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modern

AQUARIUM i

Series III

Vol. VI, No. 6

June, 1999

FEATURES

i:S the subject , 'of: an:;;arr!Cie;' af' Hi

Editor's Babblenest

2

President's Message

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To the GCAS Membership A Special Thank You!

• Board Vice- President : . . ; . - . : • J - \ ;:; :.:.:;-:,"Fon- Bfoftm* si^ ;;Mr,.

4

Author Award Program Report

4

The Madagascar Rainbowfish

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In Memoriam: Bill Jacobs

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The Power of Clean

7

Amusing Aquarium (Cartoon)

9

ing Secretary.:.;: .;,;'; Members A •>.H,4a Dickinson

-- ; ;3.. ;^ ; •

The Solitary Starfish

Illlpll

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Oddball One - The Banded Loach . . . . . . :||a|y Arrivals

0

.

11

. | |

The Aquarist's Sketchpad Members.-Programs.; , N.E.C. Delegate . . ;

;i-h:- r; • < -

MODERN .AQ.U-A:R|.i-?r/.

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Surfing The Pubs (Exchanges)

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Wet Leaves (Book Review Column)

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^ A.; ; ' . Editor" • • . . . ; f|!|jdi|b/LavG-ut. 'Editor | | ' : ; ,. '.-= .- ' ! '. ; v - -.^^:^ Director -, Be^nar::: ; Mgr. .':,,: . : ;. . ,;Edit;ori-ai Assistant , . ./..: ' H| Executive Editor . :;, ..

The Case of the Tetra Egg

. . . .

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G.C.A.S. Happenings

. 19

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

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Printing By Postal Press

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 1999 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 by VINCENT SILEO hanges. The Society has been through a lot of changes recently. Some for better, and some for worse. But change is necessary if we want to progress. There is a saying: "Stagnate and you'll die." If the Society becomes "stagnant," never changing, never trying new things, its members will become bored with it and leave â&#x20AC;&#x201D; causing the Society to die. This is why we will continue to make changes. To keep the Society fresh and fun for the membership. Some of these changes are in the works already, such as creating a written budget based upon last year's income and expenditures. This is just the beginning, the ground work necessary for more exciting changes yet to come. The best part is that every member can help determine what changes will be made. Some have indicated that we should strive to bring in big name speakers from all over. Others have suggested putting together a tour of local pet stores and trips to local aquariums. I'm sure that some of our members have other ideas for changes that will benefit the Society. But we won't be able to investigate them if we don't know what they are. We could hand out a survey asking for ideas, but I know that if you are like me, your mind will go blank when staring at the form. I think it would be better for you to write it down when the thought comes to you. Then try to determine what things would be required to make it happen. Let's say that you want to have a Society Picnic. What would be required to make that happen? The list could include: a location, activities (such as volley ball and a barbecue), equipment for the activities (a volley ball, a net, charcoal, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, etc.), transportation (car pool or bus), invitations, stamps, etcetera. I think you get the idea. Once you've gotten as far as you can, bring it to a Board member and ask if you can present it at a Board meeting or have one of the Board members do it for you. Of course, it would be best if you do it. It's your idea, and a Board member won't be as enthusiastic or knowledgeable about the idea as you will be. That enthusiasm can be infectious. Many times

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

it is that enthusiasm that convinces the Board to take a chance. Another change that will have to take place in order for us to make all of those fun and interesting changes will be a change in fund raising. The past year has taught us that we are just holding on with the income from our usual fund raising activities. The main reason for holding the Fish Frolic was to raise funds so that we could put on a show. As of this writing (which is before our May Board meeting), the date and location of our next show are undecided. But at least the funds will be there when we are ready to do it. We haven't tried many new ways of increasing our funds. The Super 50/50 never really took off, and many of the new items which we have offered for sale to the membership are collecting dust. We need new ideas on how we can generate the funds needed to do the things we would like. Again, if you have an idea, jot it down. Try to figure out how it would work and right that down too. Present it to the Board and, who knows, maybe everyone will be thanking you for making it possible for the Society to stay fresh and fun and alive!

ITEMS FOR SALE AT EVERY MEETING: Brine Shrimp Eggs ......... T-Shirts ............... . Sweatshirts â&#x20AC;&#x17E; ...... . ...... Patches ................. Pins ................... Mugs .................. Commercial Hobby Magazines . Back Issues of Modern Aquarium ----

$25.00 / can $10.00 $18.00 $5.00 $5.00 $5.00(4/$15) 25 cents $2.00

Please take note that after receiving our May and June issues this month, the next exchange mailings of Modern Aquarium will be in October, when we send out our September and October issues. Greater City does not meet in July or August, and no issues of Modern Aquarium are printed for those months. Our website will continue to be maintained and we will post information on your events, if you e-mail them to us.

