Modern Aquarium October 2007

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AQUARIUM ON THE COVER Since our scheduled speaker’s program this month is on aquascaping, both Anubias sp. “Coffeefolia” and Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) are shown on our front cover, with an article about each of these plants in this plant-themed 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

Series III

Vol. XIV, No. 8 October, 2007

FEATURES Editor’s Babblenest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 President’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our Generous Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Java Moss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Anubias sp. “Coffeefolia”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 HornWHAT?.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Welcome to this Month’s Scheduled Speaker: Mark Denaro.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Through the Lens Photos from our last meeting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Amusing Aquarium (cartoon). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Fishkeepers Anonymous.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Aquatic Plant Transportation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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

Fish Bytes (Exchanges and More). . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Wet Leaves (Book Review Column). . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Name That Fish!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 G.C.A.S. Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fin Fun (Puzzle Page). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

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: or

The Editor’s Babblenest

by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST ast month I mentioned at the end of this column that Dan and Marsha Radebaugh have agreed to work with me to transition the job of Editor from me to them. Because of the unusually short deadline for this month’s issue (since our September meeting was a week later, the October issue of our magazine had one less week to be completed), I have not been able to work with Dan on this yet. I hope to do so after this issue is put to bed, and certainly during our winter break. I am telling you about this for a couple of reasons. First, you should know that our multiple award winning magazine will continue, a benefit that in the opinion of some (including myself, although I am far from objective on this point) is worth the cost of GCAS membership alone. And second, I am asking you to give Dan all the support you can. That means write articles, take photos, and do artwork that he can put into this magazine. The greatest and most talented Editor in the world can’t do it alone. I did not win all those awards that have been given to Modern Aquarium over the years — our members did. Speaking about articles from members, we have a few “firsts” this month. A fairly new member, Mario Bengcion (he only joined this March, and I’m happy to say that I was the one who “recruited” him) has his first article in this issue. (He also won First Place at last month’s Bowl Show, the first time he entered!) In addition, this issue reveals Mario to have been last month’s “Anonymous Fishkeeper,” and this is the first time since the “Anonymous Fishkeeper” column has been running that our President, Joe Ferdenzi, failed to correctly guess the identity of the fishkeeper of the month.



O.K., what about YOU? If a brand-new member can write an article, why not you? It does not need to be about a new, rare, or endangered species. It does not have to be a thousand words or more. It need not involve a collecting trip to a remote region with photos of you standing in muddy water. Look at Mario’s first article in this issue. It’s informative, helpful, and based on his personal experience. Could you have written it? W hy didn’t you? By the same token, if a brand-new member can win First Place at our Bowl Show the first time he entered (and with a Betta splendens, beating out several cichlids!), why not you? W hen was the last time YOU entered our Bowl Show? I once was the Exchange Editor for the GCAS. I can’t remember the club now, but I certainly remember one issue of a publication in which the Editor had three almost blank pages, each with one line of text that went something like this: This page is blank because the promised article from Joe/Jane Mem ber was not submitted. (It should be noted that this society required that, to get BAP points, a breeder had to write an article. This editor actually named members who “owed” articles.) W hile I think this was a bit extreme, I completely understand the frustration of that editor. W hen I ask your support of Dan, as our future Editor of Modern Aquarium, I ask that you NOT promise any articles to him. Yes, you read that correctly, I ask that you not tell him about what you will write, would like to write, or even are writing about. Promises of something “maybe in the future” are worth about as much as those blank pages I just described. Instead of giving him promises he cannot print, surprise him with a completed article that he can print! Compared to what I have been told has been the experience of other aquarium society publication editors, I have had more support from the GCAS membership than most of my editor colleagues have from their members. And, to those of you who wrote before, and who keep writing, I cannot thank you enough. But, even if you don’t have any fish at home (maybe you did once, and now only come to meetings to socialize, or maybe for Al Grusell’s great coffee and/or Jason Kerner’s sodas), you CAN write about yourself, can’t you? You don’t need to open a book, or go on-line, to research yourself. Then, why aren’t more of you volunteering to be the “Anonymous Fishkeeper?” Let’s see how many more times we can fool Joe Ferdenzi!

October 2007

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

President’s Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI he October meeting is upon us, and there are only two more meetings to go before our winter break. But there is one giant Greater City event that will take place before then. That event is the first ever convention sponsored by the Aquarium Federation of Independent Societies and Hobbyists (AFISH), of which Greater City is a member along with our fellow New York/Long Island clubs, the Brooklyn Aquarium Society, the Long Island Aquarium Society, and the Nassau County Aquarium Society. I am counting on Greater City members to register for this event and to attend. You do not have to book a hotel room to participate. The hotel is located right off the next to last exit on the Long Island Expressway— the same highway many of you take to get to our monthly meetings. Yes, I know that Riverhead is much further away for most of you than is Flushing. But, on the other hand, this is a once-ayear event that will be loads of fun. W e will have a great group of speakers and vendors to sample on Saturday, and a fantastic all-day auction on Sunday. I think that’s worth the trip. Earlier this year, I told you of my plans for stepping down as Greater City’s President after my 19th term is over (that would be after the completion of the 2008 season). W ould I reconsider that decision if there was a good turnout


from Greater City for this convention? Maybe. Inasmuch as the idea for this event was, putting modesty aside, my “brainchild,” a poor turnout would almost certainly cement my plan to retire. Please don’t take this message the wrong way. I have no interest in shaming or coercing people into going to the convention. But, why shouldn’t I tell you the truth? W hat do you think has kept me going all these years? Your support, and your enthusiasm for what we do, is what has kept me going. Do you know how many other society presidents I have seen come and go since I first took the helm at Greater City in 1986? Yes, with the exception of a three year break from 1997 to 2000 (during which I nevertheless continued to serve on the Board of Directors), I have been working for this society as its President since 1986. If you had been doing it for as many years as I, wouldn’t you also be looking for some motivation to continue? Of course, I am immodestly assuming that the majority of the members would like me to continue to serve as President. W ell, all of you have a say in that. So, let’s see what happens. * * * Please don’t forget to set aside the second W ednesday in December for our annual Holiday Party. W e are once again planning to hold it at the Palace Diner, just as we did last year. W e had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have fun. Greater City will subsidize the cost of the dinner again, so that it will be affordable (indeed, a downright unbeatable bargain!). Mark it down: December 12. W e’ll be collecting your ten dollars per person at the November meeting.

