Modern Aquarium

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1994 —

September 2013 volume XX number 7

20th Anniversary — 2013

Series III ON THE COVER Our cover this month features Dario dario, a tiny beauty from India. For more information on this little labyrinth fish, see Al Priest’s “The Ultimate Nano Fish,” on page 9. Photo by Alexander A. Priest GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY BOARD MEMBERS

President Dan Radebaugh Vice-President Edward Vukich Treasurer Jules Birnbaum Assistant Treasurer Ron Wiesenfeld 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


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

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

Vol. XX, No. 7 September, 2013

In This Issue From the Editor G.C.A.S. 2013 Program Schedule President’s Message August's Caption Contest Winner Cartoon Caption Contest This Month's Speaker: Mark Denaro by Alexander A. Priest

Our Generous Sponsors & Advertisers The Ultimate Nano Fish Dario dario, the Scarlet Badis by Alexander A. Priest

The LFS Report Fish Town USA by Dan Puleo

G.C.A.S. Bowl Show Rules Your Fish Are What They Eat by Jules Birnbaum

The Frugal Aquarist: Part I by Alexander A. Priest

My Favorite Marine Fish The Sand Tilefish by Stephen Sica

Wet Leaves Mark Denaro's TFH column, “Into the Labyrinth,” by Susan Priest

Member Classifieds G.C.A.S. Happenings The Undergravel Reporter The Ultimate Waterbed?

Fin Fun (Puzzle Page) In The Labyrinth

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

13 14 15 18 21 23

26 28 29 30

From the Editor by Dan Radebaugh


rom the nano to the deep blue sea. This corrupted line from an old song is not a bad description of this issue of Modern Aquarium. Our cover features a tiny labyrinth fish from India that might be ideally suited to a nano tank, and, with many points of interest along the way, we’re also treated to some photos of the sand tilefish, a beautiful marine fish from the Caribbean and our southern Atlantic coastal waters. Mark Denaro, a longtime friend of Greater City, is this evening’s speaker (on labyrinth fishes), and thanks to Al and Sue Priest, we’ve addressed both Mark and his topic in this month's issue. Be sure and see our introduction to Mark, as well as Al Priest’s article on our cover subject, Dario dario, the scarlet badis (no, it’s not a new action movie, it’s a small labyrinth fish from India). Sue, in her “Wet Leaves” column this month, tells us about Mark’s “Into the Labyrinth” column in Tropical Fish Hobbyist. And in further honor of Mark’s visit, our Fin Fun puzzle is entitled “In the Labyrinth.” But don’t worry; you don’t need to start channeling Theseus to enjoy this issue. Jules Birnbaum treats us to a treatise on food (“Your Fish Are What They Eat”), Steve Sica tells us (and shows us) about Malacanthus plumieri, the sand tilefish, and Al presents us with Part I of “The Frugal Aquarist”—always a relevant subject! Also, Dan Puleo continues his survey of local fish and aquarium shops, this month featuring Fish Town USA, which I know many of us frequent, and the Undergravel Reporter wonders if some fishkeepers may go a little too far in their quest for the spectacular.


These are all really good articles, and we need more! We always need more 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 or plants 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



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 6

Joe Ferdenzi 90 Years of GCAS!

April 3

Larry Johnson Lake Malawi

May 1

Sal Silvestri

Apistogrammas June 5

Leslie Dick Livebearers

July 3

Joe Ferdenzi Do-It-Yourself Aquarium Gadgets

August 7

Silent Auction

September 12

Mark Denaro Bettas/Labyrinth Fishes

October 2

Sam Fu, of Pacific Aquarium Nano Tanks

November 6

Mark Soberman Keeping and Breeding Corydoras

December 4

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 2013 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)

September 2013


President’s Message by Dan Radebaugh irst of all, hats off to Dan Puleo for arranging the weekend sale for Greater City members at Pacific Aquarium last month. Marsha and I were there late Saturday morning, and made a couple of necessary purchases. It’s a shop that I had not been aware of prior to Dan’s LFS Report. They had a polite, helpful staff, and a good collection of healthy-looking stock, including some very interesting oddballs. It’s located just a few blocks’ walk from the F train stop on Delancey Street. Excellent experience all around. I’m not sure how many of our members made the trip, but several were there during the hour or so that I was, so I’d call this a successful event. And, as a further bonus, Pacific’s proprietor, Sam Fu, is going to present a program to us at next month’s meeting. Good work, Dan! Pacific Aquarium was not our only pilgrimage last month. A recent episode of Animal Planet’s Tanked recounted the installation of a large saltwater aquarium at the Applebee's Restaurant in Coney Island, so we combined a trip to the New York Aquarium, open again now after Sandy, though not yet fully recovered, with a visit to the Applebee's to see



the tank. A couple of days before our visit, we saw a news piece that there had been a problem. One of the sharks had died after colliding with the ferris wheel centerpiece of the tank, and another shark had gone a feeding frenzy, victimizing several of its tankmates before being removed. By the time of our visit order had been restored, but it was certainly a cautionary tale. Watching both of the custom tank shows on TV, I've often questioned the amount of tank space devoted to ornate decoration. I've had to reduce the amount and size of decorations in several of my tanks in order to minimize the number of injuries from collisions with driftwood, rocks, filter intakes, heaters, etc., so I have been very doubtful when looking at the level of attractive “junk” in some of these high-end tanks. Nevertheless, I do wish I had the space and the cash to really “go large” like this. Speaking of going large, our Silent Auction/ Flea Market last month drew a very large crowd, and sported an impressive collection of sale items. I’d have to rate it a huge success! Thanks and Congratulations to all who participated!

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

August's Caption Winner: Horst Gerber

The picture in the middle looks just like your mother!