June 1999


To the GCAS Membership ~ A Special Thank You! by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

s the aquarium society meeting season adjourns for the summer, I reflect back on the past year at Greater City. My aquatic life and tanks have hopefully benefited from the knowledge gained by the words of wisdom on catfish from Ginny Eckstein and Lee Finley; on cichlids from Mike Sheridan and Charlie Murphy; on plants from Don and Doug Curtin; on livebearers from Tom Neal; and on water quality and overall fishkeeping from Craig Morfltt and Patrick Donston. I feel fortunate to have traveled to Connecticut on behalf of the GCAS to share and exchange ideas and information at the Northeast Council meetings. This opportunity has broadened my horizon on clubs and societies as well as enabled me to bring home news to pass along to you.

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Most of all it has been you ~ the membership of GCAS, who have added an immeasurable dimension to my life. The first Wednesday of each month is looked forward to with great anticipation. There is not a meeting that, amongst all the whirl of excitement and activity, I don't pause and take in each and every one of you and appreciate how fortunate I am for having you as a part of my life. For this ~ I thank you! Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to seeing you on September 1st! Take Care!

Cliwcwi A Status Report from January to June 1999 Art Work

Author

Picture/ Drawing/ Puzzle

Articles 500 words or less

Points Awarded

over 500 words

Bonus1 Points

Prize

Total to date (1/99 - 3/99)

Raffle2 Chances

Donald Curtin

1

10

2

Douglas Curtin

2

20

4

1

15

3

5

60

12

7

75

N/A2

2

20

N/A2

I1

60

12

1

10

N/A2

Chuck Davis

1

Claudia Dickinson Joseph Ferdenzi

2 1

Warren Feuer Jeff George

2

Jason Kerner

1

4 1

Alexander Priest3

2

6

70

N/A2

Susan Priest

1

5

55

N/A2

Vincent Sileo3

1

10

2

Greg Wuest

2

20

4

Undergravel Reporter

6

60

12

!For

NEC and FAAS awards presented this year. To date, only NEC awards have been announced. Board members are ineligible for the Raffle 3Editorials and President's Messages excluded 2Editorial

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


3ht Bill Jacobs 1903-1999 t is with deep regret that we note the passing of Bill Jacobs on May 6, 1999, one day after he had achieved his 96th birthday. He was an aquarist whose love for the hobby spanned our century. More importantly, however, he was a true gentleman who was loved by everyone who knew him. Much of his background and accomplishments are highlighted in the article entitled "The Bill Jacobs Chronicles," which was published in the February 1996 edition of Modern Aquarium. Nevertheless, let us note here a few of his achievements and honors. In 1928 (!!), Bill was President of the Newark Aquarium Society, one of the largest in the United States at the time. A photo of him at their 1928 show became enshrined in the March 1931 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Ever active in the organized hobby, Bill was made a Life Member of both the North Jersey Aquarium Society and the Long Island Killifish Association (the only person to achieve this honor to date). In 1992, at age 89, Bill served as a Judge Emeritus at the Greater City Tropical Fish Show. Bill, up until the last year of his life, was a world-class breeder of exotic aquarium fish. No one ever walked out of his fish room in any state other than one of admiration. Perhaps, though, the greatest achievement of Bill's aquaristic life was the creation of the affection and goodwill that every hobbyist who ever met him came to feel towards Bill. His generous and happy nature made him a delight to be around. He never spoke unkindly of others, and was unfailingly polite and kind in his deeds as well. Bill is survived by his son, Bill Jr. and his family, along with his sisters Helen and Grace, and their families. Those who knew him will always cherish their memories of Bill, the gentleman aquarist.

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Send all mail, including exchange publications, for Modern Aquarium, or for the Greater City Aquarium Society to: Alexander A. Priest % Greater City A.S. 1558 McDonald Street Bronx, NY 10461-2208 To contact us via e-mail, send your message or inquiries to GreaterCity@compuserve.com Or, leave us a message on our website at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/greaterciry If you are sending an electronic file (including any article), please save the file as either: (1) .RTF (Rich Text Format); or (2) ASCII (or text); or (3) WordPerfect 5.1 for MS-DOS. Please use an "8 plus 3" file name (that is, no more than 8 letters or numbers, no spaces, and with an (optional) file extension of no more than three letters or numbers). You can send 3.5" (Amiga, Macintosh, MS-DOS/Windows) or 5.25" (CBM, MS-DOS) size disks, either high or low density. If you mail a disk, keep a copy of the file on your hard drive or on another floppy (the Post Office has been known to "cancel" programs on a disk), and include a printed copy, along with information indicating what program you used to create the file.

