Aquarium Fish

Reef Secrets

Starting Right, Selecting Fishes and Invertebrates, Advanced Biotope Techniques
4 stars
By Alf Nilsen and Svein Fossa
Publisher: T.F.H. Publications (2002)

Reef Secrets

Reef Secrets is an ideal book for hobbyists currently keeping a fish-only saltwater aquarium setup that may be considering taking the plunge into a full fledged reef tank setup. It covers nearly every topic for reef keepers including lighting requirements, water quality, aquascaping, stocking tips, foods and feeding, fish, coral and algae profiles.

Fantastic photos are found throughout Reef Secrets as well as very helpful tables detailing everything from the essential elements in natural seawater to nocturnal invertebrates to dangerous specimens hobbyists should avoid.

The main topics Reef Secrets covers:

  • Chapter 1: Light, Darkness & Shadows - Discusses the various types of available light for reef tanks including compact fluorescents and metal halides.

  • Chapter 2: Water Quality & Movement - Talks about the various essential elements that are found in natural seawater and a very high level recap of the aquarium nitrogen cycle. Reef additives discussed as well as ph, Calcium, Alkalinity, water motion, turnover rate, etc. This chapter also has a schematic on a surge device used at the Waikiki Aquarium. This is used to simulate a tidal effect in a reef aquarium.

  • Chapter 3: Aquascaping - One of the best chapters in this book it talks about reef scaping, live rock, why you should use live rock, sand beds (deep vs. shallow), curing live rock and species you should keep to prevent problems with your sand bed.

  • Chapter 4: Biotopes - Reef Secrets provides ideas on modeling your aquarium after specific ecological niches around the various parts of the reef. Some of the ideas mentioned include - the beach zone, a seagrass aquarium, a reef gorge aquarium (sounds very cool), a pizza anemone aquarium, a rubble zone aquarium and a small cave aquarium. These ideas should help spark the creative genius within you.

  • Chapter 5: Aquarium Stocking - Talks about various fish behavior types and how best to handle them. Dangerous fish that are best avoided is mentioned as well as those species that need special considerations from the hobbyist.

  • Chapter 6: Stocking Guide - 400+ fish, coral, invertebrate and algae profiles in Reef Secrets including the important information such as lighting, circulation and feeding requirements.

  • Chapter 7: Reef Algae - An entire chapter on reef algae. Provides insight into algae and how to harness the powers of algae. The types of algae that are commonly found in aquariums along with ways to control aquarium algae are introduced.

  • Chapter 8: Foods & Feeding - A short chapter on the nutritional basics are covered and tips are given on how to figure out what types of foods your specimens need.

  • Chapter 9: Friends of the Reef - A great chapter on reef conservation and animal welfare and how we can do our part in shaping the future of our hobby.

Reef Secrets is an excellent resource that should be in every reef keepers library, we give this book 4 stars.

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Author : Mike FishLore

Rating Information
Review Title: Reef Secrets
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Reef Secrets book review.
Description: Reef Secrets is an ideal book for hobbyists currently keeping a fish-only saltwater aquarium setup that may be considering taking the plunge into a full fledged reef tank setup.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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