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Series III ON THE COVER Undoubtedly one of the most recognizable, and colorful fish available for the home marine aquarium, the clownfish’s popularity has only increased following release of the animated movie, “Finding Nemo.” Learn more about this fish and its care in the article “A Clownfish is not a Damselfish in Distress” by Bernard Harrigan in this issue. Photo by Alexander Priest 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

Vol. XIV, No. 5 July, 2007

FEATURES Editor’s Babblenest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 President’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 A Clownfish is not a Damselfish in Distress . . . . . . 5 Adventures on the Rio Negro - Part II . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Voyage of Valor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 This Month’s Scheduled Speaker: Ed Vukich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Fishkeepers Anonymous . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Under The Sea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Looking Through The Lens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Seahorse Chronicles: Breeding Seahorses - Part I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 FAASinations - FAAS Report 2006 Publication Awards Results . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Amusing Aquarium (cartoon) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Do Virtual Fish Feel Pain? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 G.C.A.S. Happenings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

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. Members receive notice of meetings in the mail. For more information, contact: Joe Ferdenzi (516)484-0944. Find out more, or 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 n this issue of Modern Aquarium are the results of the 2006 Federation of American Aquarium Societies (“FAAS”) Publication Awards. W hile participation in this awards program (and FAAS membership) is much less than it was a few years ago, still the showing by Modern Aquarium and its authors was impressive. I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of the Greater City members who contributed (and who continue to contribute) articles. Your articles are what makes this a quality publication. Your willingness to share your experiences are what makes this a successful aquarium society. Always remember, however, whether you read something in Modern Aquarium, or in any of the commercial aquarium magazines: when an author shares his or her experiences, use it as a guide, but not as an absolute rule. Fish have individual personalties, water quality and chemistry values differ widely across the country, as do weather conditions. Duplicating the setup of one aquarist who got his or her fish to spawn does not guarantee success in your tank. If that were so, we would not need several commercial aquarium hobby magazines, thousands of books on fishkeeping, and I would not be asking our members for original articles. If what worked for one person doesn’t work for you, you should try something different that worked for someone else. A recent guest speaker at Greater City, M ike Hellweg, told me that, until he actually saw some of the Betta enisae that spawned in my tanks, he did not believe this was the species of fish I spawned. The reason was that we had both published accounts of spawnings of this species, but the circumstances under which his Betta enisae spawned were almost completely different from those under which my B. enisae spawned. At last month’s meeting, one member

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described his great success in raising microworms by using potato flakes, instead of baby oatmeal. I tried using potato flakes, and found that I had much greater success with baby oatmeal. Both of us are successfully growing microworms, and I’m sure our fish don’t know the difference with respect to the culture media used to grow the microworms. Is he wrong? Am I wrong? No, we are both right, as long as we both succeed. Maybe it’s his brand of potato flakes, his water, or the temperature in his fishroom that makes the difference. I don’t know. I only care that I have found something that works for me. If the only information I had access to told me the only way to grow microworms was by culturing them on potato flakes, I wouldn’t have any microworm cultures. Fortunately, there are many articles describing how other people culture microworms, and I tried quite a few (including white bread soaked in beer!), until I found something that worked for me. Have you ever read an article that described how a particular species of fish was spawned, but which differed from your personal experience with this species? Great, because you can now write an article about what worked for you. Except for a container with water, and regular water changes and feeding, there are no absolutely correct and never-changing rules for keeping and breeding fish. You could be keeping fish for less than a year, and still be able to give valuable insight and information to a fishkeeping veteran of many years experience. So don’t be shy, and don’t think that you don’t have enough expertise or experience to write an article. This is one of the most “equal opportunity” hobbies imaginable, with young and old, male and female, all races, religions, and even handicaps. (A well-known aquarist and aquarium book writer, Braz W alker, was paralyzed from the neck down following an accident in college; yet he continued to keep, and write about fish.) Fish don’t care if you have a college degree, or how much money you make. Your success as an aquarist will be determined by whether you can keep a species alive and, hopefully, have it breed while in your care. W hat you look like, or what clothes you wear, makes no difference. The fish on our cover this month is a marine clownfish. Our lead article is about clownfish. And, there is little doubt that Elliot Oshins was “clowning about” when he wrote “The Voyage of Valor” for this month’s issue. So, is this our “Clown Issue?” You decide.

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


President’s Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI

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ast month we held our first meeting at our temporary new “home,” the VFW Post on Horace Harding Boulevard in Flushing, not far from our permanent meeting site at the Queens Botanical Garden. I think the VFW hall served us well. It was a bit larger than our own meeting room. The front door was at ground level and right by the curb, which made for easy access, especially for those carrying large loads. There seemed to be ample parking. So, all in all, I think we were fortunate to be accommodated by the VFW. Also, the meeting was a lot of fun. The turnout was in excess of 60 members. The auction was huge and diverse — lots of great homebred fish and homeraised plants. But, what made it the most fun for me (and I think for everyone else) were our homegrown presenters. Several GCAS members gave short presentations on topics of interest to them. Each was delightful. We have a lot of knowledgeable and talented people in our club. This format gives GCAS an opportunity to showcase that talent. So, thank you, Sharon and Crystal, Harry, Carlotti, Rich, and Dan and Marsha for sharing and making our evening so enjoyable. GCAS members never cease to amaze me. They are the epitome of helpfulness and modesty. Al Grusell goes about his set up and refreshment duties effortlessly and without the slightest concern for whether he is “getting anything out of it.” Have you said, “Thank you” to him as I have at nearly every meeting? He’s doing it for you, not me. Have you thanked Jason Kerner for bringing the soda, cups, and ice to every meeting? He drives in all the way from Brooklyn just so he can help make your attendance more enjoyable. Have you ever noticed how much work Pete D’Orio does, and how quietly he does it? Did you know that Pete has to bring and set up piles of audio/visual equipment for every event we hold? He never complains. These are only three examples of what makes GCAS such a pleasure. No other club can boast of having a greater number of dedicated members. * * * Since I have been President of Greater City for a long time, I am often asked for advice by those just starting their tenures as the President of an aquarium society. Let me share a few of my

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

“secrets” for successfully running an aquarium society. 1. Remember that none of your members work for you. You are not paying them. You are not their boss. They voluntarily join and serve. Treat them with courtesy and huge doses of encouragement. Praise gets more accomplished than criticism. If someone doesn’t do the task at the speed and precision you would expect at work, that is not cause for voicing disappointment. Get them help or tactfully find a replacement. Tactfully. This is a hobby; the world will not come to an end if a task or two is not performed to your standards. 2

Rancor has no place in an aquarium society. This should be a fun hobby. Fun. It should not be a source of stress. The minute you make generating revenue your primary goal, you introduce the possibility that stress will be the hallmark of your Presidency, and rancor the byproduct of any failings in raising funds. How do you avoid this? Don’t burden your club with huge expenses, or at least, keep your expenses within easy-to-reach levels. Also, focusing on money tends to make you short-sighted, which is not a great formula for the long-term success of any club. There are many things much more valuable than money. Let me give you two examples: Claudia Dickinson and Pete D’Orio. Most clubs would “kill” to have energetic and involved members like Claudia and Pete. Claudia joined our club, in part, as the result of her attendance at our 75th Anniversary Show in 1997. Pete became acquainted with our club because of our participation at the Queens County Farm Museum Fair. Both of those events were labors of love — that is, they were not performed for the sake of generating money. We didn’t lose money, but we made very little in proportion to the effort expended. But, was it worth the effort? You bet! I wouldn’t trade any sum of money for Claudia and Pete. This many sound like the use of a trite phrase, but it’s true: members like Claudia and Pete are worth their weight in gold!

3.

Have no hidden agendas. The Presidency of an aquarium society is not a tool by which you should seek to generate commercial success in an

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aquarium-related enterprise. People are not stupid. Flowery language and Madison Avenue slogans will not permanently obscure hidden agendas that place your personal interests in real or apparent conflict with your obligations as President. Even creating a perception of a potential conflict must be avoided. Your integrity must be beyond reproach. Only then will you have the moral authority that makes people say the following about all your actions, decisions, and opinions: “I may disagree with him, but I know he’s only doing it for the good of the club.” 4.

President Lincoln once said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time.” Sooner or later, making inflated claims brings you on the road to ridicule. You may not be aware of this because most people are polite and will not tell you that behind the scenes people are deriding your puffery. Have I mentioned how important your credibility is? I liken credibility to a beautiful porcelain jar. When intact,

credibility is a thing of great, almost immeasurable, value. But, once it’s broken, just once, it can never be the same. It’s just like a broken jar. Sure, you can take the pieces of the jar and glue them back together, but it will never be the same. Some people think puffery is not like lying. Well, maybe. It certainly is not like being completely truthful. And, once there’s a crack in your jar, people will eventually see it. Don’t think you are smarter than everyone else and can fool all of them forever. Sooner or later, you will bring your club into disrepute if you think that way. * * * I’ve tried to be as good a President as I know how. I’ve tried to view my post as a serious trust, and to do nothing that would bring dishonor to Greater City. My goal has never been to be able to engineer membership rolls so that Greater City could claim to be the largest or richest club (at least in terms of money). After making sure that Greater City has always been the equal of any with respect to its integrity and commitment to the hobby, my secondary goal has been to see to it that Greater City has always put long-term goals ahead of short-term goals, quality ahead of quantity. The membership of Greater City reflects the attainment of that goal.