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


The Power of Clean by JEFF GEORGE

o to your fish room right now. Stick your hand in the longest-establishedtank in there. Feel the glass. Go. Do it. I'll wait till you get back. You're back? Good. How did the glass feel? Was it squeaky clean, or was it all slick and slimy? If it felt clean, congratulations. You're keeping your tanks thoroughly clean, and your fish are most likely strong and disease-free. If the glass felt slimy, though, roll up your sleeves. You—like me—have some work to do.

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Pretty clean isn't clean enough For most of the time I've been breeding show-quality guppies, I've been pretty faithful about changing 30 to 60% of the water in every tank at least once a week. I regularly siphon out the detritus, and replace the old water with fresh water which has been aged under aeration for at least 24 hours. Some of the older tanks have a little green algae, but they look clean otherwise, and I was always confident that they were. Then I had a 10-gallon tank that started having problems. The tank held eight male deltatail guppies I was growing out for the Spring guppy-show season, along with a couple of females to give them someone to chase. The fish were hovering just below the surface, their fins clamped. Ah, I thought, they've got that clamping disease that affects show guppies. Stan Shubel says Formalite II will clear it right up. Well, Mr. Shubel—a founding member of the International Fancy Guppy Association— was right, basically. After a five-day treatment with Formalite II, the clamping would clear up, and the fish would start acting right again. And then, a few days later, they'd be right up there at the top again, fins clamped and hovering. I'd treat again, it would clear up, and then come back a few days later. The cycle repeated a few times and, along the way, these increasingly stressed-out fish started to show a form of fin-rot we guppy breeders call "red-line disease." This is a bacterial infection visible as a red line along the trailing edge of the males' caudal (tail) fins. Now I was getting stressed out too, watching my Spring Show fish fading away. Fortunately, Gene Baudier of the East Coast Guppy Association was at my house one day. I showed him the problem tank, asking what treatment he'd recommend for red-line. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

He stuck a finger in the tank, felt the glass, and then tactfully commented, "You've got a lot of organic build-up in there." What Gene was politely telling me was that, over time, a huge population of nearinvisible bacteria and other micro-organisms had grown on every surface inside the aquarium. Of course, many of these little beasties are pathogens, waiting for stressed fish to leap upon—something I was providing in abundance! Gene told me that before I tried an antibiotic, I should thoroughly clean the tank, eliminating the bacteria population. Chances were, once the fish were in a more healthy environment, the disease problems would clear themselves up. Cleaning house Upon Gene's recommendation, I saved about half the water from the problem tank, siphoning it through a brine shrimp net to keep out any detritus. I moved the fish to the bucket holding the water I planned to save, and went to work on the tank itself. I started by draining the tank the rest of the way, siphoning out any debris, and discarding the remaining water. Because show guppies are usually raised in bare-bottom tanks, I didn't have to deal with any gravel or other decorations. The tank was then pulled from the rack and set aside for sterilization. I put a clean, sterilized, tank in its place, and poured the water I'd saved into it, gently moving the fish into the new aquarium when it was a few inches full. Most of my aquariums are filtered with common box filters, in which I use a layer of dolomite and a layer of filter floss. I saved the filter from the troubled tank, wiping the slime from the outside of the box. I replaced the floss, and stirred and rinsed the dolomite under roomtemperature tap water to clear any detritus lodged within it. I did not replace or sterilize the dolomite, so that there would be at least a bit of the good-guy, nitrifying bacteria in the tank. The cleaned filter was put back into service in the new tank. I then filled the tank back up by adding a gallon of freshly-aged water each day until it was full again. The new water was added gradually so as not to compound the stress from the handling of the fish, and their "relocation" to the fresh aquarium.

