__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


ON THE COVER The “Escondido” (Herichthys carpintis) is a fish not commonly seen in the aquarium hobby. Learn more about this interesting New World cichlid in the article “Escondido?” by Dan Radebaugh in this issue. Photo by Alex Apostolos GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members President . . . . . . . . . . . Joseph Ferdenzi Vice-President . . . . . . . Mark Soberman Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jack Traub Corres. Secretary . . . . . Warren Feuer & Sharon Barnett Recording Secretary . . . . Edward Vukich Members At Large Pete D'Orio Jason Kerner Carlotti De Jager Ben Haus Leonard Ramroop Emma Haus Artie Friedman Committee Chairs Breeder Award . . . . . Warren Feuer and Mark Soberman Early Arrivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . Al Grusell F.A.A.S. Delegate . . . . . Alexander Priest Members/Programs . Claudia Dickinson N.E.C. Delegate . . . . Claudia Dickinson MODERN AQUARIUM Editor in Chief . . . . . Alexander A. Priest Associate Editors . . . . Susan Priest and Claudia Dickinson Copy Editors . . . . . . . . . . Sharon Barnett Dan Radebaugh Exchange Editors . . . Stephen Sica and Donna Sosna Sica Photo/Layout Editor . . . . . Jason Kerner Advertising Mgr. . . . . . . Mark Soberman Executive Editor . . . . . . Joseph Ferdenzi

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 2007 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 January and February. Meetings are the first Wednesday of the month and begin at 7:30 P.M. Meetings are at the Queens Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact: Joe Ferdenzi (516)484-0944. You can also leave us a message at our Internet Home Page at: http://www.greatercity.org or http://www.greatercity.com


The Editor’s Babblenest

by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST wrote last month that I was bringing back an Internet column. “Interfish Net” will alternate this year with reports on the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies and/or the Federation of American Aquarium Societies. The first Interfish Net since 2002 is in this month’s issue. I hope you find it useful — please let me know. As this is our April meeting and we have our Silent Auction/fleamarket, there is no speaker. Now is a good time to pass on some advice about speakers and “experts” in general. Listen to them, but don’t assume that everything an “expert” says or writes is applicable to your particular fishkeeping situation. You’ll see someone write in a commercial magazine, or in a hobby publication (including Modern Aquarium) that such-and-such is a “rule” when keeping fish. Actually, when keeping fish there are no rules, not even a rule that a fish must be in a tank or bowl of water. (In years past, Siamese Fighting Fish were shipped between sheets of wet newspaper, and I once had an adult Betta enisae come out alive from a syphon tube where she was, unknown to me, stuck for three days with no food, out of the water, and in 85-90 degree heat. Three days later she was swimming and eating without a single missing scale and showing no ill effects. However, I do not recommend trying this at home.)

I

2

One highly respected expert we had at a GCAS meeting last year advocated removing virtually all the water from a tank, allowing the fish to flop around on the bottom, and doing a 100% water change. I can say without any hesitation that if I tried that on a tank of Chocolate Gouramis, I would wipe out that entire tank. Now, to be fair, this expert did not recommend this for Chocolate Gouramis, his specific example was Oscars. W hile I’ve never kept Oscars, I have no reason to doubt that they would respond favorably to (or at least tolerate without detrimental effect) this type of treatment. The advice given wasn’t actually incorrect, but neither was it a Universal Truth to be applied to every species. W e heard last year from one respected expert that the mulm and detritus on the bottom of your tanks, while not very attractive, has been proven by laboratory testing to be harmless to fish. A few months later, another expert told us that this mulm and detritus was the breeding place of all sorts of harmful organisms, and should be removed for the health of your fish. Could they both be right? I guess it’s possible, depending on the composition of the buildup. I don’t pretend to know for sure, and other than mentioning that I’m confused, I can offer no advice. I know I have some fish known to be found in their native habitats “among leaf litter and detritus.” W hether the bottom gunk in any of my tanks qualifies as such, I have no idea. Bottom line: take all advice (including this advice I’m giving you now) with the proverbial “grain of salt.” In other words, be open to new ideas and ways of doing things, but be skeptical and practical. Anything that sounds too easy or too extreme should trigger warning bells in your head. Research, and talk to other aquarists. An aquarium society meeting is the ideal place to ask whether something has already been tried by someone else, and if so, under what circumstances, and with what results?

April 2007

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


President’s Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI

L

ast month’s meeting represented the opening of our 2007 season. The March weather on the day of our meeting was a bit “iffy.” (Isn’t that March for you?) Frankly, I was a bit concerned about the turn-out of members, given both that weather and the winter hiatus. Well, wasn’t I pleasantly surprised?! The meeting room was filled to capacity. I can only conclude that our members really missed the meetings, and couldn’t wait for our new season to begin. And, a stellar meeting it was.

Our guest speaker was Arie Gilbert, President of the Long Island Aquarium Society. Arie gave us a very informative presentation on using CO2 with aquatic plants. This was the best presentation on this topic that I have ever seen or read. It was comprehensive but concise, with plenty of practical tips. Time after time, our Speaker Chair, Claudia Dickinson, brings us the best speakers from around the country (thankfully, Arie is right in our own “back yard”). The auction was also superb. Not only did our members contribute an amazing variety of fish and plants, but the bidding for every item was very spirited. This made me very happy on all fronts. Remember, we’re heading into a major event in November — the AFISH Convention. We need to be financially strong going in. With your continued support, as exemplified at our March meeting, I know we will be. Thank you. Excelsior!

Rules for April’s “Silent Auction” / Fleamarket This month, Greater City has its annual “Silent Auction”/fleamarket. Here is a brief summary of the rules:  The seller sets an opening price for each item.  Bidders write down their bids in increments of at least $1.00 That is, your bid must be at least one dollar more than the previous bid, and you may only bid in even dollar amounts (such as $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, etc.) Bids of dollars and cents such as $1.50, $2.75 will be invalidated.  A bidder may not cross out his/her own bid to enter a lower bid.  The highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the item.  Proceeds are split 50/50 between the seller and Greater City. (Of course, the seller may also donate 100% of the proceeds to Greater City!)  Items not claimed by winning bids (or if there were no bids, by their owners) at the end of the auction become the property of Greater City.  Bids entered after the auction has been declared closed will be invalidated. The decision of the Auction Chairperson or President on whether this has happened is final.

Coming soon! - Mark your calendars! The biggest fish event in the New York Area!