Important Information As many of you already know, the Greater City Aquarium Society will NOT be meeting at the Queens Botanical Garden until further notice; probably early next year. Our alternate meeting location will be: The VFW Post 136-06 Horace Harding Expressway Flushing, NY 11367 Also, our meeting DAY will be changed to the SECOND WEDNESDAY of the month, unless otherwise announced. Regardless of the location, meetings will, as always, begin promptly at 7:30 pm. Please read your monthly postcards for any last minute changes. Please spread the word to people who otherwise might not know. The most up-to-date information can always be found on our website: http://GreaterCity.org/ In December, our annual Holiday Party and Awards Banquet will, however, be held at the Palace Diner, as it has been in recent years; date to be announced.

Remember: there will be NO meetings at the Queens Botanical Garden until further notice.

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


A Clownfish is not a Damselfish in Distress by BERNARD HARRIGAN

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ardy, pugnacious, durable, beautiful, territorial, colorful, and striking are just some of the adjectives used to describe damselfish. Belonging to the Pomacentrid family, they are looked upon as beginner fish and starter fish for a new marine aquarium. This is because they are not as sensitive to an occasional spike in nitrites or nitrates as other marine fish seem to be. But, using them as a starter fish is often regretted by the hobbyist, since damselfish tend to bully later additions to the tank, especially if they are not as aggressive as the damselfish. Some even lose their good looks, and become drab as they mature. Within the Pomacentrid family, you will find the genera Amphiprion and Premnas, collectively known as clownfish. The term “clownfish” originally referred to just one species, Amphiprion ocellars, the Common Clownfish, or False Percula Clown, but now refers to 28 species of damselfish that have a lifelong symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. This relationship has spawned the moniker “Anemone Fish,” which is mainly used by scientists. Anemones have neumatocysts — stinging cells on the end of their tentacles which are used to catch prey. Clownfish are immune to the sting due to their special slime coat, which is said to mimic the sea anemones own coating, thereby fooling the anemone into thinking that the clownfish is just a part of the sea anemone. This allows the clownfish to stay among the tentacles for safety. If the clownfish loses this special slime coat and heads into the sea anemone, it can be stung and possibly killed by the stinging cells. In the wild, each clownfish species has a preference for which species of sea anemone it will inhabit. Unlike clownfish or damselfish, in general, sea anemones are difficult to keep alive in an aquarium for more than a few months. This is a shame, since in the wild some sea anemones are thought to live for hundreds of years. Once a sea anemone has been removed from the wild, all future clownfish that need it for a home will die, along with a number of other creatures such as the Anemone Shrimp and the Anemone Crab. In an aquarium, a clownfish doesn’t need a sea anemone in order to survive. As a matter of fact, clownfish can thrive and often breed without one.

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

Clownfish are colored orange, yellow, and brown with white stripes, and sometimes having black trimming. They are found in the tropics of the central to western Pacific, the Indian Ocean, and even the Red Sea. They are found in shallow reef areas and need a typical reef environment (a specific gravity of 1.022 to 1.024, a temperature of 77 – 82, a pH of 8.1 – 8.4, ammonia and nitrite levels below .05 ppm, and nitrate levels below 20 ppm). They’re omnivorous by nature, so you can feed them bits of fish and shrimp, frozen mysis and brine shrimp, as well as some vegetarian fare. Clownfish are even known for chomping on algae. Since a clownfish’s life revolves around a small territory, it’s no wonder that it was one of the first marine fish to be raised and spawned successfully in captivity. All clownfish are born male. As they grow and mature, the largest and most dominant clownfish becomes a female. When that female dies, the next largest and most dominant male becomes a female. Spawning clownfish is similar to spawning some cichlid species. A flat rock, a ceramic flowerpot, or even a discus cone can be used as a spawning site. The female will lay her orange-colored eggs, with the male following close behind and fertilizing them. The male will guard the eggs. For their first week or two, they’re in a larval stage. Their mouths are too small for baby brine shrimp, so live rotifers are fed. Rotifer culture kits can be obtained through a good marine aquarium retailer. The fry require constant feeding, which leads to poor water quality. Do regular partial water changes of 10% every two days. Well, which clownfish species should you try? That’s mainly up to you: your ability, the type of setup you’re looking to provide, and what you expect from the fish itself. My first recommendation can be followed no matter which species you choose. Make sure that the clownfish you purchase has been commercially bred. This not only makes sense from an environmental point of view, but it also makes a lot of sense from a consumer’s point of view. Commercially bred clownfish are hardier than wild-caught specimens, and are better adapted to aquarium life. Some commercially bred clownfish may have a higher price tag, but when you figure in their lower mortality rate, they’re a bargain.

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I’ve arranged the different species of clownfish into three different groups. This is not an all-inclusive list, but rather some of the most commonly found fish in the trade. They have been grouped according to the natural traits that I felt were important for the hobbyist to understand in order to provide the right environment for these fish.

Group I - Easiest and Most Robust The first group is the largest. These are the easiest to keep, and the most robust clownfish I know of. They are also the most aggressive. These clownfish should be kept singularly, or as mated pairs, and they shouldn’t be housed with any other species of clownfish unless a very large tank is provided. They will go after smaller, peaceful fish. Tankmates need to be able to defend themselves against the bellicose behavior of these clownfish. Singularly, or as a mated pair, they all need at least a 30 gallon aquarium. !

The Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus), can grow to about 4¾ inches long. They are noted for their darker cinnamon color, and a white stripe behind the eye. In the wild, they’re associated with the Bubbletip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor), and the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa).

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The Sebae Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii), can grow to 5½ inches long. It’s noted for its yellow caudal fin, which helps to distinguish it from other clownfish with a similar body pattern. In the wild, it’s most closely associated with the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa), but it will use most common sea anemones.

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The Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) can also grow to 5½ inches long. It’s noted for its bright orange coloration, and the bold vertical stripe behind its eye. Juveniles have a stripe

around the midsection which fades as the fish matures. In the wild, it’s associated with the Bubbletip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) and the Long-Tentacled Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis). It has also been known to inhabit stony corals if it can’t find a sea anemone. !

The Red Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion ephippium), grows to about 4¾ inches long. It is the most aggressive among the Amphiprion species. It’s noted for its darker colored head and rear flanks (saddle), plus a white stripe behind its eye that shrinks and fades as the fish matures. In the wild, it’s associated with the Bubbletip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor), and the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa).

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The Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus), is in a genus all by itself. The female sometimes being three times the size of the male tops out at almost 6½ inches long. It’s the largest clownfish. It’s also the most aggressive. It’s noted for having a dark red coloring, three stripes that can either be white or yellow, and cheek spines that easily get caught in a net when you try to catch them. In the wild, it’s associated with the Bubbletip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor), the Ritteri Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), and the Long-Tentacled Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis).

Group II - Almost as Easy and Robust The second group of clownfish are almost as hardy and easy to keep as the first group, but they are not as robust. Their reputation for being slightly more challenging to keep has become passé through commercial breeding. Commercial breeding puts a sort of natural selection into the mix. Individual fish that are more delicate end up dying and not reproducing under aquarium conditions. Other individuals who thrive and reproduce in a tank will have offspring which are easier to keep in an aquarium. Theoretically, 6

you’ll end up with a strain that a beginning aquarist could easily keep. This second group is also not as aggressive. They are not as belligerent towards their tankmates as the first group, unless they’re guarding eggs. This is also the most popular of the groups with hobbyists. Singularly, or as a mated pair, this group can be housed in as little as 20 gallons, but remember that a larger tank always provides a more stable environment for its inhabitants.

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


a Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus) and Bubbletip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) by the author, Bernard Harrigan.

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The Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula) can grow to be a little over 3 inches long. It’s easily confused with the False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris). Its most notable distinction is that the black edging around the white stripes are thicker, and its orange coloration is brighter. There’s also a variation in which black covers areas that are normally orange. In the wild, it’s mostly associated with the Ritteri Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), and the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa), among others.

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The False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) can grow to 5½ inches long. It’s very similar to a Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula), except with thinner black edging, and a variation in the main body coloration from mandarin orange to a golden red to a yellow. It’s more peaceful, and is able to be kept in groups rather than just a pair. I’ve even heard of people keeping it with seahorses, although I guess that would depend on the individual fish and its setup. In the wild, it’s most closely associated with the Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea), the Ritteri Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), and the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa).

Group III - The Most Challenging The clownfish in the third group are the most challenging to keep, but they are still pretty hardy for the most part. Again, captive bred clownfish are the hardiest, and are always your best choice. Their truculence varies with each species and individual personalities, but this group is still more peaceful than the first group. If you are new to the marine hobby, these are not the fish for you. !

Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa). Singularly or as a mated pair, this fish needs at least a 30 gallon aquarium. !

The Orange Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion sandaracinos) can grow to 5½ inches long. It’s noted for the horizontal white stripe running along its dorsal from its head to its tail. It is sometimes confused with the Pink Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion perideraian). It’s the most aggressive of this group, and is best kept singularly or as a mated pair. In the wild, it’s most closely associated with Merten’s Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii), and the Sebae

The Pink Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion perideraian) can grow to almost 4 inches long. I find the Pink Skunk Clownfish to be more skittish, although large females can terrorize others of the same species. It’s noted for its pinkish-peach coloration, and a white horizontal line that runs along its dorsal down into and coloring its tail. There’s a white vertical stripe behind its eye. In the wild, it’s most closely associated with the Ritteri Anemone (Heteractis magnifica), the Sebae Sea Anemone (Heteractis crispa), and the Long-Tentacled Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis).

Clownfish are beautiful, aggressive, eye-catching, tolerant, tough, and full of personality. They illustrate what the marine hobby could be like without the need of casting our nets into the ocean. I hope you found this article interesting and informative. If you’re interested in keeping clownfish, don’t stop here. There’s lots of good information in books and on the web that will help you fulfill your desire. An aquarist isn’t just someone who keeps fish. A true aquarist is someone who cares about the fish they keep.

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


Adventures on the Rio Negro Part II

by CLAUDIA DICKINSON Photographs by the author

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he great English explorers Henry Walter Bates and Alfred Russel Wallace, colleagues of Darwin and Spruce of the early and mid 1800s, were captivated by the mystique and awe of the immense diversity of the Amazon Basin and its astonishing abundance of inhabitants, which to their observant eyes were found to work in intricate biological harmony. For a time together, and subsequently each on his own, the naturalists spent years in the jungle collecting enormous numbers of specimens and journaling their observations. Their endeavors resulted in significant fundamental discoveries that brought us to much of today’s understanding of the Amazon and its surrounding rainforest. With estimations ranging anywhere from 1,700 to 3,000 species, the entire Amazon undoubtedly has the greatest number of freshwater fishes on the earth. Equally as rich in biodiversity are the plants and vertebrates, as well as insects, making the Amazon region the most biologically diverse expanse on earth. At one time flowing from east to west, the mighty Amazon River (Río Amazonas) provides one fifth of the entire volume of freshwater entering oceans worldwide, has the largest drainage basin on earth, and at 41,000 miles long is debatably the second longest river on earth, the Nile River being slightly longer. Fifteen million years ago the formation of the Andes reversed the flow of the Amazon River to the course that it takes today, from west to east. The Rio Marañón, running west, meets the Rio Tigre in Peru, and the Rio Ucayali, running north, join to form the Rio Amazonas, which is referred to as the Solimões as it enters Brazil.

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

When the Solimões reaches the capital city of Manaus it is met by the Rio Negro draining the basin from the north. Just west of this juncture it is once again referred to as the Rio Amazonas. The largest blackwater river on the earth, the Rio Negro is navigable for 400 miles, its outcropping of numerous sandbars making some stretches of travel difficult, particularly in the dry season. With rises in water levels ranging anywhere from 15 to 49 feet annually, for six months of the year during the rainy season the lower vegetation is completely covered, and many of the taller trees are immersed to the point where only a few branches protrude from the water’s surface. When the rains begin, the concentrated water of the dry season swells, rushing over the banks from the deluge of rainfall to spread out across the forest, forming seasonal floodplains. The fishes are carried outside of the river’s edges and swept along with the flood. Here they spawn prolifically, taking advantage of the abundant food supply that comes with the rain, and find shelter for their young amongst the grasses in the shallow waters. The future of this perfectly delicately balanced ecosystem that has prospered for millions of years relies on the astute attentions of man. Among the fishes that are carried along with the rising waters of the rainy season is the cardinal tetra, and in this species may lie the future of the Rio Negro, and its inhabitants. Project Piaba is working to conserve and maintain the live ornamental fisheries and other renewable resources at a commercially feasible and ecologically sustainable level through this symbol of hope — the cardinal tetra.

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Setting sail northward up the Rio Negro towards Barcelos, a few degrees south of the equator, the seemingly endless expanse of river is soon to show its immense diversity.

As we reach the archipelago of the Rio Negro, the large water expanse is narrowed dramatically into small channels winding though mazes of trees. This is the second largest river archipelago, according to Captain Mo Jr. As it is the rainy season, we drift along amongst the tops of the protruding trees, their entire trunks submerged underwater for months at a time.

At some points the grasses of the floodplains are deceiving, appearing as if one could get out and walk. Here we are literally plowing the canoes through a submerged region.

From peaceful currents the water flow becomes more accelerated, and a note of a slight froth on the surface signals approaching rapids.

Resembling the color of tea, the water of the Rio Negro and its smaller tributaries has a barely discernable hardness and conductivity — the highly acidic water has a pH range of 3.5 to 5.5. The source of these waters is from the rain, and from forests where decaying leaves, roots, and other organic matter leach humic and tannic acids, making the brew of tea that usually runs over a sandy floor. Plants will not be found living in the water here, as there are no nutrients to support vegetation. 10

Roaring in glorious fierceness, the rapids rush over the steep rocky embankment, crashing ferociously on the rock bed below.

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


A great opportunity to cool off with a swim at the base of the waterfall! Admittedly, before I know it the current is sweeping me downstream, and I have to grab a hold of a fellow traveler to keep from ending up back in the Rio Amazonas!

Due to the flooding of the rainy season, the abundant cardinal tetra, symbol of hope for a positive future for man, fishes, and the Rio Negro through Project Piaba, remains elusive to us on this trip, as specimens disperse far and wide, swept across the overflowing banks.

Seining in a shallow area of the flooded forest brings Apistogramma spp., several tetra species, and a few nice larger cichlids such as Heros appendiculatus.

And we worry about carrying groceries up the steps! To the people of the Rio Negro, food is a vital commodity, more than worth the effort.

Back on the main river, houses are built on stilts to protect them from the rising waters. As you can see, regardless of the stilts, the floodwaters still manage to overtake the homes, often leading to devastation of the already meager existence of the people who inhabit them.

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Immense sandbars frequent the Rio Negro making travel hazardous for a large vessel. These sandy outcrops require navigation by an experienced captain with knowledge of the region.

Returning to our vessel, the Victoria Amazonica, after a long day of discovery spent in the canoes.

One more breathtakingly beautiful than the next, the diverse insects that understandably intrigued Bates and Wallace 160 years ago are as fascinating today as they were at that time, as exemplified by this Hemiptera, in the order of true bugs, probably of the family Lygaeidae, the seed bugs (Dr. David Schleser pers. com.).

Evening collecting brought lovely specimens of catfish.

Beautifully patterned caimans, with their intensely fierce eyes, were regulars on our night canoe outings. This fellow was decidedly not thrilled, particularly when his powerful body slipped out of a comrade’s hands, knocked into my back, and fell to the floor of the canoe where he thrashed and scrambled wildly about our feet in search of an escape! Needless to say, all worked out — with a bit of fast thinking from the natives he found his way back into the water, and I am here to tell the tale!

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A cool river shower feels great after an exhilarating The next adventure on the Rio Negro is certain to be day! No need for a blow dryer here! just around the bend! Part III of “Adventures on the Rio Negro� finds us gaining an understanding of the lives of the people, and their interaction with the land and the river that is their home.

The 2007 American Cichlid Association Convention Sacramento, California Thursday, July 19th through Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

This year, the Convention is being hosted by the Sacramento Aquarium Society (SAS). Registration is now available online (at http://www.aca2007.com/). 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.

Confirmed Speakers: Dr. Tim Hovanec Ad Konings Dr. Ron Coleman Andrew Soh Oliver Lucanus Chris Clevers Rainer Stawikowski Alex Saunders Banquet Speaker: Chuck Rambo

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by ELLIOT OSHINS

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hen I was five years old, my mother bought me a sailor suit. It made quite an impression on me. Since then I’ve always wanted to be a sailor, and took up collecting pictures of Navy ships. The only movies I really wanted to see as a young boy were movies about the Navy. Growing up, my family would spend summers in New Jersey. I did my first stint of sea duty on the ferry going to and from New Jersey. Upon being drafted, the Army said “You’re for us,” even though I thought I looked better in Navy blues. It didn’t help. The closest I got to the Navy after the war was when they shipped me home from Europe on the aircraft carrier “USS Wasp.” My dreams were coming true at last—a cruise on a Navy ship! It was on the high seas New Year’s Day 1946 when some of the sailors played football on the flight deck. Everything was going along just fine until we hit a storm, and had to detour to the south. Quite a few of the servicemen got horribly seasick. I managed to stay dry and I ate a lot of ice cream, which helped. There was no champagne, or anybody to dance with, to bring in the New Year. I was very glad when we arrived in New York City. Unfortunately, my Navy days at last were over. Late in the 1970s I did go on quite a few cruises when they became the fad. I do recommend them. However, the only thing I noticed is that they serve too much food! Although a nice way to spend a vacation, it’s very difficult to stay away from the fancy desserts. While on one of my cruises, I had the opportunity to read many books. One time, I came across a story about a British Man O’War (a single deck frigate that carried 32 cannons and a fairly large crew) that I found worthwhile reading. This is their story. On October 10, 1804, at 5:00 a.m., when the tides were right, the H.M.S. Kettering sailed out of Portsmouth for the West Indies. On the ship were a crew of officers, sailors, and marines. She was commanded by Captain Charles Ferdenzi, who came from a family of a long line of seafaring men. Captain Ferdenzi started his naval training when he was just 12 years old. He is now 42. The weather on October 10, 1804 was fairly good: 50 degrees, and the sea had a slight chop and strong winds. The next three days the water became fairly rough with very strong winds. Then,on October 14, 1804, the sky became overcast with dark clouds and strong winds. Captain Ferdenzi knew a storm was approaching. The next day, on October 15th, the H.M.S. Kettering was hit with gale force. The storm lasted for two and a half days and the ship took quite a hit. Quite a number of the crew became seasick from the stormy weather. Those who were pressed into service had never been to sea, and had a hard time dealing with the storm and the conditions on the ship. It was the custom in wartime for the British Navy to gang press men into service, in a sense kidnap them. This was all very legal. On October 18th the weather changed in the afternoon. The sun came out and the sea became calmer. The H.M.S. Kettering was docked at Portsmouth, a very large naval base in England. One of the third lieutenants, Button Faustmann, was to look for crews, as the H.M.S Kettering had orders to sail for the West Indies on October 21, and that was just a few days away. The lieutenant was in the king’s service since he was 15. He was now 45. You could hear him approach from two blocks away, as he had a wooden leg. He lost his foot serving under Admiral Nelson. He set out with a few marines who carried cutlasses and clubs, and he carried a pistol and a billy club, which he favored, and wasn’t afraid to use. He was known as “The Drummer” amongst his men. The lieutenant and his men were a few blocks from the docks, not the best part of town, when they passed a pub called “The Pig’s Eye.” The pub’s proprietor, Richard Priest, was an old sea captain who had sailed all the oceans of the world. He and his wife Dolly ran the pub, and enjoyed serving the townspeople. When they weren’t busy they would walk down to the docks hand-in-hand among all the sailing ships. He

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would reminisce, and tell her stories that she heard many times. How he loved to spot dolphins and whales when sailing the Pacific. He loved fish, and kept two small fish in an old chamber pot on the bar in the pub. Looking into the pub, Button Faustmann saw a rowdy bunch of young men. He had to laugh; two of the men were dancing with two of the young and pretty barmaids: Martha De Jager and Abigail Barnett. The men couldn’t dance, and were falling all over themselves. Another two men were in a corner slumped over in chairs, fast asleep and snoring. They had a big surprise awaiting them when they awoke. The last six that made up the “Unfortunate Ten” were very inebriated. One was playing the accordion and the rest were singing and swaying with the music. They were all having a great time, but this was to change very soon. The unfortunate ten saw the uniformed men enter, and by this time were too far gone with drinks to attempt escape. The lieutenant and his men got the drunkards to their feet, although it wasn’t easy. The brothers put up a fight, and the barmaids tried to push away some of the marines, but in the end justice triumphed. The lieutenant told them they were going to serve King George and their country. They should be very honored and proud that they are Englishmen, and they were going to serve in the best navy in the world…the Royal Navy. The following is the list of the men caught in the lieutenant’s net at “The Pig’s Eye:” Josiah Soberman, Samuel O’Farrell, The Brothers Elbridge, Arthur Vukich, Roger DuCasse, Lewis Gerber, Oliver Friedman, Matthew Bollbach, Francis Graffagnino, and Carter Traub. The lieutenant marched them off to H.M.S. Kettering, their new home for the next year and a half. It’s very hard to believe, but some of the men became fine sailors and did an outstanding job in battle. After the war some of the “Unfortunate Ten” made the Who’s Who list of English Society. Josiah Soberman became a marksman with a 12 pound cannon, and would take bets and give odds in battle as to which part of the enemy ship he could hit. After the war he ran a three card monty game in London, and married a duchess. The Brothers Elbridge and Arthur Vukich became experts in firing the carronade, a short barreled gun of large caliber. It fired a 32, 42, and 68 pound ball, and it had a very short range. When they were discharged, from the Royal Navy, they joined the circus where they would take turns being shot out of a cannon to amuse the crowds. Lewis Gerber became a sharpshooter with the musket. When the war was over he went to America and joined a Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and married an Indian princess of the Mohawk tribe. When the ship’s cook fell overboard (there’s still a lot of questions about that), Oliver Friedman became the Chef De Cuisine. After the war was over, he sailed to France and opened a fine restaurant in Paris. He was known to spend his spare time at the Folies-Bergère. Carter Traub started a numbers game among the ships of the fleet and became very wealthy. After leaving the service he became a Duke. Francis Graffagnino was the only one in the crew who could read and write, and he became the secretary to the captain. After being discharged he wrote a bestseller about his life in the navy, and married the captain’s daughter. Samuel O’Farrell, although he couldn’t read or write, carried a Bible, and was assigned to assist the chaplain. After the war he ran for Parliament, and was elected to the House of Lords.

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Roger DuCasse after discharge became an outstanding rugby player, and went on to a successful business selling snails. Matthew Bolbach’s job on the ship was as a cooper. His responsibility was to look after the barrels in which water, powder, and supplies were kept. He would also help the officers give out rations of rum and beer. After the war he opened a café and bar on the Cote d’Azur. On October 21, 1804, while the sun was setting, the lookout spotted a ship on the horizon. It was southeast of our portside. The captain wasn’t sure if it was friend or foe. The following morning she was spotted again, this time closer. The captain looked through his spyglass, and he was able to make her out. She was a pirate ship that sailed out of Jamaica, called “The Trombenik.” Her captain was the notorious pirate Benjamin Foran. Standing with the captain was his left hand man (his right hand had a hook), James Bellise also known as the “Casanova of the Caribbean.” That’s when Captain Ferdenzi ordered all hands to battle stations. The ship’s surgeon, Phil Dickinson, went below deck with his assistant, Midshipman Thomas D’Orio, who was very good with the saw. He knew if there were a battle, there would be many casualties. The captain ordered extra chain and musket balls for the cannons, as he felt they would do a lot of damage to the enemy. By afternoon “The Trombenik” was close enough to fire on The H.M.S. Kettering with her cannons. Captain Ferdenzi had all sails out, and knew he could not outrun the oncoming pirate ship. “The Trombenik” fired, and missed us by 15 yards. At that point the captain ordered William Kasman and Caesar Rigby, the quartermasters, to steer the ship so we would face her broadside. It was at this point that the battle broke out. She also maneuvered to face us broadside. Both ships were firing on each other. She hit our foresail, we hit their main and mizzen sails. The firing went on for over half an hour. The marines were stationed in the tops with their muskets, and would fire on the officers and quartermasters whose job it was to steer the ship. There were concussions from the cannons everywhere. The noise of the battle was deafening. The smell of gunpowder was overpowering. The heavy smoke was cutting off the air, and many of the crew were coughing and having trouble breathing. There was yelling and cursing everywhere. It was like a scene from “Dante’s Inferno.” Then we got hit below the water line. The ship started to take on water and list on the starboard side. Water was everywhere. Looking over the sides of the ship, I could see very large orange and yellow fish swimming all around us. The captain ordered the crew to abandon ship. By this time everything became quiet. You couldn’t hear the yelling of the men and the sounds of cannon fire. The only sound was the water hitting the sides of the ship as she was sinking. My hands and arms were getting very wet, and my shirt was soaking. When the bubble burst, I was lowering a model of a Man O’War into my 135 gallon fish tank. She was now resting in her new home on the bottom of the sea among the sand and the rocks. The yellow Labidochromis spp.and Neolamprologus leleupi were inspecting the new addition to their home. The Julidochromis marlieri were swimming in and out of the hole in her bow. I would rather that she was up there with her captain and crew sailing the seven seas and flying her flags. The End ••• Epilogue The first names of the captain’s officers and crew of The H.M.S. Kettering are the same first names of the men who are signers of the Declaration of Independence. The women’s first names are the first names of our first ladies. Illustrations by Elliot Oshins

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The G.C.A.S. Proudly extends a most Warm Welcome to Our Guest Speaker ED VUKICH Speaking on "Ed’s Fishroom" By Claudia Dickinson

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ith a father who, as a young boy, raised mollies and other fish in bathtubs in the backyard of his Brooklyn home in the 1930s, it was natural for Edward Vukich, at the age of twelve, to follow in his Dad’s footsteps with his first 20-gallon tank. Situated in the family den, Ed’s tank housed various fish over the years, such as silver dollars, angelfish, and pink convicts. Ed looks back with nostalgia at the aquarium equipment of the time, such as an outside bubble-up filter, and battery-operated syphon with a netted bag that spewed the mulm back into the tank. Years later, Ed’s brother, Anton, another renown GCAS member dear to our hearts, offered to purchase a tank for Ed to encourage him to return to the hobby. Originally, it was to be a 55gallon tank, but as a 75-gallon tank has the same dimensions, naturally the brothers went for that! Ed soon had his new tank outfitted and his rejuvenated passion took off as he filled this tank with clown loaches, Corydoras, angelfish, and a red tailed black shark, which he still has to this day. Currently, Ed maintains many tanks in his basement. The inhabitants are as varied as his interests, and include Corydoras, Ancistrus spp., livebearers, guppies, Tanganyikan shell dwellers, West African cichlids, and Apistogramma spp. All of the stands are made by hand, and as Ed is just completing another stand, it looks as if his collection is soon to grow larger. Excelling at inducing his fish to breed, we all know and are most grateful for the bounteous harvest that comes from Ed’s fishroom. His tremendous generosity goes a long way in making the monthly GCAS auction table overflow with fabulous finds! Along with any task that comes his way, Ed serves in the role of GCAS Recording Secretary. Always ready with a smile and to lend a helping hand, Ed is an integral part of the GCAS. We proudly extend a warm welcome to Ed tonight as he presents, “Ed’s Fishroom!”

