Aquarium inspiration Other

Fishkeeping in 1856

April 4, 2013

I read this book a while ago when the lovely Goldfishgal posted about it. This has got to be one of the most interesting books about fishkeeping and aquariums I’ve read in a long time! It was written in the 1850s and gives an interesting glimpse into the fishkeeping world of that time. Some of the advice is actually pretty good:

The first thing to guard against is over-stocking, the common error of all beginners;

Other things I would not really recommend:

For a vessel of twelve gallons, I should recommend the following, as giving great variety, with considerable safety:—Six Prussian carp, of various sizes, one at least of five inches in length; two small Crucian carp; two small perch; two small loach; two tench, of five or six inches; six or eight minnows; one small eel; a dozen Planorbis corneus; half-a-dozen Paludina vivipara; three or four fresh-water mussels and a dozen of different sorts of newts.

All in all, it’s a great read. What I found particularly interesting was their interest in aquatic insect larvae!
You can find the book for free; just click the link at the top of this post!

This eBook is for 
the use of anyone 
anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions
You may copy it, 
give it away or
re-use it under the
terms of the Project 
Gutenberg License included
with this eBook 
or online at

Join the mailing list!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Izzy the Fish Girl April 5, 2013 at 2:16 am

    So funny how they caution against overstocking and then recommend what we now know as overstocking. My how the times have changed, but not nearly as much as you would think. It seems that even over 100 years ago aquarists found it hard to just have ONE tank! XD

    • Reply Mari April 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

      Exactly! A lot of the guidelines have changed, but the essence has stayed the same: if you see a pretty fish, you just have to own it :p

    Leave a Reply

    Please prove you're not a robot! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.