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Encyclopaedia of Exotic Tropical Fishes for Freshwater Aquariums Hardcover – Nov 2005

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: TFH Publications,U.S. (Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793805708
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793805709
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 22.6 x 4.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 998,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The Encyclopaedia of Exotic Tropical Fishes for Freshwater Aquariums is a comprehensive attractive and reliable resource. Progressing in a coherent and organised fashion, this book both educates and inspires with it's lucid assemblage of information on a wide range of topics, illustrated with some 2000 superb images by some of the world's top photographers.

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First Sentence
The known origins of ichthyology date back to as early as 384 B.C. in the writings of Aristotle. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Anthony A. Porter on 28 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As the proud owner of the original version of this book by Herbert Axelrod back in the sixties I was disappointed with the current offering by his nephew. There are numerous typographical errors & the picture quality is poor in some cases. Whilst the sections on icthyological history, feeding & breeding are good, items such as the correct use of the words "fish" & "fishes" with pictures labelled in "Janet & John" style are superfluous. The page about the required qualifications of ichthyologists smacks of trumpet-blowing & seems quite unnecessary to me in a book of this kind.
The catalogue of suitable aquarium fishes is very heavily weighted towards Cichlids (the authors' favourites) whilst some of the more popular species don't get a mention e.g.Black Mollies. None of the fancy livebearer types are mentioned or illustrated. The section on Resources lists references & Internet sources which are almost universally American & only one magazine-that published by this book's publisher! Generally the layout works well enough but a beginner or lower budget-minded person would be better off buying one or two of the many less expensive books available.
To sum up,this book is very American in style & like the curate's egg is good in parts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Chapman on 22 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was looking for a large directory of tropical fish to use as a ref guide. This book delivered, although focused 50% on Cichlids it is well illustrated with photo's and although the description are short it covers the key areas.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By South Wales Dave on 3 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book, the best I have found, but it could have the common name as well as the scientific name on the same page.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 20 reviews
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
And old hand at this... 3 Oct. 2005
By Phil - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been keeping freshwater fish (and just about everything else that ever tooled about the freshwater environment at one time or another) for a long, LONG time, and I've found this text to be as authoritative and reader-friendly as books can get. Simply stated, the novice can learn all he or she needs to about a species or genera of fish in order to successfully keep that species in captivity, while the advanced hobbyist has at his or her fingers an unparalleled resource text in this book. As an expert whose knowledge is certainly limited, I've found this book to be a sort of catch-all text that answers most any question I might have about the freshwater species of fishes. More so even than that, I consider this book a reference text in that when I go to the local fish shop and I see something I've never seen before, I can come home, reference my Encyclopedia of Freshwater Fishes, and come away with a solid understanding of the species that I just encountered for the first time; I don't have to rely on the "guess and pray" information given me by the pet shop's clerk, I can simply rely on this book to fill in the gaps and bridge the information-gulfs that stand between me and my chosen species of captive fish.

While the above information is simply my amateur opinion on the information the text provides, the following is my professional take on the book as published work. My name is Phil Purser, and many of you may have read my books on Moray Eels, Green Treefrogs, or Garter & Ribbon Snakes. I've been writing on fish & reptiles/amphibians for over a half-decade, and I know what is good and what sucks when it comes to the pet trade. I've read myriad books by "authors" who couldn't find their noses in the dark, and I've read authoritative books by the leading minds of the field, and I can honestly say that, after reading this book from the front cover to the back, this text is one book that will stay one my personal shelves for years and years to come. The information in it is up-to-date, accurate, and timeless (of course nomenclature can change, but the care of each species is pretty well fixed). When you've got all the information you'll ever need in one book, why would you ever reach for another?

The authors of this book are some of the best in the field...better even than myself. Despite my decades of experience studying and writing about fishes, I still defer my questions and inquiries to men such as Glen Axelrod and Brian Scott. Any hobbyist who keeps his or her fingers on the pulse of the freshwater aquarium hobby will attest to the expertise of these scholars; they know their stuff!