November 9-11, 2007 Best Western Hotel Riverhead, NY [Suffolk County]

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

April 2007

3


by CHARLEY SABATINO beadgc@nyc.rr.com

The Pennyworts: Hydrocotyle leucocephala, Hydrocotyle verticillata and Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides The purpose of this ongoing series is to expose you to the vast array of plants available in the hobby, their origin, characteristics and structure, growing requirements, common names and synonyms, availability, and cost. I will try to sprinkle in any personal experience I have had with these plants and will also try to answer any of your questions— so feel free to email me. This month we will discuss three plants all part of the Pennywort group: Hydrocotyle leucocephala, a longtime aquarium favorite, Hydrocotyle verticillata, and Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides. Origin and Structure: The genus Hydrocotyle (A.K.A. Pennyworts) consists of more than 100 species, with only a few that are of interest to aquarists. Hydrocotyle leucocephala (the plant generally known as Pennywort) has been in the hobby for a long time, and is very easy to cultivate both as a rooted or floating plant. It originates from South America, has kidney shaped leaves, and can grow quite tall. Hydrocotyle verticillata is also from South America, has leaves that almost look like mushroom coral, and is a fore-to-midground plant. Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides is from South East Asia, has roundish leaves with two to four lobes (they look like a poorly formed clover), and is good for the midground. Both Hydrocotyle verticillata and Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides are creeping plants that crawl along the substrate by runners that form roots along every leaf node. Growing Requirements: Hydrocotyle leucocephala is by far the easiest plant to cultivate. It can tolerate a pH of 5-9, and any water hardness. Hydrocotyle leucocephala doesn't care if it is floating or rooted—it will grow happily and quickly. The literature states it needs high light. I have found anything but the darkest tanks would be fine. Light intensity affects growth rate, leaf size and the spacing between rooted nodes.

4

Hydrocotyle verticillata is a bit more difficult. It can tolerate a pH of 6-7.5, and soft to medium-hard water. Here, I would agree with the literature—it needs high light. I have been able to keep this plant alive, but not have it grow appreciably. CO 2 would probably help here. Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides is MUCH more difficult to cultivate. But, in my opinion, it is the coolest looking of the three. It can tolerate a pH range of 5-8, and soft to medium-hard water. Again, I agree with the high light requirement and I feel CO 2 would be almost a necessity. I have had little to no luck with this plant. Common Names and Synonyms: Hydrocotyle leucocephala is almost always called Pennywort. Be careful, because another plant, Cardamine lyrata, is also called Pennywort. It is of similar shape and ease of cultivation but has a more "delicate" appearance. I have also seen large specimens of Hydrocotyle verticillata mislabeled as Pennywort. Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides is always called by its Latin name. Availability and Cost: Hydrocotyle leucocephala is regularly available in many local fish stores, usually selling for between $2 to $4 per bunch. I have never seen Hydrocotyle verticillata (correctly identified, that is) or Hydrocotyle sibthorpoides anywhere except online. They usually run about $7 or so for a group of plantlets. I hope this article has helped you to appreciate this gem of a plant and has inspired you to try to cultivate it. Lots of Luck!!!!

April 2007

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


Escondido?

(Herichthys carpintis) by DAN RADEBAUGH

W

hile looking at some pictures on Mo Devlin’s website a couple of years ago, I came across a video of a fish he referred to as an Escondido. I immediately thought, “Some day I gotta get me one of those!” As luck would have it, I came across a juvenile (around two inch) pair being sold online by someone in my neighborhood, so Marsha and I stopped off on our way home from work and picked them up. Checking their quarantine tank the next morning, we found the female dead –– I’m pretty sure due to harassment by the male. Annoyed by my lack of watchfulness, but not defeated, I came across another forum member selling a group of six juvies, also originally obtained from Jeff Rapps, as the first pair had been. These I installed in a new 40 Long and, after a suitable quarantine time, added my original male (now somewhat larger than those in the new group) to the mix.

In the meantime, the original male had a couple of temporary domiciles. The first of these was in a 55 with some juvenile Chocolate Cichlids (Hypselecara coryphaenoides), Severums (Heros severus), and an Uaru (Uaru amphiacanthoides) of about the same size. This didn’t last long –– he was just too “assertive” for that group. His next stop was a 125 with some larger fish –– Oscars (Astronotus ocellatus), a Green Terror (Aequidens rivulatus), a couple of large Bala Sharks (Balantiocheilus melanopterus), a Leporinus sp., and a pleco. Here he was fine. No aggression problems at all, so he remained there until I was confident his new gang was OK. As those of you with cichlids know, introductions are often tricky. Introducing him to the new group gave rise to some disputes –– mostly over hiding places. With these fish, the most dominant gets the most desirable hideout, and so on down the line. Once the seating order was

Herichthys carpintis

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

photo by Alex Apostolos

April 2007

5


worked out, peace reigned. They all traveled around the tank together in a “follow-the-leader” arrangement, and genuinely seemed to enjoy one another’s company. Feeding was a bit of a scrum, but there was no “I can eat, but you can’t” behavior that some other fish will display. As they grew I cleared out a 55 and moved them into that, again with a good supply of hiding places, including a fake barrel that my original male took possession of. After a month or so, I noticed that one of the smaller fish was now being allowed to join him in his barrel, and was helping him keep the “riff-raff” out –– the two of them now also busily digging all the way down to the glass while inside the barrel. Even I can sometimes take a hint, so I found a new home for the other five, and let the new couple set up housekeeping on their own, except for a pleco and my oldest current fish, a Blue Gourami that matches their turquoise color. After a few more months, spawning took place in the familiar cichlid manner — lip-locking, color-displays, etc. They are substrate spawners, do quite a bit of excavation, and are quite particular about where they dig. They keep their pits fastidiously maintained, even when not spawning, and if the gravel vacuum destroys a pit, it will be re-excavated in short order. A lot of their flirting took place either inside the barrel, or under a turtle bridge. They had removed all the gravel from under both items. Even though their behavior indicated that they were on guard duty, I wasn’t able to see either the eggs or the wrigglers until they became free-swimming. During the second spawning, I was able to spot the eggs (at least some of them), but again, I didn’t see the fry until they were free-swimming. This is somewhat astounding to me, because there are A LOT of fry. Lots and Lots! I believe they may put the eggs, and later the wrigglers, in more than one location, as they seemed to be simultaneously guarding both of their redoubts (the barrel and the bridge). Time and further study will tell.

These fish are excellent parents; both male and female cooperating for guard duty. They kept the gourami strictly away from the spawning area(s) and from the newly swimming fry. But once the fry attained a certain size, the gourami was again tolerated. They still remain deeply suspicious of the pleco. The fry are tolerated completely, and must at some point be separated from the parents, as some will pick at the parents’ slime coat until raw spots develop. Eventually, as the fry reach a certain size, the parents will begin to show some impatience, but this is likely because they are becoming impediments to another spawn. The Escondido, though I have not found verification that it is native to Escondido (either the city or the river), is a regional, turquoise color variant of H. carpintis (for the region of the bay of Carpintero), the so-called Green Texas Cichlid. Nevertheless, Escondido is a nice name as popular names go, and to me at least seems to suit the fish. The whole Texas thing is the result of some early taxonomic confusion between H. carpintis and the Texas Cichlid, H. cyanoguttatus, which unfortunately persists to this day, even among people (fish shop owners for example) who ought to know better. It isn’t really that hard to tell the difference. I’ve found them to be beautiful, altogether delightful fish. They are somewhat shy, but very personable, friendly, and people-aware. Unlike some of my other cichlids, not once have they even threatened to chomp me during tank maintenance or fry relocation. They have a reputation for aggressiveness, but I’ve found that to be selective, and certainly no worse than most other Central American cichlids you might name. Their requirements are modest: they’re easy to feed, don’t require unusual water conditions, spawn readily, and are exemplary parents. Adult Size is usually 7" to 9". They aren’t that common in the hobby and, to my mind, they are a great choice for something colorful and a little different.

