This book was surprisingly good. It covers all the basics, but doesn't just describe how to do stuff. Instead, the book focuses on the underlying principles regarding everything from water chemistry to filter choices to feeding the fish. I appreciated this, as I always like to know the why of things! Plus, she points out that you don't need fancy expensive equipment- old stuff often works just as good if you know what you're doing with it. There are helpful details in here about things like choosing and preparing decor for your tank, or adjusting new fish to your existing water parameters, that I haven't seen covered as well before. For example, I knew that fish need plants or rocks to hide among, for a sense of security. But I never thought that having a background on the tank will affect their "psychological health" as well. It gives the fish a sense of direction, the author says- open water and exposure to the front, shadows and security to the rear. Interesting. The pictures are all decent, explanations clear, and best of all, the author has a sense of humor. I actually found myself chuckling and reading passages aloud to my boyfriend. How often does that happen with a pet manual? This one's staying on my shelf.