Sunday, December 14, 2008

Book Review - "The 101 Best Tropical Fishes" & Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine

Earlier this year, I switched from the paper Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine to the digital subscription... which was only $1.00 a year... but after getting tired of reading the magazine online, which isn't as conducive to my reading throne.. lol.., I decided to switch back to the paper magazine. As part of signing up for a two year subscription, I got a free 2009 Fish Calendar and also got to choose from a couple of books. I chose "The 101 Best Tropical Fishes" (Plus 33 Species To Avoid) by Kathleen Wood.
At first glance, it's a pocket sized 4" x 8" plastic coated soft cover book with 191 pages. It's well illustrated with profiles on each of the fish. As I started looking at the introduction and first chapters where they talk about tank sizes, etc., I started getting that queasy feeling. They have a section called "Model Community Tanks". I'm only going to list two out of the five examples for 10G tanks to see what you all think. They do have the scientific names next to the common names but I did not include them for most of the below since they are easily identified by their common names.
10-Gallon Peaceful Global Community
Top Swimmers
2 Dwarf Gouramis (male-female pair)
Midwater Swimmers
5-7 Glowlight Tetras
Bottom Dwellers
3 Albino Aeneus Corydoras
2 Otocinclus vittatus
10-Gallon Amazon Quiet Pool
Top Swimmers
3 Marbled Hatchetfish
Midwater Swimmers
12 Neon Tetras
Bottom Dwellers
3 Panda Corydoras
1 Clown Pleco
In the above example, a Clown Pleco reaches 4" to 5" and is very wide bodied, so it's not like a 4" torpedo shaped fish... and it is an eating-pooping machine like most plecos. Just the Clown Pleco would be a big bioload for a 10G tank, IMO... but maybe a small school of Neons would be OK with it. Normally, a 4" to 5" fish should not be kept in a 10G tank but at least a Clown Pleco isn't a big swimmer so the limited tank size won't affect it as much. I just wouldn't do it as a planned stocking.
They also had a livebearer tank with 6 fancy guppies (2 males - 4 females), 3 swordtails (1 male - 2 females) and 3 Bronze Corydoras.
Now, personally, I would consider these examples as VERY overstocked... especially considering what would happen within a month (or even days) in the livebearer tank... but what do some of you other experts out there think???
Should this book be considered just another crappy book that leads so many newbie's into tragedy... like so many other books that I've seen or am I just being too cautious about overstocking?
The article on my blog for "10 Gallon Tank Stocking Suggestions" doesn't come close to these levels of stocking for a 10G tank... but then the fish will be much happier and the hobbyist won't be stuck with tons of tank maintenance, fish health issues, etc., by following my guidelines versus what is found in many books.
Compared to Aquarium Fish Magazine, which has some really BAD info in it at times, Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine is a MUCH BETTER magazine but I'm not too happy about them promoting the above book.
Links to subscribe to TFH, get a FREE no-obligation copy of TFH Magazine or subscribe to the digital version, go to the "Free Offers" link on this blog (see link under Labels).
Lenny Vasbinder
Fish Blog - (Links to any articles referenced in above reply are listed on the right side, alphabetically under Labels and also under Archives by Year, Month)

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