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

September 2013


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:


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Greater City Aquarium Society welcomes this month’s speaker:


Mark Denaro

ark Denaro is no stranger to the Greater City Aquarium Society. He has spoken at Greater City in the past. In addition, his dedication to the aquarium hobby is such that he has also served as chauffeur for other speakers, driving from his home in Pennsylvania to pick up and return them back. (In fact, the photo on this page was taken at a Greater City meeting last year, when Mark served as chauffeur for our speaker that month, Jeff Michels.) Mark has been keeping freshwater aquariums since 1972 and marine aquariums since 1976. He has always been very interested in planted and biotope aquariums and has been keeping reef tanks since before that term was coined. Mark has bred over 200 species of freshwater fish and propagated over 150 species of aquatic plants. He has also spawned several species of marine fish and has propagated over 30 species of marine invertebrates. Mark has been involved in the organized hobby since joining the Indianapolis Aquarium Society in 1984. He has served in almost every possible elected office in aquarium societies since that time, including serving as the President of the Indianapolis Aquarium Society, as well as the International Betta Congress. Mark is one of the founders, and currently the first President, of the American Labyrinth Fish Association (ALFA). He is also the president of the Bucks County Aquarium Society. He is well known as a speaker and judge, having spoken to over 40 aquarium societies in 16 states plus Canada. Mark has also presented educational programs on reefs and rainforests at numerous schools in several states. Mark worked in the pet industry for over 25 years at all levels, including working in store management for both independent retailers and big box chain stores, sales manager and warehouse manager for a regional livestock wholesaler, as well as owning a retail shop, a marine wholesale operation, and several aquarium installation and maintenance companies. Mark operated “Anubias Design,” a specialty importer of new, rare, and interesting freshwater fish , invertebrates, and plants. (That business was taken over by Josh Wiegert and renamed “Batfish Aquatics.”) Mark has written articles for club magazines as well as Aquarium International and Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH) magazines. He currently writes the column “Into the Labyrinth” for TFH (see Modern Aquarium’s “Wet Leaves” column this month) along with feature articles. Mark’s main interests in the hobby are anabantoids and related species, as well as the breeding of marine fish. So please welcome Mark Denaro, speaking this month on “Bettas and Labyrinth Fishes.”

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

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September 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Dario dario ~ the Scarlet Badis by ALEXANDER A PRIEST - photo by the author


alling them “fads” will likely get quite a few people upset, so I’m going to call them “trends.” There is/was the trend of the “natural” aquarium, the “Dutch” aquarium, the “biotope” aquarium, The “planted” aquarium (as opposed to an aquarium with a few plants), the “high-tech” aquarium (you know, automated feeders, autom ated w ater ch anges, U V sterilization, carbon dioxide infusion, LED lighting, etc.), and so on. One of the most popular current trends in the aquarium hobby is the “nano” aquarium, generally understood to mean a very small tank. One obvious factor (at least I HOPE it’s obvious to anyone reading this), is that a “nano” aquarium needs “nano-sized” fish. W ell, what about the smallest species in the largest order of fish? (For anyone who needs a refresher in taxonomy, individual species are members of a genus; several genera belong to a family, and several families constitute an order, so the smallest species in the largest order means a really small fish!) The species I’m going to introduce you to in this article has the common name of “scarlet badis.” Despite that common name, it is not a member of the genus Badis, although it is a

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

member of the family Badidae, which is in the order Perciformes (perch-like fish), the largest order of fishes. Members of the Badidae family (which include the genera Badis and Dario, are often grouped with the “labyrinth fish” (along with gouramis, bettas, paradise fish, and snakeheads), even though they lack a labyrinth organ (the maze-like structure in the head allowing labyrinth fish to take in oxygen directly from the air, instead of taking it from the water through their gills). Before describing, and getting into the husbandry of the Scarlet Badis, I’d like to clear up a few things about its scientific name, which is Dario dario. Once, there was a fish with the scientific name of Labrus badis. That fish was later renamed Badis buchanani and then renamed again to Badis badis. It was, for a time, the only member of its genus (by the way, a scientific name in which the genus and species names are the same is called a tautonym). Further discoveries and investigations resulted in the placing of additional species in the genus Badis, including the “scarlet badis” which was named Badis bengalensis.

