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By Bob Goemans
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The Captive Reef

Authored by: Dana Riddle

A book review by Bob Goemans

TITLE: The Captive Reef

AUTHOR: Dana Riddle

PUBLISHER: Coralife Publication

ISBN 0-9640147-2-6

PAGES: 297

PRICE: $29.95

"The Captive Reef, A Concise Guide To Reef Aquaria In The Home," is presented in 34 chapters followed by an Appendix dedicated to the testing of various aquaria lights. Without attempting to name each chapter, I think it may suffice to say that the book is also divided into three main parts. Part One is devoted to "The Natural Environment." It encompasses the work explained in chapters 1 - 4, i.e., the natural habitat, anatomy of corals, and, photosynthesis and zooxanthellae. Part Two is entitled "The Artificial Reef." It comprises the work discussed in chapters 5 - 9. These chapters relate to functions surrounding the maintaining of an aquarium, i.e., chemistry, algae, filtration, lighting, and water movement. Part Three "Corals," takes up the remaining 25 chapters and fills almost 130 pages. It describes both stony and soft corals, along with their feeding, diseases, predators, parasites, aggression, and reproduction. In these chapters, the Author notes how to pronounce their scientific name, where the specimen lives in nature, and their water flow, feeding, lighting and other related requirements. This alone makes the price of the book worth it! The center of the book contains twenty-two color photographs and there are numerous sketches and charts throughout the book.

I did notice some editing errors, e.g., Table of Contents shows Chapter 4 being in Part One. Yet, inside the book, Chapter 4 is incorrectly located as the beginning of Part Two. Putting aside these minor items, "The Captive Reef" belongs in every hobbyists library. It is that good!

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