Coelacanth May Not Be A ‘Living Fossil’

Microsoft News

Huge Fish, Once Believed Extinct, Isn’t the ‘Living Fossil’ Scientists Thought

George Dvorsky  

An analysis of coelacanth DNA suggests its genome has experienced some significant changes in recent evolutionary history, potentially dispelling the popular image of these iconic fish as being “living fossils.”

© Image: Bruce Henderson A rare sighting of a live coelacanth, captured off the coast of South Africa in 2019. Continue reading Coelacanth May Not Be A ‘Living Fossil’

Online Event Friday 1/8/21 – Parasitology of Fishes by Pat Donston

Happy New Year,

The Brooklyn Aquarium Society welcomes you to take part in a virtual online presentation by Pat Donston of Absolutely fish in New Jersey on Parasitology of Fishes on Friday, January 8th at 7:30 pm

During this talk Pat discuss ailments and possible treatment for our aquatic friends

Watch Directly on YouTube.

This meeting will also be streamed live on the Brooklyn Aquarium Society Facebook page.   Questions will be taken during this interactive event.

Absolutely Fish owner Pat Donston started in the hobby with his first aquarium when he was nine years old. In college, he majored in Zoology, and got his Master of Science degree specializing in fish reproduction.  Upon completion of his Master’s degree, Pat worked in a public aquarium teaching docents and volunteers about the biology of invertebrates in the inter-tidal exhibit.  Pat believes aquarium keeping is one of the best educational tools for children and adults to learn more about the oceans and reefs around the world. Learning about the animals one has as pets sparks an interest to become more aware of the environment in which we live.  It can bring people closer to a part of the world they may never see or otherwise know.

Absolutely Fish is located at 1080 US-46 in Clifton, NJ 07013

Absolutely Fish is a proud supporter of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society.

R.I.P. Seth Kolker, BAS President from 1989 to 2001

Seth Kolker
08/08/1954 – 11/05/2020

President of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society
1989 – 2001

Seth was a dedicated aquarium hobbyist his entire life. He was the youngest member ever elected, in the Society’s 109 years, to the Brooklyn Aquarium Society’s Board of Directors while still in his early teens. Seth was a visionary in the aquatic industry. His keen eye for the hobby and insight into the future helped propel the Brooklyn Aquarium Society into unknown areas. In the 1970s and 80s, it was Seth’s influence to move the club into African cichlids and then into marine environments with saltwater fish and corals.

Continue reading R.I.P. Seth Kolker, BAS President from 1989 to 2001

An Experience with Whiptail Catfish Of the Genus Rineloricaria

Catfish An Experience with Whiptail Catfish Of the Genus Rineloricaria
By Ian Fuller

The term Whiptail catfish points us to a group of fishes that are very unique in their physical make up. There are many genera that fall into the category commonly referred to as ‘Whiptails’ my experience with them has been limited to members of the genus Rineloricaria. There are around forty know species of this genus all of which have distinctive long thin tapering twig like body shapes that are covered over their entire lengths by hard interlocking bony plates known as scutes. Another striking feature of these fishes is their external mouthparts that are formed into suction like pads; some being more pronounced than others and may have lace like filaments on their trailing edges. The most difficult aspect with these fishes is their identification; many species have very similar body and fin markings. Continue reading An Experience with Whiptail Catfish Of the Genus Rineloricaria

Taking the Plunge to Salt Water

Taking the Plunge to Saltwater

by Steve Matassa

I am sure many of you fresh water hobbyist have thought of getting into salt water, but are afraid of the challenge or even the expense. Well, it’s not as hard as you might think or as expensive, although, it is a little more expensive then fresh water, but it’s definitely worth it. If you have kept fresh water fish successfully, you can keep salt water fish. All you need is a little knowledge, before taking the plunge. I will try to walk you through this as simple as possible, and as cheap as possible. The cheap part probably caught your attention, right – then let’s give it a shot. Continue reading Taking the Plunge to Salt Water

Breeding the Stardust Pleco L136a

Breeding the ‘Stardust Pleco – Hypancistrus Sp. L 136a.

by Ian Fuller

Some time ago, in fact I think it was in the early part of last year, I decided to diversify a little with my fish breeding program. At that time my catfish efforts were concentrated purely on Corydoras. There was a lot of talk around the hobby about the brilliant Hypancistrus zebra, or ‘Zebra plec’ as it was commonly called. I decided then that they were a must to try and breed, especially as the price of them seamed to be ever on the increase, making them a good investment. I set out to buy some potential breeding stock, my first port of call was to friend Neil Woodward’s establishment in Wigan, where I new I would find what I was after.  Continue reading Breeding the Stardust Pleco L136a

Message to BAS Members

Dear Members,

I hope this note finds everyone in good health during these troubling times.

