Modern Aquarium May 2012

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May 2012 volume XIX number 3

DANBURY AREA AQUARIUM SOCIETY Serving the Hudson Valley Area, Westchester, Fairfield, and Litchfield Counties

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Series III ON THE COVER This month's cover photo subject is the aptly named "rock beauty," Holacanthus tricolor. For more information about this gorgeous fish, see Steve Sica's "My Favorite Marine Fish" on page 23. Photo by Stephen Sica GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members

President Vice-President Treasurer Corresponding Secretary Recording Secretary

Dan Radebaugh Edward Vukich Jules Birnbaum Mario Bengcion Tommy Chang

Members At Large

Claudia Dickinson Al Grusell Emma Haus Leonard Ramroop

Pete D’Orio Ben Haus Jason Kerner

Claudia Dickinson Leonard Ramroop Warren Feuer Mark Soberman Al Grusell Alexander A. Priest Marsha Radebaugh Claudia Dickinson Claudia Dickinson Warren Feuer

MODERN AQUARIUM Editor in Chief Copy Editors Exchange Editors Advertising Mgr.

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2012 Program Schedule President’s Message Award News from the NEC Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers Last Month's Caption Contest Winner Cartoon Caption Contest Exotic Aquarium Fishes The Book, The Collection, The Update by Steven Hinshaw

Problems and Solutions by Jules Birnbaum

Wet Leaves

Committee Chairs

A.C.A. Delegate Bowl Show Breeder Award Early Arrivals F.A.A.S. Delegate Membership Programs N.E.C. Delegate Technology Coordinator

Vol. XIX, No. 3 May, 2012

Dan Radebaugh Sharon Barnett Susan Priest Alexander A. Priest Stephen Sica Donna Sosna Sica Mark Soberman

by Susan Priest

Who CARES? Allen Wood Does! by Tommy Chang

Pictures from our Last Meeting by Susan Priest

G.C.A.S. Bowl Show Rules My Favorite Marine Fish The Rock Beauty by Stephen Sica

Our Generous Members Breeding the Blue Angels by Joseph Graffagnino

G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter Take Me to your Leader!

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) Dwarfs vs Giants

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 15 17 20 22 23 24 25 28 29 30

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh

he NEC (Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies) has announced its annual Publication Awards. Modern Aquarium once again fared extremely well―see page 5 for the complete list of winners. My thanks and congratulations go to all of our authors, who continue to uphold a long tradition of excellence. In this issue, aficionados of Dr. William T. Innes’ seminal book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes, will be delighted to see that Steve Hinshaw has returned with a follow-up to his “The Book, The Collection” article that appeared in our March issue. Another returnee, this time from our April issue, is Allen Wood, this time in the role of subject rather than author. See Tommy Chang’s article about Allen’s species maintenance efforts, which are very much in line with Greater City’s own CARES program. We’ll have more about Allen’s livebearer project and our CARES program in future issues. Susan Priest continues with this year’s conservation-themed Wet Leaves column by reviewing Freshwater Stingrays by Dr. Herbert Axelrod and Hans Gonella. These fascinating, but endangered creatures require a knowledgeable keeper dedicated to their proper care. Jules Birnbaum, our esteemed Treasurer and by now a familiar author to readers of Modern Aquarium, gives us an easy-to-use reference to some of the more vexing problems we are likely to encounter in our fishrooms. Check out his “Problems and Solutions” on page 13. Angelfish have been a beloved staple of the hobby for many years, and breeders continue to exploit new color variations. Joe Graffagnino tells us about his experiences breeding some of the new “blue” angels. Another angelfish, this time a saltwater angel, is Steve Sica’s Favorite Marine Fish and our Cover Photo subject, Holacanthus tricolor, the wellnamed “rock beauty.” Steve’s underwater photo essays are always a delight to the eye, and this installment is no exception. Unfortunately for us aquarists, this gorgeous fish is rather difficult to keep at home. Its size, temperament, and dietary



requirements (it eats mostly marine sponges— difficult to approximate in the aquarium) make it a wise choice to enjoy only in its natural habitat. The Undergravel Reporter tells us about a fish that absolutely will not starve. Be sure and see “Take Me to Your Leader,” on page 27. We end, as always, with our puzzle, Fin Fun, this time featuring “Dwarfs vs Giants.” * * * Remember, as always, we need articles! Modern Aquarium is produced by and for the members of Greater City Aquarium Society. Our members are our authors, and with ten issues per year, we always, always need more articles. I know several of you are keeping and/or breeding fish that I would like to know more about, and I’m certain other members would be interested as well. Share your experience with us. Write about it! If you’re a little unsure about the state of your writing technique, don’t worry – that’s why there are editors. If you have an article, photo, or drawing that you’d like to submit for inclusion in Modern Aquarium, it’s easy to do! You may fax it to me at (877) 299-0522, email it to gcas@earthlink. net, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

GCAS Programs



t is our great fortune to have another admirable cast of speakers who have so graciously accepted our invitation to join us throughout the coming season, bringing us their extensive knowledge and experiences. You certainly won’t wish to miss a moment of our prominent guests, not to mention the friends, fish, warmth, and camaraderie that accompanies each meeting. I know I can barely wait to see you here! Enjoy! Claudia March 7

Meet the Experts of the GCAS

April 4

Felicia McCaulley Tips and Tricks to Aquarium Photography on a Budget

May 2

Jeff Michels Dwarf Cichlids

June 6

Rich Levy Virtual Fishroom Tours: Joe Ferdenzi and Jules Birnbaum

July 11


August 1

Silent Auction

September 5

Felicia McCaulley Seahorses

October 3

Rachel O'Leary Freshwater Invertebrates

November 7

Joe Ferdenzi GCAS 90th!

December 5

Holiday Party!

