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AQUARIUM ON THE COVER The German Blue Ram, Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, on our cover is surrounded by fry. But, prior spawnings were shrouded in mystery. Read “The Case of the Eaten German Blue Ram Eggs” to see how author Frank Fallon solved this mystery. Photo by Frank Fallon 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

Series III

Vol. XIV, No. 9 November, 2007

FEATURES Editor’s Babblenest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 President’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Our Generous Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Case of the Eaten German Blue Ram Eggs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Adventures On The Rio Negro - Part III.. . . . . . . . . . . 6 Wet Leaves Special Edition - Part One. . . . . . . . . . . 11 Fishkeepers Anonymous.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Welcome to this Month’s Scheduled Speaker: Joe Ferdenzi.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Wet Leaves Special Edition - Part Two. . . . . . . . . . 18 Amusing Aquarium (cartoon). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 News from the NEC and FAAS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 DHMO and You. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 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: http://www.greatercity.org or http://www.greatercity.com


The Editor’s Babblenest

by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST his issue of M odern Aquarium features our first article by GCAS member Frank Fallon. I want to thank Frank for his contribution (he not only is the lead article, but he also provided this month’s cover photo); and I hope he may be inspired in the future to write some more. As we near the end of the current GCAS meeting year, my tenure as Editor of this magazine is also rapidly approaching an end. As has been announced previously, Dan Radebaugh will be taking over as Editor, starting in 2008. I will, of course, still be around to provide any help that Dan might need, but from now on, please give or e-mail your articles to him. W e have an unbelievably rich resource in the expertise of our members, and when some of those members are generous enough to share that expertise with us in writing, the results have been, and hopefully will continue to be, a superior award-winning publication. I ask all of you to continue to support Dan in his efforts as Editor, as you have supported me. During the time I have been Editor, we saw the current series (Series III) of Modern Aquarium surpass in longevity the production runs of its two predecessors. The publication award programs of both the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC) and the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS) have made our publication the most highly awarded aquarium society magazine in the country. W e did things that (to my knowledge) had not been done before, such as an issue with dozens of contributors submitting a total of 100 aquarium hobby “tips and tricks” (to celebrate the 100th issue of Series III), and another issue with articles and contributions only from women (our “Ladies’ Issue”).

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W hile I am pleased with the many successes of our magazine, and the awards it has won for our members, I did not accomplish all that I wanted to do with Modern Aquarium. (The English poet, Robert Browning, wrote: “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” suggesting that one should try to accomplish even something that may be impossible.) I always wanted inside color photographs. But, the copy shops we used could not print and insert just one or two color pages into each issue — they would have to print the entire issue on a color copier (the cost of which would bankrupt the GCAS in short order). I also wanted to follow our “Ladies’ Issue” with a “Junior Aquarist” issue, having contributions only from authors 18 years of age or younger. Unfortunately, GCAS meetings are in the middle of the week, and often last well into the night. So they fail to attract many school-age children, who need to go to school the next day, resulting in very few “junior” GCAS members. W hat lies ahead for Modern Aquarium? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m fairly sure that Dan won’t write his editorials under the “Babblenest” logo that I’m using right now. (Some of you may have been members long enough to remember that I replaced the “Fish Cup” logo used by then-Editor W arren Feuer when I took over as Editor.) W ill there still be a “Fin Fun” puzzle page, an “Undergravel Reporter” column, an Author’s Award Program (more on that later)? W e’ll have to wait and see. It’s been said that only panhandlers and babies welcome change. That’s not necessarily true. Dan will undoubtedly bring about some changes, and I suspect that they will be improvements. Since I mentioned it, next month we have our annual Holiday Party and Awards Banquet. Among the other awards that will be announced will be the results of our Author Award Program (AAP). More details about that program will appear next month, but for our new members I will sum it up as a Breeders Award Program for writers. You get points for writing an article that is printed in Modern Aquarium and points for a drawing or photograph used in Modern Aquarium. There are certain “levels” in the program that you can reach by accumulating points. Every five points you add in a calendar year gives you one more chance in an “Authors’-Only Raffle” held at the Banquet. This year, the winner of the AAP “Authors’-Only Raffle” will receive a copy of Aquarium Care of Cichlids, written by our own Claudia Dickinson.

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


President’s Message by JOSEPH FERDENZI enjoyed last month’s p rogram , “Aquascaping 101,” given by Mark Denaro. Mark made many valuable suggestions. But, what I liked most was that he had strong opinions about what looked good and what didn’t. I had fun comparing my opinions to his, and, for the most part, we were in agreement. It was great of Mark to drive out all the way from Pennsylvania, and doubly nice of him to contribute some exceptional plants and fish for our auction. (Mark is the owner of Anubias Design, a company that specializes in exotic plants and fish. Check out their website: www.Anubiasdesign.com.) Programs such as Mark’s “Aquascaping 101” are useful for both beginners and veterans. As it is, we try to present a mixture of programs during the year that appeal to both beginning

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hobbyists, and those more advanced. Granted that some programs are more geared to one or the other, but it is the overall balance that we try to maintain throughout the course of the year that must be appreciated. This is not an easy task. Often, members will comment that they would like to see a presentation on a particular topic. This is not often possible because we cannot find someone with the requisite expertise who can also give a program. You see, while we may know someone who is an “expert” in a particular area, that does not always mean the person is willing or able to give a program. So, please bear that in mind when you wonder why there hasn’t been a presentation on a particular topic. *

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By the time you read this, the 2007 AFISH Convention will have come and gone. W as it a success? As I’m writing this, the Convention is still two weeks away. So, I’ll just have to give you the answer to that question in my next President’s Message. Till then, I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Our Generous Members ach month a sheet is located on our auction table where those members who donate items to the auction can indicate their donations (and yes, a “50%-50%” split is also a donation) if they wish to do so. Due to the immense generosity of those who donate, we have no shortage of items to be auctioned. A warm thank you to the following members who so generously contributed, making last month’s auction the huge success that it was.

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Robert Altonen Jeff Bollbach Frank Fallon Harry Faustmann W arren Feuer Elliot Oshins Sue & Al Priest Anton Vukich Ed Vukich

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The Case of the Eaten German Blue Ram Eggs Mikrogeophagus ramirezi by FRANK FALLON he ram is a fish that has been in the hobby for quite some time. I remember seeing golden rams back in the 1950s in some of the tropical fish emporiums I visited in the W all Street area, but I never had them in my few tanks. Since that was well before I learned about filtration, pH, and water changes, it was probably just as well for the rams. I was not then aware that the fish was first identified in 1948 by M yers and Harry, and was just coming into the hobby in the 1950s when I first saw it. It was also probably too expensive for my teen allowance or bottle money. Pair of rams, female on left Most kids in the 1930s through the 1950s lived off bottle deposit money and paper routes. Back then, in the days before plastic bottles, it was a sin to break a bottle, for they were worth money. If you asked your mother for money for the movies, she usually handed you a bag of bottles. Hey, you couldn’t stay in the cellar with the fish all the time! After getting back into breeding tropical fish after a 30 year vacation, rams were on my short list of fish I wanted to breed. Their blue and yellow colors are spectacular if seen with the correct lighting. Initially I viewed them with a strip light, and thought they were great looking fish. W hen I viewed them with a Coralite T5, I realized why they were called “blue ram.” The blue around the head is very vivid, and the blue in the back half of the body is a spectacular iridescent or neon blue that defies description. These small fish are really beautiful, don’t require a lot of space, and don’t dig up the tank and uproot the garden you have planted. They come from the central Orinoco drainage in lowland Venezuela and Colombia, and most breeders suggest soft water and temperature from 78E to 82E F, with a pH of 7.0.