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Later studies revealed that some of the fish in before acquiring a labyrinth organ. “This family w hat w as then appears to have classified the genus descended from the Badis were actually proto-anabantoid Scientific Name: Dario dario a distinct but similar stock.” 4 In addition, Common Name: Scarlet Badis the members of the species: dario. Temperature: 64.4 - 78°F (18-26°C) B adidae fam ily Badis and Dario pH Range: 6.5 - 8.5 spawn in a manner now form the family Hardness: 3-15°DH (soft) quite similar to that Badidae in which Adult size: males: 0.79 inches (2 cm); o f m a n y there currently are females 0.51 inches (1.3 cm) anabantoids, with 15 to 16 species Sexual dimorphism: M ales larger, the male embracing (with several more much more colorful the female to expel identified, but as yet Temperament: M ales can be aggressive to each her eggs, although unclassified, species other Badis species tend to likely to be placed Native habitat: India be cave spawners into one of these two Aquascaping: Heavily planted and Dario species genera in the future.) Nutrition: primarily carnivore (live or frozen generally lay their B a d i s daphina, brine shrimp, etc.) eggs in plants. b e n g a le n s is w a s Now, as to then determined to Dario dario be in the genus specifically, “the distribution of this species Dario, and scientifically renamed Dario dario, but the common name “scarlet badis” which it appears to be restricted to tributary systems acquired continued to be used, as it seemed so draining into the Brahmaputra River in parts of appropriate (see the photo in this article and on our the W est Bengal and Assam states of India, cover this month and you’ll see why). although it might also range into Buthan. It To distinguish between the genera, Badis typically inhabits shallow, clear water streams species have “tube-bearing scales in the lateral line with sand or gravel substrates and dense growths (versus absence of bony tubes in Dario) and a of marginal and/or aquatic vegetation.” 3 Adult males have bright scarlet-red vertical shorter pelvic fin in males (pelvic fin not reaching bars on a light, silvery body. The caudal and anal beyond the anterior base of anal fin versus pelvic fin in males reaching beyond the anterior part of fins have a thin white outer edge. On the other anal fin in Dario.” 1 hand, females have a rather plain gray body, All of the members in family Badidae (i.e., sometimes exhibiting very faint pale red or species in either the Badis or Dario genera) are orange vertical bars. Males, while very small, are small, but Dario dario is the smallest of the small. stunning to look at. If you can find Dario dario According to W ikipedia: “Badidae (the at all in a local fish store, you probably won’t see any females — there’s not much of a commercial chameleonfishes) is a small family of perciform market for extremely tiny gray fish! fishes. Members of this family are found in Because of their small size, these fish freshwater habitats in southern Asia from India to China. They are small fish with the largest, Badis should have filtration that produces minimal assamensis reaching a length of 6.8 centimetres water movement (otherwise, they simply would (2.7 in) while the smallest, Dario dario, does not be tossed around by the current produced by most exceed 2 centimetres (0.79 in)” 2 “with the females power filters). I use both a box filter (with being even smaller around 1.3 centimetres (0.51 Poly-Filter®, and carbon-impregnated sheets cut in). Apart from the size difference, it is very easy to size, along with filter floss) and a dual-head to distinguish the sexes by the vibrant colors and cylindrical foam filter. prominent fins of the male.” 3 It should be noted Dario dario do not appear to require that Badidae are sometimes called chameleonfish specialized water parameters, as long as the water because of their ability to change color rapidly, is kept clean. Mine seem to be doing just fine in especially when breeding or stressed. dechlorinated New York City tap water (pH 7.0 I also mentioned that members of the and very soft) and a temperature around 75F. Badidae family, while lacking a labyrinth organ, W hile there may be some small and very are often grouped with the “labyrinth fish.” This is peaceful fish that could be kept with Dario dario based on both their morphology (biological as tankmates, I don’t recommend it. Ideally, they structure) and spawning behavior. should be kept in a species-only tank. Bone (osteological) studies indicate that members of the Badidae family may have diverged in their evolutionary history from the anabantoids



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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Their natural environment is heavily planted, and they lay their eggs in plants, so a layer of Java moss (Vesicularia dubyana) or another hardy aquatic moss is the best choice for a substrate. I prefer tanks without gravel, and with fish this small, using a gravel-cleaning syphon without sucking up the fish themselves is a real challenge! A heavily planted tank also keeps aggression down if you have more than one male in the tank (although I have never witnessed, or seen any evidence of, aggression among my colony of mixed sexes). I’d also throw in several small caves. Even though Dario dario are not cave spawners, I’ve found caves also help reduce aggression. On some Internet fish forums I’ve visited, hobbyists have claimed success in having Dario dario eat dry fish flakes. However, the general consensus is that these fish rarely eat anything that is not “live,” although floating pellets or thawed frozen morsels that “move” due to water current might be accepted. I feed my Dario dario live microworms, live brineshrimp, and chopped live blackworms. They are hearty eaters! I have never been lucky enough to witness Dario dario spawning, but here is a description I found on the Internet. 5 “As they come into breeding condition males will begin to form territories and display courtship behaviour tow ards fem ales swimming nearby. During this process they display some intense changes in patterning with the body intensifying in colour. Courtship can go on for days with the female often being chased away then courted again minutes later. The male will make a non-aggressive approach towards the female and appear to ‘invite’ her into the centre of his territory – if ready to spawn she will follow. The act itself is over in just a few seconds with eggs being scattered in a random fashion on the underside of a solid surface such as a plant leaf.

Post-spawning the female is ejected and the male takes sole responsibility for the territory. If you want to maximise the numbers of fry raised now is the time to either remove the medium to a container containing water from the spawning tank or the adults as the fry will be preyed upon once hatched. The incubation period is 2-3 days after which the fry may need up to a week to fully absorb the yolk sac. They are very small indeed and will require an infusoria-type diet until large enough to accept microworm and/or Artemia nauplii.” Of course, when fish are under an inch long, newly hatched fry are almost microscopic in size. Here’s where that Java moss and sponge filter really help. As a tank matures, microorganisms naturally build up on the surface of filter sponges and within the moss. Fry will readily feed on those microorganisms. Note the mention in the above quoted section to an “infusoria-type diet”— this is how to achieve that! If you remove the fry to a “grow-out” tank, include some of the moss from the original tank, and use the same sponge (one of the reasons I like the “dual sponge” arrangement is that it allows me to keep one mature sponge in the adult tank and still have one for a fry tank). Newly hatched brine shrimp, daphnia, and microworms can also be fed to fry as they mature. There you have it — a scarlet badis that isn’t a Badis and that lacks a labyrinth organ, but is grouped with labyrinth fishes. W ell, it IS scarlet (the males at least), and in any event, it is a tiny jewel of a fish I would recommend to intermediate or experienced fish keeping hobbyists (the live food requirements being perhaps a bit more difficult than a beginner can handle).

References Schindler, Ingo and Linke, Horst (2010) Badis juergenschmidti – a new species of the Indo-Burmese fish family Badidae (Teleostei: Perciformes) from Myanmar. Vertebrate Zoology, 60 (3): 209-216. ISSN 1864-5755, 21.12.2010 2 3 4 Barlow, G. W ., Liem, K. F. and W ickler, W . (1968), Badidae, a new fish family–behavioural, osteological, and developmental evidence. Journal of Zoology, 156: 415–447. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1968.tb04363.x 5 1

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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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.


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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The LFS Report by Dan Puleo

LFS in the spotlight: Fish Town U.S.A.