Articles submitted for consideration in Modern Aquarium (ISSN 2150-0940) must be received no later than the 10th day of the month prior to the month of publication. Please fax to (877) 299-0522, or email to gcas@earthlink. net. Copyright 2012 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 January and February. Members receive notice of meetings in the mail. For more information, contact: Dan Radebaugh (718) 458-8437. Find out more, or leave us a message, at our Internet Home Page at: or Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


efore I mention anything else, I’d like to draw your attention to the facing page, where you’ll see the results of the NEC’s annual Article Competition. A little further down on that same page, you’ll see that this year’s Betty Mueller Memorial Award was won by Greater City’s own Claudia Dickinson. This is a Lifetime Achievement award, so it was not dispensed lightly. I’m certain you’ll all join with me in offering congratulations to Claudia, as well as to our award-winning authors. All this leads me to note that not one of these awards was garnered by “innocent bystanders” or draftees, but by volunteers who discovered that they could indeed make a meaningful contribution, not only to Greater City, but to the hobby at large. I am very gratified by the number of new members that I see at our meetings. I hope and believe that your affiliation with Greater City will be a positive learning experience for you. I also find myself wondering what we old-timers are going to learn from you, and what will be the effect of the new energy and the expertise you bring to us. So even if you’re a beginner, put aside your shyness and get involved in the action. We learn from your questions as surely as you learn from our answers! For those of you on Facebook, be sure and join our group at Greater City Aquarium Society Fishy Friends. We’re up to 60 members already. Thanks to Sharon Barnett for setting this up. Check it out!


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The NEC 2011 Article Competition Breeder Articles 1. Caring For & Breeding the Buffalo Head 2. Leaf Spawning, Using Indian Almond Leaves For Blackwater Species 3. Breeding the Peppered Cory - Corydoras paleatus

Jules Birnbaum Alexander A. Priest


Michael Steffen


Dan Radebaugh Edward Vukich Jim Peterson


Dan Radebaugh Alexander A. Priest Alexander A. Priest


Humor Articles 1. A Little Help 2. Diver Dan 3. Auction - On Site or On Line

Open Articles 1. Carpy Diem! Parts 1 & 2 2. Vaillant’s Chocolate Gourami 3. Try A Different African Challenge

Continuing Columns 1. Bread ‘N Butter 2. The Undergravel Reporter 3. Wet Leaves *aquarium Club of Lancaster County

Joel Antkowiak ACLC* The Undergravel Reporter GCAS Susan Priest GCAS **Long island aquarium society

The Betty Mueller Memorial Award (NEC Annual Lifetime Achievement Award)

This annual lifetime achievement award is being given for the 33rd year. In 1991 this award was renamed as a memorial to the late Betty Mueller. This annual presentation gives special recognition to an individual who has demonstrated overwhelming dedication and support to the aquarium hobby and to the NEC. The 2012 winner of this award is Claudia Dickinson of the Greater City Aquarium Society.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012



May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April's Caption Winner:

Cartoon by Elliott Oshins

Al Priest

You sure get a different painting when you use an old fish net instead of a brush!

Kingfish (

Good for the Hobby – Organizations – Industry Ray “Kingfish” Lucas Celebrating 23 years in the business (1989-2012) of participating at your events. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012


The Modern Aquarium Cartoon Caption Contest May, 2012

Modern Aquarium has featured cartoons before. This time though, you, the members of Greater City get to choose the caption! Just think of a good caption, then mail, email, or phone the Editor with your caption (phone: 347-866-1107, fax: 877-299-0522, email: gcas@ Your caption needs to reach the Editor by the third Wednesday of this month. We'll also hand out copies of this page at the meeting, which you can turn in to Marsha before leaving. Winning captions will earn ten points in our Author Awards program, qualifying you for participation in our special "Authors Only" raffle at our Holiday Party and Banquet. Put on your thinking caps!

Cartoon by Elliott Oshins

Your Caption: Your Name:


May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Exotic Aquarium Fishes The Book, The Collection, The Update by Steven Hinshaw, Sitka, Alaska

Collection of Exotic Aquarium Fishes Books.


uring recent correspondence, further insights regarding the collection have been realized and several books have been added. The additional books include a trophy book; a pristine 13th Edition with an equally impressive dust jacket and an Innes bookmark (!) found within its pages....but, more importantly, two 19th Edition books that provide missing links to the evolution of the 19th Edition! The first 19th Edition, a 1956 printing, has the green spine label, but what makes it unique is the dust jacket, which advertises The Aquarium magazine on the back and contains the word INNES in capital bold letters at the bottom of the spine (fig. A1). This contrasts with the Dutton dust jacket, where the back advertises the text Tropical Aquarium Fish in Color by G. Mandahl-Barth, with the publisher’s Aquarium-

Dutton in bold letters at the bottom. This jacket also provides an answer to the question of a 1956 vs. a 1957 publication date, which will be mentioned later.

Figure A2: Early example of the Aquarium-Dutton Dust Jacket (left). Note the capital letters and order of the words. The more familiar example is on the right.

The second example is a copy of the 19th Edition Revised. Again the difference is within the dust jacket. At the top of the jacket, as if inked on as an afterthought, in large bold lettering is: 19th Edition REVISED,” with “Published by THE AQUARIUM PUBLISHING CO.” below the author’s name (fig. A2). Presumably the capital letters were to emphasize the newest variation of the book. This may be the first rendition of this revised edition published by Dutton, as subsequent dust jackets state “Revised 19th edition” and do not name the publisher (fig. A2).

Figure A1: 1956 19th Edition Dust Jacket. Note "INNES" on the title spine.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Figure A3: Page from the 14th Edition showing the 1952 International copyright.

May 2012


I was fortunate to correspond with Lee Finley, a well respected antique aquarium book collector from Rhode Island, who came up with answers to several questions I well as generating new ones! Besides dust jackets not included in the collection, I am on the hunt for a third variant of the 1942 4th Edition. Lee is aware of (and once owned) a copy where the boards were a muted “Granny Smith Apple” green color. Any leads to this copy would be greatly appreciated! Lee and I both noticed that only the 14th and 15th Editions state an international copyright from 1952 (fig. A3). It is unclear why this was done and why only on these editions. Figure A6: Photos of 1st Edition with Dust Jacket from Joe Ferdenzi. Note the typeface not being a Gothic Style thought to exist on earlier editions. Also note spine title running from bottom to top.

Figure A4: Gothic Style Typeface on 5th Edition. Also note the spine title orientation. From Stu Wheeler's article. The black lettered 18th Edition is on the right for comparison.

