Welcome to Saltwater Aquarium Blog. This is my very first blog post. In fact, when I started, the post was titled, “Hello World”. Before I start sharing some of what I’ve learned in my time as a hobbyist, I thought I would start by sharing with you the books that helped shape my knowledge and aquariums over the years.
Here is a list of 5 saltwater aquarium books every hobbyist should read.
There are a lot of saltwater aquarium books out there, but this list includes the books that I read, when I first started out in the hobby and helped me build the foundation of knowledge I have today (for what that’s worth).
Any of these books would be a great present if you’re looking for gifts for a friend or family member who wants to start a saltwater aquarium.
While I certainly recommend you read all 5 saltwater aquarium books on this list, I recognize that would potentially cost a lot of money, so I have ranked them, in order of how helpful and inspiring they were to me.
Please also note that this is not an exhaustive list of the authoritative books on the hobby–for example, one book that I very much enjoyed reading and provided great information is The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, by Bob Fenner.
For now, let’s dig into the 5 books that got it all started for me–the 5 Saltwater Aquarium Books that every hobbyist should read.
#5 Saltwater Aquarium Book
5. Aquarium Corals : Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History
By Eric Borneman. This is actually the book that got me started in the hobby. This makes the list because of it’s value for the money. A similar read and resource to Delbeek books, the Borneman book combines great pictures and snippets of very usable information that presents a good all around value for the money. A great Holiday Gift for the reefer in your life.
# 4 Saltwater Aquarium Book
4. The Reef Aquarium (Volume 1) and The Reef Aquarium, Vol. 3: Science, Art, and Technology
by Charles Delbeek. Alright, so it’s not a single book, I already cheated here on this list, but these books are invaluable resources. They’re technical in nature, a little boring at times, but comprehensive and well written. They are only number four on the list because, well, I difficulty ranking each of the volumes independently–and since I took volumes 1 and 3 together, I felt the need to handicap them slightly by putting them in 4th place. If you think about it, buying both books comes with a steep price tag. These books are for the serious aquarist, who wants to advance his knowledge in the hobby, and has the money to pay for the best. I borrowed my copy from the library.
#3 Saltwater Aquarium Book
By Joyce D. Wilkerson. The whole world loves a clown…fish. This book, unlike its textbook brethren in the fifth and fourth spots, is a light, fun-to-read book, about the most popular marine fish in the world. The book is full of information about the natural history of clownfish and their host anemones and provides information on ease of keeping and breeding. A fun book that made me add a few breeder tanks in my basement. This colorful and helpful book is a great way to cozy up with our favorite piscine friend, the clownfish.
2. Book of Coral Propagation, Volume 1 Edition 2: Reef Gardening for Aquarists
By Anthony Calfo. This book will have you seeing green, as you start daydreaming about the money you’ll make selling off the frags of your favorite coral species. The book gives detailed instructions on the care of and how to frag a HUGE selection of coral species. Not nearly as technical as some of the earlier selections, sometimes harder to read, but chock-full of nuggets of information. The book will have you seriously consider building a greenhouse to support your addiction, I mean, hobby.
#1 Saltwater Aquarium Book Every Hobbyist Should Read
1. The Reef Aquarium, Vol. 2: A Comprehensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tropical Marine Invertebrates
By Charles Delbeek. If you’re a beginner or intermediate in the hobby, this book is a must-read. It lays a foundation that will provide years of benefit to you and your tank. Like the other books in this series, the technical nature of Delbeek’s running can be a little daunting at times for the average Joe, but the books is worth its weight in gold—and costs almost as much. Also, since this book provides a lot of info on soft corals, this is a good book for those beginner/intermediate reefers.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the 5 saltwater aquarium books that every hobbyist should read. If you liked this article, you may also enjoy some of these other articles: