Modern Aquarium May 2011

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May 2011 volume XVIII number 3

Series III ON THE COVER On our cover this month is a male Betta falx, a very small mouthbrooding Betta, holding eggs in his mouth. For more information on this diminutive, easy-to-keep native of Sumatra, see Al Priest’s article on page 15. Photo by Alexander A. Priest GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY

Vol. XVIII, No. 3 May, 2011

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

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

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

The NEC 2010 Article Competition Our Guest Speaker: Judith Weis by Claudia Dickinson

Reflections of a Filter Collector by Jules Birnbaum

Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers My Favorite Marine Fish The Yellowhead Jawfish by Stephen Sica

Photos from our Last Meeting by Susan Priest

A Small Mouthful Betta falx by Alexander A. Priest

Wet Leaves by Susan Priest

Carpy Diem! Part I: The Old Guard by Dan Radebaugh

Our Generous Members G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter Tails, Long and Golden

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) Quit yer Carping!

2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10

12 15 19 21

24 26 27 28

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh t isn’t often that fish become media stars. Ever since Jaws, the great white shark has enjoyed star status, and back in my youth the sea lamprey made it big in the national media with the havoc it was causing in the Great Lakes following the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway. Newspaper editors in Florida also used to get a lot of mileage from worrying in print about what would happen if piranhas somehow found their way into local waters. This is all fairly understandable―death and destruction are the lifeblood of the news media, and the aforementioned species have enough of a reputation to gladden the heart of an editor who needs to generate some controversy and/or fill some space. But carp? It’s been amazing, but for the past couple of years they’ve been all over the newspapers, TV, and the internet. So not to be outdone, Modern Aquarium this month presents the first in a two-part series on carp in the USA. To show you what a hot topic this is, even as I was working on Part I, which deals with fish we aquarists are familiar with, Marsha showed me an article in The Epoch Times about yet another species of carp that has recently been declared “injurious” (definition to come in Part II) by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. One of the things I learned while researching this article is a method of live food cultivation that I’m sure we’ll all want to try. I’m of course talking about maggots! These are highly nutritious, and can be cultivated using very low-tech methods, the simplest of which is to just hang a piece of raw meat over your fish pond. Flies will in due course show up and lay eggs, and as the maggots hatch and begin crawling about on the tasty treat you have left for them, they’ll fall off their meal and into the mouths of your delighted fish. A variant of this is a rather more industrial application using a set of drawers. The upper drawer has a coarse wire mesh bottom, upon which you place offal (or whatever; in New York the possibilities boggle the mind). The flies come, lay their eggs, and as the maggots crawl about the offal, they fall through the mesh into the lower drawer, which you can then remove, and feed the harvested contents to your fish. You might also want to invest in some air freshener, and hope that you have extremely tolerant neighbors (and a strong stomach).



While the Undergravel Reporter and the Fin Fun puzzle do join delightfully in the carp theme, the issue isn’t all about carp. Claudia Dickinson tells us about this evening’s speaker, Judith Weis, and later in the issue, Susan Priest reviews Ms Weis’s new book, Do Fish Sleep? in her “Wet Leaves” column. Susan also provides us with a collection of photos from our April meeting. Al Priest’s “A Small Mouthful” gives us an indepth introduction to this month’s cover photo subject, Betta falx, a small, easy-to-keep, mouthbrooding betta from Sumatra. In “Reflections of a Filter Collector,” Jules Birnbaum shares some of his thoughts on the many types of aquarium filters we currently find ourselves able to choose from, while Steve Sica tells us about his current “Favorite Marine Fish,” the yellow-headed jawfish, which of course has been a favorite of aquarists on the saltwater side of the hobby for many years. Steve, however, takes us on a visit to the jawfish’s habitat, rather than discussing how to keep it in ours. 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, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

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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 May 4

Judith Weis Do Fish Sleep?

June 1

George Richter Adventures on the Amazon River!

July 6


August 3

Silent Auction

September 7


October 5


November 2

Ted Judy Going Gabon!

December 7

Holiday Party!


Winter Break


Winter Break

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)

May 2011


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


t our meeting last month, I got to do one of my favorite things―hand out awards to GCAS member-authors for their articles that have appeared in Modern Aquarium. In this case, the awards were from the Northeast Council of Aquarium Societies (NEC) for articles that appeared in 2010. For those of you who may not know about the NEC, it is an organization whose membership consists of over 25 aquarium clubs in the Northeast. It was established in l956 to assist and strengthen member societies, to act as a clearing house for material relating to the aquarium hobby, to assist local societies in publicizing their events, and to promote the aquarium hobby in general. Over the years the Council’s original purpose has expanded to include the several committees that are available to assist any member club, promote fish breeding and dissemination of fry, and encourage fish shows and the writing of articles for local club publications in order to share experiences. The NEC has hosted an Annual Convention since 1976. Among the NEC’s programs is a contest for articles and columns appearing in the publications of member societies. As an NEC member club, Greater

City participates in the NEC’s publication award program, and articles from Modern Aquarium have consistently won top honors. Every original article a GCAS member writes for Modern Aquarium is eligible for submission to the NEC’s publication awards program, as well as to the publications award program of the Federation of American Aquarium Societies (FAAS). In addition to recognition by other fishkeepers around the country and even outside it (FAAS society members include organizations outside the U.S.A.), winners also receive bonus author points under Greater City’s own Author Award Program. So whether you are writing about your aquarium hobby experiences just for the fun of it, or to pass on your hard won knowledge to others, know that as a Modern Aquarium author, you are participating in a tradition of excellence, and that the results of your talents and labor will not only be shared among members of Greater City, but will also be seen by members of aquarium clubs throughout North America and even beyond.