In one of those exciting, yet deflating moments, I learned my interest in Exotic Aquarium Fishes was not unique. Mr. Finley referred an article about the differences in Exotic Aquarium Fishes dust jackets published by Stu Wheeler in Collectors of Aquarium Literature, Number 22, February 1988. There are several insights to be gleaned from Stu’s article. First, that dust jackets have the title running from the bottom to the top from the 1st to the 13th Editions, but at the 14th they run the opposite way. This contradicts the examples in my collection, and he makes no mention

Figure A5: Detail of the "INNES" dust jacket showing the issue date of November 1956 for "The Aquarium" magazine. Note the attempt to line out the prices and date.

of the American or European styles of printing. He also notes that the edition number starts being printed on the 14th, while my collection has the 13th edition printed on it. Yet the same question is posed on which edition first had the edition number on the jacket; in his case between the 9th and 13th (presumably he didn’t have these). Second, his collection of dust jackets from the 5th to the 8th Editions were printed in a Gothic style 10

May 2012

typeface (fig. A4), and he speculates that this style went back to the first edition. This bit of information reveals that my 8th Edition dust jacket is incorrect, being a later style typeface seen from the 9th to the 18th Editions (fig. A4). Not all that surprising, as Stu mentions that it was not uncommon for jackets to be swapped. Stu’s third example provides an explanation for the mysterious 1957 publication date. He informs us that the 19th Edition came out with a salmon colored jacket, and despite showing a copyright date of 1956, was actually issued in 1957. Looking at this 19th Edition dust jacket (fig. A1), note that the date on the magazine is November, 1956 (which appears to have been poorly lined out in yellow (fig. A5). Mr. Finley

Figure A7a: The white colored jacketed Revised 19th Edition published in Maywood, NJ and Mountain View, CA. Note that the edition number is not mentioned.

offers the conclusion that “with this [issue date] being so close to the end of the year it is easy to see the likelihood that Innes was planning on a 1956 release, but for whatever reason got it bumped over into 1957 as Stu notes. And then....[Helen] Simkatis made an undiscussed correction.”

Figure A7b: The salmon colored jacketed Revised 19th Edition published in Norristown, PA.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Finally, Stu documents dust jackets on all editions. The topic of dust jackets down to the first edition is somewhat debated, but I have examples supporting first editions having and not having dust jackets! Joe Ferdenzi sent me pictures of a first edition belonging to an acquaintance of his (fig. A6). Note that it does not have the Gothic style lettering thought to exist on earlier editions. Lee Finley related this story: To the first edition and the possibility of a dust jacket: Some years back I bought at an auction the library of Eugenia Schrock who was a Boston aquarist in the heyday of the hobby. She was friends with anyone who was anyone in the hobby. Innes was among these. Among the items was a first edition of EAF. It was pristine and still in the original waxed shipping box. It was, of course, signed to her and in addition was included a letter that Innes had sent along with it. The thing that initially stood out to me was that there was no dust jacket. The container and book was still so new and wonderfully preserved that there is no way I can believe that she would have removed a dust jacket had it been there. So as far as I am concerned (and until proven wrong) there was not a dust jacket issued with the first edition. Until more examples are provided, the topic of dust jackets will continue to be discussed due to their scarcity. As Stu points out, “because this book was so full of practical information, hobbyists did not leave their copies on the bookshelf; they used them. The quality of the Innes bindings held up pretty well under

Figure A8a: Supplement from the 15th Edition, somewhat anecdotal.

colored revised edition was published by The Aquarium Publishing Co. out of Norristown, PA (fig. A7b). Little attention was paid to editorial or supplemental variations in the initial article; they are just too varied or minor to be addressed in this format. However, for the sake of a short discussion, these supplements are descriptions of additional plant and fish variants, breeding and/or husbandry techniques, and are located at or near the end of the book under the title Supplement (fig. A8a). Not every edition had a supplement, but those that did ranged from being somewhat anecdotal to quite extensive. For example

Figure A8b: Three pages from the extensive Supplement of the 9th Edition.

this heavy use, but the paper jackets did not, and were usually soon discarded.� I should clarify that the 1964 white variant jacket of the revised 19th goes with the book published by Aquariums Publishing Inc. out of Maywood, NJ and Mountain View, CA (fig. A7a), while the salmon Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

the supplement in the 15th Edition is anecdotal (fig. A8a), while the 9th Edition has an eight page supplement on husbandry, a new plant, and availability of new fish (fig. A8b). From an editorial perspective, there were changes in descriptive photographs as technologies changed or

May 2012


Of greater interest is the mystery generated by the acquisition of Aquarium Fish in Color by G. Mandahl-Barth (Fig A11a), featured on the back of the Dutton publication dust jackets (Fig. A10). I couldn't help but add the original Danish book published in 1955 (Fig. A11a), the French translation (unknown date), and finally the 1957 British translation (Fig. A11b). But what makes this book odd is that the Dutton publication (presumed to be the first Dutton edition) was printed in 1959! All the 1956 19th Edition Dutton publications this author has seen have had the same dust jacket shown in figure Figure A9: Editorial change of descriptive pictures of The Flying Fish from the 18th Edition (left) and 19th Edition (right). Note picture credit to Alan Fletcher in the 19th A10 advertising Aquarium Fish Edition. in Color. It is logical to see this advertisement on a Dutton 19th Edition Revised which were introduced. Alan Fletcher, in his article about how was published in 1964, but a 1956 edition? As of WWII contributed to the hobby, Modern Aquarium, yet, no different 1956 Exotic Aquarium Fishes dust August 2011, vxviii, #6, mentions the use of surplus jacket has been found from those discussed nor has a airplanes to transport fish around the globe. Thus it is Dutton publication of Aquarium Fish in Color prior not surprising to see this topic discussed near the end to 1959 been located. of several editions, with pictures of The Flying Fish, a plane that flew neon tetras from South America to the States. A picture of the aircraft appears in the 12th to the 18th Editions (fig. A9). In the 19th Edition, the text remains the same, but the picture changes (fig. A9). Discovering these editorial changes and reading these supplements contributes to the joy of getting back into your editions (which may not have been opened for a while)!

Above: Figure A11a: Aquarium Fish in Color by G. MandahlBarth. Original 1955 Danish Politiken publication (left) and the 1959 American Dutton publication (right). Below: Figure A11b: The French and British translations respectively.

Figure A10: 1956 Dutton Dust Jacket advertising Aquarium Fish in Color.

This collection has spawned several tangential collections, most notably what is advertised on the back of the dust jackets. One would think this would be a simple collection, but this is not the case! Surprisingly, a copy of The Aquarium magazine, November 1956 vol. xxv, No. 11, featured on the back of the Innes 19th edition (fig. A1) has not been located. Did this magazine exist? 12

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Problems and Solutions by Jules Birnbaum


he following are some of the problems I have encountered, and the solutions I came up with. None of the solutions (or problems) is original. Some might even seem silly to some of you, but one or two might prove helpful. They are in no particular order.



A mature Anubius plant with many leaves is covered with algae. The plant will surely die from lack of light getting through the algae to the plant.

