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Culturing Live Foods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Culturing One's Own Food for the Home Aquarium Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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Culturing Live Foods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Culturing One's Own Food for the Home Aquarium + Ecology of the Planted Aquarium + Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: TFH Publications; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793806550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793806553
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Hellweg is a TFH Publishing author.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This belongs in the library of every aquarium hobbyist.
Jennifer Langley
Mike's book is packed with a wealth of detailed information, and yet it is much more than a simple "How To" book.
David A. Lass
The book also gives detailed, practical information for raising live foods.
Bart Kraeger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lass on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Culturing Live Foods
By
Michael R. Hellweg

Since Mike Hellweg is an old and valued friend/colleague in the tropical fish hobby, my opinions about his new book "Culturing Live Foods" may be a little biased - although they really need not be. "Culturing Live Foods" is a much-needed, and excellently written book, and it is an important contribution to the aquarium hobby. Mike is well known throughout the hobby as not only an accomplished writer, but also a master breeder, and he shares with us the fact that much of his success in breeding fishes comes from giving live foods to both the breeders, and the offspring.
"Culturing Live Foods" starts with a very interesting discussion of the history of fish foods, and the reasons for feeding live foods today, even though we have a wide variety of excellent frozen and dry foods available to us. The book then discusses the tools and containers needed, and getting starter cultures, for live foods. The foods themselves start with the smallest ones that are used - phytoplankton, or "Green water". Protozoans, or "infusoria" are then discussed, and then somewhat larger foods such as copepods, rotifers and vinegar eels. Much space is devoted to brine shrimp, which is fitting as they are probably the most common live food in the hobby. Mike discusses hatching, enriching and growing live brine shrimps to adults, as well as decapsulating the cysts (eggs).
As the book progresses we move up in size for the live foods, from worms (whiteworms, tubifex, blackworms and earthworms) to snails and crustaceans such as daphnia, moina and mysis shrimps. Other shrimps such as glass or grass shrimps and various species of Neocaridina are covered.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bart Kraeger on July 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let's face it; the subject of this book has the "Uggh!" factor. Raising worms and plankton and shrimp to feed to your fish does not appeal to everyone. But if you have ever had blackworms in your refrigerator or brine-shrimp in your freezer, you need this book in your library.

This book tells how certain old-school aquarium keepers had success raising difficult-to-breed fish using live foods, and then shared their methods by word-of-mouth with others. This book is filled with advice passed on from an accomplished hobbyist.

An alternate title for this book might have been "Culturing Fish Using Live Foods". The author explains how using live food leads to success in conditioning fish to breed and in raising their offspring. Then he explains in clear detail how to raise the live foods. Use Amazon's Search Inside feature to find some examples related to your interests: cichlid, livebearer, killie, etc.

This could be a coffee table book for tropical fish enthusiasts. Any serious hobbyist would have to pick it up and leaf through it. It's a visually attractive book with a lot of fantastic photographs and bold colors throughout. The book is well organized and has a fair amount of sidebar articles. The book also gives detailed, practical information for raising live foods.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Diane in Los Angeles on July 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific, up-to-date resource by Mike Hellweg, a master fish breeder whose success with fish is built on his success in feeding his fish appropriate live foods.

I've been discussing the culture of various live foods with Mike for several years now, and studying a lot of what has been easily available on the internet, and even put together my own web page reviewing the techniques I've used with my own cultures. But this book has already given me new tips and tricks on creatures I thought I knew all about, and given me confidence to try some that I've failed with in the past. The details are just right to enable success with each organism, and there are good sources for more information if you want or need it.

This book is also an excellent primer on spawning fish, because several species are discussed as easily bred feeders for larger fish. Those are tips you can use to propagate those and related species for your own enjoyment even if you don't keep predatory fish.

I can't recommend this highly enough for the aquarist who wants to keep and spawn happy, healthy fish.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Scott on July 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really happy to see this book. It's been a long time since we have had updated comprehensive information. This is presented beautifully and very well written. Any serious Aquarist should plan on this book for their collection. You won't be disappointed.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever seen your aquarium fish look hungry for more, then Michael R. Hellweg's Culturing Live Foods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Culturing One's Own Food for the Home Aquarium is for you. It tells how to make happier fish by cultivating live foods they like - plants, multi-celled organisms, crustaceans, mollusks and worms - over 80 such foods in all. Culture methods, materials needed, color sidebars of reference information and more make for discussions of species, care, and what kinds of aquarium fish they can feed. Libraries specializing in aquarium owner's guides will find this offers something different for the avid aquarium owner.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lynchmom on October 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great resource to get you started in culturing live foods for your fish. I have found some great ideas in this book and have started making fish food for my tilapia (cichlids) using shrimp, vegetables from my garden and some purchased spirulina powder. I have also started grindal worm cultures for my smaller fish a red wiggler culture for my larger fish. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is just getting started and would like to learn the basics.
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