Modern Aquarium April 2011

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April 2011 volume XVIII number 2

Series III ON THE COVER Our cover photo this month features a pair of Steatocranus casuarius, popularly called the buffalo head cichlid. For information on keeping and spawning this personable, distinctive-looking cichlid from Africa’s Congo River basin, see Jules Birnbaum’s article on page 11. Photo by Alexandra Horton

Vol. XVIII, No. 2 April, 2011

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2011 Program Schedule President’s Message


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

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

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.

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

Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers Our Guest Speaker: Andre Carletto by Claudia Dickinson

Fish Bytes by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica

Caring for and Breeding the Buffalo Head Steatocranus casuarius by Jules Birnbaum

Serendipity by Rich Levy

A Recipe for Smiles by Susan Priest

I Think I See A(nother) Lionfish! by Stephen Sica

Photos from our Last Meeting by Susan Priest

No, It’s NOT a Guppy! by Alexander A. Priest

Member Classifieds Our Generous Members G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter Can I Put This in my Tanks?

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) Wanna Fight?

2 3 4 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 20 22 25 25 26 27 28

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh


ast month I began this column with updates to recent events and stories. This month, rather than updates, the theme seems to be “return,” and this theme starts right away, on the front cover. Alexandra Horton, whose photo of Neolamprologus similis graced our September 2009 issue cover, this month provides us with photos of another African cichlid, Steatocranus casuarius, often called the buffalo head. One of Alexandra’s photos adorns our cover; a couple more appear in her grandfather Jules Birnbaum’s article on the care and breeding of this distinctive denizen of the Congo River basin. Steve Sica tells us about his return to the Caribbean to have fun diving and further documenting the spread of the invasive lionfish in those waters. This time he brings back even more gorgeous photos than before. In his column “Fish Bytes,” Steve also brings us up to date with what’s been appearing in other aquarium society publications. Rich Levy tells us how, by returning to his “roots,” he was able to write an article and pass on some aquarium knowledge and enthusiasm to a younger generation. For better or worse, that’s probably about as far as I can push the “return” theme. By contrast, for the first time in my admittedly brief tenure as Editor, we have “tag-team” articles. In “A Recipe for Smiles,” Susan Priest gives us an evocative description of a favorite fish tank, and Al Priest follows later in the issue with an article on the inhabitants of that tank―the species in this case being the Endler’s livebearer. And no, it’s NOT just a guppy! Susan also contributes a photo spread from last month’s meeting. “The Undergravel Reporter” and the “Fin Fun”


finish the issue. Be sure and see page 7 for Claudia Dickinson’s introduction of this evening’s speaker, Andre Carletto! Enjoy! * * * 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 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, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

GCAS Programs 2011


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 2

Joseph Ferdenzi Substrate-spawning Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika

April 6

Andre Carletto

Aquatic Habitats In Brazil: A Killifish Perspective May 4

Judith Weis Do Fish Sleep?

June 6


July 6


August 3

Silent Auction

September 5


October 5


November 2


December 7

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 2011 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)

April 2011


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


irst of all, I offer a big “Thank You!” to Joe Ferdenzi, who stepped up last month to fill in for a cancelled speaker. As always, Joe provided us with an informative, entertaining, and well-illustrated presentation. Last month I told you about the changes in our Board, and a couple of you noted that our new Recording Secretary, Tommy Chang, was not in attendance. Well, Tommy won’t be in attendance this evening either. Tommy managed to slip on some of the ice we’ve enjoyed so often this winter, and broke an ankle. We wish him well, and hope for his speedy return. This month I have another change to mention. After years of wearing too many hats to even count, Claudia Dickinson has

decided it’s time to cut back to a moderately more reasonable commitment load. While Claudia will still retain many of her hats, the Membership chair will be taken over by Marsha Radebaugh. We’re also looking for someone to take over as NEC Delegate. If you’re interested, and are able to occasionally make the trip to Connecticut, please do give me a call or talk to me during a meeting. As you’ll see in a notice on page 8 of this issue, the Brooklyn Aquarium Society is throwing a 100th Birthday Party on July 8th at the New York Aquarium. I’m sure that all of us here at GCAS wish them the best, and that many of us will be joining them at their celebration. Mazel tov!


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(718) 469-5444 April 2011

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GCAS Thanks You! Our Generous Sponsors and Advertisers The Greater City Aquarium Society extends our heartfelt thanks to the following manufacturers for their generous donations. Thanks also to our advertisers, whose contributions to our success as a Society are deeply appreciated. Please patronize our supporters. Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Aquarium Technology Inc Ecological Laboratories HBH Pet Products Koller-Craft Kordon, LLC Marineland Microbe Lift Ocean Nutrition America Omega Sea Red Sea

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Rena Rolf C. Hagen San Francisco Bay Brand Seachem Zoo Med Laboratories Inc. Cameo Pet Shop Coral Aquarium Nassau Discus World Class Aquarium Zoo Rama Aquarium

April 2011


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April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The G.C.A.S. Proudly extends a most Warm Welcome to

Our Guest Speaker Andre Carletto Speaking on Aquatic Habitats In Brazil: A Killifish Perspective by Claudia Dickinson


rowing up in São Paulo, Brazil, Andre Carletto has shared his life with every creature imaginable. If it flew, swam, walked, slithered, or crawled, it more than likely had spent time residing in or around the Carletto household. Andre’s mother recalls a day at the zoo when her infant son was suddenly not to be found. To her horror and panic, Andre had crawled inside the lion cage and was nestled in with the large cats as if he was one of their own. His immense love of all creatures has always included those of aquatic nature, and as a teenager Andre discovered his true passion: killifish. From that time on, over a span of 20 years, he has been hooked on killies, and has certainly made his mark in the killie world. Studying biology at the University of São Paulo (USP), it was there that Andre did special studies on the ecology and morphology of killies. He went on to co-found the Killie Clube do Brasil (KCB). Andre began collecting excursions, at which time he was able to gather ecological information regarding various habitats. These trips led to the discovery of numerous new species, a new genus Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

and even the rediscovery of a species that had disappeared from the trade for over 40 years! A supreme honor was bestowed upon Andre when a killifish was named after him, the Simpsonichthys carlettoi. An active member of the American Killifish Association, Long Island Killifish Association, and British Killifish Association, Andre has written numerous articles for each of the organizations’ respective publications. He is a highly sought after speaker across the globe, having spoken in Brazil, Canada, at the AKA Convention in New York, and throughout the northeast. Presently residing in Connecticut, where he works as a technical consultant, Andre maintains 30 tanks in his fishroom. The majority of these house killifish, with a few diverging into cichlids, as well as other groups. It is such a great honor, and with such pleasure, that we welcome Andre as he joins us tonight to share Aquatic Habitats In Brazil: A Killifish Perspective.

April 2011



April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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

by Stephen Sica with Donna Sosna Sica


t’s the last week of January, and today’s weather forecast was for a few snow flurries. However, as I look out the window from afar late this morning, it’s been snowing heavily for over two hours, so now I just have to get up and check it out more closely. It sure looks like a lot of snow to me, but to paraphrase Jimmy Buffet when he said in his song, “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere,” I guess it’s not snowing somewhere, but right about now I’m hard pressed to figure out exactly where. In the Bucks County Aquarium Society’s September 2010 issue of The Buckette, Mark Denaro was appointed (or did he volunteer?) to be their new exchange columnist. In what may be his first column, named “Seining the Exchanges,” Mark gives lengthy summaries of Al Priest’s “The Cave Secret…or Spawning/ Mouthbrooding Bettas” and Joe Ferdenzi’s “Live Foods: My Perpetual Daphnia Tank.” In Mark’s October exchange column, he discusses Al’s “When Three’s Not a Crowd,” which is about introducing an additional betta to induce spawning. The Buckette’s editor, Carol Ross, suggests a nice site for aquarium plants, www. In the September 2010 Fins & Tales of the Kitchener-Waterloo Aquarium Society, Zenin Skomorowski’s “Exchange Editor’s Report” is brilliant! He had so many club publications to review (I know the feeling) that he prepared a diagram listing the date (issue), publication, publisher (club), author, and article title. Modern Aquarium articles were mentioned four times: Tommy Chang’s “MTS: Is There a Cure?,” Claudia

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Dickinson’s “Conservation Awareness: A CARES Conservation Priority Species Success Story,” Al Priest’s “A Touch of Gold: Beta Midas,” and my “Grand Cayman’s North Sound.” In the October issue, Zenin acknowledges Dan Radebaugh’s “Is That Model Available in Turquoise?” and Sue Priest’s book review of Tetras and Barbs. Both of these were in the July 2010 Modern Aquarium. In the same issue, KWAS’s Ed Koerner, in his “PlantED” Tank column, discusses some rare plants, including Anubias heterophylla. This is a larger species that can grow up to twenty-four inches tall, with its leaves reaching over a foot long. It is quite slow growing, with only two to four new leaves each year. Also, in his October 2010 column about substrates, he explains that basic, unscented cat litter is an excellent substrate. He has had it in several display tanks for two years. Made with clay and diatomaceous earth, its appearance is “gray and boring when dry,” but when wet “it looks rather similar to fluorite. It can be…dusty, but settles quickly.” The November 2010 Kitchener-Waterloo Fins & Tales’ “Exchange Editor’s Report” also mentions Al Priest’s September 2010 betta article “When Three’s Not a Crowd.” Please note that the Durham Regional Aquarium Society, located in Ontario and publisher of the monthly Tank Talk, participates in the C.A.R.E.S. conservation program. Nine members of the society participate, and care for at least sixteen different species. The January 2011 issue’s cover photo, of two Xenotilapia flavipinnis side by side but facing in opposite directions,