Our Generous Members

It seems that almost every monthly Greater City auction is bigger and better than those preceding it. This is in no small part due to the generosity of our members who bring home-bred fish and tank propagated plants, among other things, to be auctioned. While the names below are most certainly not all who contributed to last month’s auction, they are those who contributed and signed our recognition form. If you donate items to our auction, please sign the recognition form on the auction table, so that we can recognize your contribution the next month. In March, our generous members included:

Al Grusell, Al &Sue Priest, Dan Radebaugh, Anton Vukich, and Ed Vukich

6

April 2007

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


by JERRY O’FARRELL

I

have been keeping, breeding, and raising albino fish for a long time. I currently have albino Eureka Red Peacocks, albino German Red Peacocks, albino Angelfish, albino ancistrus Bushy Nose Catfish, and albino blue and red guppies. Some people think that albino fish are man-made. Nothing could be further from the truth. The albino gene can be found in just about everything. Some people think, because they don’t see albino fish in the wild, that they don’t exist. Well they do; it’s just that, because of their white color and pink eyes, they cannot hide from predators in the wild. It’s like being a light that’s turned on all the time. They stick out like a sore thumb, which makes them easy prey. But every once in a while someone catches one of these fish that has managed to survive, takes them home and breeds them, then back breeds them, to get a strain of albinos that will breed albino. You can breed albinos to albinos and get albinos. However, every now and then you have to introduce a normally colored fish to strengthen the line and gene pool. This is because the albino gene is a weak gene, and you will start seeing deformities in your fish as well as weak fish. Sometimes you can avoid doing this by traveling to auctions out of state and picking up or finding albino fish of the same species you are breeding. You can also go on-line to look for these fish. Once you have become a geneticist, you can start breeding color into your albinos. For example, my Eureka Reds are called red because of the rich red color the males obtain. This is done by line breeding, that is, selecting the best colored male to breed with the best colored female. I am currently working on getting the females to the same rich redness of the males, and I am proud to say I am getting close. I don’t think they will ever be as red as a male Eureka Red, but when you’re hooked you have to try. The female Eureka Red is almost always white-bodied. This may sound strange — an albino fish with red color — not so, because the two predominate colors for albinism are red and blue. If you have ever known any human albinos you can look into their eyes and see that some have blue eyes and some have red eyes. I have gotten one albino yellow male guppy. I am not sure how this happened, but I did introduce some Tequila Sunrise males to the tank last year for a couple of

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

days because of lack of space. I guess they got giddy with it, and impregnated some females. A few generations later, I get a yellow albino male guppy. Now I have another hook that will drive me nuts. Some people are very good at breeding albino fish. Take, for example, the albino angelfish the Asian fish breeders have perfected breeding and raising. They have veils, pearl scaled, and whites. I, on the other hand, have bred thousands of fry, and cannot grow them to size. They all die a few days after becoming free-swimming. My good friend, Gino, has also bred as many fry but he was lucky. He managed to raise thirty out of thousands to adulthood. My guess is that they are smaller than normal angelfish fry, and need microscopic food for themselves and, secondly, because they are albino, they may have very poor eyesight when young. We are still trying to figure it out. We tried raising them both with, and without, the parents. One day we will find the key. Once you decide to breed albino fish you can run out of tank space real fast, because you just can’t cull them right away. Like my Eureka Reds, you have to let them grow up some in order to see the color of the fish, as all albino fish are pearly white when young. It can take a month or two to see the color, and another month or two to see if it’s going to be the rich red color you are looking for, or some pink and faded fish. Only then will you know when to cull. My German Red albinos, of which I have just acquired a breeding colony, have bred; and I have some fry that I hatched from eggs. It is too soon to see how they will turn out, so I have to keep them all, but I will let you know if they turn out as beautiful as my Eureka Reds. Then there is that strange thing that can happen. When I bred one of my albino bushy nose ancistrus pairs, a strange thing happened — all their young grew up to be normal-colored bushy noses. Then when I bred the young, I got a fifty/fifty ratio of albino and normal. So the rule of albino to albino may not always give you albino because, like I said, the albino gene is a weak gene, and whenever possible the normal gene will dominate and produce normal colored fish, even though the parents are albino. One other thing, don’t confuse all white fish with albinos. For example, Blind Cave Fish

April 2007

7


are white because they don’t see the light of day. They are born with eyes and some color, but lose it. Their eyes get covered over because they live in total darkness, and never see the light of day. Well, that’s all for now, I’m starting to get off track, so it’s time to go to the peace and

serenity room, lay on the recliner, rest my fingers, turn on the music and watch the action in my tanks, and hope that the Eureka Red female I am looking at will give me the rich red female fry I am looking for.

Albino Angelfish

Albino Eureka Red Peacocks

Albino Red German Peacock All photos by the author. 8

April 2007

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


http://greatercity.com

Searching The Search Engines or some reason, a website that allows you to search the Internet is called a “search engine.” W hile there are many types of Internet search engines, I’m going to discuss two basic types now. One type of search engine compiles and uses its own information base to return results. This is the “Google,” “Yahoo,” “MSN” type. Another type, called “metacrawlers,” or “metasearch,” engines search multiple search engines of the first type to give you composite results. W hile you might think just using a “metacrawler-type” would be better (since you are, in effect, searching several search engines at the same time), you need to realize that only the top ten or so results from each individual search engine searched are displayed in the results of a metacrawler-type search. How often have you found that what you are looking for was in the middle, or even near the bottom, of a search engine’s list of “hits?” These results would generally not show in a metacrawler type search. W hile the Internet is a great resource for aquatic research, it has its limitations. As far as I know, there is no website on which you can type something like: “three inch fish; brown body, three horizontal stripes, blue ridge on dorsal and caudal, vertical bar at caudal peduncle” and get a set of photos that approximate your description. If you are trying to identify a fish that you have (or have a photo of), your best bet is the “Photo Index” volume of the Baensch Aquarium Atlas. Or, if you at least know the genus of the fish you are looking

F

Name and URL (address)

for, you can browse the appropriate Aqualog book or a speciality volume for that genus. On the other hand, there may be times when you have been told that a fish you have (or want to acquire) is a certain species, and you want to confirm this. Or, you have what you know is a male (or female) of a certain species and need to see what the opposite gender of that species looks like. Or, you might want to see what the fry of a certain fish look like. In each of those cases, you have a species name and want to search for photos of species. W hile you can try just typing in the name of your fish into the searchbar of any good search engine , several search engines have specific ways to search for photos, making these searches easier (remember to put quotation marks before the genus and following the species name so that it is treated as a single phrase, and not as a search for one or the other name by itself). I have compiled a list of my favorite search engine websites, indicating which have specific image search features (to search for photos of a fish), and which are metasearch engines (that search more than one search engine). There are many, many more search engines than those shown below. These are just ones I have personally tested and found to be useful. It was not my intention to catalog or rate all of the search engines currently available for use. But, if this helps you find only one search engine that helps you to find something you might not otherwise have found, then this article will have served its purpose.

Image search?

Comments

click on “Pictures”

Even though All The W eb uses the Yahoo search technology, its “customize preferences” feature allows you more control over your searching experience than does Yahoo itself.

click on “Images”

Ask Jeeves (now renamed to just plain “Ask”) was the first commercial “question-answering” search engine. Queries can be done in a question format (such as: “W hat is...?” or “How do...?”).

http://www.alltheweb.com/

http://www.ask.com/

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

April 2007

9


Name and URL (address)

Image search?

