Fish 'N' Chips
A Monthly Marine Newsletter
June 2000 Issue


From Liz
Critter Corner
Doin' It Yourself!
What's Up @ ReefsUK
Caught In The Net
Upcoming Events
What the ... ?
Prove It!, a Bibliography
Newsletter Disclaimer

From Liz
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

Don't forget to cast your vote in the Web Ring Poll - Here's the question: "Do you think creating a Fish 'N' Chips Web Ring is a good idea? Would you join it?" Go here to vote: I won't take on the task of setting up and maintaining a web ring unless a good number of you would want to join, so get out there and vote. Here's what I'm thinking: any and all fish (marine preferably) related site is eligible (business, hobby, clip art, photos, etc.), no limit on where you put the web ring coding, and finally, I am judge and jury on who joins, who stays, and who goes. Now, go vote!

FNC Joins Marine Aquarium Web Ring - Fish 'N' Chips has added another web ring to it's small but growing list. Along with Keepers Of The Reef Web Ring you will now find the Marine Aquarium Web Ring on the Rings & Things ( page of our site. Please visit the other sites in the rings and even join one or both!

Get FNC direct to your printer! HP Instant Delivery is a service that will bring Fish 'N' Chips directly to your printer on the first of every month. The service is free. For more information and to sign up, go to (HP discontinued service in June 2001.)

Site Submission Form Updated! Everyone can submit their site now! I've finally found a service that offers free Form Mail since I don't have access to cgi's. So, all you AOLers (and others!) can now submit their sites without having to worry about sending only blank messages to me! No more excuses now, go submit your site!

Doin' It Yourself! - Debuting a new section this month with Johan Bresler's Easy Maintenance Filter. Check it out and submit your own DIY Projects via email to

Visit This Month's Subscriber's Tank Showcase
Ed Railsback's Reef Tank is the Showcase for June and can be seen at

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Critter Corner
Hippopus hippopus
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

General Information:

Hippopus hippopus by Gerald Heslings of IPSF Maximum length of a Hippopus hippopus clam is 18 inches (45cm).

Some characteristics of the Hippopus hippopus clam:

Common Name(s):
Hippopus hippopus are commonly called Horse's Hoof, Bear Paw, or Strawberry Clams.

The common name, Horse's Hoof comes from the look of the shell when the clam is closed and sitting on its byssal opening. The broad base of the closed valves is shaped like a horse's foot.

In The Wild:
As the H. hippopus grows, it loses its byssal gland and relies solely on its size and weight to hold its place. Because of this, it is usually found lose on sandy bottoms or near-reef flats. It can be found in the shallows and as deep as 19.7 feet (6 meters). The clam doesn't burrow so the shell is exposed and is usually found with various organisms hitching rides.

The H. hippopus is found in the Indo-Pacific region and is hunted for food and souvenirs.

Home Aquaria:
H. hippopus is very easy to keep in the home aquarium. It is a hardy clam and easily acclimated to your tank. If you are lucky enough to add this clam to your collection, place it in the upper third of your tank - unless it is a pale brown color. An H. hippopus showing pale brown color may have been damaged by insufficient lighting.

They are not as popular as Tridacna clams because of their coloring. As a result, they are seldom found in fish stores or hobbyist tanks. And, as a result of researching this article, I can also say that they aren't easy to find online either.

It is also a relatively easy clam to breed in aquaculture systems. According to the The Reef Aquarium Volume One by J. Charles Delbeek and Julian Sprung, the H. hippopus' offered for sale to hobbyists in the North America are the products of aquaculture programs. None are wild caught.

Store: My local fish store (Queens, New York) doesn't have any H. hippopus for sale so I don't have any local prices for you.
SizeUS Dollars
No Size Listed
1" - 2"$14.95 - $19.95
3" - 4"$24.95 - $39.99
5" - 6"$39.95 - $49.95

Canadian Dollars: I found no Canadian sites selling the H. hippopus.

Photo Credits:
The image of the Hippopus hippopus clam was originally found on the Marine Aquarium Society of Los Angeles' WebSite ( The image belongs to Gerald Heslinga of Indo-Pacific Sea Farms ( Gerald has granted me permission to use the image. Very BIG thanks, Gerald!

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Doin' It Yourself!
Easy Maintenance Filter
By Johan Bresler
Edited By Elizabeth M. Lukan, 6/17/00

Bresler Easy Maint Filter Image The image to the left shows the basic design with "pull taps." This is a very low cost "pull-up" piece of plastic instead of a tap. A tap can be used if you desire to ensure zero water leakage, but water leakage at that position is not so important as it is sufficient to force water along the intended route.

