This work was written with the novice in mind, yet also contains advanced information to satisfy most long-term and sophisticated marine aquarists. It began because there were numerous requests saying a book was needed that would not only update our beloved hobby, but also logically present all the involved and different associated categories. When I decided to go forth with this task, realized my ideas for subject titles and order of placement varied from those suggesting this work! This led to my contacting many individuals, e.g., aquarium company VIP's, shop owners, on-going hobbyists, and those that were just thinking of entering the hobby to ask what topics to cover and order would be best in which to present them. Responses varied, but all seemed to say some books tend to get overly scientific and lose most of their readers, or they do not present the subject matter in a logical A - Z approach. I could easily address a somewhat reduced scientific approach, as my writing goals have always been to stay with language most readers could easily comprehend.
Yet deciding subject titles and their order of discussion took a 'mind-meld' to resolve! In fact, it actually took months to just come up with a table of contents that was approved by slightly more than half of those I was working with! Nevertheless, was still not happy with that result, as I felt the cart in some places was being placed in front of the horse so to speak. Where was the sense in discussing subjects relating to filtration or water chemistry being placed before subjects that would describe possible aquarium environments, as that 'is' the eye-catching factor that attracts most to this hobby I asked? Most then agreed, therefore my next challenge was the placement of filtration and water chemistry topics, which I thought should follow a discussion on the type and purpose of various types of equipment, including the aquarium itself, which I thought was a very good starting point for those items. This finally led to broadening the overall subject matter to include the different 'materials' one could possibly get involved with, such as the piping and fittings used in connecting some equipment and the materials used to aquascape aquarium interiors. The consensus was this all made good sense as one should have some understanding of these items and their purpose and if they are even needed for their 'theme' aquarium, and how that might affect their budget.
Everyone was then in agreement: filtration and water chemistry was next, and in fact the order of the topics following these as shown in the Table of Contents fell right into place, as both system and animal husbandry were then logical follow-on subjects. With the book's six major sections, i.e., The Planning Phase; Filtration; Seawater; System Husbandry; Animal Selection & Husbandry; and the Closing which is dedicated to various measurements, charts, biographies, and glossary, I was then left with dividing each into the number of chapters and subsection topics required to fulfill their goals.
Overall, it all really boiled down to one goal, ...having the information contained within this endeavor presented in a logical 'and' up to date easy to understand scientific manner that would be helpful in successfully accomplishing the establishment and long-term health of your aquarium goals. I also thought it would be proper to mention some products by name for the sake of completeness and accuracy, yet not as any form of endorsement. And to make this entire work even more useful, it's been jam-packed with photos, as a photo is often worth a 1000 words! Therefore, consider 'The 'LIVING' Marine Aquarium Manual' an opportunity to explore in one book, practical, easy to understand, and yet comprehensive information to maintain some of the more sophisticated marine aquariums.
To close, when I think about the changes the hobby has experienced over these past few decades, an old saying comes to mind: "If I only knew then what I know now" and then I wonder how many of our past fish and invertebrates would still be alive!
Increasing your knowledge in this hobby is my goal.
Finally, please keep in mind there are no doubt spelling, grammar, punctuation and/or typos here and there, as no one has proofed what you're about to read. (It's really a one-man effort!) Therefore, please bring these to my attention and I will get them corrected. I also open the content of this 'book' to those that would like to add valuable updates/comments (if done in a polite and professional manner) and I will do what is necessary to add that content to this vast work! And if you have better photos, send them and I'll use them with due credit. Please, lets not criticize, simply pitch in and help! Together we stand - divided we fall!
Thank you and would appreciate your thoughts.