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I managed to pick up seven small “German Blue Rams” at a fish club auction. I put them all into a 15 gallon tank with a bare bottom, plenty of floating plants and Java Moss, and a sponge filter. The fish were the offspring of “wild” parents from South America. This species is not commercially bred in Asia. I put a few small rocks on the bottom, a few leftover tiles from a kitchen tiling project with the brown side up, and added a few small bowls for places to spawn. I had hopes! I fed the fish plenty of live brine shrimp and flake food. Two months later, after photo by Frank Fallon they had grown a bit and colored up, they started to do their mating dance. W hen I saw ovipositors, I knew that eggs would not be far behind. One pair deposited about 75 eggs on a small white rock, and I was ready to call myself a Mikrogeophagus ramirezi breeder. But… . Mother Nature had other ideas. After a day the eggs were gone, eaten. The aqua police never did find the culprit, but all seven fish, including the parents, were suspects. I soon took out the pair that had bred and gave them their own 10 gallon tank. (All of my 10 and 15 gallon breeding tanks are arranged ‘end out’ so I can fit in more tanks that way.) The tank bottom was bare except for a few inverted tiles, and there were plenty of floating plants and Java Moss. Tank temperatures were right at 80 degrees, but the water was not soft. Yet I soon had three pairs of breeding fish and plenty of egg laying, but there was even more egg eating and egg fungusing in both tanks. This went on for another two months. It was frustrating watching these pretty fish go into their breeding dance, lay eggs, fan them, chase the other fish away, but within three days the eggs would disappear. In most cases I would see the

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number of eggs decrease until they were all gone. for the pair, and I said out loud, “W ow!” There I was never able to witness the actual crime in was the pair surrounded by about 200 progress. In the parlance of detective novels, I free-swimming young. It was an amazing sight— a could never “pin” it on the neighbors or the father surprise. Finally a spawn! or mother. It might have been a group conspiracy I had never seen the eggs. I quickly that took place under the cover of darkness for all realized that these two fish may not have been the I knew. victims, but may well have been the culprits in the Then I had one of the pairs in the tank with cichlid crime. The adults apparently had spawned the five fish lay eggs, shortly before or and the eggs after the crime, for Scientific name: Mikrogeophagus ram irezi remained for almost the fry I saw were Common name: Ram or Butterfly Cichlid three full days. This well beyond the Native habitat: Central Orinoco drainage in was a good sign, I wriggler stage, and lowland Venezuela and Colombia thought. W ith fingers w e r e a ll fr e e W ater hardness: Soft crossed, I was swimming. They W ater temperature: 78° to 82° F wo rking in the were p robably W ater pH: 7.0 (neutral) fishroom changing three days beyond Reproduction: Egglayer water in another tank hatching. They Adult size: Up to three inches and looked back into had most likely Sexual differences: Female is smaller, and has a the tank with been living off of shorter second ray on dorsal fin eggs— 75 percent of the infusoria on the them were gone. The tank bottom for a crime took only few days, and were twenty minutes. I now fully freewas only a few feet swimming fry some away, and saw seven days after the nothing until it was parents spawned. almost all over. They were lucky W ell, that that I was too did it. Two of the disgusted to clean fish were in the back the tank. corner of the tank. B ut, all These, I assumed, this is pure were the grieving speculation. parents. I quickly Despite repeated netted out the questioning, none culprits and of the fish have banished the three of talke d . T he se them to a 20 gallon seven rams are a M ale ram (is this the culprit?) photo by Frank Fallon High with small tight lipped krebensis and four quarter sized koi angelfish. For group— no big mouths here. almost a week I fed the fish in both tanks, but pretty The facts, ma’am, are that I have now bred much ignored them all in my disgust over the latest Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, and a month and a half cichlid crime. The two grieving parents stayed in later I have about 200 young in two 15 gallon tanks. the back of the tank (sulking, I thought) and the Half of them are still with their parents. others quickly adjusted to community life in the Meanwhile, egg eating and fungusing continues in bigger tank. the other two tanks. Ma’am, it’s a tough cichlid Almost a week later I realized I had world out there, and sometimes bad things happen ignored the tank with the grieving parents long to pretty fish. enough. It was time to siphon out the detritus on And yes, there is a moral to this story: the tank bottom and do a water change. As I was “Never count your cichlids until after they hatch!” about to put the siphon tube into the tank I looked

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Adventures on the Rio Negro Part III Exploring the lives of the people, and their interaction with the land and the river that is their home by CLAUDIA DICKINSON Photographs by the author s the Victoria Amazonica steams northward up the Rio Negro to reach Barcelos in time for the celebrated annual ornamental fish festival, the importance of the river to the people of the land becomes increasingly apparent. The entire culture revolves in dependence around this huge expanse of water, that can be as kind and bountiful, as it can be seemingly merciless and unpredictable. Homes are built along the water’s banks, in close proximity to the waterway that provides the natives with food, transportation, bathing, a means for washing utensils and clothing, income through fishing, and water for their crops. W hen not in use, dugout canoes rest in the water, tethered to a stump at the bottom of a path leading to the door, much as we park our cars in our driveways. Of course, during the dry season, when the water is at a low level, the canoes may be 40 feet below the doorway, and during the rainy season, the canoes rise along with the water and may be swept away, sometimes along with the house! The early morning hours find husband and wife paddling their vessel along the river and its outlying inlets and streams, catching fish to feed their family for that day. Oftentimes, a small baby will be held close to the woman with one hand, while the other hand assists with steering or bails the inevitable buildup of water out of the bottom of the canoe in a rhythmic fashion, with the expertise of one who is performing a familiar task. Older children accompany their father, or are left at home to tend to the daily chores. Nets marked by bobbing floats are set up throughout the river and checked daily, collecting all unsuspecting fish traversing the area. The fish brought in by these nets provide a major source of income for the people, whether they be food fish to ship to market for sale, or fish for the ornamental aquarium trade. Fish for the aquarium trade are so vital a part of the lives of the people that year-long plans to honor this vital source of income culminate in an elaborate celebration of unimaginable glitz and glamour, seemingly out of place in this otherwise primitive atmosphere. Literally thousands of people converge on the small city of Barcelos from

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the north and the south to share in the annual ritual of lionizing all ornamental fish, and most particularly, two of the major export fishes for the aquarium trade, the cardinal tetra and the discus. One is either a cardinal tetra fan, or a discus fan, a split which becomes as competitive as the Red Socks and the Yankees! At 10:00 pm a breathtakingly exquisite staged event of massive proportions begins. The bands strike up, heralding enormous, flamboyant floats, as dancers, ranging in age from eight to adult, resplendent in elaborate costumes, swirl in a kaleidoscope of colors to match the carnival gaiety, and continuing non-stop until 3:00 am the next morning! As the morning dawns, a peace settles over the majestic river. A peace that can be preserved from the devastation of deforestation brought about by the income from ornamental fishes coming to a halt as fishermen turn to farming the land when they can no longer rely on fishing to feed their families. W hen asked what they will do if the cardinal tetra, a proven replenishable species of which 30,000 are harvested annually, no longer can support them due to low prices offered to them from the middle man, or lack of demand due to mass domestic farm cultivation, the fishermen send a clear “thumbs down” signal. They will turn to farming, slashing and burning the precious trees that are so vital to a healthy global environment. It is a delicate subject, one for which a solution requires careful research, understanding, and compromise. For these people it is a matter of providing food for the hungry stomachs of their children, and a shelter over their heads. Dr. Labbish Chao has dedicated his life to Project Piaba, a community based program developed to safeguard and improve a sustainable ornamental fishery in Barcelos. Through the combined efforts of Dr. Chao, Scott Dowd of the New England Aquarium, and others, Project Piaba raises funds which support research, environmental education, scholarships, and maintenance of the public aquarium at the Center of Aquatic Conservation in Barcelos. “Buy a fish, save a tree” summarizes the affirmation that the 20,000 people, both rural and urban, whose stable economic

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


livelihood is provided for by the fishery through the exportation of over 50 million fishes annually to the aquarium hobby, will remain unengaged from ecologically destructive activities, such as burning down the rainforest for farming. W e can

do our part by supporting the sale of wild caught cardinal tetras, and other proven replenishable species designated in your retailer’s tanks by the Project Piaba “Buy a Fish, Save a Tree” stamp of authenticity.