Computer Consulting Jason Kerner Consultant

Repairs / Upgrades Virus Removal Data Recovery DSL / Cable Setup Wireless Internet A+ Certified


(718) 469-5444 May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The NEC 2010 Article Competition Breeder Articles 1. The Breeeding/Maintaining of the Mysterious Red Lizard Catfish or Rhineloricaria sp-L010A 2. Breeding a Little Mistake 2. When Three's NOT a Crowd 3. Breeding Colisa lalia

Sal Silvestri Jules Birnbaum Alexander A. Priest Norman Brandt


Humor Articles 1. You Know When You’re an EXTREME Aquarist When… Susan Priest 2. The Undergravel Reporter Alexander A. Priest 3. MTS Is There a Cure? Tommy Chang


Open Articles 1. 2. 3. 3.

A Touch of Gold: Betta midas The Chocolate Cichlid: Hypselacara temporalis A Look at Power Consumption in the Fishroom Going the Distance with Paratheraps synspilus

Alexander A. Priest Dan Radebaugh Shawn kopinski Dan Radebaugh


1. Culturing Live Food, parts 1 thru 4

Micahel Steffen

2. Dave’s Top Ten List for. . . 3. Wet Leaves

David L. Banks Susan Priest


C ti i Continuing Columns C l

Junior Category Stepahnie Cornell (age 10) ACLC***

1. My Albino Guppies *Norwalk Aquarium Society **New Hampshire Aquarium Society Tropical Fish Club of Burlington

***Aquarium Club of Lancaster County


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2011


The G.C.A.S.

Proudly extends a most Warm Welcome to

Our Guest Speaker Judith Weis Speaking on Do Fish Sleep? by Claudia Dickinson


r. Judith S. Weis is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey. She received her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and M.S. and Ph.D. from New York University. Her research focuses mostly on estuarine ecology, and she has published over 200 refereed scientific papers, as well as a book on salt marshes (Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History) in 2009 and a book on fish (Do Fish Sleep?) in 2011. Judith is interested in stresses in estuaries (including pollution, invasive species, and parasites) and their effects on organisms, populations, and communities. Much of her research has been focused on estuaries in the New York/New Jersey Harbor area, but she has also done research in Indonesia and Madagascar. Serving on the editorial board for BioScience, Judith is one of the editors of the online Encyclopedia of Earth. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was a Congressional Science Fellow with the U.S. 6

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and was a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Indonesia in 2006. She has been on numerous advisory committees for USEPA, NOAA, and the National Research Council, and is currently chair of the Science Advisory Board of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. She was the Chair of the Biology Section of AAAS and served on the boards of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), the Association for Women in Science (AWIS), and the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), of which she was the President in 2001. We are delighted to have Judith join us tonight as she shares her new book, Do Fish Sleep?

May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Reflections of a Filter Collector by Jules Birnbaum ’ve tried almost every kind of filter: canister, box, sponge, HOT, and under-gravel. Some of the manufacturers have included Fluval, Eheim, and Marineland. My experience is that if I perform regular weekly 20% to 40% water changes, any of these filters will work very well. You can spend from twenty dollars to well over three hundred dollars for a filter. The result we are all looking for is the best way to maintain clear, healthy, aquarium water. When I became an aquarist some 60 years ago, it was a simple air pump, and a plastic box to hold charcoal and glass wool. Today we have sophisticated contraptions that even have built-in computers to avoid mistakes and notify us when it’s time to service the filter. Going back even further, many expert aquarists didn’t even use man-made filters, and rarely changed water. They talked about the “balanced aquarium,” planted it heavily, and stocked it with few fish. The plants helped purify the water by removing carbon dioxide and providing oxygen. Today we know that the plants also metabolize nitrogen compounds, such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The famous William T. Innes did not even discuss filters in his 1917 book, Goldfish Varieties and Tropical Aquarium Fishes. He simply stated he did not wish to discuss equipment. Mr. Innes did give some information about filtration in his 1935 book, Exotic Aquarium Fishes. He devoted one page to the subject, explaining how a piston-driven pump lifted water through media in a hang-on filter and sent the water back into the tank. The media were charcoal, glass wool, peat and Mr. Innes mentions, “a new revolutionary method of using substrate from the tank as media”. Dr. Herbert Axelrod’s book, Exotic Tropical Fishes (with Vorderwinkler, Emmon, Sculthorpe, Pronek and Socolof), does discuss filters and filtration, but again the topic warranted only a page or two. He explains how you can make your own box type filter run by an electric pump. In their book, Tropical Aquarium Fish, Dr. Chris Andrews and Dr. Ulrich Baensch do get into filter specifics. They recommend a power filter for large tanks and a sponge filter for small tanks. There is little talk in these old books about some of the things we now take for granted, such as water flow, or using the filter to adjust pH. There is a common misconception that if you have fast water


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

flow, the aquarium water will be filtered better. This might be true if you wish to polish the water to make it crystal clear, but a slower flow is desirable to give the good bacteria in the filter time to remove the bad guys, rather than have them escape back into the tank (notice I’m not being overly technical). This slower flow also helps if you are buffering the water to adjust pH. The box filter has a big advantage in this regard, since you can add peat or crushed coral, depending on your needs. You can also convert a box filter into a sponge filter by just filling it with sponges. Here are a few of my recommendations, based on education from our GCAS experts and my own personal observations: If you own several tanks of moderate size, use a good (reliable and quiet) air pump with sponge and/or box filters. It will save you big bucks. Filters should be cleaned periodically, including pipes, impellers, and fresh filter pads or foam. The period of time between cleanings can be determined by observing the filter pads and water flow (flow will slow down as the filter accumulates debris). Some experts recommend soaking all the parts (not the media) in a 1/3 bleach solution. The tank’s bio-load is also a factor. A dozen guppies won’t produce nearly as much waste as one goldfish. Keep a maintenance schedule on your PC calendar with an alarm as a reminder. You can save money on expensive filter pads and cartridges by making our own from sheets of poly foam. These can be purchased from local pet shops or online from fish room supply houses. Charcoal is only useful in the filter for approximately two weeks. I’ve heard it is possible to “re-charge” charcoal by boiling it on the stove. Personally I do not use charcoal because I do weekly 20% to 40% water changes. I also find charcoal messy. Keep a few extra sponge or box filters running so they will be cycled when needed. Box filters can be immediately aged by just adding a layer of substrate to the new filter from another cycled aquarium, or you can use some media from a filter that’s been in service. If your filter is shut down for any reason for more than an hour or two it should be cleaned, and the media replaced or cleaned before restarting. Most of us here in the New York area have been lucky of late, because the hurricane seasons have not been overly

May 2011


destructive, and ConEd and LILCO have done a good job of keeping the power going. I can still remember the ice storm of January1978, when our family had just one show tank. I’m a big fan of redundancy (having extra filtration supplies on hand), but with fish supply houses now delivering replacements overnight, it might not be cost effective to keep too many extras around (though I did hold onto my old, smaller, piston pump, just to give myself some peace of mind).