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by SUSAN PRIEST

? ? ANONYMOUS ? ?

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hen I first met this fishkeeper, his children were just emerging from the “toddler” stage. Yikes! That’s it; that’s all I’m going to say (except that now I know why my joints are aching by the time I go to bed). I already know what I want to tell you about him in next month’s issue, but until then, I’m guessing you will find a little bit of yourselves throughout these well-crafted paragraphs; I know I did. I am tempted to quote him at this point, before he has had a chance to speak for himself, but I must restrain myself. For your enjoyment, I offer you our:

do not seem to be able to coexist with their tankmates, and fish that I like too much to get rid of. I usually don’t keep troublemakers. I am not one of those fishkeepers that likes to feed fish to other fish, and don’t look to keep those types of fish, either. I was initially attracted to dwarf cichlids and catfish, like many new hobbyists, and still keep some of each. I have pretty much gone through my “pleco mania” phase, where I bought every hot and popular (and expensive!) new pleco around. I found them difficult to keep alive for an extended length of time, and, since I could not breed them, I was frustrated in the knowledge that they were being taken from the wild only to die in one of my Anonymous Fishkeeper/July 2007 tanks. I do have several plecos in my tanks If I may presently, but they are borrow a line from the pretty much farm rock and roll team of raised fish. One of Suggested Questions Mick Jagger and Keith my plecos, which I  Please introduce yourself. Richards: “Please know is wild caught,  Tell us about your favorite aquarium. allow me to introduce has been in my keep  What was your very first fish? myself……” for over 14 years, so I  Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. must be doing  Is there someone you think of as a mentor? Like them, I something right! Tell us about him or her. am middle aged, One of my  Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” although a few years c u r r e n t fa v o r i t e  If you were a fish, which one would you be? younger than them. I groups of fish are the  Who is your “Hobby Hero?” live in Nassau County, Lake Tanganyika  What fish which you have never kept would Long Island with my cichlids, and I have you like to acquire? wife and two teenaged  Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” several tanks of them  Describe your most memorable fishkeeping children. Right now I right now. By experience. have a fishroom with following the simple  What advice would you give to a about 30 tanks that principles of regular beginning fishkeeper? hold all different water changes,  What are your fishkeeping goals? families of freshwater appropriate feeding, - OR write a narrative story fish; there are cichlids, and careful mixing of tetras, livebearers, species, I seem to killies and catfish. have fo und the Although I formula for kept fish with my father for several years prior to fishkeeping success. As a participant in the GCAS his very untimely death at 43 in 1971, I have been BAP, I have well surpassed the 300 point level. I keeping fish steadily as an adult since 1988. Some won’t tell you how much, that might give my of my tanks are species tanks set up for breeding identity away! I mention this, not to brag, just to purposes, and some are community tanks. As I demonstrate that proper aquarium keeping will lead write this, one tank is a single specimen only “pet to success in breeding. I have about 10 planted fish” tank, although I have kept single specimens tanks, but they are almost all planted with simple as “pets” before. In my case, they are fish that just plants such as Java Fern, Java Moss, Water Sprite, 18

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and the likes. I do not use carbon dioxide injection or fancy lights. I have, however, found that keeping all my tank lights on timers helps allow me to create a somewhat stable environment for my fish and plants, and I believe that helps as well. Since I have 30 active aquariums, I do not really have a “favorite,” however, I usually find the tank that contains a fish that is new to me, or that I am working with for breeding purposes, gets a greater portion of my attention than the others. To that extent, one of my current “favorites” is a custom 10 gallon tank that I obtained for the grand sum of $5 dollars when Dr. Paul Loiselle donated it to a GCAS auction after a project he had been involved with at the New York Aquarium was completed. This tank, one half of a 20 high, currently houses a group of young Julidochromis ornatus (both natural and albino forms) that I am working with. Another of my “favorites,” is a 55 gallon tank that now houses a breeding group of Tropheus moorii “Red Rainbow.” I wrote “now houses” because, finally, after a second attempt at keeping these fish, the group I now have is breeding constantly. My first fish, which I kept with my father almost 40 years ago, was a group of swordtails that bred almost as soon as we got them. It was a very exciting event for an impressionable young boy such as myself, and I never forgot that feeling of seeing those babies. Years later, when I started keeping fish again, I started with neon tetras and tiger barbs in a 5 gallon hex tank, which soon became tiger barbs in a 5 gallon hex tank! I learned a great deal about fish from the “school of hard knocks,” like many new fishkeepers, killing lots of fish at first and having to set the tank up and start all over again several times until I got it right. One of the first lessons I learned was that a 5 gallon tank was just not big enough, and I soon got a 20 gallon hex tank. I also learned to keep fish in the standard rectangular size tank for best results. After all the “experts” among my small circle of friends and acquaintances got left behind in my expanding quest for knowledge, I found Greater City, and then my education grew tremendously, as I was exposed to people and things I never could have encountered on my own. When I first started keeping fish, everyone was my mentor, and I learned from everyone I spoke to. Not all the information that I got was correct or appropriate, but I listened and learned. But, I have never really had a “fish mentor.” If I had unlimited resources, knowledge, and ability, I would love to be able to keep a planted tank such as the Amano tanks that are featured in Tropical Fish Hobbyist and in the “Nature World” series of books. That creative touch completely eludes me, and I know that I Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

would have to pay dearly to have someone set it up for me, and probably to help me keep it going. I would have to have somewhere to feature that tank, and display it prominently as well, not keep it hidden away in my basement with the rest of my tanks. That would be the hardest part of the fantasy, getting my wife to allow a tank in the house. Once we moved into the house, she agreed the basement would be mine to do what I wanted, but, thus far, she has resisted all my efforts to add one “show” tank in the living quarters of the house. I do not have a particular hero in the hobby these days. I have in the past, but not right now. However, anyone who overcomes the initial failures and confusion of keeping fish, and stays with the hobby, whether they keep one tank or one hundred, is my hero! I have never kept any saltwater fish. One day, I would really like to set up a saltwater tank and keep some of my favorites such as the Purple Tang and some of the clown fish. If I have a large enough tank and the financial resources someday, I would really like to keep a Dragon Moray Eel. However, like each fish that I keep, I would only keep one if I knew I could provide the proper environment for it, and do my best to guarantee success in keeping the fish. I think that we have a tremendous responsibility to maintain our wet pets in the best environment we can, or else, not keep them. Bloopers, I have made plenty of them. However, I think the biggest one I ever made involved a 30 gallon tank that I was using to house a large group of African cichlid fry that I was growing out. Not realizing what I was doing, I moved the plug to the filter to an extension cord that was plugged into a timer for the lights in that tank. Two days later, the filter only running about 6 hours a day, I had a tank full of dead fish. I never noticed because when I looked at the tank (I try to check out my tanks every day) the filter was running and everything looked fine. The water fouled very quickly and almost all the fish died. The only survivors were a group of albino bushynosed plecos. As I drained the tank to reset it, imagine my surprise when I found all the “bushies” alive! I set the tank up for them and, within a few weeks, they had begun breeding. Once they started they have not stopped and it is quite a sight seeing them gather to feed! One of the fish I have always been crazy about is Altolamprolgus calvus. Many years ago I was able to obtain 7 very young calvus in an attempt to raise and breed them. Six years later, I had raised several of them to a size at which they should have been breeding, but they were not. I gave the remaining fish away and started with something else. Subsequently I got the chance to

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pick up a trio of wild caught A. calvus, and I bought them. About a year later, with one of each sex in the tank, the pair bred. What made it so memorable was that they bred in a cave right in my line of sight and I was able to observe the whole spawning process from fertilization through hatching to free swimming. If I were asked what advice to give beginning fishkeepers, here are some pointers I would give them: •

Start with as big a tank as you can afford and have room for, at least 20 gallons.

Don’t load too many fish in the tank. Start with a few different compatible types, and spend the time to learn about them and how to keep them alive before adding more fish and/or tanks.

Perform regular water changes and do the proper tank maintenance.

Feed your fish sparingly and feed the proper foods.

Read up and learn as much as you can, ask lots of questions.

If you can, join an aquarium society (this is not a plug, an aquarium society is the best place to meet fellow hobbyists, get many questions answered, and become exposed to fish and information that is not available anywhere else.)

