Letter From Editors – January 2022

Dear Aquarist,

We have a new issue of AquaticNews that represents a wide variety of fish, from the mysterious Coelacanth to locally bred Angelfish. Our virtual meetings are gaining more popularity with members and we have some compelling speakers coming up. Todd Gardner, breeder of over 60 species of salt water fish, returns to BAS in February. March will bring us Samantha M. West of Zoo Med Laboratories. She will be discussing Environmental Enrichment for your Aquarium Fish.

One article we would like to point out is on page 7, “Why Hobbyists Should Write for their Club Journal.” We encourage all members to share their passion and knowledge. Since we can’t get to meetings please put your experiences to paper. We’ve all had fish we love but can’t keep alive and fish that survive despite doing everything wrong. Whether you’ve had a great experience with new equipment or bought something that totally failed please share with fellow members.

Our only in-person contact with members during the pandemic was visiting Joe Graffinino. We had some club business to attend to and we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit his basement fish room. Joe always had some special fish down there. The room was tiny and separated from the rest of the basement. Along the walls sat racks of tanks and more tanks on the floor. Fish and live food were everywhere. On the bottom shelf in the corner was a tank covered in black paper. It contained a pair of catfish that had never spawned in captivity. Joe was diligently tending to the pair hoping to make history.

He had a 40 gallon tank of Congo tetras that he had bred. The babies had grown to half the size of the parents and he wanted to make room for new fish. I said I could take a few but Joe seized the opportunity and emptied the tank. I left with 20 plus Congo tetras and Joe got his wish—an empty tank and room for new fish.
During normal times Joe would have brought the fish to a meeting to be auctioned off with proceeds going to the club. But these aren’t normal times. As we mourn Joe’s passing, we should remember the joy and wonder that attracted us to this hobby. It’s been said that everyone will have to step up and do more for the club to replace Joe. All we have to do is enjoy our fish, our aquariums, and share our knowledge and resources. This is what has kept BAS going for over a hundred years.

The club founders had the foresight to give the club a permanent meeting place with the New York Aquarium. This is a tremendous asset. Someday we’ll resume in-person meetings but until then spend a moment looking at your aquarium. Remember the wonder and excitement you experienced in creating your first fishy world. Then share that with us.

Dan & Ginny,