June 1999

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Almost immediately, the fish seemed happier and more active. Within a week, the redline had cleared up. The damage to the caudal fins was not too severe, and it healed nicely—the fish were still showable when the time came, and placed reasonably well in the Novice division at the ECGA show later that year. And the clamping disease, which started this whole downward spiral, never troubled that tank again. Lessons to be learned This near-disaster taught me several things, and reminded me of a few more that I "knew," but hadn't been thinking about. First, the most important factor to keeping fish healthy, or to returning them to good health when they've become ill, is a clean environment. I knew that the water in the problem tank was testing well—pH about 7.5, no measurable ammonia or nitrite—but there's more to water than chemistry. The tank, which had been running continuously for several months, had accumulated a thriving population of microorganisms, including a variety of pathogens. Second, medicines are often not necessary to save sick fish, especially if the illness is caught early enough. In this case, simply removing the fish to a more sterile environment gave their immune systems enough of an advantage to fight off the infection without chemical intervention. This is especially important when dealing with bacterial diseases, as these organisms can quickly become resistant to antibiotics when they are used carelessly. Third, and most important, if I'd done a better job of keeping the tank clean in the first place, the problems might never have occurred at all. In the Q&A session at the 1997 IFGA Annual Convention, Stan Shubel and Paul Gorski recommended wiping down the glass before every water change, to prevent just the sort of bacterial accumulation that seems to have caused my problem. When they said this, I nodded solemnly, then came home and disregarded what I now know was crucial advice. The new regime Obviously, an experience like this can significantly impact one's tank-maintenance procedures. I have made the following adjustments to my practices to prevent the buildup of these dangerous bacteria in my tanks. With every water change, I wipe down the interior of each tank with an scrubbing pad made for use in aquariums. I use a yellow sponge pad that has a scrubbing surface on one side that looks something like sandpaper, though of course, it is nowhere near as harsh. In my

guppy tanks, in which I don't care to have green algae build up, I use the scrubbing side against the glass. In tanks which contain algae-eating catfish, I scrub with the sponge side, which knocks the bacteria loose without removing all of the green algae. Between aquariums, I wring the sponge out in a net-dip solution, to reduce the chance of spreading disease in the sponge. Note that I use a sponge purchased in a pet store, and labeled for aquarium use. These days, with so much concern about Salmonella poisoning, the sponges sold for kitchen use all contain chemicals intended to kill bacteria. The introduction of these chemicals to your tank can have devastating effects on the good bacteria in your filter, not to mention on your fish themselves. A few pennies more to purchase an aquarium-grade sponge is a worthwhile investment. After wiping the insides down, I let the tanks settle for half an hour or so before siphoning out the water to be changed. This allows the now-loose bacteria to settle on the bottom of the tank, where they will be removed along with the other detritus. When you have completed your water change and refilled the tanks, the inside of the glass should be squeaky clean, not slick or slippery. And, wherever applicable, I've also instituted a policy of swapping old tanks for sterilized ones at least every three months, whether they are having a problem or not. To do this, I follow the procedure outlined above—save half the water, replace the old tank with a sterilized one, change the floss but not the dolomite in the filter, and top the tank off with fresh water over a period of two or three days. The tank which broke down on me had been in continuous operation for almost six months when my problems began. If I had been swapping tanks every three months, I believe the whole episode would never have occurred. Tank-swapping is easily accomplished with non-territorial fish kept in bare-bottom tanks. As I mentioned above, most guppy breeders raise their show fish under these conditions, and many other non-territorial fish—including livebearers, barbs, danios, tetras, and Corydoras, to name a few—are most efficiently bred in bare tanks as well. Some tanks, on the other hand, should not or cannot be so easily disturbed. Substrate-spawning cichlids, for example, may not take kindly to this kind of handling, and planted tanks obviously can't be changed out so easily. Yet, even in these tanks, I wipe them down as best as I can with each water change, and if the fish turn up sick, I

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


remove them to a sterile, bare-bottomed hospital tank for their treatment and recovery. Sterilizing tanks Key to this system is the ready availability of properly sterilized tanks to replace the old ones. Most of my aquariums are between 2.5 and 15 gallons in capacity. I have found it handy to keep two or three tanks of each size sterilized and ready to go at all times. That way, when the time comes to do a tank swap, you simply drain the old tank, pull it off the shelf, slap a clean spare in its place, fill it up and you're ready to go. Ten minutes, tops. If you have no extra tanks, you must find some place to hold the fish while you sterilize their home, a process which takes at least several hours. Plus, you never know when a tank is going to crack or spring a leak. Keeping an extra tank on hand is cheap insurance for these disasters as well. To clean a tank, once you've pulled it off the rack, follow this procedure. First, scrub it out thoroughly, removing all slime, algae, dried food, feces, etc. Then fill it with warm—not hot—water, and add common household bleach. A quarter-cup of Clorox is adequate to sterilize a 5-gallon tank, though I seldom measure it. I usually just pour in what looks about right—err on the side of too much bleach here, rather than too little.