Comments

click on “Images”

Clusty is a metasearch engine that groups similar results together into “clusters” to help you review your search results by topic.

click on “Images”

Dogpile is a metasearch engine that claims to be “All the best search engines piled into one.”

click on “Images”

The Fazzle metasearch engine has a very nice “preview” feature.

click on “Images”

Currently, Google is one of the most popular (and powerful) of the search engines. The term “to google” (that is, to perform an Internet search) has even entered our contemporary vocabulary.

click on “Pictures”

The ixquick metasearch engine shows results based on the number of “top 10” rankings a site receives. (Five stars next to an item means that five search engines picked that same site among their top ten.)

none

The KartOO metasearch engine provides search results in a very interesting graphical manner.

Click on “Immagini”

Libero is an Italian search engine, but it is an excellent source for photos, nonetheless.

click on “Images”

Calling itself: “The mother of all search engines®” M amma (note the double “m”) was among the first metasearch engines on the web.

click on “Images”

Metacrawler is one of the oldest metasearch engines. It began in July 1995 at the University of W ashington.

click on “Images”

Microsoft’s MSN Search search engine has greatly improved in recent months.

click on “Images”

Search.com metasearch engine searches Google, Ask.com, LookSmart and other search engines.

none

Searchy.com is a metasearch engine that uses worldwide (not just U.S. based) search engines. Its sister website: searchy.co.uk/ searches 15 search engines in the United Kingdom.

click on “Images”

Once the number one search engine, Yahoo is making a strong comeback against its major rival, the currently number one ranked Google.

http://clusty.com/

http://www.dogpile.com/

http://www.fazzle.com/

http://www.google.com/

http://www.ixquick.com/

http://www.kartoo.com/

http://www.libero.it/

http://www.mamma.com/

http://www.metacrawler.com/

http://www.msn.com/

http://www.search.com/

http://www.searchy.com/ http://www.searchy.co.uk

http://www.yahoo.com/

10

April 2007

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


A Photo Glimpse of

Underwater Key Largo by STEPHEN SICA

E

very year or so, Donna and I like to spend a few days in the Florida Keys where we might go diving a day or two. In late April 2006 we decided to take a long weekend in Key Largo, which is a relatively easy 65 miles or so from the Miami airport. We booked a three night hotel/two day dive package. I decided to bring my digital camera and its waterproof case and strobe. We did two morning dives the first day and two afternoon dives the next day. Typical underwater visibility in Key Largo averages forty to fifty feet, but this weekend it was at least seventy-five feet, possibly the clearest visibility that we had experienced in Key Largo. I was determined to use this opportunity to take numerous photos in order to follow the adage that if you snap enough pictures, a few will be good. The water temperature was a cool seventy-six degrees, which is cold enough to require a two or three millimeter wetsuit for warmth. But once the water temperature rises to eighty degrees in mid-May, protection is only necessary to avoid scrapes or minor bruises. The air temperature was eighty-five degrees. But, the greatest bane to diving is the wind, which causes waves and stirs up particles in the water, and often reduces visibility to two or three feet. That is no fun. Also, try climbing up a wet and slippery ladder at the back of a small boat while the waves continuously jerk it four or five feet up and down. Talk about smashed fingers. It also nullifies decent photography, and makes finding the dive boat next to impossible, unless you stay right under it. At the end of the year, while I was using up my vacation time during the holidays, I decided to review some of the photo files that I store on my laptop in order to edit the good ones and cull out the clunkers. As a result, I decided to put together a few good ones--hopefully--to prepare a simple “photo article” of some fish life of the Florida Keys, specifically Key Largo, for Modern Aquarium while the GCAS is on hiatus for the winter. I was thinking about that other adage that one picture is worth very many words; hence, an easy to write article!

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

While the Keys have been suffering from coral loss from bleaching during at least the last ten years, its fish life has remained stable. Corals grow in two primary patterns: small patches and fingers, such as the fingers of a hand where you can swim up and back each finger to search for larger fish hiding in the crevices formed between the coral walls and sand bottom. Swimming on top of the fingers, one encounters smaller fish. A patch reef may be likened to a tiny biomass in the sand, although some patches are fairly large. The reefs begin about five miles offshore in depths of fifteen to fifty feet. The average depth of most reef dives is about twenty-five feet. Obviously, all offshore reefs and wrecks are accessed by boat. Most major wrecks are farther offshore in depths exceeding one-hundred feet. The deepest depth of our four dives was only thirty-two feet. On many of Key Largo’s reefs, the corals are bleached out in large patches, but the Keys still have both hard and soft corals of all varieties. Farther down the Keys in Marathon, there are bleached reefs of poorer quality. Fortunately, fish are almost everywhere. Grunts are the most common species group. They congregate in large schools. Many schools are mixed with different species of the same size. Some schools assemble under overhangs, which I suspect offers protection versus being out in the open. Other common fish are snappers, but in the Keys you are apt to find all the Caribbean species. I have tried to capture some less common fish in these photographs, and describe their patterns and colors, if possible, since black and white reprinting does not do them justice. Rather than caption each photograph, I have included a brief descriptive caption in the remainder of this narrative. You should be able to place each caption with the correct photograph. 1) Donna (Homo sapiens) hovers above the wreckage of a coral encrusted winch. It was undetermined if the winch was from a ship or land. She is wearing a three millimeter wetsuit with booties and gloves. Her air supply is a 63 cubic foot aluminum cylinder since the water is shallow. Deep dives are usually made with the “standard 80” which holds 77.4 cubic feet of air. Single steel cylinders can hold as much as 130 cubic feet and weigh almost fifty pounds.

April 2007

11


2) School of Smallmouth grunts (Haemulon chrysargyreum) with a sand and bleached coral background. Five or six yellow stripes over bluish silver body with yellow fins. Maximum length is ten inches. These fish are typical of the schooling grunts throughout the Keys. 3) Great barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) with a patch hard and soft coral reef in background. Long, silver body with scattered, dark blotches. Drifts around reefs and below small boats usually solitary or in small groups. Normally moves away if closely approached. This fish is about two and one-half feet in length but normally maxes out at three feet. It can grow to six feet. 4) Spotfin butterflyfish (Chaetodon ocellatus) hovering near Giant brain coral (Colpophyllia natans). Fish is silver-white body with bright yellow fins. Black bar on head runs across the eye. Black dot on outer edge of rear dorsal fin. Maximum length is eight inches. Brain coral is brown but the color can be green with a change to brown.

12

5) Spotted trunkfish (Lactophrys bicaudalis). White body covered with black spots including fins. White around the mouth. Maximum length is sixteen inches. Swims above reefs but wary of divers and retreats into protected areas when approached. 6) Scrawled cowfish (Acanthostracion quadricornis). Scrawled pattern of bluish markings cover a blue-green to yellowish body with a blue line running from snout to anal fin. A sharp spine above each eye distinguishes cowfishes from trunkfishes. Maximum length is eighteen inches. 7) Gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus). This is adult specimen with gray body and a yellow inner face on the pectoral fin. Average size is ten to eighteen inches with a two foot maximum. Usually approachable by divers. 8) Stoplight parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) nibbling Sea Plume (Pseudopterogorgia spp.), a soft coral Gorgonian. The fish is in its initial phase prior to full maturity or its terminal phase. The head and upper body is mottled reddish brown. It has a red underside and tail. When mature the body is from blue to green. This fish ignores divers unless closely approached.

