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A 2nd volume to, IMHO, the best all-round aquaria reference
A large and recommendable guide to fresh and brackish water fishes and plants, in the style and format of volume 1 (to which it often refers for further information on related species).


- A section on aquatic plants both sub-aquatic and emersed, including 22 pages dedicated to the flowers of the plants featured (mostly pictures - from the small and humble to the impressively coloured and shaped). 150 plants are described (according to their count).

- A section on iron and other nutrients: symptoms of deficiencies, fertilisation, CO2 addition and general plant care and choice guidelines (about 10 pages total, includes some pictures of symptoms of common plant problems)

- A section on algae, including description, pictures and control for: blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), diatoms (a.k.a. brown algae), and cluster, beard, green bunch, green spot, black spot, pelt, black brush, filamentous and suspended algae (9 pages, with pictures).

- Some 22 pages on anatomy and physiology of fishes.

- The largest section (almost 2000 pages) describes and contains pictures of some 850 species (again, on editor's count). From time to time a picture of a biotope is included - sometimes with specifications as to the fishy inhabitants, sometimes with miscellaneous comments. The origin of these is quite unbalanced: while South America scores some 17 photos, lake Malawi makes do with 4 (though 2 are underwater ones - the only ones to be so!), lake Tanganyka with just one, Australia with 3 and Asia with 1. The rest go completely unrecorded. To make matters worse most of these are landscape pictures giving little information about the actual habitat of the fish or plants. Only in one picture can aquatic plants clearly be seen (apart from water lilies, that is) - no specific biotope information is given for plants at all.

All in all this is, I believe, a great reference book on plants and fish. It shows many remarkable plants and fish, many of which are not even normally commercialised. Great for the terminally curious and those whose imagination runs ahead of their tanks' possibilities. But not a good source of biotope information (other than short descriptions and hints contained in the individual species descriptions).

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