Modern Aquarium

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SEPTEMBER 1997 volume IV number 7


AQUARIUM lllillii' 'ON THE COVER . The frfatherina riemeri on the cover won % Mark Soberman "8est.?0f Show" at oif| : Diamond Jiibilee Show .Wherers :;Sh^W;!coverage and sfish keeping if rom M ark in this issue. :: * ••:¥:§ ; Photo; by Jeff George

Series III

Vol. IV, No. 7

September, 1997

FEATURES Editor's Desk


President's Message


Through The Eyes Of A Hobbyist


Evolution of a Fish Room


The Amusing Aquarium


Our Diamond Jubilee Show


G REATER CtTY ACtUARtUM SOCfETY II:;fMlti& Board Members '. ;•;;!! Presiderrt . ; , ;•;.., , , . , Vincent Sileo ;!Vice-president .< » , . ,...,- , , BehrBaus Treasurer ;•?:;';<« , ,: i^sss.;:;*;:*.;.. Emm a HauSi jCorres. Secretary , . . . . .Greg Wuest pecordihg Secretary . •.'••.

Pat :PJc;cione

S: Mgrnbgrg At Large 'M Mary Ann BugeiaJoe Bugefal Tom Bohrrte : ^ "Carlotti Oejage|| jSlen • Hailigan ; |s ;! ; ; |; ||| -: Rose Sileo : siifiSssJss'Ss-- • Com mjttee Chgjf.g slillillisS; . Breeder Award . » . . . .Frank TreUman iMernbershlp , . . : . . . . • Poisition Opert

Editor . ; . , . . . . . ... .Warren Feuer Managing ;Edftpr . . . . AJexander ; Priest ;!;! Photo/Layout Editor ;Y . Jason Kerner Production Director . Bernard ttarrtgan iAdverttsing Mgr. . , , > Mark Soberman Editorial Assistant . . . . . ;Pat Piccibne Executive Editor . . . . Joseph Ferdenzi

A Diamond Jubilee Show Pictorial


The Making of a Show Journal


"Treasure Chest" — Happiness is Sharing a Room Full of Fish


"Wet Leaves" (Book Column)


Rated Triple X


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


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: http: //ourworld. CompuServe. com/homepages/greatercity

President's Message VINCENT SILEO elcome back to the Greater City Aquarium Society. I hope that you had an enjoyable Summer season and haven't neglected your aquariums too much. As you probably know, after MANY years of service, a number of Officers of the Board of Governors have stepped down and a few of the Board members and myself have stepped up to the challenge of filling their shoes. In addition, a few members have also answered the call and have moved into our former positions on the Board of Governors. We are all very lucky to have benefited from the time and effort this group dedicated to the Society. I don't believe that any of them had any intention other than making the Greater City Aquarium Society something everyone could enjoy and be proud of. They have done a fantastic job. But they aren't getting off that easily! They are still active members of the Society and have promised the remaining Board of Governors and I that they will act as advisers. With their help, we will continue to strive to meet the goal of making the Greater City Aquarium Society an active, inviting, and fun organization to be a part of. But we need YOU to really make it work. Sure, we have our own ideas of new things to try, and of which activities not to repeat. But we really need YOUR ideas and YOUR help to make those ideas a reality. Just speak to me or any one of the board members and, together, we will get the ball rolling. No idea is too strange or too simple, too big or too small to be considered. We really won't know until we have investigated it. There were many of us who thought that we could never put on a Fish Show in a hotel with speakers and manufacturers' representatives — but we did it! Perhaps we can make your idea a reality too! Also, keep in mind some of the traditional activities which you can participate in, such as the Bowl Show. The more people who participate in this activity, the more fun it is! Anyone can participate. Just bring in any fish which you believe is pretty, with enough water for it to be comfortable in the 2.5 gallon tanks


we provide, or a bowl that you provide. Complete the Bowl Show book with the name of the fish and your name, and you are competing for a ribbon at that meeting and for a Bowl Show Champion trophy at the end of the year. Then there is the Breeder's Award Program for those of you have an interest in breeding your fish. Anyone can participate and anyone can breed fish. 1 actually believe that we do not breed fish, we just provide the proper conditions which make the fish feel comfortable enough to breed in. Interested in getting involved, but don't know how? Just talk to me or one of the other Board members and we will get you started. Don't forget our "Special" meetings: the Holiday Party in January, which we held at a restaurant last year and a good time was had by all. Should we hold it at a restaurant again or go back to making it a pot luck dinner at the Botanical Garden? And don't wait until March to start thinking of the Silent Auction that is held at our April meeting. This is a great way to help the Society, put a few bucks in your pocket, and make some room in your home. So start thinking now about what aquarium equipment is not being used and what equipment you might be able to pick up very reasonably at the Silent Auction. Finally, a couple of ideas I had in the back of my mind — let me know what you think. First, we just completed our 75th Anniversary Fish Show as I am writing this and there were entrants in the show from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. If they can do it, why can't we? I'd like to get together with anyone else who is interested in participating in fish shows that are put on by our sister societies. Second, there are a number of really fantastic aquarium shops in the NYC area that I think many members may be unaware of. I frequent a few of the local aquarium shops on a regular basis, and enjoy visiting a new shop for a change of pace. Perhaps you know of an aquarium shop which you believe is really exceptional and you would like to share with your fellow members. I'd like to get a group together to visit a new store, perhaps once a month. So what do you think? It's your Society and it can be everything that you want it to be, but you have to let us know what you want and you have to help us make it happen. Together we can really make it great!