The image to the left shows the "pull-up taps" to the side - like you are viewing the filter from the side with the drainage system to the bottom. My actual filter has the bottom drainage system on the side, where the "pull taps" function upwards. "Pull taps" will not work with the drainage system at the bottom. To match the image on the top left, you would have to use proper taps. I am not sure how to draw what I am trying to explain here, so I hope everyone understands what I mean. If not, I welcome your questions via email.

Bresler Easy Maint Filter Pull Tap Image I have included two "Top View" images (directly to the right and below on the right) to illustrate the tap issue more clearly (hopefully). The "pull tap" concept saves a lot of cost - that's why I included the idea. The reason why "pull taps" would not work to the side is that there is nowhere to pull it to - you cannot get through the filter media to pull the taps. It must be pulled upwards in the water container, through the filter media. This does not matter as the water leakage of the "pull taps" is within a waterproof container per the diagram.

Bresler Easy Maint Filter Normal Tap Image If you imagine the drainage system shown on the original diagram (top left image) to be connected to the side of the container at the bottom, the PVC piping would be next to the container, rather than below it. The tops of the "pull taps" would therefore stick out at the top of the container, through the filter media. This is easy to pull up to open and push down to close. The drainage will still work fine although it will be directed to the side rather than the bottom.

Referring to the main diagram (top left image), Filter Media is placed on top of the broken line. The broken line could be a substance such as Egg Crate or something similar. This allows detritus to settle at the bottom. Once sufficient detritus has collected, the pull-taps can be opened before the main tap. In this way the filter is flushed (back-washed) in a second. Simply refill the filter with overflow water after all the taps have been closed and start using as normal. The great advantage is that the filter should operate for many years with no clogging if backwashed regularly.

Bresler Easy Maint Filter Fix I used 50mm plastic pipes and the main tap is also 50mm. This is standard swimming pool PVC Pipes and Taps in use in South Africa. I also added a chamber at the beginning to collect water and a chamber at the end with a submersible pump to return water. Obviously you need an overflow system from the tank to feed water to this filter.

If suitable media is added, perhaps crushed coral in chamber 1 and 2 and siphorax in the 3rd chamber, together with sealed tops, the filter should denitrify as well. My chambers consist of second hand 25 liter cooking oil drums which are siliconed together with PVC piping as connectors in a way to achieve the flow as illustrated in the diagram.

Editor's Comments:
Editing was limited to putting Johan's emails in article format and html, resizing the images Johan provided, and correcting a few typos.

Johan's son, Driaan, breeds clownfish. Please visit his site, Clownfish >From Africa, at

Photo Credits:
All images provided by author.

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What's Up @ ReefsUK
- -
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

6/6/00 - ReefsUK Site Changes and Additions Coming Soon. More pictures will be added to the Pictorial Guide to Coral Propagation. And, changes to the layout of the Captive Raised Livestock Database are planned to make it more user friendly.

6/6/00 - Articles for the ReefsUK Site are wanted. Just email Derek (address below) with your article ideas or for more information. Full credit for your work will be given. Derek would like articles emailed to him as attachments in Microsoft Word, NotePad, or WordPad formats.

6/13/00 - List member, Jack, is looking for a second hand metal halide system. He's looking for a system 2000 or similar 3 x 150 watt metal halide with 2 x 40 watt blue actinics. Email Jack directly at if you can help him out.

To join the ReefsUK Mailing List, send an email to

Editor's Comments:
Information in this section covers the latest happenings at Mark T. Taber's ReefsUK Web Site. Mark has given me permission to publish any information from his mailing list that I feel would be of interest to Fish 'N' Chips subscribers. So, the above, although reworded by me, should be credited to Mark or to Derek Scales who works closely with Mark on the running of ReefsUK. The dates in bold coincide with Mark or Derek's mailings and are provided as a reference.

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Caught In The Net
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

Marine Aquarium Council

Back in April, Paul Holthus (Executive Director of Marine Aquarium Council) sent out the 1st Quarter MAC Newsletter. The Marine Aquarium Council is dedicated to "Certifying Quality and Sustainability in the Collection, Culture and Commerce of Marine Ornamentals." I am a subscriber of the MAC Newsletter and I highly recommend it to my fellow hobbyists. If you are involved in any type of marine business, the MAC is doing work vital to the success of your business and our hobby as a whole. Visit the MAC website at for more information and to subscribe to the newsletter.