Practice the art of patience, it will pay off in the end.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If someone won’t answer your question, find another person. Next month, when my identity is revealed, know that you can always ask me questions. If I don’t know the answer, I will make something up that sounds reasonable! (Just kidding, I will say that I don’t know and try to help you find the answer.)

Most important….Enjoy yourself, it’s your hobby.

In closing, allow me to quote Messrs. Jagger and Richards again: “Pleased to meet you, won’t you guess my name?”

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ur June autobiographer was quite careful not to reveal her gender as she told us about her brothers, but not that she was their sister, and in telling us about her spouse, but not that she was his wife. I’m suspecting that she may have left more than a few of you scratching your heads as to her identity, even though her photo was on the cover. When I was preparing to write my review of Aquarium Care of Cichlids, I considered opening it with my own recollections of the day I first met Claudia. I’m glad that I didn’t, because her version was much more engaging than mine would have been. (I was going to describe her as the original “Anonymous Fishkeeper,” as one by one we asked ourselves “Who is that? Do I know her?”) The mental picture of Claudia holding bloodworms in one hand and a diamond ring in the other gives rise to one of the few regrets I have in my life; I regret never having visited “Claudia’s Carriage House,” (she failed to mention the stairway to Imagination, or the antique sleighs full of dolls). More multi-faceted even than a diamond ring is our Claudia. I’m not going to try and recount all of her contributions to the GCAS, to Modern Aquarium, or to the aquarium world at large. I disappointed myself when, after last month’s issue had gone to the printers, I realized that I hadn’t made a mention of the C.A.R.E.S. program in my review. I like to watch the faces in the meeting room as, one by one, they burst into a smile when they notice the arrival of the bushel baskets full of expected as well as unexpected treats, the spreading out of the fish table cover, and the presence of the dashing Brad, all of which can only mean that Claudia is somewhere nearby as she greets new and old members. Claudia, there simply aren’t enough thoughts, words, or deeds to thank you for all that you are, and all that you do, but that won’t stop us from trying! One of our members (who shall remain anonymous) said this to me about Claudia’s book: “I have read a bizzilllion cichlid books, but Claudia’s writing is like a water change on an old, neglected tank.” Hmmm; maybe this person could have a career writing book reviews!

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Or: Mermaids Have More Fun by DESIREE MARTIN

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eedless to say, monthly meetings at the GCAS are wonderful experiences for a novice like me. My second meeting was as exciting as my first. I again participated in the auction, which was, quite simply, a lot of fun. There were demonstrations given by members that night. Crystal, one of the presenters of “Got Rocks,” gave me a lime-colored quartz rock, which I couldn’t wait to put in my tank. Having bid successfully on some Najas (a plant) and a breeding pair of Fundulopanchax gardneri nigerianus (a killifish), I introduced my goodies to my tank immed iat ely upon returning home that evening. I then sat in front of the tank, watching the new and beautiful scenery before I had to run off to bed. And whoa, what did I se e ? T h e k i l l i es immed iately came together and d id something I had never seen nor, at that moment, even considered what they might be doing. The beautiful male with his yellow and red fins swam alongside the female and engulfed her body in his fins, and both fish were dancing (I was later to learn that they had mated in front of me—but what do I know!). Boy, oh boy - what a sight! I could not believe the beauty of the performance, and immediately the tune “Under the Sea” came to mind, because now my tank in all its splendor and greenery, in fact, looks exactly like “under the sea.”

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

In the morning I sat next to the aquarium, and I saw another spectacular sight. I discovered that I had an absolutely beautiful snail, beige in color with stripes and 2 antenna, both of which I could see wiggling back and forth (must have hitchhiked in on the new plants). Baby Endlers, killies, a beautiful zebra snail, greenery… happy—happy—joy—joy! What more could one hope for? What a wonderful sight to awaken to, and what a beautiful way to begin the day. And because there was so much greenery, the Endlers males were flashing (hehehehe) and I saw new movements and colors in their fins. I beamed with mermaid pride, and could barely remove myself from in front of the tank as I went to get a magnifying glass to find out if any other new goodies might be in my tank. My fish love all these fresh plants, and eat them like cotton candy while they swim around the tank and in and out of the plants, as though they are changing rides at Coney Island. My, oh my - all this with just one ten gallon and one five gallon tank. Four days have now passed, and I find new snails appearing in the aquarium every day. I’ve also seen the killie pair “dance” one more time, and my baby Endlers are hiding in the Najas and appear very satisfied to swim amidst the foliage. Can you imagine what new experiences might happen in my aquarium after my next meeting and in my next (and of course, larger) tank? Well, we will see. Stay tuned.

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Photos and captions Our June meeting brought the highly anticipated annual opportunity to be enlightened by our own members through five mini programs, presented by seven of our very own GCAS members, Crystal Mattocks, Sharon Barnett, Rich Levy, Carlotti De Jager, Harry Faustmann, and Dan and Marsha Radebaugh. Deep and heartfelt words of thanks to Crystal, Sharon, Rich, Carlotti, Harry, Dan, and Marsha. You did a spectacular job, and our pride in you is immense!

What a wonderful group of presenters ~ given words of warm appreciation from President Joe Ferdenzi! No wonder they are so special ~ all are our very own GCASers! From left to right, Marsha and Dan Radebaugh, President Joe Ferdenzi, Crystal Mattocks, Sharon Barnett, Harry Faustmann, and Rich Levy. Carlotti De Jager had already left for home, but she is definitely in this photo in heart and spirit!

Carlotti De Jager was very much at home speaking on one of her favorite topics, “Bettas!” 22

Sharon Barnett and Crystal Mattocks filled us in on exactly what to do if we “Got Rocks?!”

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


by Claudia Dickinson

Master of “Live Foods,” Harry Faustmann shared his secrets on what we need to know to have a full range of our own successful cultures, and Rich Levy excelled in his presentation, “Fish at School — Focus on our Youth.”

Marsha and Dan Radebaugh had us laughing, and they had us listening, as they brought us their own “Cheap Tricks!”

A heartfelt welcome to new GCAS members Barbara and Karl Dan Radebaugh shares one of his Marsha Radebaugh shows us Albrecht, who join us from Forest very “Cheap Tricks” to provide what she and Dan do with their Hills, NY! hiding places for his beloved turkey baster! cichlids.

A warm welcome to our new GCAS member, Robert Altonen, whose interests span from African cichlids to guppies, breeding plecos, koi, and ponds!

Goodness knows what President Joe Ferdenzi has up his sleeve, but by the crowd’s laughter, you can Desiree Martin has become a be certain that it is all in fun! welcome regular at both our GCAS meetings, and in these pages of Modern Aquarium!

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Jason Kerner does another *STAR* job as our Modern Aquarium Photo/Layout Editor!

Horst Gerber is perfect proof of what we all do to make certain that we don’t miss a moment with the GCAS!

Sharon Barnett has definitely discovered a mound of treasures in the evening’s auction!!!

Last month’s Bowl Show Winner:

Carlotti De Jager

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


BREEDING SEAHORSES - PART 1: SETTING UP THE TANK by BERNARD HARRIGAN

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aying that seahorses are unique in the animal kingdom is like saying that the surface of the sun is hot. They look as if they’ve been put together from parts of over half a dozen unrelated animals. They have a suction pistol for a mouth, and they swim erect, so it should come as no surprise that these nonconformists breed in a very unique way. They’re the only animals where the male gets pregnant and gives birth. Seahorses breed easily in an aquarium, but if you’re not ready for it, or don’t have things set up right, both you and your seahorses can end up being frustrated. All seahorses basically breed the same way, with some minor variations depending on the species. In this, Part One, I’ll go over an average breeding setup. Part Two will go into the actual breeding itself, and some of the common pitfalls you could run into. The last part will cover raising the fry, which is the hardest part. Before you give this a try, research the needs of your particular species, and read all three parts of this series at least once.

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

When it comes to seahorses, a tall tank is a good tank. “How tall?” you ask. That depends on the species of seahorse. Seahorses do a kind of courtship dance. Unlike us, the “dance” isn’t just horizontal movements, but includes more vertical movements. At one point they will face one another and swim upwardly. In the end the female will be belly to belly with the male, passing her eggs to him. If the seahorses don’t have enough vertical room to swim up together, breeding will be next to impossible. The taller the tank, the easier it will be for them. The least amount of vertical swimming room that the tank should have is twice the maximum height that your species of seahorse can grow. Notice that I didn’t say the minimum tank height you should have. That’s because seahorses don’t care if the tank is 15 inches tall, if they can only swim 13 inches, and they need 14 inches. Gravel and airspace take up vertical swimming room. The drawing below should clarify this point.

