Modern Aquarium October 2012

Page 1

October 2012 volume XIX number 8

Series III

ON THE COVER This month's cover features Betta uberis, an endangered little betta from Borneo, with the ironic common name of "abundant betta." For more details on this very attractive little fish, see Al Priest's article on page 13. Photo by Alexander A. Priest GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Board Members

President Dan Radebaugh Vice-President Edward Vukich Treasurer Jules Birnbaum Corresponding Secretary Sean Cunningham Recording Secretary Tommy Chang Members At Large

Claudia Dickinson Al Grusell Emma Haus Leonard Ramroop

Pete D’Orio Ben Haus Jason Kerner

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

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

In This Issue From the Editor

G.C.A.S. 2012 Program Schedule President’s Message Last Month's Caption Contest Winner Tonight's Speaker: Rachel O'Leary Cartoon Caption Contest The Legacy of Dominic Isla: Endler's Livebearer by Joseph Ferdenzi

Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers "Abundant," but Endangered Betta uberis by Alexander A. Priest

My Favorite Marine Fish

Committee Chairs

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

Vol. XIX, No. 8 October, 2012

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

The Peacock Flounder: Bothus lunatus by Stephen Sica

Pictures from our Last Meeting by Susan Priest

A Small, Native American Fish Heterandria formosa by Jules Birnbaum

Keeping and Breeding Theraps wesseli by Dan Radebaugh

Wet Leaves

Rewilding North America by Susan Priest

Member Classifieds Our Generous Members G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter Raining Fish

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page)

Things That Go Bump in the Night

2 3 4 6 7 8 9 12 13 15 18 20 23 25 27 27 28 29 30

From the Editor


by Dan Radebaugh

or those of you who may not have noticed the 90th Anniversary logo on the back cover of each issue of Modern Aquarium this year, 2012 is a very significant year in our club's history, as it marks our 90th year of continuous operation. If you read the content of Modern Aquarium you may have noticed that we have honored this year's historical significance by including a number of historically themed articles in almost every issue. Most of these, I hasten to admit, were not due to my clever thematic planning, but just showed up at a fortuitous time. Joe Ferdenzi, who has supplied us with more than one historical reminiscence in recent months, contributes another in this issue, bringing together memories of bygone days, influential former members of Greater City, and a subject very close to his heart, the Endler’s livebearer. True to her promise back in March, Sue Priest has dedicated her Wet Leaves column this year to the subject of conservation. As our human population continues to grow to what our grandparents would probably have considered an almost inconceivable number, conservation of our natural world and its nonhuman life forms becomes ever more difficult. I think most of us here at Greater City would agree that the cause of conservation is also becoming ever more important. The book Sue reviews this month, Rewilding North America, looks like it contains much for us to ponder. Coincidentally enough, Modern Aquarium this month includes several articles on small, water-dwelling non-human life forms. In addition to Joe’s story about the Endler’s livebearer, Jules Birnbaum introduces us to another livebearer, the mosquito fish Heterandria formosa. I talk about my experiences with a Honduran 2

cichlid, Theraps wesseli, and Steve Sica tells us about his current favorite marine fish, Bothus lunatus, the popularly named peacock flounder. As if all this weren’t enough, our cover this month is graced by a photo of the beautiful and endangered Betta uberis, which Al Priest tells us about in his article, “Abundant, but Endangered.” And yes, that title does include a play on words. The Undergravel Reporter tells us about some water-dwelling non-human life forms that apparently sometimes grow on trees or drop from the sky, while our Fin Fun puzzle starts getting us in the spirit – so to speak – for Halloween later this month. * * * Remember, as always, we need articles! Modern Aquarium is produced by and for the members of Greater City Aquarium Society. Our members are our authors, and with ten issues per year, we always, always need more articles. I know several of you are keeping and/ or breeding fish that I would like to know more about, and I’m certain other members would be interested as well. Share your experience with us. Write about it! If you’re a little unsure about the state of your writing technique, don’t worry – that’s why there are editors. If you have an article, photo, or drawing that you’d like to submit for inclusion in Modern Aquarium, it’s easy to do! You may fax it to me at (877) 299-0522, email it to gcas@, or just hand it to me at a meeting. However you get it to me, I’ll be delighted to receive it!

October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

GCAS Programs



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

Meet the Experts of the GCAS

April 4

Felicia McCaulley Tips and Tricks to Aquarium Photography on a Budget

May 2

Jeff Michels Dwarf Cichlids

June 6

Rich Levy

Virtual Fishroom Tours: Joe Ferdenzi and Jules Birnbaum

July 11

Rich Levy

Virtual Fishroom Tours: Jeff Bollbach and Rich Levy

August 1

Silent Auction

September 5

Dan Radebaugh Paratilapia Sp. 'Fony'

October 3

Rachel O'Leary Freshwater Invertebrates

November 7

Joe Ferdenzi GCAS 90th!

December 5

Holiday Party!

Articles submitted for consideration in Modern Aquarium (ISSN 2150-0940) must be received no later than the 10th day of the month prior to the month of publication. Please fax to (877) 299-0522, or email to gcas@earthlink. net. Copyright 2012 by the Greater City Aquarium Society Inc., a not-for-profit New York State corporation. All rights reserved. Not-for-profit aquarium societies are hereby granted permission to reproduce articles and illustrations from this publication, unless the article indicates that the copyrights have been retained by the author, and provided reprints indicate source and two copies of the publication are sent to the Exchange Editor of this magazine. Any other reproduction or commercial use of the material in this publication is prohibited without express written prior permission. The Greater City Aquarium Society meets every month, except January and February. Members receive notice of meetings in the mail. For more information, contact: Dan Radebaugh (718) 458-8437. Find out more, or leave us a message, at our Internet Home Page at: or Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

October 2012


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh


ell, here we are in October already! That means there’s only one more meeting this year before our annual Awards Banquet/Holiday Party. Most of you know that our venue for this party over the years has been the Palace Diner, but that was sold earlier this year. We haven’t yet settled on a location for this year’s party, but we’re working on several leads. We expect to settle on a choice within the next couple of weeks. Greater City has been, and continues to be, an outstanding aquarium society. I haven’t been around the club as long as some of our members, but I am impressed by the longevity and dedication of our long-time members, and gratified by the number of new members we continue to attract. I remember when I was a new member feeling that the people who were running the club were no doubt somehow specially anointed – perhaps they pulled a swordfish out of a stone or something, I didn’t know, but I figured that they had to have been serving in those positions at least since becoming adults, and would doubtless continue to handle their important posts at least for the rest of my lifetime. Likewise, I understand that some of you who haven’t been members for years and years may think that we old-timers don’t need your help with the workings of the club. I assure you that we do. For instance, we still have not found a Treasurer for next year. This is a position that simply cannot be left vacant, so we need someone to step forward. If you think you can do this job, please don’t assume that you have to have been here for decades for us to need your help. We need everyone’s help. All of us are just members, who wandered in because of our interest in fish, and who have chosen, or been chosen, to accept a little more responsibility to help the club continue to take care of necessary business. None of us (I don’t think) showed up here with the intention of running the joint. Nevertheless, there are jobs that need to be done for the club to do all the things that it does. I have no doubt that there are those among our relatively newer members who could easily handle some of the “leadership” roles even better than those of us who are serving now. If you don’t volunteer to try, how will we (or you) ever know? Let me know – or tell Marsha while you’re picking up your copy of Modern Aquarium – that you’d be interested in helping out in some aspect of the club’s operations. Believe me – we need you!



