Ten Books For Fish Lovers

Posted by Ruth McDonald on

Nature Aquarium: Complete Works 1985-2009

From the cover: Lavishly illustrated with more than 200 photos displaying the captivating beauty of nature aquariums. Collects all the previous work of aquarium innovator Takashi Amano in one volume. Oversized format makes this a beautiful coffee-table book, as well as a practical guide. Considering the size and extensive illustration, the book is an excellent value for the price. Nature Aquarium: Complete Works 1985-2009 showcases the spectacular designs of aquarium innovator Takashi Amano. Within the pages are more than 200 photos illustrating his artistry. Along with these stunning images, this book provides valuable guidance for anyone who wishes to create his or her own nature aquarium. Accompanying each photo is a list of the plants, animals, substrate, lighting and other equipment used to create that specific aquarium. Additionally, there are several step-by-step sequences of photographs and instructions that guide the reader through the whole process of creating a nature aquarium. Mr Amano includes discussions of this design philosophy and of his methods for obtaining the harmonious balance that his aquariums display. He brings his decades of aquarium design experience right to your fingertips, inviting you into a world of balance and light, water and life.

 Published just 4 years before his death this book takes ou through some of Takashi Amano most stunning works, and leaves you with far too many ideas on how to improve your own tanks. This mans legacy lives on in so many of the tanks we see today. Some of todays most well know aquascapers credit this man and his books with igniting their own passion for the art.


The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish

From the cover: A riveting journey into the bizarre world of the Asian arowana or “dragon fish” the world’s most expensive aquarium fish—reveals a surprising history with profound implications for the future of wild animals and human beings alike.

    The Dragon Behind the Glass tells the story of a fish like none other: a powerful predator dating to the age of the dinosaurs. Treasured as a status symbol believed to bring good luck, the Asian arowana is bred on high-security farms in Southeast Asia and sold by the hundreds of thousands each year. In the United States, however, it’s protected by the Endangered Species Act and illegal to bring into the country—though it remains the object of a thriving black market. From the South Bronx to Singapore, journalist Emily Voigt follows the trail of the fish, ultimately embarking on a years-long quest to find the arowana in the wild, venturing deep into some of the last remaining tropical wildernesses on earth.

    In an age when freshwater fish now comprise one of the most rapidly vanishing groups of animals on the planet, Voigt unearths a paradoxical truth behind the dragon fish’s rise to fame—one that calls into question how we protect the world’s rarest species. An elegant exploration of the human conquest of nature, The Dragon Behind the Glass revels in the sheer wonder of life’s diversity and lays bare our deepest desire—to hold onto what is wild.

 Alright I’m going to own up, I read this almost in one sitting, not because it’s a short book far from it. But this was an outsiders view on what has to be one of the more obsessive areas of the hobby. People that I know in the hobby wandered in and out of the story, leaving me with an odd sense of contenction to a story I’d never read before. But for anyone interested in fishkeeping it’s a great read.

Darwin's Dreampond: Drama in Lake Victoria

From the cover: This book tells the evolutionary story of the extraordinary "furu" and the battlefield leading to extinction. Darwin's Dreampond tells the evolutionary story of the extraordinary "furu" and the battlefield leading to extinction. Tijs Goldschmidt skillfully blends a masterful discussion of the principles of neo-Darwinian evolution and speciation with a history of Lake Victoria's ecosystem. The science unfolds in the context of the engaging first-person narrative of Goldschmidt's adventures and misadventures as a field researcher. An astute observer and a clear and witty writer, he warmly portrays the colors and textures of the landscapes and the lives of the local people as he interacts with them during the course of his fieldwork.

Looking at not just the fish but the evolution that drives them, this book could have been a dry academic text book. The author managed to steer away from that, and instead dive into the science of a group of fish, in a book that is a pleasure to read.

Back to Nature: Guide to Nano Aquaria

From the cover: In the last few years so-called “nano aquaria” have became very popular. The main reason for this is probably that they are small and will fit almost anywhere. Many beautifully-designed and functional nanos have been produced and numerous colourful freshwater shrimps and small fishes have been introduced into the aquarium hobby as well.