April 2011


is perhaps the most beautiful freshwater fish an upswing. I guess the old proverb (that goes photograph that I have ever seen! It was taken by something like this) may be true: You’re born the DRAS’s past president Klaus Steinhaus. For poor, and despite your best efforts to become calendar year 2011, DRAS member Derek P.S. financially successful by a lifetime of hard work Tustin is writing a monthly column that he has and saving, you still die poor (probably poorer named “Year of the Rainbowfish.” The DRAS has nowadays). Is this the American success story or a nice website. It does archive articles, but this the story of America? new column appears to be too new to have been The November 2010 issue of Paradise Press uploaded to the website; therefore if anyone is contained two very interesting articles on seining interested in Rainbowfish, you can try to research for tropical fish off Long Island beaches. One it online in a few months or give me your e-mail had photographs of some of these fish, such as address and I’ll forward it to you before I delete the blue-spotted coronetfish, the orange filefish, it. the houndfish (that I had never heard of or seen In Pam Chin’s monthly column, “Ask before), as well as the bandtail puffer fish, and Pam #96,” in the the pinfish, which September/October is a cousin of the issue of the Cichlidae porgy―another Communique, a species that I had reader informs us that never heard of before. Taiwan has developed I have read the last a fluorescent cichlid. I few editions of the wouldn’t be surprised Press online. The if sooner or later every new editor, Roxana tropical fish in the Tuohy, is doing a hobby either glows, great job! lights up, twinkles, or The January/ blinks―or maybe all February 2011 issue of these at once. The of The Youngstown November/December Aquarist contains 2010 Cichlidae This Harlequin bass is four inches of vertical stripes and splashes, a Breeders Forum C o m m u n i q u e with a dash of yellow. It may be pretty, but Donna can make it spill column, in which contains a recap of the the beans. Club member Brian American CichlidAssociation’s annual convention. LaNeve discusses his acquisition and spawning of Claudia Dickinson is the first woman in thirtyNannostomus marginatus, the dwarf pencil fish. four years to be awarded the Association’s highest It’s a very easy fish to keep, and small, so it does honor of “Fellow.” Another reader submitted a not require much space. I kept several in a six homemade frozen food recipe for her Tropheus. gallon tank a few years back. If you like pencil There are sixteen ingredients, so my advice is the fish, you should find this article worthwhile. purchase a commercial food off the shelf (or in And finally, I read in Mike Mathews’ this case from the freezer). By the way, Pam is “Spawning Rosy Red Minnows,” in the December not too thrilled by some of the ingredients, so I 2010 issue of the Circle City Aquarium Club’s won‘t list them here. If interested, ask Pam! On Fancy Fins, that these are native United States second thought, better not. The exchange section fish, which are commonly used as feeder fish. Mike of Pam’s “Cichlids in the News” column in the bred these egg layers in a ten gallon Sterilite® tub January/February 2011 Cichlidae Communique on his basement floor, with temperatures dropping mentions Dan Radebaugh’s “Going the Distance into the low sixties. These fish may make a good, with Paratheraps synspilus” from last October’s inexpensive novice project for breeding fish. Modern Aquarium. It took so long to write this column that it’s When I read last November’s Cichlid Blues, now sixty-five degrees outside with nary a hint of the Pacific Coast Cichlid Association’s newsletter, snow. Of course, when it comes to the weather, I saw that a columnist reduced his twenty-four tomorrow is another day―but not yet another fish tanks to six in order to save electricity. The column! politicians keep telling us that the economy is on 10

April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Caring for and Breeding the

Buffalo Head by Jules Birnbaum ast year I visited Ed Vukich’s fishroom and won’t disturb live plants. I change 25% of the tank was fascinated by some of his African cichlids. water weekly, at which time I also clean any gravel that He suggested I take home a few buffalo head is not covered by rocks. Their diet consists of flakes, juveniles, and gave me a little advice about their care cichlid pellets, and frozen bloodworms. I feed larger and breeding habits. The female fish get to be about portions when conditioning the pair for breeding. This four inches when fully grown, while males can reach is a very intelligent fish that somehow knows when up to six inches. They require at least a 30 gallon I’m about to feed them bloodworms—which seems to aquarium. The fish is unattractive to some, with adult be like steak to them. males having a huge nuchal hump on their heads. After my fish paired off I ended up with two Their color is dark black, tan, and gray. pairs and one extra male. This solo male took a When my granddaughter Alexandra first saw my beating from the breeding pair, so he was removed. new fish she said they were I also removed the sajicas now her favorites. So go to avoid overcrowding. I figure―what is ugly to one then set about giving the person is beautiful to another. fish the conditions to best After watching them for exhibit their very interesting awhile she evidently decided breeding behavior. One beauty is only skin deep. addition to the breeding The buffalo head’s setup, suggested by Ed Latin name is Steatocranus Vukich, was a couple of casuarius. This translates Evan Rosenthal’s ceramic to mean “fat head with a caves. These caves have prominent hump.” They are small openings that only part of the Cichlidae family. Male Steatocranus casuarius (buffalo head cichlid) the female can enter. The This fish comes from fast- peering out from the rockwork. male hung out just outside moving streams of the Congo the cave. One day I noticed River basin of Africa. They move very quickly, with the female sticking her head out of the cave, seeming an irregular, jerky motion. The males are larger than to guard the entrance. I was able to observe some the females, and have a more prominent hump. They relatively large eggs that were attached to the inside inhabit the lower portions of the tank and make a good back of the cave. cichlid community fish. However, like most cichlids, The eggs hatched in about a week, and the female they become very territorial when they pair off. at first kept the fry in the cave. I had no idea how The setup of my buffalo head tank is a 29 gallon many fry I had, but after the first week they started with lava rock built up long the back of the tank. The venturing out of the cave, shepherded by their mother. plants are Java ferns and small Anubias. Aquascaping Each evening the mother collected them in her mouth is easy, since the fish will not upset your work. The and moved them back into the cave. filtration is a Swiss Tropicals Poret sponge filter, with a jetlifter placed across one side wall of the tank. I discuss this filter now, but you can learn more about it on the internet. Any sponge or box filter will do for a breeding setup. You can also use a hang-on filter, but the intake pipe should be covered with something like a pre-filter sponge. Among the advantages of these African cichlids is that they can tolerate a wide range of pH and temperature. Mine are kept at a pH of about 7.2, and a temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. They get along with most fish, and they have had several Archocentrus sajica, a Central American cichlid, as tankmates. They Female Steatocranus casuarius guarding her fry in the


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

cave. April 2011


Using a turkey baster, I fed the fry with my own concoction of microworms and fine dry fry food mixed with water. After the third week the fry had the same shape and color as their parents, but without the hump on the forehead. The fry started roaming freely around the tank, but in the evening they were again herded back to the cave. I counted about twenty very active fry. You might be wondering about the other pair, but they were not a problem since they had set up shop on the other side of the tank in their own cave. The second pair does not bother the fry, which are now swimming all over the tank. At about one month old, the fry are eating whatever I feed the parents. I continue giving


them one shot of brine shrimp per day. The parents will soon want to spawn again, so I have to think about breaking the tank down to remove the fry and then putting the breeding setup back together. These are wonderful fish with a tremendous personality. My experience with them has been very rewarding, and has given me a new appreciation of cichlids as parents. I’ve seen average prices of $20 per fish on the internet, so they are a bargain if you can find them at our auctions.