October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Support Fish in the Classroom!

If you have any 5 or 10 gallon tanks, or any filters, pumps, or plants that you could donate to NYC teacher Michael Paoli's classrooms, could you please bring them in or email Rich Levy ( If you'd like to donate larger tanks, be sure and email Rich so he can make sure Michael can accommodate it.

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

October 2012


Cartoon by Elliott Oshins

September's Caption Winner: Steve Sica

No, I never read God is My Co-Pilot. Why?

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The G.C.A.S.

Proudly extends a most Warm Welcome to

Our Guest Speaker

Rachel O'Leary Speaking On

Freshwater Invertebrates


achel O’Leary, of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, has been in the hobby since childhood, but has become increasingly active in the past decade. She currently operates over seventy tanks, with interests that range from the micro to the monster. She has a special focus on dwarf freshwater invertebrates, including snails, shrimp, crayfish, and aquatic crabs, as well as all freshwater nano fish. Rachel is currently housing over one hundred different species, all of which are in the nano category. She also has a passion for and interest in gars and polypterids, and houses several species. Rachel is currently breeding catfish, many species of shrimp, snails, Pseudomugil rainbows, dwarf crayfish, West African dwarf cichlids, discus, Ancistrus and Hypancistrus plecos, as well as a range of livebearers and egg scatters. Her tanks range in size from ten gallons to 220 gallons. An active member and board member of the Capital Cichlid Association, Rachel is also a global moderator on Aquaria Central and a moderator at She actively attends conventions, and travels to speak at clubs and conventions on her invertebrate and micro fish interests. Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

A strong advocate of rallying regional support, Rachel also sponsors many clubs and events around the United States. Rachel imports from around the globe to redistribute and share with hobbyists around the country. She is very focused on education and information for her customers, and personally deals with each individual to help them make the best choices for their tanks. A proud mother of two, she actively donates livestock to schools around her area, and the country. Future projects include a lot more travel to increase awareness of invertebrates and nano fish, as well as furthering the growth of her fishroom through increased breeding efforts and increased hobby availability.

October 2012


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

Cartoon by Elliot Oshins

Your Caption: Your Name:


October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Legacy of Dominic Isla:

Endler's Livebearer


by Joseph Ferdenzi

his is a story about a man and a fish, but mostly Dominic (I rarely called him Dom) had become a about the man. His name was Dominic Isla. I very active member of Greater City, even serving on don’t remember exactly how I met him or when the board of directors. It soon became apparent that I met him, but I do know that when I did I was already Dominic was mostly interested in livebearers—not serving as President of Greater City, and I’m guessing the so-called “fancy” varieties, mind you, but wild it was the late 1980s or early 1990s. (unaltered by hobbyists) livebearers. His passion for Dominic was of Cuban ancestry, and what I them was such that he couldn’t understand why more remember most about him was his passion—for just members didn’t share his enthusiasm. Poor Dominic! about everything he did. One of those passions was His love of the natural world obscured his ability to see for tropical fish, especially livebearers. that many hobbyists are only interested in colorful or When I first odd fish—most wild met him, Dominic livebearers do not fit was living alone in either category. an apartment on the And with this upper (around 96th as a backdrop, I now Street or higher) east return to the evening side of Manhattan. that I first visited Somehow he had Dominic’s fishroom managed to cram (basement). quite a few tanks into The first his small apartment, impression it made and he was proud on me was that I had to show you his somehow walked collection. into the laboratory of I liked an eccentric scientist. Dominic. He could Dominic had built be very charming, several racks, and and he was well these held scores spoken—clearly a of tanks, mostly people person. I of the 10-gallon never really got to Dominic Isla (left) and Dr. Klaus Kallman at the Greater City 1992 show. variety. Many had know much about Photo from Joe Ferdenzi. jury-rigged covers, him personally—a lot of us guys are kind of like that, obviously hand-made, with unusual lift-handles (I in that we rarely exchange personal details about our still own one that features a wooden drawer pull). But lives. I believe he had a child from whom he was more startling than that was all the plastic containers, estranged, and I could never quite figure out what he mostly made of clear plastic that were placed just did for a living, although he always seemed to be on about wherever there was free space, including on top the periphery of economic stability. He was somewhat of the glass tanks. younger than I, but I never learned his actual age. Dominic also had a few large tanks. One of What I did learn over time was that he was an these (it was at least a 55 gallon, but probably larger) excellent aquarist. This was amply demonstrated to was uncovered, and Dominic had trained an aluminum me after he moved from Manhattan to an apartment in spotlight on an Amazon sword plant in that tank. This the Sunnyside section of Queens. There, he somehow Amazon sword plant was by far the largest one I had arranged to become a sort of super’s assistant, and in ever seen in a home aquarium. I still have not seen one return for his services, the super allowed him to use a larger. It was, in a word, stupendous! sizeable portion of the basement of the multi-family And, speaking of spotlights, that was another apartment building. Dominic, of course, set about aspect of Dominic’s fishroom that was a bit unusual— turning this into his fishroom. there were aluminum spotlights everywhere I looked. Before I describe my first memorable visit to You’ve seen these fixtures in hardware stores—they that fishroom, let me digress and tell you that by then, employ clamps so that you can affix them just about Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

