President’s Message – December 2013

President’s Message

The December 2013 Holiday party was a fun time for all. I think this is the most enjoyable event of the year – at least for the Board and Officers of our great Society. This is the one time all year that we can relax and enjoy the wonderful foods and pleasant conversation with our fellow aquarists. We all shared the great dishes our members and their families brought in. It was truly a feast of different tastes and aromas. John Todaro and his son Andrew ventured down from the snows of Vermont to join us in the festivities. John made some of his famous meat pies, culled from medieval recipes. Everything was delicious!
I handed out the hard earned awards for those dedicated members who worked all year to make this club what it is today – the largest, oldest and most successful aquarium society in the United States. I thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for joining us and working so diligently all year. John Todaro gave out the Aquatica and the FAAS awards for the best written articles submitted to John for publication in our Society’s magazine Aquatica – one of the best aquarium society publications in the United States.

Marie Licciardello ran our “Fish Bingo” this year and we had plenty of fishy prizes to give out. It was a lot of fun.

The January event will feature Pat Donston as our guest speaker. Pat is the owner of Absolutely Fish in Clifton, NJ who has been an enthusiastic sponsor of our great Society for many years. His retail aquarium store is fantastic and has huge selections of marine fish and corals, freshwater fish and live plants. The quality of his establishment is superb. Pat travels all over the United States to give insightful presentations on marine and freshwater subjects and also how chemicals affect aquarium environments. Pat’s topic for the evening will be “Stronger Fish, Healthy Aquariums.” So be there on January 10 at 7:30 PM to welcome Pat. As always, there will be free parking and free refreshments.

I want to remind our friends and members to visit our BAS Forum. The Forum is a great place to get good, solid information from experts in the hobby. Many of our sponsors have “rooms” on our Forum to talk about their latest products and to answer questions on their products and equipment, and also to field questions from concerned hobbyists. Please take a few minutes to visit our Forum. I’m sure you’ll be glad that you did. To reach our Forum site, please visit our web site ( and at the top right side click on the Forum and follow the instructions for joining.

The awards for this past year were given to:


William F. DeFoe Award: Marty Karfinkel

Auctioneer Awards went as a big thank you for our wonderful and dedicated auctioneers that for many, many years have gone above and beyond, with very little thanks.  I want to personally praise Dennis Alestra, William Amely and Seth Kolker.

We did have C.A.R.E.S. awards for those aquarists who bred and raised endangered aquatic species. This year’s awards went to:
Frank Nell for the Pseudotropheus demasoni
Larry Jinks for Xiphophorus meyeri, “Puebla Platy”
Tilipia gutterosa, a West African cichlid from Lake Bermin, Cameroon
Pelvicachromis subocellatus, a Kribensis type of African cichlid

I am asking for your help and support. If you want to see different speakers or want to go on a field trip to the Baltimore Aquarium and visit huge pet shops along the way, please let me know. The elected officials of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society are here to serve YOU! Please let us know what you want and why. It would be helpful to everyone. It is important that you visit and patronize our sponsors. It goes full circle: by helping them, they are also helping you as hobbyists and everyone is helping the Brooklyn Aquarium Society — so help us, help you!

For more info, please call our BAS Hotline at (718) 837-4455.

On a more personal note – Any member who desires to attend a Board meeting, held at the Education Center of the New York Aquarium on the 1st Friday of the month, please notify me at (718) 238-1792 by the Tuesday previous to the meeting.

Joe Graffagnino