into extinction as a result of man's ravaging As evening approached, the dry goods domestication of the surrounding land, as well as auction was well attended with lots of "goodies" the most unfortunate introduction of the Nile to bid on! The room abounded with goodnatured jokes bantered about, amidst hearty roars Perch. This creature has virtually wiped out of laughter! There was ample opportunity to many cichlid species of Lake Victoria in their stock up on equipment, books and other entirety. Along with its obvious atrocities, this "necessities" as well as the perfect chance to lend extermination has triggered huge algae blooms support to the much-deserving G.C.A.S.! Upon through the loss of vegetable-grazing open water rounding up our new acquisitions, it was time for dwellers. These algae blooms have virtually cut "good-nights" and dreams of the Big Day! off the oxygen supply and decreased life at much On Sunday morning, aquarists and the shallower depths than the other Rift Lakes. As general public gathered, bidder numbers were aquarists, one of the ways we can assist this assigned, auction fish poured in, and the rapidly declining situation is to devote some of excitement mounted as one o'clock approached. our tank space to house one or more of the My day was complete when Brad arrived, as he beautiful Victorian cichlids and propagate the had come to enjoy the festivities with me. The species, if only to assure their survival under ceremonies began with heartfelt "thank-you's" closed-water conditions. Dr. Loiselle's great and thunderous applause in honor of Joe Ferdenzi intellect, mixed with his passion for purpose and for his eleven-year tenure as president. I know his wonderfully dry sense of humor, always I felt what a very special president he has been, leaves one brimming with ideas to protect our even through precious our short ecosystem! acquaintance! At elevenA magnificent thirty a.m., a r r a y of R o s ar io trophies was LaCorte set passed out to the stage for the many his extensive deserving lifetime people who research on breeding had nurtured their fish to techniques. Mr. LaCorte show quality. showed us Best Of Show was awarded many of his to Mark inventive ideas for the Lucas at work Photo by Al Priest Soberman and successful hislriatherina breeding and raising of various species, especially werneri, Reserve Of Show went to Carlotti those of the Characin group. Mr. LaCorte's DeJager and her Betta simplex, and the People's enrapturing slide show highlighted the many male Choice was all in favor of Al and Sue Priest with and female morphs that he has worked with. their fabulous Gold Pearlscale Angelfish! At two o'clock p.m., Ray Lucas gave us As the audience revved up with a charming presentation of "Getting To Know A excitement, and the G.C.A.S. "crew" swung into Hobbyist And What The Hobby Is All About". full gear sorting bags and moving them into If anyone knows what the hobby is all about, it's place, the time had arrived for the "Giant Auction Ray! He shared wonderful and often-times Of Fish"! The bidding was hot, with four nostalgic slides of past fish conventions, always extraordinary auctioneers ~ Greater City interspersing humorous quips, stories and Aquarium Society president, Joe Ferdenzi; reminiscences. We all gathered afterward with a Brooklyn Aquarium Society president, Seth shared sense of knowing why we had made the Kolker; author, artist and active member, Bernie effort and taken these few days from our jobs Harrigan; and past board as well as active and our families to convene for this small space member, Steve Sagona. The four kept the pace in time. lively in a Round Robin fashion, capturing the Just enough time remained to view the audience and stirring an enthusiastic atmosphere! showroom once again while the panel of seven My attention diverted for one second, the word expert judges made their studied decisions. "SOLD" resounded for the exquisite