October 2012


the fish to Dominic. Did I want some, he asked. Did anywhere. This use of spotlights was just another I want some? Is the Pope Catholic? “Oh, yes” is the sign that Dominic had assembled this fishroom on answer to both questions. a budget—no expensive fluorescent strip lights for Now I wish that I had documented the year in him! No budget-draining full hoods to cover his which I received these fish. However, I can narrow it tanks—scraps of glass would do. down to a few months by means of two goal posts. The But if you were into wild livebearers, Dominic first Greater City show in which Dominic participated had assembled your fantasy. Tank after tank, and was our 70th Anniversary Show, held in the spring of plastic box after plastic box were filled with livebearers 1992. I definitely did not have the Endler’s at that that I had never seen before, or seen only in photos. time, so my acquisition had to have occurred after that. Dominic had an extensive collection because he had Why is that so important? Because I’ve had the fish contacts with people who shared his interest, and also, ever since! Incidentally, if you look at the records of in part, because he was somehow able to travel to the Greater City’s Breeders Award Program, you will see Caribbean islands (including Cuba) and do some of that Mary Ann and Joe his own collecting. Bugeia, were the first As I looked at to receive credit for his tanks, one by one, breeding Poecilia Sp. I must admit that I was Endler’s, in January, doing so mostly out of 1993, but that happened politeness, because to because I had previously my jaded eyes, most placed the fish in our wild livebearers are auction, and it never “dull” in comparison occurred to me to claim to the fish of which I Breeder’s Award points was most fond at the few of the author's Endler's Livebearers. for them. I never made time, namely African A Photo by Marsha Radebaugh. that mistake again! killifish. But there I also know that, after I acquired them and they were some exceptions. One was a species of swordtail started to multiply prolifically, I decided to make a that I had never seen before. The males sported two, present of them to my friend Bill Jacobs, who lived in almost neon-red, horizontal stripes and a yellow New Jersey. Bill died in 1999 at the age of 96. I’ve sword. Dominic told me they were Xiphophorus previously written about Bill, a great aquarist, for the clemenciae. Of course he offered me some. Dominic pages of Modern Aquarium—see the February 1996 was not miserly in that way. and June 1999 issues. I know that Bill had them for The only other fish that caught my eye that several years before he died. In fact, he was so good evening is the other subject of this memoir. At first at breeding them that he was selling them to his local blush, it just seemed that I was looking at a tank pet shops. containing wild guppies (Poecilia reticulata). But that Currently, my Endler’s are housed in two initial impression was very fleeting. I soon realized identically outfitted 10 gallon aquariums (see photo that I was looking at something quite different (or at below). They each contain a thin layer of #1 size least, so I believed). While the fish had the size and gravel (same size as bird grit), and each has two box shape of wild guppies, there was something quite filters containing crushed coral as the primary filter striking about the males—they all seemed to be exactly medium. The most important element, however, is the alike! Anyone who has ever observed a tank of wild copious strands of Najas, a floating aquatic plant that guppies knows that is not generally the case—even to the human eye, the males sport obvious variations in color and pattern. Not “Dominic’s guppies.” They all sported this emerald green blotch, along with, among other similarities, a contrasting black blotch. They were truly a remarkable sight. I asked Dominic if they were guppies. He said no. He said that it was an undescribed species called Endler’s livebearer. Who the heck was Endler? Dominic explained that Endler was Professor John Endler, of some university or other, who had discovered this population of fish in Laguna de los Patos, a lake in northern Venezuela, close to the town of Acarigua. Professor Endler had given some to Dr. Klaus Kallman, who was then a researcher at the New York Aquarium, and a recognized authority on livebearers. Dr. Kallman, in turn, had given some of 10 gallon Endler's tank. Photo by Marsha Radebaugh. 10

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

quickly multiplies in alkaline water and adequate light (each tank is lit by 15-watt fluorescent tubes that are on 14 hours a day). The Najas forms a perfect hiding place for young fish, and it is a lovely shade of light green. In the almost 20 years that I have kept this fish, I have never introduced anyone else’s strain of Endler’s livebearers. The fish that Dr. Endler gave to Dr. Kallman are, presumably, the ones in my tank, the strain from Laguna de los Platos. I know that others have crossed Endler’s with guppies, and that there are other varieties out there, but I have kept mine pure. I am so fanatical about it that once I give away any of them, I will not take them back, even if the owner assures me that they have not been contaminated by other strains. This way I only have to vouch for my own credibility, but more importantly, I can be 100% sure that this is the strain discovered by Professor Endler. Incidentally, the debate still rages as to whether Endler’s livebearer is a type of guppy or a different species. Although some scientists have described it as a new species, Poecilia wingei, this has not ended the discussion. I personally do not care whether it is a new species. What I do know is that mine are as close to the wild fish discovered by Professor Endler as I can keep them. Over the years, I have shared these fish with countless hobbyists. I remember the first time I brought a bag of them as a donation to the aquarium society in Bermuda. They had never seen the fish before, and the

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Photo by Marsha Radebaugh.

bag was auctioned for the price of $82! (The Bermuda dollar equals exactly one U.S. Dollar.) These fish, then, are Dominic’s legacy to me. Dominic moved from New York to Texas to work on fish habitat protection and the like. Then he moved to Colorado and opened up a fish-selling business. We would occasionally correspond, and I saw him once or twice at various fish shows, but we didn’t have much contact in his later years. Sadly, Dominic died a few years ago. Much too young. But he left behind something for the rest of us to enjoy, and every time I look at my glass canopy with the wooden drawer pull or my aluminum spotlight, I remember Dominic. It’s funny how you meet many people during the course of your life, but only a small percentage leave an indelible impression. Dominic was a person I will never forget, and his legacy will always be in my fishroom.

October 2012


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)


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October 2012

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

“Abundant,” Yet Endangered Betta uberis

Text and photos by ALEXANDER A. PRIEST


breathing organ in their head consisting of a nly recently described in 2006 1, Betta uberis, a species endemic to the island of labyrinth-like network of membranes that enable the Borneo in Indonesia, is already considered fish to absorb oxygen directly from atmospheric air, to be endangered. In recognition of this fact, Betta instead of taking it from water through their gills. uberis has recently been added to the As a result “labyrinth fish” (i.e., bettas, and all other “Conservation Priority Species at Risk List” of the species in the sub-order Anabantoidei, generally referred to as anabantoids), because they can C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program 2 “breathe” by extracting oxygen directly from the air In its natural habitat, Betta uberis lives in around them, can sm all b la c kw a te r survive out of water rivers flowing Scientific Name: Betta uberis for extended periods through regions of Common Name: Abundant Betta of time, as long as peat swamp forests Special consideration: anabantoid (air breather) their bodies remain typically found on Adult Standard Length: 1.5" (both sexes) moist. the island of Borneo. pH: 3.0 to 6.0 (acidic) W hile I don’t There, the water W ater hardness: very soft know w hether an temperature rarely Temperature: 75F - 90F (23.9C - 32.2C) official decision has drops below 70F, Distribution: Borneo yet been made as to and the air its placement in a Reproduction: submerged bubblenester temperature is rather specific “species stable at 75 – 90F Temperament: peaceful, timid complex” (the IBC, or throughout the year. 3 Environment: low-light, caves and/or driftwood, International B etta The water in these tight-fitting cover with no gaps Congress, currently rivers is typically Nutrition: primarily carnivore (live or frozen shows no complex dark in color, with daphnia, brine shrimp, etc.) associated with this humic acids and species), I believe it to other chemicals be almost a certainty that Betta uberis will be placed released by decaying organic material. The water in the “Coccina Complex” of Betta species is very soft, with a dissolved mineral content that

Male Betta uberis

Female Betta uberis is generally negligible. The water is also quite acidic, with a pH that can be as low as 3.0 or 4.0. The substrate is usually covered by fallen leaves, branches, and submerged tree roots and “at certain times of year the fish may be forced to survive within the moist leaf litter for several weeks as permanent water is not always available.” 4 W ith respect to that last statement, it should be noted that all Betta species possess an accessory M odern A quarium - G reater City A .S. (N Y )

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

consisting of small, red or dark colored fishes, with elongated bodies, endemic to blackw ater environments. (A “species complex” is a grouping of species primarily based on similar physical and/or behavioral characteristics.) Currently, the IBC lists the following Betta species as part of the “Coccina Complex”: brownorum, burdigala, coccina, livida, miniopinna, persephone, tussyae, and rutilans.

O ctober 2012

October 2012



One feature that distinguishes Betta uberis from other “Coccina Complex” members is the presence of more numerous dorsal fin rays. (The species name of uberis comes from the Latin adjective uber, meaning “abundant,” referring to the high number of dorsal rays.) Another feature is the presence of iridescent green markings between the fin rays on the dorsal, caudal, and anal fins. This last distinguishing feature is not always readily apparent, and is only visible in certain displays. Males are more colorful. Females are a drab grey, and adult females often show an “egg spot” similar to that of female Betta splendens. Keeping this species in the home aquarium can be somewhat challenging, but certainly not more difficult than the other, previously named, members of the Coccina Complex. Ideally, Betta uberis should be kept in a tank with no other species (most certainly not with any other member of the Coccina Complex, as interbreeding is quite possible). More than one pair can be kept in the same tank, as long as there are sufficient caves, as well as roots or plants to reduce line-of-sight and allow for the establishment of separate and distinct “territories.” Because of the low pH in which Betta uberis need to be kept, fish waste, and decaying food and plants, do not break down to toxic ammonia (NH 3). Instead, they are converted by a chemical process to ammonium (NH 4), which is not toxic. However, this also means that a water change should be made only with water with pH adjusted to match that of the removed water. If added water has a much higher pH (i.e., is less acid), then a deadly ammonia “spike” could result, wiping out an entire tank in minutes! Filtration should not result in rapid water movement (this fish is a bubblenester, and rapid water movement is detrimental to clumps of bubbles). I use both a box filter and a sponge filter in my Betta uberis tank. To reduce the pH, and to provide the dark color to the water that mimics the fish’s natural environment, I put some crushed Indian almond leaves in the box filter, and use driftwood. Initially, and until the almond leaves and driftwood have had enough time to leach tannins into the water, I use a wild almond leaf extract: “Atison’s Betta Spa” by Ocean Nutrition™ .

Most “wild bettas” (i.e., members of the genus Betta other than those in the “Splendens Complex”) are excellent jumpers. So a tightly fitting lid is needed, with openings for air line tubes and power cords sealed (plastic food wrap where the tubes or cords meet the lid works for me). The tank should have subdued lighting, and contain multiple caves and hiding places, as this is a “submerged” bubblnesting species. This means that, unlike Betta splendens, a male Betta uberis is less likely to build a nest of bubbles at the surface of the water, and more likely to do so in a cave, or under a thick layer of plant material. As for plants, few plants will last very long in the dimly lit, very acid, and very low mineral environment most suitable to the keeping of Betta uberis. The plants I have found to hold up best in this environment are Java fern (Microsorum pteropus) and most Anubias species (especially A. hastifolia, A. coffeefolia, and A. barteri). As I mentioned, this is a submerged bubblenesting species. The male will construct a “nest” of bubbles and entice a female to it. A female displays her readiness to spawn by losing most of the drab color she normally has and displaying dark bars on either side of her body. Under the nest, the male will wrap himself around the female and squeeze. This causes the release of both his milt and some of her eggs. The male transfers the eggs to his nest; and this cycle is repeated until the female has no more eggs. It is not necessary to remove the female after the spawning, unless she appears to be a threat to the eggs. (Generally, a well-fed female just ignores the bubblenest.) The male will guard and tend the nest. Depending on the temperature, the eggs hatch in one to three days. The newly hatched fry will still have their yolk-sacs attached, so they should not be fed until the yolk sac is completely absorbed (in another three to four days). Until the fry are free-swimming, the male will pick up and return them to the nest. Once the fry begin to swim freely, the male will stop guarding the nest and generally ignore the fry, which can then be fed microworms and newly hatched brineshrimp, as well as finely crushed dry food. If you want to keep an endangered C.A.R.E.S. Preservation Program listed fish, but want to “start small” then Betta uberis might just be the one for you.


Six new species of fighting fish (Teleostei: Osphronemidae: Betta) from Borneo Ichthyol. Explore Freshwaters, Vol. 17, No. 2 2 3 4



October 2012

October 2012

M odern A quarium - G reater C ity A .S. (N Y )

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

My Favorite Marine Fish: The Peacock Flounder Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


nce in a blue moon while diving, semipun intended, I would come upon one of my all-time favorite fish—the peacock flounder, Bothus lunatus. This fish is better known by me as the blue peacock flounder. While my wife Donna will often scan the deep blue sea for large pelagics, I swim along the shallows, seeking the small creatures and micro photographic subjects hidden in crevices on the bottom and in the sand. Diving a Caribbean island, or even some other location, it would always please me if I could find and photograph this flounder. I’m someone who is attracted to colorful fish, or fish that have a unique appearance, or both. It is an understatement when I say that the blue marks, spots and circles that embellish this flounder never fail to delight me! Unfortunately, every time that I’ve found Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

a specimen, it’s been busy blending itself into a rock, or more typically, sand or mud. I am disappointed to admit that there’d been nary a blue to be found on any peacock flounder that I had ever seen. In the spring of 2012 we decided to treat ourselves to a pre-summer cruise. Donna researched Princess Cruises and found that one of their ships would be sailing a southern Caribbean agenda. It was scheduled to leave from San Juan at the end of April, before transitioning to the British Isles for the summer. The itinerary would take us to St. Martin/ Maarten, Saint Lucia, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba. We had previously visited these islands within the past few years by either cruise ship or air, except for Saint Lucia, that we last had set foot upon in the 1980s. Donna went to work on her computer with diligence, and was able

October 2012


The peacock flounder does its best to avoid predators by being a “background” fish, and disappearing into its surroundings through its skill at camouflage. Occasionally, when one has been pointed out to me I would gaze along the fingertip wondering "what am I seeing?"

