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Nature Aquarium World Volume 2 Hardcover – February 1, 1997
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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The shortcomings of this book are only to blame this book for being what it is not and what it does not claim to be. It does not claim to be a 'how to' book, though I believe many readers (me included) wish it WAS a 'how to' book. As such, one can continue moaning about how inaccurate the scientific names of plants are; how little information there is on planting, propagating and maintaining the plants; what the mineral contents of the substrate and fertilizers are; what the light spectrum and intensity is; etcetera...
So, although I love the book. I'm going to minus one star for the lousy reason that it isn't what I want it to be.
Goldfish should never be kept in bowls. The smallest goldfish reach softball size when kept in healthy conditions and need twice the tank size for a similar biomass of smaller fish. In such a bowl, the fish would be dead in a matter of hours from suffocation due to lack of oxygen. In slightly larger (but still small tanks), their growth would be stunted, their immune systems compromised, and their lifespan greatly reduced due to the inability of the system to carry the large load of ammonia excreted by these fish. Although survival in small tanks is possible, with frequent, large water changes, the quality of life would be dismal for these beautiful cratures and completely inhumane. I hope Takashi Amano takes responsibility, changes his ways and stops perpetuating bad practices that so many other responsible aquarists have been working hard for so long to change.
Aside from the goldfish bowl, I think the book is fabulous. I have been an advanced aquarist since 1994 (have worked in fish stores, owned a fish maintenance and design business and have a degree in marine biology) and have read (and own) most of the plant books on the market. This book, as well as his others, are not meant for beginners (or even intermediate users) in search of a solid how-to manual. Better sources for that would be The Dynamic Aquarium: Building Living Ecosystems (by Adey and Loveland) or Peter Hiscock's 2 books, Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants and Aquarium Designs Inspired by Nature or The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad.
But, if you are a beginner looking for inspiration or scope of what is possible, this is a good beginner book. I suspect that majority of aquarists who actually get a lot of practical use from these books are those who can readily take the data from each photo and put it to good use. Amano's books, if used as such, assume the aquarist has an advanced understanding of lighting, water chemistry, nutrient balances, biological filtration, fish behavior, etc. For advanced aquarists, these books are invaluable in that they supply tested permutations that can be immediately applied. This saves the hobbyist much experimentation when it comes to combinations of plant placement, relative to CO2 levels and lighting and nutrient regimes.
In my opinion, this book is not required for beginners, although they can certainly learn from and enjoy it. But, it is required for any advanced plant-loving aquarist. I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves aquariums or appreciates the natural world.