About the Author
Stuart Thraves is an internationally respected authority in fishkeeping.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
We are constantly fascinated with other worlds. Apart from outer space, the only other domain we have yet to completely explore is the underwater world. It is a world of sumptuous variety from the swirling sun-drenched waters of a coral reef to the tranquil shadows of an Amazon stream trickling slowly beneath a canopy of heavy-leaved tropical trees. These are just two examples of many thriving habitats in which plants, fish and invertebrates live together in aquatic harmony.
Since the great age of discovery and invention in Victorian times, we have tried to bring this fascinating spectacle into our homes. The first aquariums were simple boxes with glass fronts in which temperate fish species were kept. With little appreciation of their needs, the fish soon expired and had to be replaced regularly. This approach would be totally unacceptable today with our regard for animal welfare. A greater understanding of how natural cycles work and the technology to sustain them now offers fishkeepers the exciting opportunity to create and maintain aquariums that will thrive for many years.
This book follows the sequence of setting up and running a tropical freshwater aquarium for the first twelve weeks of its life. At logical points along the timeline of practical progress there are profile sections that feature extended selections of suitable plants and fish. Throughout, the emphasis is on explaining how vital life-support systems work, including the basic science behind the processes they depend on. Unlike many hobbies, where learning can be phased and levels of difficulty matched with emerging ability, fishkeeping requires the immediate grasp of a crucial technique -- how to turn a transparent box of water into an environment that will sustain life from day one and beyond. Fishkeepers are pet owners, with all the responsibilities that title entails. How you control that environment dictates whether your display will thrive or deteriorate into an unsightly mess. This book will give you a head start in the quest to be successful.