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Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies Paperback – January 3, 2007

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Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies + The New Marine Aquarium + Saltwater Fish and Reef Tanks: From Beginner to Expert
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Demystifies aquarium setup and maintenance

Combine and care for a wide variety of marine fish and invertebrates

Dive into the colorful world of saltwater fish! This fun, friendly guide gives you easy step-by-step instructions for choosing and caring for these amazing animals. You get the latest on feeding, tank upkeep, filtering systems, maintaining live rock, and preventing algae build-up, as well as what not to include in your aquarium.

Discover how to

  • Choose the best fish and equipment
  • Get your tank up and running
  • Maintain proper water conditions
  • Keep your fish happy and healthy
  • Avoid tank pitfalls
  • Keep a brackish aquarium

About the Author

Dr. Gregory Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, underwater explorer, photographer, aquarist, and author. He has been a fisheries biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries since 1987 and currently heads up the Massachusetts Shark Research Program. Greg holds a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD from the Boston University Marine Program in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. His research has spanned multiple fish habitats around the globe, taking him from the frigid waters of the Arctic Circle to coral reefs in the tropical Central Pacific. He has written numerous scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, ESPN, and CBS.
Although his research passion for the last 23 years has been sharks, he has been an avid aquarist for more than 30 years and has written nine books on aquarium keeping. His home and laboratory are on the island of Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (January 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470068051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470068052
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ryan M. Hart on January 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I first want to contradict some of the other reviews on this page. This is a great book for the beginner. I used it and followed it to the T same goes for two of my friends. We have all had successful and healthy tanks for well over a year. This book will touch all the basics. Once you learn those you will then know the terminology and concepts and be able to find any other information you need for free, on the web. It is also very previlent in the marine fish hobby to learn conflicting information. Much of the care of fish really requires observation what one person claims solves the problem may not be the best for another with a different setup and different fish. Keep this in mind when you do run into so said "contradictions" that other reviewers have claimed to exist.

The book does talk about live rock, it also talks about undergravel filters being obsolete. Some of the reviewers seem to interpret being concise as not being informative. The author even states that technology in the hobby is always expanding, so you need to talk with your local livestock dealer.

If I could take the time to improve this book I would do two things.

1.) Color photos it is hard to tell what a saltwater fish looks like in real life from a b/w photo.

2.) A fish compatibility chart that details fishes and their compatabilities . (These are availible on the web if you image:google fish compatability) Fish incompatability can be more problamatic than in proper tank care.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book and The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide by Michael S. Paletta in order to plan my new saltwater aquarium. The Paletta book is fantastic, up to date and is everything a beginner could want. The dummies book still pushes the undergravel filter as the best method for filtration. About a dozen websites that I checked dissagree. That's my major problem with this book. Having read both books over the course of two nights, I was astounded by how little information you actually get from this book. No subject is given in enough detail, even for a beginner's book. You will see my copy on ebay soon.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Karen L. White on December 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was very excited to start my aquarium and used this book to start, within a few weeks I found out by visiting stores that I was basically doing everything wrong. I went to buy an underwater filter and they laughed at me and told me that they haven't sold any since the 70's. They also fail to mention how important and easy to maintain live rock is. I didn't even get any until a very knowledgeable sales person mentioned it. This book mentions very little about it and even less of it's importance. Overall the book is terrible, I am shopping for something new.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for one reason. I wanted to start a marine aquarium but had absolutely no idea how to do it properly. I suppose I could have set out on my own just as the author did at one time. After reading this fine book, I can say with great certainty that my expensive salt water pets wouldn't have stood a chance. Nobody can include everything in one book. To be perfectly honest, I didn't want everything in one book. I wanted good coverage of all the basics necessary to be successful in this great hobby without being overwhelming.
Recommend to anybody who is clueless when it comes to salt water aquariums.
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40 of 51 people found the following review helpful By E J-C on January 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book having loved some other for dummies books. Thank goodness I ordered several other saltwater tank books. As I was picking through each of them I noticed that the for Dummies book contained information that completely contradicted the others! I was so angry at the wrong information in this book that I sent it back at a $5.00 loss. I'm actually considering checking some of my other for dummies books for errors. Yes, the language is simpler than in other books, but the amount of wrong information is not worth the cost of the book. Buy this if you want to kill some fish.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By W. Boa on April 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book makes saltwater aquariums seem easier than they actually are. For one, I don't even think the book mentions the use of reverse osmosis or deionized water, which is strongly recommended by all marine aquarists. The author also doesn't mention the importance of live rock. In fact, he goes as far to advise against using live rock for fish-only tanks! Sure, you might be able to get away with not using live rock, but it won't be worth it in the long run. Also, I don't agree with the list of recommended filter combinations. One more thing, the book lists an air stone as essential equipment, but the only thing an air stone will do is aid evaporation and cause salt creep! If you have enough movement of water at the surface, you should get sufficient gas exchange. There is, however, one thing the book does get right: its strong recommendation of using a protein skimmer.

This book is easy to understand, but you won't be getting the best information.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Barr on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
This new edition of Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies has been brought much more up-to-date with current marine aquarium techniques and is one of the most recently published books I could find on the subject. That said, it's still not a great book on the subject. It becomes overly repetitive in some areas and lacking in others and is often poorly organized. For instance, even basic species information is divided between multiple chapters with each one incomplete on its own and constantly referencing you back-and-forth. Too much time is spent on filtration techniques which the book itself deems are generally inadequate while leaving the reader confused between other techniques [and glances over or completely neglects advanced techniques used for reef aquariums]. The book is clearly aimed at the beginner, but fails to provide adequate direction for moving forward from there.
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