Prior to arriving in Barcelos, the Victoria Amazonica pulls in to rest along the shoreline for an early evening, during which we will take the canoes out for some night exploration amongst the wilderness.

Dr. Labbish Chao performs skillful research on his minute subject, the cardinal tetra.

As the Victoria Amazonica pulls into Barcelos, it is with great excitement that we spot the Project Piaba Center of Aquatic Conservation, which conducts research and education, and houses the public aquarium.

Scott Dowd and Dr. Chao discuss plans for the coming day’s fish farmers annual meeting, in which Project Piaba plays an integral role.

The Ornamental Fish Festival is an elaborate annual event of unrestrained flamboyancy, seemingly incongruous to this primitive land, in celebration of another successful fish harvest along with a passage of good luck to the coming year.

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Along the outskirts of Barcelos, innovative use is made of the river as a holding arena, with nets structured of branches for both cardinal and similus tetras. It makes one stop and reflect in awe that within these nets lies the entire livelihood of one family.

This floating fish packing house bustles non-stop as local fishermen arrive throughout the day to deposit their catch of ornamental fish.

W ater changes with fresh river water are performed on each of the 100s of tubs with regularity, for the care and well being of these fishes is critical to the livelihood of the people.

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Life on the Rio Negro is all about family, with both work and relaxation partaken of by all ages.

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


Those fish that are destined for the aquarium trade have miles to go, many stops to make, and many different types of water in which to survive before their final destination, our tanks. From the local fishermen’s collecting nets to their holding pens, then onto the floating packing houses, the fish next go by truck over immensely pothole-laden bumpy roads to huge exporters in Barcelos, such as this one, where they wait to be purchased, and packed yet again to be shipped to Manaus, then trucked to an airport.

Among the numerous species of fishes awaiting export, many lovely Corydoras species are abundant in the vats, such as these C. sterbae.

Livestock plays an integral role in the survival of the local people, as seen here by these swine whose days are spent rooting along the banks of the river.

W hen asked what the fishermen would do if the fishery could no longer support them due to low prices and lack of demand for wild ornamental fishes, this fisherman gives the “thumbs down,� saying that the local people would turn to alcohol and cut down the trees to make space for farmland.

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Dwellings are elemental and characteristically built on stilts for protection from the floodwaters.

The main means of transportation on the Rio Negro, small boats and dugout canoes rest tethered in the river, which can be 40 or more feet below the level of the homes.

For some families, their boat on the river is The river plays the multiple roles of clothes washer, dishwasher, and bathtub! “home.�

As well as providing a boost to the economy, visitors furnish welcome sweets!

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


Special Edition a Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST

Exotic Aquarium Fishes by Dr. Wm. T. Innes A Seventy-Two Year Perspective Part One: Introduction egular readers of this column will remember that, back in September, I announced a “very unique version of W et Leaves” for the December 2007 issue. Since then, what had started out as a relatively modest plan has taken on broader proportions. To do it justice, I am expanding its scope to include this, the November issue, as well. W hat I have in mind, as described by the title, is an overview of the life and times of the best loved, most popular, most highly respected, and most widely distributed book on keeping freshwater tropical fish in the history of the hobby. I am of course referring to the famous and highly celebrated book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes, by Dr. W illiam T. Innes. Throughout this four-part article I will be making reference to the first, eighth, thirteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first editions. I will also be quoting from an ongoing e-mail conversation between hobby historians which took place between August 31 and September 9, 2007 on a Yahoo Internet group, the “Aquarium Hobby Historical Society” (AHHS). I expect that in addition to this introduction, there will be two reviews covering three editions each, and a summary. Point of Reference: Throughout my first couple of drafts of this piece, I was trying out a variety of abbreviations for the title Exotic Aquarium Fishes, so that I wouldn’t be typing it out each time, and you, the readers, would understand the refernce. Most commonly encountered is “The Innes Book.” In fact, this phrase is even printed on the cover of my copy of the nineteenth edition, revised. Then there was the possibility of simply using the initials “EAF.” Neither of these held a particular appeal for me. Also under consideration was the single word “exotic,” which then became a choice between “EXOTIC” or “Exotic.” I had experimented with all of these. Then I was browsing through the pages of notes from the hobby historians, and something helped me make my final choice. There are several entries from Alan Mark Fletcher. As most of you will

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recall from his presentation at our meeting, he worked closely and extensively with Dr. Innes. Alan’s entries consistently use the reference “Exotic.” I have decided to take a page from his book, and do likewise. Therefore, any time I use the name/term Exotic, I am making specific reference to the book entitled Exotic Aquarium Fishes by Dr. W illiam T. Innes. Having set the bar rather high, and having doubts as to whether my experience at writing book reviews can carry me through this project, I am having trouble deciding where to start. The most obvious choice, that being the beginning, needs a bit of dusting off, so I will start out closer to my own beginnings, and begin in the middle. I didn’t become a REAL aquarist until 1991, when I was in my early forties. The Exotic phenomenon had already been nurturing an evergrowing community of fishkeepers for fifty-six years! There can be no doubt that Exotic was a major contributor to said growth. Here are a very few examples from our own members: “Instead of reading me stories, my dad used to show me pictures, and read to me about the fish in the Innes book. That book was like the Bible to him, and he gave it to me when I had my own tank.” Evelyn Eagan “My only education as a fishkeeper was gained by reading Exotic Aquarium Fishes by Dr. W illiam T. Innes. I consider this man to be the godfather of the aquarium fish hobby.” Leonard Ramroop “ . . . a gift from Mike on the occasion of my 14th birthday of a copy of W illiam T. Innes’s classic book Exotic Aquarium Fishes. W ell, before long I had read it from cover to cover. Then, I reread it. I reread it again! Then I practically memorized all of the fish ‘biographies’.” Joe Ferdenzi No one ever gave me a copy of Exotic for my birthday, or put one under my Christmas tree. No one ever sat beside my bed each night and read to me “Once upon a time there was a Harlequin

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Rasbora . . . (or a corydoras, or a goldfish, etc.). No one ever said to me “This book was a big help to me when I was starting out, and in fact, it still is. You can borrow it if you like.” As I entered the fabulous world of fishkeeping, I was uninitiated and uninformed as to this wonder of wonders. Then one day I stumbled onto a well-used copy of the twentieth edition. It is hardbound but with a “paper” cover (I’ll get back to that shortly), bright green, and with a photograph of a black-andwhite striped Scatophagus argus. The back cover design is identical to the front, differing only in that it doesn’t proclaim the title, and the names of the author and the editor. My copy has a publication date of 1979. I was just starting to build my library of “fish lit,” and I had no idea of the portal through which I was passing. As many of you already know, this was not the cover design of Exotic that was most recognizable. The green leatherette cover with the gold embossed rasboras was used from the inception of Exotic (the first edition came out in 1935) until 1957. Our hobby historians spent a lot of time discussing leatherette vs. cloth, and dark green vs. light green. Of particular interest are the following quotes from the historical society: “ . . . the main reason for the lovely leatherette cover on Exotic was that it was waterproof. A real asset for folks working and reading around water! W m. T. thought of almost everything.” Alan Mark Fletcher “I also have a green cloth covered 4th edition (1942), it has the gold leaf rasboras on the cover, and a paper spine label. Mine is not really a light green color, but almost as dark a green as the leatherette cover.” David Banks “There are two fourth editions of the Innes book. I have both. One is the traditional dark green leatherette, the other is light green in color. Mark Soberman There are probably a dozen other similar entries in this online conversation, but you get the idea. Returning briefly to my own copy of the twentieth edition, it was published by Metaframe, and edited by Klaus W oltman. There are no maps, no painting of rasboras, and no photo of Dr. Innes. The thing about the cover is that it is clearly not either leatherette or cloth. It is a heavy weight, slightly glossy paper over hardboard. The point I am trying to make is that in certain years more than one cover design was produced, and a variety of materials were used. My introduction into Exotic was clearly through the back door. Do I have the ONLY copy 12