It can lighten or darken to match the bottom where it dwells. Of course, what distinguishes the peacock from similar flounders are the blue spots and marks on its body and fins. Other flounders’ spots are more tan or brownish. I photographed my discovery, but it began to swim, or rather glide away, close to the bottom. I took a few additional photos as it was swimming, but when it rested on the bottom again a few yards away, I hovered above it and took more photos. Throughout this encounter, the fish retained the most vivid blue color that I have ever witnessed in this species. I assume that the fish was relying on its camouflage to

to arrange a diving excursion on each island. We would be diving a different island for five days in a row. I didn’t know if I still had the energy anymore. Inasmuch as we had never dived Saint Lucia, I readily acquiesced to her plans. Besides, I would be able to seek more lionfish encounters. Perhaps other adventures might even come our way.

I approached the flounder and it began to slowly swim away settling on the bottom occasionally as I followed and photographed it.

A flounder in its habitat. It was easy to spot because it was exhibiting its blue coloration.

keep me at bay, because it was swimming in the open at a leisurely pace, albeit close to the bottom. To avoid detection, flounders that I have observed in nature either just swim away, or partially bury themselves in the sand or mud, or, most likely, settle on the bottom and simply blend in to disappear. Further up the coast, during our second dive, at a location named “The Nursery,” I

The third day of our cruise found us swimming in about fifteen feet of water only fifty feet from a rocky shoreline at “Anse Cochon” (Bay of Pigs) North on the island of Saint Lucia. While waiting for the remaining divers to enter the water, I began swimming underwater with Donna and another diver near the rocky shoreline. After only a minute, I glanced down and gazed at the most colorful and attractive peacock flounder that I had ever seen! Although considered highly edible by many seafood connoisseurs, I would never eat one; they are just too beautiful. The typical peacock flounder is shades of tan to brown.

I spotted another flounder during our second dive in Saint Lucia. It was blue enough to make it readily observable. I took several photos as it attempted to blend into the sand.


October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

found another peacock flounder. This one These fish inhabit the shallows, from only was smaller, and its blue color was somewhat two or three feet of water to a maximum depth faded into camouflage, but it was still an of forty feet. They live near sand, coral rubble, attractive specimen. I was able to take a few and sea grass areas, and eat crustaceans and other photos before it swam away with a very slight small animals living in the sand. Occasionally wave-like motion. Flounder do not swim they will add small fish to their menu. As with a pronounced undulating motion; they with most animals, flounders eat whatever swim smoothly and is available. The patiently. peacock flounder is There are common in Florida, numerous flounders the Bahamas, and worldwide, with at the Caribbean. It least sixteen species, is also found in including soles and Bermuda, and all the tonguefishes, that way south to Brazil. are common to the I believe that they general Caribbean may be even more area. Caribbean soles common in the and tonguefishes are southern Caribbean. quite small, reaching The June 2012 lengths of between issue of Aquarium one to three inches. Finally, it settled in and would have been obscure except for the turquoise Fish International ringlets and marks on its body and fins. I have never seen contains Scott either of these fish, perhaps because of their W. Michael’s “Marine Sand-dwellers.” He small size. Someday, I hope to encounter a states that soles are the most likely flatfish to sole, and especially a tonguefish. be encountered in the marine aquarium trade. As you probably know, all flatfishes begin The soles pictured and mentioned in Michael’s their lives symmetrically. That is, they have article seem, in my opinion, to be flounders. bilateral, fish-shaped bodies with correctly In any event, Michael states that soles will aligned fins, and one eye on each side of their acclimate to captivity if provided with a sandy body. Within a few days after hatching, one substrate in which to bury themselves, and are eye migrates to be beside the other eye, on the initially fed live foods, such as ghost shrimp other side of the body, while their muscles, skin, that have been acclimated to saltwater, as well blood vessels, and bones slowly shift as well. as blackworms and/or bloodworms. None of Flounders are flat fish that lie on their sides, not these live long in salt water. Soles should not their stomachs. The size of this fish is between be kept with aggressive fish, because they are six to fifteen inches, with a maximum length of slow, methodical hunters, and might be picked eighteen inches. All peacock flounders that I on. More than one can be kept in the same have observed have been between six and nine tank, but be prepared to separate them if they inches. This fish has a slight indentation, or fight. They are not prone to skin parasites, nor notch, in its “upper” head above its lips. There are they overly sensitive to poor water quality. are numerous blue rosettes over its entire body, Some soles exude a toxic slime that will keep and abundant blue spots and short lines on its aggressive fish away. head and fins. The eyes of flounders protrude, I don’t know of anyone keeping a sole or so that it seems like they are on short stalks. flounder in a marine aquarium. If someone has, The pectoral fin sits just beyond the gills, and I’m sure that it would be a good story for this when extended it stands erect and is noticeable. publication. I’m looking forward to my next The dorsal and anal fins form a ring around flounder encounter. While I prefer my flounder most of the body. Flounders have a short but in the ocean, an occasional one on the plate is distinct tail. good too! Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

October 2012


Pictures from our

Tonight’s program was delivered by our President, Dan Radebaugh

Tonight’s auctioneer: Bill Amely

Jeff Bollbach with apprentice fishkeeper Kim

Bowl Show winner for 1st & 2nd place: Richard Waizman

Ed Vukich (L) with fishkeeping pal, Bill Adams 18 18

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

last meeting

Photos by Susan Priest

A warm welcome to new members:

Marty Katz

Jesus Alvarez

And, welcome to returning members:

LaMont Brown

Michael Henderson

Past GCAS President (1999-2000) Jeff George Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S. (NY) Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

October 2012 October 2012



A Small, Native American Fish by Jules Birnbaum


eterandria formosa is a livebearer from southern Florida. It is the only member of the Heterandria genus found in the USA (Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana). This little livebearer lives in still, brackish water and is often called the mosquito fish, not to be confused with the larger Gambusia affinis, or dwarf livebearer. H. formosa is the smallest of the Poeciliidae family, which includes guppies, mollies, platys, and swordtails. Females are about an inch long at maturity, while the males are smaller and more streamlined. The male has a very large gonopodium (in this case size does matter). The fish is an olive or grey color with a horizontal black stripe. They are compatible with other small fish such as pencilfish and cory catfish. Freshwater shrimp and small plecos would also work well in their tank. 20

