ON THE COVER:
A tiny neon goby Elacatinus sp. adorns this month’s cover. While most of
the species in this genus that are called “neons” have an iridescent blue
stripe, there are also species that have an iridescent gold stripe, and some
have a combination of both colors. All of these diminutive fish may act as
facultative cleaners in a marine aquarium, but unlike the obligate cleaner
wrasses in the genus Labroides, the Elacatinus will also thrive on a regular
captive diet, making them excellent choices for marine and reef aquariums.
For more on these and other marine cleaners, check out this month’s “Salt
Creep” (p. 64). Photograph by Dr. Dwight Smith
Our cover photo, free of any text or graphics and suitable
for framing, etc., is reproduced in full size on page 77.
Our 56th Year • Volume LVI • Number 6 • #623
78 Driftwood and Stem Plant Composition
in the Nature Aquarium
Planted tank artist extraordinaire Takashi Amano details the use of driftwood and stem plants in the
composition of lush aquatic layouts. Takashi Amano
Buying, Keeping, & Breeding Otocinclus Catfish
Oto cats, often somewhat misunderstood by hobbyists, are endearing little creatures that make an
exceptional addition to most planted tanks if chosen, introduced, and cared for properly.
Gary A. MacDonald
90 Top 10 for the 10-Gallon Tank
The author, a veteran in the fishkeeping hobby, details 10 species that make excellent inhabitants for
the popular—but seldom properly stocked—10-gallon tank. Neale Monks
96 The Wonderful World of Plastic Plants:
Not Just for Beginners
These days plastic plants look so realistic that even expert hobbyists might want to consider using them
to create a natural-looking, low-maintenance, and inedible aquascape in the home aquarium.
100 Aquarium Science
Lyretail Swordtail Genetics
Master livebearer breeder Glenn Takeshita describes his attempt to produce a homozygous lyretail
swordtail that throws 100% lyretail young. Glenn Y. Takeshita
106 Stings of the Scorpaenids
One of the traits that make lionfish and other scorpaenids seem so exotic is their venomous spines, but
before obtaining these dangerous fish, aquarists should know how to prevent and treat their stings.
James W. Fatherree, MSc
116 When the Hobby Gets Out of Hand:
A Look Into the House of a Fish Nut
The author, a self-proclaimed fish nut who transformed his home into a fish-filled paradise, gives us a
glimpse at just how addicting this hobby can be. David Lass
122 How It All Begins…
Third-grader Nathan Berman hasn’t been an aquarist for very long, but after breeding his African
cichlids he has already experienced the allure of fishkeeping. Nathan Berman
124 FBAS Festival of Fishkeeping 2007
A recap of the U.K.’s Federation of British Aquarist Societies (FBAS) Festival, a fun-filled event featuring
beautiful koi, goldfish, discus, and many other fish in numerous competitions and shows.