A Visual Reference to the Most Popular Species
edited by Greg Jennings
What Fish? this book just shows them all. Well, as many as it could fit into five-hundred-some pages. Lots and lots of fish. It has a brief introduction to what a fish is, and a glossary of fish-related terminology, but the rest is just tons of profile pages. Each has a nice, large photograph of the particular fish, a description with any interesting points on the species' taxonomy, behavior, rarity, difficulty or ease of care, color/finnage variants and the like. On the side are the requisite details: common names, size, diet, recommended aquarium conditions, breeding info etc. So for the most part I browsed through the book. I did look at every photo and read every description, but for the rest I glanced at the mature size and aquarium requirements, and only read details on fish I might possibly keep someday.
The book divides all the fishes into family groups: cichlids, catfish, cyprinids (barbs, danios and "sharks"), characoids, loaches and suckers, gouramis and relatives, rainbowfishes, killifish, livebearers and then a group of miscellaneous oddballs. While compared to a more focused book (such as the catfish atlas) this can only feature a few of the many many species, it still introduced me to a lot of fish I had never "met" before; in particular some lovely varieties of danio (five are shown), six kinds of betta and many killifish (I like those). It was a book to enjoy looking at, which sent me to the computer at various times to look up more information on the fish that were new to me.
Borrowed from the public library.
Rating: 4/5 528 pages, 2006