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Vol. VI, No. 7

September, 1999

FEATURES ;! ^tiw>\^



Editor's Babblenest


President's Message


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The Fire Killie: Handle Carefully - It May Burn You


vice -President-;: Treasurer-; , : : : v-;'- . Recording '



1999 Reader Survey: Part I


New Experiences With An Old Friend


Do You Bowl?


News From the NEC


Our Scheduled Speaker: Rosario LaCorte . . .


FAASinations (FAAS Report)


The Antiquarium


Wet Leaves (Book Review Column)


Aquarist's Sketchpad


Life Lessons


G.C.A.S. Happenings


Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)


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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



he one thing that never seems to change is the fact that change is inevitable. Starting this month, we have a new President and Vice-President, as well as some changes on our Board of Governors. I've already had several discussions with our new President, Jeff George, focusing on the role of Modern Aquarium in GCAS. Modern Aquarium itself is constantly undergoing change. Some of those changes are a response to comments from our members. You'll see a few of those in the coming months, as we review the results of our Reader Survey. Some changes result from improved technology, which allows us to do more. Finally, some changes happen because we can no longer do something, or not do it the same way as before. An example of this is that our printer and illustrator, Bernie Harrigan, does not have the time to continue his monthly cartoon column. So, "The Amusing Aquarium" cartoon column will no longer appear every month. (But you'll still be able to enjoy Bernie's excellent illustrations on our "Aquarist's Sketchpad" page for some time to come, as well as occasional article illustrations by him.) However, starting this issue, we have a new feature developed by our Photo and Layout Editor, Jason Kerner. This new feature, "The Antiquarium," will showcase advertisements and items that appeared in aquarium publications many years ago. I want to thank Bernie for his many cartoons and for his continuing contributions to Modern Aquarium. I also want to thank Jason for "stepping up to the plate," so to speak, to provide our readers with a feature that, while not intended to be "funny," should bring a smile or two, whether you're old enough to remember the original advertisement or not.


In order to keep Modern Aquarium going strong, we continue to need original articles from our members. One interesting thing you will see in the analysis of the responses from our Reader Survey is that several members gave as their reason for not writing articles a statement to the effect that they are not good writers. I really don't know how to make you believe that what you have to say is more important than the way you say it. Just recently, an article was submitted to me by a person who has written for Modern Aquarium in the past (and even won awards for some of those articles) which, after I read it, raised questions in my mind as to the real intent of the writer. I brought my concerns to the attention of the author, who realized that in trying to address one problem, the article used language that was so broad as to cause confusion. The author made some small changes and cleared the matter up nicely. I mention this because I want to let you know that all articles (even those from people with proven writing "skills") are carefully proofread for style, grammar, accuracy (to the extent that we can), spelling, as well as "does it make sense?" I will discuss major problems with the author and automatically correct small ones. The article that appears in print will reflect the author's thoughts and experiences, and will be in the author's own words, as much as possible. But the finished product will also be a credit to Modern Aquarium, Greater City, and the author, and no one but you, the author, and I, will know what it looked like in the beginning. We also need people to join the Editorial Staff of Modern Aquarium. We need someone with a computer (PC, Mac, or Amiga) who can type in handwritten (and occasional tape recorded) articles and save them to disk. We need someone with Internet e-mail to "chase" authors (including some of the Officers of Greater City) for promised articles and information. We need a "roving reporter" to interview other members (in their home, by phone, via e-mail, or even by exchange of letters), for a planned column featuring mini bios of our own members. We need someone to help with distributing Modern Aquarium at meetings. We need photographs suitable for Modern Aquarium covers, and photographers willing to go to members' homes to photograph fish. Many of the improvements we are planning depend upon getting more volunteers.

