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Brackish Water Fishes: An Aquarist

Title Brackish Water Fishes: An Aquarist's Guide to Identification, Care & Husbandry
Author & (Publisher) Neale Monks (TFH Publications, 2006)
Price £20.00
Subject Matter General fishkeeping info on species that live in brackish water.
Edition 1st, English

Article © Birger Kamprath, uploaded December 23, 2007.

I think most everyone at one time or another has considered setting up a brackish-water tank. I purchased this book as I did not have anything covering this area of fishkeeping in any detail.

This 384 page book explains the biology of brackish fishes and plants, how to set up and maintain these aquaria and also covers many fish normally associated with brackish tanks and some not. The husbandry information seemed sound although at times read like a primary school textbook, but also surprising me with fairly detailed information such as the 25 page section on Mudskippers.

Why did I think it should be included in the PlanetCatfish book section I hear you ask? Well, I was delighted to see it had a small chapter on Catfish for the brackish-water tank, nineteen pages worth. Going from the brackish-tolerant marine fish such as Plotosus lineatus to adaptable euryhaline fish like Aspredo aspredo, Platystacus cotylephorus and Hexanematichthys seemanni, also including some salt-tolerant freshwater catfish (e.g. Ictalurus punctatus, Liposarcus pardalis and a couple of Mystus) being a few mentioned in the book.

It does not cover all brackish catfish as a quick search in PlanetCatfish showed more but the fish covered are probably the most commonly seen and I do not think there are many in the brackish category.

As a final note there are a couple of misrepresented photos in the book, unfortunately these are in the catfish section. An Hexanematichthys seemani on pages 290-291 is labeled as Ictalurus punctatus. On page 294 what is labeled as Mystus gulio is in fact a Sperata aor which is not a brackish fish at all. Further research showed the other photos in the book seem to be correct.

Overall, this is a good book for the hobbyist with an interest in setting up brackish-water aquaria.

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