Introduce a few juvenile bristlenose plecos. (Ancistrus). You will notice the difference in just a day or two. If adding these catfish is not practical, move the plant to another tank that already has a few algae-eating fish living in it.

Water never becomes completely clear, even after cleaning the bottom and changing the filter media.

Try adding a hang-on filter with a polishing cartridge that traps the very fine debris. This type of filter can be moved from tank to tank. The filter cartridge can be washed, and is permanent. —Alternatively— Cut a piece of egg-crate to fit in one end of your tank. Put a layer or layers of an air conditioner filter behind this. Cut a 1-inch PVC pipe to length of about 8 inches with an elbow at the top, to act as a lift tube. Then simply put an air line in the bottom of the tube to lift the water from the space behind the filter. Chuck Davis says this type of filter needs cleaning only once a year, and cost him twelve dollars. Or you can buy a two-inch sheet of foam and cut it to fit the end of the tank without bothering with the egg crate. I’ve used this method, but it is more costly than using the egg-crate.

The high cost of replacing filter cartridges.

Try using poly fiber pads. Cut them to size and rinse them thoroughly when they look dirty, rather than buying new cartridges. You can also rewash the foam used in box filters using aquarium water. You can do this a few times before the foam begins to break down. This kind of foam is very inexpensive, but it might save you some time in cutting new foam.

Glass tops keep breaking.

I learned this one from Jeff Bollbach. Try polycarbonate (Lexan), a type of hard, durable plastic, which can be easily cut to size. It can be purchased locally or online. This is one I have seen, but not tried as yet.

The glass tank top is fine, but the seam is falling apart.

Use a tube of #1 GE silicone, used for doors and windows. Make sure it contains no mold retardant. Put a layer over the seam, and then a second coat. When it dries you will have a flexible joint. The total cost should be about five dollars for as many tops as need repair.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012




I'm going on a two-week vacation, and no one I can get to fish-sit knows anything about feeding fish.

This is one I learned from our own Harry Faustmann. Buy some tubifex worms, and place them deep in the gravel. If there is no gravel just spread them around on the bottom. Make sure the worms are healthy. The fish will graze on them, and they should survive, provided the tank is not overstocked. —Alternatively— Take a 7-day pillbox and fill each day with the proper amount of food for whomever can come by to feed the fish while you are basking on some southern beach. I got this one from Chuck Davis. If you have multiple tanks, use small plastic containers, each filled with one feeding. I get mine from my local fish market. They use them for shrimp cocktail sauce.

Not enough tanks to breed fish or raise fry.

Use sheets of two-inch-thick foam and cut to size as tank dividers. The foam can be purchased online, or your local pet shop can order it for you. The fish can’t see each other, so the pair will go about their business.

You want to breed cichlids, but the male is destroying the female.

Cut some egg-crate to create a tank divider. The male and female can see each other, but can’t get at each other. The male can fertilize the eggs by squirting sperm through the large openings in the egg crate. Chuck Davis says this works for him most of the time.

Your fish tank is in a room where the noise of the filter and the air diffuser bubbling are annoying.

Try a sponge filter with a powerhead attached. You can purchase these ready-made, or you can make your own. I bought one from a fish supply house for about $20. They are silent, and there is a good water flow.

Your basement floor is cold, hard, unpainted, and ugly.

Try 2' X 2' foam tiles that are put together like a jigsaw puzzle, with no glue needed. They come in packages of four, with ends included, at a cost of approximately $17 per package. Go online to compare prices. The tiles I put down were for a 9' X 11' room; the cost was under $100. The floor is now easy on my feet and knees. It looks good, it is easy to clean, and seems to make the floor warmer. When a fish jumps out of a tank they now will bounce, which should be fun to see.

I hope some of these ideas make sense to you. I have tried most of them with some success.


May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

their “sting,” which sounds to me more like a verb than a noun), and can cause severe injury, or worse. A secondary reason is the high cost of the fishes themselves. Freshwater stingrays are indeed endangered, and becoming more so. Here are SOME of the a Series On Books For The Hobbyist reasons why. Human population is on the rise, and more and more roads are being built. This by SUSAN PRIEST deforestation results in erosion, which in turn leads to the “silting up” of large expanses of water. icture yourself trying to conduct an internet Waterways are increasingly used for transportation search for a book about an endangered as well. The “effluent” from humans flows tropical fish, but without having the name of untreated into the rivers. Pollution of aquatic one. If you knew which fishes were endangered environments from agricultural pesticides, AND might have had a industrial waste, and book written about them, mercury used by gold you could simply name prospectors, to name but a Freshwater Stingrays them, and there either few, is on the rise. It Hans Gonella & Dr. Herbert Axelrod would or wouldn’t be such would take me an entire Interpet Publishing, 2003 a book. BUT, if the best page to even briefly you can do is use the describe the consequences back-assward approach of of the building of dams to searching for “tropical fish, endangered,” WELL, meet the increasing demands for hydro-electric the results will be less than edifying. While I was power. Clearly, these issues are having a negative trying to sort all of this out for myself, and I had effect on ALL of the inhabitants of South seemingly run out of options, I turned to my M.O. American waterways. of last resort. I struck the LUCK key on my A specific threat to the stingrays themselves is computer keyboard, and this book tumbled right into the fact that the stings are a popular choice for use my hands! as tattoo needles, or for When we think of body piercing. They stingrays, a marine are also sold to tourists, animal usually comes to and are sometimes used mind. There are, in rituals. The demand however, two for them is high. Even geographic locations though people do not which provide habitat to use them as food fish, numerous freshwater stingrays are speared species. One is Asia and their tails are cut and the other is South off for the previously America. Stingrays mentioned purposes. from South America are (The methods used to the only ones which can remove the venom are successfully be kept in not described.) After an aquarium, and are the what is left of them is only ones under thrown back into the discussion in this book. water, remarkably some Several reasons for this of them actually are described within. survive! Most notably, Asian At this point I freshwater stingrays can would like to quote our grow to upwards of a authors: “South meter across. American freshwater There are three primary reasons why the stingrays are an endangered and evolutionary mainstream aquarist does not keep these fish. First treasure. Long-running projects to treat the is the financial investment required—specifically, rainforest and its stretches of water seem to be a but not limited to, their need for a huge tank sensible solution. Controlled capture of (350-400 gallons). Second is the large amount of ornamental fish is a justified part of these projects. time which must be dedicated to them. Third is Rays can play a role as ‘messengers,’ to point out their stinger (the authors consistently refer to it as that they come from an endangered environment.”


