FINformation_January2015 - Tropical Fish Club of Erie County

January 2015
The Greater Pittsburgh
Aquarium Society, Inc. Newsletter
January Meeting - Jan. 30, 2015
Corydorus pygmeaus
Amanda Westerlund
2014 GPASI Officers
Message from President
Spawning the Blue Gourami
By: Leslie Ernst
Meet the Members
By: Darlene Madarish
FinFan Contest 2015
National/International Sponsors
Local Sponsors
Board of Directors
President………………Steve Okabayashi
[email protected]
Vice President………........….Roberto Prati
[email protected]
Treasurer ………………….Eric Bodrock
412. 491.0311
[email protected]
Recording Secretary ……...Regina Spotti
[email protected]
Membership Secretary………..Joe Doyle
[email protected]
January’s Monthly Meeting
January’s meeting will
be our elections for
officers and board of
directors. Please
come out to vote and
maybe toss your hat
in the ring!
BOD Term 2015 ………....Kathy Bintrim
[email protected]
Gail Hoover
Stephen Kingsley
William Sensor
Amanda Locke
BOD Term 2016 ……........... John Barnes
Grant Beatty
Brandon Blobner
Scott Voelker
Committee Chairs
AHAP………………….............Tim Gross
[email protected]
Here is your chance to make some good
money at January’s Buck-A-Bag auction!
Rather than the usual 70/30 split, the club
will only keep $1 for each item sold in the
auction, the seller keeps the rest! For
example: an item sells for $30, the club only
keeps $1 and the seller gets $29. All the
standard rules of our auctions apply (name,
seller’s code, contact info, ect.). In addition,
there is a 10 item limit, per paid
membership number, that you can auction
off. If you have any questions, contact Eric
at [email protected]
January 30, 2015
Doors open @6:30pm, Meeting starts @7:30pm
Phipps Garden Center
1059 Shady Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Bill Wells
Auction………….…….…...Roberto Prati
[email protected]
BAP………………...............Chuck Bialon
[email protected]
Facebook……………...........Roberto Prati
Amanda Westerlund
FINformation............Amanda Westerlund
[email protected]
Forum……………….……Shaun Howard
[email protected]
Fundraising………....................Joe Doyle
Mailing...........................Steve Okabayashi
Programs…………………...Eric Bodrock
Raffle…………………........ Eric Bodrock
Regina Spotti
Rich Terrell
Refreshments......Steve and Judy Kingsley
Webmaster………………[email protected]
Message from the President
Happy New Year - we're up and running again as we had a nice turnout for the Holiday Party with a lot
of good food and desserts, a raffle and of course, an entertaining gift exchange. I was never
interested in gift exchanges but I like this one! Thanks to everyone who participated.
Board elections take place at the January meeting and we need everyone to renew your membership.
At this time we have 1/3rd of the membership renewed. We have a lot happening this year with great
speakers lined up by Eric Bodrock. Note--the May meeting is an opportunity to build an LED light so
check your email I sent with options and cost. Last day to SIGN UP and PAY is at the January
meeting. Questions contact Eric.
We're only 3 months away from the Spring Auction on April 26 at the DoubleTree (formerly Sheraton
North Cranberry) same location as the Fall Auction. We need volunteers throughout the day -- see
Roberto Prati for jobs and where you can help.
2015 Fin Fan contest is going to be managed by Amanda Westerlund. Rules and prizes will be in this
month's newsletter.
AHAP rules have been updated and some new prizes for 2015. Adding aquatic plants is a great way to
improve and enhance the look of your tank. Your fish will love you. See Tim Gross or Bill Wells for
more information.
Some of our older members had a rough year but they're hanging in. Send a note to Pete Scaletto,
Rick Reiter and Lou Bott. Good guys who helped me when I first joined GPASI.
To a good 2015.
Steve O.