Let the tank sit full of bleach-water overnight. Then drain it and rinse it several times with running water—a hose and a worksink make this much easier. Finally, fill it with fresh water and allow it to sit at least two hours. Then drain it again and allow it to air dry completely before putting it back into service. Try to develop the discipline to sterilize your tanks as soon as you pull them off the rack, so that you store them clean and ready to go, rather than dirty with dried-out slime and algae. Save space by storing aquariums one inside another, like Russian dolls, with a 2.5-gallon tank inside a 5, inside a 10, inside a 15 or 20. Now go feel your glass When we started, I told you to go feel the glass in your tanks. You didn't do it. I know, because I wouldn't have done it either. Trust me when I tell you how important it is to keep that bacterial slime from building up in your guppy tanks. It took almost losing a tank-full of tremendously important fish, and the timely admonishment by a much more experienced guppy man, for me to learn this. Don't you be so foolish. So go to your fish room now, and feel that glass. If it's slimy—and I bet it is—get to work cleaning it up, before those bacteria start in on your show fish!

Dueling Banjo Catfish" Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

June 1999


Submitted by Susan Priest

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore. One day he learned there would be an extremely low tide that ^ would leave the starfish stranded on the ^~ shore. The day of the tide and began picking and tossing them

went down to the beach up stranded starfish back into the sea.

An elderly man who down to the beach to

lived next door came see what he was doing.

Tm saving the

proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of %"$S the stranded starfish, he shook his head and said, "I'm sorry \^Âť to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the y&ff beach one way, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look down the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy isn't going to make much of a difference." The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down, picked up a starfish, tossed it out into the ocean and said,

"I sure made a difference for that one.11 Author unknown

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


ODDBALL ONE THE BANDED LOACH by CHUCK DAVIS

n oddball tropical fish is one that doesn't fit into most of the common categories of fishes that aquarists keep, like cichlids, killies, livebearers, or catfish. Although there are plenty of oddballs in those categories, to my way of thinking. Think of what you consider an oddball. I would bet most of you gave consideration to fish like snakeheads, arowanas, clown knives, or stingrays (which happen to be livebearers). Most of the oddballs that immediately come to mind are not community tank fish. This time I would like to look at one that is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Botia hymenophysa. B. hymenophysa is commonly called the banded or striped loach. Sometimes they are tagged with more exotic names (tiger loach or banded Thai loach), but for our purposes we will stick with the banded or striped moniker. These loaches come from a variety of habitats in Thailand, none of which will resemble your community tank. So since most loaches are wild caught, they need a reasonable time to adjust to community captivity. A few years back, while researching an article on community tank set-ups, I questioned some retailers about the banded loaches and other loaches. Most shop owners labeled loaches in general as slow sellers, specialty fish, and not very popular. Of course you will find that the fish they were selling are wild caught specimens, who were understandably nervous and looking for a place to hide - behind filters and lift tubes, under ornaments, inside thick plants, or any other dark spot they could find. It is hard to sell fish you can't see - the customer often thinks that is how the fish will act in his or her community tank. Given time,

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B. hymenophysa will more freely move about the tank for you to enjoy, particularly at feeding time. Banded loaches are easy to keep, specially in established aquariums that tend to run themselves over to the alkaline side of the pH meter. These loaches prefer a slightly alkaline water (pH 7.2 - 7.4), but neutral (7.0) is acceptable. They are not finicky eaters, but since they are bottom feeders be sure they get their share of the food, meaning, that all the food is not eaten by the surface and mid-water feeders. They have a good appetite and really like live foods. Some of their favorites are black worms, tubifex worms, daphnia and a variety of larvas commonly fed to tropical fish. Be cautioned on over feeding, as well as under feeding, particularly when it comes to dry or prepared foods. Over feeding can quickly effect a negative water quality. Regular water changes are highly touted to keep water quality from deteriorating. Experience - not a good one - will tell that these Botias are excellent jumpers. They can find any open space in a tank cover that they can fit through. And you would be amazed at how small that space can be. As a retailer, I once lost 9 out of 12 of these mini-rockets in one night. The cover was left open by negligence, and out they came, one after another. The larger ones (these loaches can reach 8 inches under good conditions) can blast off out of a tank like flying fish and travel five or six feet in the air. While they are rarely aggressive, they can be territorial. So they need their space, not only for growth, but for their natural contentment