Our Generous Members very month we have a sheet on our auction table where members who donate items to the auction can indicate their donations (and yes, a “50%-50%” split is also donation). Although we have no shortage of items to be auctioned, only a few of those donating complete this sign-in sheet. W e’d like to give everyone who donates credit, so if you donate to the auction, please put your name down. For last month’s auction, the following generous members agreed to be identified as having donated items:


Jeff Bollbach Carlotti De Jager Harry Faustmann M ark Rubanow Anton Vukich Ed Vukich

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

October 2007



October 2007

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

Java Moss: A Versatile and Hardy Aquarium Plant by JOSEPH FERDENZI re you interested in a plant that is easy to in a bare tank. All it needs is some light, and not keep, and can fulfill a variety of much of that. For example, 20 watts of flourescent aquascaping and breeding needs? Look no light over a 20 gallon tank is more than adequate. further. That plant is the ever reliable Java Moss Too much lighting could produce (along with other (Vesicularia dubyana), and it is the subject of this factors) algae, which will smother it. The algae article. may not kill the Java Moss, but it looks unsightly. Part of the common name, Java, indicates In dimmer light not only will the Java Moss thrive, that the plant originates from a large island of the it will out-compete most other plants, including same name that is part of Indonesia. Inasmuch as algae. Indonesia is in Southeast Asia, one would imagine Having established that Java Moss will that Java Moss could only thrive in tropical thrive under almost any temperature and lighting temperatures. W ell, guess what? I have kept Java conditions, I can also tell you that it is not fussy Moss outdoors throughout our New York winters. about water chemistry. It will survive in either It doesn’t grow in the winter, but it comes back acidic or alkaline water conditions as long as you strong every spring avoid extremes and summer. Before (remember, anything you know it, you have less than a 5.5 pH Scientific name: Vesicularia dubyana gobs of Java Moss might as well be Common Name: Java M oss outdoors. Of course, vinegar, which I love Native to: Southeast Asia it also does well in the on my salads, but not Light requirements: From low to high tropical temperatures fo r my aquarium Temperature: No preference of your home plants). Hardness tolerance: No preference aquarium year-round. Also, I have Demands: very easy So, when it comes to never seen or heard of temperature tolerance, an aquarium fish that few aquatic plants can match our Java Moss. likes to eat Java M oss (oh, maybe a few dedicated Is it a true moss? W ell, I’m no botanist, herbivores like Silver Dollars or Scats might, but but it sure seems to be. It has no roots and such fish are few). In summary, it is fair to say that produces no flowers. It grows in dense mats. Java Moss is about as indestructible an aquatic Lately, I’ve seen some discussion that the scientific plant as you can find. That is not to say that it will name Vesicularia dubyana is not the correct one grow like wildfire in every aquarium. To for Java Moss. Be that as it may, virtually all of understand why that is so, you have to understand the aquarium literature refers to it by that name, so that each aquarium is its own “little world.” Small that is what you need to know if you want to do variations in each tank contribute to a some reading about it beyond this article. Be microenvironment that can make a difference in aware that, currently, there are other aquatic growth rates. I know this from experience. But, mosses available in the hobby. Some look a lot that experience has also taught me that, if any plant like Java Moss to me, and some are a little can thrive in a given aquarium, the odds are that it different in either the shape of the fronds or the will be Java Moss. color. Java Moss is, by far, the most commonly Because Java Moss does not need to be available, and it is the one with which I have the rooted, it presents many aquascaping possibilities. most experience. For example, you can tie it to a piece of driftwood Java Moss is a medium to dark shade of using ordinary sewing thread. By the time the green. It has no roots, but simply consists of stems thread disintegrates, the Java Moss will have and fronds. If you have ever seen terrestrial moss, attached itself to the wood. I love the way you will get the idea, except that this aquatic moss moss-covered driftwood looks in the aquarium. is not as dense. You can actually separate Java Moss will also attach itself to rocks in the individual stems from one another. same way. Because Java Moss can attach itself, it As it has no roots and doesn’t float, you offers a versatility few other aquatic plants can don’t need anything to hold it down. It will thrive match. In effect, you can create a layered look


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

October 2007


Java M oss attached to driftwood

photo by Al Priest

with Java Moss growing on the bottom and then rising up over rocks and driftwood to the very top of your aquarium. Because of the way it grows, Java M oss can also be used to cover unsightly elements of your aquarium. Suppose, for example, that you hade a piece of driftwood that was just right, except that it had a cut that was decidedly manmade, which would ruin the illusion that it was a natural part of your slice of nature. You could tie a clump of Java Moss over that part. Over time, the Java Moss would grow in such a way that you would never detect the artificial cut in the wood. It can’t be used to cover everything, however. I don’t recommend that you attach it to a heater. I also don’t recommend that you attach it to filter intake tubes — pieces will get sucked in and clog your filter. That also brings me to this word of caution. Under ideal conditions, Java Moss grows rapidly, and it could take over your entire tank. Fortunately, it is easy to prune, either with a scissor or just by ripping out portions of it with your hand. If your tank contains Java Moss, and you no longer want it to, it is removable without causing much damage. (I have never seen it actually attach itself to other plants, but it may grow over and around their leaves and stems, not attaching in the way it does with wood, rocks, and glass.) However, if even a small piece is left behind, it will slowly reproduce itself. On the bright side, excess Java Moss is always in demand by other hobbyists and


pet shops. So, you are doing a good thing if you are growing excessive amounts of it. The way I keep it under control in most of my tanks is just by using modest levels of lighting, and occasionally I prune it. In addition to its versatility in aquascaping, Java Moss is also very useful as a spawning medium. A wide variety of egglayers — killifish, rainbowfish, tetras, barbs — will use it as a place in which to lay their eggs. In a livebearer tank it is useful as a place for newborn fry to hide from preying adults. It is also a place where fry can find food, such as the microorganisms that live in the Java Moss “jungle,” or food that travels in there, having escaped being eaten by the adult fish. Because Java M oss can be easily moved, and doesn’t have roots, you can use it in an otherwise bare breeding tank. After the fish have spawned, you could even remove the Java Moss with eggs to another tank if the eggs are of an adhesive variety (such as with killifish and rainbowfish). Another breeding use for Java Moss was taught to me by hall of fame hobbyist Rosario LaCorte. This lesson involved Corydoras catfish. Corydoras usually lay their adhesive eggs on the glass walls of the tank. Then, you have to either remove the parents or remove the eggs (sadly, the parents will eat the eggs or the resulting fry if you don’t do one or the other). Sometimes, it is better to remove the eggs. So, I used to do this by

October 2007

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

carefully using a very sharp single-edged razor blade. Most of the time the eggs would stick to the blade, and you could transfer the eggs to the rearing container. But, there would be times when they would slip off. If they fell into the gravel, they were almost impossible to see and recover before the parents came along and ate them. Rosario showed me that I could use a small wad of Java Moss as a “pallet” onto which to push the eggs — the eggs adhere more readily to the moss, and then you can just plop the moss and eggs into your hatching container. One of my favorite uses for Java Moss is in my killifish aquariums. Most killifish are small egglaying fish that prefer cool temperatures (72E–75EF) and dim lighting. This makes Java Moss an ideal accompaniment to their tanks. The killifish will lay their adhesive eggs in the moss or in the gravel beneath the moss (if you are breeding killifish in a permanent aquarium setup), and the emerging fry will find refuge and food in the moss as well.

