The Reef Aquarium Volume One

Updated August 12, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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A Comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tropical Marine Invertebrates
By Charles Delbeek, Julian Sprung - Ricordea Publishing (1994)

The Reef Aquarium Volume One

The Reef Aquarium Volume One is the first installment of a three part series on reef aquariums. These books were written by two well respected reef keepers (Delbeek and Sprung) in the mid 1990's but still are awesome resources even today. Book one provides the ground work of educating the reader on the coral reef, nutrients, the biology of corals, lighting, aquascaping, water parameters, marine invertebrates, stony corals and clams. Book two is mainly about soft corals and zoanthids. Book three covers more of the actual reef aquarium setup information with lots of details on water quality, water parameters, hardware and equipment.

These are some of my favorite aquarium books and it would be great if the publisher/authors could put out new versions of these books with the advances of the last 15 years. Even without the latest and greatest information though, they are still definitely worth reading and I think most reef tank keepers will find these to be enjoyable books to include in their library. These are all big books at around 500 pages each with nice color photos found throughout the text.

Let's get to what you'll find in the Reef Aquarium Volume One:

Chapter One - The Reef in Nature - the distribution of coral reefs, the types of coral reefs and coral reef zones.

Chapter Two - Nutrient Regulation on Coral Reefs - sources, storage and cycling of nutrients in coral reefs

Chapter Three - The Biology of Corals - classification of corals, scientific nomenclature, polyp anatomy, morphology of corals, the relationship between corals and zooxanthellae, calcification, nutrition, depth zonation, ultraviolet light, competitive and defensive mechanisms and stocking the aquarium (reef tank).

Chapter Four - The Biology of Tridacnid Clams - includes info on the distribution, morphology, anatomy, nutrition and reproduction of clams. Includes details on the maxima clam and crocea clam

Chapter Five - Systems for Maintaining Corals and Clams - this section starts by asking the question - what type of aquarium type do you want? The answer will dictate nearly everything when it comes to setting up your marine aquarium. Information on the various aquarium filters (mechanical, biological and chemical), natural filters, algal turf filtration, water motion, pumps, wave making devices, etc.

Chapter Six - Lighting the Reef Aquarium - Light on coral reefs, lighting parameters - spectrum, color temperature, CRI and intensity, types of aquarium lighting systems like fluorescent and metal halides and the response of corals to artificial lighting.

Chapter Seven - Aquascaping - how to aquascape with live rock, what live rock is and does, alternatives to live rock, how to glue rocks together, using coral sand and other bottom scaping media.

Chapter Eight - Water Quality Parameters - how to monitor and the importance of temperature, pH, alkalinity, specific gravity, ammonium, nitrite, nitrates, phosphate, oxygen, redox and calcium. The importance of water changes and dosing saltwater aquarium supplements such as calcium, strontium and trace elements.

Chapter Nine - Control of Nutrients and Undesirable Algae in Closed Systems - mostly about algae control and controlling nitrate, phosphate, the synergistic effect of phosphate and trace elements, silicate along with problem algae and how to control it using physical means and natural mechanisms.

Chapter Ten - Diseases, Parasites, Pests and Commensals of Corals and Clams - bacteria, viruses, protozoa, aiptasia, flatworms, snails and sea slugs, bristleworms, crustaceans and trouble shooting problems with sick corals and clams.

Chapter Eleven - Collection and Transportation - many hobbyists may not realize all the stops the livestock in our tanks have to go through in order to reach our local retailer. Things to know before you do your own collecting, equipment needed for collecting specimens and shipping methods.

Chapter Twelve - The Care of Tridacnid Clams - purchasing Tridacnid Clams, lighting requirements, placement in the aquarium, pests, predators and general care information.

Chapter Thirteen - Stony Corals - my personal favorite part of this book it talks about how to select healthy corals, how to propagate stony corals and the identification and care of stony corals. There are lots of coral species profiles with each providing details on common names, colors, distinguishing characteristics, similar species, natural habitat, aquarium care and reproduction methods.

Chapter Fourteen - Spectacular Reef Aquariums from Around the World - the pictures in the final section of this book show some really good looking tanks for the time when this book was first published in the mid 1990's. Compared to today's tanks they don't look all that hot but for the time they were considered amazing. It's amazing how fast the reef keeping hobby is progressing.

The Reef Aquarium book series is one of the older book series but it stands the test of time with the sound advice found within. These books are becoming collectors items it seems by looking at the prices on Amazon. Even today, these Reef Aquarium books are still great to have and read. I give this book 5 stars. 5 stars

Rating Information
Review Title: Reef Aquarium Volume One
Reviewed by: Mike FishLore
Summary: Book one in a three part series on the reef aquarium.
Description: These books were written by two well respected reef keepers (Delbeek and Sprung) in the mid 1990's but still are awesome resources even today.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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