Mon - Fri 10am - 9pm Sat 10am - 7pm Sun 10am - 6pm

196-33 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11358


his month the LFS Spotlight falls on Fish Town U.S.A., a shop that I’m sure many of our members are familiar with. Fish Town is the largest aquarium shop in Queens, with about 4,000 square feet of retail space dedicated solely to the fresh and saltwater hobbies. I spoke with store manager George Jacome and found out that Fish Town had started at a different location, 189th St & Northern Blvd., in 1969 and moved to their permanent home just off FrancisLewis Blvd. in the early 70s. I also learned that they operated a store in Manhattan for many years. They closed that store about 15 years ago, just before George started at Fish Town. If you haven’t been there you’ve been missing out. They have 28 tanks devoted to African rift lake cichlids alone, and 15 tanks plus a small pond for Goldfish. I was particularly impressed by their black moors ($8), which looked hearty and had a healthy velvet-black color. Their other freshwater tropical tanks are filled with specimens for every hobbyist’s taste. There are nice red tuxedo platies (3/$8.50) and red wag platies (3/$5.75) for the livebearer lovers, and metaes (2/$11.75) and paleatus (3/$8.50) for the cory collectors. They also had threadfin rainbows (2/$15) and yellow rainbows (2/$24) on my most recent visit, and for the catfish fanatics in our club they have snowball plecos ($60), 2 ½” gold nugget plecos ($30), twig cats (2/$21), candy stripe Plecos ($40), and young red-tailed sternella ($50). For those interested in starting or adding to a discus tank, Fish Town currently has some sweet two-inchers on sale for only $15 each! Come and get them before they’re gone! Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

For those who have joined the nano tank craze, there are red trifasciata pencilfish (2/$21), and for your community tank the emperor tetras (3/$8.50) had beautiful color, as well as the Congo tetras. For those on a budget, Fish Town always keeps an “Anything for 99ȼ” tank, and this week it had head&-tail-lights, black skirts, & albino Buenos Aires tetras, plus brilliant rasboras, among others. Fish Town is also a haven for the planted tank aficionado, with broad-leafed sag and mondo grass (both 3/$8.50) and Ludwigia peruensis ($6), among many others. Though I don’t get into the salty side of the hobby, I can still recognize that what they have in that department is of the highest quality. There is a reason why they have such dedicated saltwater clientele—they regularly get direct imports from the Red Sea, Hawaii, Bali, and many other parts of the world. Another great thing about Fish Town is their vast stock of aquarium equipment. They have choices of lighting that will boggle your mind, and every type and brand of filter you could think of. Their selection of tanks and cabinets is unmatched in our area, and I found when buying my own tanks that they have the best prices on them that I could find. Whatever you need, you can bet they have it and the prices will be fair. So, if you haven’t been to Fish Town U.S.A. yet, all I can say is that it’s time you made the trip. Just make sure you have some tank space ready at home, because you probably won’t be coming home empty-handed.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Your Fish Are What They Eat! by Jules Birnbaum don’t apply to fry, which should be fed several times here are two old expressions: “you are what a day. There are usually a few cory catfish in my fry you eat,” and “variety is the spice of life.” Of tanks to clean up after these extra feedings. course today, we add several other factors for If we should go on vacation for a few days, we a long and healthy life. These two sayings can also be don't bother arranging for feeding except for the fry. applied to your fish. For them, small plastic pill containers, one for each The first book I came across that discussed the day, containing a daily portion of powdered fry food, subject of fish food was Exotic Aquarium Fishes, are placed on top of each fry tank for my fish-sitter. written in the 1930s by William T. Innes. Mr. Innes Before the proliferation of commercially begins the chapter concerning feeding and fish food prepared fish foods, most of with a quote from an the early books in the hobby unknown author, “Now good provided recipes for making digestion waits on appetite, your own food. This was and health on both.” messy, but many hobbyists, One of the great including myself, tried pleasures of fishkeeping this before finally getting is watching our fish eat; thrown out of the kitchen. however this can be our We used liver, beef heart, downfall as fishkeepers. cooked cereal, wheat germ, Tropical fish are coldshredded shrimp, and blooded, and thus require cooked greens. These were very little food compared blended, dried in a flat pan, with us mammals, who use and then ground up. I also a lot of energy keeping our tried baby foods, which I body heat at the proper level. blended with Knox Gelatin Uneaten food can easily foul to form a gel food. I should the water and encourage Various types of prepared fish food. Photo from Wikipedia add that some say Knox algae to flourish. Excessive gelatin is not easily digestible by tropical fishes. fish waste from over feeding can also be detrimental to water quality. A few successful GCAS members feed Most successful breeders recommend using their adult fish just three times a week, while others live foods for conditioning the pair in order to get the skip one day a week—especially before introducing best results. However, live food, unless you grow it a new food. yourself, has become very expensive, and I use such There are several things you should look for food only when conditioning my breeding pairs. when your fish are eating. Are they ravenous, which There is always a risk fry will die if they don’t is what you want, or just casual (a warning sign), or get live food in the first few days. Microworms are not eating at all? (real trouble). If they are not eating, easy to culture. A starter culture can easily be obtained I perform one or more major water changes, clean the from some of our expert breeders. The cost of brine filters, clean the bottom of the tank, and test the water shrimp eggs is also becoming costly (over $50 for a 1 and the water temperature. Temperature and oxygen lb. tin). Blackworms are readily available, but again directly affect the amount of food fish can properly the cost is high—1/2 lb. costs approximately $20. consume. Metabolism of all cold-blooded fishes is They will last for months, but must be refrigerated, affected by temperature. The warmer they are, the and rinsed daily in cold water. Unless you have a faster they breathe, digest, eliminate, and grow. dedicated refrigerator your mate will scream at the In his book Mr. Innes states that one should thought of these wigglers near human food. Although feed as much as your fish can eat in 5 minutes. In live food will make breeding more productive, it is not my opinion 5 minutes is too long. I prefer using a 24 necessary on an everyday basis. second clock, like in pro basketball. Most fish food I recently switched to frozen live food, especially manufacturers recommend feeding two or three times during the warmer months. Frozen foods are 80% water, a day. I feed adult fish once a day. These guidelines and freezing does destroy some nutrients. However,


