Jan 8, 2014

Aquarium Owner's Manual

by Gina Sandford

Another solid book on fish and their care. It covers freshwater, brackish and marine setups; I focused most of my reading on the freshwater parts and browsed through the rest. Detailed descriptions of fish biology, including things like scale types and how the body performs various functions. A nice little history on how the fishkeeping hobby began and what early aquariums were like- very interesting. Nearly two hundred species of fish, representatives from every family group present in the aquarium trade, has a species page with specifics on their needs. There is a short section on plants (unsatisfactory) and lots of detailed explanations of various equipment and their use- probably the best information I've read on the different types of filter systems yet. Tells you step by step how to set up and establish an aquarium, which is useful if you've never done one before (certain things done out of order or carelessly can be disastrous later). Also outlines how to choose healthy fish, introduce them with the least amount of stress, distract resident fish from harassing newcomers to your tank, feed them all properly, deal with health problems and more. I liked particularly that there was a page on evaluating an establishment and how to choose a retailer or fish dealer who will have healthy, well-cared for specimens and not just be about making the sale. I appreciated that on most areas of fishkeeping, this book points out common errors and how to avoid them. And it made me chuckle when among the list of essential items to having an aquarium was "tolerant family members"!

Through all these pages I learned quite a few interesting facts about fish themselves, and encountered a lot of new, very beautiful species I never saw before (as this book features saltwater fish too, which I haven't really been reading about since they're beyond my ability to keep) I have to say the most stunning, gorgeous creature I've ever seen is the mandarin fish. Wow. It's so beautiful it doesn't look real. Very good photographs and illustrations throughout.

Borrowed this one from the public library.

Rating: 4/5     256 pages, 1999

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I would love to have a saltwater aquarium but know it's beyond my ability as well.