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Ultimate Marine Aquariums: Saltwater Dream Systems and How They Are Created Hardcover – September 1, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

...much more than a beautiful picture book...a great addition to any library... -- CORAL Magazine

About the Author

Paletta is a frequent speaker at marine conferences in North America and Europe. He has been involved in the setup of more than 70 marines aquariums, including the 4,500 galoon reef exhibit at the National Aquarium in Bal timore.
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Product Details

  • Series: Microcosm/T.F.H. Professional
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: TFH Publications, Inc. (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890087742
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890087746
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Almost all aquarists, from novices to experts, would love to have a bigger tank. But the past 20 years have brought so many new techniques and types of equipment to the hobby of "reefkeeping" that it can be very challenging to determine what is truly the BEST way to keep a reef tank. How do the experts keep the inhabitants of their tanks as healthy and happy as possible?

"Ultimate Marine Aquariums" shows what a number of excellent aquarists have done to achieve their success. However, as Mr. Paletta points out, there is no single best approach, and you may find some of your assumptions overturned. Every tank shown in this compendium has excellent water quality, lighting, and circulation. But is it absolutely necessary to have undetectable phosphates or nitrates? Apparently not. Is it essential to have a system circulate all of it's water many times each hour, or to have 10+ watts of light per gallon overhead? Again, apparently not. Is it imperative to add special food for your corals? Actually, no.

What the book does clearly show is trends -- you are more likely to have success if you have more space, more circulation, more light, pristine water quality, and careful maintenance of certain parameters such as calcium levels and pH. You certainly don't need "Ultimate Marine Aquariums" to tell you that. Truly, the reason this book is so interesting is that it shows many approaches that can be used to achieve an excellent result.

The photography, as others have noted, is not first class. But it is adequate to show the scale of these breathtaking tanks, and many times there are also pictures of the equipment set-ups that hobbyists will find very interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is direct and clear. It has detailed descriptions, great pictures of fantastic marine aquariums, the equipment used, dimensions, water chemistry, etc.

If you need a resource to help you plan or gather ideas on a reef tank, this should be the first stop. A hobbyist could spend thousands of dollars experimenting in search for the right equipment, or use this book.

The book is elaborate enough for a novice to understand the concepts and technical requirements for a marine tank.

The only warning I would have is to the hobbyist who is looking for instructions on how to build a reef tank or details about equipment. This book does not elaborate on construction. But regardless, if you are already in the hobby its superb, if you've just started it will prove valuable. I consider this the back bone aiding in a comparative analysis of my own aquarium.

On top of that, the price of this book is really inexpensive for what you get.
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By A Customer on September 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's wonderful to read about other successful systems. I enjoyed reading about the set-ups, what additives were used, the salt that was used. I also liked reading about what people liked and disliked about their own tanks. But the photography is awful. I mean, this is a picture book! Some of the photos are downright out of focus. I could take better photos with a throw away camera. My driver's license has better photography. I'm shocked that a book that is a "picture" book has such terrible photos. A lot of time must have been spent compiling all the information about everyone's tank, but no one took the time to send a professional photographer to take pictures. I often read this book to see what someone's set up is, but I never bother to look at it for the photos, which is a real shame, because saltwater tanks are a visual feast.
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Format: Hardcover
Michael Paletta's "Ultimate Marine Aquariums" has proven to be the most valuable book in my library of over twenty volumes on the subject of aquaria. Departing from the usual formats, this is neither a how-to book nor a zoological reference. It is a compendium of successful aquariums, with technical data and photos to describe their secrets. Think of it as a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the best aquariums ever built; from modest 55-gallon bedroom displays to commercial wundertanks.

Each section of the book is dedicated to a particular aquarium and provides a comprehensive list of critical data: volume, pump types and flow rates, filtration types employed, lighting types and wattage, dosers, chemical levels, etc. Discussions with each owner then flush out the unquantifiable; exposing past failures or special techniques employed, or simply the owner's achieving moment or favorite feature. And amidst it all, there are photos, photos and more photos, both behind the tank and in front of it.

How did this book turn my success with aquaria around? After two years of mixed success (read, "mixed failure") with my 230-gallon reef aquarium, I picked up Michael Paletta's book (only days after its release) and was immediately intrigued by some obvious trends among the described systems. It appeared that successful aquariums were pumping ten times the water volume recommended by others. Invigorated, I replaced our plumbing and, in a few months, realized drastic improvements. Corals that had not grown noticeably in nearly three years were budding! A year or two later, many have quadrupled in size.

Mr. Paletta's book fills a void for those of us who aren't aquarium pros and who might not have anyone to turn to for regular hands-on advice.
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