Botia hymenophysa - The Banded Loach Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

June 1999

11


and boundaries. I prefer PVC pipe - 2 inch diameter stuff cut about 8 to 10 inches in length. Then I coat the outside of the PVC with silicone sealer and roll the pipe in aquarium gravel. This makes great houses for a lot of species, particularly Botias, and it is aesthetically rewarding. Caves and other hollows that are commercially manufactured also work well and can be found in most any pet shop. Be sure that any store-bought hideout has an opening large enough to allow easy passage for your fish. I like to keep B. hymenophysa in small groups of four to eight fish in a tank no smaller than a thirty gallon long. I like to cause competition for food and living quarters (hideouts), and that is enhanced by maintaining multiple specimens. I have found that with most fish, if there is healthy competition for the food, the fish eat more and are much less picky about dietary habits. Like most loaches, these banded loaches will root through the gravel for food. Be sure any plants, decorations or other aquascaping is

not vulnerable to their gravel rooting habits. These loaches will feed with the lights on and swim about in the daytime, if they feel secure in their surroundings. They are sometimes seen chasing each other around. Rarely will they chase other fish in the tank when kept in groups — they are too busy watching each other. If there is chasing going on, then the aquarist must observe this behavior closely to be sure that no real or serious damage is being done or that the loaches are so persistent as to cause stress in any individual tankmate. Loaches in general, particularly the larger ones, often make excellent show fish. Once again the hobbyist/exhibitor must make sure that the display tank is clean and the water quality is very good. A conditioned, active and healthy eight inch Botia hymenophysa is a great exhibit and a beautiful specimen to own — even if you don't exhibit it!

NEC Sister Society Summer Events June 13 — Maine State Aquarist Society Auction University of New England call: John Krol (207)857-9118; Bob LeBlanc (207)773-6661; Bob Piper (207)779-5156

June 20 — Elm City Aquarium Society Auction Foxon Volunteer Fire Department\Foxon Road (Rte. 80), East Haven, CT Call" Dave Schoen (203)265-9338 E-mail mschoen@snet.net

June 26-27 — Tropical Fish Club of Burlington "1999 Whole Tank Show" and Annual Auction Burlington Square Mall Burlington, VT Call Janine and David Banks at (802)372-8716 or e-mail Janine and David Banks at dbanks@together.net

August 13-15 — Black River Aquarium Society "FinFest 99, Weekend in Vermont" Tropical Fish Show and Auction Holiday Inn - Rte. 7 South, Rutland, VT Call Jack or Diane Adinolfi (802)228-3862 E-mail djadin@ludi.tds.net 12

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


Bernard Harrigan, Artist;

Warren Feuer, Research

Scientific Name: Neolamprologus sp. "Daffodil" Common Name: Daffodil Adult Size: 23/4" Native Habitat: Lake Tanganyika, Africa Water Conditions: pH 8.2+; temperature 72째F-81째F Degree of difficulty to keep: 2 (easy) Degree of difficulty to breed: 3 (moderately easy) GCAS Breeders1 Point Value: 15 Last Bred in GCAS: 1998 Articles about this fish in Modern Aquarium: "Lake Tanganyika Tango" by Warren Feuer - 12/96 "Breeding Rift Lake African Cichlids by a Complete Divider Method" by Joseph Ferdenzi - 2/97 "Best Laid Plans" by Warren Feuer - 6/98

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S.(NY)


WET LEAVES A Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST

here are two reasons why I have chosen June to review this book. The first is that I think it will make for some great summer reading. The second is that it has been long enough since Lee Finley reviewed it in AFM, that his comments are no longer fresh in your minds. The author describes the book this way: "Practical and entertaining, this is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to setting up and maintaining an aquarium full of healthy, thriving freshwater fish." This would be my description: It breaks the fishkeeping hobby down to its most basic elements; one-liners, if you will. It is as if you took five years worth of your favorite aquarium magazines and highlighted only the most important details and fine points, and then put them altogether under one cover. The emphasis is not on the fish themselves, but on the methods, techniques, and the dos-and-donts of keeping them. This is a very reader-friendly book which goes down as smoothly as a cool drink. Sometimes you want to sip it slowly, and sometimes you want a big gulp. This book lets you do either. It is an excellent book for beginners. More seasoned aquarists will enjoy it as well, but in a different way. When you come across something you don't agree with, you will explain to yourself why. You can add a new dimension to your knowledge of a topic by looking at it from the "flip side." Scattered throughout the text are a variety of shaded boxes. I will describe each of the four different "themes," along with an example of each.

