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Life in a Fishbowl:
The Art and Science of
Aquariums and Fishkeeping

Selected References

World Wide Web Resources

FINS, Fish Information Service
This website is an archive of information about aquariums. It covers freshwater, marine, tropical and temperate conditions. It is a wealth of information highly recommended for any level aquarist. Some topics are glossary of terms, FAQ's fish libraries, catalogs, pictures, movies, directories and much more.

The Amazing Fish Cam
Check out beautiful graphics of fish and aquariums. There are a number of internet links to other fish places the serious aquarist must check out.


Andrews, Chris. A Fishkeeper's Guide to Fish Breeding. Tetra Press, 1986.
This is a really delightful and handy book on introductory fish breeding. The book deals with a wide number of freshwater tropical fish and gives lots of tips on how to breed individual species. Excellent resource!

Bruenner, Gerhard. The Hobbyist Guide to the Natural Aquarium. Tetra Sales Division of Warner Lambert.
This book is a good discussion on how to establish an aquarium that tries to recreate the natural conditions in the wild.

Jones, Barry. A Fishkeeper's Guide to Aquarium Plants. Tetra Press, 1986.
I've always preferred live plants over those plastic ones you see at the pet stores! This fishkeeper's guide is a great resource to learn about a wide variety of the aquatic plants available to the aquarist. This is a must for your collection of aquarium books.

Knopf, Alfred A. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes, Whales and Dolphins. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1985.
I like this easy to use Audubon field guide because it has a good selection of pictures and text dealing with a wide number of fish that you can encounter in the ponds, lakes, streams and rivers in the United States.

Leibel, Wayne S. A Fishkeeper's Guide to South American Cichlids. Tetra Press; 1993.
Concerning the South American cichlids, this book is well written and has lots of pictures to identify a number of the most common cichlids available in the aquarium trade.

Loiselle, P.V. A Fishkeeper's Guide to African Cichlids. Tetra Press; 1988 This book discusses some of the most popular fish in the aquarium hobby, the African cichlids. This is a good reference and intro to these fascinating fish from such Lake Tanganika and Lake Malawi in Africa.

McClane, A.J.; McClane's Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America; Henry Holt and Company,Inc.; 1974
This is a very well written book describing many of the common freshwater fish that one can find in the bodies of water across North America. I like this book especially because I was able to identify a fish called the golden pond shiner that I had caught at a local pond. I had to count the number of scales along the lateral line for confirmation of its species name.

McGinnis, Samuel M.; Freshwater Fishes of California; University of California Press; 1984>
Although this book deals with freshwater fish in California, it must be noted that about 90% of the freshwater fish in this state are from out of state. In other words, most of California's fish are from all over the U.S.! The author has a lot of good text on the results of transplanting fish, discusses their habitats and even includes some fishing tips.

Mills, Dick; You & Your Aquarium; Alfred A. Knopf,Inc.; New York; 1993< br> This introductory book to the fishkeeping hobby is a good resource on how to start up an aquarium. Has a good section on tank types and filters/pumps, etc. There are fresh and salt water tropical fish pictures included with brief notes on each species

Schliewen, Ulrich; Aquarium Fish; Barron's Educational Series,Inc.; 1992
This book is a good introductory discussion on how to set up an aquarium. There are lots of colorful pictures and a number of "How to" tips like setting up the tank, plant selection, fish breeding, dealing with diseases, etc.

Wieser, K.H. & Dr. P.V. Loiselle;Your Garden Pond; Tetra Press; 1986 Creating your own pond can be a lot of fun and this book tells you how to make one! Good discussion on pond types and the aquatic life that goes with it.


Aquarium Fish Magazine, P.O. Box 6050, Mission Viejo, CA 92690
A great magazine to keep up to date with the aquarium hobby.

Tropical Fish Hobbyist, T.F.H. Publications,Inc., One TFH Plaza, Neptune City, New Jersey 07753, (908) 988-8400
Another great magazine to keep up on the latest in the aquarium trade.


All about Aquaculture. Brody, Michael J. Patterson, B. Patricia Science Teacher, v59 n2 p36-41 Feb 1992
Describes a sequence of activities in which students set up a classroom aquarium to learn about aquaculture. Discusses the aquarium system, filtration and maintenance, adding organisms to the system, technological considerations, aquaculture economics, and political and social aspects of aquaculture.

Ecosystem Encounters: Lessons in Synthetic Ecology.
Adey, Walter H. Science Teacher, v59 n6 p22-27 Sep 1992
The director of the Marine Systems Laboratory of the Smithsonian Institution discusses steps in developing ecological models. The following topics in using an aquarium for the ecosystem are described: lighting, water motion, water quality and filtration. Presents information on choosing living organisms for the ecosystem. Describes potential problems and solutions of setting up small models (30-130 gallons).