In summary, my advice is not to spend the extra bucks for those monster, computerized, over-powered filters unless you are dealing with a very large show tank. The ideal filter is one that does the job, is quiet, simple to install and maintain, easy to service, reliable, and moderately priced. My personal favorite is the basic box filter, but if you hear of some great new type of filter let me know, so I can try one and add it to my collection.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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

May 2011


My Favorite Marine Fish

The Yellowhead Jawfish Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


uring last year’s annual Halloween dive trip to Key Largo, the captain of the dive boat announced that our Sunday morning dive excursion would be to North North Dry Rocks. There is a related dive site named North Dry Rocks. North is renowned for its colorful soft corals in water no deeper than twenty feet. The site also has many sandy patches. Having dived this site many years ago, I was aware that it is a major dive site, but is not visited very often because of its distance from land. Most dive boats do not want to expend the extra fuel and time it requires. Fuel is expensive, so I was exceedingly pleased when we arrived at the site. We suited up and took a giant stride off the rear of the boat. Upon entering the water, I realized I was no longer familiar with the site, so Donna and I swam away on a compass heading opposite that of the dive boat. After almost an hour of thoroughly traversing the area, we headed back to the boat. I looked ahead and saw the boat’s bow riding on calm swells. “Well, we won’t get lost this time,” I thought. Looking around, I saw a small patch of sand not too far from the boat. I swam closer because I thought that I had seen a small fish. When I reached the sand patch there was no sign of life. I swam back about fifteen feet, and there it was―a small, elongated fish. While I need eyeglasses to see clearly, I do not use a prescription mask. Consequently, I do not see too well underwater. I extended my arms and snapped two wide-angle photos in the direction of the fish. As I slowly swam forward, the fish darted for a burrow―its home in the gravelly sand. It was a yellowhead jawfish, Opistognathus auriferous. When I slowly backed away, the fish would rise up out of its burrow and loiter just above it. 10

Unfortunately, I could get no closer than seven or eight feet without the jawfish darting back into the burrow. I took several “long distance” photographs that caused the fish to rise and sink in its burrow, depending upon my distance from it. I amused myself like this for several minutes, until Donna caught my attention and pointed to her air pressure gauge. I glanced at mine and verified that we were quite low on air, so I reluctantly abandoned my jawfish. We kicked towards the boat and slowly ascended. I hoped that a few of my jawfish photos, as well as others that I had taken, had come out well. Once we were back home, I edited the photos on my computer, and refreshed my knowledge of the yellowhead jawfish using my reef fish identification reference book. This fish attains a maximum length of about four inches, with two to three inches being the average size. All jawfish that I have observed in the wild have appeared to be at least three inches in length. Its distinctive feature is a yellowish head, above a pale body with bluish, elongated fins. The fish can be seen hovering vertically above its burrow, where it feeds on small organisms passing by. Inhabiting areas of sand and coral rubble

May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

their mouths. When frightened, they retreat, or back into the burrow tail first. These fish are found at depths of between ten and sixty feet. The few specimens that I have observed were at depths of less than forty feet. Except for the lancer dragonet, all other known jawfish species (three plus the yellowhead) live in burrows. While I have occasionally observed other species, the yellowhead’s behavior towards divers is fascinating and distinctive. It’s always entertaining, if not instructive, to interact with this fish. near reefs, these fish are common in the waters of South Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and occasionally the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. Individual fish clear out burrows in the sand with

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2011


Pictures from our

GCAS President Dan Radebaugh Michael Macht & Ron Wiesenfeld and guest speaker Andre Carletto

Roderick Mosley

GCAS Vice President and head auctioneer, Ed Vukich

Arie Gilbert

Al Priest (left) receiving one of several NEC publication awards

Susan Priest receiving one of her GCAS President and Editor Dan GCAS Treasurer Jules Birnbaum NEC publication awards Radebaugh with one of his NEC receiving his NEC publication publication awards award

Jalil, Michelle, and Jahir with mom, Chriscita Morris (2nd from the left)



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Photographer mascot Joey Priest takes a break from photo editing Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

last meeting Photos by Susan Priest

Welcome to our newest Greater City members:

Joe Magnoli with his lovely companion, Diane

Tony Wong

last Month’s Bowl Show Winners:

1st Place: Mario Bengcion

2nd Place: Joe Magnoli

3rd Place: Richard Waizman

last month’s Door Prize Winner:

Karen Ottendorfer

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

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May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Betta falx