of this book with a photo of a Scatophagus argus on the cover? This was probably the least recognizable of all the Exotic covers, and by then the text had been “dumbed down” as well. So, where to go from here? Good old-fashioned wordof-mouth, not to mention a visit or two to Joe Ferdenzi’s basement, got me moving in the right direction. Before too long I had some idea of what I had, as well as what I didn’t. I’m going to briefly return to our historians: “I believe he [Joe Ferdenzi] has every edition of Exotic Aquarium Fishes.” Alan Mark Fletcher “Any subsequent editions of Exotic Aquarium Fishes later than the last revised 19th editions are just not noteworthy or collectable.” Ray W etzel “My fourth edition, lime green coloration, has a spine label. Took me looking at five or six of them before I traded up to the one with the spine label.” Paul Harvey Are you asking yourself why you just read that? It is because if you are one of the seventy five percent of GCAS members who raised your hand when Alan Mark Fletcher asked the group how many of us owned a copy of Exotic, then you own a highly collectable book. It goes without saying that the older and more well preserved it is, the more valuable it is. In the last couple of decades it has become standard practice for publishers to print excerpts from the most favorable reviews of their latest offerings. They send complimentary copies to reviewers, and if no one likes it, then they review their own product, either on the back cover, or in a forward/preface. For the first fifty years (give or take a few) of Exotic, this was not the norm. I guess the publishers just hadn’t thought of it yet. Anyway, where I’m headed here is that Exotic was its own best review, and its author kept it current with each new edition. The six copies of Exotic which I am working with start out with more similarities than differences, and end up vice-versa. So far I have been discussing mostly the superficial features of Exotic. Elsewhere in this issue is a review of what lies between the covers of editions one, eight, and thirteen. See you there!

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by SUSAN PRIEST

? ? ANONYMOUS ? ?

in little Italy, my response will be “have you eaten fter having read the autobiography of this m o n th ’s a n o n ym o u s fis k e e p e r , I in all the Italian restaurants there to make that scanned the statement?” However, GCAS membership if an aquarist with 30 through my mind’s years of experience Suggested Questions eye. Anyone who renders advice to me, I T Please introduce yourself. has alread y b een will happily accept T Tell us about your favorite aquarium. the anonymous that advice based on T W hat was your very first fish? fishkeeper, as well as his experience. I do T Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. any of the women, not believe in T Is there someone you think of as a mentor? even if they haven’t reinventing the wheel. Tell us about him or her. done it yet, can be After high school, I T Describe your “Fantasy Fish Tank.” eliminated as possible went on to take up a T If you were a fish, which one would you be? authors. H o w e v er, career totally divorced T W ho is your “Hobby Hero?” that leaves us with a from science and T W hat fish which you have never kept would wid e-op en p laying technology. To my you like to acquire? field, if you will. So, amazement, I would T Describe your biggest fishkeeping “blooper!” as you start to roll that later put my scientific T Describe your most memorable fishkeeping soccer ball around in training to use in my experience. your minds in an unscientific career. T W hat advice would you give to a attempt to eliminate beginning fishkeeper? candidates, and the W hat was your very T W hat are your fishkeeping goals? faces of different first fish? - OR write a narrative story members pop up, I W hen I was hope you will return about 13 years old my to the beginning of friend, Leslie this fishkeeper’s tale, just for the sheer enjoyment Blumberg, showed me his aquarium. He then gave of reading and rereading it. me two fish. One had nice colors, but the other was totally drab. I asked him why he didn’t give me two of the same species. He explained that they were a pair of guppies, and the male had all Anonymous Fiskeeper/November 2007: the colors.

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Please introduce yourself. From my occupation, one would never guess that underneath I have a scientific and inquisitive mind. I love to experiment with different apparatus and techniques to see what works and what doesn’t work. As a kid, I was always taking things apart and, unfortunately, not all the time able to put things back together. My mother discovered this when I disassembled the toaster. My scientific and inquisitive mind was fully satisfied while attending Stuyvesant High School. By nature I am a skeptic, and I need proof for any assertion of fact or opinion. For example, if someone tells me about the best Italian restaurant

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

Tell us about your education as a fishkeeper. I went to the library (they existed before the Internet gave you all the info you needed without leaving your house), and took out a book on maintaining an aquarium. I purchased a 10 gallon tank. Its frame was not stainless steel, but one that was painted black and white. It had a slate bottom. I do not know to this day what material the frame was made of. To provide air for my box filter, I purchased a piston pump, and a heater that hung on the inside of the tank. Of course I used up my life savings and borrowed heavily from my siblings to make this expensive purchase. I was on my way to a lifetime on and off hobby. I did not

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live far from Nassau Street, and that was the fish store where I would buy all my fish. They had a tank in the window that they said was a balanced aquarium, and the water had not been changed since the 1930s. By this time it was the mid 50s and the literature did not seem to challenge this balanced aquarium theory, where the plants would absorb all the fish waste and convert them to oxygen and other nutrients. I was in shock when, in more recent time, I learned about frequent water changes in the aquarium. It was contrary to everything I had learned by then. The point being that, what is gospel today, may be totally out of date in the future.

ran down to the Aquarium Stock Company and they had a male severum. However, when I saw the price, I knew my female was destined never to become a mother.

Tell us about your favorite aquarium. The Aquarium Stock Company was located not too far from Nassau Street, and I loved walking over and browsing. I never purchased anything there because it was much too expensive. If I saw a fish that I had to have, I would then go back to Nassau Street to see if they had it, because prices were much less there. I used to fantasize that one day I would have enough money to buy at the Aquarium Stock Company. Unfortunately, when that day finally arrived, the Aquarium Stock Company was no longer in existence.

Describe your biggest fishkeeping blooper. I maintained a 15-gallon aquarium in our apartment, located by the living room window. It was in a sunny place, and I could not understand why I had so much algae in the tank. One day I decided to break down the tank completely. Since it was by an open window, I figured I would run the hose from the tank to outside the window and drain away. I started the siphoning and the water from the tank started draining out the window to the grass below, or so I thought. However, the water started running against the building, and unfortunately, my neighbors below also had the window open. I can tell you that my neighbors were not too happy about having 15 gallons of water come into their apartment via an open window.

If you were a fish, which one would you be? I probably would have been a corydoras catfish, because in my youth I preferred sleeping all morning and staying up most of the night. Getting married and having a family forced me into adopting a more conventional lifestyle.

Describe your Fantasy Fish Tank. My fantasies are generally tinged with reality. Presently I have several small tanks. I would like to have a large 75 to 100 gallon tank in which I would put different kinds of small schooling fish such as barbs, tetras, and danios. I have the space for it, but I have to figure out how to get it into my basement without my wife seeing it, and then presenting her with a fait accompli.

W ho is your hobby hero? Chubby Checker (that’s right the twistman). Near the Aquarium Stock Company another big tropical fish store opened. One day while in there doing my usual browsing without buying, in walks Chubby Checker, who was quite famous as an entertainer. He saw me staring at him, and he walked over to me and gave me such a warm greeting that to this day I think about that meeting when I listen to the oldies radio station, where they frequently play the twist. “Come everybody let’s twist again like they did it last year.”