This book gives many examples of beautiful freshwater nano aquaria and also provides useful and adequate information on how to set up and maintain a nano. It also covers the fishes, shrimps, crayfishes, crabs, snails, and plants that can be kept in such a small aquarium.

This book contains approximately 490 excellent colour photos (by 41 photographers from nine countries) and species descriptions with information on and photos of more than 75 crustaceans (shrimps, crayfishes, crabs) and snails, 180 fishes, and 60 plants that are suitable for a nano aquarium.

 A great book to read for how to design your tank with smaller species in mind. Even if you don’t have a nano tank there are species in here that will be great for a larger tank.

What a Fish Knows 

From the cover: What’s the truth behind the old adage that goldfish have a three-second memory? Do fishes think? Can they recognize the humans who peer back at them from above the surface of the water? Myth-busting biologist and animal behaviour expert Jonathan Balcombe takes us under the sea, through streams and estuaries to the other side of the aquarium glass to answer these questions and more. He upends our assumptions, revealing that fish are far from the unfeeling, dead-eyed feeding machines so many of us assume them to be. They are, in fact, sentient, aware, social and even Machiavellian – in other words, rather like us.

What a Fish Knows draws on the latest science to present a fresh look at these remarkable creatures in all their breathtaking diversity and beauty. Teeming with insights and exciting discoveries, it offers a thoughtful appraisal of our relationships with fish and inspires us to take a more enlightened view of the planet’s increasingly imperilled marine life. What a Fish Knows will forever change how we see our aquatic cousins – the pet goldfish included.


A fantastic look into the truth behind the ideas of a fishes intelligence. A must have for any keeper.

Do Fish Feel Pain?

From the cover: While there has been increasing interest in recent years in the welfare of farm animals, fish are frequently thought to be different. In many people's perception, fish, with their lack of facial expressions or recognisable communication, are not seen to count when it comes to welfare. Angling is a major sport, and fishing a big industry. Millions of fish are caught on barbed hooks, or left to die by suffocation on the decks of fishing boats.


Here, biologist Victoria Braithwaite explores the question of fish pain and fish suffering, explaining what we now understand about fish behaviour, and examining the related ethical questions about how we should treat these animals. She asks why the question of pain in fish has not been raised earlier, indicating our prejudices and assumptions; and argues that the latest and growing scientific evidence would suggest that we should widen to fish the protection currently given to birds and mammals.

Victoria Braithwaite certainly upset the conventional wisdom about fish and their capacity to feel pain, and in this book she lays out her research and methods in a clear and readable way. Her death earlier this year means we have lost a great advocate for fish, but at the same time her legacy lives on in part in this volume.

The A-Z of Tropical Fish: Diseases and Health Problems

 For a book that’s been around for two decades this one certainly holds it own against all other books, and personally is still my go to book for helping narrow down diseases and health issues in fish. Don’t let the age put you  off, grab a copy before they’re all gone.


Amazon: The Flooded Forest

This for the record is not a book about fish, but at this price it’s still worth a read. With so many of our fish coming from the Amazon region this book has a lot to teach us about what nature throws at our pets.


Your Inner Fish: The amazing discovery of our 375-million-year-old ancestor

From the cover: Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish is the unexpected story of how one creature's journey out of the water made the human body what it is today - and one man's voyage of discovery in search of our origins.

Have you ever wondered why our bodies look and work and fail the way they do?

One of the world's leading experts in evolutionary history, Neil Shubin reveals the secrets of our biology: why if we want to understand our limbs we should take a close look at Tiktaalik, the first fish capable of doing a push-up; why if we want to know why we hiccup, the answer is in the way fish breathe; and why it is that fish teeth are surprisingly similar to human breasts


Want to know how we are related to our aquatic ancestors, then this is the book to learn more.

Rustic Adornments for Homes of Taste (1895)

 This is a reproduction of one of the earliest books to give us a glimpse into early fish keeping, but if you’re just curious head over to Project Gutenberg to find the digitised copy. You only want the first two chapters anyway. Has fish keeping com on that much?

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