Most people in the US spend their entire Aquarium fish keeping lives focused on exotic tropical fish from around the world, without exploring the diverse and exciting fish that they have right here under their noses. In North America we have some of the most interesting (brook stickleback) most colorful (rainbow darter) and most prehistoric (alligator gar) fish that you can find on the planet. These fish range in habitat from the sub tropical south to extreme temperate north. They can at times be the most challenging fish to keep and breed but ultimately the most rewarding. This book North American Native Fishes for the Home Aquarium might be the best jumping off point to begin your adventure learning about and collecting some of the most amazing creatures know as our native fish. Lets find out why.
I always new I wanted to get into native fish after seeing pictures of Enneacanthus species posted on fishgeeks forum long ago. I am so glade I chose this book to start learning with. The book goes over all the major fish families one can find in North America. Within each family the author lists the most common fishes along with their descriptions, habitats, and even spawning habits. He adds many good quality color photos of the different fish along with the locations they can be found. And within each species mentioned he comments on their appropriateness and habits as an aquarium fish. This book is definitely written for the home aquarist.
As mentioned this is a great starting point for the Native fish enthusiast. Great generalization of the different species. Their habits and requirements. And that relation to keeping them in the home aquarium. The books only downsides are twofold. One The beginning of the book spends much unneeded time going over the basics of setting up an aquarium and the basics of keeping fish in general. I feel one who picks up books on specialized fish formerly holds needed knowledge of fish keeping. Maybe that information is best used within its own book. Two the book is of condensed length. I would enjoy it if it were a little more complete. As with more species of fish gone over. But the book does seem to be made as an introduction.
With all that said. I could not recommend this book more. The author is quite clear on his descriptions. He makes every attempt to give positive and negative feedback for the different species he has had experience with. The pictures are great. Its a great starting point to setup breeding for the species you might be interested in.
“With a native fish fauna as diverse as ours, there should be no difficulty in finding species to suit the tastes and interests of virtually and aquarist” (D.M.Schleser,1998,pg.170)
Title: North American Native Fishes for the Home Aquarium
Author: David M. Schleser
Length: 170 pages
Publisher: Barron's www.barronseduc.com