Describe your most memorable fishkeeping experience. My grandson asked me to help him pick out fish for his community fish tank. It was exciting to see him running around the store selecting different species, some of which I explained to him would not be good in a community tank. W atching him, I could not help but to reflect on my own youth, and how in the blink of an eye I wasn’t the one running around the fish store choosing for myself, but watching someone else in my place. Of course, I was very flattered that he wanted my expert advice on choosing fish (or was it because he knew that I would pay for the fish!).

W hat fish which you have never kept would you like to acquire? I do not have any fantasy fish. The fish I like are the same ones I kept in the 50s. I like schooling fish such as barbs, tetras, and danios. Of course, I always liked guppies. I once had a female severum who laid eggs on a vertical piece of slate in my fish tank. I didn’t know it was a female until I saw the eggs, which, of course, were infertile. I

W hat advise would you give to a beginning fishkeeper? Never to be discouraged by your failures. By trying, experimenting, and of course sometimes failing, one will build up a body of knowledge sufficient to be a successful aquarist. I found that for myself, I learned more from my failures than from my successes. Again, to repeat, today’s gospel may be in the trash can tomorrow.

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W hat are your fishkeeping goals? I have had very limited success in breeding egglayers. My goal is to expand my skills in this area by my favorite method-trial and error. Final thoughts After a hiatus of about 20 years, in 2002 I rekindled my interest in tropical fish and attended a GCAS meeting. I have been attending meetings regularly now for 5 years. The depth of knowledge that members possess amazes me. Someone will be knowledgeable about any aspect of the hobby, and gladly share their knowledge with you. Everything I need to know, plus, will be available to me at a GCAS meeting. One final observation of mine is that the equipment which aquarists use is not that different from what was used in the 50s. W e had electric heaters, air pumps, and filters that are not too different than what is used today. The fish tanks are all glass today, and submersible heaters exist. Fluorescent lights are used instead of incandescent bulbs. The one invention that did not exist then, but its inventor should receive the Nobel Prize, is the Python. It has to be the greatest invention after chopped liver. Ed Vukich told me about the Python, and when I purchased one and used it, I told him how great the snake is. He looked puzzled and then realized I meant the Python.

Last month’s Anonymous Fishkeeper: The Undergravel Reporter! e have never had an anonym ous anonymous fishkeeper before. It’s half the fun, at least for me, when I get to tell you who the author was from the previous month. This time I don’t even get to tell you! (Could you see me stamping my foot when I said that?) Anyway, if you didn’t guess who last month’s anonymous fishkeeper was, don’t feel bad. Not even GCAS President Joe Ferdenzi did (and, prior to our September 2007 anonymous fishkeeper, Joe had a 100% track record of guessing correctly!). The biggest clue was in the answer to the first question. Our author was paraphrasing a direct quote which I’ll reproduce for you here:

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

“They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere. Is he in heaven? Is he in hell? That demmed illusive Pimpernel.” This is a quote from the novel and play (and several movies based on this novel and play), The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy. The character who spoke it was Sir Percy Blakeley. He, like our own famous as well as infamous Undergravel Reporter, had a double-identity. (Personally, one identity is more than enough for me to keep track of!) The Scarlet Pimpernel is a story of someone who uses a pseudonym to carry out certain activities. In the literary tradition of Lewis Carroll (of Alice in W onderland fame), as well as Dr. Seuss, Ann Landers, Molière, George Orwell, and Voltaire, last month’s Anonymous Fishkeeper writes for Modern Aquarium under a “pen name” (or, nom de plume). The Undergravel Reporter column is a staple of Modern Aquarium. Nothing (except possibly the Contents page) has been in more issues from Series III of Modern Aquarium— not a President’s Message, or an editorial page, not a Fin Fun Puzzle, or even the logo on our back cover. W e can safely deduce from the anonymous fishkeeper column which “Undy” submitted last month that he/she/(it??) is not one of our “younger” members, and may have had something approximating what used to be referred to as a “classical education.” In addition to the paraphrase from The Scarlet Pimpernel, did you notice the paraphrase at the very end from All Creatures Great and Small, a series of the memoirs of Scottish veterinarian James Herriot, as well as a verse from a 19th century hymn by Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander? (Yes, folks, that is all one name!) Since the “Undergravel Reporter” column may continue under the new Editor of Modern Aquarium (ask Dan about this, not me!), I will not attempt to “out” our October Anonymous Fishkeeper any more. I hope you enjoyed our first Anonymous Fishkeeper column in verse, as it may well be our last. Sometimes “it” makes you smile and laugh. Sometimes “it” makes you growl and groan. At least you finally have a picture of “it” (selfportraiture at its lowliest), that you can “doodle” on. You can add devil horns, a black eye, or even a pair of ears so you can tell “it” what you really think of its column. As for me, I would just like to say that any snail droppings which “it” encounters under there are well-deserved!

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The GCAS Proudly Extends a Most Warm Welcome to JOE FERDENZI Speaking On

“Home Depot for the Aquarist” oe Ferdenzi has been maintaining aquariums since the age of 12. Currently maintaining 45aquariums in his fishroom, ranging in size from 125 to 1 1/2 gallons, Joe’s tanks house just about every type of fish imaginable because, as Joe puts it, he never met a fish he didn’t like! Joe is presently serving his 18th term as President of the Greater City Aquarium Society. In addition, he is a Life Member of both the American Cichlid Association and the American Killifish Association. He has lectured on a number of aquarium topics, and has been awarded honorary membership in several aquarium societies, including the Brooklyn and the Long Island aquarium societies (of New York), and the Norwalk Aquarium Society (in Connecticut). He was the first person in America to breed two New W orld cichlids (Cicchlasomaa haitiensis, currently described as Nandopsis haitiensis, and Archocentrus nanoluteus). In 1994, in a poll conducted for Aquarium Fish Magazine, Joe was voted one of America's three leading experts on community aquariums. Joe has also authored or co-authored numerous articles that have appeared in “Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine,” the “Buntbarsche Bulletin” (the journal of the American Cichlid Association), and the Journal of the American Killifish Association. Some of these articles have been translated and published in foreign periodicals in Sweden and Germany. In both 1994 and 1996, the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (“FAAS”) awarded him their “Author of the Year” award. He has also received numerous awards from both FAAS and the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (“NEC”) for individual articles appearing in Modern Aquarium, the publication of the Greater City Aquarium Society. Joe’s library of aquarium literature is extensive, with over 100 hardcover and paperback books, including some of the earliest treatises on the keeping of aquariums, as well as thousands of aquarium periodicals, some dating back to 1919. Joe is an attorney by profession, and holds a doctorate in Law from Boston University. He currently lives in Greenvale, New York, with his wife, Anita, and their three children: Dean Angelo, Marissa, and Francesca.

