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Encyclopedia of Aquarium Fish Hardcover – February 28, 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT; First edition (February 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756609410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756609412
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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.

More About the Author

David Alderton, MA (Cantab.) grew up in a home surrounded by pets and originally trained to be a vet until an allergic dermatitis forced a change of career in his final year of study. Since then, David has used his experience, knowledge and passion for the subject to concentrate on writing about animals and the natural world.

David also broadcasts regularly on television and radio, and has recently set up the website www.petinfoclub.com while his blog can be found at www.davidalderton.com His books have currently sold some 6.5 million copies worldwide and are available in 30 languages. He has won various awards for his work, including the Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America, and he is well-known as a columnist on various newspapers and magazines, as well as editing Practical Reptile Keeping magazine.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 15 customer reviews
The pictures are high quality and beautiful.
This could be an excellent coffee table book.
Robert Blackwell
This fish obviously has an appropriate name!
Virginia Allain

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on July 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The jacket of this beautifully illustrated book claims that it is "the definitive guide to choosing and keeping freshwater or marine fish, for aquariums and ponds." In addition to a color photographic rendition of each fish, information is provided about origins, size, diet, water preferences, and temperament. For example, on page 272, we learn that the Shy Hamlet, a six-inch blue, green, and yellow fish native to the Caribbean region, needs "nooks and crannies in the aquarium where they can hide." This fish obviously has an appropriate name! (summary by South Texas Library System)

At 400 pages, aquarium enthusiasts get a lot of information. DK is known for their high quality, colorful books. You can't go wrong with this one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Darren Chong on June 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Typical of DK books, infomation are presented using interesting facts and statistics. This is an excellent coffee table book for leisure reading any time and by anyone. This is also a rare gem that combines all 3 general genres of fishkeeping - marine, freshwater, tropical, in one easy-to-read reference. There's even a fairly comprehensive section dedicated to koi (the author is either a fanatic or simply this is a prized pet).

However one must take note that this is not a good reference for marine starters. Basic information such as breeding, feeding, diseases are adequately explained but techniques and equipment talk are out-dated compared to many books out there.

Excellent high resolution photos. Eg. a shot of a seahorse staring at a brineshrimp (full recognizable with legs and eyes!), leaffish swallowing a prey, ghastly shots of 'L' Plecos...

In summary, this book is a Jack of all trades. Easy reading but not as a sole book for reference. You want starters? Try the excellent "The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide". You want comprehensive fish data? Try Dr Burgess's Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes and Dr. Axelrod's Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes.

This is a book permanently in my coffee table collection. 5 Stars for the interesting read, no deducts for any lack of info because if you set your eyes on this book you should already be aware this is typical of DK books - never a comprehensive reference for novices nor for the experienced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By cardex on March 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first bought this book it was for information with fresh water fish and it covers them with a commendable amount of detail. The book contains almost every fresh water fish that you are likely to encounter in a -mart store and the majority of average local fish stores. There are large pictures of every species covered as well as information on what kind of tank requirements that the fish will need helpful notes on a lot of the "beginner" fishes on how to get them to spawn in your home and if they can be placed in a community tank of if the fish should be kept alone. There are a few areas that the book has slightly outdated information and a anyone that has ever had a tank of Discus will quickly find a number of inaccuracies with there two page listing. The only criticism that I have about the freshwater section of the book is that the kill fish section is small, while this is common in most books it is always a disappointment.

The freshwater plant section of the book has some helpful information but is lacking light guides, but if you find a plant that is in the book and are thinking about adding it to your tank 30 seconds with google will give you all the missing information.

I have been keeping fresh water fish since I was in grade school and now 20 something years later I am setting up my fist salt water tank. The book assumes that I know a lot of things that I don't and there are a number of items referenced but not explained that someone new to saltwater does not know often leaving me with more questions then answers, maybe when I have a little more experience with salt water the information will be handy.

I rely can not comment on the pond fish area of the book, I don't have any experience with ponds or any idea if the information is complete.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Blackwell on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is really a great book. It has just about everything you'd want to know about fish and aquatic plants. Every picture is vibrant and high quality resolution unlike many other books which may have faded or low resolution images. There is a section for diagnosing diseases and a nice glossary. This could be an excellent coffee table book.

The only problem I have is that it does not have a sewn binding. I believe this should really be standard on a book of this quality. That reason alone is why I gave a 4 out of 5 rating. Despite that it is still a very high quality book and should last a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oliver C. Kwok on September 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the better books on aquarium fishes I have ever seen. It covers all kinds of fishes: freshwater, marine and pond fishes, but the tropical fishes section alone is worth the price. The photos are super. The information on each fish is concise; scientific name, origin, size, diet, water preference, temperament and a brief description are all in one place with the photo. That makes the book very easy to read. I particularly like the info on water hardness. Few books have this kind of information. Although it missed some very common fishes, it covers most of the fishes we likely find in the local pet shop.
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