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Bettas and Gouramis

by David Alderton

David Alderton's investigation of anabantoids, the Asiatic gouramis-the bettas and gouramis, including Siamese fighting fish, paradisefish, kissing gouramis, begins with a look at the origins of these adaptable and widely varying fishes in their Asiatic homelands, where they've been popular for hundreds of years. Given the considerable size range of this group of fishes, from the tiny licorice gourami (only 1.5 in or 4 cm in length) to the giant gourami (about 28 in or 70 cm), there are great differences to be considered by the fish keeper, all of which are addressed by Alderton in this color guide. The anabantoids is also a large group of fishes, with one hundred varieties/species available in most pet and hobby stores. The book provides photographs and images of dozens of the most popular examples.Chapter two is devoted to "The Different Groups," and the author explains how the classifications of anabantoids work and then proceeds to discuss the members of each family. In all, eighteen genuses are described in detail, including their natural ranges, physical characteristics, abilities, behaviors, and breeding facts. The author discusses the specific traits of the anabantoids, including their unique labyrinth organs, swim bladders, hearing ability, lateral line, and locomotion.The section on care discusses the selection and positioning of the aquarium, planting, flooring, water, filtration, heating, and lighting. The guide gives specific advice on feeding habits and food, including foraging and hunting techniques of certain anabantoids and the various kinds of food (prepared diets, green food, live food) that are best for individual species. For readers interested in breeding bettas and gouramis, the chapter on reproduction will prove exceptionally helpful, giving expert guidance on preparing for and encouraging spawning behavior, nest building, and rearing the fry. The author also provides information on color genetics for breeding Betta splendens.The general health of the Asian gouramis is covered in a chapter called "Lifespan and Diseases," including a primer on preventing and managing parasitic illness, bacterial and fungal diseases, dietary problems, and more. In the book's final chapter "Popular Anabantoids," the author presents a full-page of text and photographs for twenty-six different species of the families Belontiidae, Anabantidae, Osphronemidae, Helostomatidae, and Luciocephalidae. Resources and glossary conclude the volume.

Cichlids

by David Alderton

One of the most popular choices for home aquariums, CICHLIDS come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. From the Fish Keeping Made Easy series, this book covers diet and nutrition, recognizing and treating illness, biology, breeding and more.

Crocodiles and Alligators of the World

by David Alderton

Crocodilians rank amongst the oldest surviving vertebrate groups, dating directly from the age of the dinosaurs. They practise a degree of parental care and social communication unrivalled in the lower vertebrates. At the very most, only six out of the 22 surviving species represent any danger to people. Learn more about these great and ancient reptiles.

Dogs (Smithsonian Handbooks)

by David Alderton

Smithsonian Handbooks are the most visually appealing guides on the natural world in the book marketplace.

Encyclopedia of Dogs

by David Alderton

Dogs have been our closest animal companions since before the start of recorded history. They have traveled with us, fought with us, and saved countless lives. As society has changed over the course of millennia, so have dogs--a trend that is still apparent today, with dogs being kept increasingly for companionship rather than for working purposes. There is no universal system of breed classification for dogs but, generally, they are divided on the basis of their original function. Some categories such as the hound group are more natural than others, which may simply consist of breeds with diverse working ancestries. Not all breeds are recognized for show purposes, and recognition can vary between different organizations and countries.

Freshwater Aquariums

by David Alderton

For beginning aquatic fancier looking to start out right with fish, Freshwater Aquariums by David Alderton is the ideal primer. A vertebrate that breathe primarily by means of gills and swim by means of fins is the author's lead-in to the first chapter called "What are Fish?" Alderton builds the reader's confidence by providing solid information about what fish are anatomically speaking, how they evolved, how they breathe, how they move, where they live, and how they behave.The new fancier's aquarium begins in chapter two with instructions on setting up the tank, including selecting the right size, figuring out how many fish, setting the tank, equipment, substrate, heating, lighting, filtrations, plants, water chemistry, assembly, and more.Choosing the freshwater fishes that appeal to the reader is the subject of "Introducing the Categories of Fish," which schools readers in seven categories: Cyprinids (e.g., goldfish, minnows, and barbs), Characins (e.g., tetras), Cichlids (e.g., oscars, angelfish, and discus), Anabantoids (gouramis, bettas/Siamese fighting fish, and paradise fish), Toothcarps (guppies, swordtails, platies, black mollies, and killifish), Catfish, and others (loaches and Chinese algae eaters). The purchasing, maintenance, and feeding of fish are described in considerable details, and the author gives a basic overview of breeding and keeping fish healthy as well. Resources, glossary, and index conclude the book.

