Sunday, February 25th, 2018

The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums


The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums (Second Edition) was first written in 2001 and has helped thousands of beginning aquarists get their first aquariums started.  The second edition updates this great resource to cover how fish care techniques have evolved, highlight some new equipment that has since come onto the market, as well as give an update to the already-clean and picture-rich first edition.

The author, David E. Boruchowitz, is currently the Editor in Chief of Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine, and has been an aquarist and fish breeder for over half a century.

My original Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums is a well dog-eared version after the many times I have lent it out to friends or family that have asked me “What do I need to know before I buy my first aquarium”.

This book covers it all in an extremely easy-to-understand fashion and simple layout that makes for an engaging and hard-to-put down read.  It is packed with over 200 stunning fish, plant and tank pictures that will give the new aquarist a great idea of the range of available fish, plants and tank styles as the get started.

The second edition closely follows the outline of the original, which bodes well if you don’t already own the first edition.  The book is separated into four distinct parts to help get you started:

Part One – So You want to be an Aquarist?
The first part of the Simple Guide really serves as an introduction to the fishkeeping hobby, including the importance of succeeding the first time and how to avoid the most common mistakes common to the beginner.

Part Two – Sifting through the Hardware
The second section gives you a great overview of all the different types of required aquarium equipment, including tanks and aquarium sizes, lighting options, types of filtration (including undergravel filters, basic sponge filters, hang-on outside filters, Canister filters, Wet-Dry filters and others), maintenance equipment, heating options, substrate, fish food and a quick overview on the higher-end “Bells & Whistles”

Part Three – Time to get Wet!
You’ve done the research and have your basic aquarium equipment.  Now the guide helps you get setup by helping you decide where to place the tank, how to fill the tank and start your filtration, how to cycle your new aquarium, and how to conduct regular aquarium maintenance.

Part Four – Research & Planning
I thought this part might have been better placed before the Tank setup, but the Research & Planning portion of the guide helps you decide what type of tank you’d like, what type of fish to purchase, how to stock your tank, how to choose individual fish, and even provides a myriad of potential stocking schemes for your new aquarium.

If you are new to fishkeeping or want to get an easy-to-read book to get your kids or spouse interested in your hobby, I highly recommend The Simple Guide to Freshwater Aquariums.  It will help you avoid common mistakes and, in the end, save a fair bit of money as a result.

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