on September 29, 2001
Well,I own the german original edition of this book,which I got before it was released in english,but it`s the same book. I can still read some german - it`s an easy language to understand.
Anyway,I prefer to write a review in english.
When I got the first book about two or three years ago,I thought there was something missing. There was only fishes of the order Perciformes,and the only invertebrates included were crustaceans and some anemones. I thought that was very strange. As there was some trouble when making this massive seven-book series,the second volume should have included other fish,but instead,here comes the missed invertebrates. It begins with a lot of sponges.
Although care advices are beeing given,sponges are NOT recommended as aquarium animals,due to their feeding habits. Therefore,all of them has a high difficult grade. But if you shall go diving in the caribbean or something,it could be valueable as a marine life identification guide.
The next chapter are treating the missing cnidarians from the first book,with stony corals and soft corals,and even some jellyfish!This section is taking up almost the half of the book,but as the corals is a rather dominating group of marine animals,that is completley understandable. Practical advice are beeing given for all of them. After reading it,I would mostly recommend the leather corals as suitable aquarium animals. Forget the jellyfish. The stony corals often have beautifull shapes but they`re not very colourfull. After this huge chapter,the next animal group dealt with are the flatworms. We often think of worms as disgusting animals,but these are very beutifull,but difficult too keep in an aquarium as they eat sponges. They are often mistaken for sea snails,but they have no gills on their back. Also included are the comb jellyfishes,a rare group of pelagic sea animals related to jellyfishes.
The final chapter are dealing with the molluscs,a very diverse group of marine animals. Here,we can see mostly shells of different kinds,and they are very beautifull and varied. Especially the small,but incredible section for nudibranchs. Some of these shells,altough not the cowries,can be kept in a marine aquarium very easily. So far,this book has been a valueable resource for me,as it has so many species included. Do not forget to buy the first and third volume,while volume 4-7 are additional species introduced. I do not own volume 5,but I`ll get that some time too. But so far,volume 1,2,3,4,6 & 7 are the BEST marine life identification guides available!
on February 22, 2003
A good book if you are a diver and collect your own specimens and need to identify them, Pictures are well done and in color and makes for good and enjoyable reading. The chart at the bottom shows a nice table for suggesting watermovement, temperature range, difficulty factor for raising, availability in the trade.
I give it one star because although nicely done 90% of the speciments pictures are listed as unavailable to the trade or protected species and unavailable. 90% are also recommended for people with at least two years of marine experience. It was written at a college level as to a lot of the terms. To be fair I believe two items were listed as a difficulty level of one (snails) and maybe three or four in the level three catagory. Level 4 being the highest degree of difficulty.
There is not very much for a beginner or intermediate aquarist looking for things to add to their aquarium since they are listed as unavailable. It would of been much better if it had listed more items readily available and in the easy to moderate range of difficulty. I would not recommend this book to anyone trying to find, identify, or purchase items for an aquarium, especially beginners. For the advanced marine aquarist it has some beautiful pictures and info.
However this was an atlas and not necessarily intended for aquarium buffs.