How Smart Is Your Cat?

by David Alderton

We all wonder how much our pet understands, what is going on in their head and just how intelligent they really are. This entertaining and comprehensive guide will not only explain your cat's sometimes baffling behavior--it will give you the means to test your pet's IQ yourself.Using your cat's natural skills, How Smart Is Your Cat? will enable you to improve their responses and reactions--and ultimately their IQ--as you work through a wealth of intelligence tests, giving them a star rating as they progress. The bond between you will deepen as you learn more about how your cat thinks.Featuring panels on feline psychology, different cat breeds and information on how cats communicate, How Smart Is Your Cat? is the ideal companion for everyone who wants to understand what their cat is thinking and how to communicate with them effectively.The perfect gift for cat lovers everywhere, this book will open your eyes to just how canny your kitten can be!

How Smart Is Your Dog?

by David Alderton

Packed with a wealth of fun tests and easy-to-teach exercises, this comprehensive guide will allow you to test your dog's IQ, communicate with them more effectively and teach them tricks that will impress your friends and family.Using your dog's natural skills, How Smart Is Your Dog? will enable you to teach them tricks like 'shake hands', 'fetch a ball', 'play dead' and 'salute'. A star rating system enables you to assess your pet's IQ as they progress through the tests and tricks. The bond between you will deepen as your dog learns to respond to your instructions and enjoys the reward that awaits them at the end.Featuring panels on canine psychology, different dog breeds, information on how animals learn and the best way to teach them, How Smart Is Your Dog? is the ideal companion to your training. From basic obedience skills for your puppy to advanced agility routines, your pet will have fun learning--and hopefully you will too.The perfect gift for dog lovers everywhere, this book will open your eyes to just how smart your pooch can be!

Livebearers

by David Alderton

Livebearers focuses on four families of fish which contain many of the most attractive and popular species in the tropical fish hobby today, including guppies, mollies, swordtails, and platies. The families include Goodeidae (Mexican livebearers), Anablepidae (four-eyes and others), Poeciliidae (guppies and others); and Hemirhamphidae (halfbeaks). Author David Alderton explains that hobbyists have applied the term livebearer to these four families for convenience even though there are fourteen families in the wild that reproduce by bearing live young. The chapter "Where in the World?" focuses on the natural history of these families, their distribution, and lifestyles. Hobbyists looking to begin an aquarium of livebearers or to expand their existing communities will find useful information in the chapter called "The Different Groups," in which Alderton discusses age considerations, health matters, and sex. The chapter also describes the four families and the most common genus/species of each. Included are sixteen representatives of the Family Goodeidae (e.g., Allodontichth, Characodon, and Skiffia), three genus of the Family Anablepidae (Anableps, Jenynsia, and Oxyzgonectes), twenty-six representatives of the Family Poeciliidae (e.g., Belonesox, Fiexipenis, and Limia); and three genus of the Family Hemirhamphidae (Dermogenys, Hemirhamphodon, and Namorhamphus).This colorful, user-friendly guide offers basic information on the anatomical characteristics, housing options, required aquarium equipment for livebearers as well as their feeding habits and food requirements (greenstuff, carotene-rich foods, live foods, meat, etc.). The breeding habits of livebearers have ensured their popularity with hobbyists, and the chapter on reproduction describes the various breeding habits of livebearers and outlines successful breeding strategies for interested hobbyists. In the chapter on health care, the author offers solid advice about caring for livebearers to maximize their lifespan in captivity, which is typically only a few years. He also gives information on signs of illness and some basic diseases that can be treated by the fish keeper.The final chapter offers photographs and distribution maps for sixteen popular livebearers of all four families, including information on size, physical description, natural habitat and behavior, and required aquarium conditions. The author's livebearer hit parade includes the butterfly goodeid, rainbow goodeid, black-finned goodea, four-eyed fish, guppy (millions fish), black molly, sailfin molly, swordtail, platy (moonfish), mosquito fish (dwarf and large), humpbacked (black-barred) limia, black-bellied limia, pike livebearer (piketop minnow), knife (Alfaro's) livebearer, and wrestling halfbeak. Resources, glossary, and index included.

Wild Cats of the World

by David Alderton

This text explores the world of cats. It traces the evolution, distribution, and current status of cats from Africa to the Americas. Each species is discussed in detail, and information on distinctive features such as sight, hearing, hunting techniques, and locomotion is provided.

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