Photos by Alexandra Horton

April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Serendipity by Rich Levy or me, the most difficult part of writing an article kribs had already bred. I was going to let them move is where to begin. But let’s go back to why I the parents, and see from the beginning what baby fry wanted to write this article in the first place. I looked like. They were so excited, wanting to do more, was at our December Greater City Awards Banquet, that it rubbed off on me. I couldn’t wait to invite them sitting with Harry Faustmann and Jeff and Barbara over again to see the new fry! Wouldn’t you know Bollbach, when I realized that I would be enjoying it, for some reason what took one week the first time myself a lot better if I were more a part of it. Not now wasn’t happening at all. I waited and waited and having written an article or taken part in the breeders’ watched and watched. Had they laid eggs and eaten award program sort of left me out of a major part of them, or did something else happen? Once I saw eggs this event. Hearing Dan Radebaugh give a speech in the cave and even some wigglers, but no swimming asking for more articles made me decide that my New fry. Then I realized that I hadn’t disconnected the Year’s Resolution would be to write an article. outside filter that I had in this tank. I did that and Having determined to waited again. This time I write an article, I needed a got fry, and couldn’t wait subject. Why not kill two until the kids recovered birds with one stone, and from the flu to visit again. breed some fish? Come Back to the serendipity to think of it, I was having part. I’ll leave the breeding trouble breeding my dwarf to Jeff and Harry, but my kribensis (Pelvicachromis role and expertise lies in pulcher). I took my two working with our next kribensis out of their small generation of fishkeepers. five gallon tank on the The CARES program falls bottom of my stand, and set apart if no one is interested up a 20 gallon tank on the in conserving fish. Besides, Neighbors Lauren and Olivia enjoying the fishroom. top for them to breed. After Photo by Rich Levy. I get great joy in seeing our watching them for a period hobby enjoyed. So I now of time I noticed that they looked very similar, and knew what I was going to write about, and how to I wasn’t certain which was the male and which was change what once was a simple fish breeding exercise the female. Harry confirmed my suspicion that what into an ongoing experience with young people who I had been told was a pair, wasn’t―I had two males. were motivated. Aha! That explained why for the past year and a half Before the girls came back, I had to figure out the I hadn’t gotten any fry. next logical step, and to make sure it was hands-on. A trip to the pet store and finding a perfect female So, my guppies had to be moved, and I now had three solved that problem. Awhile back, I had bred kribensis twenty gallon tanks dedicated to kribs. and enjoyed the way they took care of their young. I had a breeding cave, plus an extra hiding place under a piece of a clay pot. No sooner had the New Year begun than I had fry! I was excited, but disappointed at the same time. What was I going to write? I didn’t think it was going to happen this quickly, and I hadn’t even checked the water chemistry! I knew I had to repeat the experiment and start recording everything I had done. It was around that time that serendipity occurred. We had promised our new neighbors and their two young daughters that we were going to have them over for dessert. I knew the girls would enjoy seeing my fishroom. Once a teacher, always a teacher. I wanted them to have a hands-on experience with the fish, so Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher) pair. I planned out what I wanted them to see and do. I Photo courtesy of cleared out the 20 gallon tank next to the one where the


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2011


We had one tank with the parents and the F2 generation; we had another with a lot of the F1 generation. Since the girls were coming back to see and compare both generations, it would be nice to know how many we had surviving from the first generation. Well, let’s let them count how many. Because they are six and four years old, I prepared ahead of time to make it easier for them. I emptied the F1 tank and put all the juveniles into one container from which they could easily be netted. Another container was set up into which to scoop the fry. Doing it ten at a time, and letting them do all the counting, they ended up getting 48 juveniles into each of the twenty gallon tanks for a grand total of 96. I explained to them that our next step (visit) would be to see how the fry were growing. I told them that if we kept all 96 of them in the same tank they wouldn’t grow as fast as if we put them into two tanks. At this point, based on their interest and questions, I’d know what our next step would be. After checking with their parents, I told the girls that I had a Siamese fighting fish and bowl that they could keep. The first thing Olivia, the oldest, saw


when she entered the fishroom was that betta. Lauren was more interested in my golf game in the room, but said that she would help her sister in taking care of the betta. I thank Olivia and Lauren for keeping me on track for what I want to happen in my fishroom. Or to quote the famous Joe Ferdenzi, “It’s my fishroom, and I’ll do what I want to!”

Pelvicachromis pulcher pair in breeding tank with fry. Photo by Rich Levy.