April 2007

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


2007 AKA Convention

May 25th through May 27th, 2007

Ramada Milwaukee Airport Hotel & Convention Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The AKA convention is the national killifish event of the year, held on Memorial Day weekend. It is held in different cities each year, depending on which affiliate club successfully bid to host it. This event is attended by killifish enthusiasts from all over the US, Canada and from other countries. It starts on the Friday evening, with talks on Friday and Saturday. There is a show in which many species of killifish, ranging from the common to the very rare, are there for display and for judging. On Sunday, the big auction takes place, with hundreds of pairs of killifish, including all those in the show, for sale. If you want to see and acquire killies, this is the place to do it! But most of all, this is a wonderful opportunity to socialize with fellow killie enthusiasts. Register online at: http://www.aka.org/convention/ Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

April 2007

13


FISHKEEPERS ANONYMOUS by SUSAN PRIEST

his month’s autobiographer is no “April Fool.” W e have a very savvy and smart fishkeeper here. Once you know who this is, you will be questioning them on many subjects, so start jotting down your questions now, and be ready next month when we reveal the identity of this highly experienced fishkeeper. I know you will enjoy reading about our

T

? ? ANONYMOUS ? ?

babies being born and trying to keep count of how many there were.

Is there someone you think of as a mentor? My father was definitely my mentor and no one has even come close to being a mentor after he was gone. By the time I was five years old I could go into the fish store and tell the people in the store the names of all the fish. That was Anonymous Fishkeeper/April 2007: because instead of reading me stories, my dad used to show me the pictures and read to me about the P lease introduce fish in Innes’ book. yourself. That book was like the I have been bible to him and he Suggested Questions around the hobby gave it to me when I T Please introduce yourself. since I was a little had my own tank. I T Tell us about your favorite aquarium. girl. My father was a still have the book to T W hat was your very first fish? hobbyist from the this day, as well as T Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. time he was a teen some very cherished T Is there someone you think of as a mentor? until he passed away memories. Tell us about him or her. some thirty odd years T Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” ago. I still have fish Describe your T If you were a fish, which one would you be? today, so suffice it to “Fantasy Fish Tank.” T W ho is your “Hobby Hero?” say I’ve been around I never really T W hat fish which you have never kept would for a while. My thought about a you like to acquire? father’s two favorite fantasy fish tank. I’ve T Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” fish to breed were thought about a T Describe your most memorable fishkeeping angelfish and Betta fantasy fishro o m , experience. splendens, so it’s not though. I live on the T W hat advice would you give to a too much of a stretch second floor of my beginning fishkeeper? to say that angels and mother’s house, so a T W hat are your fishkeeping goals? bettas are also my fishroom is out of the - OR write a narrative story favorites, along with a question, at least for few others. now. But if I could have a fishroom I Tell us about your favorite aquarium. probably would have at least a hundred tanks filled My favorite aquarium at the moment is with all of my favorite kinds of fish. my planted 75 gallon tank on a wooden stand. It is the home of my 4 Koi Angels, 3 black Veil Tail If you were a fish, which one would you be? Angels, half a dozen Cherry Barbs and a couple of If I were a fish I would probably be an cory cats. I also keep various cichlids, Clown angelfish. They are such regal fish, and interesting Loaches, platies, gourami’s, danios, and W hite to watch. Clouds. W ho is your “Hobby Hero?” W hat was your very first fish? I don’t really have a hobby hero, at least My very first fish were guppies. They had not yet. ½ black bodies with bright red delta tails. I remember sitting up all night just watching the 14

April 2007

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


W hat fish which you have never kept would you like to acquire? I have never kept a discus and would someday like to try. They are the most beautiful fish. Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” My biggest fish keeping blooper was having an undergravel filter in my tank and never cleaning it. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why my water kept going acid on me and the nitrates were off the charts. Then one day I decided to break the tank down and start over again. I was appalled at the amount of mulm that was trapped under there that the siphon could never get. After that, the undergravel filter was no more. Describe your most memorable fishkeeping experience. M y most memorable fishkeeping experience, back in the early eighties, was when my Panda Catfish spawned and I watched the babies hatch out of the eggs, and having them survive. Back then it was rare for people to have cory cats spawning. W hat advice would you give to a beginning fishkeeper? The advice I would give to a beginning fishkeeper is to be consistent about changing your water and to closely observe how your fish are behaving.

pare aquariums; now there’s a concept! W ho among us could possibly be that well organized ? D oes this quote remind you of anyone? “He always has a friendly smile, gives great advice on breeding and fishkeeping, and is willing to share his knowledge that has been obtained over 50 Joe Graffagnino years in the hobby w ith n o v ic e a n d expert alike.” That is how our autobiographer for March described his “Hobby Hero,” Rosario Lacorte. If we substitute 30 for the 50, I think that it is a perfect description of our own Joe Graffagnino. W ould you agree? He is a speaker, an award-winning author, and a heck of a nice guy. In December of 2006 he received the designation of Grand M aster Breeder in the GCAS Breeders Award Program, for having earned 500 points. He speaks of continually setting new and higher goals. It is hard to imagine what goals could be left for him to attain, but I’m sure he makes all of us want to work a little harder on behalf of our fish and our hobby. Many thanks, Joe, for sharing your thoughts and experiences with all of us.

S

W hat are your fishkeeping goals? One of my fish keeping goals is to someday have a fish room with enough tanks that I could keep all the different fish I am interested in.

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

April 2007

15


by BERNARD HARRIGAN

LITTLE LANCELET LOOKED AT AS THE MISSING LINK The lancelet, a tiny spineless fish from Tampa Bay (subphylum: Cephalochordata), has been recognized as the most primitive invertebrate with an immune system like humans. Very primitive animals, fungi, and even plants have what is called an “innate immune system.” The innate immune system has built into it a “hit list” of certain molecular patterns that it attracts. Once the organism is born, these specific molecular patterns (hopefully, the ones of attracting microorganisms) are locked in, never changing except through future generations being born with new foes on their hit list. But even with future generations, once a lifeform that has an innate immune system is born, its hit list is written without being able to add any names. Then, some 500 million years ago, the adaptive immune system emerged. As its name implies, the adaptive immune system can adapt. It can add names to its hit list, and remembers which antibodies it used against which microorganisms. Humans have an adaptive immune system, and so does the lancelet. Some of the proteins that the lancelet makes for its immune system are very similar to our own. Some are even better. Understanding what makes them better and how they are made can lead to improvements in our own immune system. This can help in the fight against cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and maybe even AIDS. All this hope comes from a little worm-like bottom feeding spineless fish from Florida.

