Dec 9, 2013

Rainbowfish

by Gunther Schmida

I had never heard of rainbowfish before. Not until someone pointed them out to me in the pet store. I didn't really find them attractive at first- the ones in the shop tank under stress don't show the usual gorgeous colors- but after reading this book the idea of them is growing on me. This book starts out introducing the variety of rainbowfish species, their origins and habitats. Individual species get very short writeups, but helpfully the page numbers where their photos are found is noted so I knew who I was looking at. They really are beautiful fish with irridescent scales and some can change their colors or flash their stripes at will. Helpfully, the book has a section that lists which other fish species make good companions for rainbowfish of differing sizes, and also what kinds of aquatic plants do well with them. There is all the usual maintenance info, some recommendations on how to deal with fish diseases (I didn't know fish could get a form of tuberculosis!) I appreciated the section on some common rainbowfish behavior and how to interpret it. The author notes that in their natural habitat the fish spawn after sudden rainfall. In home aquariums they will often start courtship behavior after a water change, and the author has also been able to trigger spawning with a camera flash (the fish seem to think it is lightening presaging a rainstorm).

There was a feature here which I haven't seen in any other fish books, telling what is legal or illegal in regards to keeping fish- tenancy laws, property damage, who can buy fish (no kids without permission), proper disposal of dead fish and even animal protection for aquarium pets. However, the book was originally published in Germany and is rather outdated, so I don't know how much of that applies here and now!

Overall, this was a good read and a nice introduction to a fish I'm unfamiliar with. The photographs are just fantastic. It is yet another Barron's book, borrowed from the library like all the others.

Rating: 3/5    64 pages, 1998

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