The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium

Reaktion Books
Free sample

The mysterious world beneath the ocean’s surface and its inhabitants have captivated humanity for centuries—the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and ancient Chinese all kept fish in their homes to observe and admire. But it was not until the nineteenth-century invention of the aquarium that the deep was truly domesticated, offering the curious a chance to create an indoor exotic sea world, in miniature.

In The Ocean at Home, Bernd Brunner traces the development of the aquarium from the Victorian era to the present day. Along the way, in this fascinating history, Brunner provides insight into the cultural and social circumstances that accompanied the aquarium’s swift rise in popularity. Brunner tells a compelling story of obsession, discovery, and delight—from the aquarium’s origin as a tool for scientific observation to the Victorian era’s elaborately decorated containers of curiosity, to the great public aquariums that are popular in cities around the world today.

Featuring more than 100 illustrations, this updated edition of The Ocean at Home offers a colorful and captivating look at how a Victorian obsession still enchants many today. Both the owner of a humble goldfish bowl and the dazzled spectator at major public aquariums will find The Ocean at Home an appealing and knowledgable guide to the aquatic worlds we create.

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About the author

Bernd Brunner is a Berlin-based writer. He has written extensively for television and print and is also the author of Bears: A Brief History and Moon: A Brief History.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Reaktion Books
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Published on
Jan 1, 2012
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9781861899965
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
Pets / Fish & Aquariums
Pets / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Livebearers focuses on four families of fish which contain many of the most attractive and popular species in the tropical fish hobby today, including guppies, mollies, swordtails, and platies. The families include Goodeidae (Mexican livebearers), Anablepidae (four-eyes and others), Poeciliidae (guppies and others); and Hemirhamphidae (halfbeaks). Author David Alderton explains that hobbyists have applied the term livebearer to these four families for convenience even though there are fourteen families in the wild that reproduce by bearing live young. The chapter “Where in the World?” focuses on the natural history of these families, their distribution, and lifestyles. Hobbyists looking to begin an aquarium of livebearers or to expand their existing communities will find useful information in the chapter called “The Different Groups,” in which Alderton discusses age considerations, health matters, and sex. The chapter also describes the four families and the most common genus/species of each. Included are sixteen representatives of the Family Goodeidae (e.g., Allodontichth, Characodon, and Skiffia), three genus of the Family Anablepidae (Anableps, Jenynsia, and Oxyzgonectes), twenty-six representatives of the Family Poeciliidae (e.g., Belonesox, Fiexipenis, and Limia); and three genus of the Family Hemirhamphidae (Dermogenys, Hemirhamphodon, and Namorhamphus).

This colorful, user-friendly guide offers basic information on the anatomical characteristics, housing options, required aquarium equipment for livebearers as well as their feeding habits and food requirements (greenstuff, carotene-rich foods, live foods, meat, etc.). The breeding habits of livebearers have ensured their popularity with hobbyists, and the chapter on reproduction describes the various breeding habits of livebearers and outlines successful breeding strategies for interested hobbyists. In the chapter on health care, the author offers solid advice about caring for livebearers to maximize their lifespan in captivity, which is typically only a few years. He also gives information on signs of illness and some basic diseases that can be treated by the fish keeper.

The final chapter offers photographs and distribution maps for sixteen popular livebearers of all four families, including information on size, physical description, natural habitat and behavior, and required aquarium conditions. The author’s livebearer hit parade includes the butterfly goodeid, rainbow goodeid, black-finned goodea, four-eyed fish, guppy (millions fish), black molly, sailfin molly, swordtail, platy (moonfish), mosquito fish (dwarf and large), humpbacked (black-barred) limia, black-bellied limia, pike livebearer (piketop minnow), knife (Alfaro’s) livebearer, and wrestling halfbeak. Resources, glossary, and index included.
The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide: How to Care for and Keep Marine Fish and Corals

Do you want to learn how to setup a saltwater aquarium or marine aquarium ? Do you already have a freshwater fish tank and you just want to find out what it takes to have a successful coral reef aquarium? Are you looking to pick up a few tips and tricks to help you take your successful saltwater fish tank setup to the next level? 

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This easy to read saltwater aquarium book will help you get your marine aquarium setup or saltwater fish tank setup and running in no time. 

Download The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide: How to Care for and Keep Marine Fish and Corals and start reading today!

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