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The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists Paperback – 19 Jul 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Microcosm (19 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1890087025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890087029
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 21.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

The diversity of life has always fascinated me; but the systematics of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians was blown away by the expansiveness and degree of unknown of the fishes. Few people had "companion animals" overseas, but many friends had bowls and aquariums with goldfish, guppies and other tropicals.

I was born in Rhode Island, the smallest State of the U.S. but grew up in the orient as my father was career military. We had very few jobs "on base" for the "dependents" but I was fortunate to secure employment at a fish store that was associated with a restaurant in downtown Sasebo. Other vainglorious work overseas includes two years working for a Betta culture business, collecting and processing marines in Manila.Back to the U.S. in the late sixties I stuck to the trade as a retail clerk, a livestock wholesale worker (for Pratt's in San Diego), and eventually formed an aquarium service business with a school friend. This business cycled larger and smaller, and supported me all through college and beyond. It eventually became an employee-owned corporation with aquaristic retail outlets, fabrication (principally large acrylic systems), water feature construction, manufacturing and distribution divisions. Subsequent to the tax law changes, water-shortage "scare", and general decline in the California and U.S. economy in the late eighties these businesses were sold and liquidated. I worked for three years as a consultant and buyer for the mass-merchandiser PetCo in their bid to upgrade their stores, incorporating livestock.

Is there a difference between what you do for money and for a living? Not me. Nowadays I write articles and books for the diving/underwater natural history and ornamental aquatics interests, and manage my rentals and securities. I browse the electronic bulletin boards to "chat" with others daily, and often travel, to go "hashing" (sort of running), writing and photographing with friends around the world.

Have been an avid hobbyist since first memories. Active in the local SDTFS from the sixties; helped in development of all three goldfish/koi clubs in San Diego. At times more active in scientific (AVMA, IAAAM, ASIH) and industry professional/business associations.

Have many wonderful friends in the hobby, trade and science of aquatics, and dearly enjoy my involvement; it is my life's work and passion. A/The central thread to everything I have attempted in writing, presentation or action in the interest has been/is "to enhance peoples love of their own lives through an appreciation of the living world". I see the hobby/business evolving, much like and approaching western Europe, with a real interest in biotopes, the underlying science, understanding the technologies employed... This is an era of consumer awareness; there are less aquarists, but more conscientious ones that are becoming more aware and demanding value. I look forward to the availability of many more species of tank-raised marines, real aquatic plants, and ready, inexpensive access to useful information and graphics.

Older one:
Robert (Bob) Fenner is a content provider to the pet-fish (ornamental) aquatics hobby and trade, dive/travel adventure and underwater natural history genres; writing, photography and videography. Though retired since 1994, he continues to produce in this field as well as consult on aquaculture and public aquarium installations.

Bob has "lived" the science, hobby and business of aquatics in the Philippines, Japan and United States. All phases; collector, wholesale, jobber, retail, design, construction and maintenance. All levels; manager, owner, hatchery worker, retail clerk, technician. Except for a stint teaching high school sciences for four years, he has worked all his life in the field of ornamental aquatics.

Academic experience includes fifteen years of college, a couple of life science degrees and a teaching credential for chemistry, physics and biology. Published works include several studies on aquatic biological and chemical questions, and an extensive book and article publishing (helped author a few books, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, Fishwatcher's Guide to the Tropical Marine Aquarium Fishes of the World, Natural Marine Aquariums Reef Invertebrates...) and photographic background in aquatic industry and hobby fields. Have taught High School sciences and Marine Sciences and Aquariology courses at the State University, University of California levels.

Bob has been an avid aquatic hobbyist since day one and is active in hobbyist and scientific organizations. He has served on numerous Boards, judged shows and given many programs.

Helped form and run (President) of the employee-owned corporation, Nature Etc., Inc. in San Diego, started in 1973; a turn-key operation in the field of ornamental aquatics, designing and building ponds, lakes, fountains and waterfalls (Aquatic Environments), designing, installing custom aquarium systems and maintenance (Aquatic Life Services), and operating retail outlets (Wet Pets).... currently does consulting, content provision to the trade, sciences and hobby of aquaristics.

Topics for presentation to hobbyist groups include subjects in system design, construction, set-up; livestock selection, collection, acclimation, health, nutrition, travelogues to many countries, photography, videography, making money in the interest.

Product Description

Synopsis

Drawing upon a lifetime of aquatic experience, marine biologist Bob Fenner demystifies the process of planning, setting up, stocking, and managing a beautiful, thriving slice of the tropical ocean. A leading advocate for the responsible collection and care of wild-caught specimens, Fenner starts with the basics and proceeds to give the reader the scientific background and expertlevel secrets to being a smarter consumer, better reef steward, and more successful marine aquarium keeper.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
ALTHOUGH MY DAYS AS A WORKADAY ACADEMIC LECTURER on the subject of marine science are long past—trying to perform as a perpetual combination of Jacques Cousteau, Charles Darwin, and Robin Williams proved too much to sustain—I'm still often reminded of a student in one of the college classes I taught. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book to get you started. Most topics are covered in an easy to understand context. In-depth discussions about irrelevant topics are left out, although you will gain a greater understanding from this book much moreso than the average beginner book. It explains differences between fish only systems, fish & invertebrate systems, and reef systems and gives you all the knowledge you need to get started and maintain the system of your choosing. Although specific in-depth discussions are not found here as in other books I've read (i.e. books by Martin Moe who tends to elaborate on inpertinent information which may be of interest to advanced marinists), this book contains the most USEFUL information in one place. Pictures are great--very colorful and and helpful in some instances. Also, the author of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" is quite concerned about the environmental impact of specimen collection on our coral reefs, and lays out an outlook that all of us should adhere to. I would definitely recommend this book to all but the most experienced who keep a salt water system.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are new to Marine Aquariums, this is the book to get. It is very helpful and explains all you need to know about the Marine Aquarium in plain English.
If you are a beginner this is the book to get!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book goes much deeper into the why's and how-come's of keeping a marine aquarium. Not only does the author explain the reasons behind his recommendations and personal choices, he also explains why others have made different choices.
More than just a picture book, yet the pictures are enough to interest those who do not keep an aquarium.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
I, as a beginner with marine systems (although I have kept freshwater for a fair amount of time) found this book extremely informative. It covered virtually all of the topics I am interested in, including giant clams, anemones, and basic set-ups. I definitely reccomend this book. Eric, Colorado
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Even though I'm only just a novice myself, I found this book to be stimulating and interesting. I skimmed over areas that I feel I have a good understanding of, but there were things in this book that I had never heard, but have now incorporated in all my tanks! This book is really well written and doesn't assume that you have a doctorate in ichthyology.
As for the ONE bad review. . . Well it looks like somebody's daddy should watch whose his computer a little closer. . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
I'm still in the early stages of my tank. I've read other books and this one is by far the most comprehensible. The synopsis of various species (including behavior, habitat and feeding) is excellent. Additionally, "conscientious" advice on species to boycott and species capture with an eye toward not destroying the world's natural reefs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jan. 1999
Format: Paperback
Weather a first timer or a Novice Pro, you'll be truely impressed with this concise yet lengthy guide to saltwater aquatics. I continue to use it as a guide and refer to it often. Even if you know what a Dog fish is, you'll be amazed if not astonished by what you can learn. A+ work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
As a beginner, this book in conjuction with a good local Marine Aquarium store have enabled me to establish a very successful and rewarding marine environment. Not only informative, but good to read as reference material.
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