October 2012

I acquired my fish from Rit Forcier, who had collected them just a week before, in Fort Myers, Florida. Rit suggested I keep them in higher pH water, using some crushed coral in my box filter. He also suggested adding a little salt. I use jumbo round green box filters from JEHMCO, the fishroom supply store. These filters have plenty of room for buffering material, and are easy to maintain. There is also a sponge filter that was already going when I set up the tank. Although not necessary, I left it in place. The tank is a 20 gallon (though a 5 or 10 gallon would do fine), heavily planted with Java moss, Anubias, and Najas. There are a couple of water lilies for a more interesting look. Both filters’ water flow is kept at a moderate level; the water temperature is approximately 74 degrees, but can be as low as 68. The light is Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

moderate, using a fluorescent shop light hanging about 12 inches above the tank. Most tropical fish seem to breed better in moderate water flow and low light. At least this has been my own personal experience, and knowledge acquired from visiting the fishrooms of expert breeders of rare fish. There is an inch or two of smallsized gravel to provide some interesting esthetics. I like the dwarf lilies that I purchased from our fellow Greater City member Harsha Perera, owner of the pet shop Zoo-Rama, in the Bronx. Many breeders prefer a bare-bottom tank for easy maintenance and transfer of fish to other tanks. One commercial breeder of livebearers compromises by using bare bottoms with plants in clay pots. I like live plants, and they are an important part of our hobby. Lately I’ve found some measure of success by growing crypts, Anubias, and swords in clay pots. I like more control of the planting medium and where the plants are placed to get the proper light, but that is a subject for another time. My H. formosa are fed crushed flake food in the morning, and brine shrimp in the afternoon. They are true omnivores. Since H. formosa are very small fish, I’ve stayed away from larger food such as blood worms or black worms. I added a few Aspidoras, a small, active catfish, to Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

eat any excess food. It should be noted that this is a good choice of fish if you plan to be away periods of time. They will survive very nicely by nibbling on your plants. Once a week I perform 50% water changes, using a de-chlorinator powder. I take special care to make sure the temperature of the fresh water is the same as that of the water that was removed. As they say, “give them the right conditions, and nature will take its course.” About a week after the tank was set up, a small number of very small fry started appearing among the Najas. The fry look exactly like the parents, who do not pay any attention to them. Presently there are at least a dozen fry swimming with the parents.

I did bring a bag of 1-inch adult H. formosa to the latest GCAS auction, and I am sure the member who took them home will also have success with them and bring a bag or two to our auction in the future. Keep your eyes open for these Native Americans.

October 2012


*** Announcing ***

2nd Annual Tropical Fish Auction! Join us at the Polish American Club, 9 1st Street in Windsor Locks, CT on Sunday, Oct. 21st for our 2nd annual tropical fish auction.

Door Prizes 50/50 Cash Raffle Free Admission Refreshments Good people….Good fish….Good fun! Auction starts at 12:00 noon. Doors open at 9:30 AM for viewing and registering lots. Bring your fish and new or “gently used” aquarium equipment for a 50/50 split (nonmembers) or 70/30 split for members. Donations are great too! From I91 South

From I91 North

At ex it 42, take ramp right t oward W ind sor Lock s

At exit 42, take ramp right for CT-159 toward Windsor Locks

0.2 mi Turn left onto Lawnacre Rd

0.5 mi Turn left onto CT-159 / S Main St

0.2 mi Keep straight onto CT-159 North / S Main St

0.2 mi Turn left onto South St

0.5 mi Turn left onto South St

0.2 mi Turn right onto 1ST St

0.2 mi Turn right onto 1ST St

169 ft Arrive at 9 1ST St, Windsor Locks, CT 06096

169 ft Arrive at 9 1ST St, Windsor Locks, CT 06096

Visit for more information


October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Keeping and Breeding

Theraps wesseli


by Dan Radebaugh

amed in honor of Rusty Wessel, who discovered them back in 1991, Theraps wesseli is a medium sized cichlid, native to the Rio Papaloteca basin of northern Honduras. Rusty describes1 their habitat as being pristine mountain streams, with clear, “fast-moving water with a current of approximately three feet per second, a pH of 7.8 and a water temperature of approximately 25°C (77°F). Surprisingly, the water is relatively soft. The bottom consists of sand, rocky rubble and large boulders with a maximum depth of only 2.4-3.0 m (8 to 10 feet). Female T. Wesseli with a few fry. The banks are lined by a lush green vegetation. Many consider this the area one of the most beautiful in all of Honduras.” When Rusty came and spoke to us here at Greater City a couple of years ago, he brought a couple of bags of these fish with him, and I bought one of them at that night’s auction. The bag contained six or seven fry of approximately 1.5 inches. After quarantine, I put them in a minimally planted 40-long aquarium which at the time was housing a couple of male dwarf pike cichlids, their mates having died of some peculiar disease for which I was unable to find a cure. I added some additional cover and hiding places, and everyone seemed to settle in nicely, the only other occupants being some snails and a small pleco, (purchased as Ancistrus Sp. LDA 003, but I’m less than confident of that identification). The tank is on the lower level of a metal stand that also supports a 75-gallon on the top level. I’ve found that very often fish behave nervously in a lower-level position; possibly their “wading bird” alarms go off as we approach the tank, and they dive for cover. These fish showed some of that behavior, though not excessively, and they didn’t act as though they felt crowded, so that’s where they’ve remained, though with mixed results, as you will see. By the way, within a month there were no more living snails in the tank, so if you have a tank full of unwanted snails… Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

One of my favorite sources for cichlid profiles is, so I went there to see what I’d gotten myself into. As a bonus, along with the standard profile is a brief article by Rusty Wessel, from which I quoted above. The profile itself states that the fish is mildly aggressive, an omnivore with a maximum size of eight inches, prefers water temperature of 76-80°, pH 7.6, with neutral hardness. Under gender differences, they state that the fish is monomorphic. While my experience with these fish is limited, I would have to disagree about the monomorphism. While as youngsters they all look pretty much alike (they attain their adult coloration by about one inch), my observation has been that the 8-inch length quoted above is only attained by the males, the females reaching only about 75% of males’ size. The male body shape differs slightly from that of the female, as well. Of course my sample size is so far only seven adult fish. Temperament: mildly aggressive? This gets a little interesting. When I put them in the 40-long (a four-foot tank), they seemed to like the hiding places, but freely cruised around in the open as well. I have never witnessed an overt act of aggression by these fish. Nevertheless, within a few days I found one of the dwarf pikes dead; the other followed within another two weeks. Then everything was fine for over a year. They clearly didn’t like the pleco much, but couldn’t do anything about him, as he seemed unimpressed by their ill will. As they all continued to grow, a few became noticeably larger and longer-bodied than the rest. These seemed to rate some social deference from the others, with the largest fish receiving the most deference. Then one day I noticed that one of the smaller fish had taken on the classic female spawning colors—a startlingly beautiful black, white, and gray, while the larger four fish took on a darker gray base coloration, with more intense coloration in general.