September 1999

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

President's Message by JEFF GEORGE elcome back to the Greater City Aquarium Society after a long, very hot, summer. We on the Board of Governors are glad to see you all again, and hope you'll be as excited about the coming year as we are. Greater City has a lot planned to close out the old millennium and get the new one started in a big way. The big news is that Greater City will be hosting a major aquarium show in the Spring. Leave the weekend of May 5, 6, and 7, 2000, open and plan to join us for our first show since the Diamond Anniversary Show in 1997. We've reserved the beautiful new hall at the Queen's County Farm Museum for the weekend - if you made our Auction last Spring, you know what a great site this will be for a fish show. The event will feature an all-species fish show, fascinating speakers, giant dry-goods and livestock auctions, and a Saturday-night awards banquet with Ginny Eckstein as the keynote speaker! Pete D'Orio and his lovely wife Roberta have stepped forward to organize the event, so let's all step up and help out to make this the biggest, best show Greater City and the Long Island tropical fish community has ever seen! Our seemingly tireless and certainly charming Programs Chairwoman, Claudia Dickinson, has already lined up a tremendous array of speakers for the coming year. We kick things off with legendary aquarist Rosario LaCorte, as he recounts tales of his many decades in the hobby. Later in the year, we'll be treated to presentations by those two doctors of cichlidology, Paul Loiselle and Wayne Leibel. (Has anyone else noticed that the good doctors rhyme?) In the Spring, our own Mark Soberman will debut a talk on those popular little fellows, the Corydoras catfish. In addition to several other entertaining and informative speakers, we'll also enjoy our traditional Holiday Party and Silent Auction in January and April. And if Claudia gets desperate, maybe she'll lower her standards enough to let me slip a night of Fish Wits in somewhere! Most of us may not realize it, but running a club with the size and activity level of the GCAS requires a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication by a handful of key people. Of course, all of us owe a debt of gratitude to the many volunteers who keep our club moving, but I'd like to take a moment to offer a special thanks to a few special people.


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

With the conclusion of the 1998-1999 season, Ben and Emma Haus and Pat Piccione retired from their posts on the Board of Governors. All of them served for more than a decade, Ben as Vice President, Emma as Treasurer, and Pat as Recording Secretary. Their knowledge, experience, effort, and good humor have helped lead and operate Greater City for many years, and their presence at Board Meetings will be sincerely missed - though we will still see them at the regular meetings. Thanks to each of you: Pat, Emma, and Ben, for all you have done for us. I'd also like to congratulate Vince Sileo on a successful two-year run as President of the GCAS. Vinny has run the club almost since I joined it, and will be a hard act for me to follow. Though Vinny has stepped down as President, he'll still be around - I managed to trick him into staying on as my Vice President. With him to back me up, I feel much more confident about my own chances of holding things together. I'd also like to thank Rosie Sileo and Greg Wuest, who are staying on in their posts as Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary. The Board of Governors for 1999-2000 will be rounded out a great team of veterans: Mary Ann and Joe Bugeia, Pete D'Orio, Carlotti De Jaeger, and Claudia Dickinson, as well as Mark Soberman and Warren Feuer, who are both returning to the Board after a couple years' sabbatical. Thanks to all of you for your confidence in me, and for your loyal support and continuing dedication to the club throughout the coming year. And finally, let me add a word about a group of key players who do nothing but make the club look great, and yet often get overlooked: Al Priest and the staff of Modern Aquarium. Al and his team - Joe Ferdenzi, Warren Feuer, Jason Kerner, Bernie Harrigan, Mark Soberman, and Susan Priest - are a self-running "black box." The President's involvement with the magazine consists of this, most-likely irregular, column. Otherwise, Al and the MA machine just make the magazine happen. Thanks to the whole staff for producing the greatest aquarium society journal in the country, and taking on all the stress and pain of that responsibility so we don't have to! As you can see, we have a great year coming up. I'm looking forward to each and every event, and I hope you are as well. I'll keep you posted on what to expect through this column and at the monthly meetings. And, of course, we always need more help. If you can imagine any way you can help make the club more like you want it to be, don't be afraid to step up. Any input - be it advice, effort, good feeling, whatever - is most welcome. See you at the meeting!

September 1999


ne of the most strikingly colored freshwater fish ever created by nature has to be the African Fire Killie, Nothobranchius rachovii. This diminutive killifish is the rival of even gaudy marine fish. Its coloration is so bold and unique that it is one of the few killifish that has never been misidentified or confused with any other species. Obviously, its great beauty has made it a very sought-after fish with generations of aquarists. Ah, but therein lies a siren's tale — its beckoning appearance has led many an amateur to the shoals of disaster. The Fire Killie is not a fish for the casual aquarist. While it is small (the larger males rarely exceed two inches), and will live happily in a five gallon tank (or even smaller), it does require a certain amount of dedication. For one, the aquarist has to be dedicated to water changes. The Fire Killie, like most Nothobranchius, is very sensitive to poor water quality (meaning water overloaded with organic pollutants). They will come down with "Velvet" (a protozoan infestation) quite easily. "Velvet" (named for the velvet-like sheen that envelops the fish) can be easily cured if caught early. (Malachite Green or other anti-parasitic medications will usually suffice.) However, constants bouts with the parasite will, of course, impair the vitality of these fish. The causes and effects of poor water quality are exacerbated by the small volume of water in which you will usually house these fish — smaller tanks are easier to pollute. Therefore, weekly 20% water changes (with one teaspoon of salt per gallon of water added) are highly recommended. Secondly, Fire Killies will generally ignore anything but live food. Therefore, the dedicated aquarist must be willing to purchase or raise (or both) a constant supply of live food — tubifex worms, black worms, blood worms, daphnia, or brine shrimp. Fortunately, as to the last, adult Fire Killies will eat even newly-hatched brine shrimp. This is a relatively easy to raise live food. If you give these fish good food and pristine water quality, they will breed. In fact, this is the one area where the amateur will not encounter any significant problem. When it comes to sex, Fire Killies are virtual breeding machines. Adult rachovii will lay eggs just about


