thicket. Like I said, these books are indespensible; just be sure to consult them before you purchase a fish. Beware the misnomer Don't be taken in by an unfamilar name, even if you think you have enough familiarity with the species to "take a chance." One example I remember was the Strawberry Tetra. Common names are of no use unless they are just that; in common use. Someone tagged these fish "strawberry" for their own reasons. We thought that sounded "interesting," and we had kept Tetras before, so we bought them. It was virtually impossible to find any information about these fish. They didn't live long. Could we have done better by them if we had had access to some facts? Maybe they were sick and nothing we could have learned would have helped them. We'll never know.

The inevitable odd balls The term "odd ball" seems like a rather uncharitable way to describe any of God's creatures, but it has become accepted among people in the aquarium hobby when referring to the "fringe" element of unusual species. Our community has had its fair share of odd ball inhabitants. Two in particular stand out in my memory. First was the Puffer fish. This fish lasted about three days in our community. If someone had said the words "brackish water" to me at that time, I would have thought it was something to do with the bottom half of a dishpan. These fish are aggressive, only eat live foods, grow to 6" in length and need water with a heavy concentration of salt. Keeping this fish calls for a single occupancy species tank. That Puffer fish couldn't have been more out of place if it had been on Mars. The second odd ball communicant was the Peter's Elephantnose. One of the few things we knew when we got it was that it should only be introduced to a "mature" tank. With two months under our belts, we thought we qualified. We later learned that this nocturnal fish liked to use its "trunk" to search for live foods in a soft, sandy substrate, neither of which we had provided. At four inches, there may not have been a large enough cave to comfortably accommodate it. The fact that it lasted a couple of months gives new meaning to the word "hardy." The favorites emerge The frenetic energy of the Danios holds strong appeal for me. Right now there are three different varieties in our community. Each has a distinctive appearance that I find attractive, but their most appealing feature, at least for me, is their ceaseless motion. It has been said that opposites attract. My two Golden Apple snails are equally as adept at catching and holding my attention as the Danios are. I never tire of watching their lava-like shape shifting. They are always different and always the same. Another member of our community which has become an enduring favorite is the Khuli Loach. The appeal of a nocturnal, bottom dwelling, worm like creature is hard to account for, but there is, as they say, no accounting for taste. We usually have half a dozen at any given time. Sometimes, we will go for weeks without seeing any, and some weeks we will see them

every day. Sometimes when the barometer goes down, the Khulis go up. I would have to say that my all-time favorite communicants have been two drab, innocuous little fish. Never were two fish more "at home." They made every inch of water their own. The thing I liked best about them was their lack of inhibition; they stuck their noses in everyone else's business. The careful reader will have noticed that I did not call these fish a "pair." They were two female Paradise fish. They thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. Every fish that approaches the glass whenever a Homo sapiens comes near is automatically assumed to be begging. I'm convinced that these fish were just being sociable. I would say that they were in this aquarium for about a year, at which point they both showed signs of having been nipped at. I wondered if they had started to nip each other, which seemed unlikely to me. I couldn't catch the culprit in the act. I thought it was in both of their best interests to remove them to separate containers. They have since regained their vitality. As I couldn't determine the cause of the problem, it seems best to leave them as they are. On the fourth day The waters of the Earth are abundant with countless varieties of fishes. What attracts us to one over another? Each of us will progress from the haphazard approach described in the opening paragraph to a more balanced process, which includes taking into consideration the specific needs of each fish, and how well we are able to meet them. The wild card element running through all of this is that we are irresistibly drawn to "the one with the racing stripes," "the one with the twinkle in its eye," or "the one that is our favorite color." Maintaining a community of fishes is a responsibility, a learning experience, and a lifelong source of enjoyment. References: Aquarium Atlas. Vol. I, II, and III, by Hans A. Baensch and Dr. Rudiger Riehl, Tetra Press, 1991, 1993, and 1995. Apple Snails in the Aquarium, by Dr. Gloria Perera and Jerry G. Walls, TFH, 1996. "Fresh and Brackish Water Puffers Aren't For Everyone" by Paul Schuman, I'A O Hawai'i. May 1997 (newsletter of the Honolulu Aquarium Society).