A Big Lesson in a Small Pond.
Friedman, Allan Science and Children, v28 n5 p27-29 Feb 1991
The construction and stocking of an in-class pond is discussed. Suggestions for eight activities using the pond are provided. A list of 15 references is included.

Science in an Integrated Primary School Project on Water - an Inspiration. Part 2. Ward, Alan School Science Review, v66 n235 p288-93 Dec 1984
Describes water-related activities in an elementary school science project. Activities focus on mini aquaria, permanent aquaria, water toys, sea power, imagination, and village ponds.

Environmental Awareness: Just a Pane of Glass Away.
Kopchynski, Kevin,Humane Education; v6 n4 p2-6 Dec 1982
Highlights several basic ecological principles and suggests corresponding classroom activities for grades five to eight that revolve around a freshwater aquarium. Basic ecological concepts, adaptations, characteristics of aquatic habitats, and pollution problems are outlined in separate tables. A short list of resource materials is included.

Bag-Tanks for Your Classroom.
Wulfson, Stephen E.
Science and Children; v18 n5 p24-25 Feb 1981
Suggests using plastic bags as aquaria and terraria. Describes techniques for converting plastic sheets into aquaria, how to set them up for classroom use, and other uses for plastic bag aquaria.

Building a Terraquarium.
Jackson, James R.; Thomas, Lisa Potter
American Biology Teacher, v42 n9 p551-53 Dec 1980
Describes methods for building a terraquarium that demonstrates the shore habitat. Includes photographs and a list of materials.

Custom Undergravel Filters Made from Scraps.
Browning, Robert F. American Biology Teacher; v42 n9 p549-50 Dec 1980
Describes a method for constructing undergravel filters made from common materials to provide suitable habitats for a diversity of aquatic organisms.

Using Marine Aquaria in Inland Invertebrate Zoology Courses.
Schlenker, Richard M.; Perry, Constance M.
American Biology Teacher; v42 n4 p248-49,260 Apr 1980
Basic marine aquaria equipment, techniques for maintenance, specimens and food for the marine organisms are discussed. Several sources of specimens are included.

Care and Maintenance: A Freshwater Aquarium.
Hampton, Carolyn H.; Hampton, Carol D. Science and Children; v16 n5 p32-34 Feb 1979
Describes the care and maintenance of a freshwater aquarium in the classroom. Includes a chart indicating organisms, special uses, and care.

The Science of Goldfish.
McCormack, Alan J. Instructor; v88 n8 p125-26,128,130,132 Mar 1979
Suggests science activities for a unit on goldfish, including experiments investigating reactions of fish to light, sound, current and temperature.

Aquaria on a Classroom Budget
Swenson, William; And Others
Science Teacher; 43; 3; 35-36Mar 1976
Photographs are provided as an aid in the description of steps involved in the construction of an aquarium.

Aquarium Problems: How To Solve Them
DeFilippo, Shirley, Science Teacher; 42; 5; 56-57May 1975
Presents some solutions to problems commonly encountered in maintaining a classroom aquarium: pH control, overfeeding, overcrowding of tank populations, incorrect temperature settings, faulty introduction of fish into the tank, and the buildup of too many nitrogenous wastes.

The Aquarium as a Teaching Tool
Menzel, E. Wesley, Science and Children; 10; 1; 15-17Sep 1972
Describes the basic principles of setting up an aquarium and gives hints on its use as an instructional aid in elementary classrooms, both in generating biological questions and investigations and in its use in other parts of the science curriculum.

Marine Aquaria--Their Value in Teaching Science in the Elementary School
Bennett, Lloyd M. School Science and Mathematics; 72; 1; 57-72Jan 1972
The value of a marine aquarium as a learning source is discussed. Construction procedures and a list of supply and information sources are given.

Suggested Actitivites

  • Write a environmental impact study of building a papermill or shopping mall next to a river, lake or small pond.

  • Discuss genetics and fish breeding of two related species: goldfish and guppies

  • Set up a microscope and take water samples from your aquarium or nearby lakes, streams etc. to do microbiological and water chemistry testing.
    Take pH, water hardness, and nitrate/nitrite levels.

  • Fish anatomy; dissect a fresh fish from the supermarket.

  • Fish behavior; study Siamese Fighting Betta fish or set up an African Cichlid tank to study territorialism among species.

  • Describe the different biological zones of a small lake.

  • Go on a fish collecting trip to a local pond or lake.

  • Visit your local public aquarium science center. These places are real treasure houses of information on fish keeping!

  • Discuss fish diseases: their causes, cures and prevention.

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