Article and photos by ALeXAnDeR A PRIeST ome aquarists are surprised to discover that B. picta from Java. It differs from B. picta in the not only are there numerous Betta species following characters: lower dorsal fin ray count that are mouthbrooders, but that in fact there (mode 8 vs. 9); lower lateral scale count (mode 27 are probably more mouthbrooding species of Betta vs. 28); dorsal fin origin above 11-12th lateral than there are bubblenesters. (I say “probably” scale (vs. 12-14th); anal fin origin below modal 6th because new species are being discovered all the lateral scale (vs. 7th); lower predorsal scale count time.) (mode 19 vs. 20); slightly greater anal-fin base Betta falx is a small (under two inches, Total length (46.5-50.3% SL vs. 42.6-48.4); in life Length) mouthbrooding Betta that, while not males with distal margins of anal and caudal fins common in local pet stores, is generally available reddish (vs. bluish); iridescent greenish-blue by mail order, on the opercle scales (vs. Internet, or from other yellow-gold); hobbyists (especially preserved material Scientific Name: Betta falx at society auctions). male with distinct Common Names: Scythe Tail Betta, It is a species that I dorsal transverse bars Red Skirt Betta would recommend to (vs. faint); male with Native to: Jambi Provence, Central Sumatra anyone with limited distinct dark anal Special consideration: anabantoid (air breather) space (I have kept distal margin wide Standard length: 1.5 inches several pairs in a 10 (vs. narrow); male pH: Will tolerate from 4.8 to 7.0 gallon aquarium for without elongated (optimum is 6.8 - slightly acidic) many years) and/or median caudal fin Water hardness: 5 to 35 dGH (very soft to soft) who is relatively new rays (vs. presence); Temperature: 72° to 76° F to fishkeeping (as female with distinct Reproduction: Paternal mouthbrooder these are among the caudal transverse Temperament: Peaceful, but males display easiest to care for fish bars (vs. very faint or to other males around). Before I absent); dorsal head Environment: low-light tank (well covered!) describe this fish and view narrow (vs. Nutrition: omnivore its care, I’d like to broad); thick (fish and animal-based food recommended) provide some preorbital black h i s t o r i c a l stripe (vs. narrow); background. and the distance At one time, the species now known and between posterior part of anal fin to lower part of recognized as Betta falx was considered to be a caudal narrow (vs. wide).” In addition ,some regional variant of another small mouthbrooding experts state that the two can be distinguished by species, Betta picta. In fact, when I acquired my the presence of spots in the anal fin of falx that are first pair of them, it was as “Betta picta sp. Jambi” not present in picta.”2 However, in simple layperson’s language, (The species Betta picta was at one time split into Betta falx has a light brown body with three black two regional variations, “sp. Jambi” and horizontal stripes and a very prominent stripe in “sp. Sumatra.”) the caudal and anal fin. That curved stripe gave In 1998, Betta picta was redescribed1, and Betta falx became recognized as a separate, valid rise to its scientific name, falx being Latin for species which is in the Betta picta “complex” of “sickle,” and other tools having a curved blade, small, mouthrooding species consisting of Betta such as a scythe. This fish has also somehow falx, Betta pallida, Betta simplex, Betta taeniata, acquired the common name of “Red Skirt Betta” and Betta picta. (The grouping of Betta species for reasons unknown to me (as you can see in the into “complexes” is primarily for conservation and accompanying photos, this band is not red). Usually, this is not a very colorful fish. In aquarium hobby purposes, and does not necessarily most Betta species I have kept, when an adult fish reflect current scientific taxonomy.) is exhibiting monocolor horizontal lines, In their 1995 review of the Anabantoids of something is wrong. The fish is either stressed, or Sumatra Tan and Ng provided the following not feeling well. In Betta falx, the display of three physical description of Betta falx to distinguish it horizontal lines is quite common in the absence of from Betta picta: “Betta falx is closely related to


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

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Female Betta falx

Male Betta falx stress or disease. When ready to spawn, and when a male is holding eggs (yes, as is true of other mouthbrooding Betta species, Betta falx is a paternal mouthbrooder), the horizontal lines fade and the body turns a darker, uniform shade. In males, the blue stripe in the caudal and anal fin 18


also becomes much brighter. Males are more colorful than females, and with a larger head to house eggs that they hold to maturity in their bucccal cavity (from the Latin bucca, meaning cheek).

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

Male holding eggs

My “secret”: Caves, caves, and more caves! While Betta falx is generally peaceful, males are also somewhat territorial, especially when holding. As I mentioned previously, I keep several pairs of Betta falx in a ten gallon aquarium. The “secret” is the same one I divulged in my August 2010 article “The Cave Secret,”3 namely, having many more caves and other hiding places than I have fish. As long as each fish can have its own Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

“territory,” even if it’s only a small cave, I find aggression is kept to a minimum, and I have never seen evidence of ripped fins or other serious injury that could be attributed to fighting. Betta falx is a fairly shy fish (although I find my “cave secret” to work somewhat here, as well, as the more hiding places they have, the less likely they are to hide). And, while I have witnessed the

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spawning activities of several mouthbrooding Betta species, I have never been able to catch mine “in the act,” so to speak. Therefore, I am going to provide the account of a spawning that appeared in Flare!, the journal of the International Betta Congress (IBC). It was written by the current Chairman of the IBC’s Species Maintenance Program, Gerald Griffin: “Breeding Betta falx is also easy. In this species the females initiate spawning and will pick an appropriate male who will either respond positively or negatively. When the male responds appropriately the pair will go through a number of pre-spawn embraces, almost like they are trying each other out. These pre-spawn embraces may last for hours. When the pair finally does spawn the female will release eggs and then maneuver to pick up these eggs in her mouth and will then spit them at the male for him to hold in his mouth. This process will repeat until the female has been depleted of eggs. Falx eggs are relatively large and thus [they] have smaller broods. “The female guards the territory during spawning, and her main target is rival females that may try to spawn with her male. The female will also chase away rogue males who enter the territory as well. Falx are best spawned in pairs, and the female removed after a few days. If the female is not removed she may fill with eggs and reinitiate spawning before the male has released, which will ruin the spawn. I did have a case of this, but instead of swallowing all of the babies the male released a few, and they spent most of their time hidden in the tank and did not reveal themselves until the male was pulled from the tank after releasing his second batch. The young are large, and readily eat baby brine shrimp. The young can reach over a half inch in length in less than a month after release.”4 This is really one of the easiest fish to keep. They will eat almost anything (but, as most members of the genus Betta, they are primarily carnivores, so a diet of fish-based dry food, as well as live or frozen worms, brine shrimp, and insects is best). They also share with other members of the genus Betta (and, with all species in the suborder Anabantoidei) an accessory breathing organ known as the labyrinth organ. This maze-like structure in

