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Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums



ABOUT THE BOOKS (scroll down for reviews)

Limited Stocks of a Classic Title:




By Ray Leggett and John R. Merrick

                                       ISBN: 0 9591908 1 3 (HB)

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Auscipub has acquired access to the last stocks of this Australian Aquarists’ Bible.  If you are into Australian native fishes then the ‘orange’ book is essential.  Released to excellent reviews it has been available for some time, but people are still discovering it.

Summary of Features

This small hard-bound handbook (145 x 208 mm; 248 pp) is a unique combination of simple straightforward information on various aspects of the aquarium hobby, over 140 colour plates of native Australian freshwater fishes suitable for aquariums and short maintenance notes.  Diagrams and the colour plates have been placed next to the relevant text; some 73 species from 16 families are included.

Sections on photography, exhibiting and fish room design are included for people with special interests.  The water repellent cover (glossy, laminated plastic) enables the book to be used in less than ideal conditions ( e.g. in aquarium rooms) with less risk of damage.


Modern  Fishing  Magazine

This is a small but beautiful volume, and a pleasure to own. The book is packed with top-class photos (Armstrong, Hansen, Midgley, Schmida) and the reproduction is tops.

The text is easy to read, even by beginners, and contains enough factual information to delight even the old hands in aquaculture. Leggett and Merrick have covered every topic of interest to the reader, including chapters on setting up a tank, collecting and handling the fish, feeding, breeding and diseases, photography, exhibiting and judging and the setting up of fish rooms. This first section is presented in a straightforward style and is far more relevant than aquarium books published overseas. It is a mine of information and having learnt the hard way, if I could have read this book a few years ago, it would have saved a lot of effort, drama and expense.

All this practical information builds the readers enthusiasm through the first half of the text, until they can hardly wait to get to the fish section. This is divided into family sections and includes several nice touches such as a description of the meaning of the names of the species and suggestions to enable consistent breeding of the fish. Comments in this section are invaluable, often giving insights that are obviously the benefit of long experience.

Sun-Herald  Newspaper

As a keen aquarist,…., I was delighted to receive  a copy of an excellent book entitled, Australian Native Fishes for Aquariums,…  Running to more than 240 pages with summaries on 73 species – each illustrated in full colour – the book is a veritable mine of information…….

Though I have a fairly extensive library on fish, fishing and fish keeping……, this book, which deals specifically with our native fish and is free of scientific gobbledegook, fills a gap that I have been unable to fill from any other source in Australia.

If you find that commercially produced foods are too expensive, there are 17 pages devoted to how you can catch, keep, rear, or make or culture your own.  For example you can grow your own brine shrimp if you follow the simple instructions given, raise vinegar eels……, catch and raise Daphnia and many more.

If you have an interest in maintaining your own native fish aquarium, then this book,……, is thoroughly recommended.

Australian Veterinary Journal

This is a most attractive book with illustrations in colour of more than 70 species of fish, and for many of them there is a picture of their native habitat .  There are maps of geographical distribution.  For each species there is a brief description, the meaning of their zoological name and notes on breeding and diet.

There are descriptions of how to set up and care for an aquarium, how to collect and handle fish, nutrition (natural and artificial), breeding, diseases, photography, exhibiting and judging, and construction of fish rooms.

There is a useful glossary, brief bibliography, general index and notes on the authors who say that “ This handbook has been written principally for hobbyists to provide an introduction to those native species suitable for aquariums”.  It fulfills these aims well and will be very helpful and entertaining for veterinary aquaculturalists.