This Month's Selection From The Fish 'N' Chips Fishy List

Informational & Educational Sites - Contest

The above list matches a portion of the site list maintained on the Fish 'N' Chips WebSite as of the date of this publication. What you see above is what was listed as on their site by the submitter. The date that follows in parenthesis is the date submitted to the list. For the complete up-to-date list, check out the Fish 'N' Chips WebSite at

Site Submission and Updating: To submit your site for inclusion in the Fish 'N' Chips newsletter and website based Fishy Links List, please go to the Fish 'N' Chips website at and complete the Site Submission Form. Please do not send any site submission or update requests via email - I will not process them. Of course, emails are welcome if you are having trouble submitting the form.

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CPR Bak-Pak O Rings
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

Ok, here's how it happened. I'm sitting at my computer designing a client's website when I hear the ominous sound of plastic falling in or near my tank. Up I go and I quickly determine that nothing has crashed in the tank, the overflow box is still where it should be and working fine. Ok, water isn't gushing all over my floor, so what had happened? Turns out the O Ring holding my CPR Bak-Pak 2 skimmer cup in place just snapped, sending the cup down into the column to rest on the input tube. To make matters worse, it was Friday evening and CPR is closed. Get to the tip you say! Okee Dokee! I ordered a new O Ring - two to be exact, just in case. There's your first tip - have a spare on hand (they only cost $2.00 US plus shipping). Second tip comes per the customer service rep. I ordered my replacement O Rings. Every month, rub vaseline/petroleum jelly into your O Ring. Wipe off the excess and put it back into service. The vaseline keeps the O Ring lubricated and helps prevent what happened to me, extending the O Ring's life.

To Submit Your Tip: Send your tip via email to and I'll publish it in an upcoming issue of Fish 'N' Chips. I'll write it up for you or you can do it yourself if you are so inclined. Make sure you let me know if I can include your name and email address or if you'd rather go anonymous.

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Upcoming Events
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 5/29/00

June 2000

Date and Time: from now until July 1, 2000 on
Info: "Poll Contest" Sponsored by Aquarium Hardware Supply ( Answer any poll in the message board "The Cove" and you'll be entered to win $50 off any power compact order from AH Supply. You may enter once per poll and if you place an order before the contest is over and end up being the winner, you'll receive a refund.
Access: See the Message Board "The Cove" at (

Date and Time: from now until August 1, 2000 on
Info: "Poll Contest" Sponsored by Tampa Bay Saltwater ( Answer any poll in our message board "The Reef" and enter to win 20 pounds of aquacultured Florida Keys rock. Winner pays shipping. You may enter once per poll.
Access: See the Message Board "The Reef" at (

Event: Seahorse Exhibit at the New York Aquarium
Date and Time: from 4/20/00 to April 2001
Info: Some of the animals to be featured are leafy sea dragons, weedy sea dragons, pygmy seahorses, pot belly seahorses, local seahorses, giant seahorses, and pipe fish.
Where & Contact Info: Brooklyn Aquarium, West 8th Street and Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (USA), 11224. Phone: (718) 265-FISH.

September 2000

Event: Marine Aquarium Society of North America hosts MACNA XII
Date and Location: Ft. Lauderdale Florida from September 29th to October 1st, 2000 at the Wyndham Hotel.
Speakers: Speakers include: Walter Adey, Yehuda Benayahu, Bruce Carlson, Vincent Defour, Ruth Francis Floyd, John Forsythe, Richard Harker, Cindy Hunter, Kelly Jedlicki, Martin Moe, Mike Paletta, Ron Shimek, Julian Sprung, and Peter Wilkens. For information on what their topics are, visit
For More Info: Visit

To Submit Your Event: Send your event and all the specifics (date, time, location, pricing, contact info, etc.) via email to and I'll publish it in all issues of Fish 'N' Chips prior to the event.

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What the ... ?
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/16/00

Byssus Gland
The structure in clams that produces fibrous threads (byssus) that attach the clam to substrate.

Large, pigmented fleshy portion of tridacnid clams that is exposed to the light by gaping of the shell valves. Also called siphonal tissue. Also, the coral tissue in fleshy polyps (e.g. Catalaphyllia).

The inhalant and exhalant siphons of tridacnid clams are used to allow for gas exchange and to expel wastes.

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Prove It!, a Bibliography
By Elizabeth M. Lukan 6/17/00

Article: Critter Corner

Article: Upcoming Events

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Newsletter Disclaimer

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