February newsletter submission deadline: Feb. 10, 2015
Spawning the Blue Gourami, Trichopodus trichopterus
Leslie Ernst
Needing one final anabantid to close the class for BAP, I had anticipated spawning one of the
10 or so species of wild bettas I have accumulated. Unfortunately, they have all decided to hold out
on me for the time being and so I was presented with a pair of blue gouramis. This is not really a fish I
had ever had any serious desire to breed, but we had a 20 gallon tub outside that the pair was placed
in to see how they fared. Past attempts to breed fish outside in tubs here in Michigan have been met
with complete failure and I had for the most part given up. Reinforcing this, a cold snap (in June)
resulted in a dead female blue gourami and shortly after, the male turned up out in the middle of the
back yard. Apparently the local raccoons or other vermin reconsidered having him for dinner and left
him for the dog to find.
A second pair of blue gourami was added to the tub a week or so later when it finally decided
to stop getting quite so cold here at night. The second pair was quite the success as the male
immediately built an impressive nest throughout all the leaves of the small water lilies growing in the
tub. At this point the weather was still a little too chilly at night so two small heaters were added to
the tub. The pair spawned immediately although the act itself was not seen. Masses of white eggs,
approximately the same size as the bubbles, were grouped throughout the tub.
Not one to leave anything else to chance, I scooped a jarful of eggs off the surface and
transferred them to a 2.5g tank in the fish room to grow out. While I did not measure any of the
water parameters in the outdoor tub, the water was rain water so I did water changes in this small
tank with water mixed from reverse osmosis and well water to approximately 90-100 total dissolved
solids (TDS) to soften it from my normal hard well water. This water was neutral to slightly alkaline.
The fish room is typically in the mid to upper 70s and a gently bubbling air stone was added after
about a week. Newly hatched fry were initially fed vinegar eels and then microworms and newly
hatched baby brine shrimp once daily. I slowly transitioned them to crushed flakes as it took them
longer to accept them than many of my other fish had taken.
The move to the indoors was fortuitous as yet another period of cold days and nights in July
wiped out all the remaining fry outdoors and the male as well.
What I found particularly interesting about this fish, was the disparity in sizes among the fry.
At 60 days, I had fry that were over 1.5 inches and some that were barely ¼ inch. I had moved the
group to a 10 gallon tank by this time as there were several dozen fry and pulled out the largest of the
group. The remaining fry then also diverged in size so that some grew larger much faster than others.
While there were no real challenges to breeding or raising this fish (aside from getting the
weather to cooperate) watching a tank of tiny glue gourami fry as they just start to develop their color
and shape is fabulous.
54 gallon Corner tank assembly. Included tank, cabinet, glass top,
light, heater, magnum 350 canister filter, magnum hot filter and
gravel. $250.00
55 gallon Tank assembly. Includes tank, stand, glass top, light, heater,
UG filter, magnum hot filter, air pump, and gravel. $130.00
Contact Walter Roth 724-449-9651
Random Membership Drawing
January Pot Total = $75
During each of the monthly meetings, a random membership number will be drawn! The winner of this drawing
will receive the total amount in the current month’s pot, either $25 or more! The winner must be present, signed
in, and a paid member in good standing. Family memberships do apply. If a family member in good standing is
present (including spouses and children) the winning prize may be claimed, and then the pot will reset to $25 for
the next month.
If the winner member is not present, the prize will be place back in the pot and a new member will be drawn the
next month. The prize will increase monthly by $25, until a winner is present. The pot will rollover until the end of
This is a contest that all members can take part in, but remember the winner must be
signed in and present when the number is drawn.
A new FINformation feature:
Meet the Members
by Darlene M. Madarish
The November/December meeting of the Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, Inc. was a little different than
our *typical* monthly meetings.
Instead of having a speaker, workshop, or swap meet, the group held an open Board of Directors meeting. This
was an opportunity for the member to get a *behind-the-scenes* look at what goes into the running of the
organization, and to ask questions and make comments.
