(Frequently Asked Questions)
Previous Section | Next Section | Return to Main Menu
8.0 Book Review and Comments:
The Reef Aquarium Vol. 1, A comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tropical Marine Invertebrates
by J. Charles Delbeek and Julian Sprung
1994. Ricordea Publishing, Florida
Introduces the beginner to the reef hobby in an understandable manner. All established reef tank techniques are discussed. Even the expert gets a comprehensive overview. Nice to read, up to date and a MUST for all serious reef hobbyists. Vol. 2 will follow.
The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium Vol. 1
by Alf J. Nilsen and Svein Fossa
1996. B. Schmettkamp-Verlag, Bornheim, Germany
ISBN 3-928819-29-1This Vol. 1 starts a book series that has all of what's needed to become the backbone of the reef hobby. In addition to the information value, it presents an enormous amount of brilliant picture materials. Some of the later Volumes are already available in German and contain more than 1,000 colored pictures per book. Vol. 1 gives a description of all techniques for setting up and maintaining reef tanks. Should not be the very first book for the beginning enthusiast, but is probably the best Holiday gift for any serious reef hobbyist.Note that the English version and German versions of this series are in a different order with some different content:
English Volume 1 = German Volume 1 and Volume 2
English Volume 2 = German Volume 4 (Cnidaria)
English Volume 3 = German Volume 5 (unicellular animals, sponges, worms, mollusks)
English Volume 4 = German Volume 6 (other invertebrates)
English Volume 5 = German Volume 3 (fishes, with extensive rewriting)
Giant Clams, A comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tridacnid Clams
by Daniel Knop
1996, Daehne-Verlag, Ettlingen, Germany
The first book dedicated to giant clams. Lots of information about tridacnid clams and basic information about setting up and maintaining a reef tank. Whoever likes clams will love the book.
The Marine Aquarium Handbook, Beginner to Breeder
by Martin A. Moe, Jr.
1982. Norns Publishing Company
An excellent first reference on many topics. Not reef oriented.
The Marine Aquarium Reference, Systems and Invertebrates
by Martin A. Moe, Jr.
1989. Green Turtle Publications, Florida
The place to begin looking for almost every topic. Discussion of filtration is exhaustive, though a bit spare on modern Berlin practice (is this still true in the new edition?). A must buy for every reefkeeper.
Advanced Reef Keeping I, A Comprehensive Guide to Setting up Your Reef Tank
by Albert J. Thiel
1989. Aardvark Press
Small Reef Aquarium Basics, The Optimum Aquarium for the Reef Hobbyist
by Albert J. Thiel
1989. Aardvark Press
ISBN - 0945777-02-7Some good information buried among dubious advice and the most wretched editing ever conceived. His filtration ideas are rather old-fashioned. This guy sold the expensive equipment that he recommends, so Caveat Emptor should be your motto.
Thiel advocates one particular way of maintaining reef aquaria. It's not the only way, and it may not be the best way, but it does work. The usual advice is for people to read his books, but to do so skeptically.
by Walter H. Adey and Karen Loveland
1991 Academic Press, Inc.
This book addresses designing reef (and other) aquaria on ecological principles. The book is best known for its extensive coverage of the Algal Turf Scrubber method of water purification. The hobby remains skeptical of the use of algal scrubbers as the primary means of water purification on systems that maintain stony corals; see the scrubber section of this FAQ. However, text dealing with algal scrubbers is just a small portion of the book. Much of the space in the book is spent reviewing the established scientific literature on aquatic ecosystems, in language that the dedicated amateur aquarist can understand. The statements that the book makes *in the review sections* are well supported by citations to the scientific literature, and in this way the book provides a nice bridge to those who want to begin exploring the scientific literature. After reviewing a particular aspect of natural ecology, the authors discuss appropriate ways to model that aspect of ecology in a small, closed system. It is in these sections that the reader must be more careful, because the authors often do not distinguish what are widely established results and what are their unproven hypotheses. If read critically but with an open mind, the book offers a lot to serious hobbyists.
The Reef Tank Owner's Manual
by John H. Tullock
October 10, 1990. Aardvark Press
Discussion of filtration is old-fashioned, similar to Thiel's books but somewhat more grammatical. Good discussions of individual animals and animal choices aimed at the beginning and intermediate reefkeeper.