the head allows the fish to capture and utilize atmospheric air from above the water's surface, thereby allowing the fish to live in stagnant, oxygen-poor water. This also means that they can survive outside of the water for longer periods of time than most other species. In my opinion, this accounts for their tendency to jump out of the tank if startled. (In nature, they probably jump from one stagnant pool and keep flipping around until they hit another pool as a defense measure, and also to find more suitable conditions with respect to food and mating prospects). As long as they land in moist leaf litter or mud, and their body has not dried out, they can breathe without using their gills. Here again, having enough caves and hiding spaces within the tank is useful as, in my experience, this will encourage them to dive down for shelter, instead of jumping out. But, as with all Betta species, a tight lid with no open gaps, should be used. All Betta species I know of come from, and do best in, soft, acid water (with the exception of Betta simplex whose natural habitat consists of limestone pools of alkaline water). In the wild Betta falx live in waters that range from 4.7 to 6.8 pH5. In the home aquarium, they will readily adapt to any slightly acidic to neutral condition. Based upon my experience, they seem to do best at lower temperatures (70E to 76EF). You may have noticed I made no mention of plant or substrate. Few live plants tolerate very soft, acidic water and low light conditions for very long. Since Betta falx does not disturb or eat plants, any live plant that can tolerate those conditions, such as Java Fern, would be fine, but they are not essential. Neither is gravel essential. My Betta falx tank has no gravel. If you remember how this species spawns, with the female picking up the eggs in her mouth to spit them at the male for him to hold in his mouth, you can see why a bare bottom tank might actually be preferable. Usually, smaller species of fish tend to be less hardy than larger species. However, Betta falx is quite hardy and breeds readily in the home aquarium. For anyone who has never kept mouthbrooding bettas, Betta falx is an excellent first choice.


Tan, H.H. and M. Kottelat 1998 “Redescription of Betta picta (Teleostei: Osphronemidae) and description of B. falx sp. n. from central Sumatra” Rev. Suisse Zool. 105(3):557-568. 2 3 Priest, Alexander A. "The Cave Secret." Modern Aquarium, August, 2010 4 Griffin, Gerald. “Care and Breeding of Betta falx.” Flare!, Nov/Dec, 2002, 21. 5 Ibid`

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

questions are responded to in one simple paragraph (example: “Which is correct—fishes or fish?”). Have you ever asked yourself “Do fish migrate?” (Here is a hint; the question following that one is “How do migratory fish navigate?”) Our author includes chapters on watching A Series On Books For The Hobbyist fishes (“How popular is fishkeeping as a hobby?”), fish and human health (“Is sushi safe to eat?”), and by SUSAN PRIEST research and conservation (What are some new ways to protect fishes and their ecosystems?”). couple of the people Fish reproduction (“How does who got to read this a fish embryo develop?”), Do Fish Sleep? book before I did used dangers and defenses (“What By Judith S. Weis dangers do fishes face from the word accessible in their Rutgers University Press, 2011 people?”), recreational fishing commentary. I think it is a (“Fishing as therapy”), and perfect fit, when applied to the commercial fishing (including Q. & A. format in general, as the history of “fish wars,” as well as 21st century well as to this work in particular. “People who are piracy), are among the many other topics under not biologists seem to be interested in fishes for discussion. many reasons. This book attempts to answer Much to my questions they may surprise, the answer have about these which interested me fascinating creatures most was to the that live in such a question “How are very different world fishes classified?” than we do.” I feel Pretty dry stuff, right? confident in making Not in the capable the statement that hands of Ms. Weis. experienced aquarists She doesn’t tire us such as yourselves with an exhaustive will find that Ms. explanation that goes Weis has posed and way beyond our responded to many needs. She deftly questions which have navigates us around a never before crossed minimum of Latin your minds. Get terms to deliver a ready for an lively and succinct adventure! understanding of the You are not whys and hows of it going to find simple all. I’m sure she must Yes or No answers to be an excellent these questions. You teacher (she is a will find yourself professor of immersed in biological science at information and Rutgers University). explanations which are illustrated by Do Fish Sleep? example. All of this is literally hot off the is peppered presses. I hope they throughout with a printed a lot of copies, built-in glossary (by because this book is this I mean that terms going places! One are often defined at commentator their point of usage). There is frequent crossrecommended it to readers of all ages, but it is referencing between questions, topics and chapters, clearly not a suitable choice for children. You may which further enhances the presentation. have noticed that I have made no mention of the Some of the questions take several pages to illustrations. This is because a smattering of black answer (example: “What problems arise when nonand white drawings and photos, as well as the eight native fish are released into local waters?”). Other pages of color plates, play only a minor role in the


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

May 2011 May 2011



overall presentation. I’m sure you will agree with me that in the skillful hands of this author, her language is her illustrator. If you would like to know which fish has a life span of only two months, turn to page nine. Do you know what a FAD (fish aggregating device) is? I didn’t until I read page twenty four. So, do fish sleep? Page sixty four will enlighten you. You can even find help in planning your next vacation by consulting the appendix of public aquaria in the U.S. (The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk Connecticut caught my attention. It has over one thousand animals native to Long Island Sound.)

The cover of the book is a study in contrasts. The title will make you feel like you are among the goldfish in a pond, insulated from predators and happily sucking up duckweed from the surface. However, once you start reading you will soon discover that you are actually swimming with the lionfishes—in other words, fully immersed in the wide world of all things piscine. Ms Weis has given me a strong sense of the interdependence which every fish on the planet has with every other fish on the planet. She has carried me far beyond the walls of my aquariums, as well as drawn me deeper within them. It is a wonderful feeling to find a fresh perspective on a subject with which I am so very familiar.