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storage is easy, it is ready for use when needed, and the fish love it. Frozen brine shrimp, mysis shrimp (high in protein), and bloodworms can last a year in the freezer. If you have a garden, earthworms should be available during the summer. They can be made to eliminate their soil by placing them in damp shredded newspaper. For smaller fish you can chop them up with a razor blade. Do not use earthworms if insecticide or weed killer has been sprayed anywhere near the area they are taken from. Cooked table food, such as chicken (white meat is less fatty), salmon, and shrimp, can be chopped into small bits. Make sure to rinse it Microworms. Photo by Wallace Deng before feeding to the fish. This food goes over big time with most tropical fish. Sliced zucchini or lettuce, weighted down, are great foods for some catfish. Frozen peas also work well. Flakes, pellets, and wafers seem to be the primary choices for most fishkeepers. Each manufacturer states on the label whether it is for carnivores, omnivores, or herbivores. In the wild, even herbivores eat small insects, and carnivores eat fish guts loaded with vegetable matter. The ingredients should be listed on the package. Manufacturers a l l say theirs is the best, but I haven’t seen any independent, impartial comparisons. Most fish food containers do not show an expiration date. Outdated fish food can contribute to some fish diseases. Consumer beware! I’m not a chemist, but I will try to give you in simple terms what I look for in a fish food. Proteins are the building blocks of life, but food package labels do not always tell you about the quality of the protein. We want animal protein, and to avoid too much grain, which is harder to digest and can cause digestive problems. Carbohydrates, in the form of grains, are used primarily to hold the food together. Grains are cheaper, so watch out for a high content of grains. More undigested waste is produced by an excessive amount of carbohydrates. Lipids (fats like omega 3&6) are high-energy nutrients. Some fish food manufacturers recommend that lipids should comprise no more than 5 to 10% of your fishes’ diet. Moisture should not be any more than 10%. Why pay for water? Ash (from bones, shells, and scales of marine animals) should be kept to a minimum. The fish can only assimilate so much mineral content, and the rest will add to unwanted pollution. The highly digestible food usually costs more, but is worth it. Less food is needed, and fish waste is reduced. 16

Preservatives are needed to prevent the oil found in fish foods from becoming rancid in a short time. I still refrigerate (and sometimes freeze) my fish food. My hands are always thoroughly dried before handling the food. If the food package is large, I place a two-week supply in a smaller container. Good quality fish foods do not use hormones. Any color enhancers should be natural. Variety is the spice of life, and since you would be bored eating the same food day in and day out, why serve the same thing to your fish every day? However, fish do not get bored, and many species in the wild do eat the same thing every day. As long as the food is of high quality to maintain maximum health it would be safe using one high quality food every day. I use flakes, pellets, wafers, gel, table food, freeze-dried, frozen, and live. (Did I miss a form of food?)

Mysis shrimp.

Should you use flake or pellet? Pellets are much more nutrient-dense, and much more stable in water, whereas flake foods are paper-thin, absorb water more quickly, and tend to leech out into the water. Since flake food spreads out, even your timid fish will get some. Pellets will remain more stable in the water for a longer period of time, thus the chance of fouling the water is less. Commercial aquaculture has proven this since the inception of pellets. To prove the point, take this test: put some flake food in a container, and pellet food in another container. Then add water to each container, and wait a few minutes. The water in the flake food container should become cloudy, and the container with the pellet food should be less so. Gel foods can be made from recipes available on several websites, and one gel food is being sold in powdered form. Just add hot water, mix, let stand to harden, and store it in the refrigerator. This powdered form uses a natural gel that is much more easily digested. I use this prepared gel food with much success. Cubes of gel can be placed in the tank, it stays together, and the fish graze on it. This is especially beneficial for fry and bottom feeders. Remember, your fish are what they eat (and so are you). Try some variety—it will add to your enjoyment watching your fish eat and thrive.

September 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Norwalk Aquarium Society 47th ANNUAL TROPICAL FISH SHOW Sponsored by the

Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center

Saturday, October 5th, 2013 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)



NAS Annual Auction

Sunday, October 6th, 2013 Auction Starts at 1:00 p.m. At Earthplace, the Nature Discovery Center Westport, Connecticut

For more information visit websites: or Call Barry at (203) -363-9808 or contact Sal at

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

September 2013


~ Part I ~

by ALEXANDER A PRIEST - photos by the author


I admit it. I’m a “hoarder.” I can’t throw anything out because I just know that once I do, I’ll desperately need it soon thereafter and won’t be able to get it when I need it the most. Also, while I don’t mind paying for something I think is worth the price, I don’t like overpaying for anything. Having said that, how much would you pay for a hole? Yes, a hole, because when all is said and done, as far as I’m concerned, a cave is nothing more than a hole surrounded by walls. Go to any store that sells aquarium supplies and, if they even have anything at all that passes for a cave, look at the price. Or go on-line and check out prices for aquarium caves (try and as well). After looking at the prices (plus shipping and maybe tax as well), I ask you, “Is a hole worth that much to you?” The photo below is part my collection of empty containers of fish (and turtle) food.

And, for those of you who are keeping (and trying to breed) bubble-nesting fish, you can just cut one of these containers in half and float it on the surface of the water.

Figure 3 - a Pseudosphromenus dayi under the floating half of a food container It need not even be a food container. In the photo below, the floating object on the left is half of an aquarium water conditioner bottle.

Figure 4 - the top left object used to be a bottle of tap water conditioner! Figure 1 - empty containers Now look at what two of these containers were transformed into, using only a sharp knife, some aquarium silicone cement, and rocks:

Figure 2 - two “aquarium-safe” caves


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

In some of my tanks I have internal power filters. These are great, but unless they can rest on the bottom of the tank, or on some other object, I find that, in almost every instance, the filters start sliding to the bottom, as their suction cup brackets don’t hold them in place for very long. W hat’s more, the tanks in which I use these power filters are too tall for them to rest on the bottom and provide the filtration and water agitation that I need. So, to give these filters something to rest on and keep them near the surface of the water instead of the bottom of the tank, I use some of my “food container caves” without gluing rocks or pebbles to hold them down (as the power filter does that for me). This also provides the same benefits of any other cave (giving my fish a place to hide, spawn, or just rest) while helping to keep my power filters in place.

