by Dick Mills
Another older book on fishkeeping that I got through a swap. It\’s very informative and although some of the described items obsolete (I\’ve never seen an aquarium heater with an external thermostat for example), I learned a lot regardless. It has some good features- a chart outlining differences, pros and cons between four types of setup- freshwater cold, freshwater tropical, saltwater cold and saltwater tropical (most books only go into the tropical stuff). Good explanation of the different kinds of filtration (including biological). Tips on how to reduce heat loss in the aquarium. Very nice drawings showing what kinds of fish live in the same natural habitat- gave me better ideas of which fish are more suited to my own water conditions. How to collect or cultivate live foods. Great page spread on sample design layouts for six kinds of setup- cold freshwater, cold marine, tropical marine and tropical freshwater for hard, soft or soft/medium-hard water conditions- showing some typical plants, kinds of substrate and decor that would be suitable. Two topics I never found addressed in a book before- an in-depth description of fish shows- the different levels, how they are organized, how the fishes are judged, what makes a quality specimen and so on. Also the last chapter is about photographing your fish. While the technical aspects of this might not apply anymore- the camera equipment described is definitely outdated- the methods for setting up lighting, using flash, confining the fish to a focal area and so on is invaluable. Overall this book is a solid resource that I\’m glad to add to my shelves.
Rating: 4/5 288 pages, 1986