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

every day of their adult life. However, the reason behind that driven sex life gives rise to another aspect of their maintenance that makes most amateur aquarists cringe — they are annual fish. Annualism is a trait of certain killifish that is shrouded in mythology — few people are prepared to deal with it, or so they believe. In actuality, the raising of annual fish is not all that difficult (albeit, again, it does require dedication), and it is one of the most rewarding experiences any tropical fish enthusiast can have. The essential features of breeding annual killifish involve providing a small bowl into which is placed the spawning medium (usually peat moss or a gardening clay known as Green Sand), collecting the eggs and storing them for two to three months, re-immersing them in water, and watching the resulting bloom of fry. The details of the process are beyond the scope of this article, but they can be learned from any good killifish book, joining the American Killifish Association, or talking to any aquarium club member who has bred annuals. Lastly, the Fire Killie really should have an aquarium dedicated to itself. While it is small and peaceful, it is not an ideal community tank resident because of its relative shyness. It will usually be out-competed for food by swifter or more aggressive fish, and, in a well decorated or planted tank, it will tend to hide, thereby depriving the aquarist of the full enjoyment of its magnificant colors. I have refrained from describing its colors because words (especially mine) would never do it justice. But, get out any standard reference work on tropical fish and you will undoubtedly find a photo of it. I know once you see it you will say "Wow!" Remember, however, that while this piscine beauty may give rise to a fire in your heart, it may cause your hopes for success to go up in flames. To become a member of the American Killifish Association, send $24 to: AKA Membership Committee % Joe Bulterman 14939 Ashfort Ct. Laurel, MD 20707

September 1999

1999 Reader Survey: Part I by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST

rom February through May this year, I passed out, publicized, and had available Modern Aquarium Reader Surveys. There was also a raffle as an additional incentive to complete the Survey. Despite all this promotion and incentive, participation was still below what I would have liked to see. Three years ago, Joe Ferdenzi (the then current Greater City President) conducted a Member Survey. The questions in the two surveys were different, as the surveys themselves had different purposes. While it is possible to make some comparisons (as I am about to do), please understand that two surveys with different questions, given to two groups of similar but not identical individuals, and given years apart, cannot be exactly compared. In addition, some people only indicated their most favorite article topics in the 1999 Survey, making an analysis of the Reader Survey difficult.


Topic Interests In 1996, the topics our members indicated that they were interested in having a speaker address were: Plants, Cichlids, and New World Catfish. Three years later, the article topics Modern Aquarium readers indicated that they are most interested in are: Plants (a clear favorite by a wide margin), "How To," Livebearers, and Tetras. The following article topics were also very highly rated, and of about equal interest: Anabantoids, Angelfish, Catfish, Cichlids, Guppies, articles on aquarium history, Killifish, and coverage of GCAS Shows. Of moderate interest to most readers are articles on: Bettas, Loaches, Ponds, non-GCAS Shows, and coverage of the GCAS Breeders Award Program. Of some interest to most of our readers are the topics of: Discus, coverage of the activities of both the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) and of the North East Council (NEC) of Aquarium Societies, Goldfish, and Reptiles/"Herps." Some topics neatly split our readers into different camps. The percent of members "Very Interested" in articles on Discus was exactly the same as those who are "Somewhat Interested," which was exactly the same as the percent "Not At All Interested" in Discus articles. Of course, another way of looking at this is that those interested to some extent in Discus articles represent two thirds of our membership. The topic "Ponds" also had over two thirds of our members interested in articles to some extent. While about half our readers want articles on Reptiles/Herps, the other half are not interested in this topic at all. The Greater City Breeders' Award Program, Shows (Greater City's and others), and the activities of both FAAS (the Federation of American Aquarium Societies) and the NEC (North East Council of Aquarium Societies) all received more positive than negative votes.