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

If you accompany the Java Moss with floating plants, such as W ater Sprite, you will have an almost ideal breeding setup for most small non-annual killifish (non-annuals constitute the vast majority of small killies). Moreover, the combination of Java Moss and W ater Sprite, with its long roots cascading down into the moss, makes for a very attractive aquascape, evoking the exotic look of the tropical rainforest. In my mind, the versatility and hardiness of Java Moss make it a unique and irreplaceable component of my aquariums. I really don’t know what I would do without it. That sometimes makes me sad for my hobbyist friends who live in Bermuda. You see, Bermuda forbids the importation of Java Moss for fear that it will become an invasive species if it gets loose in nature. So, all of my Bermuda friends have to do without it. On second thought, how can you feel sad for anyone living in Bermuda? Yeah, I should be so unfortunate as to be stuck in Bermuda!

October 2007


Coffee For Your Anabantoid Tank... And I Don’t Mean “Java” Anubias sp. “Coffeefolia” by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he phrase “planted anabantoid tank” is algae. (Try to use a toothbrush on Java Fern and almost an oxymoron (that is, a contradiction you’ll wind up with mulch!) in terms). Nearly all anabantoids require Plants of the genus Anubias are native to soft, acid water, and prefer a dimly lit tank. (Yes, tropical W est Africa. The genus is named after the there are exceptions, such as Betta simplex, but Egyptian god of the netherworld. The name these are rare exceptions.) A typical tank for betta, indicates that the plants grow in dark waters 1. The gourami, or ctenopoma species is low-light, having leaves also bear a striking resemblance to those of water that is usually Coffea arabica, the the color of weak terrestrial “coffee tea (due to the plant.” Scientific name: Anubias barteri var. coffeefolia presence of Anubias Family: Araceae driftwood, and/or coffeefolia differs Native to: W est Africa almond or other from the m o re M aximum height: 6 to 10 inches leaves, and/or peat, common (and Light requirements: low-high and/or blackwater easier to obtain) Temperature: 70-82°F extract). The water Anubias barteri and Hardness tolerance: very soft to very hard is a lso u su a lly Anubias nana by its pH tolerance: 5.0-6.0 “soft,” having a low d a r k e r c o lo r e d , Growth: very slow mineral content. ribbed leaves. The Demands: very easy M ost aq uarium leaves are thick and plants, even those smooth. It is “a considered by cultivated variety of aquarists to be “hardy,” literally “dissolve” in such Anubias, with highly ridged, or ‘crinkled’ leaves. an environment in a very short period of time. Young leaves are often reddish brown in color, Java Fern, Microsorum pteropus, is turning dark green later.” 2 probably the most recommended plant to use under According to the Tropica Plant Catalog, the conditions I just described, closely followed by “Anubias barteri 'coffeefolia’ is a very beautiful, Java Moss Vesicularia dubyana. However, in my low variety of Anubias barteri. It is characteristic experience, both Java Fern and Java Moss barely that the leaves arch considerably between the leaf survive this type of environment, and neither ribs, and the new leaves are red-brown. The colour combination and leaf shape make it an attractive appear able to survive for long when very dark and variety in both large and small aquariums. It very acid conditions (pH of 6.0 or less) are flowers frequently under water but does not required (and I do have fish requiring a pH below produce seeds there. Anubias species seem to 6.0). What can possibly survive in conditions that grow so slowly that they do not realise that they would stymy even Java Fern and Java Moss? The have been submerged.” 3 (this is apparently in answer that I have found is a variety of Anubias reference to the fact that Anubias species plants are sold under the names of Anubias barteri var. actually bog plants, as opposed to true aquatic coffeefolia, or just Anubias coffeefolia. (It should plants), but, as long as the root is submerged, they be noted that, while neither name has scientific will grow underwater and even grow to a height taxonomic status, for the purpose of this article, I above the water. However, the rhizome (which is will treat Anubias coffeefolia as a valid species.) a horizontal stem to which the roots are attached) If your Java Moss or Java Fern get must be allowed to remain above the substrate, or covered with algae, you might be able to save them it will deteriorate, resulting in the death of the by putting them in the dark for a while, or maybe plant. The Catalog goes on to state that Anubias not. On the other hand, if your Anubias cofffolia coffeefolia is not eaten by herbivorous fish. (W hile develops even a fairly severe case of algae, the I know of no herbivorous species of Betta or leaves are thick and tough enough (and have an Ctenopoma, some gouramis are herbivores or almost “waxy” coating) that you can use your omnivores.) fingers, or even a soft toothbrush, to clean off the



October 2007

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

Anubias coffeefolia growing from the top of coconut “caves” As I mentioned, this plant has a rhizome. New plants can develop as side shoots from the rhizome. These side shoots can be broken off to form separate plants once the leaves are large enough to sustain a new plant. However, it is not necessary to plant Anubias coffeefolia in substrate at all. It can be attached to driftwood or other aquarium ornam ents (in several of my mouthbrooding betta tanks, I have the roots inserted into a hole I made on the top of coconut shell caves), or it can be allowed to float freely (as I have done in my Leopard Ctenopoma, Ctenopoma acutirostre, tank). W hen left to float freely, the roots reach down into the tank and, with the leaves floating at the surface, the plant provides excellent areas for bubblenesting fish to build their nests, and in which fry can hide. This is a very slow-growing plant. Some Anubias coffeefolia plants in my Leopard Ctenopoma tank have been in that tank for as long as ten years, and during that time have only grown a few inches. The amazing thing, however, is that they have grown at all. That tank is lit for only a few hours a day (typically, three to four hours, tops). The water is very dark, owing to Malaysian roots (think very twisted driftwood) giving off tannins; and, for that same reason, the water is

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

photo by Al Priest

fairly acid (under 6.5 pH). W hile I have seen mention of Anubias coffeefolia flowering, in all the years I have kept this plant, and in multiple tanks, I have yet to see this happen. If you need a plant for a soft, acid anabantoid tank (or even for a soft acid South American cichlid tank) that can withstand a very low pH, that requires virtually no maintenance, and that most plant-eating fish will ignore, Anubias coffeefolia and plastic are your best two choices; and based on the fading I’ve seen on plastic plants, I think Anubias coffeefolia might be even more durable than plastic — it certainly is more “lifelike”!