A ugust 2013

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Figure 6 - a Betta channoides above a coconut shell cave

Figure 5 - “caves” supporting power filters (the ugly blue and brown pads above the caves are my “pre-filter/fry savers” )

Of course, you can make caves from other things, for example, a coconut shell (Figure 6). But, the truly “frugal aquarist” makes use of items already available, such as left-over slate chips.

Figure 7 - a slate chips and silicone cave

In my next installment, I’ll go over, among other things, old airstones (no, I won’t be recommending using them as a substrate).

Figure 8 - if this photo looks familiar, then you probably saw it on page 44 of the March 2013 issue of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine. Note the slate-chip cave in the center and the coconut-shell caves on the lower left and right.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

My Favorite Marine Fish:

The Sand Tilefish Story and Photos by Stephen Sica


henever I dive among the sandy patches in most often found hovering near the entrance of their reef systems, I scan the sand for any kind burrow, their long dorsal and anal fins undulating. of unique sea life. Every so often I’m They are very wary of divers, and disappear when rewarded by the sight of a unique animal. One such is approached, so it is difficult to get a close view of the sand tilefish, Malacanthus plumieri. This is a slimthis fish. A worthwhile sand patch may be fifty yards bodied fish that can grow to or more across. While two feet in length, though its appearing barren from usual length is about twelve afar, a close inspection will to eighteen inches. It has reveal the sand teaming a long white body that can with fish of all sizes. vary from yellowish white I have been fortunate to light bluish gray. It has to have observed a few a crescent shaped tail with specimens through the a dark area on the upper years, in various locations portion near, the base of the throughout the seas. Many tail. I personally believe live in sandy areas near that it is an attractive fish for the fringe of a reef system. a species that lacks multiVery few are out in the open Sand tilefish hovers very close to its burrow keeping a wary eye colors. If you disagree, I on approaching diver. in just a sand patch. I have think that you would agree always observed the fish that it is quite distinctive at the very least. hovering above its burrow. When disturbed it dives in headfirst. The burrow of this fish is so unassuming that a diver might pass over it without realizing where the fish went. On numerous occasions I have observed this fish, but on others failed to locate either the fish or its burrow. Experience has taught me to photograph the sand tilefish from a safe distance of at least fifteen feet. Any closer and the fish won’t hang around. If it is aggravated a sufficient number of times during an encounter, it won’t come out. In 2012 I was fortunate enough to spot a tilefish before I got too close and possibly spooked it. We were finishing a shallow reef dive in about thirty feet of water off Grand Bahama

Unassuming sand tilefish hovers above its burrow in a typical sand patch. This sandy patch is its home territory. Notice garden eel colony in the far background.

These fish are common in the Caribbean, and occasional to the Bahamas and Florida. They can travel north to Bermuda and North Carolina, and south to Brazil. You may even find one in the Gulf of Mexico. Their depth range is twenty to seventy feet. I have always seen these fish at fifty feet or less. Most inhabit shallower depths from twenty to forty feet. They build burrows in the sand, and frequently use coral rubble to enhance their homes. They are Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

Close-up of sand tilefish’s head and upper body. Notice the long undulating dorsal and anal fins. I used my camera’s digital telephoto lens for this distance photo.

September 2013


I slowly approached the fish and took this photo just before it dove into its burrow.

Island. The prior afternoon we had conducted a shark feeding dive. I have never seen more than a solitary sand tilefish at any specific location. Each fish has its own burrow. I have never seen two or more fish or burrows close together. It is a mystery to me how they reproduce. I saw the tilefish because I was swimming right at it. I stopped swimming immediately, and lay prone on the sand, being careful not to make a sudden movement. I positioned my camera, and turned off the strobe, since I was too far away from the fish for it to be effective. This specimen appeared to be silvery white with a bluish tint. At my fifteen foot distance from the fish, the telephoto mode of my compact digital camera was mandatory. I took about a dozen photos before deciding to approach the fish in order to photograph it entering its burrow. Ignoring my own advice, I approached the fish several times. Before I could get close enough to even attempt a


photo, it would scurry into its burrow. If I made a quick or sudden move, it would rapidly retreat. If I moved slowly, it would likewise do so. If I raised my body higher off the bottom, the fish would sink into its burrow. It reminded me of riding a seesaw. I’m sure I would appear ridiculous to an outside observer. Hopefully, so would that fish. It would dive headfirst into its burrow and then back out. Most fish usually stick out their head to look around. This sand tilefish did it in reverse. After a few moments, I swam toward the fish and managed one photograph as it darted into its burrow. At the time, I had no way of knowing that I had “successfully” photographed the fish in its burrow. Upon returning home, I downloaded the photos to my notebook computer. I carefully studied them to discover that I barely caught the tip of the tail as the sand tilefish dove back into its burrow. Well at least I had one “action” shot, if you can describe the rear one percent of the fish a shot!

Top section of tail is hardly noticeable after fish dove into its burrow as the diver approaches too close.