Evolution of a Fish Room MARK SOBERMAN t seems like tropical fish have always been a part of my life. When 1 was a youngster, a neighbor in my apartment building got me started... fish and all. 1 can't recall for sure how big the tank was, maybe a 15 gallon stainless, but I do remember the fish — a Kissing gourami and a Blue gourami. I also received many Supreme piston pumps and other supplies, which would be collectors items if I still had them today. That one tank eventually became four. As long as they were in my room, my parents didn't care. When I was 16, I made my father drive me to Bay Ridge Marine World in Brooklyn, where I purchased a 30 gallon saltwater set-up. I did manage to keep a few fish alive until I purchased a Maroon clown with Oodinium (note; no quarantine tank) and everything died. Since the dolomite gravel was already there, the 30 gallon saltwater tank became an African cichlid tank. Every summer my parents took the family to a bungalow in Lake Mohigan, New York. Since my father worked during the week and drove up every weekend, he became responsible for the fish back at home. I, on the other hand, needed to have fish even in Lake Mohigan and a Betta was all we had room for. I remember finding a small pet shop in town where I purchased that Betta and a pocket size Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine. Although 1 now have an extensive collection of aquarium books and magazines, those TFH from Lake Mohigan have special meaning. Until it became too much work for him, my father maintained my four tanks while I was away at college. This is the end of the first part of my story. Soon after I was married (14 years ago), my wife Robin, myself, and some friends went to Roosevelt Raceway. I was fortunate enough to win an Exacta for $300.00 and my hobby was reborn. It was Valentine's day and what would make a better present than a 29 gallon set-up? I went to Tropical Fish Supermarket in Brooklyn and Charlie, who is now the owner and an advertiser in Modem Aquarium, helped me select some nice African cichlids. As my wife just noted, the stand had room for another tank! I later found a shop in Flushing, Queens that specialized in African cichlids. It was there that I met Rich Sorensen who introduced me to the Greater City Aquarium Society and the Rift Lake Cichlid Club of New York. The second bedroom in our apartment in


Forest Hills became a small fish room. After our first daughter was born, my fish room was gone and my patient wife tolerated the 12 or so tanks scattered around our living room and foyer. About 5 years ago we sold our apartment and moved into my in-laws' house until we found the house in Plainview where we now reside. During our 6 month stay in Brooklyn, I maintained 2 tanks in my in laws basement, a 55 and a 30 gallon tank. The 55 contained a small Leiarius pictus, and the 30 a Mango piece. Upon our move to Plainview, the two tanks were temporarily housed in the living room. This is where the fun starts. You see, every house we looked at had to have a good basement. As long as I was going into debt, I was going to have a good fish room. Of course as soon as I was moved in, I thought construction would begin. Never owning a home before I was in for a rude awakening. Many things needed to be done and the fish room was temporarily put on hold. Slowly things got started. First, I painted the basement with water proof paint. Then I installed some shop lights. With the cost of electricity on Long Island, I felt it would be more economical to use shop lights instead of lights in every tank. We needed to upgrade the electric in our house to 200 amp service, which was my opportunity to have the electricians install a separate line for the future fish room, as well as ground fault interrupter circuits. At this point, I would critically evaluate everyone's fish room hoping to take the best from each. Something I noticed in every fish room was that the tanks lowest to the ground were always the most neglected. Even though I wanted to maximize the space in my basement, I decided to have less tanks with none lower than 3 feet off the ground. Joe Ferdenzi had a design for aquarium racks that looked interesting, so my fish room became the Guinea pig. What is good about the racks is that they maximize tank space and distribute the weight evenly throughout the rack. I had all the wood cut up at Home Depot and Joe and his brother-in-law came over to help me assemble the first rack. The first rack, which holds two 30 gallon and two 20 gallon tanks, was put together fairly easily with a screw gun. I later built 2 more racks, one the same as the first and the other for 11 ten gallon tanks. Another friend and member of Greater City, John Stora, suggested that I bolt the racks to the wall by

in a light blue marble look with beautiful art work. I don't think we had many left over, but if you get a chance to see one, you'll see why it is a collectors item. Also on the Society Table was a ballot box for a new competition, The People's Choice Award. This allowed everyone attending the show to decide for themselves which fish was "the Best" and cast their vote accordingly. Everyone got involved: members, non-members, adults, children and passersby. It wasn't easy, though! There were a lot of beautiful fish to choose from. Fancy Publications also had a table. One of the many magazines they publish is Aquarium Fish Magazine. They were offering a two year subscription for the price of one, either renewals or new subscriptions, for any of the magazines they publish. I personally took advantage of this, and I am now paid up through the year 2001! I know that many of our members also took advantage of this opportunity.

Vince Sileo and Mark Soberman in show attire photo by Al Priest

Opposite the entrance to Fish Room #2, was the "Fragments From The History of The Aquarium Hobby" display which Joe Ferdenzi put together from his own antiques, and from others which he borrowed for our show. This was really unique, and it was appropriate for the 75th Anniversary Fish Show of one of the oldest continually active aquarium societies in the country. Here were items which many of us have never seen before, or even knew existed. Luckily, Joe had the foresight to provide a short explanation for each of his "artifacts". It was truly a walk back in time. It also made me wonder just how long Joe has been in the hobby! Thanks to Al and Sue Priest, everything was clearly labeled. There were beautiful banners and signs everywhere declaring that this was The Greater City Aquarium Society's 75th Anniversary Fish Show. There were signs on every room indicating what events and activities were going on inside; there were signs for every table, clearly indicating what was there and how you could take advantage of it. Probably more importantly there were arrow signs for all of our activities: the fish show, the speakers, and the


