You and Your Aquarium by Dick Mills

Anders247

Member
To start off, this is a very good book, even though it's outdated.
There are some faults though, but not too surprising.

First, there's the intro, which talks about the history of fishkeeping, benefits of fishkeeping, and the advantages of having fishes as pets. (No way there's any disadvantages- jk, lol)

The first chapter is about fish anatomy, and it's very detailed. They go into the different types of body shape, mouth shape, fin shape, and scale types. They also explain the bodily functions of fish, like do they sleep, excretion, (I learned something there- fish excrete ammonia through their gills), the difference of bodily fluid levels between saltwater and freshwater fish, and why most can't live in the other habitats, how they breathe, and all their senses. They have in-depth info on their sense of smell, sight, taste, eyes, hearing, lateral line, and swim bladder.

The second chapter is on choosing fishes, and goes on about assessing healthy and unhealthy fishes. It has some general advice on considering the fishes adult size, compatibility, if the fish are social, and how to introduce fishes to the aquarium. I disagree here, as they want you to dump the water from the bag into the aquarium.... obviously a no-no.

The third chapter is the 'species guide'. They don't have every different type of fish here, but they do have some coldwater marine species and coldwater freshwater species that are interesting. They also have some cool cichlids in this section.

The fourth chapter is about the indoor aquarium. It talks about choosing the right tank, different types of tanks, where to site a tank, tank/fish ratio (disagree here, there's no definite rule), aeration and filtration, types of filters, heaters, and conserving heat. It then talks about water- how it's 'made', the different types of habitats around the world, sources of water, and water quality. Lastly it talks about lighting.It talks about tungsten vs. fluorescent lights, safety factors, and the effect on algal growth.

The fifth chapter is about setting up the aquarium. Aquascaping, plants, types of plants, tank designs, and types of setups (the picture in this section is of several horribly overstocked 10gs..... ugh). They have a nice section on coldwater marine setups.

The sixth chapter is about feeding. It has an in-depth chart on all the vitamins a fish needs, what they eat in the wild, man-made fish food, collecting live foods, feeding methods, what to feed young fish, and even culturing your own live foods.

The seventh and eighth chapters are about health care and breeding. The health care chapter is the best in the book, imo, as they have a ton of info on disease types, preventing disease, and maintaining a healthy aquarium.They have a nice diagnosis chart, too. The breeding chapter is getting me excited, haha. I really want to breed gouramis now! They have great info there as well. Every type of breeding method, egg-scatterer, livebearer, mouthbrooder, egg-burier, egg-depositor, and nest-builders. As well as a tank setup for each, and how to raise fry.

Chapters 9 and 10 are different, not what I'd expect at least. They're about showing fishes (at a show), and taking photos of fishes. It tells you what types of fishes are best for these showings, and how it's judged. The photo chapter is really good too, but I doubt they have anything on Thunder_o_b's photos.
 

toosie

Member
This is a very nice break down of the book, and what we could hope to find in it! You say it's outdated, what is the copyright year or years listed? It seems quite a bit more advanced than the books I use to be able to get my hands on when I first started keeping fish, so I'm curious on how old it is.

I'm sure you can see partly why fish having to breath ammonia can become a problem when what they excrete through their gills is also ammonia. I remembering reading an article a number of years ago on that, so I wish I could find it, but I've done a search without finding exactly what I was looking for. I also remember reading something about goldfish being able to excrete urea instead of ammonia, which explained why some people use to believe it was better to use goldfish to cycle a tank than other types of fish. I think I have an idea on where to look for a sampling of that info.

Ok, here, this touches base on both things I was referring to but the article I remember is much longer and tougher to read. This simplifies things a lot ... find the post by DrTim. post #12.
 

Jomolager

Member
That is a good book review. Thanks. Amazon thanks you too. I've just ordered it.
 
  • Thread Starter

Anders247

Member
toosie said:
This is a very nice break down of the book, and what we could hope to find in it! You say it's outdated, what is the copyright year or years listed? It seems quite a bit more advanced than the books I use to be able to get my hands on when I first started keeping fish, so I'm curious on how old it is.

I'm sure you can see partly why fish having to breath ammonia can become a problem when what they excrete through their gills is also ammonia. I remembering reading an article a number of years ago on that, so I wish I could find it, but I've done a search without finding exactly what I was looking for. I also remember reading something about goldfish being able to excrete urea instead of ammonia, which explained why some people use to believe it was better to use goldfish to cycle a tank than other types of fish. I think I have an idea on where to look for a sampling of that info.

Ok, here, this touches base on both things I was referring to but the article I remember is much longer and tougher to read. This simplifies things a lot ... find the post by DrTim. post #12.
Thanks! Thanks for the link, too, very interesting. I think I knew that ammonia is less toxic at a low pH, but not the goldfish thing. I have the 1997 version, but there's an 1986 one as well.
Jomolager said:
That is a good book review. Thanks. Amazon thanks you too. I've just ordered it.
Thanks! You'll enjoy it.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
After your review I will have to get this book.
 
  • Thread Starter

Anders247

Member
Thunder_o_b said:
After your review I will have to get this book.
Make sure to get the newest version.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Will do
 
  • Moderator

Mike

Moderator
Member
Thanks for the book review Anders!
 
  • Thread Starter

Anders247

Member
You're welcome Mike! I'll be reviewing a few more books soon.
 

Guppyfry

Member
This was one of the first and most useful Aquarium books I had when I first started in the hobby over 20 years ago. It was a book I kept going back to time after time after time. I loved the lay-out, the illustrations, the ease of use, the clear explanations and accessibililty of subjects. I was into it so much it fell apart!
 

sunnycal

Member
Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great book.
 

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