In Part III, I will discuss the imperative and the improbable (feeding and breeding).

nriie Rest Of The Stor-v=

Addendum to: The NEON TETRA in New York JOSEPH FERDENZI n interesting article on one of the first importations of the Neon Tetra that appeared in the August 1936 issue of The Aquarium magazine. This importation, on the ill-fated Hindenburg, was preceded by the "Lonely Lindy" arrival on her sister airship, the Grafspey, and "the few sample specimens which previously arrived here on the He de France" (as the article notes). The photo of the Hindenburg also probably represents the first, and thankfully last, time that the Nazi swastika made its appearance in an American aquarium magazine.


Aquarium Fishes Take to the Air EEPING abreast of the most modern developments in transportation, aquarium fishes are moved about the world in amazingly short time. Perhaps the most striking instance is the recent feat of bringing some wonderful new Characins, Neon Tetras (Hyphessobrycon innesi Myers), from Germany to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, a distance of 6,000 actual miles, in less than 60 hours. They crossed the Atlantic in the Hindenburg, were rushed to the Newark Airport, placed on a plane of the United Air Lines and jumped to Chicago. The upper illustration shows the Hindenburg being landed by the ground crew on this trip, while the lower picture presents ye editor, olde Dr. Innes, posing as Dr. Benjamin Franklin, celebrating the 100,000,000th mile traveled by the United Air Lines. All this fuss over a new species of fish about the size of a full-grown male Guppy may seen strange to some, but not to any who have seen the few sample specimens which previously arrived here on the He de France. As they originally were collected in the upper Amazon and shipped to France, they are much-traveled fishes. A color plate of this strikingly beautiful species will probably appear on our cover within the next few issues.


Upper: Transatlantic Air Liner Hindenburg landing at Lakehurst. Lower: Airship Hostess and re-incarnation of Benjamin Franklin celebrating the 100,000,000 mile of the United Air Lines and the shipment of Hyphessobrycon innesi (named for the Franklin impersonator) to Chicago.

Note: This article is a follow-up to the "Neon Tetra in New York" article appearing in the January 1997 issue of Modern Aquarium.

Class H - GOLDFISH 1st: Ray Albanese (NCAS) 2nd: Ray Albanese (NCAS) 3rd: Kristen Albanese (NCAS) HM: Pete D'Orio (GCAS)

Goldfish Goldfish Goldfish Calico Oranda

Class I - FANCY BETTAS 1st: Francis Lee (GCAS) 2nd: Francis Lee (GCAS) 3rd: Al & Sue Priest (GCAS) HM: Al & Sue Priest (GCAS)

Bella Bella Bella Bella

splendens splendens splendens splendens

Class J - FANCY GUPPIES 1st: Robert Carpentieri (GCAS) 2nd: Robert Carpentieri (GCAS) 3rd: Robert Carpentieri (GCAS) HM: Tom Bohme (GCAS)

Guppy Guppy Guppy Guppy

Class K - OPEN CLASS 1st: Mark Soberman (GCAS) 2nd: Warren Feuer (GCAS) 3rd: Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) HM: Maryeve Brill (LIAS, GCAS)

Iriatherina werneri Madagascar Rainbow Rasbora heteromorpha Monodaclylus argenleus

Class L - NEW WORLD CATFISH 1st: Mark Soberman (GCAS) 2nd: Carlotti DeJager (GCAS) 3rd: Joe Ferdenzi (GCAS) HM: Maryeve Brill (LIAS, GCAS)

Corydoras seussi Fire Pleco (L-204) Corydoras schwartzi Leporacanthicus galaxius

Class M - OLD WORLD CATFISH 1st: John Moran (GCAS) 2nd: Michelle Romeo (LIAS, GCAS) 3rd: Mark Soberman (GCAS) HM: Warren Feuer (GCAS)

Hemisynodontis membranaceus Synodontis caudalis Synodontis schoutedeni Synodontis angelicas

Class N - ART 1st: Juan Sanz 2nd: Chuck Davis (NJAS) 3rd: Sal Silvestri (NAS) HM: Maryeve Brill (LIAS, GCAS) GCAS