Frey, Hans. Illustrated Dictionary of Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications, 1961, p.54.


Hiscock, Peter. Mini Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants. Barron’s, 2005, p.95.


W indeløv, Holgar Tropica Aquarium Plants. pub. Tropica, 1998, p2.2.

October 2007


HornWHAT? Ceratophyllum demersum by SUSAN PRIEST approached the speaker, who was clearly an expert his story has several characters. Some of them are people and some of them are in such matters. “Could you please recommend a plants. I’ll tell you from the start that it has plant for my small hardwater livebearer tank?” To a happy ending so you won’t worry about that. her plaintive plea he responded “I would Also, I’ll try to keep the action moving at a lively recommend Hornwort, and I know that there is pace. some in tonight’s auction.” She thanked him Once upon a time, in a small aquarium muchly, and went to tell her husband what she had belonging to a beginning fishkeeper, there were learned. some beautiful Cabomba plants. They were Fast-forward 90 minutes. The auction is delicate green fronds with whorls of tiny forked beginning. The fishkeeper notices that instead of leaves along their slender stems, and the sight of re-filling his coffee cup, her husband is paying rapt them put a smile on the face of the beginning attention to the proceedings. All of a sudden his fishkeeper. Fast-forward 24 hours. All of the tiny hand shoots up, and doesn’t come back down until green leaves were laying on the surface of the he has been declared the winning bidder on a bag gravel, the slender of yes, you guessed stems were bare, it, Hornwort! Scientific Name: Ceratophyllum demersum and the beginning T h e Common Name(s): Hornwort, Foxtail fishkeeper was sad fishkeeper thinks to Country of Origin: W orldwide and disheartened at herself that true love Lighting: From low to high the sight of them. expresses itself in W ater Temperature: 64EF to 82EF F a s t strange ways, and Plant Height (in aquarium): 20" to 24" forward 12 years. a n x i o u s l y Propagation: Pieces which break off of the plant In the same approaches him to become new plants aquarium belonging see what this treasure W ater Parameters: pH, 6.0 to 9.0, tolerates to the same looks like. And what very soft to very hard water fishkeeper, there to her wondering Growth Rate: Rapid was a thick and lush eyes should appear Special Features: Has a “rhizoid,” but no roots cluster of Najas but a bag full of Similar Species: C. submersum , C. echinatum plants. It had delicate green fronds become thicker and with whorls of tiny m ore lu sh with forked leaves along every week that passed, until one day the their slender stems, and the sight of them made her fishkeeper said to herself “I can take some of that say to herself (and maybe even out loud), Holy thick and lush Najas and put it into a larger Leaf Litter! aquarium where it can become even thicker and Hornwort, Ceratophyllum demersum, also more lush,” and so she did. Fast-forward 30 days. known as Foxtail, is commonly available The Najas in the “other” aquarium was looking worldwide. It is adaptable to many different rather scraggly and pale, and so was the Najas conditions. M ost of the sources which I consulted from the first aquarium. Fast-forward another 30 said that it does best in cool (between 65EF and days. There were no Najas left in either of the two 70EF), or even cold (below 65EF) temperatures. aquariums. However, I keep it in a tank full of Endlers Fast-forward one year. The fishkeeper livebearers at a temperature that hovers just below thought to herself, “the fish in my small aquarium 80EF, and it shows no ill effects. Its close would benefit by having some live plants, but what proximity to a fairly bright light (which is on for a should I choose?” Fast-forward two hours. The medium length photoperiod of from eight to ten fishkeeper arrives at her aquarium society’s hours a day) seems to be to its liking. The box monthly meeting. The program was going to be filter has a layer of dolomite to slightly harden the about the use of CO 2 (carbon dioxide) in an water, and the pH is 6.5 (I’m not just guessing; I aquarium to promote the growth of aquatic plants. tested it!). A lightbulb went on in her head, and she



October 2007

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

A thick mat of Hornwort in an Enderlers Livebearer Tank This plant does not have any roots. It does, however have what is called a “rhizoid.” A rhizoid looks like a single 1½"-2" root, white and smooth, protruding straight out from the “bottom.” Not every frond has a rhizoid, but even those without one are green and healthy. Hornwort derives no benefits from being planted! Propagation is a very simple matter of breaking off a piece, either a side shoot or snapping a piece from the stem. Each piece will become a separate plant. Even though the Endler’s livebearers do not exhibit any cannibalistic behavior, and there are no other fish in the tank, the fry enjoy the refuge that the fronds of Hornwort provide for them. One source I consulted said that the stems can grow to be one to two meters; that’s six feet! (Maybe it grows that tall somewhere in the wild.) Another source says that in an aquarium they can become “spindly,” and that the distance between the whorls will increase. None of these circumstances have occurred in my tank. The mass of Hornwort in my aquarium is thick and spongy. If you pat it with your hand it springs right back at you, like freshly baked bread! I keep coming back to that word “whorl,” so I decided to look it up. A whorl is “an arrangement of similar anatomical parts (such as leaves) in a circle around a point on an axis,” or, whorled “having been arranged in whorls (leaves whorled at the nodes of a stem).”

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

photo by Al Priest

Conservation Caution: Do not allow any part of this plant to find its way into a naturally occurring waterway. This goes for any and all aquatic plants which you may be keeping. Not only might you be breaking the law, but you could be endangering the environment, as well. (These dangers have been well documented, and are too large a topic to be discussed here.) I’m going to fast-forward one more time, and bring you to the present. It is now seven months since Arie Gilbert gave me his astute advice, and Al made sure that I didn’t start bidding on the Hornwort for myself, only to drop out when the bidding became so fast-paced that I couldn’t be sure how much I would end up paying for it. W ell, I am happy to report that there has been no leaf litter on the gravel, and not a bare stem in sight. My Hornwort is a thick, lush, bright green floating playground for my ever-growing family of Endler’s livebearers. W hen Al puts a finger full of microworms into the tank, the population appears to triple right before your eyes as all of the fish which were doing what ever it is that they do among the whorls, stems and rhizoids of Hornwort come rushing out to eat. It is a beautiful sight to behold, and it puts a smile on the face of this now-seasoned fishkeeper. I’ll bet you thought that was it, the happy ending I told you about earlier. Happy, yes, but not quite the end. I have saved the best for last. Hornwort can be useful in combating algae because it consumes nutrients which they would use to feed

October 2007


on (no news there; this is true of virtually all aquatic plants), and they secrete substances which counteract algae. Holy Nitrates! Is that a happy ending, or what?!


Stodola, Dr. Jiri, Encyclopedia of Water Plants, T.F.H.,1967. Webster’s Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary, Barnes and Noble Books, 2002.