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


Here are a few key points as to their aquarium husbandry. They require soft, acid water. They must have a layer of sand as a substrate which is deep enough for them to bury themselves, and which is not too fine and not too coarse. Frequent water changes cannot be overlooked or overdone. Most aquariums only require lighting if there are plants within, but the freshwater stingrays themselves require light to keep them healthy. They are very vigorous swimmers, and have been known to “flip” themselves right out of their tank. Curious fingers must NEVER be allowed to enter the tank, due to the threat of a venomous sting. It is for these two reasons that the authors recommend putting a LOCK on the cover of the tank! Our authors have frequently and forcefully emphasized that only the most experienced of aquarists should undertake the keeping of these fish. The need for fastidious cleanliness within their tank is repeated many times over throughout the text. In particular, chemical elements such as ammonia and nitrites must be non-existent. Uneaten food must be removed as soon as possible. Curious to me is how this contrasts with their natural environment, which is described as layers of mud. Speaking of food, let me elaborate. “Very little is known about their diet in the wild, however ample information on their feeding habits is available from experienced aquarists.” Adult rays need to be fed two or three times a day, and they have hearty appetites. If they are hungry they will hover above the substrate and blow into the sand. The best food choices are shrimp and fish meat such as trout, whitefish and perch, all of which are dense and won’t cloud the water. Mussels and squid will be enjoyed as an occasional treat. Live foods such as earthworms and mosquito larvae are also beneficial to them. Supplementing all of these high protein foods with plant matter such as cucumber and lettuce is a must. Have you noticed the theme here? Variety is the name of the game. Clearly, their dietary requirements contribute to the financial investment I referred to earlier. If a freshwater stingray is not eating, it is most probably ill. These fish are notoriously difficult to classify as to genus and species. At the time this book was written there were 61 stingrays which had been assigned “P numbers.” (Think of them like the L numbers which have been used with catfishes for many years.) One of the things that makes it so difficult is their chameleon-like tendency to change color in order to blend into their surroundings. The three most frequently imported species are Potamotrygon motoro, P. leopoldi, and P. reticulatus. Freshwater stingrays exhibit sexual dimorphism in that the males have two “claspers.” These pipelike extensions of the pelvic fins are used by the males to internally inseminate the females. The


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

females are ovoviviparous, which is to say that they are livebearers. The internally fertilized eggs hatch within the female’s uterus before they are born. It is not yet known whether these fish will cross-breed with other species, so every effort should be made by the responsible aquarist to prevent males and females of different species from being given the opportunity. As I have pointed out in the previous paragraph, this is more easily said than done. The photos are wonderful. Most of them have been taken in aquariums, but some of them are from, as well as of, their naturally occurring habitats. In the location where most books place an index you will find recommendations for “Further reading,” which lists titles in both English and German. The lack of an index was occasionally disconcerting (where DID I see that part about putting a lock on the tank?), but it was not a major drawback in a book of 80 pages. I would agree with the statement on the cover which self-describes this book as an in-depth survey. “Certain facts are repeated several times in this book so as to help the reader to understand the interdependent aspects of stingray care.” I have tried to highlight the most important issues, but there are many more details which cannot be overlooked by a potential keeper of these fish. The comprehensive nature of this book brings me close to, but just shy of, making the statement that I believe an already highly experienced aquarist could undertake the keeping of freshwater stingrays with this book as their sole resource. Accessing additional literature would of course be the preferable course of action. (This will no doubt result in conflicts of opinion which your high level of experience will help you to sort out.) As fascinating as freshwater stingrays are, the adoption of them is not to be undertaken lightly. If properly cared for they can live up to 25 years, and are a major lifestyle commitment. The fact that their conservation status is fragile must be taken into consideration. If you think that your skills may fall short, or the time you have to devote to them may be insufficient, then the best thing you can do to contribute to their future is to read about them and visit them in a public aquarium. Is there anyone reading this review who has undertaken the challenge? If so, the rest of us would love to hear about your adventures. No, my computer keyboard doesn’t really have a LUCK key. I found this book shoved to the back of a shelf while I was looking for something else. The LUCK part came into play when I realized that it would fit in perfectly with my conservation theme.

May 2012 May 2012


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Who CARES? Allen Wood Does!


by Tommy Chang

ou probably saw the article on goodeids by Allen Wood in last month’s issue of Modern Aquarium. All you livebearer fanatics out there probably know him as past Chairman of the American Livebearers Association (www.livebearers. org), and you may also know that during his tenure he was the driving force behind the ALA’s website, among other things, but to those of us who are more into cichlids or anabantids, the name may be less familiar. In this short piece, which was originally intended to introduce Mr. Wood to the GCAS when his article came out last month, I will summarize what I learned of Allen Wood during an email interview I had with him a short time ago. The reason I want to introduce him to our members is that he has generously offered to send 'Preservation Priority Livebearers' to select members of the GCAS for our CARES effort, which we are in the process of re-energizing. Please stay tuned for more info on how to obtain some of these livebearers for your fishroom. A native of New Mexico, Allen grew up in Colorado, attended graduate school in North Carolina, where he subsequently taught school for several years before returning to Colorado, where he has remained for the past 40 years. When he was seven years old, he received, as a birthday gift, a trio of guppies in a onegallon battery jar. Soon one of the females dropped fry, and he was hooked. Does that not sound familiar to a lot of us? Although it took some time for him to become a conservationist specializing in livebearers, he has been in the fish hobby for the past 59 years! In the fall of 1973 he set up his first fishroom in a small, 121-square foot basement room, where he kept and bred many fish, mostly East African cichlids. As he had no water supply and no outlet for water, he had to carry water down from the kitchen, and old water back up. This of course wasn't great for the fish, as it inhibited his enthusiasm for water changes. By 1992 Allen was living in Colorado, and had added a 625-square foot extension to his house. When he started this fishroom he was still using buckets! That changed in 1996, when he added a water line, drilled all the tanks, installed overflows, and plumbed Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

for drains on each tank, making water changes a lot easier. Over the years, as local fish stores went out of business, he managed to accumulate more tanks, and he now has about 200 tanks, with a total volume of about seven thousand gallons! All of his tanks are either drilled, or have a constant-level siphon. These siphons are the reason I contacted Allen in the first place, but that is another story. Water changes are automated using a timer, and each tank receives a 15-20% water change daily. Outside the house, he also maintains a koi pond, which thrives in winter with the warm water that comes from his fishroom water changes. At the moment, he has about 150 colonies of fish, which include mostly livebearers of the familes Goodeidae and Poeciliidae, with a single Anablepidae, four Cyprinodon species from Mexico, and the same number of Aphanius species. There are two reasons why Allen decided to specialize in livebearers and get involved in species maintenance. First, cichlids and anabantids require higher temperatures, and when Allen and his wife retired in 2003, he decided to stick with fish that were less expensive to keep. As it gets cold in parts of Colorado, and he heats his fishroom instead of using heaters in each tank, this was a wise choice. Second, many livebearers had been or were becoming endangered in the wild, and the fish had fallen out of vogue in the hobby and were becoming hard to find in captivity. To quote Allen, “I think my involvement with species maintenance was a result of my desire

