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Advanced Aquarist

I look forward to this online magazine every month. Great articles, photos, and tank of the month. I pick up a lot of useful info from this magazine.

Aquarium Fish Magazine

In addition to FAMA, this is the other aquarist publication that I subscribe to. I love the layout and photos in this magazine. This magazine is a visual and editorial pleasure to read. Charles Delbeek, JR's "Reef Aquarist" column and Karen Randall's "Sunken Gardens" are the regular features I appreciate the most in the magazine. I think AFM also has the best main features. One thing I can't understand is the "Interactive Aquarist". This column which runs on the last page of the magazine always has some information regarding the Internet or the Web. I don't have a problem with the information itself, but it's very basic and should be in a book like "Internet for Dummies" or a more Internet or computer focused magazine. I can't think what the editors of AFM should put on the last page, but it should be something more aquarist focused. It's interesting how FAMA reflects the look of RC Modeler magazines while AFM reflects the Fancy Publications look.

Aquarium Frontiers

It was sad to see the print version of this publication cancelled just when I was becoming interested in reeftanks. But the publication has been resurrected online at www.aquariumfrontiers.com. Recently, the publication has missed its online publication dates of the 1st and 15th of the month (6/25/99), but the content is always interesting with its focus on subjects for the advanced aquarist. I like reading the regular columns, particularly the "Tank of the Month"

Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine

I have a particular fondness for this magazine because I had a series of ideas I sent in for "For What It's Worth" back in 1983 that was published as an article. Over the years, my brother and I have sent in other ideas that have been published in the FWIW section. I particularly like the Reef Notes column by Julian Sprung and the Sand Mail column by Bob Goemanns, especially since I've become involved with reef tanks since 1995.

This magazine has always been on the forefront of new ideas and issues. I remember in the early 80's when the use of cyanide poisoning in the capture of marine species came to light. What's depressing is how some areas are apparently still using cyanide for fishing. The state of the reefs in the Philippines and Indonesia show how destructive the cyanide poisoning was for the reef.

I also recall how I really wanted a wet/dry system for my aquarium because of the technology's profile in FAMA. I never did use a wet/dry because when that system was in vogue, I was still using basic Hagen and Whisper hang-on-the-back of the tank power filters. When I finally set up my first reef tank, the Berlin and live sand method had supplanted the wet/dry method of filtering a reef tank.

I would like to see a redesign of the layout and graphics of the magazine. FAMA has a very stale look compared to its competition. It looks much the same as it did when I picked up my first issues in the early 80's. The photos in the editorial sections are often blurry and out of focus. I know FAMA can do a better job because the ads in the magazine are usually well designed and clear.

This magazine has always had a plethora of mail order and now Internet company ads. This is probably the reason why one doesn't see this publication as much as the competition in local fish shops. An encouraging fact I noticed while I was looking at a 1987 backissue of FAMA was that it was much thinner than a recent issue. Ad pages and content were up, showing strength in the magazine and the aquarist market.

Practical Fishkeeping

The combination of the layout, photos, writing and subject matter make this my favorite print magazine. Although this is an U.K. magazine, I can buy this magazine locally at the Tower Books at the corner of San Antonio and El Camino in Palo Alto or local Borders stores. It's pretty pricey at $7.50, but there's always something of interest in the magazine. The magazine also has U.S. contributors such as Julian Sprung and Bob Goemans. Definitely check out this magazine if you get the chance. Reading this magazine, I realize how fortunate U.S. reefkeepers are in their ability to easily get specimens from both the Atlantic and Pacific.


Along with advancedaquarist.com, this is the a great online resource that comes out every month. I just hope these two online magazines can maintain their quality and publication schedule.

Tropical Fish Hobbyist

This is the first aquarist magazine that I subscribed to. I remember when the format of the magazine went from a digest size to a full format. Of course, that happened right after I switched my subscription from TFH to FAMA. I remember the lifetime subscription offer where one would receive a free mounted piranha - I doubt they'll bring that offer back. The offer reminds me of when purchasing a lifetime subscription to Playboy, a Playboy playmate would personally deliver the first issue. I should have taken TFH up on the offer, but I was only 10 or 11 when the offer was made. In the years I subscribed to TFH, I really appreciated all the help it gave me regarding freshwater aquariums. I wasn't into the saltwater side back then. Presently, I don't subscribe to TFH because the writing seems so simplistic. Although the stock and pictures of the magazine are great, the magazine feels "sloppy" when I read it. I did send in a subscription form about six months ago when I wanted to give the magazine another chance, but I haven't received any issues of TFH. For some reason, this is the publication among the big three (AFM, FAMA and TFH) which I find least often on the newsstands.

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