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

are among the most familiar of the labyrinth fishes, but there are many others. Mark has a very approachable style of writing. He doesn’t chit-chat about his own lifestyle issues. He smoothly and efficiently combines facts with his personal experiences on a seemingly endless variety of airbreathing a Series On Books For The Hobbyist fishes. This offers his readers guidance as to by SUSAN PRIEST hands-on husbandry techniques, along with ven regular readers of Tropical Fish the reasoning behind them. To rephrase that Hobbyist magazine (TFH), don’t read last thought, if you know why you are doing every feature. The cichlidiots, reef-o- something, you are more likely to follow through on it. You can philes and catfish count on Mark to offer afficionados among you “Into the Labyrinth” you direction in both of might be forgiven for Mark Denaro these areas. skipping over a column Occasionally A Column in TFH Magazine on the topic of labyrinth Mark will layer his fishes. But even if any material. By this I of the descriptions mean that he will make a reference to above apply to you, and especially if you are something he has discussed in a previously already a fan of airbreathing fishes, then prepare to embark on an adventure. Prepare to appearing article. This will be to your benefit as well as his. Regular readers of “Into the be transported “Into the Labyrinth.” This column is authored by Mark Denaro, Labyrinth” will find themselves building a comprehensive a frequent visitor mental library on and long time friend the subject. of the GCAS. The Let’s get first installment specific. Here are appeared in TFH In a few examples of the January 2012 what you will find: issue. It appears regularly, but is not ! Within the a monthly feature. splendens complex, There were seven “bettas from articles in 2012. stagnant water If you are build bubblenests, already feeling like and bettas from a fish out of water, flowing water are let me elaborate by mouthbrooders.” starting you off with a definition from an ! In talking about archival copy of Modern Aquarium. “Ananabantoids (sometimes also referred to as pikeheads, Mark says “If you are unable to Anabantids) are distinguished from all other provide a steady diet of live food, these are fish by a structure known as a ‘labyrinth not the right fish for you.” organ.’ This organ is located in the fish’s head, near its gill cavities. It consists of folded ! A good addition to a biotope aquarium for membranes covering maze-like (or ‘labyrinth- African bushfishes is the tiger lotus water lily. like’) compartments of thin bony plates called If breeding is not in your game plan, then lamellae (from the Latin lamella, meaning pinch the pads off before they reach the small thin plate). The membranes are filled surface. The plant will produce more with blood vessels through which oxygen is submerged leaves, which our author describes absorbed from the air, much like a terrestrial as very attractive. lung.” Gouramis, paradise fishes, and bettas


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


! The climbing perch will need a tightly fitting lid which is held down by weights(!). In nature it can travel over land, and will usually do so in groups. ! Mark recommends blue gouramis as an excellent fish for a grow-out contest. ! Kissing gouramis are egg-scatterers, which is not a typical breeding strategy for labyrinth fishes: “upon release, the eggs rise to the surface due to the presence of an oil droplet inside the egg, and no brood care is provided by either adult.” I don’t think of most air breathing fishes as being particularly large, so I was amazed by how many of the species under discussion were described as needing 75 to 125 gallon tanks. Going back to those kissing gouramis for a moment, “This is a large and prolific species, with large females capable of producing 10,000 eggs or more each time they spawn. Spawning is best accomplished in large tanks or indoor ponds with base dimensions of 6 by 2 feet.” (Has that house in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico with the indoor pond been sold yet?) In taking my lead from Mark, I have been almost exclusively using the common names of fishes. For the most part, Mark does the same, but I want to assure you that he always includes a reference to the scientific name of every fish he discusses. Appearing at the base of Mark’s column, there is a smaller version of the photo which is reproduced on the previous page. It has always looked (at least to me), like Mark has the business end of a bagpipe in his mouth. But, in this enlarged and enhanced version (thanks, Al), you can clearly see that it is a fish net. Now that I know what it is, I can’t help wondering if he has caught some climbing perch in there! I would suggest to Mark that he be a little more mindful of his uninitiated readers. For example, in conjunction with a statement such as “then [the male] entices a ripe female to spawn below the bubblenest in the typical anabantoid spawning embrace,” you might want to include either a brief description or a photo of said embrace. Otherwise some of the reef-o-philes will be jumping ahead to the next article. 24

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

I know that there is a bio of Mark elsewhere in this issue, so I will keep my biographical remarks very brief. It must be put near the top of his list of credits that Mark is an accomplished photographer, as evidenced by the fact that many of the photos which appear in his column were taken by him. I also want to make mention of the fact that he is among the founding members, as well as the first President, of the American Labyrinth Fish Association (ALFA), which is a newly established organization by and for devotees of labyrinth fishes. So, now you know what to expect. Even the cichlidiots among you won’t bypass the bold red Betta splendens at the head of each installment of “Into the Labyrinth.” Whenever you see it you will know that an adventure is about to begin. REFERENCE; Priest, Alexander A., “An Almost Perfect Pearl,” Modern Aquarium, February 2002.

REMINDER There are still three more issues coming up in this, the 20th season of Modern Aquarium. That gives you plenty of time to be included among its pages during this landmark year. We would especially like to know what is on the minds of some of our newer members. And to you old-timers who have never written (you know who you are), one or two of you might find that you have a few words to say about Modern Aquarium itself. Hmmm. I can tell that you are thinking about it!

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

September 2013


Member Classifieds WANTED: 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: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR SALE: Need 6 1 2 3 1

to part with 10 fully set up tanks: Ten-gallon tanks 20-gallon-long 0-gallon tanks 125 gallon tank with wood stand and canopy

Call Gerry: 347-837-5794 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FOR SALE: Fish Hobbyist’s Dream Home: $169,000! Fishroom: 15 X 26 – Almost 400 square feet. 10 Picture-window tanks, with builtin wall shelving underneath for storage. Room for more tanks, with pressurized air system throughout the room. Full sink (hot/cold) with work space; ceramic tile floor. Pond Room: 12 X 16 – Almost 200 square feet. 300 gallon indoor pond for tropical fish. Mag pump, ceramic tile floor, large cathedral windows, lots of light for growing plants. Gorgeous views. Great place to read the Sunday papers. Rest of House: 2 BR, 2 BA, HUGE kitchen with 49 cabinets and drawers. All rooms huge, LR/desk area. Almost 2,000 square feet. Central A/C. Climate: 340 sunny days last year. Mild winters with absolutely NO snow shoveling. Location: Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. Great name, huh? Was formerly called Hot Springs (and yes, we’ve got ‘em). Very friendly community. Cars actually stop for you to cross the street. Rarely hear a car horn. Two blocks from town. 26

