A how-to book on freshwater aquarium-keeping for busy people, particularly parents. From choosing a pet store through the aging tank, this guide walks you through the joys and perils of keeping a community aquarium. Each chapter helps you understand not only what is happening in your aquarium's ecosystem, but why it is happening. The topic can be technical, but the language is simple and direct.
In Chapter 3, step-by-step assembly of the tank is explained, with illustrations. Aquarium set-up information is very conservative, since safety for adults, children, and fish are concerned. Your choice of decorations can affect the health of your tank, so tips are provided. There's a place to write in the pH and hardness results of your first water tests. Some fish may not like your water supply, while others will love it. There are some species of fish that should not share a tank. Two tables categorize the temperaments and water preferences of a broad range of fish by family. More detailed information is given on fish that are particularly good, (or bad,) choices for a first aquarium. Four "designer communities" are detailed, to help you on your way to choosing compatible fish that look good together. Basic questions about pH and water hardness are answered.
Once your tank is set up, keeping chemicals out is emphasized, but keeping the fish alive and healthy are top priority. By following the steps in Section I, a low-maintenance healthy community aquarium is possible for a beginner. Keeping Murphy Out Of Your Aquarium attempts to bridge the gap between beginning fish-keeping and slowly developing an understanding of the life-science behind it. Section II features intermediate to advanced information on filtration, pH, disease control and more, in the simplest language possible.
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A working parent, I lacked the time to read when I set my first tank up. Fish gave their lives while I learned by making mistakes. When I set up our marine tank, 12 years later, I made the time to thoroughly research aquarium keeping. This indexed handbook covers what I've learned about tropical freshwater aquariums. I've gathered technical information on water quality, fish health and maintenance guidelines from many sources. Since aquarium keeping is a mixture of science, instinct, and experience, some opinion is inevitable. I've tried to make my opinion informed and non-judgmental. When in doubt, I conducted an experiment. (With 6 tanks and a log book, that wasn't as hard as it sounds.)
The benefits of fishkeeping are hard to measure. Our aquariums have calmed noisy toddlers, taught lessons of life and death to elementary students, and served as relaxing distractions for my husband and me for fifteen years. Fish make delightful pets. They do not require rabies shots, toenail trimming or wing-clipping. I have never taken a fish to the vet. Fish do not have accidents on the carpeting; collect and distribute insects; or chew on toes in the middle of the night. I have never found bird seed scattered around the floor near their tank, and they have never knocked glasses off of the table. Indeed, a red-tailed shark "patrolling his tank" is a point of order in a chaotic household. The work of tending fish can be both absorbing and relaxing. Our world, cities, schools and families have complex, sometimes insoluble problems. I find aquariums to be visions of harmony by comparison. Mysterious fish behaviors and white spots may require a little research, some work, some medicine, but solutions are usually within my reach. I hope this book helps to make your experience with fish-keeping enjoyable and rewarding. May all of your surprises be pleasant ones.From the Back Cover:
Keeping Murphy OUT Of Your Aquarium, Because "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong," should NOT kill your fish.
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