I guess what I'm saying is that if an old expert like me can enjoy and reference a book so much as I have this text, then ANYONE who is even remotely interested in the keeping and understanding of freshwater fishes can certianly learn from and relish a book like this one. I honestly believe that a book to rival this one in scope and depth of knowledge will be written for a long, long time to come.
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Big price, big disappointment! 9 May 2005
By cavedoctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am so disappointed in this book. I was really looking forward to its publication, as it seemed perfect for my needs. I am neither an expert aquarist nor a novice, but somewhere inbetween. This book promised up-to-date information on some of the new species to hit the fish trade, as well as comprehensive information on fish we all know and love. Well...there are certainly alot of species included, but at the expense of detail on any. The pictures are nice, but not of uniform quality. And the typos... are numerous, frequently distracting, and potentially hazardous/hilarious in equal proportion. The Marbled Bichir, for instance, is a large carnivorous fish that grows to over a foot in length. Imagine my surprise to read that "this species was used to bring certain traits into domesticated swordtail and platy lines." Wow. I will never look at a platy the same way again! Beneath those mild mannered and colorful 2-3 inch exteriors may be lurking a big surprise for the other fish in my community tanks.(The whole section was transposed word for word from an entry on Variatus Platies several pages previous, but still!) For the price they are asking they should have a) proofread, and b) delivered much more information.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing 11 Mar. 2006
By S. WATSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted one great dictionary for reference as I just got started with my aquarium a few months ago. I found this to be badly indexed, and since it is alphabetical by Latin subspecies and then Latin name within it, they assume a great deal of knowledge right off the bat. Then you need to look up the common name in the index to find the latin name and my most common fish aren't even in there under common name (ie., Molly, Platy). Guppy is under "D" in the index, a typo for "G" - which makes me think this wasn't even proofread. I really didn't need information on freshwater fish like bass and pike, since those aren't aquarium fish, so don't understand who the audience is supposed to be. Many fish in here measure over a foot in length. I have an aquarium, I'm not going fishing.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
!!! I FINALLY GOT IT!!!! 6 July 2005
By The TRUST - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is great. Agree there are typos in the book, but I didn't find it too major. I like how the book contains a lot of new photos of the different fish. Some fish which are rarely shown in other books as well. great job on the short and sweet description. I like how this book strayed away from the Typical "You're fish will like in water that is 70-80 degrees in pH that is 7.0...etc etc" If you're buying a book with the word EXOTIC, you should already know these things. Less beginners information and more great photos. The paper quality is great, that is why it weighs a ton. My legs got sore supporting it. Needs a warning label saying "MUST READ ON TABLE" LOL! The little built in bookmark is awesome. KUDOS to whoever recommended adding that into the book. Price is at a decent level. I honestly think it's not so bad at all. The paper quality, Cover quality, new pictures and book size make it worth the price. I have paid much more for imported books from Japan that I can't even understand!!! Hope this review helps.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Best in a long time 3 Oct. 2005
By Dick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been anticipating the release of this text for a while, and, now that I own a copy of it, I can say without reservation that it is one of the best encyclopedias to freshwater fosh that I own; and I own MANY such texts. In the old days of fish books, the publisher would simply recycle old information and slap a new cover on it in order to sell it as a "new" title. This book breaks that mold. It's authored by renowned fish experts Axelrod & Scott, and the range of information it provides is AWESOME!! Most books on this topic give scant coverage to a broad range of species, but this text gives you a double-handful of information on a LOT of species. Everything fro Bichirs to Cichlids, from Characins to Corydorias, from Poecilidae to... You name it, it's here!

The point is, this book is a solid text from cover to cover. It has a few typos in it but, hell, I just read Stephen King's latest book and I found more than a few grammar mistakes in it, too. So anyone who is a devout fish hobbyist, and who can overlook one or two grammatical mistakes, will definitely be patting themselves on the back for purchasing this book. In the few weeks that I've owned it, I've already used it as reference material more than all my other fish books combined. You cannot go wrong with this atlas of freshwater fishes.
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