Only two topics could be said to have received clearly "negative scores" (which is to say that the majority of our readers indicated that they had no interest at all in reading articles on these topics). These are: Marine Fish and Marine Invertebrates. Neither of these topics received even one vote for "Very Interested" and their "not at all" votes clearly exceeded the votes showing even the slightest bit of interest. This is consistent with the 1996 Member Survey, which showed that Marine Fish, Amphibians, and Reef Aquariums were the speaker topics our members cared least about. Our Overall Readership Rating All of our readers rated Modern Aquarium as either "Excellent" or "Very Good" with a majority rating us as "Excellent." Only one person indicated a preference for Modern Aquarium issues without a "theme." Most of our readers responding to the survey indicated that they liked both theme and non-theme issues equally, with a small percentage preferring theme issues. Interestingly, neither on the question of giving Modern Aquarium an overall rating or on the issue of "theme vs. non-theme" did anyone indicate "no opinion." What's Next At least two more articles on the Reader Survey will follow. One will be devoted to the features our readers like and dislike most. I will also try to address how I intend to use the results of the Survey in planning future issues. One article will be devoted, at least in part, to issues raised that go beyond Modern Aquarium. (Some who completed the Survey also made comments about Greater City.) I will enlist the aid of our new President in responding to those.

September 1999

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

New Experiences With An Old Friend by WARREN FEUER

ne of the great things about belonging to a tropical fish club such as Greater City is access to the latest and most desirable fish. Often, members can obtain fish through auctions and donations that are not available elsewhere. For example, several years ago, Joe Ferdenzi successfully bred Archocentrus nanoluteus and distributed fry among the members while it was a hot and highly desirable fish. Quite often, many of the most desirable cichlids, catfish, killies and rainbow fish that are either prohibitively expensive or just not available anywhere else appear at our auctions, almost always for extremely reasonable amounts. For a change, however, I would like to write about a fish that I have been keeping that is bringing me a great deal of enjoyment, is extremely inexpensive, available everywhere and requires a minimum of care. I promise, I won't make you read this whole article to find out what fish I am writing about, I'll tell you right now, it's the good old guppy, Poecilia reticulata, as we Latin buffs call it. Or is it Lebistes reticulatal Either way, it's a classic that's been around for years and years and almost everyone has kept it, even if just to feed to other fish! Like most of us, I kept Guppies as one of my first fish many, many years ago. Since I started keeping fish again about 10 years ago, I've mostly been obsessed with cichlids and fancy catfish. I never considered a fish as plebian as a Guppy. However, in a recent visit to Cameo Pet Shop I noticed some really beautiful Guppies and my eyes were drawn to some Snakeskin guppies that were there. Once I got the fish home, I acclimated them to their new home and let them loose. One of the benefits for me in buying fish at Cameo is that our water conditions are the same, so fish


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

don't have to go through any major adjustments to get used to the water conditions in my tanks. The fish are in a 10 gallon tank that contains a large amount of Java Moss, some Java Ferns and a rather large Anubias plant. I am not doing any active isolation of pregnant females or using a breeder trap to collect and protect babies, so it is my hope that the plants will afford the babies enough shelter to allow as many as possible to escape predation from the adults in the tank. I am sure that a fair deal of predation exists, as I see many newborns and not as many seem to grow to maturity. Enough have survived, however, that I was recently able to bring a bunch to Cameo for sale. To further limit predation, I try to feed the fish at least twice a day, giving them small meals each time. It is my hope that this feeding schedule will distract the fish from eating babies, as well as allow more rapid growth of the fish. As exciting as I find my exotic catfish and the spawning and fry raising of my cichlids, I have really been enjoying keeping guppies. There's something interesting and fun about watching live bearers, and I understand why so many aquarists keep them. The "natural" set up that I am keeping them in has allowed me to observe the fish behaving more as they would in the wild than keeping females in a breeder trap just to obtain a maximum spawn. While it is always exciting and fun to keep a new and rare fish, sometimes re-visiting an old friend can be just as rewarding and stimulating. Next time you see one, don't overlook it right away!

September 1999


o I'm not talking about that game where you throw a big black ball at a bunch of white pins. I'm talking about the Bowl Show. The Bowl Show isn't a Tupperware Party or program preceding the Super Bowl. The Bowl Show is your chance to show off your most beautiful fish at our regular meetings. This is an aquarium society and we all enjoy seeing some nice fish displayed at the meetings. Just pick out some of the most beautiful, healthy fish in your collection and bring them down to the meeting. Once at the meeting, set your fish up in the 2.5 gallon tanks provided by the Society and enter the names of the fish followed by your name in the bowl show book. That's it. That's all you have to do. The fish don't have to have been bred by you, this isn't the Breeder's Award Program. In fact, there really isn't anything stopping you from picking up some fish at your local pet shop on the way to the meeting and entering them into the bowl show. How would we know? However; I wouldn't recommend it. Fish at the local pet shop are usually over crowded and many have only recently been transported to the pet shop. All this stress will take its toll on the fish and the fish will not be at its best.

Third, the fish will be easier to catch just before the meeting, again providing less stress on them and on YOU!