Hiscock, Peter, Encyclopedia of Aquatic Plants, Barrons, 2003.


Rataj, Dr. Karel and Horeman, Thomas J., Aquarium Plants, T.F.H., 1977.

Windeløv, Holger, Tropica Aquarium Plants, Tropica, 1998.

October 2007

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

The GCAS Proudly Extends a Most Warm Welcome to MARK DENARO Speaking On

“Aquascaping 101� M

ark Denaro has been keeping freshwater aquariums since 1970 and marine aquariums since 1976. He has propagated over 150 species of freshwater fish and propagated over 150 species of aquatic plants. Mark has also propagated over 20 species of

marine invertebrates, and had 6 species of marine fish spawn in his tanks. His interests range from plants to cichlids to anabantoids (he was recently elected to the position of Vice-President of the International Betta Congress) and to most other freshwater fish families. During his 24 years working in the pet industry, he has been









import/wholesale to retail. He has been in store management at both independent aquatics retailers as well as several large, big

M ark Denaro

box chains, and served as warehouse manager and sales manager for a regional wholesale company. Mark has owned an aquarium shop, a small saltwater wholesale operation and several aquarium maintenance companies. He currently owns and operates Anubias Design, an online retailer of aquatic plants and new, rare and interesting freshwater fishes. He is a past president of the Indianapolis Aquarium Society, and has held almost every Board position at one time or another in the various clubs of which he’s been a member. Mark is a well known speaker and judge. He has lectured to over 30 aquarium societies in 11 states and spoken at several regional and national conventions.

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

October 2007


Looking through the Photos and captions

President Joe Ferdenzi gives a warm welcome in true GCAS style to our evening’s speaker, Steven M ark Rubanow and Steven Giacobello. G iacobello are undoub te dly discussing the best lighting options for photographing discus!

Horst Gerber and August’s expert killifish speaker, Harry Faustmann, prepare to dive into some Montauk cookies!

Bill Amely and Jannette Ramirez dream of taking photographs of their beautiful bettas and oscars.

LaMont Brown enjoys another Grande evening with the GCAS!

Great fishing buddies, Harry Faustmann and Jeff Bolbach, exemplify the GCAS!

W ith that wonderfully characteristic sparkle in his eye, Elliot Oshins surely has another magical article in the works for Modern Aquarium!

Discus abound on our GCAS auction table with heartfelt thanks to Mark Rubanow.


October 2007

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

Lens with the GCAS by Claudia Dickinson

After the evening’s outstanding presentation, Peter and Susan Steiner plan the perfect photograph of their community tanks. Jerry O’Farrell and Gino Cusano e m a nate the warm th and camaraderie of the GCAS and our hobby!

To our great fortune, Dan Radebaugh has stepped up to the plate to begin the Editorship of Modern Aquarium beginning in 2008, accompanied by the full support of his lovely wife, Marsha.

Ed Vukich and Jack Traub hold the winning Door Prize tickets!

Our dear Al Grusell is a wonder at ensuring that we are well refreshed with delicious coffee and treats!

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

October 2007



Didn’t mom tell you not to play baseball in the house? Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners First Place M ario Bengcion

Third Place Artie Friedman

Second Place Claudia Dickinson


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



ell! I have to admit that when this Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. Experience is what b ra inchild you get when you of a column Suggested Questions make an error, was born a couple of T Please introduce yourself. learning from bad years ago, I had hopes T Tell us about your favorite aquarium. experience has been that it would develop T W hat was your very first fish? my best teacher. a bit of a wild side. I T Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. W hile I read kind of pictured at T Is there someone you think of as a mentor? magazines and books least some of you Tell us about him or her. until I was bleary, spoofing each other, T Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” I learned much more c r e a ti n g f i c t i o n a l T If you were a fish, which one would you be? from my friends at fishkeep ers who T W ho is your “Hobby Hero?” Greater City. would forever remain T W hat fish which you have never kept would anonymous, or just you like to acquire? generally pulling our If you were a fish, T Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” which one would you legs a bit. Never did T Describe your most memorable fishkeeping be? my imagination experience. Channa micropeltes, conjure up the likes of T W hat advice would you give to a the Giant Snakehead, what this fishkeeper beginning fishkeeper? at the top of the food has done. No matter T W hat are your fishkeeping goals? chain (so r a rely how many times I - OR write a narrative story unfed). read it, I enjoy it At fifty plus inches, anew, as, I have no ever predator, never doubt, you will too. prey, (Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.) and, I could breathe using my gills or airway!


Anonymous Fishkeeper, October 2007: Please introduce yourself. They seek him here, they seek him there. Those GCASers seek him everywhere. Is he in Heaven (or somewhere far deeper)? That damned elusive Anonymous Fishkeeper!

W ho is your “Hobby Hero?” I don’t know his or her name, yet most every day I proclaim the virtues of the inventor bygone who created the first syphon Python®

Tell us about your favorite aquarium. The Aquarium for W ildlife Conservation is near and Atlanta has the nation’s largest, I hear. The largest indoors is Shedd in Chicago and that’s the one to which I’d go

W hat fish which you have never kept would you like to acquire? If I could, I’d take Channa bleheri, the Rainbow Snakehead. But, alas, those in authority here have thickheads, So this five inch beauty cannot be imported, And my hopes of getting one have been thwarted.

W hat was your very first fish? From a street fair in the Keystone State, I brought home a goldfish as a playmate. That was years ago, when I was younger (as you can guess, I’m no longer a toddler).

Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” Inside a 200 gallon Long tank would be clear dividers, making mini-tanks, you see. Inside some sections: corals and marine, and others would have freshwater pristine.

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

October 2007


Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” To avoid the prospect of electrocution, a ground fault interrupter was my solution. The GFI tripped for some unknown reason, the filter reversed, and my carpet did moisten! Describe your most memorable fishkeeping experience. A fish endangered and rare (so rare it’s listed in C.A.R.E.S.) spawned in my tank one day a major feat, I daresay. W hat advice would you give to a beginning fishkeeper? Less is often better; moderation is a virtue. Overfeeding, even over-cleaning, you need eschew. Look at each tank every single day, and most future problems you will allay.

M ario Bengcion is still a “rookie” member of the GCAS, having joined in March 2007. He works at a Petland Discounts store in the Bronx where Al frequently buys feeder guppies for his South American Leaf Fish. Mario doesn’t always get his postcard (such is the mail delivery in the Bronx), so Al makes sure that Mario knows when and where to show up. Mario enjoys, and even looks forward to, our meetings. (Imagine that!) From my conversations with him, I would guess that he likes pretty much everything about the GCAS. Mario is a man of discriminating tastes. Even though he works in a pet shop, and gets “first dibs” on whatever comes in, he also searches for the “catch of the day” at other stores.