October 2012


The other two (smaller) individuals did not change from their normal coloration. I assumed these two to be females, and I still believe this to be so. After returning from work one afternoon, while doing the evening feeding I discovered that in this tank a massacre had occurred. Three of the four males were dead, in addition to one of the females—all showing physical injuries. After removing the victims, I put the remaining normally colored female in another tank containing two severums and a uaru. Taking this outbreak of violence as a sign of impending spawning, I waited a week or so, but nothing further happened, so I decided to try to move things along. The pH of the water from my faucets is typically neutral; that in my tanks usually is 6.6 to 6.8. I added some crushed coral to the media trays in my (Penguin) HOB filter, which pushed the pH up to about 7.3. I also remembered reading somewhere that with these fish, refilling with slightly warmer water during water changes will sometimes trigger spawning, so I did that with the next couple of water changes. I observed no spawning activity, but noticed that each fish had chosen a cave, and was mostly staying in it or by it except at feeding time. Then one afternoon at feeding time I saw the female herding some fry around the mouth of her cave. They seemed to me to be few in number, but unusually large—certainly larger than newly free-swimming severum, chocolate cichlid, or H. carpintis fry. But small in number. They stayed in or near the cave for several days before beginning to explore the tank, escorted by the female. The male stayed in or near his own cave. As time passed and the fry grew, so, mysteriously, did their numbers. It seemed that every day there were more, until they were seemingly everywhere. The female did all the escort duty; the male stayed as well out of the way

as he could. I don’t know, but I wonder if he wasn’t looking after some of the wrigglers (maybe even some of the eggs) while holed up in his cave. T. wesseli, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, is native to fast-moving, clear mountain streams. They appreciate water movement, and the fry, even while very small, take turbulent water very much in stride. Having more than once retrieved fry from the interior of canister filters, for the first few weeks after their appearance I put a home-made “prefilter” over the Penguin’s intake. After observing how 24

these fry handled water changes (I refill using a hose), I’m not certain that precaution was necessary, though I’ll probably do so again should the occasion arise. Better safe than sorry. In addition to whatever infusoria they gleaned from the planted tank, I started them off on finely powdered food like Cyclop-Eeze® (and others), graduating them to larger bite sizes as they grew. They are not fussy eaters. In general, T. wesseli seems to be more attracted to sinking food than to floating, though this could be partly due to habituation; the fry will go for the floating food, but the parents continued to prefer it to sink. The fish I got from Rusty may well have been exposed mostly to sinking food, and have continued to prefer that. We’ll see how these little ones’ preferences develop as they grow.

Male T. wesseli. Photo is a bit dark, but note the slightly different spawning colors, as well as the head and body shape.

Sadly, though I still have not actually witnessed overt aggression from these fish, I awoke a couple of weeks ago to find the female badly beaten and dead. This of course was very frustrating. Perhaps results would have been different in a larger tank, but how much larger would be necessary? It’s hard to imagine a that a 55-gallon tank, or even a 75, would make much of a difference, as the tank length is the same. I recommend using a divider, if not a six-foot tank, until we have more accounts of successful (and unsuccessful) spawning methods and results. These are beautiful and interesting fish, and they don’t appear to have a large native range, so the more knowledge we have of their spawning and other social behavior, the better. The female that I put in the 75-gallon tank got along fine with her larger South American tankmates until I sold her at a Greater City auction a couple of months ago. I still have the male and a large number of fry, and I’ll have to start finding homes for the kiddies soon. The male still avoids much contact with the fry, but he is very careful not to eat or hurt them during feeding time. Photos by Marsha Radebaugh 1

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

center of diversity, but no other group of organisms has suffered more from development, or benefitted less from environmental laws than our freshwater fauna.” 123 species of freshwater mollusks, crayfishes, amphibians and fishes have become extinct since 1900. Conservative estimates are that a Series On Books For The Hobbyist 217 of 1,021 species (or 21.3%) of North American freshwater fishes will be extinct by the by SuSAN PRIEST year 2100. xtinction of species is nothing new. It has Hang onto your mental health, because we are about to jump ahead. “The good news is this: been going on for a very, VERY long time. Mr. Foreman begins by taking us on a Just as modern biological and historical research journey back to the beginning of extinctions. The has shown us clearly the ecological wounds of a five great extinction episodes of the past 540,000 mass extinction, so it can teach us how we might years, as revealed by fossil records, are briefly become ecological doctors and heal those wounds.” Of the five chapters in Part II, the main described. focus of Mr. Foreman is Most species last for the selecting and from one million to ten Rewilding North America designing of protected million years. Dave Foreman areas. “Extinction, or evolution Island Press, 2004 I think I just heard into daughter species, is someone mumbling that the fate of all species.” this is not enough good This constitutes so-called news, so let’s see what “normal” extinction. BUT, scientists have calculated that the current rate else we can come up with. A proper formula for of extinction is occurring from one thousand to ten the rewilding of North America includes “mapping biodiversity hot-spots, thousand times more and then establishing rapidly than normal. the largest road-less The planet earth is boundaries around experiencing an them that we can.” “extinction crisis!” The Long, narrow areas are cause of this crisis can much less efficient than be traced directly to “the wide rounded areas. eating, manufacturing, The eastern United traveling, warring, States has precious consuming, and little space which has breeding by six billion not been taken up by human beings.” strip malls, banks, and This book is gas stations. Hope for organized into three success with these sections. They are: Part initiatives lies west of I, Bad News, Part II, the Mississippi River, Good News, and Part where there is still III, Taking Action. (Our enough “wilderness” to author suggests that if work with. you start to feel suicidal The single most during Part I, you important consideration shouldn’t feel any guilt is that these areas about jumping ahead.) I should be as roadless will briefly discuss as possible. Roads are excerpts from each an open invitation to section. poachers, timber The Bad News is thieves, and many other divided into six people who are not chapters. Two of them environmentally reveal the “Ecological Wounds of North America.” A clear choice for you, minded. It is too bad that we didn’t start thinking the readers of Modern Aquarium, is the section on about these issues a century ago when “horseless North American freshwater ecosystems. “For all carriages” were just starting to roll off the sorts of freshwater animals, the United States is the assembly lines!


18Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY) Modern

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


One area of emphasis by the author is the need for the presence of carnivores such as wolves, pumas, jaguars and eagles. “Ecosystem integrity is often dependant on the functional presence of large carnivores.” They are natural regulators of populations of prey species, as well as of the balance between large and small seeded plants. Even though I was able to grasp these relationships, I thought that they could have been explained in a little more detail. So far we have had the Bad News, which was reported to us in page after page of startling statistics (of which I only gave you a very small sampling), and the Good News, which doesn’t appear to be all that good. It would seem to me that our author has thoroughly prepared us to TAKE ACTION (Part III). We could all have saved ourselves a lot of pain and confusion if we had begun reading on page 202, which is the first page of chapter 14. I won’t put you to sleep by typing in the title of this chapter. What I will do is take you hopscotching from one paragraph to another.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking. Many of them are interconnected. Many are common sense and easily accomplished. Some call for simply doing “nothing” instead of “something.” The reasons for and results of these suggested initiatives are explained. Some of them have already been proven to be effective, and others are proposals. Following the text is a section of “Notes” which is basically a list of footnotes and references for each individual chapter. There is also a very comprehensive index. A perusal of its entries will make you wonder to yourself “did I miss that page?” Human humility and restraint. In the end, this is what Mr. Foreman says is called for. Can we safely base our “Hope For The Future” (the title of the final chapter), on such frail qualities as these?

Reintroduction of beavers. Putting a halt to predator and pest controls. Combating erosion. Prohibition of big tree logging. Removal of abandoned and unnecessary livestock fencing. & Identifying and removing barriers to wildlife movement. & Removal of destructive and unnecessary dams. & Protecting large roadless areas, small roadless areas, and creating new roadless areas. & & & & &

Kingfish (

Good for the Hobby – Organizations – Industry Ray “Kingfish” Lucas Celebrating 23 years in the business (1989-2012) of participating at your events. 26

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

October 2012 October 2012


Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Member Classifieds EQUIPMENT: Lifeguard AquaStep UV Light Hang-On -- 25 Watt $30 Reaction 4 Model DFU with built-in UV for up to 150 gallon cannister filter $40 Vortex Diatom Filter -- Model D1 $30 Marineland BioWheel Pro Hang-on filter -- rated up to 400 GPH $25 Pro Clear Skimmer -- Rated to 150 gallons $40 Call Warren: 631-563-1404 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fish: Salvini cichlid fry -- Various sizes 3/$5 Call Herb 718-225-9648 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For Restoration Project: Does anyone have some pieces of bubble-edge glass? Perhaps from a broken or old tank? Need three pieces -- Will pay! Please contact Steve:

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: Bill Amely Sharon Barnett Jules Birnbaum Jeff Bollbach Carlotti de Jager Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Joe Graffagnino Michael Macht Al & Sue Priest Dan Puleo Dan & Marsha Radebaugh

October 2012


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: 1 Richard Waizman 2 Richard Waizman

Male betta Female betta

Unofficial 2012 Bowl Show totals to date:

Richard Waizman 17 Robert Hamje 10 Jerry O'Farrell Ruben Lugo 5 Carlotti deJager 3

A warm welcome and Eddie West!

back to renewing




William Amely 8

LaMont Brown, Jeff George, Michael Henderson,

A special welcome to new members Jesus Alvarez and Marty Katz!

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: November 7, 2012 Speaker: Joseph Ferdenzi Topic: GCAS 90th! 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

Nassau County Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: October 9, 2012 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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:

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: October 12, 2012 Speaker: None Event: Giant Fall 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: October 19, 2012 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBD 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:


Next Meeting: October 18, 2012 Speaker: Rosario LaCorte Topic: Tetras Meets at: The Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

Norwalk Aquarium Society

Next Meeting: October 18, 2012 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:

October 2012

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

In any event, the fish, which has been named “Lucky,” is now in Taylor's possession in its own 30-gallon tank with pH-balanced water, plants, and a bubbler to aerate his environment. But this is just a temporary home. Bailey, Taylor, and Wilkinson hope to reunite the mystery fish with its still-missing owner. While fish falling from the sky may be unusual, it is not unheard of. In 2010, hundreds of live spangled perch, Leiopotherapon unicolor, fell out of the sky over the town of Lajamanu in Australia.2 Meteorologists attributed this to a tornado having sucked up the fish from rivers hundreds of miles away. (This landlocked town is 326 miles from the nearest river.) A series by The Undergravel Reporter The “climbing perch,” Anabas testudineus, is so commonly named because, near the end of the In spite of popular demand to the 18th century, a specimen was found in a tree five contrary, this humor and information feet off the ground.3 While more than likely the column continues. As usual, it does fish got there by being dropped by a bird or other nOT necessarily represent the animal, finding a live fish five feet off the ground opinions of the editor, or of the in a tree could understandably cause someone to Greater City Aquarium Society. think that the fish climbed up under its own power. As an anabantoid, Anabas testudineus, has an accessory organ that allows it to use oxygen anadian resident Jan Bailey of Vancouver, directly from the air and survive for extended British Columbia, saw a rather periods outside water unusual-looking (as long as its body reddish orange fish, a does not dry out). In little more than nine addition, spines on its inches long, dive out of body give it sufficient a tree in her backyard. traction to allow it to Employees at a local pet travel on land, on mud store identified the fish from one pool of water as a Midas cichlid, an to another. Whether aquarium fish native to this fish can actually South and Central climb trees is doubtful. America and usually We all know that kept in indoor 1 fish can jump, but it’s aquariums. pretty doubtful that any Cindy Wilkinson, fish can climb a tree. Bailey’s friend and Lynda Taylor (left) and Cindy Wilkinson are However, if you ever fellow fish rescuer, has trying to find the owner of 'Lucky,' a Midas hear: “it’s raining fish,” theorized, “Maybe cichlid that mysteriously fell from their friend's that could actually be someone was cleaning cedar tree. true. And, if you keep out its tank and left it Midas cichlids, you outside for a minute.” Another friend, Lynda might want to reinforce their tank’s cover — just in Taylor, who owns a koi pond, thinks the fish may case! have been put in an outdoor pond for the summer and snatched up for lunch by a passing eagle that dropped it.


1 ref =animals-in-the-news 2 -Lajamanu.html 3

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

October 2012 October 2012



Fin Fun It’s October, season for apples, colorful (and falling) leaves, and, at the end of the month, visits from “ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties -- and things that go bump in the night” holding Halloween goodie bags. Some aquatic animals have been given common names that are truly “Halloweenish.” See how many of these “ghoulish” common names you can match up with their correct scientific name. Common Name Green Terror Vampire Pleco Bloodfin Tetra Assassin Snail Dracula Fish Black Ghost Knifefish Devil Stinger Fish Goblin Fish Fangtooth Fish Devil Fish Giant Snakehead Viperfish Atlantic Wolffish Solution to last month’s Puzzle: See

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Scientific Name Anoplogaster cornuta Channa micropeltes Apteronotus albifrons Mobula mobular Leporacanthicus galaxias Danionella dracula Chauliodus sloani Aphyocharax anisitsi Anarhichas lupus Aequidens rivulatus Inimicus didactylus Glyptauchen panduratus Clea helena

the Seahorse?

October 2012 October 2012

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

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