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Our President Joseph Ferdenzi Claudia Dickinson It was on June 6th of 2001 that the highest lifetime achievement awarded by the GCAS, the Roll of Honor, found its true name, for on that date, it became the “Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor.” W hat we had to say to our President, Joe Ferdenzi, rings as true today as it did on that evening in June of 2001. Joe Ferdenzi President of the GCAS is a most distinguished and exceptional aquarist, a great leader, a skilled w riter, a studied historian of the GCAS, and an eloquent speaker. A most caring individual, Joe’s warmth and generosity permeates the heart of the GCAS and emanates all that w e stand for. Joe is a mentor to many, and an inspiration to all. It is w ith great honor, respect, and pride that w e, the M embership of the GCAS, on this day, June 6 th 2001, dedicate our most prestigious aw ard to Joe. Our Roll of Honor shall henceforth be titled the “Joseph Ferdenzi Roll of Honor” W ith Thanksgiving upon us, tonight is a perfect time to once again give heartfelt words of appreciation to this special person, who continues to demonstrate extraordinary leadership skills, guiding the GCAS in a precise, thoughtful, and diplomatic fashion, with a manner in which we can all be proud. Always remembering to let the rest of us know when we have done our jobs well, and offering reason to perform our roles with united minds working together towards a common goal, it is, in fact, in enormous part due to Joe, that the GCAS is what it is today! Not only is Joe our President, to many of us, he is a dear friend. On a personal note, for me, Joe is a person who I can phone with the exciting news that a particular fish has spawned, or that a shipment of fish is about to arrive and would he mind if we drop by, say, around 11 pm. He is someone that I am inspired to call on my cell phone from a far off primitive world, to share the great excitement with after stepping out of the wilds of the Amazon jungle, where there is once again a cellular connection. W hen I have a brainstorm, such as the C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program, and am full of an enthusiasm that can be overpowering to some, Joe listens with a patient ear, offering kind words of encouragement as well as invaluably thoughtful input. He is a perfect listener to help sort out an idea or matter in one’s mind, and to put things in perspective. Joe is always there to share the joys, and understanding and supportive at times of sorrow. W ith his 20th year coming up as President of the GCAS, Joe has been hinting in his monthly President’s Message of thoughts of stepping aside, passing the torch if you will, to one of us. After 20 years, and watching the marathon that he runs from the start of each meeting, right to the end, this could be understandable. However, what would the GCAS be without Joe as our leader? It is my great wish, and I am certain that of yours, that we can continue to pitch together and do our best to ease Joe’s job, while retaining him as our inimitable, and undoubtedly irreplaceable, President. W hat an extraordinary GCAS Holiday that would be!

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

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Special Edition a Series On Books For The Hobbyist by SUSAN PRIEST

Exotic Aquarium Fishes by Dr. Wm. T. Innes A Seventy-Two Year Perspective Part TWO: Review of Editions One, Eight, and Thirteen he year was 1935. The aquarium hobby in America was youthful and energetic. The aquarists of the day were thirsty. Fortunately for them, as well as generations of aquarists to follow, someone was ready, willing, and able to quench that thirst. His name was W illiam T. Innes, and seventy-two years later his name is still often-spoken, and his writings are still often-read. Although he has a variety of titles to his credit, he is most well known for his authorship of the book Exotic Aquarium Fishes (hereafter referred to by me as “Exotic”). In part one of this article (the introduction), I mention the most recognizable cover of Exotic. I would like to call your attention to the photo on the facing page, which is a reproduction of “the green leatherette cover with the gold embossed rasboras.” (The title can be found along the spine, on a paper label.) This cover design was used from the first edition (1935) through the nineteenth edition (1957), which was the last edition to be revised by Dr. Innes. Thus, it is a representation of the cover of all three editions of Exotic which are under discussion here. Start by opening the front cover, and then stop. Don’t even touch any of the pages yet. W hat do you see? It is a map of the W estern Hemisphere. (On the inside of the back cover is a map of the Eastern Hemisphere.) Before you have even turned a single page, Dr. Innes is telling you what he considers to be primary information about tropical fishes. You aren’t ready for the details yet, but he wants you to be mindful of the fact that the habitat location of a given fish will be important to your study of the topic. These maps have numerical as well as alphabetical “margins,” which will guide you as you travel to specific locations. Dr. Innes will be referring you to these maps very often, but we will come back to this later. As you begin to turn the pages, you will come across a color portrait of a pair of Rasbora heteromorpha. This is followed by the title page, which reads Exotic Aquarium Fishes, “a work of general reference.” Exotic will fit any definition of a textbook that you can come up with, but don’t

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worry— you will like it anyway! On pages three and four is the “Author/Publisher’s Introduction” (in this instance, they are both the same person). “Appreciations” are most warmly expressed to Dr. George S. Meyers, as well as for the illuminating comments which were obtained by having parts of the text read to various aquarium societies of the day. (Other people were named as well.) The “Aquarium Principles” of oxygen, light, temperature, feeding, fish foods, enemies, and diseases are the first topics to come under discussion. Mathematical formulas for calculating the surface area of water needed by different sizes of fish are quite specific. There are directions for constructing a homemade “light strip.” “The light may be just above or in the water, as long as it is not in up to the socket.” The section on fish foods offers the reader several recipes for making their own prepared foods. “It is difficult to state what the temperamental scalare will eat, but they have been found to like scrambled egg.” Much more emphasis is placed on the acquisition and feeding out of live foods, daphnia being deemed to have particular value. The text, and especially the photos, of the enemies of our beloved fishes, are quite scary. W ater tiger, dragon fly larvae, and hydra are the most heinous. In their predatory stages, they are as large or even larger than the fish which they are attacking. The names of the diseases would be familiar to you, with the possible exception of “itch,” which should not be confused with “ich.” There are no photographs in this section. Such diseases as dropsy and fungus infection are described, but not illustrated. Next comes the broader topic of “General Management.” At this point, W m. T. covers a wide variety of subjects in no particular order. Examples include green water, covers, nets, seasoning tanks, and tapping on the glass, to name but a few. He says: “There seems to be about as much sense to tapping an aquarium glass to gain the attention of the fishes as there is in speaking in

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a loud tone of voice to someone who does not understand our language. The result is the samefear and confusion.” Exotic includes a section called “Plants and Planting.” The first question it asks itself, and then promptly answers, is “why include plants?” They supply an aquarium with oxygenation, purification, and beautification. Many of the plants are illustrated with black-and-white photographs. Advice on how to plant reminds us, am o ng m a ny o ther points, to keep the plants moist. “A halfdrying may set them back for weeks.” “The pleasure of aquarium study can be doubled by organizing it.” This is how W m. T. prefaces his thoughts on the classification of fishes. T h is b rie f ch a p te r d e sc rib e s h o w th e appearance of each fish can help the aquarist place it in the correct family. It includes anatomy diagrams, and a section on the breeding of egg-laying fishes. Even those of you who have enough interest in a seventy-two year old, out-of-print book to have read this far are getting restless. It’s time to clean the glass, both inside and out, so you can get a good long look at the fishes. Dr Innes treats each fish as an individual. How it might fit into a chart, or a list, or a group of icons is of no interest to him. How a fish presents itself, and what makes it different rather than similar to other fishes is how it is described. I didn’t count how many fishes are represented in the first edition, but there are 349 pages full of “finformation.” As our author explains this important point much more clearly than I could, I am going to let him tell you in his own words, quoting from his introduction: “It will be noted that greatly varying amounts of text accompany different fish illustrations. This is deliberate. W here little is known of a species, or where its habits have just previously been described for another member of the same family, we believe blank paper is better than needless repetition or any literary ‘padding.’ Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY)

Those species which are especially interesting or popular, or whose life habits require extra space to describe, receive it.” Here are some excerpts from Exotic’s description of one of your all-time favorite fish: “‘Missionary’ fish would be a fitting name for this little beauty, for it far exceeds any other species in the number of convert aquarists it has made. Each male is as individual as a thumb print. Hours can be spent in the pleasant pursuit of trying to disprove that statement. The only result will be added admiration. It is a live b ea re r . It is unusually active. It will thrive in close confinement. It has an extreme temperature range of 35 degrees, from 65 to 100. It matures rapidly, an important point for those aquarists breeding f o r d e f in ite c o lo r patterns. The species was first introduced to aquarists from Kingston, Jamaica, in 1912. Like rings in a pond, its fame is still spreading.” Have you guessed yet that our hero (oops! I mean our author) is talking about the ubiquitous guppy? The complete text fills over two pages. The scientific name attributed to this fish at that time was Lebistes reticulatus. At this point I would like to quote Dr. Innes on the subject of scientific names; “The best we can say on this point is that ‘names do change’ in accordance with the progress of ichthyological research. The chief source of confusion has been the hurry and carelessness of some aquarists in clapping any name on a newly imported fish before it has been carefully identified. Later check-up usually shows such names to be erroneous, with consequent aquaristic brain-ache.” In any event, Baensch’s Aquarium Atlas lists twelve different scientific synonyms for the fish we all know of as a guppy. In current usage is the name Poecillia reticulata. I will stay with the guppy as an example of how Dr. Innes presents each fish to us. Every fish “biography” is illustrated. Most have blackand-white photographs, but many are color