Carving - Redtail Black Shark Painting - Allolamprologus calvus Lamprologus sexfasciatus Fish Photo Greater City Aquarium Society

EFSOH Exotic Fish Society of Hartford




Long Island Aquarium Society


Long Island Killifish Association


Norwalk Aquarium Society


Nassau County Aquarium Society


North Jersey Aquarium Society

be tnore D i a m ond An n Ive rsary Sho^ articles {and; >ve hope, pictures) in Issue! ",:.•.„,.........•.y;i;..,K,:,,:.K.:^.m. . . .\m^h :/••/• <^---K *.*? •^••^•v-y^-!^--^^^^'^^. . . ' ' • -.A


Creasute Cfjest Something that Modern Aquarium Series II did often and well was an irregularly appearing column called "Hobby Builder." You were briefly introduced to THIS hobby builder in the May 1997 "Treasure Chest" column. The article below appeared in December 1973. We hope you enjoy . . .

Modern Aquarium Salutes A HOBBY BUILDER By Herb Fogal, GCAS Jay Fryhover, GCAS

Good wines develop more luster with age. That's the way MODERN AQUARIUM feels about our choice for HOBBY BUILDER, Gian Padovani. There is no one to whom a magazine is more indebted than we are to our contributing artist, photographer and correspondent. Gian was born in Ancona, Italy, a city of 100,000 population located in Northeast Italy, facing the Adriatic Sea. The name Ancona, which comes from the Greek word Ancon is appropriate. Ancon means elbow, and Ancona is on a peninsula jutting into the sea. Gian's interest in water and fish is natural, continuing from childhood. Our Hobby Builder has traveled a long interesting journey to the present. Coming to the U.S.A. in 1948, he had barriers to hurdle to reach his present position of Art Director for Hills Supermarkets. Even before these barriers were eliminated, an interest in fish, art, and


photography were developing. Gian was placed in Junior High School because of his inability to speak English. A friendship there, and an explanation of commercial art by his father, set in motion elements that resulted in some of MODERN AQUARIUM'S handsome covers and Gian's great knowledge of fish. While riding a subway, Gian's father explained, in answer to a question about the advertising posters, commercial art. Young Gian, who had been studying to become an Engineer before leaving Italy, was destined to become a Commercial Artist by profession. Through Dom DeLuise, a .classmate, Gian was invited to another classmate's home, and there he saw his first aquarium. The next step was to a pet store on Nassau Street in Manhattan, which Gian says resulted in just about every mistake one could make. He bought a small tank and about 50 fish. Throughout his career as an aquarist, Gian says he has learned a great deal through trial and error. After being graduated from art school where his fine portfolio won him several awards, Gian settled into a position and married a former art school student. Shortly after moving to Queens in 1955, he had already set up a couple of tanks and while visiting with a pet store owner, he learned of G.C.A.S. Mrs. Margie Wilkens, co-owner of the pet store, who with her husband had won a number of trophies with their Bettas and other fish, was instrumental in Gian's joining G.C.A.S. At an Executive Board meeting a short time later, the possibility of a magazine to replace the newsletter was discussed. From this came MODERN AQUARIUM with Mr. Peter Nicholas as Editor and Gian Padovani as Art Editor. A short time later Gian became Editor and made changes that basically have remained to the present, that is a contemporary, or Modem, appearance, as well as philosophy. In this early period Gian was presented with a problem not unlike the present Editor. He had difficulty in getting original articles other than those he wrote himself. About three years after becoming Editor of MODERN AQUARIUM, Gian moved to Brooklyn and because of the time involved in traveling, he gave up the Editorship of MODERN AQUARIUM. He related to us an interesting and unusual research project involving fish. Dr. Gordon of the Museum of Natural History used the top floor of one of the buildings to set up some 250 tanks to do cancer research. Gian said that in one tank was one of the most beautiful Mollies he had ever seen. When he commented