Ameca spendens. Photo from

May 2012


Ilyodon furcidens. Photo from

to keep whatever species I had forever. I was never one to "breed’em-and-move’em-out." If a fish came into my fishroom, I fully expected to keep that species forever. I came to realize that this was not a bad thing,


since many of the species I kept while much younger were no longer available.” I believe we can all learn from Allen on this point. A final quote which I hope will spur some of you to get involved with CARES: “I would like to encourage every aquarist to support species maintenance efforts. There are many avenues for doing this. The CARES program is one good way. Participating in SMP programs of organizations like the ALA is another. Dedicating a tank to maintaining some ‘ugly gray fish’ is still another. Everyone can contribute to conservation efforts such as the ALA Langhammer Fund for Conservation.” I’d like to finally add that not all livebearers are ‘ugly gray fish’! Some of them are quite colorful in their own subtle way. So to sum up, I hope Allen Wood will become an inspiration to some or many of us, because if not, some of these fish may soon be gone from this earth forever.

May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012


Pictures from our

Our speaker, Felicia McCaulley with GCAS President Dan Radebaugh

Felicia with assistants Adam and Josh

Jason Kerner and Mark Soberman

Members enjoying Modern Aquarium



Pete D’Orio, Al Grusell and Jerry O’Farrell

Ron Wiesenfeld and Sharon Barnett

May 2012 May 2012

Members enjoying “fish talk”

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

last meeting Photos by Susan Priest

Welcome to our newest member:

Stephen Panagiotidis

And, welcome back:

Tommy Chang

Bowl Show Winners (presented by President Dan Radebaugh)

1st Place: Jerry O’Farrell 2nd Place: Bob Hamje

3rd Place: Rich Waizman

Last Month’s Door Prize Winner

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

May 2012 May 2012



BOWL SHOW RULES There is a Bowl Show at every GCAS meeting, except our Silent Auction/fleamarket meeting and our Holiday Party and Awards Banquet meeting (December). These shows are open to all members of GCAS. Rules are as follows:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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Only current GCAS members may enter fish in the Bowl Show. There is a limit of 2 entries per member per meeting. Unlike some other clubs, every month is an “open” Bowl Show at the GCAS (i.e., there is no “theme,” such that one month cichlids are judged, the next livebearers, the next anabantoids, etc.). Any fish that wins any prize (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) may not be entered again in the same meeting year. The current Bowl Show Coordinator is Leonard Ramroop, who usually also serves as judge (although guest speakers are often asked to do the judging honors). 2.5 gallon containers are available for use (brought to the meetings by the Bowl Show Coordinator), but entrants are responsible for providing enough (and suitable) water for their fish. For a fish too large (or too small) for those containers, entrants must supply a suitable container, which must be clear on at least three sides. Only one fish per container (i.e., no “pairs”). No plants, ornaments, or equipment (filters, airstone, etc.) are allowed in the judging tank (an external mirror, or opaque cards between containers is acceptable, as is a cover that does not obstruct side viewing). Points are awarded: 5 points for 1st Place, 3 for 2nd Place, and 1 for 3rd Place. Ribbons are awarded: blue for 1st Place, red for 2nd Place, and green for 3rd Place. The person with the most points at the end of the meeting season receives the Walter Hubel “Bowl Show Champion” trophy at the Awards Banquet. The decision of the judge(s) is final. A running UNOFFICIAL total of the points awarded is printed in Modern Aquarium. Only the tally of points maintained by the Bowl Show Coordinator is official. In case of ties: 1st Tiebreaker – most 1st Places 2nd Tiebreaker – most 2nd Places 3rd Tiebreaker – most entries

March 2010

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

My Favorite Marine Fish The Rock Beauty Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


uring all of my years of diving in Florida and the Caribbean one fish that always caught my attention is the angelfish known as the rock beauty, Holacanthus tricolor. As a juvenile, this fish is yellow with a dark, sometimes navy blue or black spot on its rear flank that increases in size as the fish grows. The fish’s maximum length is about one foot, although the average size is between five and eight inches. A full grown fish is two-tone, that is, yellow and black. I have never seen a foot-long specimen. In fact I cannot recall even seeing a juvenile. This fish is usually found at depths of ten to eighty feet. You never see them below one hundred feet; most swim along the reef at a depth of sixty feet or less. Although the rock beauty is considered common to occasional in the Caribbean area, I usually observe at least one average size specimen every two or three dives. This species’ territory is as far north as Georgia, and south to Brazil. They are also found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Donna and I used to dive Bermuda extensively, and we have dived in the Cayman Islands for the last twenty years. I could not find photos of a rock beauty in my files in either Bermuda or the Caymans. My conclusion is Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

that this fish is uncommon in these locales. Since the Bahamas have a wide mix of fishes, it is likely that rock beauties do inhabit those waters. I delete my poorer quality photographs; therefore if I could not secure a worthy photo in any of these locales, I usually delete the mediocre ones, which could have included rock beauties. This practice may therefore cause me to offer an erroneous opinion regarding finding a rock beauty inhabiting a specific location. The end result of my observations is that while the rock beauty is not sighted often, it is found in the Caribbean. I do not recall seeing a mated pair of these fish, or even two fish in the same vicinity; whereas many larger angelfish species, such as the French, Pomacanthus paru, or gray, Pomacanthus arcuatus, often travel with their mates. If you see a solitary French or gray angelfish, search the general area. Quite often another fish of the same species and size will be feeding. One of the fish usually appears subtly to be keeping track of its mate. Ultimately, they will join up and forage together. Once in the U.S. Virgin Islands I saw five or six medium sized queen angelfish swimming near a small structure on a sunken barge. Since then, I have seen