NEWER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER You might not realize this by just looking at them, but sea urchins are fantastically designed creatures, looking like a mediaeval mace with spines that sometimes reached about a foot long. These spines can be hollow or solid, ranging from painful and infecting to venomous and possibly deadly. They can be used for locomotion, transferring food to its mouth, or as pinchers. Their outer shell and spines are made from calcium-magnesium carbonates. The calcium-magnesium carbonate composition of the shell and spines virtually reaches the scientific maximum strength for a calcium-carbonate material, and that’s just dealing with the outside. Scientists sequencing their chromosomes have found that 70% of the urchin’s genes have a human equivalent. Not only that, but their immune system is superior to our own. As I explained in the last news item (Little Lancelet), humans have an adaptive immune system. Lower life forms, like the sea urchin, have an innate immune system. But, the sea urchin’s innate immune system is turbo-charged with an exhaustive collection of defensive genes. This allows the sea urchin to muck around the sea floor for up to a century. Scientists are hoping to discover new drugs by learning just how the sea urchin’s immune system works against disease.

BORNEO: A BONANZA OF BIO-DIVERSITY Over the past year scientists have discovered at least 52 new species of plants and animals. Among the newly discovered animals were 30 new species of fish. Some of the fish that can be of interest to hobbyists include six bettas which seem closely related to the Siamese Fighting Fish, but with distinctive markings and coloration. There is a catfish with a beautiful color pattern, teeth that stick out even when its mouth is closed, and with tiny suction cups on its belly. Also, there is a fish that’s only 8.8 millimeters long (about one third of an inch), which is the second smallest vertebrate in the world. It is found in slow flowing black water streams and peat swamps. It’s a cousin to the smallest vertebrate fish, measuring in at 7.9 millimeters long, which hails from Sumatra.

16

April 2007

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


by “The Gypsy M ermaid� (A.K.A. SHARON BARNETT)

Hitchhiker Goldfish n the spring of 2006 I stocked my backyard bathtub pond with feeder minnows and some W hite Cloud Mountain Minnows. The rushes and some other marsh plants from previous years had sprouted, and I'd added some floating aquatic plants from my planted tanks. Still, I wanted some additional plants, so I ordered an assortment of pond plants from one of the online sellers from whom I've frequently ordered in the past. Before long I noticed some fry swimming amongst the plants, and naturally assumed that either the minnows or the W hite Clouds had spawned. I didn't give it too much thought until some weeks later, when I noticed that the fry's body shape didn't look quite the way that I'd expected, but I still didn't think too much about it.

I

A couple more weeks passed, and as I was looking into the pond I noticed some unexpected flashes of color. I thought that orange, black, gray, and white spots of color did not quite match my expectations of the coloration of either type of minnow fry. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that my pond was swarming with baby goldfish! Since I hadn't added any goldfish to the pond, I could only conclude that they had hitchhiked as eggs on the pond plants that I'd purchased. I wrote the seller to inform him of this occurrence, and told him that I hoped I wouldn't be charged extra for the fish which had accompanied my plants!

American Cichlid Association Convention hosted by the Sacramento Aquarium Society (SAS)

Thursday, July 19 - Sunday, July 22, 2007 Registration is now available online. By ACA policy, all registrants for the convention must be a current member of either the American Cichlid Association (ACA) or the Sacramento Aquarium Society (SAS) at the time of the convention. Go to: http://www.cichlid.org/ACA2007Convention.html The 2007 Convention will be at the: Hilton, Sacramento Arden W est 2200 Harvard Street Sacramento, CA

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

April 2007

17


The Seahorse Chronicles

UNDERSTANDING SEAHORSE DISEASES AND TREATMENTS PART 2 of 3 by BERNARD HARRIGAN n last month’s installment, I talked about how puzzling fish diseases can be to diagnose. I laid out a Directory of Symptoms, and used that to help you pinpoint the seahorse’s ailment. This month we will be discussing the diseases themselves, including their causative agents, the use of quarantine, how the symptoms apply to each particular disease and the treatment for the disease, along with some comments I feel are important. Let’s get started.

I

Category I — Buoyancy Diseases Pouch Emphysema, External Gas Bubble Disease, Internal Gas Bubble Disease Causative Agents: Possibly a bacterial supersaturation of gas either merged in the w a te r o r left as microscopic bubbles floating around in the water, or a disruption of a biological process known as hydration of CO 2.

infection

or

Quarantine: Yes — the treatment works best in a hospital tank. Symptoms: T hey vary, d ep end ing on the disease, but may include b uo yancy p rob lems, trouble with swimming, and trouble with eating. The pouch can bloat, g o in g b e y o n d t h e plumpness you see when the male is pregnant. Balloon - like growths can form in areas of the skin, like around the eyes, head, neck, and tail, among others. The eyeballs can protrude from the socket, a condition called Exophthalos, or “popeye.” Sometimes, in the final and fatal stages the body becomes severely bloated.

18

Treatment: The first step is to check for bubbles suspended in the water. Make sure that all powerheads, filters, protein skimmers, and return lines are functioning properly. Next, check all of the water parameters. Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, salinity, alkalinity, calcium levels, and water temperature all need to be checked. If any of these are out of whack, it could lead to stress in your seahorse. Stress opens the door to a host of diseases. This will help stop the disease from spreading further, and fro m reoccurring. N e x t i s decompression, which has restorative powers. Keep the ill seahorse on the bottom of a three or four foot high tank for several hours. If you don’t have a tank deep enough, a clear Plexiglass pipe of that length would work just as we ll. A dd a broad-spectrum antibiotic to the water for a full treatment. F o l l o w t h e manufacturer’s directions completely. I want to make this clear, you’re not doing this in your main setup, but in a hospital/quarantine tank. Monitor the seahorse closely, and remove it if it goes into distress. If this treatment doesn’t remove the gas pockets, further action is required.

April 2007

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


In the case of Pouch Emphysema, the trapped gas can be released by opening the pouch using a sterilized, thin, soft plastic-tipped bobbypin. Gently coax the orifice of the pouch open and flush the pouch with a broad-spectrum antibiotic using a small pipette or a syringe with the point of its needle snipped off. Be very cautious not to insert it too deeply, or puncture the pouch. Gently flood the pouch until the medication overflows. W ith External Gas Bubble Disease the bubbles might need to be lanced. The bubbles are noticeable ballooning through the skin. Lancing is done using a sterile, sharp pin, and perpendicularly puncturing the bubble so as not to go into the seahorse’s body. Extra care is needed on bubbles around the eyes. Once the bubble is punctured, gently squeeze the gas out. Apply an antiseptic topical solution to the puncture site. Broad-spectrum antibiotics can also be injected into shrimp and fed to ill seahorses. This works with a disease such as Internal Gas Bubble Disease if it’s caught early enough. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Internal Gas Bubble Disease is the most difficult to cure, and has the most fatalities due to its being difficult to recognize when it first occurs. Comments: New medications are being developed all the time, while others become ineffective due to bacteria becoming resistant. As of this writing, I wo uld reco m m end using O xytetracycline Neosulfex, Minocycline, Triple Sulfa, and Acetazolamide. Acetazolamide is excellent, but might need to be obtained though a veterinarian. Internal Gas Bubble Disease is not an illness that has been reported in the wild, but does occur in aquariums due to poor setup and shallow tanks. Seahorses swimming down to a depth of 35 feet is not unheard of, so even a three or four foot high tank is shallow to them.