Photography on the beauty of the actually started as an fish, Dr. Gordon told off-shoot of his own him that unfortunately work. He loves the fish was dying of cameras, and as a hobby cancer. he does more work in Gian has some this medium than in art. definite feelings about He feels, however, that an aquarium society the brush is mightier which reflects his than the lens. With a personal philosophy. brush, he can paint a He has reservations fish in minute detail, about the social showing those functions of such a characteristics that are society. Those of us most beautiful, unique, who know Gian, do not or descriptive. With a take this as criticism camera this may or may because he says frankly not be the case. that he has learned a One might great deal from his think from this writing conversations with other that Gian's contribution hobbyists. It is just that to the hobby has been Gian is an intense only through the brush, person who feels that A show tank in the living room pen or camera. That there is adequate social alone is quite an accomplishment, but is not outlet in a serious discussion of fish. He is sufficient for our man of the month. Gian likes probably correct when he states that a society nothing more than the challenge of taking a fish with a constitution prohibits aggressive action. that is difficult to spawn, or has not spawned in There are times when an organization needs to an aquarium, and patiently working with the pair adjust rapidly to a given situation. until he succeeds in having them spawn. Gian is presently an active member of Accounts of these occurrences have appeared in the Long Island A.S. but has never really lost his the major hobbyist magazines for the past several affection for his first club membership, G.C.A.S. years. Numerous times MODERN AQUARIUM has It is with much pride that we salute our had the good fortune to display our Hobby friend and fellow hobbyist as Hobby Builder, and Builder's art work on the cover and also has had Gian, from the staff of MODERN AQUARIUM, the pleasure of printing interesting articles. We our personal sincere appreciation for your many are not alone in our appreciation of Gian fine paintings, photographs, and articles. They Padovani. A number of clubs have had him as a have, and will continue to be, very welcomed at guest speaker on photography or for a lecture any time. with accompanying slides, on catfish or cichlids.

A Reminder: Greater City does not meet in July or August. Our next meeting is Wednesday, September 3. All memberships (except for those who sign up at our June meeting or who joined at our May Show) expire June, '97. Dues of $15 for our next season (September '97 to June '98) are due in September. Remember, you must be a paid-up GCAS member to receive Modern Aquarium. To the extent we are aware of them, events of regional societies and societies that are members of the North East Council (NEC) of Aquarium Societies will be posted and updated throughout the Summer on Greater City's Web site on the Internet at We invite all NEC member societies and societies in the Greater New York area (including New Jersey and Connecticut), to advise us of meetings, shows, and other activities so that we can post these on our Web site and publish them in Modern Aquarium. This information can be E-Mailed to us on our Web site, or sent to our Exchange Editor, Al Priest (whose address is on the bottom of page 17 in this issue).


Another semi-regular column in the Reporter is "My Turn With The Net." This is apparently an open forum for members to express their opinions on a variety of issues — somewhat like the New York Times' "Op Ed" page. the exchange column Their March 1997 issue contained, as its featured lead article, a reprint of Joe Ferdenzi's "The Bill Jacobs Chronicles," which appeared in the February 1996 issue of Modern Aquarium. (But — minor gripe, and hopefully only an unintentional oversight — while Joe was credited ALEXANDER A. PRIEST as Author, Modem Aquarium was not credited as the source of the article.) f I had to pick the "most improved" society The main focus of this column is to publication from among those with which convey information about individual societies, as we exchange issues, the Reporter, the obtained from their publications. From the newsletter of the North Jersey Aquarium Society Reporter. 1 discovered that the North Jersey (NJAS), would come immediately to mind. Its Aquarium Society is embarking on a fund raising current editor is Dore Carlo who, I believe, is project called "The 100 Club." Here's how it also a past President of the NJAS. works: For $25, a member receives a number The Reporter most recently has become from 1 to 100. At every meeting, three numbers very polished and professional looking. For the are picked at random. The member having the most part, it uses a two column format, with fully first number picked receives $100, the member justified text. (Which is also what we use for having the second number receives $20, and the Modern Aquarium.) It also has an attractive member with the third number gets $5. Then, all "changing" front cover. three numbers go back into the mix (and can be The Reporter is selected again at a future printed on 8!/2"xll" North Aquariu^*$fj$)|(y:; meeting). pages. The newsletter Unlike some generally consists of 5 societies (but like sheets of paper, printed GCAS), the North Jersey on both sides (10 pages). Aquarium Society's Breeders Award Program does not appear to be reported on in every issue. is, with the newsletter folded in half, the last It is interesting to note that their January 1997 page is on the outside and provides a place for "The B.A.P. Report" mentions the breeding of the address of the recipient and gives directions ramshorn snails and pond snails. (I'm pretty sure to the meeting.) Sponsor ads are sprinkled that Greater City does not offer B.A.P. points for throughout the newsletter with an accompanying breeding snails.) graphic indicating that the sponsor is an "NJAS This same "B.A.P. Report" article Supporter," a nice extra touch. mentioned that a monthly NJAS auction (the one This publication even has its own mentioned was at their November meeting) version of Modern Aquarium's "Undergravel "featured 34 items." This is yet another Reporter." This is a column called "The Rumor indication of an active society with involved and Mill." If you thought that our "Undergravel motivated members. Reporter" sometimes goes a bit too far (and I The society's Officer list in the have heard this said by some members), you newsletter is also interesting. In addition to the should read "The Rumor Mill." In this column, expected Officer positions of President, actual members are named (and not always in a Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer (called favorable light). The "disclaimer" that "Financial Advisor"), there are also: "Club accompanies "The Rumor Mill" states: "NJAS Liaison," "Meeting Chairperson," and (I'm not takes no responsibility for the viewpoints making this up) "Sunshine Chairperson." expressed in the Rumor Mill, nor the retaliation As with all publications reviewed here, that often follows." This disclaimer has, at issues are available for loan to any GCAS different times, attributed the column to: "the member. Just contact me at a meeting. Rumor Mill Elves," and even to "a group of tiny