Fourth, this will allow you to give the selected fish some extra Tender Loving Care.

Feed these fish carefully. Provide them with a variety of prepared and live foods two or three times a day. This will allow them to fatten up and make sure they are getting the nutrients they need to really show off their best colors and finnage. Change 10 - 20% of the water every day. This will take a few minutes out of every day but the results are well worth it. With the special feeding routine your fish will be processing more food and with it comes more waste elimination. The filter can't take out everything and any waste in the water will cause ammonia to rise and the pH to drop. This in turn will prevent your fish from showing their best color and finnage. Of all the steps mentioned, this one is the most important. Water quality is everything to a fish! Use buckets to transfer your fish to the meeting.

HOW TO BE A WINNER! Decide which fish you want to enter into the Bowl Show a week or two before the meeting. Don't wait until the last minute to look at your fish and choose which looks best. Under that kind of pressure many people decide just to give up and not participate at all. Catch the chosen fish and set them up in a separate aquarium. Separating these fish into another aquarium does four things: •


First, they are less crowded and less stressed; Second, it eliminates the chance that the fish will be damaged by another fish in the same aquarium;

Preferably, use a bucket with a cover. Using a bucket does two things. First, it allows you to bring enough water to fill the 2.5 gallon tank; thereby not having to fill in with water of a different chemistry, or leaving your fish without enough water to adequately show their size and finnage. Second, you could leave most fish in a three or five gallon bucket for a couple of days without having to worry about loss of oxygen. Don't forget to complete the Bowl Show Book! You must fill in your name and the name of your fish in the bowl show book, or your fish won't be judged. Even if you have labels, signs and video presentations next to your bowl, if you're not in the book, you're not in the competition. You don't need to know the scientific name of the fish, the trade or common name will do. And

September 1999

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

even if you're not sure of the name of the fish, I'm sure that someone at the Society will be able to help you out. So please don't let that stop you from participating.

HERE COMES DA JUDGE! Some people believe that their fish won't stand a chance because someone will bring in a more colorful or larger fish. But the truth is that your fish will not be judged against the other fish in the bowl show competition. Yes, you read that correctly, your fish will not be judged against the other fish in the bowl show competition. What it's being judged against are the ideal specifications for your fish. So even though your fish might not be as colorful as some others, if it is showing the correct colors for its breed, it may still win. And if your fish is an inch and half long but its ideal size is only an inch and a quarter, your fish will be judged to be an outstanding specimen. So don't be intimidated by all those colorful Africans, bettas and guppies. And don't be intimidated by those large cichlids and catfish. Just be concerned with your fish and its ideal type. Now I'll be taking over as Bowl Show Chairman this season and I will personally judge all the entries. If you really want a shoe-in to win, please bring a pint of ice cream to the meeting. Whose ever flavor I like best will win. Seriously, we usually request that our guest speaker judge the bowl show for us. The obvious reasons being that they usually know a great deal of knowledge on a large variety of fish and perhaps even more importantly, they have no idea whose fish they are judging and can give us an accurate judgment.

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

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? First, Second and Third place ribbons are given at each meeting, providing prompt recognition of the best fish in that Bowl Show. This is in addition to showing your fellow members that you really do know how to keep fish! You will also be competing for cumulative points. The competitor with the most points receives the Bowl Show Champion trophy at the January Holiday Party and Awards Dinner. Starting this Bowl Show Season (September 1999 to June 2000), we will also recognize those participants whose cumulative points came in second and third places with a certificate, to be awarded at the January, 2001 Holiday Party and Awards Dinner. We believe that those members who participated and competed all year long should be given the recognition they deserve. Since the Bowl Show Season coincides with our Meeting Season (September through June) The awards given at the January Holiday Party and Awards dinner are for the preceding season. So don't be surprised when we don't give our second and third place certificates at the January 2000 meeting. The awards given at that time will be for the 1998-1999 Season.


So will you be "bowling" with us this season? The season has just begun and it's anyone's race who cares to be in it. I hope you will.

September 1999

News From:

The Northeast Council Of Aquarium Societies by CLAUDIA DICKINSON

elcome back to the beginning of what promises to be a great new season for the countdown of the millennium coupled with the 25th anniversary of the Northeast Council! Two days after I saw you at our June meeting I was in Connecticut representing the GCAS at the NEC delegate meeting. There was a lot of discussion to be had with big plans underway in celebration of such a special year ahead!