September 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

House Location: On historic site for Geronimo and his braves, where they ground holes in huge boulders (on the southern edge of the property) for cooking maize. Evidence still there (placard next to property). Just 20 feet below us stands a fish pond stocked with trout, and another hundred feet down is the Rio Grande River, for rafting, tubing, and fishing. For even greater bass fishing, we’re only five miles from Elephant Butte Lake, the largest lake in New Mexico, which also features water sports such as boating, swimming, fishing, jet skiing, etc. There are two marinas. View: Tremendous! From the front porch (completely tiled) you have the best view of Turtleback Mountain rising majestically above the park and river in front of you. Breakfast on the porch is breathtaking! Lunch too! Taxes: Only $600 per year. Summing Up: We’ve lived here for 19 years, and I both the fish pond and the fishroom built for my hobby, but I’m now 83, and it’s time to retire from the hobby. We watched our grandchildren grow up as they spent all their summers here. Irreplaceable memories. You could have them too. Charlie Kuhne: (575) 894-2957 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------FOR SALE: African Cichlids -- Fry to Adult size; plus filters heaters, etc. Call Derek: 917-854-4405 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FOR SALE: 210 Gallon Tank, wood stand. Both need some repair.

Call Dan: 718-458-8437 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEEDS HOME: Beautiful young orange & white tabby. Neutered male with chip. Smart, loving. Needs to be your one and only kitty. Call Dan or Marsha: 718-458-8437 Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

September 2013


GCAS Happenings


Last Month’s Bowl Show Winners: There was No Bowl Show in August.

Unofficial 2013 Bowl Show totals to date: Richard Waizman 14 Jerry O'Farrell Carlotti DeJager 5

11 Mario Bengcion

9 Ruben Lugo


A warm welcome back to renewing GCAS member Sean Cunningham! A special welcome to new GCAS members Fernando Gonzalez and Michael Ng!

Here are meeting times and locations of some aquarium societies in the Metropolitan New York area: GREATER CITY AQUARIUM SOCIETY


Next Meeting: October 2, 2013 Speaker: Sam Fu, of Pacific Aquarium Topic: Nano Tanks 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: September 13, 2013 Speaker: Joe Graffagnino Topic: Knowledge of Useless Stuff I Acquired... 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: September 20, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBA 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 8, 2013 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:

NORTH JERSEY AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting: September 19, 2013 Speaker: TBD Topic: TBA Meets at: The Lyndhurst Elks Club, 251 Park Avenue, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071 Contact: NJAS Hotline at (732) 332-1392 Email: Website:

NORWALK AQUARIUM SOCIETY Next Meeting: September 19, 2013 Speaker: TBA Topic: TBA Meets: 8:00 P.M. - 3rd Thursday of each month except for July & December at: Earthplace - the Nature Discovery Center - Westport, CT Contact: John Chapkovich (203) 734-7833 Call our toll free number (866) 219-4NAS Email: Website:

September 2013

Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

The Ultimate Waterbed? A series by “The Undergravel Reporter”

In spite of popular demand to the contrary, this humor and information column continues. As usual, it does N O T n ecessarily re p resen t th e opinions of the Editor, or of the Greater City Aquarium Society.


enjoy just looking at my aquariums. The time I spend looking at them is enjoyable and, for me, restful. BUT, I’m not sure about sleeping directly under a 650 gallon tank.

But, an even greater consideration (for me, at least) would be the safety of anyone who might actually want to use this contraption as a headboard for a bed and try to sleep under it. W ith water weighing around 8.3 pounds per gallon, that means almost 5,400 pounds of water flowing directly over the head of anyone sleeping in the bed below! I don’t care how thick the walls of this headboard/aquarium are. A shark aquarium in the Dongfang shopping mall in Shanghai, China had TEN INCH THICK walls, yet it suddenly burst last year without warning, injuring 15 people (mostly from injuries caused by that thick glass) and killing three lemon sharks and dozens of smaller fish and turtles. 2 I’ve had tanks break and/or leak on me. But, it generally only meant a messy cleanup afterwards. On the other hand, five thousand plus pounds of water dumped on my head while I’m

The custom-made headboard pictured above sleeping just might result in situation a bit more was made by Acrylic Tank Manufacturing. It was serious than a messy cleanup. (Imagine the featured on an episode of Animal Planet’s “Fishkeeper Drowned in Bed by Broken headline: “Tanked.” The headboard costs $11,500 ( including Headboard!”). the matching bedside tables and reading lamps). 1 If I had a spare $11,500 and wanted to apply First, I’m wondering about tank maintenance. it to my tropical fish hobby, I think I could find Look at the “reading lamps.” Did anyone say better (and safer) ways to do it. “algae?” W hat about glass cleaning? (Yes, I know it’s acrylic, but that only further limits the cleaning options available.) References 1 2

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Modern Aquarium - Greater City A.S (NY)

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Fin Fun The term “labyrinth fish” includes many different species in many different genera. We’ve selected a few of those genera and put them in this month’s word search puzzle. See if you can find them all. Words in the puzzle: Belontia Betta Ctenopma Ctenops Luciocephalus Macropodus Malpulutta Microctenopoma Parosphromenus Pseudosphromenus Sandelia Sphaerichthys Trichopsis Trichogaster Trichopodus





















Solution to our last puzzle:



Public Aquarium

San Francisco, CA ------------------------- Steinhart Aquarium Sarasota, Fl ------------------------- Mote Marine Laboratory Chicago, IL -------------------------- Shedd Aquarium Dubuque, IA ------------------------- National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium New Orleans, LA ------------------------- Aquarium of the Americas Nantucket, MA ------------------------- Maria Mitchell Aquarium Riverhead, NY ------------------------- Atlantis Marine World Greensboro, NC ------------------------- SciQuarium Seaside, OR ------------------------- Seaside Aquarium Burlington, VT ------------------------- ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center Source:


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September 2013

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

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