We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, Tony’s The Coral Reef Aquarium is the next great book of reefing, and we foresee a whole new generation of reef builders looking to this great volume for reference and inspiration. There have been reef books before, many of which have focused on teaching you something as a reference, and fewer still have tried to instill some kind of inspiration by showing off some great private aquariums.
What is the point of a book that teaches how to build a reef tank if it doesn’t make you want to do it too? Without question, The Coral Reef Aquarium is the first book of it’s kind that brings up-to-date modern reef aquarium information with a plethora of various recent examples of successful reef aquariums from all over the world.
Like the world we live in, The Coral Reef Aquarium is one of the best connected references regarding reef aquariums, and it truly includes international input from the best reef aquarists of North America and Europe. The aquarium community has been reading and reaching forums from all major players in the reef and marine aquarium scene, and these kinds of connections were not lost on Tony Vargas who frequently travels and speaks at aquarium events wherever reef tanks are found.
There are so many different ways to do a reef tank right, putting all the relevant information together can be confusing and challenging for readers to really absorb. Where others have faltered to give a good rundown of the broad strategies for successful reefkeeping, The Coral Reef Aquarium distills reef aquariums to the fundamentals and then allows the many examples in the second half of the book to illustrate the myriad ways of setting up and running diverse kinds of reef tanks.
Without a doubt what makes The Coral Reef Aquarium stand out from almost every reef book written in the last decade is the inclusion of a large section dedicated to reef tanks from around the world. There are soooo many different types of reef aquariums these days, it is incredible to think how far we’ve come from the days of normal output fluorescent tubes, rock wall aquascapes, dolomite, powerheads and mushroom anemones. Seasoned reef keepers will invariably gloss over most of the first half of Tony’s book to skip to the gallery of the best reef aquariums showcasing the great diversity that the reef aquarium hobby has become. As many reef aquariums as we personally see, it is truly inspirational to look at how other people’s tanks look, and every turn of the page had us running over to our own aquariums comparing notes and the appearance of the fish and corals.
Whether you are just getting into reefing or you stay current to the bleeding edge of reef keeping by refreshing Reef Builders several times a day, The Coral Reef Aquarium is really a must have book for any reefing library. With the advent of digital media we’ve become extremely choosy as to what makes it onto our physical aquarium bookshelf but Tony’s book is truly deserving. We are currently in the middle of detailing some of our own reef tanks with new methods and ideas, and already the abundant examples found in The Coral Reef Aquarium have not only served as a useful comparison, but every time we see the pages we yearn to make our existing reef tanks even better.
Disclaimer: Tony Vargas is a trusted peer in the aquarium community, a personal friend and a friend of Reef Builders. We were given a copy of this book for our own sake and for review. Tony has spent the last three years working very hard on this book and the passion he has and shares for the reef aquarium hobby is hard to equal. The Coral Reef Aquarium will begin shipping to distributors at the end of October with a suggested retail price of $44.99.