May 2012


two or three queen angels together on occasion. Still, they most often prefer to be solitary. One of my goals is to take a quality photograph of the rock beauty. It is an angelfish that never stays in one place. If you follow one, it will swim away. If you see one from a distance and try to calculate where it is going, it will swerve behind some coral or anything else in order to avoid an encounter. If you discover one nibbling on coral, it will scoot away. Needless to say, it is an extremely difficult photographic subject. Sometimes they will watch a diver’s movements from a safe distance and not allow you to approach. It‘s frustrating. To make it an even more difficult subject, most modest, and even many upscale underwater cameras have shutter delay, so by the time the photo is taken the fish has either turned its backside to the lens or it’s out of the frame altogether. Then there’s the electronic flash problem. If you happen upon sudden, successive photo opportunities because the fish is nearby or stationary, the follow-up photo(s) will require the flash to recharge for three or four seconds, so that once

again, the fish is out of range. Any fish can outdistance a diver in only a few seconds, and if a rock beauty observes a diver, it will stay out of camera range. This is a shy fish, and it is not too curious about divers, except to maintain distance between itself and the diver. In Curacao recently, I saw several excellent specimens about seven or eight inches in length on different dives. Of course I attempted to photograph them. As I have alluded to, it was the fish-swimmingaway shot that I caught on my digital “film.” I did manage to take several photos, but upon reviewing them for this article I was disappointed. This forced me to review my whole inventory of photographs. Luckily, I found a few decent shots of the rock beauty. But I am still in search of the perfect photograph. If you come across a rock beauty, please let me know. I’m keeping my camera at the ready! I wonder; has anyone ever seen one in a pet shop?

Our Generous Members Each month a blue sheet is located on our auction table where those members who donate items to the auction can indicate their donations 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 and others who so generously contributed, making last month’s auction the bountiful success that it was: Sharon Barnett Jules Birnbaum Pete D'Orio Rod Du Casse 24

Warren Feuer Al Grusell Dan & Marsha Radebaugh

May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Breeding the Blue Angels by Joseph Graffagnino t a Greater City Aquarium Society meeting last year, fellow member Jerry O’Farrell came up to me and asked, “Have you bred angelfish?” I said that I had, but it was over 25 years ago. He said, “Good, then it’s time you did them again,” and he thrust a bag of eight beautiful quartersize blue angels into my hand. Before I could respond, he walked away. I looked at the plastic bag full of fish and marveled at how beautiful and majestic these little cichlids appeared. The blue on their heads stood out in dramatic contrast to their silver bodies. I brought them home and placed them into a 20 gallon aquarium. The pH was 7.2, the temperature 80° Fahrenheit, and the general hardness (GH) was 4. The angels grew quickly, especially the dominant male, who soon eclipsed his tank mates in size. The group fared well with bi-weekly water changes of 30–40%, and feedings of flake food followed by live blackworms or frozen bloodworms, with occasional treats of live brine shrimp and/ or frozen Cyclopeeze7. After eight to ten months the group started to pair off. I moved the nonpairs into a 10 gallon, where in less than a month another couple had paired up. This new pair was moved into another 20 gallon tank. The first pair decided to lay their eggs on a thick piece of slate that was originally used to hold down a large wood decoration. Both parents cleaned the slate till it was immaculate, at least in their eyes. The gray eggs were then laid in orderly rows of vertical succession. Both fish took turns cleaning the area and fanning the eggs. It was definitely a model of teamwork. Within a couple of days, the eggs turned a dark brown/amber color, and the parents proceeded to move them to a new location. Most cichlids prefer this birthing method. Normally in 5 days the hatched fry would start swimming, with the parents escorting their children around the aquarium. But there were no free swimming fry! It appears that the parents ate the fry either during the move or shortly afterward.


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The second pair of angelfish was sharing a habitat with glo-lite tetras, but that didn’t stop them from laying eggs on a tall piece of driftwood. Both parents kept the tetras to the farthest end of the aquarium. They also took turns cleaning and fanning the eggs. I noticed that both pairs of fish left the eggs that were fungused alone, rather than removing them. I thought this was a poor cleaning job on the parents’ part. Since it was their first spawn, I believed that I should give them time to learn and educate themselves as to proper spawning methods, and I allowed them to have a couple of additional spawns, hoping that they would improve. Both pairs spawned every 15 to 19 days, and a day apart. Neither set of parents ever improved. I gave the second pair to my friend Vinny Babino, and kept the original pair. The next time my pair laid eggs, I removed the slate piece and placed it into a 5 gallon tank that was set up for hatching the eggs, which I filled with water from the parents’ tank. I had a 25 watt heater that had the heating coil wrapped with airline tubing. I did this to prevent the fry from killing themselves on the heating coil. I placed the air tube with air-stone under the slate piece so the air bubbles would travel in front of the eggs. I also added a dose of acriflavin to reduce chances of the infertile eggs developing fungus. As the eggs hatched five days later, I moved the air-stone into an existing sponge filter several inches away from the hatching eggs and performed a water change to remove most of the acriflavin, again using water from parents’ tank. The unfertilized eggs that did fungus remained on the slate until I removed them with a pipette. Several days later the newborn fry were attaching themselves via their egg sack to everything in the tank―plant leaves, the slate piece, and pieces of wood and rock. The fry can’t eat until they are free swimming, so I do not feed them because the food will only pollute the water. When the fry become free swimming, I start feeding them live vinegar eels, along with 50 micron Golden Pearls. As they grow, I switch to micro-worms

May 2012


and baby brine shrimp (live or frozen). Then in about 3 weeks I start using finely crushed flake food or micropellets, and provide live food 3 times per week. They grow quickly, and in another week or so they start to resemble their parents. An interesting experiment was tried, accidently, when I neglected to replace the slate board on which the parents had layed their eggs. There was a large wood piece that wasn’t solid, having holes throughout it. I saw them evaluating the wood piece, but I guess they weren’t satisfied with it. The only other object in the tank, except for the large sponge filter or the heater, was a small flat rock that I had used to keep the slate piece from slipping. Yes, they used the flat rock. Again they fanned the eggs and never removed the fungused eggs, but this time when the fry hatched they didn’t relocate them. They also never assisted the fry that became stuck to the fungus. After eight days, when the fry started to free swim, they escorted them around the tank. I believed that I had found the cure to angelfish cannibalism but within four days after the fry were free swimming the parents ate them anyway. I guess when the parents are bad they will just remain bad.