Not having our usual monthly events is strange to us. I know we miss the normalcy of everyday life, especially our fish club meetings, but our health and those of our loved ones is the most important thing we can consider. Social distancing prevents our events from happening.

The Brooklyn Aquarium Society wants to assure all our members that no one will lose membership dues payment time while we are not meeting during this pandemic. When we are back to normal, all regular members will be credited with the months we have lost.
Everyone stay safe and healthy, continue your water changes, and we hope to see you soon.

Steven Matassa

Acclimating Fish

Acclimating Fish
by Steve Matassa

There are two ways most hobbyist use to acclimate their fish. I will try to explain these methods for those of you who do not know. The first is the drip method, where you would empty the bag with the fish in to a bucket, and set up an air line with a knot in it. Then let the water slowly drip in to the bucket in till the bucket starts to fill up. Then empty some of the bucket and continue with the drip. This should take about half an hour if done right. You do not want to drip it too fast, and stress the fish. The purpose of these methods is to make the transaction for the fish as stress free as possible.

Continue reading Acclimating Fish

President’s Message – August 2020

President’s Message

All of us at BAS are hoping that everyone is well and staying safe and healthy. We all know this pandemic continues to grip our world. All of us are praying that we can resume normal life in the near future. I do not have any information as to when we can have in person BAS events at Education Hall. I have been in contact with Scott Doyle of the New York Aquarium and I am quoting his email response to my question about any updates we can share with our members. His response is:

Continue reading President’s Message – August 2020

June 12th Virtual Event – Copepods are changing the face of aquaculture By Chad Clayton

“Copepods are changing the face of aquaculture” –  By Chad Clayton



BAS Presents Chad Clayton Online Presentation – Copepods are Changing the Face of Aquaculture

Fri Jun 12, 2020 8pm – 9pm Eastern Time – New York
Online Presentation (Virtual Meeting)
Joining info
Join with Google Meet
Join by phone
+1 706-750-9569 (PIN: 963062243)

The Aquatica & The Bulletin are being retired/archived.

With passing of our Editor, John Todaro (R.I.P John – read here) The Aquatica and The Bulletin are being archived and replaced by our new publication AquaticNews.

We are excited to announce that the position of BAS Editor was filled and our new editor, Virginia (Ginny) Cahill will be working on our beautiful new publication – AquaticNews.

Please note: Archived copies of our previous publications: The Aquatica & The Bulletin can be found here and here.



The officers and board members of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society decided that for everyone’s safety and to minimize possibility of contracting the Corona Virus (COVID-19), our April 10th event titled “Successful Strategies for Reef Keeping by Bob Stark is canceled. Bob owns and operates ESV Aquarium Products and has been long standing supporter of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society (Thank you Bob).  His company makes outstanding products for saltwater and reef aquariums. To show your support in these hard times, please visit his website and review his offerings.


We apologize for any inconvenience caused and hope you stay healthy throughout the rest of the flu season.

Stay Home – Flatten The Curve!

Hoping to see you all soon.

March 13, 2020 Event Canceled Due To Corona Virus

The officers and board members of the Brooklyn Aquarium Society decided that for everyone’s safety and to minimize possibility of contracting the Corona Virus, our March 13th event should be canceled.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused and hope you stay healthy throughout the rest of the flu season.

We’ll see you at the next meeting.


President’s Message – February 2020

Dear Aquarist,

One of the coldest months of the year turned out to be warm and sunny when Joe Yaiullo, Curator of the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, Long Island arrived. His presentation entitled “Sometimes It’s The Little Things” was fascinating. This event was a wake-up call for marine and freshwater hobbyists alike because it spoke about setting up the steps to prevent catastrophe, planning ahead so disaster doesn’t strike and having redundancy parts and equipment in the event something fails. It was an enlightening and educational adventure from one of our oldest and dearest friends. Joe was kind enough to donate cuttings from the corals in his 20,000 gallon aquarium. The audience was very interested and asked many questions.