It has crossed my mind that many of you have heard of the Northeast Council, but possibly are not sure of just what the Council is all about. I thought I might take a moment to tell you about the council itself. •

The NEC is an organization made up of member aquarium societies throughout the Northeast. There is a board of directors, much like the GCAS directors, and there are delegates from each club who convene every three months in Hartford, Connecticut to exchange information and ideas. Each year the NEC plans and hosts a HUGE convention, which brings together all the members such as you to enjoy a weekend full of friends, speakers, events, a tremendous auction and loads of fun. The NEC is available to assist and strengthen member clubs in any way possible and to help out in obtaining program material. The NEC facilitates the exchange of information among member clubs.

The NEC sets standards for judging and in fact has training courses for members to become qualified as judges.

The NEC has established resources of material, which are available to GCAS as a member club. The NEC is available to assist with revitalizing existing clubs. The NEC spends much effort to promote the hobby in general and to assist member clubs in publicizing their activities, such as annual shows and auctions.



With this in mind, we will now move on with the monthly reports with possibly a better understanding of what they mean to you as a Greater City Aquarium Society member. There's a lot to plan for this fall with the NEC sister societies hosting loads of events for us to enjoy! September 10-12: Tropical Fish Society of Rhode Island Show and Auction September 19th: Danbury Area Aquarium Society Auction October 1-3: Norwalk Aquarium Society Show and Auction October 8th: Brooklyn Aquarium Auction


October 10th: New Hampshire Aquarium Society Auction October 22-24: North Jersey Aquarium Society *Extravaganza* Show and Auction Please bring those NEC Breeders Award credit slips with you as you bring your fish to auction! I have plenty available and am happy to file them for you and to answer any questions! The points belong to you and it's easy and FUN! September 26th will be the next general meeting for NEC delegates and the GCAS will be at the Queens County Museum Fair doing our annual Aquarium Beautiful display and Betta sale. It will be a difficult decision as to which event I shall attend! Hmmm...Let's see...Maybe I can drive up to Queens on Friday for the Saturday portion of the fair and then up to Connecticut for the meeting?.. Take care!

September 1999

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

Our Scheduled Speaker This Month:



"A PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH ROSARIO THROUGH THE WORLD OF TROPICAL FISH" by CLAUDIA DICKINSON t is a great privilege and honor to present to you Rosario La Corte ~ a legend in the truest sense of the word, looked up to and revered by all. His legacy has been narrated so perfectly by Roger W. Langton in the Journal of the American Killifish Association, March/April - Volume 29, No. 2, 1996. Rather than attempt to outdo what has already been done to perfection, I pass along a reprint of this to you on your chairs this evening. It is the Rosario that I have been so fortunate to come to know whom I shall tell you of. A man whose kind and gentle spirit radiates throughout his home, his family and all of those who have the good fortune to cross his path. This peaceful spirit emanates throughout his fishroom and surrounding forest, where the leaves rustle from tall trees casting their dancing shadows over the streams and ponds where he is often out cultivating live foods for his fish. Rosario, along with his lovely wife Jean, welcomed a dear friend and myself into their home with all of the charm, grace and warmth one could imagine. Over china cups of delicious steaming hot tea and coffee, and platters laden with a delectably delightful assortment of crumpets and cakes, prepared by Jean in her seemingly effortless style, we comfortably engulfed ourselves in a lively hour of fishy conversation. We went from collecting trips to Brazil, to the first ever captive spawning of Pterolebias peruensis by Rosario and on to tales of adventures with the likes of Ross Socolof, Pierre Brichard, Alan Fletcher, Harold Schultz, and Stan Weitzman. It was then time to descend into the magical world of Rosario's fishroom. My first vision was a fifty-gallon tank that seemed to illuminate the entire room by the brilliance of the huge school of Emperor tetras housed there.


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

I'm certain my mouth had fallen ajar as I stood in awe and heard of Rosario's line breeding these beautiful creatures for 40 years! I was overpowered by the mystical aura as I walked down the aisles, peering into tank after tank of the loveliest tetras, barbs and killifish. The sound of Rosario's voice in the background, describing the history of each species, melded with my taking in and digesting as much as I could of the filtration methods and appropriate plants and gravel used for spawning. Many species were rare, most were line-bred by Rosario ~ all were in beautiful condition and reproducing prolifically. It was all I could do to depart such a dream, but when Rosario spoke of salamanders and newts under the rocks outside, I could barely contain my excitement! He patiently humored me by taking us behind the house where we peaked carefully under every promising stone and slab of slate, exhilarated by the idea of discovering one of these lovely creatures. It is here where Rosario showed us his ponds, streams and pools of water where he raises daphnia, worms, and larvae. These, as well as other live foods harvested inside, are all fed to his fish on a regular basis. He believes this, along with regular water changes, is a key to successful fishkeeping. It was time to be on our way. As I turned to take in one more glimpse, I knew. This was a maestro, conducting a glorious symphony in true harmony with his orchestra. This was Rosario La Corte.

