Recently, our mailbox greeted us with a pleasant surprise in the form of a new book, the 2nd edition of Practical Coral Farming by Miguel Tolosa. Admittedly, we haven’t read the book from cover to cover since we’ve only had it a couple of days, hence the reason why this is just a preliminary review, but in our limited hands on time, we’ve enjoyed both the flow of the text and the information it contains. As expected, the 141-page soft cover book is loaded down with info about corals and fragging techniques, but to our surprise it also has plenty of insider information that sort of lays out how many of the gears move within the industry.
As with just about any coral centric book, Practical Coral Farming was full of images, most of which were taken by the author, which isn’t always the case in books these days. There were images from others in the aquarium trade, including several from Marc Levenson that focused on coral pests. But what we were blown away by was the quality of those images. There were plenty of times where we just stopped to look at the pictures, often bypassing much of the text as we excitedly flipped the pages.
All that said, there were plenty of areas that could have used more photographs. The chapters dealing with fragging tools and equipment were pretty bare as far as pictures go, but here’s why we that didn’t bother us. This is a book aimed at people wanting to become coral farmers, not your average hobbyist looking for ways to get rid of ich or hair algae. Practical Coral Farming is for the advanced hobbyist and aquarium industry professional, someone who already knows what a coral cutting bandsaw looks like, for example. So, if cutting out a few borderline pointless images saves on the lengthiness of the book, we’re all for it.
As for the flow of the text, we got this feeling that the entire book was like one big forum posting, and not at all in a bad way. You know those times when you’re sitting at the computer and you get all wrapped up reading a really interesting and informative thread on your favorite aquarium forum? You start reading and before you know it, you’ve spent two hours at the computer ignoring the rest of the world. Well, that’s how Practical Coral Farming reads, at least in our opinion. We had to force ourselves to put the book down at certain times because we would have probably not stopped.
The other thing about this book that bodes well for our readership is its size. The book is small and thin, with large text that’s neatly categorized and broken up by pictures. As most of use seem to be these days, we are just too busy to sit down and read a 300-pager with tiny text and boring science photographs. The book isn’t much larger than my phone, pictured immediately above, which also makes transporting much easier. Just shove it in your back pocket and go.
Practical Coral Farming, 2nd Ed. by Miguel Tolosa has a retail price of $19.99 and will eventually be listed on the Practical Coral Farming website. Please note that the website currently has the first edition of the book still for sale. And as an added bonus, $2 from every book sale is donated to Savenature.org.