One of the topics discussed was how to encourage more member interaction and participation among the
general membership. At the time of the meeting, the club had 149 members. While there*s time before
meetings to socialize and usually a group that goes out afterward with our speakers to eat, plus special events
scheduled by the club (such as the January Holiday Party and a summer picnic), not everyone can attend these
due to work, school, family, or other commitments. Not all members may be able to attend every meeting.
Those that do may not feel comfortable introducing themselves to people they don*t know, or they may be
intimidated by the size of the group or by the nature of more *technical* conversations they may overhear
when first coming to the meetings. And not everyone may have the technological skills or interest to
participate in the club*s online forum or Facebook pages.
Several suggestions were made regarding how to make members feel more welcomed - from having a
Hospitality Table at events, to featuring individual members in our newsletter. Acting in a hospitality role and
welcoming members that are new or come infrequently to our meetings is something we should all be doing. I
still remember the individual who spoke to me at the first regular meeting I attended - Pete Scalito - who
welcomed me to the meeting, asked about my interests, and introduced me to a few other members that
evening. But it was the last idea was one which really caught my interest. By having a newsletter feature, we
could not only introduce our members to each other and provide a little about their interests and specialties
related to fish keeping, but also do a little *education* about fish keeping techniques and resources as well as
discover some topics our members would like to know more about (so, maybe some ideas for scheduling
future speakers for the club!).
Using the newsletter, we would also be reaching/introducing members who don*t attend every meeting. And
by including a photo of each member, we would have an instant way to put a *face* to the information and a
way for members to *save* the information for future reference by printing or saving the newsletters
So, here begins a new feature for our newsletter - a *Meet the Members* column. For my inaugural, featured member...I*ve interviewed - who else, but the person who suggested the idea - Regina
Spotti. Expect to see a new member featured in each newsletter. I plan to alternate between newer members
with some who*ve been around a while, and those who hold positions within GPASI with those who tend to
stay more in the background. Given the size of our membership, this is a column that could run for many
years. But don*t be surprised if at the next meeting (or via e-mail), I ask YOU for an interview!
Meet the Members
by Darlene M. Madarish
Featured member: Regina Spotti
Most of you may recognize Regina as one of the people manning the raffle table at meetings. She also served as
the Recording Secretary for the GPASI Board of Directors in 2014. Although only a member of GPASI since
2004, Regina has been keeping fish since she was 9 years old.
She became interested in the hobby through an older sister who had a 55 gallon tank with guppies and hornwort
that she admired. When a local grocery store was offering goldfish as a sales gimmick, she says *I begged and
whined until my mom let me take some home.*. So began her journey as an aquarist...
Currently, Regina has tanks ranging in size from 1 gallon critter containers and plastic shoeboxes (in which she
raises fry) to a planted 55 gallon. Besides GPASI, she is also a member of the American Killifish Association
(AKA) and Pittsburgh Area Killifish Association (PAKA). Regina is from Monongahela, PA. Go GPASI Girl
What types of fish, plants, invertebrates are you currently keeping?
Currently I have all sorts of fish-platies, killies- quite a few different species-from 3 types of Aphanius
to 5 types of Rivulus and quite a few in between, 18 species of Corydoras, 13 species of tetras, 5 species
of auchenipterids (wood cats), 2 rasbora species, honey gourami, miscellaneous catfish species, and 2
barb species. I have some mutt shrimp floating around in a few tanks.
What species, family, or group of fish/aquarium inhabitants interests you the most?
This is a tough question since I have an interest in every group of fish. I suppose right now it is
auchenipterids-they have internal fertilization and the eggs resemble frog eggs.
What species, family, or group of fish/aquarium inhabitants do you consider as having been your biggest
Mochokiella paynei is a challenge for every aquarist who keeps it. As far as I know, this fish has not
spawned in captivity*yet(. Females are noticeably heavy with eggs and males will court them, but the
trigger or the circumstances necessary to initiate spawning have proven elusive to many aquarists.
What topic related to keeping fish do you wish you knew more about?