Category II — External Parasites Ich, Fish Lice, Flukes, Clownfish Disease, Velvet, etc. Causative Agents: Amyloodinium ocellatum, Brooklynella h ostilis, C ryp to ca ryo n irrita n s, Isopods, W orms, etc. Quarantine: Yes — the treatment works best in a hospital tank. Symptoms: Some parasites are visible to the naked

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

eye. Others can just leave signs of their presence, such as open sores, blisters, cloudy eyes, frayed fins, abnormal swimming, scratching, rapid breathing, weight loss, and/or a torpid appearance. Treatment: A freshwater dip is my first line of assault. It’s very effective against most parasites. Fill a container (such as a small, clean pail) with freshwater matching the temperature and pH of the tank in which the seahorse resides. Some people report even better results by matching the temperature only. I’ve found that parasites find this to be even more deadly. By the same token, the seahorse can go into distress faster, too. I’ll add M alachite Green to the water, following the manufacturer’s directions. This gives the dip an added punch against parasites. Place the infected seahorse in the dip for five to ten minutes. Monitor the seahorse closely, and remove it if it goes into distress. Depending on which parasites your seahorse has, you might notice parasites falling off of the seahorse. After the dip, place the seahorse in a hospital tank. The hospital tank should have freshly-made seawater with Methylene Blue added. Methylene Blue not only helps stop secondary infection, but also combats the toxic effects of ammonia and nitrite buildup. Read the manufacturer’s directions carefully, e sp e c ia lly if yo u a re using any antibiotics. If you need to treat the main tank, look for an antiparasitic that will not harm your biofilter. There are several on the market. Make sure you follow the directions carefully, especially the duration of the treatment. If you don’t, the parasites will be back, and may be harder to get rid of. There are a couple of ways to rid your tank of parasites without using medication. One is with an Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer. A UV Sterilizer disrupts the genetic material in microorganisms, shortening their life and stopping them from reproducing. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s directions, and install it properly. Flow rate is very important. If the water doesn’t get enough contact time under the UV light, the sterilizer will be ineffective. The second drug-free way is to simply remove all the fish from the tank. Parasites need a host (your fish) in order to complete their life-cycle. Remove the host, and over a period of time (approximately two to four weeks), the parasites should die off. The fish you’ve removed should be treated in a hospital tank to kill whatever parasites they may have. This way, you won’t reintroduce parasites back into the tank when you reintroduce the fish.

April 2007

19


antibiotic to take care of any secondary infections. Comments: Like little aquatic Draculas, parasites Methylene Blue and some antibiotics can interact in literally suck the a negative way. life out of your Read the antibiotic fis h . I f th e label carefully. Seahorse Shock: Some treatments can cause distress p a r a s i t e s Ich and to the seahorse. Keep an eye out for it. Distress leads themselves don’t V e l v e t s e l d om to shock, and shock can lead to death. If the fish goes k i l l y o u r attack seahorses, into shock, it will lie down on the bottom of the tank. seaho rse s, th e y probably due to its W hen this happens, if you gently tap the seahorse, it weaken them to uniquely thin but should start swimming again. If it doesn’t, remove it the point where a tough skin. If Ich immediately from the treatment. s e c o n d a r y or V elvet do infection can be become a problem, terminal. If your seahorse still looks ill after all the odds are that your water quality isn’t is as good as it parasites are gone, treat it with a full-spectrum should be.

May 11, 2007 Brooklyn Aquarium Society’s

17th Annual

Giant Tropical Fish Auction St. Brendan’s Church East 12th St. & Ave. O Brooklyn, NY (1 block off Coney Island Avenue ) Viewing of lots: 7:30 to 8:30pm Auction starts: 8:30pm For more information visit us on line at: BROOKLYNAQUARIUMSOCIETY.ORG

20

April 2007

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


fish. When it comes to angelfish in the aquarium, virtually all of the information relating to nutrition comes from aquarists and the articles/books written by them over the years. A warning from our author: do not feed trout pellets to angelfish! Apparently this is practiced by some fishkeepers. Even though it a Series On Books For The Hobbyist seems to be well tolerated at first, it will most likely by SUSAN PRIEST cause dropsy. Phenotype vs. genotype, homozygous vs. here are quite a few members of the GCAS heterozygous, punnet squares, dihybrid crosses, who are very accomplished in the skills gene interaction, alleles; it all sounds very scientific required to breed and raise angelfish. Some of (and it is). Actually, it is not all that difficult to you will agree with the information offered in this understand, but the confines of this book review do book. Others of you will be grumbling to not allow for a thorough discussion of the chapter yourselves, “What kind of gobble-de-goop is this?” on genetics. Let me just report that descriptive The rest of us (myself included) will respond with an names such as “Koi Angelfish” are mostly used for open mind, as our results have been less than marketing, and have no relation to the biology of gratifying so far, and we are ready to try something the strain. new. I am going to pull as much text from There is only so much you can tell about a Chapter Four, Reproduction, as space will allow. book when you are standing in a store under (Most of this comes from the section on the care of fluorescent lights, and being distracted by a eggs.) Move the slate (to the grow-out tank) with fascinating array of aquariums the eggs facing down, in as well as the fish therein. order to protect them from However, I was able to exposure to light, dust, and Breeding and Raising Angelfishes actually read the first page, drying. The water should be By Ed Stansbury with the heading “Purpose of fresh or slightly aged, but T.F.H. Publications, 2005 this Book.” In the space of never from the parent’s two paragraphs it said tank. The temperature, “spawning and raising,” however, should match exactly. Aeration should be “growing out of juveniles,” and “raise their young.” moderate, and the eggs should never be touched by I have had modest successes with angelfish actually bubbles. Eggs which die within the first 24 hours spawning, but no success at all in raising the fry. were not fertilized. Fungi do not kill eggs, but grow This “teaser,” along with a cover photo by Takashi on them after they have died. Amano, landed the book in my shopping cart. In addition to the standard information on Now that I have this book at home, I can the standard diseases, Chapter Five confronts us tell you more about it. In addition to an introduction, with what the author has seen referred to as a list of resources, and an index, this book has five “Angelfish Plague,” or “Angelfish Aids.” “Many chapters; Water Quality, Diet and Nutrition, breeders and tropical fish wholesalers have Genetics, Reproduction, and Diseases. experienced complete wipe outs of broodstock and Please bear in mind that Mr. Stansbury is young angels.” Several scientists have done emphasizing the “raising” of angelfish, that is, taking research on this plague with “inconclusive results.” a spawning pair through to the next generation of The author recommends preventive measures spawning pairs. One glance at the cover photo tells consisting of good husbandry, such as not us that he enjoys a show tank display just as much as overfeeding, not overcrowding, regular water we do, but this is not his focus. changes, etc. I have never come across these terms In chapter one, our author recommends a elsewhere, and feel that whoever concocted them in bare tank, the advantages of which are that you can an attempt to get our attention is doing the hobby a tell how much your fish are eating, and that disservice. particulate matter is easier to see and clean up. He Mr. Stansbury’s credentials are stellar, and himself starts out with 12-15 fish in 50 gallons of I feel that we could safely attempt his methodology water, and trims the population to half that, in the of which only a very small amount has been same volume, as they approach breeding size. represented here. In conclusion, I would like to Angelfish have strong teeth, a true stomach, quote him one last time: “Because everyone has and “a gut length about equal to their body length, different methods and experiences, you can be sure which suggests they are predators with omnivorous everyone is partially wrong!” The reverse must be tendencies”. Most of the research done on fish equally true. nutrition has been done on “commercially valuable”

T

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

April 2007

21


THE AMUSING AQUARIUM

22

April 2007

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


Common Should Stay Common 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 Greater City Aquarium Society.