Well it’s that time of year again. The AKA Convention is on Memorial Day weekend and is being hosted by the Chesapeake Area Killi Club and the Keystone Killy Group. This years Convention is being held at the BWI Airport Marriott on Friday May 27th and continues until Monday May 30th. The hotel has shuttles running to Light-rail that connects to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore or the Smithsonian Museum District in Washinton DC. Oh, and let’s not forget Georgetown! This is the perfect opportunity to make the 2011 Convention a real family vacation and for some, a once in a lifetime experience. You do not need to be a member of the AKA to attend the AKA Convention 2011. All are Welcome! So come and join us at our Exclusively all Killi Show. Mail-in registration: Payment is by Check or Money Order only. Make Checks Payable to: AKA Convention 2011 Send all registration forms with check or money order to Nick Vanikiotis 24043 N. Patuxent Bch Rd. Uni#3 California, Maryland 20619 The BNL will also contain registration forms which may be used and mailed. You can also download and fill forms. CONVENTION PRICES: Registration: $30.00 for single - $45.00 for Family Saturday Evening Banquet - $37.00 per person Behind the scenes Tour of The Baltimore Aquarium - $46 T-Shirts - $16 (S,M,L,XL) $18 (2XX) $20 (3XXX) $22 (4XXXX) Class Sponsorships - $40.00 20 18

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

Carpy Diem! Part I: The Old Guard by Dan Radebaugh


f you’ve watched a lot of TV over the past couple To the best of my knowledge, there are no carp of years, you’ll almost certainly have noticed how species native to the Americas. All are imports, just much media attention has been given to―of all like chickens, cattle, horses, donkeys, pigs, pigeons, creatures―the carp. Stories have appeared on 60 starlings, housecats, kudzu, soccer, dogs, and Minutes, Monster Fish (National Geographic) River humans other than Native Americans, who, while not Monsters (Animal Planet), and PBS programs, as well technically native, are certainly a lot closer to it than as in newspapers, magazines, and on conservation any of the rest of us immigrants and descendents of websites galore. Carp have even managed to push the immigrants can claim to be. horror-flick-starring snakehead out of the headlines. The carp species longest resident in the U.S. Forget being attacked by a sinister, toothy, snakelike is almost unquestionably the goldfish, Carassius Asian predator that wriggles up out of the river to eat auratus. Goldfish were developed by the Chinese your dog, children, and nearly 2,000 years ago BMW. This newest from Carassius gibelio, threat (the carp) will the Prussian carp. Why not only put an end they are called Prussian to all native aquatic I do not know, as they life in the Mississippi are endemic to eastern River system, but Asia. The first officially will also eliminate recorded commercial pleasure boating and shipment of goldfish water-skiing forever, into the U.S. was in and eventually doom 1878, but they were the Great Lakes to a here quite awhile before population of only carp that, as evidenced by and sea lampreys (our newspaper reports only possible salvation, Koi in a pond. Photo by Yumi Veliz. of them living in the for if left unchecked, Hudson River and these now passé ghouls might be able finally to put an other North American waters as early as 1826. By end to the carp’s emerging reign of terror). So what is the 1830s goldfish food was being sold in stores.1 These days goldfish are feral in nearly all fifty states, going on? Where did these undocumented aliens come though generally not in sufficient numbers to cause from? Are we in the Final Days? Are we aquarists somehow to blame? serious problems. Once established in the wild, their Well, the answer to the last question is no; the descendents revert from the bright orange we’re familiar with to a rather drab olive color. While edible answers to the first two are more complicated. As to (know any college-age partiers?), they aren’t used the Final Days, I don’t think so, but check back next significantly as a food fish.* week. As to where these fish came from, read on. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

*As those of us in the aquarium hobby know, goldfish are used extensively as food for larger aquarium fishes. Walk into any fish store and you will likely see at least one tank full of small goldfish being sold as “feeders.” There are reasons for and against this practice, but probably more against. For one thing, there’s the danger of introducing pathogens―most notably ich―into your otherwise healthy tank. Also, the goldfish (being a carp) is one of a number of plants and animals that contain thiaminase, an enzyme that metabolizes thiamine (vitamin B1). Animals fed a diet high in thiaminase are known to develop often fatal neurological problems.2 So if you feel you must feed goldfish to your big guys, be sure they’re only an occasional part of a varied diet. May 2011


Are goldfish really stupid? Over the past couple of decades, we have read and heard that “scientists” have said that goldfish have a memory of only a few seconds. I don’t know where this ridiculous myth came from—maybe it’s an attempt to make it seem OK to treat them as disposable toys. Fortunately, some actual scientists (as well as some schoolchildren) have thoroughly debunked this nonsense. What they’ve found is that fish in general are much smarter than previously believed, and our case in point, the goldfish, has been shown to have a practical memory of up to three months, can be trained to negotiate mazes, and can tell time.3 Moreover, goldfish have been trained to do tricks, AND, you can go online and buy an equipment kit and training guide so that you can learn to train your own fish!4 A carp species that was imported as a food fish―also in the early 19th century―is the common carp (sometimes called the European carp), Cyprinus carpio (Cyprinus is the Greek word for carp, and carpio is the Latin word for carp; so the binomial translates to Carp carp). There seem to have been two ancestral populations of this fish, one in eastern Asia, and the other the watersheds of the Black, Aral, and Caspian seas, as well as the Danube River.5 During Roman times they were introduced into Greece and Italy, and from there radiated throughout western Europe. There are also the mirror carp, and the leather carp. These are still Cyprinus carpio, but genetically distinct, having been produced by selective breeding during the Middle Ages. The mirror carp has very large (mirror-like?) scales, while the leather carp has large areas of skin with no scales. The mirror carp seem to grow somewhat larger; most catches of 60+ pounders have been mirror carp.

Common carp in a pond. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Carp are very prolific. A single female can lay over a million eggs in a year. This would seem to indicate that in their normal environment predators take a heavy toll of the young fish. Consequently, if they are introduced into an ecosystem rich in food but lacking in predators, a population explosion is the likely result. To better understand how and why this fish came to be here, and why so many other animal and plant introductions have taken place over the years, we need to understand people’s mindsets before the existence of a science of ecology (not that so much has really changed, practically speaking).