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paintings which have often been mistakenly thought to be photographs. Here is a brief quote from the introduction: “The placing of the illustration and the text together in every instance is one of the main features of this book.” Immediately below the illustration is the scientific name. Then comes a (Latin) pronunciation guide, and the common name(s) of the fish. These are followed by the meanings of the words in the Latin name. For example, in the instance of our friend the guppy: Lebistes- meaning not known; reticulatus- netted. The next item is the geographical location they hail from, followed by the adult length of males and females. Ultimately, the last entry under each photo is a notation directing the reader to either the Eastern or W estern Location Map, and a pair of letter/number references. In the case of the guppies, it says “W estern Location map x19 to A24.” (Lower case as well as upper case letters have been utilized, and x is not a typographical error, nor is it the same as X.) Then it is a simple matter of turning to the inside front cover and finding the place(s) where they cross. After that, you head right into the text of the “biography” for each fish. Buried as discretely as a treasure chest within the text about guppies is this sage advice: “Many breeders try to bring the male guppy to a more robust size. This can only be done by continuous rapid growth under the influence of the magic 3 of fish culture-right temperature, plenty of room per fish and plenty of live food.” The lesson to be learned here has nothing to do with magic. It is that as you are reading Exotic, you must not be a “choosy” reader. Every entry has something to offer, even if one of your favorite fishes is not under discussion. At this point I am going to jump forward to the eighth edition, which was published in 1947. Early on you will notice a significant addition. On the reverse of the title page there is a photograph of our author, Dr. W illiam T. Innes. The first revision of Exotic to contain this photo was the sixth edition. The reason for this addition was a very simple one. His readers requested it. They wanted to see what this highly revered man looked like. The major difference between the first edition of Exotic, and the successive editions, can be summed up by tallying the number of pages. The first edition has 463 pages, the eighth edition has 507 pages, and the thirteenth edition has 520 pages. The additional pages represent a comparable number of additional fishes under discussion. (As per an earlier entry, we already know that some fishes may have had more space allotted to them than others.) Another, and perhaps even simpler way to observe this population growth is to look at the index of fishes, which 20

noticeably expands with each edition. Occasionally a fish has been removed from the lineup, due to the fact that it is no longer available to aquarists. A couple of other changes can be noted near the end of the book. The eighth edition, and subsequently the thirteenth, have a couple of pages on marine aquariums. Also, there is a brief section on “community tank combinations.” Our author makes numerous disclaimers as to the usefulness of this feature, and presents his suggestions with hesitation. As in the case of including his own likeness, he compiled these lists in response to the requests of his readers. Here is one final observation. The value our author placed on aquarium societies was evident right from the very beginning. His comments on the subject were brief, but they were italicized in their entirety! A thorough search of the eighth and thirteenth editions with the proverbial fine-toothed comb, which would turn up the addition of a word here, and the removal of one there, would not contribute anything of substance to this review. The main difficulty in working from the earlier editions is that many, indeed most, of the names of the fishes have been changed. It seems to me that I have told you too little, as well as too much. Clearly, I couldn’t tell you everything. I have tried to choose quotations which will give you a feel for the era, the material at hand, and the man himself. I would like to give you one last quote to ponder until next month. “They sail like swans asleep.” W hat fish do you think Dr. Innes was referring to? I’ll tell you which one it is next month in part three of this article, when I will be reviewing editions nineteen, twenty, and twenty one of Exotic Aquarium Fishes. Reference: Baensch, Hans A. and Riehl, Dr. Rudiger. Aquarium Atlas (Volume I), Baensch Publishing, 1991.

November 2007

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


THE AMUSING AQUARIUM

“DAM !”

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

November 2007

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FAASinations—News From: The Federation of American Aquarium Societies by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST he Federation of American Aquarium Societies (“FAAS”) was formed in 1973. It is a service organization of and for aquarium societies of North, Central and, South America. Greater City is a member of FAAS. The FAAS website (http://www.faas.info/) has added a new program by Charlie Grimes, a veteran of over 30 years on the aquarium speaking circuit, titled “Introduction to Killifish” that can be downloaded and played at a club meeting. This 63-slide program features audio narration and great photography! FAAS has also added the following two exhaustive guides on its website in Adobe Acrobat .PDF format: • Starting an Aquarium Society (27-pages) • How to Plan and Run Aquarium Society Meetings (34-pages) These guides were originally authored many years ago. Both have been revised and updated with new information.

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There is also a new slide presentation (audio included) on how a club can run a successful swap meet. The link to this presentation includes the presentations, forms, and a printable copy to share. The 27 minute presentation can be viewed on-line at the website. Of particular interest to GCAS members should be the FAAS Publication Awards. Virtually any article submitted for Modern Aquarium is eligible for a FAAS Publication Award. The awards are based on a calendar year. So, anyone wishing to have his or her article considered for a 2007 FAAS Publication Award needs to have the article printed in 2007. For those who may be interested, you only have one month left, so get those articles in soon! (Of course, articles that arrive too late for publication in 2007 will be considered for publication in 2008, and eligible for a 2008 FAAS Publication Award).

News from: the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies The NEC’s 33rd Annual Convention will be held on April 11 - 13, 2008 at the Marriott Hotel in Farmington, CT. The contest rules for designing a logo for this Convention are as follows: The logo should incorporate this year’s theme, “Pirates of the NEC,” into a “fishy” design, representative of a Tropical Fish Convention. It may (but need not) include the dates of the convention, or that this will be the 33rd convention. 1) The artist must be a member of an NEC club. 2) The entry must be original (never used before). 3) The entry must be submitted by the artist. (Send two copies of each entry, one signed and one not signed.) 4) The design should follow the theme of this year’s banquet, “Pirates of the NEC.” Submit a four-color version (black outlining, if used, counts as one color). Avoid shading, as it will not reproduce as you intend it to on the T-shirts.

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5) The winning logo will appear on the cover of the Annual Convention program, the Registration Flier and on the Convention T-shirts, and may be used in any/all NEC Convention publicity. Part or all of the logo may be used on the registration button and may be modified to fit. 6) The artist may recommend a color for the T-shirt (the final color to be decided by the NEC). 6) The winner will receive a free T-shirt, two free registrations for the 33rd Annual Convention, and two free banquet tickets! 7) The deadline is November 27, 2007. All entries must be in the hands of Janine Banks before this date. Please mail your entry(s) to: Janine Banks 315 US Route 2 Grand Isle, VT 05458 (802)372-8716 (dbanks@together.net)

November 2007

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


American Killifish Association

2008 National Convention

The Upstate New York Killifish Association is proud to sponsor the 46th annual American Killifish Association National Convention for 2008. The convention is set for Friday, May 23 through Sunday May 25 http://www.aka.org/convention/

American Cichlid Association

2008 National Convention The American Cichlid Association ACA holds an annual convention, usually in July, featuring cichlid experts as speakers, a competitive cichlid show, an auction of cichlids, and opportunities to meet other c i c h l i d h obb yi s ts . T h i s weekend-long event is the highlight of the year and is usually attended by 600 or more people. The 2008 American Cichlid Association Convention is being held in Atlanta, Georgia, from Thursday, July 17th through Sunday, July 20th, 2008. It will be hosted by the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association (AAAA) http://www.aca2008.com/