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Clean water is important, so have good nature, and rely on not being seen in order to catch biological filtration and a protein skimmer. Just a meal, as well as not becoming someone else’s make sure you don’t turn your aquarium into a meal, they need a hideout. For a hideout, all they Jacuzzi. Seahorses are poor swimmers. Strong need are a few hitching posts to hold on to. In pumps or badly directed outlets can cause nature, they’d use seagrass, coral, or any anchored undesired turbulence. This is not good when item they can get their tail around. In the you’re trying to breed any Hippocampus species. aquarium, you can use artificial coral, plastic As I mentioned earlier, seahorses will do a dance, plants, or even that “Little Mermaid” tank getting belly to belly in order to breed. They will decoration that you have stashed on the side. It do this dance over and over, until the female’s doesn’t matter that much to the seahorses. Put a ovipositor and the male’s pouch are not only few on both sides of the tank. This way, they have touching, but are lined up precisely and at the an option of where they want to go and relax. correct angle. Without a place to relax, your seahorses will be Pete Giwojna, a world-renowned expert stressed out, and the last thing on the mind of a on seahorses, gave the best analogy of seahorse stressed out seahorse is hooking up to mate. copulation I have ever read. It was in an article he If you noticed, I said artificial coral and wrote which was plastic plants. This is called “Seahorse not a “show tank,” so Minimum Vertical Swimming Room Breeding Secrets.” your esthetic sense takes For Common Seahorse Species Here is a quote from a backseat to what you the article: “If you H. abdominalis (Potbellied Seahorse) . . . . . . 28" are trying to accomplish, have never had the H. angustus (Narrow Bellied Seahorse) . . . . . . 7" which is breeding privilege of watching H. barbouri (Barbour’s Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . 12" seahorses. Form follows your seahorses mate, H. barboniensis (Réunion Seahorse) . . . . . . . 12" f u n c t i o n . S o m e imagine newlywed H. breviceps (Knobby Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . 8" manufacturers make skydivers attempting H. camelopardalis (Giraffe Seahorse) . . . . . . . 8" v e r y realistic to consummate their H. capensisi (Cape Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12" reproductions of marine marriage in freefall... H. comes (Tigertail Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . 15" plants and coral, but The last thing they’d H. erectus (Lined Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15" your seahorses won’t want to contend with H. fuscus (Sea Pony) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12" really care how they at the moment of truth H. guttulatus (Long-Snouted Seahorse) . . . . . 15" look. are swirling air H. hippocampus (Short-Snouted Seahorse) . . 12" Real coral and currents, or a little H. histrix (Thorny Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14" marine plants have their wind shear!” If your H. ingens(Pacific Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25" own set of needs and seahorses are trying H. kelloggi (Kellog’s Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . 13" requirements. Some can to breed, the last thing H. kuda (Yellow Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14" be quite demanding, and they want is strong H. reidi (Slender Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15" completely opposite of currents making for a H. spinosissimus (Hedgehog Seahorse) . . . . . 15" the needs of your tricky docking. The only H. subelongatus (Tiger-Snout Seahorse) . . . . 16" seahorses. Having the H. whitei (Sydney Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11" other livestock I would right lighting will H. zosterae (Dwarf Seahorse) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3" put in the tank, besides help set the right the betrothed seahorses, mood. No, I’m not are a few turbo snails. taking about installing a dimmer switch or using Every living organism adds to the bioload of the candlelight. A normal flourescent strip is fine. tank and contributes to the deterioration of its What signals seahorses to make whoopie is the water quality. Other fish could harass, or length of photoperiod. For many seahorse species, out-compete the seahorses for food. Crustaceans once the sun stays out for over 12 hours, it’s time are aggressive and could eat baby seahorses. to dance. This is especially true of the dwarf Corals need stronger water movement, and could seahorse, Hippocampus zosterae, but for others as sting them. Even Caulerpa, and other marine well. Plug your tank light into a timer, and have plants, need special lighting. The bottom line is, if the time set so that the lights stay on for at least 13 it’s not a major plus for what you’re trying to do, hours, and then watch the romance flow. then don’t add it. To furnish this aquatic boudoir, you first In the next installment, I will talk about need to remember that the lovers need room to the actual courtship, and the mating itself. I’ll also dance, so keep the center of the aquarium clear and go over some common problems which you might unobstructed. They also need to feel comfortable run into. and relaxed in the tank. Since they are shy by 26

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FAASinations—News From: The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS), to which Greater City belongs, has announced the results of the 2006 Publication Awards competition. Participation seems to be less than in prior years, but Greater City’s Modern Aquarium came away the big winner, taking top honors in most categories. See the legend at the end of this article for explanations of the abbreviations used. Congratulations to all of the winning societies, and especially to all of our Modern Aquarium award-winning authors!

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n n Best Editor and Publication more than 6 issues n n 1) Al Priest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Robert Kulesa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACLC 3) James Quattropan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS HM) Arie Gilbert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS

Best Editor and Publication 6 or fewer issues 1) Josè M Centeno. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AAA

Best Changing Cover, Non-Original Art 1) Jason Kerner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Arie Gilbert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS 3) Josè M. Centeno.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . AAA

Best FAAS-Related Article 1) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . FAAS Report, March 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS 2) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . FAAS Report, December 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS 3) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . FAAS Report, June 2006.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

Best Exchange Column 1) Kurt Johnston. . . . . . . . Piscatorial Pearls, December 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACLC 2) Stephen/Donna Sosna Sica. . . Fish Bytes, August 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . X-Change-It!, April 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

Best Review Column 1) Susan Priest. . . . . . . . W et Leaves, December 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Evelyn Eagan . . . . . . . Tips, Tricks, Gadgets & Gizmoz. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS 3) Susan Priest. . . . . . . . W et Leaves, April 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Spawning Article under 500 words 1) Marti Horan. . Spawning Report for Ancistrus dolichopterus, Long Fin Bushynose Pleco. . . . EIAA

Best Spawning Article 500-1000 words 1) Al Priest. . . . . . . . . . . Badis ruber: A Small Fish W ith a Big Attitude!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . Melanochromis auratus: M olded by M alawi. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Tony Tetro. . . . . . . . . . Breeding Neolamprologus brichardi.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

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Best Spawning Article, more than 1000 words 1) Al Priest. . . . . . . . . . . 2) Jo Meade . . . . . . . . . . . 3) Susan Priest. . . . . . . . HM) Tony Tetro. . . . . . . .

A M ost Extreme Leaf. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS Spawning Arius jordani.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIAA No Pits, No Stems: Barbus titteya - Cherry Barb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS Breeding "Aequidens pulcher" - Blue Acara. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

Best Article on a Genus of Fish 1) Dan Radebaugh. . . . . . . . . . . . 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . . . . . . . . 3) Bernard Harrigan. . . . . . . . . . HM) Glenn Peterson.. . . . . . . . . . .

Tigerfish!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Neon is a Neon is a Neon. . . NOT!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Seahorse Chronicles: Seahorses Classified. . . . . . . . Fishy Stories. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

GCAS GCAS GCAS . LIAS

Best Article on a Species of Fish 1) Bernard Harrigan. . . Oscar, Oscar, Oscar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . W ho You Calling "Four Eyes" (Anableps anableps). . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Andy Hudson. . . . . . . . A W olf in Sheep’s Clothing, or The Hazards of Impulse Buying. . . . . ACLC

Best Marine Article 1) Bernard Harrigan. . . . . . . . . . A Swimming Dragon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . Seahorse Chronicles-Seahorse Profile: The Dwarf Seahorse . . . . GCAS 3) Arie Gilbert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Don't Flush!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS HM ) Bernard Harrigan. . . . . . . . Seahorse Chronicles- Seahorse Profile: Lined Seahorse. GCAS

Best Continuous FAAS Column 1) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The FAAS Report. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

Best Article on Aquascaping/Design 1) Horst Gerber. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oddball Tank.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Elliot Oshins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Let's Cross the Bridge.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Articles on Plant Maintenance/Cultivation/Reproduction 1) Joseph Ferdenzi. . . . . The M adagascar Lace Plant: a Case Study in Cultivation. . . . . . GCAS 2) Joy Twentyman-Crock. . . . . . . . So You W ant a Planted Aquarium - Part 1: Introduction, Difficulty, Level, Container and Substrate. . . . . . EIAA 3) Charley Sabatino. . . . Four (or more) for the Foreground Cryptocoryne parva The Crypt That Thinks it's an Anubias. . . . . . GCAS HM ) Bernard Harrigan. Java Fern (Microsorium pteropus) - The "Super Plant". . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Show Article 1) Claudia Dickinson. . . A Golden Anniversary Celebration is on the way for the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies . . . . . GCAS 2) Carol Sindelar. . . . . . . The Show, The Entries, and the W inners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . EIAA

Best How To or Do It Yourself Article 1) Sharon Barnett. . . . . . 2) Evelyn Eagan. . . . . . . . 3) Arie Gilbert. . . . . . . . . HM ) Bernard Harrigan.

Adventures in Fish Shipping: Part 1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . W interizing Your Pond. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DIY . . . Or is that DI W hy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Seahorse Chronicles: The ABC's of Acclimation. . . . . . . . . .

GCAS . LIAS . LIAS GCAS

Best General Article on Society Management 1) Margaret Peterson. . . . The View...From the Other Side of the Tank (December 2006). . . . . . LIAS 2) Jim Peterson. . . . . . . . . Club Auction: Bid Early, Bid Often. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS 3) Margaret Peterson. . . . The View...From the Other Side of the Tank (May 2006).. . . . . . . . . . LIAS

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Best Article on Health/Nutrition 1) Bernard Harrigan. . . 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . 3) Claudia Dickinson. . . HM) Harry Faustman. . . .