Photo of common carp courtesy of Wikipedia.

While we tend to think of conservation as a contemporary concept, even in the 18th century the decline in the cod fishery was being noticed, and overfishing, dam building, and pollution had produced a serious diminution in the numbers of fish (even species of fish) in our rivers, lakes, and streams. By the 19th century it had become clear that the increasing human population of North America was going to need an increasing supply of food, and so it became a matter of policy that the output from our fisheries would need to be significantly increased. With this end in mind, President Ulysses S. Grant in 1871 signed legislation creating the U.S. Fish and Fisheries Commission, and appointed Spencer F. Baird as its first Commissioner. One of the ten goals Baird set forth in an 1880 report to congress was “…stocking the various waters of the United States with the fish most suited to them, either by artificial propagation or transfer, and the best methods and apparatus for accomplishing this object.”7 Wasting no time, Baird set in motion plans for the propagation of pretty much any fish that could be eaten, and began stocking them in every body of water that might support them. Baird championed

Omnivores, carp feed heavily on aquatic vegetation, as well as on insects, crustaceans, and worms. Like goldfish, carp are social animals and prefer the company of their own kind. They do best in temperate climates, and can survive in ice-covered ponds as long as there is some free water available. Thanks to an abundance of the protein myoglobin, they can live in very oxygen-deprived conditions. Carp were in fact the first vertebrates found to have more than one type of this protein6. 22 May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Carp in Herbert Park Pond, Dublin, Ireland. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

How Large do carp grow? According to Wikipedia, the largest recorded common carp, caught by an angler in January, 2010 in Bordeaux, France, weighed 94 pounds. the introduction of the common carp as an easilycultivated food fish. Someone else had in fact already begun this on a small scale in 1831, but in the 1880s Baird set about it with a vengeance, importing carp from Germany, seeing to their propagation, taking bids from prospective purchasers from all over the country, and distributing them by rail. The railroads, eager to be of help, provided transport free of charge. Despite some initial good reviews, this fish never caught on as a staple in the American diet. Some say this was because of its reputation as a food source “for the poor,” others because it’s too bony, and still others assert that, being an omnivorous bottom feeder, its meat can have a “muddy” flavor (which champions of the carp say can be avoided by proper preparation). While I have eaten carp at restaurants in Chinatown (where they absolutely do know how to prepare it) and found it quite delicious, I have no idea whether the species I was eating was Cyprinus carpio or some other. Another variety of Cyprinus carpio that has found its way, whether by intentional or accidental release, into North American waters, is the koi (Japanese for carp). Most of us aquarists are familiar with these large, beautifully colored fish. They are often kept in aquaria when young, but their adult size makes them more suitable for ponds or water gardens. I’ve seen a recommendation of 200 gallons of water per fish as minimum to keep them in good health. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The koi that we know were developed by selective breeding in Japan around the 1820s. Both East Asian and European sub-species seem to have been used to gain the color combinations we see today. Like goldfish, after a generation or two in the wild, their color returns to one more suitable for evading predators, and they become indistinguishable from regular common carp.

Koi in a pond. Photo by Yumi Veliz.

The stocking of Cyprinus carpio throughout the country was not altogether without controversy. While states like Illinois, which were seeing substantial monetary benefit from the carp fishery continued to support carp stocking, other states demurred. When carp were introduced into southern Minnesota, there was an outcry from duck hunters, who complained that duck hunting had been hurt by the carp, which were eating aquatic vegetation that would otherwise have benefitted the ducks. Hmmm. Others speculated that the carp were likely eating the roe of indigenous sport fishes, though examination of carp stomach contents didn’t support this assertion. May 2011 23

At any rate, “interest in common carp culture and stocking had evaporated by the 1940s8.” Throughout the range of its U.S. distribution the common carp is now mostly considered just an invasive species, and various government agencies spend millions of dollars annually trying to control its population. Along How Long do carp live? Besides being a symbol of fecundity, carp enjoy a reputation for long life. Carp in a various ponds in France are alledged to have lived for some 200 or more years, based on tickets or silver rings inserted in their gills bearing the date of insertion or name of the person who inserted (or directed someone else to insert) the fish into the pond. I have also seen an assertion that “growth rings” in the scales of a particular carp proved it to be over 200 years old. While it is true that analyzing the growth rings in scales is one way to determine the age of a fish9, albeit with a certain degree of inaccuracy10, one would think that, if this story were true, the results would have been officially submitted to some agency or other for validation. The current most generally accepted age limit for the common carp is around 65, but who knows? this line, in addition to the predictable poisoning programs, there are also well-publicized carp fishing tournaments―some for anglers and some for bowfishermen. Curiously, many of these tournaments (at least the ones for anglers) are “catch-and-release” affairs. Ironically, the wild populations in Europe are currently considered vulnerable to extinction.

In recent years, a far more serious threat to the common carp than fishing tournaments or even poisoning programs has emerged—the koi herpesvirus. Also known as cyprinid herpesvirus-3 or CyHV-3, this disease was first recognized in England in 1996.11 Since then cases have been reported in nearly every country where common carp are cultured. The virus is capable of killing 80 to 100 per cent of infected fish. Those that survive still carry the virus, and may infect other fish. This is a very serious threat to common carp populations worldwide, and has been deemed responsible for a number of major carp kills around the U.S. since about 2006. Goldfish can also be infected, and can spread the disease, but don’t seem to be clinically affected by it. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out over the next few years. These “old guard” fish, the goldfish and the common carp, have been living in North America both domestically/commercially and ferally for close to two hundred years. The fish responsible for most of the current press (and hysteria?) are the so-called Asian carp: the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), the silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), the bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), and the black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus). These have only been in the U.S. since the latter part of the 20th century, but have made a big splash in a short time. They’ll invade Modern Aquarium in Part II. 3 4 5 6 7 Stickney, R.R. 1996. Aquaculture in the United States. pp. 6, 39-47. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 8 Stickney, R.R. 1996. Aquaculture in the United States. p. 203. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 9 10 11 1 2