April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

by Susan Priest

his is a recipe for an aquarium, and not a pot of soup, but I’m sure you have already figured that out. The combination of three simple ingredients which I am about to describe will result in exceedingly pleasing results. And yes, this story, as well as the aquarium, does have some fish in it. We will get to them shortly, but first, here is a brief background sketch. This aquarium was our very first tank. It has been in continuous operation for twentyplus years. It is smaller than most (eight gallons). It is acrylic, and has a hinged,


which is where I spend most of my waking hours, so I pass by it frequently. It has three different elements, “ingredients,” if you will, which contribute to its charm. First, there are the plants. There is only one species of plant in this tank, and that is hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum). It consists of a gorgeous, free-floating conglomeration of golden green which occupies the upper two thirds of the tank. All of the stems are entwined among each other, and even though you can see each stem, whorl, and even each small frond, the overall

Our Endlers tank tightly fitting hood. Over these many years it has been home to a wide variety of inhabitants, none of which are the topic of this story, so let’s keep moving. One of the reasons I am frequently drawn to this aquarium throughout the day is that as I am walking past, it is exactly at my eye level. Another is that it is in my living room, Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

photo by Al Priest

effect is one of a coherent cloud-like cluster. (Hornwort can also be grown rooted in the substrate, or even in a submerged pot, if this is your preference.) Last summer I cut way back on the lighting (3-4 hours a day), in an effort to keep the tank from overheating. The plants suffered under this treatment, to the point

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where I thought that they might not recover. As soon as the worst of the hot weather was over, I started to extend the hours of lighting. During the winter I have had the light on for fourteen to sixteen hours a day, and the hornwort is thriving on this schedule. I don’t use a “plant light,” or a complicated combination of bulbs. There is just one 15W fluorescent tube. The tank is virtually free of algae. (It occurs to me that the population of fish had also dwindled, and it has since rebounded nicely along with the plants. Read into that what you will!) This brings me to the second ingredient; the snails. There is a modest colony of small dark brown snails in the tank. I don’t know what species they are, and I didn’t put them in there. I suspect that a few of the eggs were stow-aways among the hornwort. They occupy virtually every surface, from the gravel to the box filter to the lava rock to the walls to the waterline. (This description makes it sound as if the tank is overrun with them, which it is not.) They particularly like to gambol among the plants. Most of them are the size of a sesame seed, but when they get to be as large as a peppercorn I pluck them out and drop them into the nearby ninety gallon community aquarium as a treat for the clown loach which resides therein. I don’t know if snails will consume algae, but I suspect that they are opportunistic, and not particularly fussy eaters. This leads me to believe that they would not turn up their noses (do snails have noses?) at a nibble of algae “crudites.” Finally I am ready to tell you about the third ingredient, which is, of course, the fish. I haven’t given you even the slightest hint as to their identity. (That is unless you have already looked at the photo!) If you are still reading, then you deserve a prompt resolution to this question. This aquarium is home to a spritely and colorful colony of Endler’s livebearers (Poecilia wingei). They are small, of course. Only the mature females achieve the total length of a full inch. The males are barely larger than half an inch, and are boldly colored, with neon orange being the most eye catching aspect. The caudal fin appears to be lyre-shaped with a small sword, but look again! On very close inspection, it reveals itself to be spade-shaped with transparent rays in between the colorful 16 18

edges. (We were only able to observe this through the high magnification lenses on Al’s camera.) I couldn’t say for sure because I have always kept them in a species tank, but I suspect that in nature they would form a shoal, as I have often seen them do so even in these small environs. The effect is subtle because of their diminutive size, but at the same time they will capture your attention as efficiently as the largest and most active of fish. These fish pay no attention to me. When I stand in front of the tank they don’t come rushing over in expectation of being fed. Lifting the lid does seem to bring many of them to the upper reaches of the tank (among the hornwort), while others wait patiently below for morsels of some sort to drift down to them. Even though this is an article about the aquarium, and not the care of the fish*, I will briefly comment on their diet. They get fed twice daily to insure that the fry, of which there are always new arrivals, are getting enough nutrition. In the morning I feed them a crushed version of one of several varieties of dry foods such as color flakes, micro pellets, or “golden pearls.” In the evening they get a generous finger full of micro-worms. One of my favorite activities is scouting out newborn fry. Imagine looking for something the size of a sliver off the tip of the nail on your pinky finger; something that really doesn’t want to be noticed. (You might want to arm yourself with a flashlight and a magnifying glass.) You can’t see their fins at this stage, of course; just a silvery movement that has you asking yourself “did I really see that?” As the fry grow and take on their adult characteristics, you will know for sure that, yes, you really did see those tiny transparent bolts of life. So, now that we have combined these three simple ingredients, hornwort, “peppercorn snails,” and Endler’s livebearers, what has this recipe got to offer? A tank full of joy, awe, inspiration, whimsy, and smiles. Lots and Lots of smiles! *If you would like to learn more about Endler’s livebearers, then read the companion article “No, It’s NOT A Guppy,” by my husband Al, which can be found on page 22 of this issue.

April April 2011 2011

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

I THINK I SEE A (NOTHER) LIONFISH! Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