The Seahorse Chronicles: The Q W ord. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Seahorse Chronicles: Seahorse Sustenance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HITH Disease: Symptoms, Causes and Cures.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Home Grown with Harry: Grindal W orms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

GCAS GCAS GCAS . LIAS

Best Collecting Article 1) Dan Radebaugh. . . . . Natives, Anyone?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Traveling Aquarist Article 1) Ray Suydam. . . . . . . . . Report from the W est Coast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS 2) Stephen Sica. . . . . . . . Diving in a Fishbowl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Humorous Article 1) Horst Gerber. . . . . . . The Official Fishmonger Notebook. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Sharon Barnett. . . . . . Strange Things are Happening.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Margaret Peterson. . . . The View From the Other Side of the Glass (February 2006). . . . . . . . LIAS

Best Original Art Work 1) Bernard Harrigan. . . Lined Seahorse - December 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . Seahorse - M arch 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Bernard Harrigan. . . Leaf Fish - M arch 2006. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS

Best Cartoon 1) Bernard Harrigan. 2) Bernard Harrigan. 3) Bernard Harrigan. HM) Robert Kulesa. . .

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. . . .

Always Cover a Tank with Comet Goldfish (June 2006). . . . . . . . GCAS Domino Damselfish. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS Bubblenest Smell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS Is that a fence being built over there? (June 2006). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACLC

Best Continuing Column, Single Author 1) Sharon Barnett. . . . . . M ermaid Tales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Bernard Harrigan. . . Seahorse Chronicles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 3) Dennis Heltzel. . . . . . . The Fish Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACLC

Best Article, All Other Categories 1) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . Here's to You, Steve. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS 2) Ray Suydam. . . . . . . . . A Final W ord From an Ex-President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIAS 3) Robert Kulesa. . . . . . . Lists and Things Remembered. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACLC

n n Author of the Year n n 1) Bernard Harrigan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS 2) Pat Smith. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . NCAS

3) Sharon Barnett.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . GCAS Legend Abbreviation GCAS. . . . . . . AAA. . . . . . . . . ACLC. . . . . . . . EIAA. . . . . . . . LIAS.. . . . . . . . NCAS.. . . . . . .

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Publication M odern Aquarium. El Ojo de Agua. . . . . Tank Tales. . . . . . . . . Fin Flap. . . . . . . . . . . Paradise Press. . . . . . Pisces Press. . . . . . . .

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

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Society . . Greater City Aquarium Society . . Asociaci贸n de Acuaristas de Aguadilla . . Aquarium Club of Lancaster County . . Eastern Iowa Aquarium Association . . Long Island Aquarium Society . . Nassau County Aquarium Society

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THE AMUSING AQUARIUM

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


Do Virtual Fish Feel Pain?

If you are at all concerned with your aquatic pets feeling pain, get a Nintendo DS, a handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. Once you own one, you will soon be able to turn it into a virtual fish store with the program Fish Tycoon®. This program is a fish-breeding simulation game that allows players to raise fish in “real-time virtual aquariums,” and crossbreed them to their liking to create new breeds to sell in their store.3 Selling fish provides funding for supplies, medicine, special chemicals, technology research, and store advertising to attract more customers. Players start with a small selection of fish that they must nurture and breed, as they work to discover the correct genetic combination for the “7 Magic Fish.” The game will be available later this year at a suggested retail price of $19.99. For additional information, visit www.majescoentertainment.com.

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.

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s a result of some evidence suggesting that fish, which are used widely for genetic research, have pain receptors similar to those of land-dwelling vertebrates, the British government has decided that fish may feel pain. As a result, the government intends to draw up a “charter of rights” to protect fish from inhumane treatment in research laboratories. According to a Times-on-Line article1, “Home Office guidelines will ensure that fish used for scientific study are monitored for signs of stress. Scientists will be required to ‘enrich’ the animals’ lives by putting shelters and other features in aquariums.” The charter will also stipulate that laboratories and universities should “retire” fish at a reasonable age, so they can enjoy their old age. Don’t let anyone talk you out of putting that sunken ship, mermaid, bobbing diver, resin skull, or ceramic castle in your tank. Just let it be known that you are providing “environmental enrichment,” as officially recommended by the British government. How many of you are old enough to remember “Sea Monkeys?” (Sea-Monkeys® are a trademark of Transcience Corporation for a variety of brine shrimp.) Well, if you want them, Sea Monkeys are still being sold at http://www.sea-monkey.com/. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a slightly larger aquatic pet that you can also keep in a closed environment, the Logi-Net company of Japan is selling a “HoloHolo kit” at a starting price of just 2,100 yen (about $17.00)2. This kit consists of a mini plastic “aquarium” with seven tiny shrimp swimming around inside. To date, the British government has not ruled on the extent to which shrimp may feel pain, nor have they decided on retirement benefits for “senior shrimp.” Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

According to the Associated Press4, people in the waiting room at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport, Oregon can relax by watching a “fish cam.” A live feed from the Oregon Coast Aquarium beams images of the fish to a large plasma screen TV set in the ER. While we’re on the subject of hospitals and fish, just last month a woman was knocked unconscious by a leaping sturgeon on Florida’s Suwannee River. The woman was taken to a hospital and was expected to recover. (Sturgeons have hard plates along their backs, can grow up to 8 feet long, and can weigh up to 200 pounds.) In April, another leaping sturgeon severely injured a 50-year-old woman from St. Petersburg who was riding a personal watercraft (also on the Suwannee River). She suffered a ruptured spleen, and had three fingers reattached by surgeons; but she lost her left pinkie finger and a tooth5. (Hmmm, I wonder if Nintendo has a virtual watercraft, with virtual leaping fish?) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/ science/article2010193.ece

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http://www.logi-net.org/catalogue/01.html

http://www.nint endo wo rl dre por t.com/ newsArt.cfm?artid=13600

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http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section= bizarre&id=5441650 4

http://www.kansascity.com/286/story/147337 .html 5

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CAMEO PET SHOP

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 York’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

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July 2007

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS Join us in welcoming new members: Barbara and Karl Albrecht, Robert Altonen Thank you, renewing members: Carlotti De Jager and Mark Rubanow Last Month’s Bowl Show Winner:

Carlotti DeJager UNOFFICIAL results this season, to date: Carlotti De Jager 11; Ed Vukich 10; Darwin Richmond 3; Warren Feuer 1 Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting; August 8, 2007 Speaker: Harry Faustmann Topic: “Killifish” 7:30pm at The VFW Post 136-06 Horace Harding Expressway Flushing, NY 11367

Contact: Joseph Ferdenzi (516) 484-0944 E-mail: GreaterCity@compuserve.com Website: http://www.greatercity.org

Brooklyn Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: September 14, 2007 Speaker: Robert Hudson Topic: “Dutch Planted Aquariums” July & August: No Summer Events 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 Call: BAS Events Hotline: (718) 837-4455 http://www.brooklynaquariumsociety.org

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

Next Meeting: September 21, 2007 Speaker and Topic to be announced July and August: no meetings Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) at Holtsville Park and Zoo at 8:00pm. 249 Buckley Road - Holtsville, NY Website: http://liasonline.org/ Email: Arie Gilbert - president@liasonline.org

North Jersey Aquarium Society

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: August 16, 2007 Speaker and Topic: TBD No meeting in July Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 E-mail: jchapkovich@snet.net Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS Website: http://norwalkas.org/

Next Meeting: July 19, 2007 Speaker and Topic: TBD Meadowlands Environmental Center - One Dekorte Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ 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)

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: September 11, 2007 Speaker: Peter Warny Topic: Long Island Wetland Fishes July and August: no meetings Meets: 2nd Tuesday of each month at the American Legion Post 1066 - 66 Veterans Blvd. - Massapequa, NY at 8:00pm. Contact: Mike Foran (516) 798-6766 Website: http://www.ncasweb.org

June 2007

33


Fin Fun

Sidewalk Sale Days Everyone loves a sale! Who can resist “everything two dollars or less,” “seventy-five percent off,” or “buy one, get one free?” Unscramble the names of these items on sale at your pet shop. Hint: after you have found one fish and one plant, everything else is supplies. LIFTER SLOFS

. . . . . . . . . .

__ __ __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __

RETAEH

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . __ __ __ __ __ __

SHONYP

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . __ __ __ __ __ __

LARPINSPU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . FIGSOLHD

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

GLEAA RASCPER . . . . . . . . . __ __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __ __ __ SURTERAE THCSE

. . . . . .

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __

GESNOP TELRIF . . . . . . . . . __ __ __ __ __ __ - __ __ __ __ __ __ AIRENSILLAV . . . . . . . . . . . . NILEDARRHCOOT . . . . . . . .

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Solution to last month’s puzzle:

34

July 2007

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


Modern Aquarium July 2007  

Volum XIV Number 5

Modern Aquarium July 2007  

Volum XIV Number 5

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