W hat are your fishkeeping goals? I’d like to pass on to the next generation a burning desire for fish preservation, and a love of all creatures great and small. for the Lord God made us all.

rony. Sometimes it is subtle, and sometimes it hits you right between the eyes. During the September meeting, Joe Ferdenzi pulled me aside. He pointed someone out on the other side of the room. “Do you see that guy in the red cap?” “Yeah.” “That’s your anonymous fishkeeper!” He didn’t even ask it as a question. W RONG! (Yes, it’s true, we have finally stumped him.) BUT, no more than ten minutes later, not only was Joe standing next to him, but they were being photographed together as Joe handed him the First Place bowl show ribbon. Joe was standing mere inches away from our anonymous fishkeeper, and he didn’t even know it! Now that is irony in its purest form! Speaking of ribbons, specifically BLUE ones, well, last month Mario entered the bowl show for the very first time, and he took TOP HONORS! I don’t know how often this has been accomplished in the past 85 years, so let’s just say that he is a member of a very elite group.



M ario Bengcion (left) with Joe Ferdenzi W hen he came to the question about advice for beginners, I got the feeling that his answer was right on the tip of his fingers, and he couldn’t wait to tell us. However, I think he was even more anxious to tell us about his goals for the future, and more worthy goals are hard to imagine. Now, here is the really impressive part. Elsewhere in this issue (actually, on the next page), is Mario’s first article for Modern Aquarium. He is already passing his knowledge on to others, and sharing his experiences. In other words, he is already realizing his goals! Mario, thank you for being our anonymous fishkeeper. The GCAS family welcomes you warmly, and we hope to enjoy your company, and to benefit from your knowledge and experiences, for many years to come.

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

Aquatic Plant Transportation For Sale or Trade by M ARIO BENGCION s a fish hobbyist, I also grow live aquatic plants. I started about four years ago. Through trial and error, I lost many. I never knew about CO 2 systems, or the proper pH of plants. I would buy them, and then wonder why they would die off so fast. Then I did my research, and I got the hang of it. Self-teaching, and listening to other people who grow plants, helped me out. Now I will explain some easy ways to move and transport live aquatic plants. Select the plants you are about to sell or trade. Take off any dead leaves. Cut back any roots, if they are too long. Leafy plants, such as W ater Sprite, Rotala magenta, etc., I bunch


together. Other plants, such as Amazon Swordplants or ferns, I pack separately. I don’t wrap my plants with any kind of paper unless I know they are going to be out of water for a long time. I like to bag them with care, so as not to crush or break the stems. Add a little water to the bag, so they don’t dry out. Use fish bags that are long. These work well for packaging plants. Some people prefer not to use air, but I like to give them air. W hen you don’t use air, it lets you pack them together more. Everyone has his or her own system of transporting plants. Use your own judgment, and things will work out fine.

All drawings by Bernard Harrigan Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

October 2007


An occasional column for society exchanges, guest appearances, articles and items of general interest. We try not to bite off more than we can swallow. If you wish to offer comments, suggestions, or any information that you would like to see in this column, the authors encourage you to contact us through Greater City, or at a monthly meeting.

by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica These fish appear to be a bit sleeker and shorter, ere I am sitting at the dining room table in mid-August, evaluating some of our latest but just as attractive. The author placed his ten adventures in a blatant attempt to avoid fish with two unrelated species, and moved them reviewing the stack of publications sitting to the around to escape egg predation. Ultimately, he right of my computer. Maybe I should move them discovered these fish in three different tanks and to the other side? Our last two adventures took us finally figured out that when he split up some Java to the Florida Keys, again, and the Cayman Islands, Moss, some eggs went along for the ride. yet again. W ith hurricane season beginning in The Honolulu Aquarium Society was earnest, it’s important to resist the temptation to established in 1950…the M ichigan Cichlid book those bargain airfares Association holds some of and cruises. So, Donna its meetings on the road at will do some planning local pet shops… that is, while I reluctantly turn to large ones like that stack. ha tc h e ries… it’s also I just read an offering a $100 prize for article in D etro it’s an original “short story Tropiquarium about “Gold about the hobby” of at Marble” angelfish and least 750 words. Maybe their prolific spawning and we can pay someone to cannibalism. After each e d i t M o d e r n spawning, the parents Aquarium… sort of a postwould eat their fry but retirement job someday. increase the interval by In that case I won’t be about two days. I quitting anytime soon! admittedly know nothing R e b e c c a about breeding fish, except Zoltoski’s P re sid e nt’s for a rare occasion when I asked Donna to find some good fish M e s s a g e i n C ic h lid they did it on their own. Is gossip and this is w hat she brings me! She Chatter acknowledges the there any other way? But says it’s an antique! Since w hen does our A C A C.A.R.E.S. it seems to me that you can column need a hundred year old anchor? Preservation Program, solve the problem if you under the coordination of remove the parents from the tank. Claudia Dickinson, as an attempt is being made to In Fancy Fins there’s an article about the incorporate this program into the New Jersey purchase at auction and breeding of Corydoras school curriculum. This would be quite an aspidoras C35 “Black phantom.” Of course this accomplishment. A clearly frustrated Scott name made me run to my Axelrod M ini-Atlas of Moreen, in his article about “My Ongoing W ar Freshwater Fish to research. The catfish was with Snails” in Cichlid Chatter,states that “maybe listed, but not as a Corydoras. (Ed Note: Aspidoras some of you will just intentionally start keeping is a catfish genus closely related to Corydoras.) snails…instead of fish keeping you can practice



October 2007

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

snail keeping… I have been told that some grown people actually like snails.” I like snails. But Donna says that I’m adolescent, so it’s okay.

If I give her a difficult tim e she’s going to w ith both barrels!