auctions, directing all who came to the proper place. I had been concerned about the hotel's reaction to our hanging signs in the hallways and lobbies, but was happy to hear: "As long as they are professional signs like these, go ahead." On Sunday, representatives from Petland Discount were available to discuss employment opportunities. It is nice to see a pet store chain actively searching for employees who are active in the hobby. They also assisted us by displaying show posters in all their stores prior to the show. In addition to the classes listed in fish room #1, we also had two aquarium beautiful displays. We did not include an aquarium beautiful class this year because of lack of involvement at previous shows. So it was a real treat to have these two examples of what a home aquarium could look like — especially for the many people who attended the show who never had an aquarium. One of the aquarium beautiful displays consisted of a ten gallon tank complete with filter, heater and fluorescent hood. This tank contained seven Pseudotropheous demasoni, a small but beautiful dwarf African cichlid whose body was a deep blue with black bars. The aquascaping was derived from many different types of rocks, creating caves and crevices for the fish to dart in and out. This aquarium beautiful was created and donated to the club by Claudia Dickinson, of the Long Island Aquarium Society. We are all very grateful for her donation of time, effort and materials. Not only did she set up and donate this aquarium beautiful, but she also helped register bidders for the auction, sign up new members, and was continually lending a helping hand throughout the show. The other aquarium beautiful was a twenty gallon long tank. Again, it was complete with a box filter, heater and fluorescent hood. And again it contained a very beautiful and valuable "blue" fish, the Blue Diamond Discus. This aquarium beautiful display, set up by my co-chairperson, Ellen Halligan, depicted just how simple an aquarium set up can be. As opposed to the other aquarium beautiful, this one contained no rock work. Instead, it contained a nice variety of aquatic plants. Two other displays in this fish room, which weren't meant to be aquarium beautifuls, made a wonderful display regardless. These were the entries in the Plant Class which were too large to fit into the two and a half gallon show tanks, so they were displayed in a twenty gallon and thirty gallon tank. We are lucky to have such aquatic gardeners in our society. This was a Fish Show of "firsts" for Greater City (at least in recent history). This was the first show at which we also had speakers.

Long Island Aquarium Society, for his donation This would have of cardboard boxes. These were a wonderful been a real fiasco addition and really helped to keep things if it were held any organized. place other than a As with our previous shows, we held an hotel, mainly awards ceremony just before the livestock auction because I forgot to to recognize the show winners and present them bring the slide with their trophies. The competition was good projector! and no one person "walked away" with the show. Fortunately, we A good number of the trophies went to Greater were able to rent City members, but quite a few went to members one from the hotel of other clubs as well. l^^^^KH on short notice. Immediately following the awards cereA H -* This pushed t h e mony, our Vice President, Ben Haus, got up and JI^^^^^^H speakers' schedule thanked Joe Ferdenzi for his eleven years as ^^^^H^v back about a half President. Then Ben and I presented Joe with hour. But, thanks token Fish Cookie gift basket. Eleven years is a to Joe Ferdenzi's long time and the club has come a long way careful planning, under his stewardship. This small token of our Would you buy a shirt from this the speakers appreciation could never repay Joe for all he has man? photo by Al Priest p r e s e n t a t i o n s put into this society. didn't run into each other. Dr. Loiselle spoke first, and I was told that it was very interesting and informative. I'm sorry that I missed his lecture, but my responsibilities to the show had to come first. I did manage to catch most of Rosario LaCorte's discussion on terras, live food, and some of the unorthodox methods which have made him so successful. By the time it was Ray "Kingfish" Lucas's rum to speak, things were running smoothly and I was able to enjoy his talk about the hobby in general, including the human side and all the enjoyment that can be had by attending aquarium society events, making new friends and having a good time. We were lucky to have three such prominent speakers at our show. This was also the first show which had a dry goods auction on Saturday night. We were concerned that no one would show up and indeed, we had hoped for a larger group of bidders. But as Joe mentioned to me, "It's Dr. Loiselle judging the New World Cichlid class quality, not quantity, that counts." And it was photo by Al Priest quality bidders that were present at the auction. Ray "Kingfish" Lucas was the auctioneer, and he Once all was said and done, Greg Wuest kept it entertaining and moving right along. We and his set up-team became the breakdown team finished the auction in about two hours. and went to work. Just as quickly as it had been The livestock auction on Sunday ran just set up, the show came back down and all signs of as smoothly, with Bernie Harrigan, Steve Sagona Greater City were removed from the hotel. The and Seth Kolker (President of the Brooklyn "Show" was over. We had a good turnout, there Aquarium Society) rotating as auctioneer. This were no major disasters, and we aren't bankrupt. time we had a larger crowd, but the same grade So, I consider our 75th Anniversary Show to be of bidders. Everyone was bidding, even one man a success. who was at the hotel for a Doll Show and was I wish that more of our members could unaware of our event until he happened across it. have joined in the fun and excitement — they'll This auction was also completed in record time have the opportunity again in 1999. Start getting thanks to the coordination and efforts of all those ready now, it'll be here sooner than you think! involved, including members of the Brooklyn and Long Island Aquarium Societies. We are very thankful to Vincent Kreyling, President of the