Invertebrates: Tube-, Soft-, and Branching Corals
by Peter Wilkens / Johannes Birkholz
1986, Engelbert Pfriem Verlag, Wuppertal
Invertebrates: Stone and False Corals, Colonial Anemones
by Peter Wilkens
1990, Engelbert Pfriem Verlag, Wuppertal
The authors' experience and reputation is vast. Unfortunately production quality of the English translation is poor, but there is no other comparable reference. A must buy for anyone intending to keep corals. Daehne-Verlag in Ettlingen, Germany, bought all the books from Pfreim Verlag upon Mr. Pfriem's retirement.
Fishes for the Invertebrate Aquarium, 3rd ed.
by Helmut Debelius
1989. Aquarium Systems
An absolutely fascinating speaker, BTW. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, do so! Quite a lot of good information on reef-compatible fishes.
Armored Knights of the Sea
Absolutely fantastic shrimp book. Out of print, gold if you can get your hand on it.
Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific
by J.E.N. Veron
Copyright 1986 The Australian Institute of Marine Science
1993 University of Hawaii Press
The definitive reference book for the Indo-Pacific stony corals. The original is out of print and very difficult to find. A reprint run has recently been done.
by Douglas Faulkner & Richard Chesher
1979, Crown Publishers, Inc.
ISBN 0-517-53854-7This is one of those big picture books of corals, but it's the best one I've ever seen. The photos are all top-notch, most show large groupings of a single species. The descriptions are not with the pictures, which can be disconcerting until you get used to it.
I believe this book is out-of-print, though I often find used copies (fairly cheap!) at a local bookstore.
Marine Plants of the Caribbean, A Field Guide from Florida to Brazil
by Diane Scullion Littler, Mark M. Littler, Katina E. Bucher,& James N. Norris
1989. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.
Quite a good reference book describing various species of algae that are found in the waters of the Caribbean.
Seaweeds of Hawaii, A Photographic Identification Guide
by William H. Magruder and Jeffrey W. Hunt
1979. The Oriental Publishing Company
Another excellent reference identifying algae found around Hawaii. Out of print.
The Manual of Marine Invertebrates
by Martyn Haywood and Sue Wells
1989. Salamander Books Ltd., London
I'd recommend the Manual of Marine Invertebrates by Hayward. While this does not go into a great deal of detail on anything, it covers every class of inverts and is good for learning about what's on your live rock and the basics of care for different kinds of creatures. It contains quite a few mistakes, but is a good reference book nonetheless.
Encyclopedia of Marine Inverts
by Jerry Walls
1988. TFH, Neptune, NJ
Compared to Manual of Marine Invertebrates by Hayward and found that the later (Wall's book) appeared to have a lot more info. It isn't a great book from the aquarium point of view but does cover the basics of all the Phyla. It has a lot of color plates. I was able to identify a number of Live-Rock ReefCritters™ with it.
Dr. Burgess's Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes
by Dr. Warren E. Burgess, Dr. Herbert R. Axelrod, & Raymond E. Hunziker III
1988. T.F.H. Publications
The big picture book of fishes. Considered the first book to look marine fish up in. Second edition has been published.
The Captive Reef: A Concise Guide to Reef Aquaria in the Home
by Dana Riddle
1995, Energy Savers Unlimited, Inc.
This is a good starter book for the beginning reef aquarist. The subject of reef aquaria is treated in an easy to understand format targeted at the layman. While targeted at the layman there is some information in the text of interest to the intermediate and advanced aquarist, mostly in the form of charts and graphs. There is also a chapter on feeding corals that aquarist may find useful as a starting point for experimentation.
Tropical Pacific Invertebrates: A Field Guild to the Marine Invertebrates Occuring on Tropical Pacific Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds and Mangroves
by Patrick L. Colin & Charles Arneson
1995, Coral Reef Press
This is a good reference book with lots of high quality color plates of tropical pacific invertebrates. The text is organized by phylum and each section starts with an introduction to that phylum. Color plates of many species in each phylum accompanied by short textual descriptions follow the introduction section. Many of the various invertebrates kept in aquaria are represented.