September 1999


The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he "May/June-July/August" issue of the FAAS Report (FR), the publication of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies, has nothing new to report. (There was no March/April issue.) There was no mention of the 1998 FAAS Publication Awards, nor of the FAAS Logo contest. FAAS President Maxine Gorsline wrote: "By the time you read this FR there should be a new slate of officers, members of the board, and committee chairpeople." The new FR Editor, Randy Seufert, wrote: "Yes, the computer age is here, and it not only makes it easier for getting a publication like this ready, but also makes it easy to get information out to others. Based on those statements, I went to the official FAAS website at: http://www.tomgriffm.com/FAAS/index.html to find out who the new officers and committee chairpersons are. But, the FAAS website had not been updated since 9/14/98! (The prior Editor of FR was still listed as Editor and the new officers and committee chairs were nowhere to be found.)


T h e "President's Message" in the last FR listed nine committees in need of new chairpersons (Sales, Delegate Liasion, Elections, Nominations, Legislation-USA, Publication Awards, and Statistics). The list of chairpersons in FR indicated an additional vacancy for the chair of the Convention '99 Committee. However, it appears that the member societies will not know until the September/October issue of FR how many of those positions have already been filled. When more information on existing and vacant Oficer and Chair positions is available (and, of course, when information on the Publication Awards and Logo Contest is finally made known), I will report to you.

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Aquaaiic1 Life




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

323 Grove Road,

September 1999

South Orange, N. J.


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

ne of my favorite things to do is poke through the "bargain" books available at most larger book stores. Somewhere between the cook books and the biographies of Civil War heroes, I found this treasure. This book was not written for aquarists, but anyone with a serious interest in fishkeeping will enjoy and benefit from it. This book is a publication of the American Museum of Natural History in N.Y.C. Mr. Maisey is the curator of vertebrate paleontology, paleontology being "the branch of geology concerned with the study of the fossil remains of animal and plant life." He feels that fossils provide "tantalizing glimpses into pre-history." Fishes are a type of vertebrate known as craniates. The difference between a vertebrate and a craniate is that the word vertebrate refers to the backbone, which is absent in most primitive fishes. Humans and fishes share (among other anatomical features), a brain with several chambers surrounded by a skeletal cranium. The development of jaws was the most important evolutionary step in the history of craniates. Unique to the anatomy of jawed fishes are paired fins (pectoral and pelvic). With a recorded history of 450 million years, sharks are the oldest group of jawed fishes that still exist today. Those who claim to know such things say that fishes appeared on the earth almost 500 million years ago. "The oceans are 4 billion years old, but they have held fishes for less than one eighth of that time." Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of all the water on the earth. Astonishingly, this 2.5% includes the polar ice caps. Forty to forty five percent of all fishes inhabit fresh water. This small percentage of fresh waster must also meet the needs of all the "tetrapods" (that includes us humans!). Throughout the text, Mr. Maisey repeatedly returns to the theme that humans have many similarities to fishes. Another favorite theme is the discussion of evolutionary success. How is it measured? He concedes that fossils


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

cannot reveal all of the details, however he believes that fishes represent "evolution's greatest success story." We are also offered clues to the methods used by paleontologists. For example, "finding the bones of one species [of fish] in the stomach of another indicates that they lived together rather than having been washed together after they died." The artwork, photographs, and drawings in this book are arresting, fascinating, and yes, even tantalizing. I wanted to reproduce one along with this review, but my editor informed me that even if I was meticulous in giving proper credit, I would be in violation of copyright laws. Maybe it is just as well because I can't imagine how I could have chosen just one. The glossary is modest. By that I mean that there are a large compliment of scientific terms familiar mostly to paleontologists and zoologists. This book was written for laymen (that's us), and (we) would have benefitted Illlllill by a little extra l | | | l i | | | | | | | | l | | attention in this area. With each turn of the page I was hoping to find a familiar face, or a latin name that I had learned from the pages of Modern Aquarium. There were Lungfish and Bichirs, Gars and Perches. However, I found no fossil of a Frontosa, or artist rendering of an Arowana. The fishes in this book are the ancestors of the ones we are keeping in our living rooms. This does not mean, however, that the fishes we are keeping are the most advanced. Evolution is a very unorderly process.