The Making of: A ^Jkow Jouirnal ALEXANDER A. PRIEST wenty five years or so from now, some Greater City member (it won't be me) will be asked to do the Society's 100th Anniversary Show Journal. Here, I offer some tips I learned through trial, effort, and error. First, some background: Joe Ferdenzi, in a leap of faith, asked me, a fairly new GCAS member at the time, to do the show journal for the 1994 show. At that time, 1 had seen only one show journal, the one from our 1992 show. Tip #1: Gather as many examples of show journals as you can and have some general idea about what you intend to do. My 1994 effort was passible, but not a "collector's item." (Recently, our 1933 and 1934 show journals, from the collection of the late Jare Sausaman, sold for $25 each.) This first effort gave me both experience and a very useful item. My wife, Susan, took pity on me staring at a blank computer screen, trying to decide what to do next. She pulled nearly every aquarium book we had off the shelves (even then, we had a lot) to create "The Classes of '94" (reprinted as "The Classes of '96" for our 1996 show journal and, most recently, as the "Classes of '97"). The time she spent in writing short, simple, yet accurate, descriptions cannot be believed. Tip #2: Build on what has worked well in the past. The 1996 show journal pretty much fell into place within the same mold as the 1994 journal. The Diamond Jubilee journal, however, was another matter. As you'll see, its creation bore more than a passing resemblance to preparing for a wedding.


SOMETHING OLD In the 1994 show journal, I reprinted covers Joe Ferdenzi gave me of past GCAS show journals. While of historical interest, this was almost as boring as journals with nothing but ads, and I vowed not to repeat it if possible. For the 1997 Diamond Jubilee Show, Joe had some definite ideas. He wanted an antique border on the cover, within which would be a "famous" (at least to Joe) picture of a Rasbora. Whether cost considerations, or member and Board indignation about departing from the signature fish of Greater City (the Angelfish) was the reason, 1 don't know. I only know Joe settled on an Angelfish within an antique border.


Joe gave me a copy of the cover of the July, 1932 The Home Aquarium Bulletin, having the border he wanted. 1 scanned a comer and a section of that border into my computer. The original border was created by design blocks. So, I only needed one of each type (corner and line). With a paint program 1 restored them to their original condition and then repeatedly "stamped" them to recreate the antique border. Tip #3: If possible, don't consult with the President on content or style. He won't know what he wants and will only slow you down. SOMETHING NEW Now I needed something in the border. My wife again came to the rescue with a drawing of one of our Angelfish (which went on to win best in class and the "Peoples Choice" award at the show). Using a scanner and computer, I placed her drawing in the border, then reversed it (both left to right and black to white) for the back cover. On Greater City's Internet site I was surprised to find a message from Dan Carson, the President of Greater City 25 years ago (and chairman of our Golden Anniversary Show). Dan, now a member of the Honolulu Aquarium Society, graciously agreed to write an article for our Diamond Anniversary journal. Tip #4: Take advantage of every opportunity for contributions. SOMETHING BORROWED I could not improve on Susan's "Classes Of," so I didn't try. I used it again for the third time. This being our Diamond Jubilee year, we are running a "Treasure Chest" series in Modern Aquarium, reprinting articles from earlier series. From the September, 1971 issue of Modern Aquarium we "borrowed" an article on spawning Oscars at a GCAS show that year, (see Tip #4) SOMETHING BLUE Bernie Harrigan has been an indispensable part of the publishing team for Modern Aquarium. Series III, from the start, contributing articles, cartoons and illustrations, and printing the magazine in his own shop. He used a blue marbleized cover for the front and back of the journal, giving it an elegant and classy look. One Last Tip: Start early!


Creasure Our "Treasure Chest" series would not be complete without an article by former Modern Aquarium (series II) Editor and past GCAS President, Dan Carson. While slightly flawed by the sexist views of the time, this interview with Libby Young, a woman hobbyist whose name is linked with quality Bettas, is of great historical interest. (In his A Complete Introduction To Bettas. Š1987 T.F.H. Publications, Walt Maurus wrote "Most Hobbyists are aware of the existence and popularity of Libby bettas.") This article is from the January 1969 issue of Modem Aquarium. We hope you enjoy . . .