S

illy me, I always thought that scientists gave a fish its “scientific” name, and that a fish’s “common” name came from, well common usage, commerce, and the common people. It seems that the scientific types are now giving a fish species both a scientific (Latin) and a common name. At a recent Greater City auction some newly discovered fish were available. These fish (which were then called by the common name of Galaxy Rasbora) have since been given a scientific name (Celestichthys margaritatus) and a new common name (Celestial Pearl Danio), both bestowed by ichthyologist Tyson Roberts1. The genus name, Celestichthys, roughly translates the Latin words caelestis and ichthys to “heavenly fish.” The species name, margaritatus, is Latin for “adorned with pearls.” This gives rise to the new common name: “Celestial Pearl Danio.” A recent search on the Aquabid.com website shows that, instead of replacing the prior common name of “Galaxy Rasbora,” the new common name of “Celestial Pearl Danio” has just become yet another of the common names for this species, along with “Fireworks Rasbora,” “Rasbora toei,” and “Firecracker Rasbora.” I say enough is enough. Next, some scientist is going to set the wholesale price and demand a share of any collecting or auction fee.

Common names belong to common folk, and I can say with some degree of authority that Greater City folk are about as common as they come! That’s not the only newsworthy thing about this new species, however. National Geographic News reports2 that just months after the discovery of this species by a commercial aquarium fish dealer near the town of Hopong in Myanmar (formerly Burma), worldwide demand and intense exportation have already caused concern about the future of the species. Within only a few months of its discovery, one Thai company alone had exported about 15,000 of these fish. Since then exportation—mainly to Japan, North America, and Europe—has been estimated to be up to ten times that amount. Ichthyologist Tyson Roberts has suggested that “Captive breeding may be the only way for the aquarium hobbyist to ensure a supply of the species in the future, since it reportedly is already nearly fished out in the area where it was discovered.” Within six months of its appearance in the aquarium trade, the species had become so rare that collectors were obtaining only a “few dozen fish per day”3. Because of this, Practical Fishkeeping magazine has advised fishkeepers not to purchase the species4. So, on the one hand, the ichthyologist who first described the species is quoted by a highly respected and reputable source (i.e., National Geographic) as advocating captive breeding to ensure continued survival of this species. On the other hand, a respected commercial hobby publication (and which was the first to report on this in September 2006, and again in December 2006) is advising fishkeepers not to purchase the fish. Right now, to my knowledge, this fish has no government protection, and is on no list of “at risk” species. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <http://www.iucnredlist.org> does not list Celestichthys margaritatus. Maybe in a year or two it will. But, maybe by then it will be extinct in nature. What’s an aquarist to do? Maybe here voluntary actions within the hobby, would work best. Did I hear anyone say ''C.A.R.E.S.''?

Roberts, TR (2007) - The "Celestial pearl danio" a new genus and species of colourful minute cyprinid fish from Myanmar (Pisces: Cypriniformes). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 2007 55(1): 131-140. 1

2

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/03/070307-new-fish.html

3

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1197

4

http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/pfk/pages/item.php?news=1210

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

April 2007

23


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

! Marine Biologist On Staff ! Custom Tank Builders for the NY Aquarium ! Manufacturers of Aquarium & Filter Systems ! Custom Cabinetry & Lighting ! Largest Selection of Marine & Freshwater Livestock in NY ! New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Largest Custom Aquarium Showroom ! See Working Systems on Display 2015 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11234 (718)258-0653

Open Saturdays and Sundays Amex, Discover, MasterCard, Visa 2 miles off exit 11N of the Belt Parkway www.WorldClassAquarium.com

24

April 2007

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Last Month’s Bowl Show Results: 1) Ed Vukich 2) Darwin Richmond New Members: Vincent Babin, Mario Bengcion, Joseph Cingari, Richard Kuehn, Arthur Nicholson Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next meeting: May 2, 2007 Speaker: Mike Hellweg Topic: “The Joy of Goldfish”

Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Next meeting: April 13, 2007 Speaker: Al DiSpigna Topic: “Reefs of the World”

Meets: 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm (except January and February) at: Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main St. - Flushing, NY Contact: Joseph Ferdenzi (516) 484-0944 E-mail: GreaterCity@compuserve.com Website: http://www.greatercity.org

Meets the 2nd Friday of the month (except July and August) at 7:30pm: NY Aquarium - Education Hall Surf Ave. at West 8th St., Brooklyn, NY

East Coast Guppy Association

Big Apple Guppy Club

Meets: 1st Thursday of each month at Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. at 8:00 pm Contact: Gene Baudier (631) 345-6399

Meets: Last Tuesday each month (except Jan. & Feb.) at Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. at 7:30-10:00pm. Contact: Donald Curtin (718) 631-0538

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Call: BAS Events Hotline: (718) 837-4455 http://www.brooklynaquariumsociety.org

Next Meeting: April 20, 2007 Speaker: Chris Paparo Topic: “Macro Algae and Invert Tank Setup”

Next meeting: April 18, 2007 Speaker: Mikey V. & Limey Topic: “Dart Frogs For Dummies”

Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) at Holtsville Park and Zoo at 8:00pm. 249 Buckley Road - Holtsville, NY

Meets: 2nd Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post 1066 - 66 Veterans Blvd. - Massapequa, NY at 8:00pm.

Website: http://liasonline.org/ Email: Arie Gilbert - president@liasonline.org

Contact: Mike Foran (516) 798-6766 Website: http://www.ncasweb.org

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: April 19, 2007 Speaker: Mark Denaro Topic: “Wild Bettas and Anabantoids”

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT

Meadowlands Environmental Center - One Dekorte Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ

Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 E-mail: jchapkovich@snet.net Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS

Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Website: http://www.njas.net/ or e-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com

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

Website: http://norwalkas.org/

April 2007

25


Fin Fun It’s almost geography, it’s almost nomenclature, and it’s almost fun! Someone named these fish after their geographic homes. Your task is simply to identify the location. Each name contains a clue. P.S., every year I remind you it’s April, but this year I’m not going to! Species

Location

Lamprichthys tanganicanus Hyphessobrycon peruvianus Bedotia madagascariensis Jordanella floridae Macropodus chinensis Noelachromis ferandriadenzii Chapalichthys pardalis Cichlasoma boliviense Betta balunga

Solution to last month’s puzzle: 1) How long do most Victorian mouthbrooders hold their fry?: d) 21days 2) Eleocharis parvula is: b) a plant 3) The December 2005 cover of Modern Aquarium has been reproduced: c) on a postage stamp 4) Arapaima giga is: a) the largest exclusively freshwater fish in the world 5) Betta macrostoma is notorious for: d) all of these [that is: a) jumping, b) sudden death syndrome, c) being very expensive] 6) The Belle Isle Aquarium is: d) closed

26

March 2007

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


Profile for Dan Radebaugh

Modern Aquarium April 2007  

Volume XIV Number 2

Modern Aquarium April 2007  

Volume XIV Number 2

Advertisement