Ultimate Marine Aquariums
From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer
List price: $39.95
Publisher: T.F.H. Publications, Inc.
Year published: 2003
A PHOTOGRAPHIC TOUR-DE-FORCE, with glorious portraits of 50 world-class marine aquariums, along with priceless advice on how they were planned and how they are kept healthy and vibrant.
"An awe-inspiring work, sure to motivate aquarists of all skill levels. This book raises the bar for what reef aquariums can be!"
-- J. Charles Delbeek
Ultimate Marine Aquariums includes profiles of reef aquariums, fish-only tanks, and a wide range of approaches, ranging from simplified natural systems to high-tech designs with irresistible photographs of outstanding marine aquariums. Each with detailed descriptions of the planning, equipment, livestock selection, and husbandry practices that make it work. Leading aquarists admit their mistakes and give the newcomer tips and ideas for succeeding with their own saltwater tanks both large and small.
Almost all aquarists, from novices to experts, would love to have a bigger tank. But the past 20 years have brought so many new techniques and types of equipment to the hobby of "reefkeeping" that it can be very challenging to determine what is truly the BEST way to keep a reef tank. How do the experts keep the inhabitants of their tanks as healthy and happy as possible?
"Ultimate Marine Aquariums" shows what a number of excellent aquarists have done to achieve their success. However, as Mr. Paletta points out, there is no single best approach, and you may find some of your assumptions overturned. Every tank shown in this compendium has excellent water quality, lighting, and circulation. But is it absolutely necessary to have undetectable phosphates or nitrates? Apparently not. Is it essential to have a system circulate all of it's water many times each hour, or to have 10+ watts of light per gallon overhead? Again, apparently not. Is it imperative to add special food for your corals? Actually, no.
What the book does clearly show is trends -- you are more likely to have success if you have more space, more circulation, more light, pristine water quality, and careful maintenance of certain parameters such as calcium levels and pH. You certainly don't need "Ultimate Marine Aquariums" to tell you that. Truly, the reason this book is so interesting is that it shows many approaches that can be used to achieve an excellent result.
The photography, as others have noted, is not first class. But it is adequate to show the scale of these breathtaking tanks, and many times there are also pictures of the equipment set-ups that hobbyists will find very interesting. While some pictures are of lesser quality, there are quite a few that are very fine, including close-ups of some amazing specimens. Also, the text is well written and edited, which, frankly, is more than you can say for quite a few books and magazines in the hobby.
I am not aware of any other book on this subject which has taken this valuable approach of surveying a large number of successful reef tanks and describing the details of their equipment, maintenance, and livestock. For that reason alone, this volume deserves a place on the bookshelf of any marine aquarium hobbyist. — Mark Asch, Amazon Reviews