I wish I had access to more information regarding African tetras, Asian catfish, and Rasboras. Since
these fish are not *hot* right now, there aren*t many people working with them, so information is
What item would you consider indispensible in keeping/spawning the fish you have?
Live foods would be number one! Conditioning fish for spawning can be tricky and live foods are a
If you could spend an afternoon with anyone in *the fish world* to pick their brain about fishkeeping,
who would you choose and why?
Rosario LaCorte is THE king of fishkeeping in the USA. He has unbelievable experience and
knowledge about almost every species of fish we keep or have kept in the history of aquarium keeping.
If money, time, space, equipment, physical ability, etc. were not a factor, what would you like do related
to keeping fish?
Have a fish house with a greenhouse attached! I think it would be great to have school children come
through the fish house and see all of the species of fish and their fry.
Do you own any pets besides fish? If so what are they?
We have two dogs, Toby and Haley. They are a mutt cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Shih Tzu.
We affectionately refer to them as *Your Shihtz*
Besides keeping fish and your day job, how else do you spend your leisure time (list a few hobbies, other
Gardening-both in and outdoors, keeps me in touch with the rest of the natural world. It*s great o go
outside and get dirty, then come in the house to play in water and get your hands clean! I also enjoy
reading, cross-stitch, baking and cooking.
How has being a member of GPASI influenced you as an aquarist?
It has introduced me to quite a few other aquarists. The ideas and information that we all share is
outstanding! We have a fantastic club!
Meet the Members Questionnaire
Please fill out the following questionnaire. Your answers only need to be a sentence or two in length and may appear in a
“Meet the Members” column in an upcoming issue of Finformation! Some of the questions will be for an introductory
paragraph and selected others will be included as an “interview”.
1. Name?
2. Your city/area of residence (and state if outside PA)?
3. Do you hold (or have you held) a position within the club (Officer, Board of Directors,
committee/auction/program chairperson. etc.)?
4. What’s your “day job”? (If retired, what did you do? If in school, what school & year are you in?
Program/field of study?)
5. When did you join GPASI?
6. Do you belong (or have you ever belonged) to any other fish/aquarium-related groups? (please list a
few if this applies)
7. I’ve been keeping fish since? (year)
8. What got you started/interested in keeping fish?
9. What are the smallest and largest sized tanks you have set up?
10. What types of fish, plants, invertebrates are you currently keeping?
11. What species, family, or group of fish/aquarium inhabitants interests you the most? Why?
12. What species, family, or group of fish/aquarium inhabitants do you consider as having been your
biggest challenge? Why?
13. What topic related to keeping fish do you wish you knew more about?
14. What item (a specific book, piece of equipment, type of food, etc.) would you consider indispensible in
keeping/spawning the fish you have? (provide a few details of why you made this choice)
15. If you could spend an afternoon with anyone in “the fish world” to pick their brain about fishkeeping,
who would you choose and why?
16. If money, time, space, equipment, physical ability, etc. were not a factor, what would you like do related
to keeping fish?
17. Do you own any pets besides fish? If so what are they?
18. Besides keeping fish and your day job, how else do you spend your leisure time (list a few hobbies,
other interests)?
19. How has being a member of GPASI influenced you as an aquarist?
If possible, please provide a photo of yourself and one of your favorite tank, a favorite fish that you own, or
your fish room (if you have one). Please include a caption for the second photo (a few details about the
fish,tank(s)) and return the questionnaire and any photos you would be able to provide to
[email protected]
Its back! GPASI will be holding the FINformation FinFan contest during 2015.
Entries for the 2015 Fin Fan must be submitted by October 31, 2015.
Entries November 1, 2015 will be entered into the 2016 Fin Fan.
Any member in good standing may enter in the following categories:
How-To Articles
Aquatic Life
Specific Articles
Fish, inverts, aquatic plants, ect.