Happiness Is Sharing A Room Full Of Fish By Dan Carson, GCAS

Efficiency is the key word in the fishroom of Warren and Libby Young. They make use of every possible time and labor saving idea they can dream up. Many are unusual, but some of them are so simple you wonder, "Why didn't I think of that?" For example, the Youngs are internationally famous for their bettas, and every betta fancier knows that scrubbing out betta jars is one of the most time consuming chores. When Modern Aquarium visited the Youngs in their Little Falls, New Jersey, home, Libby mentioned they cleaned betta jars at a rate of 300 per hour! (They have about 1,500 large jars and "some" smaller.) I guess we looked a bit doubtful, because they quickly cleaned about 50 jars just to


demonstrate. Our photographer, Ray Juschkus, was hard pressed to record the fast action as bettas were plopped from dirty jar to clean jar almost faster than the eye could follow. The system starts with Warren racking up clean jars on trays and wheeling them on a cart to the shelves where the jars to be cleaned are standing. The trays and cart are the same as the kind used by the busboys in the automat and can be purchased through a restaurant supply house. With the cart in position, Warren fills the clean jars with aged water using a small electric pump from a plumbing supply. "We never lift water," he points out. "The pumps move it all." Warren adds 1 teaspoonful of Mono Sodium Phosphate to each 20 gallons of tap water when he sets it out to age. This acidifies the normally alkaline Jersey water he is working with. As soon as she has a supply of clean jars containing the aged water, Libby starts transferring fish. The cards that block the bettas' view of each other are removed, the jar is poured through a net where the betta is caught and the dirty water goes into a waste bucket. The netted betta is then plopped into the clean jar which goes back on the shelf. The dirty jar goes on the cart and back to the sink where it is scrubbed using one of those "stand up" brushes you have seen at any bar (I mean soda fountain), and back it goes to the next shelf of clean jars. By the way, the Youngs' idea of a "dirty" jar is one with a trace of sediment in the bottom. It's still as clear as a bell. The jar cleaning is a weekly routine. The Youngs feed their bettas carefully after the jars are cleaned, but the day before they are due for their next cleaning, the fish are loaded up on beef heart, liver paste and other foods that might contaminate the water if they lay in it for any length of time. Another wrinkle that Warren has developed to add to fishroom efficiency is his brine shrimp hatchers. These are 5 gallon jugs (from office water coolers) with the bottom cut out. They are inverted in a stand with a plexiglass spigot from a pharmaceutical supply house inserted in the neck. The hatch is mixed in the usual way and aerated. When it is ready to be used, Warren removes the air and lets the hatch settle. The spigot is opened and the hatch is drained through a fine net. The spigot is then closed and a box filter is dropped into the jug to clear the brine before the next batch of eggs is added. Neat.


formula." Whenever I want to explore the Amazon, I pick up this book. There are nine issues from the "Pet Library" series. With paper covers and at 32 pages, I would call them booklets. Four of these were authored by Rosario LaCorte, and I was A Series On Books For The Hobbyist bidding on these same items at the Saturday SUSAN PRIEST evening auction during our Show. I dropped out of the bidding at $15. I paid $3 each for mine y excitement was building as I (but, of course, they aren't autographed like the anxiously awaited the arrival of my ones in the auction were). Some of you may Summer vacation. It was delivered remember a speaker at GCAS from a while back on the eve of Independence Day; most named Dr. Klaus Kallman. He was also one of appropriate timing. It was in a box 14 inches by the authors I chose. 11 inches by 5 inches. By now you may have The Guide To Higher Aquarium guessed that I'm not talking about a typical Animals aroused my curiosity. It was published vacation. As compact as it was, it took me from in 1944 by the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Queens, New York to Queensland, Australia, and Michigan, and all of the creatures represented are everywhere in between. native to this state. On the inside of the front One evening early in June, my husband, cover is a beautiful Al, was surfing the net. engraving of a Great He came across a most 'My Summer Vacation" Lakes Longear Sunfish, enticing entry — an and on the inside of the back cover is a 6 inch itemized list of thousands of books and ruler. Amphibians such as the Spotted periodicals having belonged to the late Jare Salamander, the Mink Frog, the Mudpuppy, and Sausaman (see the obituary in the March, 1997 my favorites, the Newts, were described. The issue of Modem Aquarium), and they were for reptiles were represented by Queen and Ribbon sale! Al started printing out the list, which snakes, along with Snapping, Map, and Painted topped out at 122 pages. The list was broken turtles. down into several categories, each of which was The Dell Encyclopedia of Tropical Fish arranged alphabetically, and the entire list was was undoubtedly sold in supermarkets during the consecutively numbered. This was at 10PM. I 1970s. I can travel long distances in a very short finished my chores in record time, and started time with this one. On page 49 alone, I went to reading the list. I forced myself to put it down Burma, Brazil, India, and Africa. This book at 1AM (we get up at 5:30AM). Fortunately, Al would be completely useless in the hands of a took the list to work with him the next day (so beginner, and only slightly useful to someone he could make a copy of it for a fellow book with experience, but the pictures are nice! fanatic whose initials are Joe Ferdenzi). The There is one book that I have not yet following evening we completed our "wish list," devoted much time to exploring, for the simple and Al e-mailed it to North Carolina. Out of 25 reason that it looks like it will be time well spent, selections, five had already been reserved. and I want to enjoy it. It is The New York The most irresistible title was a fourth Aquarium Book of the Water World, by William edition from 1929 of The Modern Aquarium by Bridges (1970). According to the introduction, Innes. It contains quite a few pencil marks, in this book "is intended for people who have both red and regular, which resisted erasure. curiosity and questions about the living creatures There were later editions on the list, but I didn't of the sea and of freshwater streams and ponds, want to risk trading "up" to a cleaner copy that of lakes and marshes and swamps, and of the no longer warned of the dangers of coal gas to brackish interzone between salt and fresh water." your fish, or that a sure sign you have coal gas in I'm looking forward to seeing where this book your home is if your silver is tarnishing rapidly. will take me. An author I have enjoyed in the past, as We were able to add two issues of well as a current favorite fish, are both Modern Aquarium, series II to our collection. represented in An gel fish by Braz Walker. It has We were willing to pay the price for a complete better information on different varieties of set of 62, a legacy to GCAS, we told ourselves, angelfishes than any of my other books. but someone else got in ahead of us. Mr. Walker describes half a dozen methods for Bettas being our favorite fishes, we determining the sex of angelfishes, but ultimately snapped up a couple of unfamiliar titles on the he concedes that "there is no crystal ball