Please honor our request for two additional copies of any issue of your publication in which you reprint an article from Modern Aquarium. This is in keeping with current practices in the Hobby. We will, upon request, provide amateur aquarium hobby societies complying with this guideline with articles on disk or via e-mail. Please direct all correspondence about Modern Aquarium to: Alexander A. Priest 1558 McDonald Street Bronx, NY 10461-2208 Or, you can send us e-mail at: GreaterCity@compuserve.com

September 1999


Bernard Harrigan, Artist;

Warren Feuer, Research

Scientific Name: Nannacara anomala Common Name: Golden Eyed Dwarf Cichlid; Golden Dwarf Acara Adult Size: 31/2"c? — 2"? Native Habitat: Guyana, Africa Water Conditions: pH 6.5-7.0; temperature 72°F-80°F Degree of difficulty to keep: 2 (easy) Degree of difficulty to breed: 2 (easy) GCAS Breeders1 Point Value: 15 Last Bred in GCAS: September, 1998 Articles about this fish in Modern Aquarium: "Breeding Nannacara anomala" by Jose Perez - 5/94

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

September 1999


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September 1999

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

When a member of the opposite sex approaches, it never hurts to show a little flare.

Life Lessons

Whether you build it with stones or air bubbles, it's how well you tend your nest that matters. • Sometimes running around in circles is progress, if it keeps the bigger guys from getting you.

A series by "The Under gravel Reporter"

• Don't bite the hand that feeds you. * • Sample everything you can, whenever you can.


• A Bavarian castle does not a king make.


• When someone with a big mouth appears, it's often just best to leave quietly.

Here are a few lessons for life, derived from watching the fish in my aquarium: • If you are interesting enough, or cute enough, people will seek you out, even if you hide in a cave all day. Sometimes it's fun to move against the current. • If you get right out in front and do your best to get attention, you'll get fed. • School is much more fun when you have more friends along with you. • The best way to adjust to a new situation is to float outside for a while and get a feel for the surroundings, before jumping in. • Study every pebble and rock on your way. You never know what you may find that you missed the first time. • Keeping clean is the most important step to keeping healthy. • Changes may not seem very pleasant while they are happening, but without them you'll stagnate and die. • Too much change too fast can be stressful and harmful to your health. • Leaping without looking first can leave you high, dry, and stranded.

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

• There is no substitute for clean, pure water. • Don't depend on chemicals to keep you in balance. • Being a big fish in a small tank isn't as much fun as you might think. • Sometimes you have to travel away from home to be appreciated and admired. • Home is where you feel safe, even if it looks like a cave or drainpipe to others. • There's nothing like a few plants to improve your surroundings. • Sometimes, cleaning up is a scum sucking j o b — but someone's got to do it. • Be it smoke, oil, or water, just because it passed through a filter does not mean it's clean. • A change of appearance is one way to let the opposite sex know your're interested. • If you don't plan ahead, too much rearranging can have everything come crashing down on you. • Just when you thought you reached the end of your journey, you find you have to turn around and start all over again. • Never underestimate your foe. Small back biting attacks can be just as bad as a major battle.

September 1999




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September 1999

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

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

2) Tom Miglio - Red Guppy

The standings to date are: Sept '98 — June '99 Bowl Show: 1) Tom Miglio - 38 points 2) Bob Wranovics - 11 points 3) Howard Berdach - 9 points,,::;;:;:;:: "'*****%&&.*..,..,.. 4) Leonard Ramroop - 5 t?mhts 5) (tie) Pat peciSne and Jejf Georgelift 6) Tsu Ypng Ko - l^poinil •

The winner of the Hobbyist's Guide to the Natural Again iii, by 'Biff 'Chip Andrews Press) was Leonard Ramroop .,^|l|?O::x:^::'' •^||i;|;||- :;|.


- 1 999 ''Oi|pe Prize Winner:


Our C?!por Prize for October is scheduled tp:::SSfes%; !- ;;;i;%he Complete Aquarium Probl;e;rn-!glolver, by


\r of an Aqua Clear 200 pow

liBoyd. Remember, you onlft|Ip

.:::::::::::::::::::::tO attend tllC meeting tO^^ligible for this

meeting times and

sociel||| lli||| "pletripjjiolitan New

Society Next'Meeting : Spi||||i;. Basil Topic : " FflhrQoirns and: lickouts Garden

ti|f September 1 7 ' ':^;

, N.^; ;pjuariurri . &8th;, : BAS Events : (7 1 8)

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ofl: month aif::l|:::Queeril§fGj||^ III Contacts: JeHi;|Jeorge ?''ili||:::gau(iier w Telephone: (7l!l28-7190 / "(I

P.M. fmonth a||je ^Contact :x'|||.:g|pri(l 63 l-

Nassau 0gy||gpiquarium Society

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

|jjiii!xl::W':p!M. - 2nd Tuesday of each month at the William M. Grouse Post 3211 V.F.W., Rte. 107, Hicksville, NY Contact: 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

Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

September 1999


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium  

September 1999 volume VI number 7

Modern Aquarium  

September 1999 volume VI number 7