Continue reading President’s Message – February 2020

President’s Message – January 2020

Dear Aquarist,

For our first general meeting of the year we thought we would warm things up with one of our favorite speakers, Luis Morales. Luis gave a very informative presentation on “Fish Photography”. It was a great lecture for beginners and advanced hobbyists that wanted to take great photos of their favorite fish, plants or corals. Luis had given similar presentation years ago but updated it with information on the newer technology in the world of photography.

Continue reading President’s Message – January 2020

Win 170 Gallon System from Algae Barn!

Win a 170 gallon (total water volume) system complete with Tank, Refugium / Sump, Lighting, Pumps, Fish, Corals, Rock, Substrate, Pods and Phyto for a YEAR, Macroalgaes, Chemicals and Cleaners, and Salt!

No Tricks, No Scavenger Hunts… Simply visit pages and sponsors and say “Happy Holidays” “Merry Christmas” or whatever you would like to thank them for helping us to setup this incredible giveaway!

New Videos, Blog Posts, Sponsors Pages and more every Monday until 2020!

As a bonus, You will RANDOMLY be given gifts of REAL PRODUCTS for free, from us here at Algaebarn, As a Thank you for an incredible 2019! Two Runners up will get Ecopods and phyto subscriptions for a YEAR!


President’s Message – November 2019

Dear Aquarist,

Our November event was a cold and windy one. Our guest speaker warmed us up though with a great presentation and he came with a few boxes of raffle prizes, which made everyone happy. Lou Ekus, CEO of Tropic Marin came down from Massachusetts and his topic for the evening was, “Reef Chemistry Made Easy.” Lou takes the guess work out of chemicals in our reef aquariums and simplifies the entire environment. It was a great talk from a wonderful person.
November was our semi-annual 50/50 on livestock. We had many bags of high quality freshwater fish, marine fish, both fresh and marine plants and invertebrates, along with hard to get live corals. Many attendees went away with great bargains. We had aquariums, lighting, pumps, filters, aquatic supplies and fish/plant and coral foods. Everything you need to keep and maintain your aquatic creatures with the best of everything to keep them happy and healthy.

Continue reading President’s Message – November 2019

R.I.P – BAS Editor, John Todaro 1938-2019

It is with deep sorrow that we must report the passing of our Editor John Todaro. For BAS, moving forward will be difficult. As you are aware John created the Bulletin and the Aquatica – he was truly a special person.

John Joseph Todaro
1938 – 2019

Born and raised in New York City, John
Todaro served in the U.S. Army in Fort Rucker,
Alabama. John published a children’s book –
Phillip the Flower Eating Phoenix. He was an
art director for the McCann, Erikson and Ted
Bates advertisement agencies. A man of creative
pursuits, his hobbies included photography,
pottery, watercolors, woodworking and tropical

John’s passion and love for the Brooklyn
Aquarium Society (BAS), of which he was a club
member for greater than 50 years, combined his
creative genius and his leadership abilities. John
was the Corresponding Secretary, Exchange Editor
and Editor of two of the Societies publications
The Bulletin and The Aquatica (The Brooklyn
Aquarium Society was the only club in the
United States to publish two aquatic magazines
thanks to John). John became President of the
Brooklyn Aquarium Society in 2001 through 2003.
As President, John created the club’s Education
Program which brought aquariums to public
and private schools throughout New York City
and allowed our talented members to provide
presentations to schools, community centers and
senior citizen facilities. As President Emeritus, he
created the Centennial Journal of the Brooklyn
Aquarium Society and the 100th Birthday party at
the New York Aquarium in 2011.

In 2004 John and his son Andrew moved to
Vermont. John passed peacefully in his home on
Thursday, October 17, 2019. He was 81 years old.
John is succeeded by his three children (Christie
Potter and Andrew and Anna Todaro) and his two
grandchildren (Riley and Ella Potter).

RIP John – you will be deeply missed.