CORAL AQUARIUM 75-05 Roosevelt Ave Jackson Heights, NY 11372 718-429-3934 Open Mon.-Fri. 10AM-8:OOPM Sat. 10AM - 7:OOPM Sun. 12PM - 6:OOPM SALTWATER FISH

















All Major Credit Cards Accepted

Rated Triple X A series by "The Undergravel Reporter"

In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does NOT necessarily represent the: opinions- ;of the Editor, or of the G re^te r; Gity J Aquari u rn: Soctety,

he latest thing our duly elected officials have to worry about is making sure that suitable labels are associated with television programs. And, to make it simple, instead of using the words "violence," "profanity," "drug use," "nudity," etc., the "rating system" they propose will use a variety of letters to indicate the age group a program is suitable (or unsuited) for, followed by letters of the alphabet to indicate the reason the program is unsuitable for absolutely everyone of any age. This might be an excellent idea for fish. Consider the many times you went into a pet store and looked at the tanks of tropical fish, and saw one or more fish you knew little or nothing about. Naturally, those are the fish that attract your attention. Mandatory uniform government labeling would sure come in handy here. First, we'd need "S" for "Saltwater," "B" for "Brackish water" and "F" for "Freshwater" fish. Then, we'd need something to indicate the pH the fish should be maintained in — say "A" for "Acidic" water fish, "K." for "alKaline" water fish (sorry, the A was already taken), and "N" for fish that prefer a "Neutral" pH. This can be refined further so that an "A+" would stand for a fish requiring very acidic water. Now, we need a simple hardness scale. Let's have "H" stand for "Hard water" fish and "O" for "sOft water" fish (the "S" is being used). We can then use a "+" or even a "++" to indicate the degree of hardness/softness required. One concern of many aquarists is the ultimate size of the fish they buy. That cute baby angelfish, clown loach, silver dollar, or bocourti catfish can surprise you with how large it can grow. Of course, size is relative. A "large" fish to one aquarist, is a feeder fish to



another. For now, let's agree to use "D" for "Dwarf (under 2 inches adult length), "M" for sMall (2 to 4 inches), "L" for "Large" (4 to 8 inches), "G" for "larGer" (8 to 12 inches), "X" for "eXtra large" (12 to 20 inches), and "T" for "Tank buster" (over 20 inches). Naturally, we need to know if the fish is a "P" ("toP" feeder), a "W" ("loWer level" feeder), or an "I" ("mid water" feeder). Speaking of food, we'll need to know which fish are "R" ("heRbivorous"), "C" ("Carnivorous"), or "Z" (an omnivorous fish eats everything from A to "Z"). Most aquarists are interested in breeding, so at the very least we need to know if a fish is an "Y" ("egglaYer") or "V" ("HVebearer"). Perhaps some numeral following "E" can indicate whether the fish is a scatterer or nester, etc. And, while there are many other things we might like to know before buying a fish, its temperament and compatibility are always very important considerations. So let's use "U" for a fish suitable for a normal "community" tank, "Q" for a community tank of unusually "Quiet" (that is, peaceful) inhabitants, "E" for a "spEcies" tank and "J" for a fish that should be the "Just the only" fish in a tank of its own. Now that we have a working blueprint, let's see how it works. A Clown Loach (Botia macracanthus) would be tagged with a label reading: F, N, O, G, W, Z, Y, U. Given the American penchant for acronyms, this would probably be reduced to "Fennogwhizzeu." Isn't this better? It's just as simple and makes just as much sense as the new TV ratings!

