Create Your Own Aquarium

Have you seen the library’s beautiful saltwater aquarium and are now thinking of setting up your own tank?  If so, you must first decide whether you want a freshwater or saltwater (marine) tank, and determine how much effort and expense you want to devote to fishkeeping.  To help you get started, check out these books in the Pets Neighborhood.

300 Questions about the Aquarium discusses the types of decisions you will have to make as a fish owner. 

What Your Fish Needs covers topics such as how to choose an aquarium, water quality, and considerations for mixing fish. Good basic info for the beginner.

The Aquarium Fish Handbook: the complete reference from anemonefish to zamora woodcats, has great color photos of freshwater and marine fish species and their characteristics, gender, and breeding info.  Special care explains the fish’s preference for rocks or driftwood, water quality, food, and behavorial characteristics.   For example, if you decide you want a Mono, read the special care section to learn that it needs brackish water with good aeration, and it’s omnivorous and eats all plants.  Learn about basic aquarium needs and fish physiology.  The popular group of Cyprinids, which includes barbs, danios, and rasboras kicks off the list of freshwater fish.  This is an excellent resource for the first time aquarium owner and the experienced aquarist.

Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish from A to Z profiles 300 popular ornamental fish species for freshwater aquariums.  Includes tips on compatibility as well as physical characteristics, care requirements, tank size, and water type–the info you need to understand the appropriate living conditions for each species.

Saltwater Aquarium Models: recipes for creating beautiful aquariums that thrive is the book you’ll want to check out if saltwater is your preference.  Author John Tullock reminds us that “creating an aquarium involves bringing together diverse elements, both living and nonliving, and integrating them into a functioning system.”  These models convey how that can be done as well as the effort required to keep your new aquatic environment operating successfully.

Kimberly Sain

As a Public Services Specialist, in addition to Reference work I promote the Travel, Pets, and Lawn & Garden Neighborhoods, coordinate nature-themed programs for adults and families, and serve on the Big Read planning committee. My interests include exploring new travel destinations, National Parks, Alaska, hiking trails in Kansas, Colorado and Arkansas, birding, Sandhill crane migration, Monarch waystations, Kansas native plants, citizen science activities, volunteer work as a certified Kansas Master Naturalist, and reading essays about the natural environment. Peter Matthiessen's Shadow Country is my all-time favorite novel.