hen Donna and I were in Key Largo last October, I asked the co-owner of the dive facility that we patronize, if there were lionfish in this locale. We had never seen one during our prior annual visits. He answered that there were many, and further elaborated that the local dive industry had recently conducted a one-day roundup, during which they caught several hundred. He said that all of the fish were destroyed. Fast-forward from the last week of October to the first week of December. Donna arranged a seven-day cruise out of Florida, so we made arrangements with the cruise company to dive in Grand Cayman, Roatan, and Cozumel. I had previously seen lionfish in two of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman, but we had last dived in Cayman Brac about five years ago, and had seen no lionfish. I still don’t know if there are lionfish in the Brac, but I assume that there are. I was curious about Roatan because it was farther south than Cozumel, and farther west than the places (mostly the Bahamas) where I had seen them in quantity. I was looking forward to this trip because it was our anniversary and we would be diving. A week before the trip, I prepped our dive gear, and my camera, underwater case and strobe. I like the old adage that “a bad day of diving is better than a good day at work,” but after a few close calls over the years I know better. But a good day of diving is better than any day at work. Not that I work anymore! As the ship left Fort Lauderdale on a sunny late afternoon, I was looking forward to good weather and warm water. As the cruise developed, the weather was not so good and the southern waters were beginning to cool. Some rainy days made us eager to be underwater where, believe it or not, it feels “dryer” or at least warmer, because you don’t have that cold wind caressing your wet body. The itinerary for our cruise dictated that we would be diving for three consecutive days in Grand Cayman, Roatan, and finally, Cozumel. When we arrived at Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Grand Cayman, we left the ship with our gear, and after several transfers and signing a waiver of liability we were finally on our dive boat. I don’t know for sure, but it seems that every tourist-related enterprise involved in the use of a motor vehicle has to drive you somewhere to earn a piece of the fee! Anyway, once we were underwater, we were swimming along what I perceived to be the blandest wall in all of the Cayman Islands. There was nothing to photograph! I realize that I am somewhat jaded as a result of many years diving, but believe me when I say that there was nothing worthwhile to photograph. After twenty minutes, it was time to swim up the wall and explore the reef atop it while returning to the boat. The whole dive would take forty to fifty minutes, depending on how quickly we would breathe our gas supply. Since Donna and I are not big for our size―whatever that means―we are fairly “light” breathers, and can usually extend our bottom time. Under these circumstances, the extra time can cause a decompression issue. As another other old saying goes, nothing is free. The moral―always monitor your computer or other instruments for depth, time, and gas supply. If you do this, and don’t forget to do it, diving is relatively simple―unless you get lost, or are stuck in a strong current with a dwindling gas supply. Someday, I may write about our experiences in the Sea of Cortez; now that was exciting! The bright blue starfish there were quite striking, and still linger in my mind. At the time I did not own a camera suitable for underwater photography. But back to Grand Cayman. At the end of the wall portion of our dive, some people were pointing forward and down, so I swam deeper and spotted a lone adult lionfish hovering in a fishbowl-shaped hollow. I had mixed emotions, because while the lionfish is not good for the reef, it is a colorful and exciting sight to see in its new Caribbean and Atlantic habitat. They usually hang out in protected areas. If there is no cave or overhang they are relatively easy to photograph, because they rarely swim away from their small territory during daytime. I took a few

April 2011


parallel to the island, almost all diving is done as a drift dive. You literally speed past the fish at one or two knots, with very little time to observe them, and even less time to contemplate taking a photo, unless you can duck behind a coral head or into a depression to avoid the current. Most drift diving is along a sandy bottom with an occasional coral head or small reef. It’s exciting, and when the current is running very fast, it can be humorous too! You can gauge another diver’s experience level or just plain luck by how he or she handles the current. Usually, an experienced diver will float along straightforward, while others move aimlessly―that is, backwards, sideways, tumbling, too close-ups and started to swim in the boat’s direction, since I was below the dive’s planned maximum depth. After a few yards I came across another solitary adult lionfish. I took a few more photos and swam up to the reef, where we continued our dive without any more lionfish sightings. A second dive an hour later was lionfish free. The next day found us in Roatan, diving in a cold, drizzly rain. Since it was overcast, the underwater world was rather gray and less colorful. Donna theorized that this was why we saw an octopus swimming out in the open and not fleeing from the divers in our group. It’s the first time that we ever saw a free-swimming octopus. I was able to snap ten photos. The octopus was doing such a great job of blending in to its surroundings that when I examined enlarged photos on my computer, I was not impressed. A little while later I found the “mother lode” of lionfish. Under a ledge, there were three lionfish hovering within four or five feet of each other. I could not get close enough for a good photo as a result of the spread of the fish and the ledge, but I took one long-

high in the water column, and sometimes upside down! It’s comical to see people going by in every which way possible! I like to pretend that I’m superman with my arms outstretched. If my camera throws me off balance, I’ll start going sideways, and it’s hard to compensate and straighten out. I can imagine how goofy I must look! The lead divemaster has a float or diver’s flag on the surface, attached to a line so the boat can follow along to pick up divers when they run low on air. Another divemaster follows the group to assist stragglers or provide aid in an emergency. You try to swim near the bottom, which is approximately sixty feet deep. This depth is the sport-diving cutoff for shallow versus deep diving. There were no lionfish, but we did see two green sea turtles; one was very large. We also saw some big groupers, and innumerable angelfish and filefish. The accompanying photographs are some of the lionfish that we saw in Grand Cayman and Roatan Island, Honduras.

distance photo of all three together and then several photos of one or two at a time. I swam away, but decided to go back, and took several more group photos from a distance. It was the first time that we saw two or more lionfish together. On our second dive that day we found one more lionfish. We saw a total of six lionfish during four dives in two days. In Cozumel we did two more dives and saw no lionfish. Due to the prevailing currents that always run


April 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

April 2011


Pictures from our

Marsha Radebaugh with Door Setting up the evening’s program. Harsha Perera of Zoorama Aquarium in the Bronx. Prize book and tickets.

Warren Feuer and Jason Kerner

Carlotti DeJager holding her Brooklyn Aquarium Society favorite magazine. President, Joe Graffagnino.

Herb Walgren

Frank Bonicci

Leonard Ramroop recording the Bowl Show winners.

Steve Miller

Sharon Barnett

Greater City’s hard working Treasurer, Jules Birnbaum.

