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Favourite Aquatic Hobby Books

Tim Harrison

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Just taken delivery of this weighty tome, 780 pages of sheer joy. Always wanted a copy. Growing up Dr Axelrod was a hero of mine.
It's in great nick considering it's 36 years old and has travelled all the way from the States in a brown paper bag :rolleyes:

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Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and found this...

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Signed by the legend himself :)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Snap...

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This one is from the 80’s too @Tim Harrison and has been a great reference book. It would also double up as a decent murder weapon at 994 pages 😂 Think the use of ‘Mini-Atlas’ was meant ironically.

Nice one on getting a signed copy - most welcome bonus I would imagine 😎
 

castle

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I’ve got at least a dozen copies of this book, in various versions. Was planning on selling a few at the carboot this weekend. I’ve been picking up every (cheap) copy I’ve seen since ‘04.

I adored these books as a kid, they were my view into the world of tropical fish and my reference when putting in orders for “oddballs”. Need to check my parents loft, I must have 12 different (but the same) copies. Imagine my pain buying these to see that year to year there was a few switches and maybe, a few new fish 😅
 

ceg4048

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Hi Tim,
Yeah Dr. Axelrod was my hero as well. I used to read his books on the racks in the pet shops when I was a kid because I couldn't afford to buy them, haha.
A shame what happened to him though. He was hiding out in South America and cannot return to USA because he was charged with federal tax evasion, which is a crime 100X more serious than Grand Theft, Auto. Really bizarre...

Cheers,
 

Tim Harrison

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Similar tail to me. I had his books out of the library on permanent loan. I was always gutted when someone else put in a request for them and I wasn't able to renew them :eek:

Yeah, he was a complex character, a self made man and very probably a polymath. I've read about his checkered history. He was finally extradited to the US and spent 18 months in the clink for tax evasion. The US treasury discovered he'd funnelling $millions in to Swiss bank accounts over a 20 year period.

He was also a gifted musician and had a Stradivarius collection worth $millions which he donated to the Smithsonian. But even that wasn't without controversy. There were accusations he'd invented backstories to improve the provenance and vastly inflate the price. Which led to accusations that he'd also vastly inflated the value of TFH publications.

Apparently, he could also be thoroughly unpleasant to deal with and very often ruthless, at least by some accounts. But that wouldn't have mattered to me even if I'd known at the time, he was simply doing what I grew up dreaming about; having epic adventures exploring the Amazon basin hunting for tropical fish. He had a massive influence on me, it's one of the reasons I became an ecologist, specialising in wetlands :)
 

Tim Harrison

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In retrospect I thought this might be a good place for members to post images of their favourite aquatic hobby books. So I've changed the tile of the thread accordingly in the hope it might spark discussion ;)

I'm a hopeless collector of books in general but have just started to collect those written by Dr Axelrod. I received another this morning, Aquarium Fishes of the World 1998.
It also has a pretty good plant section. The introduction makes reference to Takashi Amano and shows one of his scapes...

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castle

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Humble, but this is my book shelf.


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I'm very fussy about aquarium books so I think they have to be "very good", or different to be kept. I have some more behind them, and there is a box I need to sort through in my parents loft.
 

Tim Harrison

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Nice collection and they all look in great condition. My copy of Nature Aquarium Complete Works is a bit worse for wear it's been looked through so many times.
 

castle

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I'd love to get hold of books 1 and 2 of nature aquarium worlds.

I need to go back through all of my books, really. The Living Aquarium I've had since around 13/14 years of age, bought from Oxfam and that got me started with Vallis and Java Fern. Before this, I was neons, gravel and sticks..! I keep hold of it for sentimental reasons, but it's not bad. Walstad's book is an invaluable resource, but it's far too science for me - I could live without that book, I think.

Amano's I've read through a lot, but I am hugely erratic with tanks he's created, either I adore or I do not like. They're big books too, so I mean I get them off the shelf when I have space! Labyrinth fish is just well written, but I wouldn't go out searching for it unless curious. Aqualogs are okay, they serve a purpose. Culturing Live Foods is indispensable, but actually this time of year I don't really reference it. Ornamental Fishes of India, this is a pretty darn good book - when scoping out inhabitants for specialist tanks of the past. Aquarium Plants, is probably one of my favourites; very useful.

I just realised that shelf goes least read to most read!
 

Paul27

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PARAGUAY

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Think in Axerods time as you will see in Sir David Attenboroughs documentary about him as a young man it was a lot more difficult to access the Amazon parts of Africa and Asia years ago . I have read some of Axelrods journeys were debatable when he was actually there. Anyway his contribution to the natural world is undeniable.
 

shangman

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When I was a child my dad had quite a few books, since obvs that's how you learnt everything then, though sadly I think he chucked them years ago. I recently went to Aquarium Gardens and also got a signed copy of Christel's book. It's really fantastic, a great resource, and now I have a lot of beautiful plants on my list that I hope will pop up to collect over the next few years.

Since I'm quite new to the hobby I've been spending all my cash on stuff for the aquariums so that's the first book I've got so far, I'd love to get a nice collection of books to go with it. The book on my list which I really want is Fishes of the Orinoco in the Wild by Mikolji, which looks absolutely stunning.
 
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mort

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Not really got any recommendations as all my books were marine but it's just really nice to hear that people still love them. I live in the past where having a physical copy is the only way to go, I've been gifted a few downloaded books but I've never read them, there is something about just sitting there thumbing through a real book.
 

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