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


ET S10P TROPICAL FISH AQUARIUM Specializing in Tropical Fish and Aquarium Supplies Large Selection of Aquatic Plants Knowledgeable Staff Same Location Since 1947. (718) 849-6678

115-23 Jamaica Avenue Richmond Hill, NY 11418




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








Visit "LUCILLE",

Our Pond& Falls In Our Backyard! You Can Build A Pond Too.


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS vv €21COme. Let's extend a warm welcome to new members: Ray Albanese and Marcelo Manosalvas - who joined at our Show Last meeting's BOWL SHOW Winners: 1st - Steve Sagona Labeotropheffi$8iledourni;2na^fa^fSas,ona

- Labidochromis sp. "Lemon"

TROPICL FISH SgCIE OF RHo I s N D J A N g A L SHOW "AND AUCTION September 19 -:ssUst 1| Joseph's Parish Ctr. - 1303 Mendon Rd - (||pl»erla|Kl/i^:%;::: Showf judgjng; September 20th; Auction (60/40 split): September 21st. jp .j; ' %, Foglnforrria^pjjcontact Paula Andrus - e-mail: pandrus@argo.nej,: ............ DANBURY AREA AQUARIUM SOCIETY - 10TH ANNUAL AUCTION Septvmbcr 21 - Hatter's Community Banquet Hall - D^bury, CT^ Re'PIJption 10:30-noon; viewing noon to 1PM; Auction IPM to 5PM for information call: Ray Massagli (203)746-620:3 Or Joe Masi {914)896-4793


NORWALK AQUARIUM SOCIETY - §HQW & October 3-5 Nature Ctr. for Envirpnjnental Activities - :Westport, CT Fbr information call: Anne Brpaidmeyer (203)834-2228 BROOKLYN AQUARJH^M §QgIETY - 11TH ANNUAL GIANT FISH AUCTION October - 12 call BAS;;:;|ventf Hjtline for information: (|i$) 837-4455 (recording) NORTH JERSEY AQUARIUM SOCIETY - TROPICAL FISH WEEKEND Oct 31 - Nov 2 — Multi-cjstss iftpw; Giant Auctjbn; Ra|fe; Ck>o| Prizes; Speakers Meadowlands Qualit^;::|nn:;;s:;Lyr«!hu|s;t; NJ (j^tiiite 3 to Route \) ; For informatipn:i;Cftl I : (90 8)54 f - 1 3 92 (Recording) Here are;ineeting times and locations of aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CJTY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Mee^nTig: October 1 1:: M:P.M. - 1st Wednesday of eaci month at the Queens Botanical Garden Mr. ^ J l n t Sileo

:'}Sfext Meeting: Septembept2 |1I;:::::W :':'x1|:v 8PM: Education Hajli Aitjiiarigp for V^ildlife Conserya|jipii (Ni^*:; Aquarium) | | Contact: BAS E^e'hts Hotliiie: ;. • ; :||• 837-4455; :'"""..,;..,:,

Big Apple Guppy Club -||

Meets: 8:00:PM?4::lsiThursday|i| each monti^^t the Queenl Botanical Garilen ContaclilStephen Kwartlc*i||§d jRjicjiinond Telephoni:: (71 8)829-6506 / (7l8)76fl>}66

MeeMl8:00 P^: - 3rd Thursd|iy:s6f each montfi at the^ifeens Botanjejif^arden Contact:Mr. Donald Qupn Telephone: (718) 63J||§38

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Friday of each month at Holtsville Park and Zoo, 249 Buckley Rd. Holtsville, NY 11801 Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Merrick Park Golf Course, Merrick, NY 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) 332-4415

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 The Gang's All Here! In this special issue of Modern Aquarium, we focused on our Diamond Jubilee 75th Anniversary Show. Many names of GCAS members and friends were mentioned and are n historical record. We have taken some of the names mentioned in this issu middle of a fishy sea of words and letters. See how many of them you c; A S E T H K O L K E R I T A U T C S E 0

C I L 0 A C U N D E I N A T D S I B C R K C I G N I S I 0 K N R L 0 T E T E I R

D N N A G I R R A H E I N R E B A R B 0 N F I J P M 0 L L I E S

R D S G R E H E H 0 G N I E W V P 0




R 0



C B E L B I E 0 E I E I I N H 0 G M

0 D R U E C V D E L A 0 S 0 A N W R


0 0 C A T C T A T E I I P A N S E B

E S A S A H B A S H F S S J U H S 0


L A E H P I A E R R 0 A 0 C L U N K

B L S Z L D D R A S C D T J N P 0 R

P A U L L 0 I S E L L E F L L I W A

N E T R 0 C A L 0 I R A S 0 R P V M

0 N T L D E A G L A R T E M I A E H




Answers to last month's puzzle, Fish




Ameca splendens


Butterfly Koi


Diamond Tetra


Cynolebias magnificus


Synodontis angelicus


Black Ghost


Fire Pleco


Lamprologus leleupi


Aequidens metae


Calico Oranda







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