In the fine tradition of its excellent how-to guides for raising houseplants, DK here offers a practical and visually appealing manual for all who would keep fish. The author has written various natural history titles and is a consultant to the pet industry. More than 800 individual fish, invertebrate, and plant species are described.
The book begins with a short introduction to the natural history of fish, their classification, and the history of fish keeping. The first major section covers the most popular kind of fish, those that live in fresh water. It begins with the practicalities of setting up and maintaining a tank, including descriptions of common problems and how to address them. Next is a very rich directory of fish organized by family or genus, with commonly available strains (including a few well-known rarities) discussed in terms of their size, temperament, and required conditions for culture. A brief directory of freshwater plants rounds out this section.
For those who like more of a challenge, marine fish are treated next. Following the same general structure as the freshwater fish section, Alderton divides marine fish into parts on culture and fish by family or genus, then finishes with a section on marine invertebrates. A shorter but still very useful section on the basics of keeping pond fish, again with sections on setup, fish by family or genus, and plants, finishes up the body of this volume. A glossary of terms, a handy list of Web sites, and indexes (one by common and scientific names, the other of more general terms) round things out.
This book is a fun read for fish keepers and voyeurs alike. The well-organized and authoritative content lives happily next to beautiful photographs. School and public libraries should strongly consider this volume for their reference shelves. A few circulating copies are a good bet to get heavy circulation in recreational collections at all levels. Jeff Kosokoff
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About the Author
David Alderton is an international best-selling author with more than 5 million books sold worldwide and is currently a consultant for the American Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council. His books include Looking After Aquarium Fish
, Fish Care
, and several other pet/pet care books written for DK.