Aquarium Fish

Corals Quick Reference Guide

A Quick Reference Guide
By Julian Sprung
Publisher: Ricordea Publishing (1999), Hardcover

Coral Reference Guide

Corals Quick Reference Guide is a reference guide for reef tank keepers. Corals presents introductory information on the broad classifications (hard, soft, fire coral) along with semi-detailed profiles on various species within each category. Corals Quick Reference Guide is loaded with color photographs of these coral species. As the author explains, identifying corals on external characteristics alone can be challenging. Hopefully this reference guide can help you.

Corals that are covered come from areas in Brazil, the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indonesia, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Australia. In this book, the corals are grouped based on relation instead of region which makes it easier to quickly look up information later. One very cool aspect on each of the coral profiles is the phonetic pronunciation of the scientific names. For instance, Stylophora has a pronunciation of "STY-lo-FOR-a". Cool, huh? This should help hobbyist that stay away from the hard to remember and hard to pronounce scientific names.

One thing I didn't quite care for in the Corals Quick Reference Guide was the charts in each profile. I prefer text inside profiles instead of charts you have to memorize. There are food and bar charts for each coral. The food chart will specify the food sources for the coral. For instance, some will have a graphic of the sun and a phytoplankton. This tells the reader that the coral derives its needed energy from the sun and via phytoplankton consumption. The other bar chart will show a colored bar representation of the coral's needs for lighting, water flow, aggressiveness and hardiness. It doesn't tell specifics, just general recommendations.

Each profile includes:

  • The scientific name
  • Pronunciation key
  • Common names
  • Region of the world they are found in
  • Description of the coral - how they typically grow
  • Similar corals - which species the particular seems related too and the differences to help distinguish between each.
  • Food / Feeding Chart
  • Bar chart on lighting, water flow, aggressiveness and hardiness
  • One or several color photos of the species

The Chapter breakdown in Corals Quick Reference Guide:

Chapter 1: Hard Corals

  • Scleractinia - covers many of the hermatypic (reef building) corals. About 130 pages of profile information on many different stony corals.

Chapter 2: Soft Corals

  • Covers the Octocorals - about 62 pages of soft coral species profiles.

Chapter 3: Fire Corals

  • The Hydrocorals are known as the stinging corals that pack dactylozooids which are their defensive polyps. About 5 pages are on these fire corals.

Chapter 4: New Discoveries

  • Covers the Family pectiniidae (brain coral) and some other coral anomalies.

If you're looking for a ton of detailed information on the various species, then the Corals Quick Reference Guide probably isn't the book for you. You'd be better off looking into Aquarium Corals by E. Borneman. This book is one of those that would be good to take with you on shopping excursions to help identify corals in store tanks. Don't get me wrong here, this book provides a wealth of great information, it's just not overly detailed on each species. This is another very good reef book and we give it four stars. 4 stars

Author : Mike FishLore

Rating Information
Review Title: Corals - A Quick Reference Guide
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Book review of Corals written by J. Sprung.
Description: Corals presents introductory information on the broad classifications (hard, soft, fire coral) along with semi-detailed profiles on various species within each category.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Corals Quick Reference Guide Reviews and Comments

From: Steve
Believe it or not I take this book with me to aquarium club meetings and whenever I go to the LFS to purchase coral frags. It is light on information for each species but I primarily use it to help identify species and their lighting requirements. It's worth the price.

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