Photos from


May 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)







The Rutland/Killington Holiday Inn is located on US Route 7 near the junction of Rte 4. IMPORTANT DRIVING INFORMATION: The GPS systems will not recognize their physical address. We highly recommend you use 1 Holiday Drive, Rutland, VT 05701. MAKE IT A WEEKEND GET AWAY. ENJOY BEAUTIFUL VERMONT THEN ATTEND THE AUCTION ON SUNDAY. Special room rates for the Auction weekend $101.20 per day. For reservations call 800 462-4819 or AUCTION RULES

1] Each vendor must fill out auction entry form, vendor does not need to be a member of OVAS. 2] Limit of 4 lots per species per vendor. 3] Limit of 40 entries per vendor. 60/40 split if received by May10, 2012. after the split will be 50/50. 4] Additional entries per vendor will be accepted as a donation to OVAS. 5] No minimum bids can be set unless authorized before the auction. 6] All entries must be registered by 11am. 7] Entries should be marked as to what it contains and the assigned entry number. 8] Entries for breeder program should have breeder credit forms submitted with Lot Registration. 9] Each bidder must fill out auction bidder form and get a number. 10] The auction is open to the public, anyone can enter lots for auction, non-members are welcome and encouraged to participate in the auction. 11] All used equipment should be clean and in good working order. 12] All fish must be doubled bagged, fish not bagged properly will be rebagged at a charge of $2 per bag.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


1] Show is Peoples Choice only. 2] Limit 2 fish per entrant. 3] Entrants may set up from 9am – 11am. All bowls will get a number. 4] Entrants must supply their own bowls, with at least one flat side. (a.) There will be 12 bowls available for those who need one. 5] Bare tanks only no décor. (air only) 6] Bowls will be labeled with the scientific or common name. 7] Voting from 11am until 2pm. Winners will be announced at 2:30pm. 8] Entries may also be put into the auction, if you choose to due so. 9] No Hybrids’ or Mutant fish 10] No Native fish.

For more information contact Lee Scott at (802) 537-2713 or

May 2012


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Jerry O'Farrell 2 Robert Hamje 3 Richard Waizman

red-tailed black shark red

& white betta

pink half-moon betta

Unofficial 2012 Bowl Show totals to date: Robert Hamje 8

Jerry O'Farrell


Carlotti deJager 3 Richard Waizman 2

A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Wallace Deng, Rod Du Casse, Peter Goldfien, Ben & Emma Haus, Ron Kasman, Jackleen Minassi-Hafvani, Temes Mo, Dick Moore, Mark Soberman, Ed Vukich, Herb Walgren, and Teddy Yan! A special welcome to new member Steven Panagiotidis!

Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: Greater City Aquarium Society

East Coast Guppy Association

Next Meeting: June 6, 2012 Speaker: Rich Levy Topic: Virtual Fishroom Tours: Joe Ferdenzi and Jules Birnbaum Meets: Meets the first Wednesday of the month (except January & February) at 7:30pm: Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main Street - Flushing, NY Contact: Dan Radebaugh (718) 458-8437 Email: Website:

Meets: 2nd Tuesday of each month at at 8:00 pm. Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. Contact: Gene Baudier (631) 345-6399

Big Apple Guppy Club Meets: Last Tuesday each month (except Jan, Feb, July, and August) at 7:30-10:00pm. Alley Pond Environmental Ctr.: 228-06 Northern Blvd. Contact: Donald Curtin (718) 631-0538

Brooklyn Aquarium Society Next Meeting: May 11, 2012 Speaker: None Event: Giant Spring Auction Meets: 2nd Friday of the month (except July and August) at 7:30pm: NY Aquarium - Education Hall, Brooklyn, NY Call: BAS Events Hotline: (718) 837-4455 Website:

Long Island Aquarium Society Next Meeting: May 18, 2012 Speaker: Joe Carpinone Topic: Ponds Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) 8:00pm. Room 120 in Endeavor Hall on theState University at Stony Brook Campus, Stony Brook, NY Email: Margaret Peterson - Website:


May 2012

Nassau County Aquarium Society Next Meeting: May 8, 2012 Speaker: Rit Forcier Topic: Collecting in Florida Meets: 2nd Tuesday of the month (except July and August) at 7:30 PM Molloy College - Kellenberg Hall ~1000 Hempstead Ave Rockville Centre, NY Contact: Mike Foran (516) 798-6766 Website:

NORTH JERSEY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting: May 17, 2012 Speaker: Mark Denaro Topic: TBA Meets at: The Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next Meeting: May 17, 2012 Speaker: Amanda Wenger Topic: Collecting and growing CT native aquatic plants Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS Email: Website:

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Take Me To Your Leader! A series by The Undergravel Reporter In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of the Editor, or of the Greater City Aquarium Society. The robotic fish seen from below pair of engineers from New York’s Polytechnic Institute have discovered that real fish will follow a robot fish if it will help them use less energy swimming. As they describe in a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface1 they built a small robot fish for other fish to follow in a controlled environment. Their robotic fish has a big plastic body. Attached to it is a motorized tail that can move back and forth. They dunked it into a water tunnel containing golden shiners, Notemigonus crysoleucas, who regularly school in large groups. Videos of this are on YouTube2 and on the website phys.org3.

A When the robot’s tail was not moving, the real fish just ignored it. However, once the robot’s tail began moving back and forth, the fish fell in line behind it, swimming in the wake created by the flapping tail.

Once the fish were in formation, they then slowed the speed of their own tail movements, most likely because the movement of the robot leader’s tail reduced the drag forces on the fish, making their own swimming more efficient (think of a race car tailing behind another car to reduce drag). It has been suggested that this experiment might help scientists build a better robotic leader of fish. Such a device could one day guide fish away from ecological disasters (such as oil spills) or other threats. Personally, I think that this has potential in the hobby. Think about robotic dither fish that never add to the bioload in the aquarium, but that are accepted and followed by the real fish in the tank. Better yet, what about a robotic fish that will lead real fish right into a net?

this robot fish is made from Legos®. it moves like a fish, but not in water. it serves no useful purpose, making it a perfect conclusion to an Undergravel Reporter column!4

1 -7b32-4d81-8e59-c9529a982ac0 2 3 4

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

May 2012 May 2012


17 29

Fin Fun The challenge is simply to put each of these cichlids into the correct category. If you wait until after this month’s program on Dwarf Cichlids, you will improve your chances of achieving a perfect score. Cichlid



Pelvicachromis taeniatus Apistogramma agassizii Cichlasoma synspilus Nanacara anomala Cyphotilapia frontosa Aequidens rivulatus Dicrossus filamentosa Astronotus ocellatus Microgeophagus altispinosa Apistogramma nijsseni

Solution to our last puzzle:



May 2012 May 2012

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