With the initial Aqualog All L-Numbers book, a worldwide thirst was created. In the main this thirst has not been quenched by paper based publication. So this Aqualog special had a lot to deliver and certainly the perfect opportunity to do so.
Aqualog specials are intended as "fast track" routes to introduce new information to the hobby quickly. Often new information is lost in the creation of a larger book as this process takes so long that new news is old hat by the time the book goes to print. On the flip side, the larger book is afforded hindsight and the benefit of experience. If a book is too quick to print it can have the "flavour of the moment" theories or opinions that will not stand the test of time. Fortunately for this particular book, L numbers had been around for some 10 years before it's publication and much of the information it contains is now quite stable.
The book begins with a chapter entitled "Basics" which covers everything from what is a catfish, through what are L and LDA numbers to habitats and anatomical features. Next are chapters on L-number husbandry, maintenance and breeding. These are all a few A4 pages each and are quite general. There isn't a breakdown for each L-number, just examples given here and there. I especially liked the chapter on breeding which has a number of excellent sample photographs depicting the differences between the boys and the girls of several different genera. It finishes up with some yet to be given L-numbers pictures and a solid index in the usual Aqualog style. As an added bonus you also get a pull-out poster (85 x 60cm) with 60 of the most beautiful L-numbers each with the usual Aqualog information symbols.
Aside from the occasional black and white picture, the ample selection of photographs are in colour. Most are good to excellent, a few are exceptional. The book is translated from German. Overall the translation is good but does throw up the occasional gem ("Otocinclus species are extreme swarmfish" - i.e. Otocinclus are very much shoaling fish). This is an extreme example and, if anything, adds a little verve to the whole reading experience.
Wouldn't it be great if this book was combined into a heavily revised All L-Numbers book and offered for the same price as the latter? There is no sign of this wish coming true and so if you want some good general information on L-numbers (in print) you'll want this book.
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