10 most popular saltwater aquarium books

31 Saltwater Aquarium Books in My Library–and the 2 Magazines I Read

Acquiring and reading the best saltwater aquarium books in my library has helped me learn from the experience of others and has inspired me on my own journeys with my tanks, fragging, breeding, and blogging (you know, all the “ings”).

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have added 33 saltwater aquarium books to my library–many of which are not in print anymore but can be picked up used. Sharing those books with you today in the hopes that we can each help each other find a helpful, valuable read. If you have a book that you highly recommend that isn’t on the list, please leave a comment and let me know.

31 Saltwater aquarium books (and 2 magazines) in my personal library

Without further ado (I always wanted to use that expression…it’s so old-timey and fancy…and just learned the spelling “ado”), here are the 31 saltwater aquarium books in my library. Immediate following the list, I will put them into sub-groupings to help refine where I would and would not recommend them.

Sharing my entire collection of coral reef aquarium books with you–vulnerably and transparently–makes me humbled and thankful at my good fortune. But I don’t want my transparent sharing here to be misunderstood as advice that all of these books are required or should be purchased by the conscientious aquarist. Pun intended. You will be missed, Mr. Fenner.

Well, that is the list. Now let’s dive deeper into a few recommended categories.

Best saltwater aquarium books beginners

These are the saltwater aquarium books, from my library, that I would lend out to those of you who are just beginning your journey in this hobby. That is not to say that there isn’t wisdom here for moderate or more advanced aquarium owners, but rather, is intended to suggest the books listed below are a great place for a beginner to start.

You may recognize the amazingly good-looking author of two of these books. To offset the bias of your author here, I encourage you to read the reviews of these books, which I am comfortable support their placement here.

must-have saltwater aquarium book   marine aquarium corals

marine aquarium book   marine aquarium book

saltwater aquarium book to help plan and track progress   marine aquarium book

Best saltwater aquarium books for advanced reef aquarium owners

For those of you who know the basics already and are looking to dive deeper in some texts that feel a bit more like text-books in a reef aquarium college course, check out these books by Delbeek and Sprung.

Not sure if you caught this in the list-section of the article, but I actually don’t OWN book3 in the series. I borrowed it from our public library. However, I included it here in this sub-section, since you may want to acquire all three books in the series if you have the interest and the money.

If you are looking to add these books to your collection, I do recommend that you sort of stalk them online. You’ll see that used books in our hobby can go anywhere from $1.50 to $350 for seemingly no reason at all.

For the record, I’m not recommending you drop serious money on these–but they are dense, color, hardcover textbooks, so do expect to pay high double digits, at least.

10 most popular saltwater aquarium books

Must-have coral reef aquarium books recommended for every library

Regardless of where you are in your own saltwater aquarium journey (beginner-advanced), these are the saltwater aquarium books that should anchor your bookshelf

Best books for coral propagation and fragging in a reef aquarium

best book for coral propagation and fragging

Out of print, may not be practically priced

Best saltwater aquarium books for breeding saltwater fish in a marine aquarium

clownfishes book   learn how to breed saltwater fishes with this book

Best troubleshooting books

saltwater aquarium book about fish disease

Best coral reef aquarium books recommended for their focus on aquarium corals in a community tank

The best coral reef aquarium book, in my estimation, is:

reef aquarium book about corals

I’ve broken-in the spine on this book.

Best saltwater aquarium log book workbook to walk you through your aquarium setup step-by-step and help you log and track your progress

In 2016, the one-of-a-kind Reef Journal was published. It is equal parts saltwater aquarium log book, planner, and journal. There are step-by-step prompts that help take you through the set up of a new saltwater aquarium–from planning, through aquascaping, livestock selection (and order of addition), and helpful grids to track your quarantine observations and water parameter test results.

saltwater aquarium workbook

Best saltwater aquarium books with a focus on aquarium invertebrates in a marine reef aquarium

saltwater aquarium book about keeping reef invertebrates   marine aquarium book

Best magazines about the saltwater aquarium hobby

I recommend you get both of these magazines. Two for the price of one!

Free online

coral magazine is not a saltwater aquarium book but is still very valuable

Best quick reads

One thing I noticed about a few of the saltwater aquarium books in my library, is that they are heavy, dense reading books–more like biology textbooks than how-to guides (in many instances). When I wrote my own books, I set-out deliberately to make the content equally helpful/authoritative, but more easily snackable and consumable.

Here are the resources I recommend that also achieve a level of helpful-and-infinitely consumable

fast reading saltwater aquarium book with tips everyone can use   troubleshoot algae in a saltwater aquarium book

Best selling saltwater aquarium books

Each year, I publish an article, based on the unique readership on this site about the best selling saltwater aquarium books.

You can read the most recent report here.

Other reading

If you would like to learn more about the reef aquarium book series before shopping for them online, you can dive a bit deeper here.


The best way to develop a deep understanding of a topic is to gather multiple, diverse perspectives, to help you understand where there is consensus, divergence, and where the nuances are.  While I attempt to provide my best version of helpful, distilled information here and in the books I’ve authored, you would be best served to know that my own opinions have been shaped by what I’ve learned as well as experienced–and you would likely benefit from experiencing other voices as well.

I do hope that sharing this with you here helps you find an opportunity to expand your horizons, and also sincerely hope that if there is anything you recommend reading that you will share that here with me and the readers of this page so we can continue to expand ours.






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