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

last meeting Photos by Susan Priest

Welcome to our newest Greater City members:

Teddy Yan

Chriscita and Wayne Morris

Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners:

2nd Place: Mario Bengcion 3rd Place: Richard Waizman

1st Place: Harry Faustmann

Door Prize Winner: Bill Amely. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S Modern Aquarium - Greater City(NY) A.S. (NY)

April2011 2011 April

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Article and Photos by Alexander A. Priest any aquarium hobbyists even today believe that the Endler’s livebearer is “just a guppy.” Even the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia cites an expert who claims these fish are just guppies, and not a separate species at all: “According to Stan Shubel, the author of Aquarium Care for Fancy Guppies, the Endler guppy is in fact not a separate species. The Endler guppy has the same genetic makeup as the guppy [Poecilia reticulata], yet is given its own name, “Poecilia wingei” for conservation purposes.”1 Wikipedia further notes that, while Endler’s livebearers are not on the the IUCN “Red List” of endangered species, they are in danger of extinction from human encroachment and pollution. There is some speculation that they may even be extinct in the wild, due to the fact that a city garbage dump was built next to the only place where they were known to exist, the lagoon Laguna de Patos.2 A 2005 article in Contributions to Zoology stated: “The recognition of P. wingei results from observed character displacement, i.e., on the interaction between two closely related species in a shared environment. In addition to differences in coloration, behaviour also indicates specific


differences.”.... “Its closest relative is the common guppy, P. reticulata, sharing identical meristic data, but differing by its enhanced metallic body pigmentation. This brightness in body pigmentation is also noticed in the females of P. wingei. Moreover, in the zone adjacent to the distribution area of the common guppy, P. wingei males exhibit a unique melanophore pattern, viz., a large band in the midsection of its body. The importance of this feature, i.e., the spatial distribution of melanophore patterns, is decisive for its recognition as a valid species.”3 (Note: meristic data relates to quantitative, or countable, features of fish, such as the number of fins or scales.) The current thinking in the scientific community appears to be that Poecilia wingei is a valid species, separate and distinct from that of the common guppy, Poecilia reticulata. So for the balance of this article, I will be treating Endler’s livebearer as a separate species, Poecilia wingei. It should be noted that since it can breed with the common guppy, hybridized cross-breeds are, unfortunately, not uncommon. My description of this species and of their care and maintenance is based on the population my wife and I have kept

A (typically) gravid female Endlers



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

A male Endlers for several years. We received them from former Greater City President Joe Ferdenzi, who assured us they are a “pure” strain (i.e., not crossbred with guppies) that came from the aforementioned Laguna de los Patos. In fact, ours are descendants of the ones collected by Endler himself. (There are different populations, and they don't all look exactly alike.) Male Endlers have orange, black, yellow, green, and blue colors. Females are a uniform drab color, but often with a slight metalic body sheen. Both males and females are under one inch total adult length, with males being smaller than females. (I remember hearing that all males looked exactly alike, but this has not proven to be true.) Endlers are named after Professor John Endler, who collected them in northeastern Venezuela in 1975. (Actually, they were first discovered in 1937, and this was, in fact, a “rediscovery”). Dr. Endler’s collection ended up in Germany, where they became popular with hobbyists and were given the name “Endler’s Livebearer.” Dr. Endler collected them in warm (81E F 27E C), hard, and green (due to algae) water, where they coexisted with P. reticulata (also native to northeastern Venezuela). However, guppies are less common in places where Endler's Livebearers are found, as guppies prefer clear and cooler (77E F - 25E C) water. The species was given the scientific name Poecilia wingei in honor of the Danish biologist Dr. Øjvind Winge (1886-1964), head of the Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Department of Physiology at Carlsberg Laboratory (Copenhagen, Denmark) and “the father of yeast genetics.” He was the first geneticist to describe and demonstrate the genetics of a number of guppy mutations and traits in the late 1920s. These fish will eat almost anything small enough to fit into their mouths. As noted in my wife’s companion article (“A Recipe For Smiles,” elsewhere in this issue), our population is fed twice a day, with crushed flake or small pellet food in the morning and live microworms in the evening. One article I came across stated that water temperature during gestation affects the gender of the fry. For more males you should keep the temperature in the tank at 69E-70E F. For more females you should keep the temperature in the tank at 79E to 81E F.4 Our tank stays at around 79E F in the daytime, and drops to about 72E F at night (the heater in the tank is not plugged in). Since we do not appear to have an overabundance of females, I cannot verify this statement based on our experience. As is common among livebearers, a single insemination of the female will yield more than one brood of fry. Although Endlers were originally found in warm 81EF (27EC), hard, and alkaline water, they will adapt to local conditions. Wikipedia notes that: “Endler’s livebearers are hardy and undemanding in the aquarium though they prefer hard, warm water. The warmer the water, the faster they will grow; however this also seems to shorten their lifespan. They can be kept at 18EC (64EF) to 29EC (84EF) (66–82EF), but their

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optimum temperature seems to be 24EC (75EF) to 27EC (81EF). This is slightly higher than their guppy cousins which prefer 23EC (73EF) to 25EC (77EF).”5 They do best if kept in tanks with plants (preferably live plants, but fake will do) to give them hiding places. Although they appear to be less likely than guppies to eat their own young, plants will give the fry a better chance at survival. While I have not found any specific reference saying that hornwort grows in the natural habitat of Endlers, it is well documented that hornwort can be found worldwide. Based on our success with a combination of Endlers livebearers and hornwort (again, refer to Susan’s article), I would recommend it as a plant of choice for these fish. They are reported to be determinedly suicidal jumpers, so a cover on the tank is a must.

If you like small, active, colorful, and not very shy fish, you’ll love Endlers. As their common name implies, they are livebearers, with females producing live fry. While some books indicate that, like guppies, they will eat their fry, we have not found this to be the case (or if it is, it has not been a major problem). In our tank, very tiny fry compete side by side with nearly inch long adults for food, without any noticeable aggression or predation. So no, Endlers are NOT guppies (but they should never be mixed with guppies because they will interbreed, and hybrids are frowned upon by aquarists, especially if this could contaminate the gene pool of a species possibly endangered or even extinct in the wild). However, Endlers are just as easy to care for and breed as guppies.

1 3 Description of Poecilia (Acanthophacelus) wingei n. sp. from the Paría Peninsula, Venezuela, including notes on Acanthophacelus Eigenmann, 1907 and other subgenera of Poecilia Bloch and Schneider, 1801 (Teleostei, Cyprinodontiformes, Poeciliidae) - 4 5 2

2011 ALA CONVENTION Hosted by The Greater Akron Aquarium Society (GAAS) April 8th - 10th Convention registration is open! For more information, visit Contact: Everyone Welcome! 24 14

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

Member Classifieds EQUIPMENT: Tanks: 2 15 gallon, 2 20 gallon Call Jack: 914-390-4682 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Filters: Eheim 2076 (for tanks up to 90 gallons) $200 Marineland C-160 (tanks up to 30 gallons) $50 Call Temes: 718-468-1569 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Used computers (mostly laptops) $100 Call Dan: 347-866-1107

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: Mario Bengcion Jules Birnbaum Carlotti de Jager

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Gerry Domingo Joe Graffagnino Jack Traub

April 2011


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Harry Faustmann 2 Mario Bengcion 3 Richard Waizman

Killifish OB Peacock Half Moon Betta

A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Bill Amely, Sharon Barnett, Steve Berman, Jules Birnbaum, Jeff Bollbach, Arne Bristulf, Carlotti de Jager, Pete D’Orio, Gerry Domingo, Rod Du Casse, Harry Faustmann, Joe Ferdenzi, Warren Feuer, Michael Gallo, Walter Gallo, Arie Gilbert, Joe Graffagnino, Al Grusell, Ben & Emma Haus, Jason Irizarry, Rich Levy, Michael Macht, Donita Maynard, Temes Mo, Rod Mosely, Harsha Perera, Al & Sue Priest, Dan & Marsha Radebaugh, Donna & Steve Sica, Ed Vukich, Richard Waizman, Herb Walgren, and Ronald Wiesenfeld! A special welcome to new members A. Wayne Morris and Teddy Yan!

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: May 4, 2011 Speaker: Judith Weis Topic: Do Fish Sleep? 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: April 8, 2011 Speaker: Leslie Harris Event: Life Styles of Wet and Spineless 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: April 15, 2011 Speaker: Sal Silvestri Topic: Lake Tanganyka Cichlids Meets: 3rd Fridays (except July and August) 8:00pm. Room 120 in Endeavor Hall on the State University at Stony Brook Campus, Stony Brook, NY Email: Margaret Peterson - Website:


April 2011

Nassau County Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 12, 2011 Speaker: TBA Event: TBA 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: April 21, 2011 Speaker: Joseph Ferdenzi Event: Adventures in FishKeeping Meets: Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society Next Meeting: April 21, 2011 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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)

Can I Put This In My tanks? 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.

e’ve all seen those flavored waters in stores. We all know that fish live in water. Why not fish flavored water? (And no, this is not a slightly belated April Fool’s joke.) Well, it so happens that Krautkraemer’s, a New York City beverage company, produces a line of flavored water called MeatWater.1


And yes, as the name of this line of flavored waters implies, many of the flavors are indeed those of meat or poultry. But, as AOL News reported2 the flavors of poached salmon salad water and a Caribbean shrimp salad water (that can double as a vodka mixer) were added this January to join the other "fishy" flavors of fish’n chips, fried oysters, grilled clams, gefilte fish, shrimp pad Thai, escargot, and mountain oysters. (I'd like to try their pizza prosciuto and Hungarian goulash flavored waters.) You can find out about all of their flavors on their website (which advises that their gefilte fish is best enjoyed at “body temperature” while their poached salmon salad and shrimp salad waters are best enjoyed warm). Personally, I can’t see what the fuss is all about, I get a regular dose of fish flavored water every time I suck just a bit too hard while syphoning water from my tanks. Not very yummy—but it’s free!

Left to right: gefilte fish, poached salmon salad, and Caribbean shrimp salad water

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

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Fin Fun

Betta macrostoma in aggressive stance - photo by Al Priest Whether or not they really are more aggressive than most other fish, some species have common names that most certainly suggest that they are, well, pugilistic. See if you can correctly match the common names of these “fighters” with their scientific names. Common Name

Scientific Name

Black Belt Cichlid

Pseudosphromenus cupanus

Fighting Loach

Xiphophorus helleri

Green Terror

Betta splendens

Jack Dempsey

Ichthyborus ornatus

Ornate Fin Nipper

Micralestes acutidens

Sharp Toothed Tetra

Cichlasoma octofasciatum

Siamese Fighting Fish

Nemacheilus notostigma

Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish

Vieja maculicauda Aequidens rivulatus


What It’s Not

Answers to our last puzzle: IT IS a catfish IT IS from South America IT IS an egglayer IT IS a schooling fish IT IS a bottom dweller IT IS, of course, the ubiquitous



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April 2011

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