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Fish Tales - Miscellaneous Facts Example: "Never release unwanted fish into the wild. Exotic species can decimate native species by exposing them to new diseases, or eating them and outbreeding them." Fish and Tips - Helpful Hints Example: "The lid of most outside power filters can be used as a tray to carry the used filter media to the sink or trash without dripping."

aquarium. Although crayfish are interesting and quite hardy, they eat anything. That includes your fish and your plants. Also, they dig burrows, disturbing your decorating scheme." Fish School - Definitions Example: "Dither fish are peaceful, active mid-water schoolers that help to keep shy fish from hiding. They are an 'all clear' sign, signaling that no predators are around, and that it is safe to come out." At the end of each of the 25 chapters is a section called "The least you need to know." This reduces the already compact information to its bare essentials. Appendix A has sample shopping lists for 2.5, 10, and 29 gallon tanks. Appendix B puts an end to myths and misinformation. Appendix C tells you where to learn more, and lists books (some of which have been reviewed in this column), magazines, and even online sources for information. These are followed by a glossary and an index. Mr. Wickham is a bit of a punster, and uses subheadings such as: "Five Easy Pisces," "Change for a 20," and "What's it All About, Algae?," etc. Once in a while I let out a groan, but for the most part I think this contributed to the "friendliness" of the text. My main criticism of this book is the occasional shaded box which should be called "not to be taken seriously." For an experienced aquarist, this is fine, but beginners might not always realize what is going on. The author hopes that even a "newbie" will know they are supposed to laugh at such suggestions as "you know your tank is too crowded when . . . you can't do a 25% water change without the fish on top getting dry." Another area where this book is weak is the photos and drawings. The photos are usually dark and underexposed, and most of the drawings do not offer enough detail. I know this sounds like a major drawback, but don't let it discourage you from giving this book a try. As I alluded to earlier, this book is not intended to be an "atlas," as we aquarists understand this term. For those of you who put reading at the bottom of your list of things to do on a lazy, hazy day, this book will fit right in. Just leave it lying around on the sailboat, the hammock (or maybe in the bathroom) and pick it up for a few minutes now and then. It is the kind of book that lends itself to browsing. Enjoy your summer, everyone!

Something Fishy - Warnings and Safety Tips Example: "Crayfish are best left out of your Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

June 1999

15


The Case of the Tetra Egg A series by "The Undergravel Reporter"

In the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Mr. Spock (actually, Captain Spock by then, and remember he is half-human), declares: "An ancestor of mine maintained that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains - however improbable - must be the truth." Unlike Mr. (Captain) Spock, I do not claim to be related to the great consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, however, Joe, I can postulate some other possibilities: o

All fish are "leapers" to some extent, given the chance. I've seen your fish room, Joe, and the tanks are fairly close together. With those two facts in mind, my first theory is that a female Hyphessobrycon ecuadoriensis simply jumped from your tetra tank to your killie tank (tetras being one of the "jumpier" species) and then either jumped back or wound up as a "crispy critter" on your floor, but only after depositing several eggs in your killie tank, all but one of which were eaten by the killies. That one egg is the one that finally hatched out in the peat.

o

In nature, some creatures' eggs are spread by other creatures. Joe, you have a dog. True, it is a very tiny dog, but it does like to jump. Is it not possible that you, after cleaning your tetra tank, might have splashed some egg-laden water on yourself or on the floor, some of which found itself on your dog (or on one of your children, who then had contact with your dog)? And, is it not then also possible that later, just prior to your harvesting or rehydrating the moss from the killie tank, you again came into contact with your dog, some of whose now tetra egg laden fur found its way back onto your person, and from there into the peat?

"All things are possible until they are proved impossible â&#x20AC;&#x201D;and even the impossible may only be so, as of now." - Pearl S. Buck, A Bridge for Passing "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth "Sherlock Holmes (The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) ast month, in an article titled "Is There An 'Annual' Tetra," Joe Ferdenzi described his experiences with a pair of South American annual killifish, Cynolebias magnificus. These fish were bred over a glass container that contained about three inches of clean peat moss. Approximately 8VÂŁ months later, this batch of peat was placed into a small tank to see if any killies would hatch â&#x20AC;&#x201D; none did, at that time. The peat was syphoned back into a fine-mesh net, and re-dried. Over 13 months later, that same peat was reused with these same fish, and resulted in fry, one of which seemed to be a little larger than the others. Weeks later, a close inspection of that larger fry revealed that it wasn't even a killifish. Rather, it was a South American tetra of a type Joe had in his fish room, Hyphessobrycon ecuadoriensis. Joe reasoned that "Only one plausible explanation presented itself: it had to be the fine-mesh net." He surmised that the net into which he drained the peat after the first attempt to hatch the killies had also been used in the tetra tank just before, and that a tetra egg remained in the fold of the net that was then absorbed by the peat moss. Joe concludes his article with a challenge, of sorts: "If anyone can suggest a different explanation for the contamination of the peat or the appearance of the tetra in the portable aquarium, I'd love to hear it."