The article reminded me that last spring here in Queens, during an extremely heavy downpour, Donna called me to the basement on a Sunday evening to show me where the underground 220 voltage feed pipe into our house was dripping water into a puddle on the floor from the electrical elbow attached to the wall. I carefully hung a one gallon plastic fish bucket on the elbow to collect the water until it stopped raining and I warily mopped the puddle up. Hey, can I use this for a fish tip on the use of plastic pails? Insulated you know. Another article refers to a 210 watt APC battery backup with six power A test of this setup let me have it outlets. indicated that it was not totally adequate so the fishkeeper elevated all corner and sponge filters that were not working to lessen the pressure until he was satisfied. Those Missouri hobbyists sure are dedicated! If my tank is low on water from evaporation I either pray for rain, or fall back on the rain dance method. In that same issue of The Darter Mike Hellweg, who lectured at the GCAS, states that as early as 1841 scientists made an association between the improved health of fish when plants were kept in their aquarium and vice-versa. The Youngstown Aquarist reprinted a

An observation that I made about articles in other club publications is that they are relatively short— a page or less— and relate a personal experience, usually about spawning or raising fish. There are several angelfish articles out there recently, such as one I’m perusing now, “Breeding the Marble Angelfish.” The author’s fish laid eggs five times during the course of several weeks and it was on the fifth attempt that he was able to begin raising about seventy-five fry. The key to his success was to lower the hardness of his water… these parents did not eat their offspring. The March-April 2007 issue of the Missouri Aquarium Society’s The Darter mentions a commercial item called a “Tom brine shrimp continuous hatch and feed system” that really works. The author now owns three devices and uses them to feed his fry, since his two young children and his job usually keep him too busy to adequately offer his fry numerous feedings. He states that his fish are getting larger faster. In another article about “Lessons Learned “ by Steve Edie, he discusses means and Now that’s more like it! W hat new s did the Queen Angel methods to take care of fish during bring? emergency weather conditions and power outages. This is an entertaining and 2006 article by Adrian Lawler, Ph.D., the retired interesting story about his personal experience. aquarium supervisor at J.L. Scott Aquarium in His story mentions losing power last November Biloxi, MS, about Mycobacterium marinum during an ice storm, in spite of the fact that he has infection in fish and humans. This bacterium is in underground utilities. At the end, he only lost his the same genus as human tuberculosis and leprosy. two fourteen inch Pike Cichlids out of several Although it is an extremely rare disease, this “fish hundred fish. Unfortunately, those were his TB” can infect humans. If unrecognized and favorite fish! untreated, it can spread to a finger, the eye if

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

October 2007


touched by an infected finger or hand, and even the joints. One case lasted seventeen years. If you contract this disease and it is not identified and treated immediately, you can expect a life of pain and long term antibiotic treatments. After more than fifty years of fish tank work, the author developed an infection of his right thumb. It is estimated that there are .27 cases per 100,000 people per year. Advancing age degrades the immune system, so beware and be careful. W hy would an Ohio aquarium society do a local


collecting trip in early February? The writer had his net freeze up, and it became too heavy to use. But in the end he still caught a few fish and had fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about--a brief minute or two to have some gratification in a peaceful hobby. If only we were able to take care of each other as we do our little fishes. And finally, a North Jersey Aquarium Society Reporter joke: what disease did cured ham actually have?

October 2007

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

each page. The only thing that even remotely gives it the appearance of being a catalog is a very small number underneath each entry. I would like to quote for you a couple of brief examples of some of the information contained in the paragraphs. “Echinodoras parvifloris ‘Tropica’: the size depends on the light a Series On Books For The Hobbyist intensity, and in poor light it is quite a small plant.” by SUSAN PRIEST “Microsorum pteeropus ‘W indeløv’: is a patented variety named after Tropica’s founder. This plant can’t remember exactly where or when I is not eaten by herbivorous fish.” purchased this book. W hat I do remember is I chose these two plants because they are that I paid $10.00 for it, and at the time I thought examples of the varieties of plants which have been I paid too much for a “catalog.” The first word of developed by the team at Tropica. In addition to the title, as printed in the box, IS spelled correctly. going on collecting trips all over the world in Tropica is the name of a business, and as you will search of healthy ‘mother’ plants, these experts learn, this is no ordinary catalog. propagate plant tissue in test tubes. under If you were planning a computer-controlled climate shopping trip to buy top quality conditions. aquatic plants, and you could go Tropica Aquarium Plants W hen you hear the anywhere in the world, where By Holgar W indeløv names Claus Christensen, would you want to go? W ould Tropica, 1998 Christel Kasselmann, and you start at your favorite Takashi Amano, what comes to neighborhood pet shop where your mind? Aha! I can see everyone knows your name, that you “get the picture.” These are just some of move on to someplace tropical like Hawaii or the photographers whose work decorate the text Tahiti, and then return to your own livingroom throughout. Some of the photos span two pages, where you can cruise the internet in your bare feet? and leave you asking yourself “how can 100 W hat’s that? Did I hear someone say Denmark? rasboras swimming among 1000 leaves all be in Holgar W indeløv tells us that “No one expects to focus at the same time?” find the world’s leading producer of tropical There are individual pages which discuss aquarium plants in Denmark - a cold and windswept such topics as achieving good results with plants, country . . . and everyone is surprised at the unique tips on aquarium design, Tropica’s packing, interplay of advanced high technology and human delivery and recycling techniques, etc. “Tropica commitment.” has a special XL range for people who need fully Approximately 150 plants are described, grown aquarium plants. These plants are so large and each is illustrated with a detailed and artistic and strong that we sometimes sell them for water color painting done by Verner Hancke. replanting in the country of their origin.” Nowhere in the individual descriptions or the index This “catalog” is not designed to serve as is there any use of, or cross referencing to, common a research tool. The choice of species of plants names of plants. All of the plants are filed represents the inventory of Tropica, and is not alphabetically by their Latin names. You have to intended to offer comprehensive coverage of know what you are looking for to shop from this aquatic plants on any level. I think it does an catalog. excellent job of organizing its information, and it However, you don’t have to be interested provides ‘tidbits’ which I did not find elsewhere in shopping to get what you are looking for. when I was researching my Hornwort article. I Admittedly, I had to start by locating the common would recommend it as a good supplement to your name of “Hornwort” in another book to come up library of aquarium plant literature, and it is with Ceratophyllum demersum. Once I had that, it beautiful! The combination of the artwork and the was a simple matter of locating the C’s. It was well photography will keep you reaching for it if it is worth taking that extra step. nearby, and looking for it if it’s not. Each plant description consists of a brief There is an expanded second edition paragraph followed by a chart, a legend, if you will, available. It is dated 2004, and the approximate of detailed information. Such specifics as height cost is $23.00. I haven’t seen it, but I would be and width, light and temperature requirements, pH willing to bet that it is worth every penny! and water hardness preferences, and more, are available. These are arranged vertically, with the name and paragraph at the top of the page, and the painting at the bottom. There are four plants on


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

October 2007


New Hampshire Aquarium Society 15th Annual Auction Sunday, October 14, 2007 Newington Town Hall Nimble Hill Rd. Newington, NH Auction will begin at 12Noon. Arrive early for viewing For more information & sheets Call Bill Janetos (603) 749-2667 or E-mail at: Call Don Van Pelt (207) 973-2030 or E-mail at Visit NHAS’s W ebpage at:

Danbury Area Aquarium Society 20th Annual Auction Sunday, October 21, 2007 at the Carmel Firehouse Route 52 & Vink Dr, Carmel, NY Vendors: Mona’s Koi (Ed Champigny), Lee Finley (Finley Aquatics), and Ken’s Fish (Ken Menard) Auction Hours: Registration: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Viewing of Goods: 11:00 AM to 11:45 PM Auction: 12:00 PM to 5 PM Contacts: Rich Litsky (845) 228-0372 Joe Masi (845) 896-4793 W EB: EMAIL:

Greater City Aquarium Society

Annual Holiday Party and

Awards Banquet ~ December 12, 2007 ~ Palace Diner 60-15 Main Street Flushing, NY Only $10 per person for GCAS members and their guests. Sign up next month! <> No Speaker <> No Auction <> No Bowl Show


October 2007

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

As reported by the Washington Post, this auction raised more than $2 million for conservation efforts in eastern Indonesia recently, setting a record for an event of its type. Prices for the naming rights ranged from $500,000 for a Hemiscyllium shark from Cendrawasih Bay to $50,000 for the Pseudanthias fairy basslet. The identities of the winning bidders, and the names A series by “The Undergravel Reporter” they chose, were not immediately disclosed. In spite of popular demand to the The idea of selling new species’ naming contrary, this humor and information rights ha s gaine d p o p ula rity a m o ng column continues. As usual, it does environmentalists. Two years ago, the W ildlife N O T n ecessarily rep resen t the Conservation Society raised $650,000 in a opinions of the Editor, or of the one-week Internet auction to name a newly Greater City Aquarium Society. identified Bolivian monkey, but the Blue Auction’s $2,015,000 take was the most for a single event. The proceeds will fund initiatives such as a floating ranger station in the partially protected t has long been a practice to pay for the “naming Bird’s Head Seascape and educational trips for the rights” to sports stadiums, and to name them region’s children. after the companies willing to pay the most for If you happen to speak Yupik (a Siberian those rights (FedExField in Landover, MD, home of language), you can vote on the (nonscientific) the W ashington Redskins; Papa John’s Cardinal naming of a Pacific walrus. Of just ten walrus Stadium in Louisville, KY, home of the Louisville calves to be born at an aquarium, only five have Cardinals; RCA Dome in Indianapolis, IN, home of previously survived. This astonishing birth is also the Indianapolis Colts; and Heinz Field in the first in history to be filmed. O.K., you don’t Pittsburgh, PA, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and really need to be able to speak Yupik, but all the Pittsburgh Panthers are but a few examples). four choices you can This practice pick from are in that has become increasingly language: Utvak (ice popular in the scientific made from snow or ice community as a way to cube), Ukiivak (king raise funds for island), Utumek (earth) conservation. (After all, and Akituusaq (gift someone has to give a given in return). new species a name, so V o t i n g e n d s why not derive a side W ednesday, Oct. 10 at b enefit from this 5 p.m. EST, with the process?) Last year, winning name to be C o n s e r v a t i o n a n n o u nc e d o n the International sponsored T O D A Y sh o w o n Name this fish! an expedition to an area October 12.1 off the coast of eastern So, to keep up with the current trend in Indonesia known as Bird’s Head Seascape. During the scientific community, the Undergravel that expedition, more than 50 new species were Reporter, hereby announces an auction for the discovered, including a number of fish. This fertile rights to name a strange contaminant species I ocean area in the northwest corner of Indonesian found in a tank of feeder minnows (knowledge of Papua has been hit hard by commercial fishing, as Yupik not required). Bidding starts at a mere well as by the dynamiting and poisoning of coral $50,000, and all proceeds will go to the reefs. As a result, many of these newly discovered U nd ergravel R ep o rter C onservation and creatures are at risk of going extinct. In order to Retirement Fund. Now, who wants to start the raise some money to fund a protection project for bidding? this area, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Conservation International, and the Monaco-Asia Society held a 1 “Blue Auction,” auctioning off the scientific naming rights for ten of these new species. Bidders had only to pledge that they would name the species after people rather than corporate entities.

Name That Fish!


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

October 2007


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October 2007

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

G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS W elcome back returning members: Akinwunmi Durojaiye, Steven Giacobello, John M alinowski, Steve M iller

Last M onth’s Bowl Show W inners: 1) M ario Bengcion 2) Claudia Dickinson 3) Artie Friedman UNOFFICIAL results this season, to date: Ed Vukich 18; Carlotti De Jager 11; Artie Friedman 7; M ario Bengcion 5; Claudia Dickinson 3; Darwin Richmond 3; Bill Amely 4; Warren Feuer 1 Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next M eeting; November 14, 2007 Speaker: Joe Ferdenzi Topic: “Home Depot for Aquarists" 7:30pm at The VFW Post 136-06 Horace Harding Expressway Flushing, NY 11367 Contact: Joseph Ferdenzi (516) 484-0944 E-mail: W ebsite:

Brooklyn Aquarium Society Next M eeting: October 12, 2007 21st Annual Tropical Fish Auction 7:30pm at Floyd Bennett Field, Bklyn. — Aviator Sports & Recreation Center See page 12 for complete details and directions. Call: BAS Events Hotline: (718) 837-4455

East Coast Guppy Association

Big Apple Guppy Club

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

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

Long Island Aquarium Society

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Next M eeting: October 19, 2007 Speaker: David W ebber Topic: “W ild Discus and the Amazon” Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) at Holtsville Park and Zoo at 8:00pm. 249 Buckley Road - Holtsville, NY W ebsite: Email: Arie Gilbert -

North Jersey Aquarium Society

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 W ebsite:

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next M eeting: October 18, 2007 Speaker and Topic: TBA

Next M eeting: October 18, 2007 Speaker: Gary Lange Topic: “Collecting in New Guinea”

Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - W estport, CT Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 E-mail: Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS W ebsite:

Meadowlands Environmental Center - One Dekorte Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 W ebsite: or e-mail:

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

Next M eeting: November 13, 2007 NCAS Forum Goes Live!

October 2007


Fin Fun Spelling “P” Now don’t start groaning, because I’m going to make this extra-easy for you. Of the aquatic plant names on the list, which are spelled correctly, and which are not? It’s easy because all the plants on the list are correctly spelled somewhere within this issue. Name of Plant

Spelled Correctly

Spelled Incorrectly

Vesiculia bubyana W ater Sprite Anubias barterii Cobom ba Microsorum pteropus Algae Anubias nanna Ceratophyllum dem ersum Ceratophyllum echinacia Naajas

Solution to last month’s puzzle:



DORAS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . A talking catfish STOLON. . . . . . . . . . . . . A horizontal plant stem ADINIA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . An omnivorous killifish LACUSTRINE.. . . . . . . . Living in lakes FUNGUS. . . . . . . . . . . . . A plant (actually, a type of algae) MUREX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . A snail GH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An abbreviation for general hardness NYMPHAEA. . . . . . . . . . W ater Lilies


October 2007

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

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