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 Jeff Bollbach Gerry Domingo Pete D’Orio


Rod DuCasse Al & Sue Priest Dan Puleo Charley Sabatino Ed Vukich

May 2011

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

May 2011


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Mario Bengcion 2 Joe Magnoli 3 Richard Waizman

Blue Jack Dempsey Red Guppy Half Moon Betta

Unofficial 2011 Bowl Show totals to date: Mario Bengcion 8 Harry Faustmann 5

Joe Magnoli 3

Richard Waizman 2

A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS members Vincent Babino, Mario Bengcion, Frank Bonnici, Wallace Deng, Horst Gerber, Denver Lettman, Desiree Martin, Jackie Minassa-Haftvani, Flor Munoz, Dan Puleo, and Michael Vulis! A special welcome to new members Joe Magnoli and Tony Wong!

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 1, 2011 Speaker: George Richter Topic: Adventures on the Amazon River! 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 13, 2011 Speaker: None Event: Spring Giant 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 20, 2011 Speaker: Mark Denaro of Anubias Design Topic: The Planted Aquarium 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 2011

Nassau County Aquarium Society Next Meeting: May 10, 2011 Speaker: Jonathan Matias Event: Poseidon Science 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 19, 2011 Speaker: Ted Coletti Event: Xiphophorus: The Platies & Swordtails Meets: Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: May 19, 2011 Speaker: Guy Van Rossum Topic: Maintaining & Breeding Rainbowfish 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)

OK, it’s obvious that goldfish can get pretty big. but how fast are they? Well, they are apparently fast enough for a Tacoma, Washington bar, the “Harmon Tap Room” to have held goldfish races every Tuesday. However, Joel Cummings, a bartender at the A series by “The Undergravel Reporter” Harmon Tap Room indicated that the races have now been cancelled due to complaints, phone calls, In spite of popular demand to the and e-mails from people claiming to work for contrary, this humor and information PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of column continues. As usual, it does Animals). Cummings said the complaints began NOT necessarily represent the after a video of one of the events was posted on the opinions of the editor, or of the bar's Facebook page.2 Greater City Aquarium Society. The goldfish races have been replaced by something called “Beer Pong” but, perhaps a tip of ecently there have been several odd stories the hat to past glories, involving goldfish. the bar now features, on Since odd stories Tuesdays only, fish about fish are what this tacos (two for $5). column’s all about, it’s In England, only appropriate that I apparently it is illegal share some of those stories to sell live fish to with you. They’re all true children under the age — you can verify that by of 16. (I wonder if that checking the Internet links applies to other sealife, at the end. such as lobsters?) The first item was Because of that reported by CBS news in a law, Joan Higgins, report titled “Woman owner of Majors Pet catches monster goldfish.1” Shop in Sale, England, The size and weight of the was fined $1,506 as goldfish caught by Kansas punishment for selling City native Olivia Riley a goldfish to a while she was fishing for 14-year-old boy. Not catfish is not known (it was only that, but this released back into the obviously dangerous lake). You can get an idea Olivia Riley’s “catch” - Photo: 6 6 - y e a r - o l d of its size from the photo grandmother was on this page. required to wear an While Ms. Riley did ankle monitor, and catch a fairly large given a seven-week goldfish, it should be noted curfew. that the claim of the It’s a good thing biggest goldfish ever Ms. Higgins didn’t try captured is for a fish that to race that goldfish. If weighed 13.6 kilograms she had, who knows (almost 30 pounds), or how much additional about the same as an trouble she would have average three-year-old girl. been in? That fish is also shown on largest goldfish ever caught? this page (but doesn’t look Photo from: like a goldfish to me). 1 -records-on- biggest-7736677d53da.html

Tails, long and Golden


m/8301-504784_162-200 56089-10391705.html 3 9982398/? 2

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

May May2011 2011

17 27

Fin Fun As a verb, “carp” (as in “to carp”) means to complain or find fault. As a noun, a carp is a fish, and according to Wikipedia1, the family Cyprinidae “consists of the carps, the true minnows, and their relatives. Commonly called the carp family or the minnow family, its members are also known as cyprinids.” I know some of our members specialize to some extent with cichlids, livebearers, catfish, killifish, anabantoids, either as an entire group, or with respect to a specific species. But have you ever met a cyprinid specialist or expert? Now’s your chance to either complain (as in “to carp”) about this month’s puzzle, or prove yourself to be a cyprinid expert by correctly matching the common name with the corresponding scientific name of the cyprinids below: 1

Common Name

Scientific Name

Harlequin Rasbora

Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus

Red Scissortail Rasbora

Celestichthys margaritatus

Tinfoil Barb

Puntius tetrazona

Celestial Pearl Danio

Rasbora caudimaculata

Siamese Algae Eater

Danio rerio

Zebra Danio

Trigonostigma heteromorpha

Flying Fox

Crossocheilus siamensis

Chinese Algae Eater

Gyrinocheilus aymonieri

Tiger Barb

Barbonymus schwanenfeldii

Answers to the previous puzzle: Common Name

Scientific Name

Black Belt Cichlid --------------------------------- Vieja maculicauda Fighting Loach --------------------------------- Nemacheilus notostigma Green Terror --------------------------------- Aequidens rivulatus Jack Dempsey --------------------------------- Cichlasoma octofasciatum Ornate Fin Nipper --------------------------------- Ichthyborus ornatus Sharp Toothed Tetra --------------------------------- Micralestes acutidens Siamese Fighting Fish --------------------------------- Betta splendens Spike-Tailed Paradise Fish --------------------------------- Pseudosphromenus cupanus Swordtail --------------------------------- Xiphophorus helleri


May 2011


May 2011

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

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