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

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American Livebearer Association

2008 Annual Convention May 1-4, 2008 San Antonio Texas Fish Farm visit and collecting trip on Thursday M ay 1. Collecting trip and visit to the Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center on Friday, M ay 2. International speaker lineup on M ay 3, with reception and dinner. Huge Livebearer fish show, and a huge auction on M ay 4. See our web site for more details: http:.www.livebearers.org

Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies

2008 Annual Convention The NEC’s 33rd Annual Convention will be held

April 11 - 13, 2008 at the Marriott Hotel in Farmington, CT Each year, the NEC Convention has a “theme” with a prize awarded to the person whose costume most closely exemplifies that year's theme. The theme for the 2008 Convention is: the “Pirates of the NEC.” more details to follow Visit the NEC website at: http://northeastcouncil.org/html/

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November 2007

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


DHMO and You! A series by “The Undergravel Reporter” In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does N O T n ecessarily rep resen t the opinions of the Editor, or of the Greater City Aquarium Society. here have been quite a few product recalls recently, including some involving pet (and even fish) food that might be contaminated with toxic substances. This brings me to a warning about a chemical that, without any question, is present in all of your aquariums right now! I refer to dihydrous monoxide, or DHMO. DHMO is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless chemical. Its basis is the unstable radical Hydroxide, the components of which are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as sulfuric acid, nitroglycerine, and ethyl alcohol. DHMO kills thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation of DHMO. W hile high levels of inhalation can cause death by infiltrating the lungs and interfering with proper air exchange, low levels of inhalation can cause coughing, choking, and labored breathing. Even temporary exposure to DHM O can cause permanent neurological dysfunction, and low dose exposure may provoke aspirated pneumonia and dyspnoeia. Some symptoms of DHMO ingestion include a bloated feeling, excessive urination, vomiting, and body electrolyte imbalance. DHMO can take any form: gas, liquid, or solid. It is potentially dangerous, even lethal, regardless of which form it takes. As a gas, it can severely burn your skin, blind you, and scald your lungs. As a liquid, it can intrude into every aperture of your body and prevent you from obtaining oxygen. Its liquid form causes millions of dollars worth of damage every year and claims thousands of lives. Prolonged exposure to its solid form can cause severe tissue damage, intracellular crystallization, and molecular slowdown in the body eventually leading to death. It’s also highly addictive. (It has been reliably reported that, once you start drinking it, you can’t stop. There is currently no known treatment for DHMO addiction.)

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

DHMO is a “greenhouse gas.” It has been described as an “environmental disaster.” It is a major component of acid rain. It causes soil erosion, and it is widely believed that excessive levels of DHMO caused (or contributed significantly to) the levee failures, flooding, and general destruction following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. DHMO can literally eat away many metals, and can carve through solid rock as if it were butter. In certain seasons its presence on roads causes, or contributes to, automobile accidents. DHMO can be found in every lake, stream, river, or pond in the northern hemisphere. It is a by-product of explosives and the combustion of hydrocarbons. Virtually every factory and business in America generates at least some DHMO. Pharmaceutical companies have put DHMO to use in large quantities in conjunction with many forms of cruel animal research. It has been linked to the distribution of pesticides, and is often sprayed on crops of all kind. Even after washing, produce remains contaminated by this chemical. Once exposed, it is almost impossible to wash DHMO off of the skin. It causes electrical failure, and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes. It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients. The military has spent billions of dollars building and designing weapons to harness this chemical. DHMO is often used as an industrial solvent, in nuclear power plants, in the production of Styrofoam, and as a fire retardant. Here is a partial list of places DHMO can be found: • nuclear power plants • processed foods • automobile exhaust emissions • m o st household chem ica ls, inc lud ing floor cleaners, pesticides, and other poisons • tumors in terminal cancer patients • many types of industrial chemicals • several types of chemical weapons • fire retardants • several different types of junk food • your fish tanks! You can sign an on-line petition to the U.S. Congress to ban or regulate DHMO at: http://www.petitiononline.com/spots350/petition.html By the way, “dihydrous monoxide” means having two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, In other words, DHMO is H 2O, and that’s just plain water. On the other hand, every statement about DHMO above is absolutely true!

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

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November 2007

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


G.C.A.S. HAPPENINGS W elcome new member: Dan Puleo

Last M onth’s Bowl Show W inners: 1) Kin Ha 2) Kin Ha 3) Bill Amely UNOFFICIAL results this season, to date: Ed Vukich 18; Carlotti De Jager 11; Kin Ha 8; Artie Friedman 7; Bill Amely 5; M ario Bengcion 5; Claudia Dickinson 3; Darwin Richmond 3; W arren 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; December 12, 2007 M embers’ Holiday Party and Awards Banquet 7:30pm at: The Palace Diner 60-15 M ain Street • Flushing, NY 11355 (718) 762-8800 Contact: Joseph Ferdenzi (516) 484-0944 E-mail: GreaterCity@compuserve.com W ebsite: http://www.greatercity.org

Brooklyn Aquarium Society SPECIAL EVENT: November 24 Aquarium Tag Sale Swap M eet Floyd Bennett Field's Aviator Sports Center 10 AM - 3 PM Dealers, vendors, breeders tables. Come to sell or buy; livestock, plants, dry goods and aquarium items. Small admission fee. 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 M eeting: November 16, 2007 Speaker: Chart Guthrie Topic: Invasive Species Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) at Holtsville Park and Zoo at 8:00pm. 249 Buckley Road - Holtsville, NY W ebsite: http://liasonline.org/ Email: Arie Gilbert - president@liasonline.org

Nassau County Aquarium Society Next M eeting: December 11, 2007 Holiday Party Meets: Molloy College - Kellenberg Hall 1000 Hempstead Ave - Rockville Centre, NY Contact: Mike Foran (516) 798-6766 W ebsite: http://www.ncasweb.org

North Jersey Aquarium Society Next M eeting: November 15, 2007 Speaker: Randy Carey Topic: “The Rio Negro, Project Piaba, and the Pursuit of Hope” Meadowlands Environmental Center - One Dekorte Plaza - Lyndhurst, NJ Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 W ebsite: http://www.njas.net/ or e-mail: tcoletti@obius.jnj.com

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

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next M eeting: November 15, 2007 Speaker: David Soares Topic: “Up To Date with Apistogramma Today” M eets: 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: jchapkovich@snet.net Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS W ebsite: http://norwalkas.org/

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Fin Fun Math is Fun! Or is it? These questions are self-explanatory: 1) If you have one bucket with five gallons of water, and one bucket with two gallons of water, and one bucket with four gallons of water, how many buckets do you have?

2) How many guppies does it take to fill a ten gallon tank?

3) If you have a 90 gallon tank, and you drain out half of the water, then you add ten gallons, and then you remove 30%, how much water do you have to add to fill up the tank?

4) If you have a 2½ gallon tank, a 5 gallon tank, and a 10 gallon tank lined up next to each other in your livingroom, how many gallons of water do you need to fill them all up?

5) If you have a tank with half a dozen neon tetras, 8 white clouds, and an oscar, how many fish do you have? This month’s Fin Fun was inspired by the movie “Idiocracy.”

Solution to last month’s puzzle: Name of plant

Spelling “P” Spelled correctly

Vesiculia bubyana W ater Sprite

Spelled incorrectly X

X

Anubias barterii

X

Cobomba

X

Microsorum pteropus

X

Algae

X

Anubias nanna Ceratophyllum demersum

X X

Ceratophyllum echinacia

X

Naajas

X

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November 2007

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


Modern Aquarium November 2007  

Volume XIV Number 9

Modern Aquarium November 2007  

Volume XIV Number 9

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