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

"Alice laughed: 'There's no use trying,' she said; 'one can't believe impossible things.' 7 daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'" - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland Have a great summer, folks, and don't forget, tropical fish is a hobby, so have some fun with it!

June 1999

17


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June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Last Month's Bowl Show winners: 1) Tom Miglio - Nothobranchius guentheri

2) Tom Miglio - l/2 Red Guppy

The standings to date are: Sept '98 — June '99 Bowl Show Standings to date: 1) Tom Miglio - 30 points 2) Bob Wranovics - 11 points 3) Howard Berdach - 9 points,, ,:;i::::;:::: '^^m-:.:-,..,, 4) Leonard Ramroop -...SxpoJhts x:^%:x.. 5) (tie) Pat pegiSrie and Jqjf Georgejj3 p<Jtis m m .,,,, '::%;,, 6) Tsu Yo'ng Ko - Ixfioirtlij w'm '::>*x|:: ;|;:: || .:;||| .^:. x

,,:y::^

New members: William Seitz and,:Alp ;:feiO!ti^:

..^il;,,,,

1..

1

!i

f The Wifaibj: of the Atlas of Livebearers of thg.j^^^;;:|!PQ€l|ftlisher) was Leonard Raitiifttop i iiHere are meeting times and locatipjSof aquarium so(ej||i0| |i the Metropolitan New GREATER CITY

Society

: September 1 and Program TS^fe^Announced .^ 8PM ;;::Queens Botanical Cdiitaet: Telephoneij|71:8) e-mail

'^'"" (LIKA President) |F| : Kaleidoscope of Colors Hall, N.Y. Aquaruirri-i; :iiil|p|-::;ii|jh St., Brooklyn, NY;^:_wX "I3c?iiict: l^liplgnts Hotline....,,,,. ""***If :':'

. com

Association 'eets:

Big Apple

. - l i j j u r s d a y of each

(5)345-6399 Long Island Aquarium

Nassay

rity Aquarium Society

Meets: 8:00 P.M|||::,::;3rd Friday of elil month at Ho^tsviiil^^^ Buckley Rd. Holtsville, NY Contact: Mr. Vinny Kreyling Telephone: (516) 938-4066

8:00 P.M. -J^TuQsday of each . Grouse Post 3211 month at .tb xl§|ipl|liii^i-P!:::Hicksville, NY ftntact: Mr. Ken Smith Telephone: (516) 589-0913

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Meets: 8PM - 3rd Thursday of the month at the American Legion Hall, Nutley, NJ (exit 151 Garden State Pkwy., near Rt. 3) Contact: NJAS Hotline at (201) 332-4415 or e-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com

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

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

June 1999

19


Fin Fun l/acatjon Travel Summer vacation is travel time for many of us. Match the places we humans travel with those fish most likely to be found there. Mount Fuji

Goldfish

Disney World

Haplochromis sp. "Flameback"

Great Barrier Reef

Least Killifish

Rio De Janiero

Bleeding Heart Tetra

Aztec Ruins

Koi

Ganges River

Montezuma Swordtail

Andes Mountains

Otocinclus catfish

Lake Victoria

American Flagfish

New Orleans

Australian Blue Eye

Great Wall of China

Dwarf Gourami

Solution to Last Month's Puzzle: Fisn Bearing Fisn Livebearer

X

Colisa lalia Anableps anableps

X

Hippocampus zosterae

X

Phallichthys amates

X X

Altolamprologus calvus

X

Heterandria formosa Cynolebias magnificus

X

Cyphotilapia

X

frontosa

X

Poecilia velifera Hyphessobrycon ecuadoriensis

X

Pantodon buchholzi

X X

Xenotoca eiseni

X

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

20

NOT Livebearer

Xiphophcrus montezumae

X

Poecilia reticulata

X

June 1999

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

June 1999 volume VI number 6

Modern Aquarium  

June 1999 volume VI number 6

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