BAP and AHAP articles
“Hands On,” DIY
Ex: raising brine shrimp, fixing a leaky tank,
making an egg tumbler
Recreational Articles
Summaries of auction, fish room visits,
conventions, or visits to public aquariums
Ex: My Trip to Eric and Regina’s Fish Room
Stand alone photographs, paintings,
drawings, and digital art
*images in articles are only part of articles*
Comics and Novelty
Stand alone photographs, paintings,
drawings, and digital art
*images in articles are only part of articles*
Cash and merchandise will be awarded via membership voting in early 2016.
Prizes: 1st, 2nd & 3rd place in each category:
1st place $60
2nd place $40
3rd place GPASI T-shirt
The BOD will have final ruling on category placements and with any other issues that may
arise. If you have any questions, please ask any BOD member. Entries must be the original
work of the individual entering. Entries that are not will not be printed and will not be
entered into the contest.
Please submit your entries to Amanda Westerlund either by hand or email at
[email protected]
Remember entries must be submitted by October 31, 2015.
Voting will take place in early 2016 by all members via their membership numbers by mail or
email voting. The voting form will be available at the Jan. 2016 meeting.
GPASI National/International Sponsors
Amazonas Magazine
Paradigm Fish Foods
Cichlid News
Cobalt International
PNT Aquatics
Corydoras World
Ray “Kingfish” Lucas & Kingfish Services
Fantastic Fins
Repashy Superfoods
Frank’s Fish Net
San Francisco Bay Brand
Seachem Laboratories
Hydor USA
Sera North America
Ken’s Fish
Mellow Aquatics
Swiss Tropicals & Poret® Filter Foam
New Era Aquaculture
United Pet Group
Ocean Nutrition
ZooMed Laboratories, Inc.
Become a sponsor today! Contact Eric Bodrock at: [email protected]
Upcoming GPASI Events
January 10
Holiday Party @ 1pm Phipps Garden Center
January 30
Meeting – Board of Directors Voting
February 27
Tim Gross – “Keeping Aquatic Plants in the Aquarium”
March 27
Monthly Meeting
April 24
Liz Marchio – “Forest Fishes of the Peruvian Amazon”
April 26
Spring Auction
May 22
Matt Bielski – “Building a LED Strip Light Workshop”
June 26
Monthly Meeting
July 31
Monthly Meeting
August 28
Monthly Meeting
September 25
Monthly Meeting
September 13
Fall Auction
October 30
Monthly Meeting
December 11
Monthly Meeting
Other Aquarium Club’s Upcoming Events
February 7
Michigan Cichlid Assoc. Auction
February 21
Motor City Aquarium Society Auction
March 15
NEO Fish Club Auction
May 9
Medina County Aquarium Society Auction
[email protected]
GPASI Local Sponsors
3300 Preble Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15233
All Oddball Aquatics
1255 Country Club Rd.
Monongahela PA 15063
8143 Ohio River Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
Aquariums and Ponds by Namado
3990 William Penn Highway
Murrysville, PA 15668
Elmer's Aquarium & Pet Center
4005 William Penn Highway
Monroeville, PA
The Fish Man
Lee Mooney
Murrysville Cleaners
429 Fourth Avenue
Law and Finance Building - Suite
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
3945 Old William Penn Hwy
Murrysville, PA 15668
Oddball Pets and Aquariums
262 Joseph St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
Pella Irish Setters
Pittsburgh Marine Aquarists
Society, Inc.
Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG
One Wild Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Ricky Fin’s Aquatics
1381 Old Route 220 N. Ste. 98
Duncansville, PA 16635
Sam's Club #6575
249 Summit Park Dr, Pittsburgh, PA
Sharp Edge Restaurants
302 South St. Clair St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
TOAST Pain Relief &
Skin Care Products
400 Sproul St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15136
Walt's Water World
4151 Grandview Dr.
Gibsonia, PA 15044
Wet Pets & Friends
3695 Washington Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Law Office of James L. Coster
James L Coster
Become a local sponsor today! Contact Eric Bodrock at: [email protected]
New Sponsor
Greater Pittsburgh Aquarium Society, Inc.
PO Box 22452
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-0452
January 2015