by how carefully the theme of the aquarium is chosen. The Hobbyists comprise the third customer category. These simplified designs of the systems described in this book re- are people who are interested in something for the sake of suit in lowered maintenance, especially after the first year diversion, curiosity, personal challenge, and a rewarding or so. This makes the aquarium much like a landscape use of nonworking hours. Personal fulfillment comes in project, another way in which people often enhance the ap- spending one's leisure time in developing expertise, whether pearance of their homes with natural objects and living or- the pursuit be marine aquarium keeping, tennis, or the po-
ganisms. Wise choices of species will result in a relatively etry of Milton. It is no accident that a hobbyist may refer worry-free, yet visually stunning, exhibit.
to himself as an "amateur chef" or an "amateur scientist"; the word "amateur" can be translated as "one who loves." One reason for the current popularity of marine aquariums is the deep attraction many people feel for nature and natural Some families buy an aquarium as an educational history. This is a hobby that breeds passionate amateurs with tool for the benefit of their children. Not a parent myself, I a lifelong commitment to their salty pursuits.
The Aquarium As Educational Tool find that I am observing from afar, as it were, the results of
Creating a natural marine aquarium cannot be accom-
this approach, as I see kids visiting the store with Mom or plished without utilizing a certain repertoire of tools and
Dad or both over the course of several years. My conclusion: skills. This chapter will cover basic tools, such as the aquar-
sometimes the desired result is achieved and sometimes not. ium tank itself and the other equipment needed to main-
I know at least one future marine biologist who is develop- tain coral reef species. Some gear saves time by automating ing his proposed career in this way. There is little doubt routine work, but such equipment, if of good quality and that children of all ages are drawn to aquariums. I know that reliable performance, can be prohibitively expensive. For-
having an aquarium as a child served to increase my inter- tunately, all of the necessary maintenance tasks can be per-
est in school biology. The use of aquariums to teach children formed manually. It is important to bear in mind that no about nature is a laudable goal. If the aquarium belongs to equipment, no matter how sophisticated or costly, can sub-
the child who is responsible for its maintenance, a simple, stitute for the good judgment and technical skills of a care-
An undulating custom glass panel provides a spectacular view of a 570-gallon aquascape in a reef system by Jeffrey Turner ful, observant aquarist. This can be a notoriously expensive hobby, but the fact is that some of the truly awe-inspiring reefs have been created on frugal budgets by aquarists who substitute their own resourcefulness and involvement for costly technology.
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." This adage is especially applicable when it comes to setting up an ecosystem aquarium. The ounce of prevention is a simple thing, but often overlooked. Create a written plan for the aquarium before beginning its construction. Planning now will pay off later in lessened maintenance, healthier animals, and fewer headaches. Start developing the plan by choosing the tank itself. This would seem, at first glance, a simple enough proposition, but many people start out with grand or impossible dreams that are too often predicated on a mismatch of the aquarium with its anticipated inhabitants. I always begin by thinking about one or two species that I want to investigate in detail, species I would like to know more about. I call these my Must Have list. Next, I make a list of Goes With species, potential tankmates that I know are compatible and would be found in nature with the Must Have selection. Your selection of Must Have species will be chosen using criteria different from mine, of
AQUARIUM SPECIES PLANNER TANK:
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The word aquarium originates from the ancient Latin language, aqua meaning water and the suffix rium meaning place or building. Aquariums are beautiful and look good anywhere! Home aquariums are becoming more and more popular, it is a hobby that many people are flocking too and fish shops are on the rise. Fish are generally easy to keep although do they need quite a bit of attention. Puppies and kittens were the typical pet but now fish are becoming more and more frequent in house holds. In recent years fish shops have noticed a great increase in the rise of people wanting to purchase aquariums and fish, the boom has been great for local shops as the fish industry hasnt been such a great industry before now.