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Malaysians living somewhere in the Ramapo Mountains." 15

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Let's extend a warm welcome to new members: Jeff George and Kennedy Forde - who joined at our May meeting, and Claudia Dickenson and Henry Swergold - who joined at our Show Last month's BOWL SHOW Winners: 1st - Pete D'Otib (Galic^ Oranda) 2nd - Tom Miglio^Reditail Half-black:;Guppy); 3rd - Steve Sagotja (Red Orange Zebra) n, 199V Convention


10113 - Wyndham Northwest - Itasca, 111. Jf C%intion Chair: Lee Ann Clary (630)968-64||;;:;s;,



f f


Hogged by the Greater Chicago Cichlid Assoeia|ii6n Ik-rc arc meeting times and locations of aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

Next Meeting: September 3df Enjoy Your :Sdmme:r|.;..:,. -' .:. Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 1st Wednesday of each month at the Queens B6t|m'cai Garfien Contact: Mr. Vincent Sileb? ,:• . ..• Telephone: (718) 84656984;;*jf '£,.•-. -Y', -/

"Coast Guppy Association

Aquarium ;|line 18: Keith Pyontek & Rose Ayiiat ir^vvarf Cichlids & Other Rare Fins" :;|p^ ;8P!i|; Education Hall, Aquarium ::%f %i||ltfe Conservatioj|:,(N. Y. Aquarium)5?* Contact: :BAS:!iEvents Hotline mm ::TJeteJphone£;(ll8) 837-4455 ^W


Big Apple Guppy Club t

Meciis: aiOQ^ivl. - 1st Thursday of each jmprith at ;:i|ie| Queens Botanical Garden %>; iiCoritactfSliphen Kwartler / Ed Richmondl Telephone: (f||)p9-6506 / (718)761-0166::

;liieets: 8:b1lli|M. - 3rd Thursday of each at the Queens Bq|alhicaj[;:&arde|| Contact: Mr. Donald Gj||tHi I JSlephone: (7 1 8)J3l-6l3;8**ass i

torigj Island Aquarium Safety

Nassau County Aquarium Sqpety

8:00 PM. - 3rd Friday||| each month :;;at Holtsvilie:;: Park and Zoo, 249 Buckle|||<|. Ho Contact: Mr.^ipny Kreyling Telephone: (Slifjl

Meetsl;>£ : (X).:--:Kpi^::'2nd TuesJpPbf each month at th^::Merrick Paiil^olf Course, Contact: Mr. Ken Telephone: (516^:189-5844

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





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