“ Practical Fishkeeping is the all encompassing magazine for the fishkeeping hobbyist. It covers every topic relevant to fishkeepers from the grass roots level up to the well established expert whether their interest is in pond fish, tropical fish or exotic marines. Its information is readily accessible and often accompanied by useful step-by-step photo sequences. The magazine is hard to beat with every page crammed with fabulous colour photographs. Practical Fishkeeping helps you to 'enjoy, understand and care for your fish'. „
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I got into tropical fishkeeping about 6 years ago and started buying practical fishkeeping to better my knowledge. I absolutely love this magazine. It had a ''makeover'' recently (september 2009 I think ) which has made it all the more enjoyable to read. It is well set out and easy to navigate through. Upon opening the first page there is quick guide to whats on the cover with brief information and page references. Then on the following double page there is the full contents list, which is split into sections for ease:fish,aquaria,news and regulars and fish in the shops. as you flick through the magazine you will notice in the top page corner there is a label with the page topic ie an article on cichlids is labelled in the top corner with the word cichlids and if the article relates to marine fish it will say marine in the top corner etc.
Every month there is a step by step guide to aquascaping a specific biotype, which is very inspirational and they very often give you tips on how to do it for less.
There is also a fantastic fishkeeping question and answers section every month which covers questions from many aquarium areas such as marine, tropical,coldwater and equipment with answers from a board of experts.
Each month they have a regular tried and tested section, where they give detailed reviews, information and verdicts on all sorts of equipment for your tanks.
Also there is a shop tour at the back of the magazine, its a different area of the uk each month and they look at three or four fish shops in that area and let you know whats good, bad and different about them.
All in all I would say this magazine is well worth the £3.80 each month, it always has an advert in to tempt you to take it out on subscription with some fanastic freebies as incentive, usually the freebies are well worth a look. The latest one is if you take a years subscription for £44.40 you can get a fluval u series filter worth over £50 for free.
It is well suited to both men and women of all ages from novice to expert
Practical Fishkeeping is a monthly magazine aimed at fishkeepers and covering freshwater, marine and pond fish topics. It also has a very active forum at www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk, where you will also find articles previously printed in the magazine and plenty of advice for new and more experienced fishkeepers.
I started buying this magazine about 6 months ago when starting in the hobby, fishkeeping is more popular than you might think, being one of the biggest hobbies in the UK. This magazine aims to cater for beginners and the avid hobbyist alike in my opinion.
With a cover price of £3.60 this isn't the cheapest of magazines, but a subscription, details of which can be found on the website, is about £46 for one year and good value if it happens to come with a free gift that you need - in my most recent copy a CO2 kit worth £27 was offered with the six month subscription. It can be hard to find this magazine in shops, I have found WH Smith to be my best bet, it isn't stocked in many newsagents even though the magazine this is allegedly "Britain's best selling aquarium magazine", according to the magazine's website.
In an endeavour to improve my fishkeeping knowledge I have actually worked my way through at least a year's back catalogue of this magazine which is due for an image makeover this month (September 2009 issue due out August 5th), after a recent change in editor. The fomat in all the magazines I have read has been similar; there is generally a glossary of useful terms for beginners - useful if like me you were wondering what "hypoxia" or "brackish" meant. There are different sections about fish in their natural environments, Q and A sections, fishy product reviews and also generally interviews with people who have outstanding tanks. I found the series of articles for beginners that were published in the 2008 editions (these are on the website) really useful as starting out. The magazine will also keep you up to date with new products and news stories, such as the recent focus on fish stock issues in the wild. There are also reviews of different shops that you might use to buy products if you are an aquarist.
The subject matter probably sounds really, really dull if you have absolutely no interest in fishkeeping at all, but if you are getting into the hobby it is all very interesting and educational. My friend who has been helping me with my new hobby enjoys the magazine too, so clearly it appeals to the expert too. I do find there is rather a lot of information on marine fish, which are never going to be something I would keep, but I still find it quite interesting and I always enjoy looking at the beautiful photos that illustrate this magazine. .
The enthusiasm of the writers of this magazine for this hobby is clear, and so I can forgive them the odd typo and rather strange writing style. I am looking forward to seeing how the magazine develops over the next few months as they have surveyed 2,500 readers and have promised to take their opinions into account. As I said before at £3.60 for 115 pages or so (including adverts) this isn't the cheapest of magazines but it is definitely worth tracking down if you are a fishkeeper, or considering taking it up, and the website is excellent and practically a public information service in it's own right.
Recommended, but only if you have any interest in keeping fish!
...Practical Fishkeeping is a monthly magazine that covers all aspects of keeping fish. PFK covers everything from tropical and marine fish to cold-water pond fish and plants. This magazine has all the information you will ever need whether you are a beginner or an expert. With a fun, colourful layout it is easy on the eye and the information is concise and clear. All the scientific terms are also explained in simple English. I will run through what you can expect to find in an average issue (I have the April 2001 edition next to me for reference and will use it for any examples) EDITORIAL On the first page after the contents, the editor brings us up to date on the latest news from the team and what to look out for in the issue. Pretty self-explanatory really. SPECIAL FEATURES: There are several special features each month that cover a specific subject in detail. For example, In the April 2001 Edition, there is an interesting feature, in which a qualified doctor (I would have expected a vet…) examines the memory span of fishes, the goldfish in particular. He comes to the conclusion that putting goldfish in a bowl is cruel because they do actually remember for more than five seconds and will become bored. It also looks at how fish find their way back to their favourite hiding places. The special features are usually aimed towards the more experienced fish-keeper who is looking to expand his/her knowledge base. GENERAL FEATURES You have features in this section, which are more basic and will suit beginners. For instance, these features discuss how to set up a tank or how to make an efficient filter system. The features For marines are still pretty basic, but take considerably more knowledge than the tropical features demand FISH REVIEWS There are regular slots for in depth descriptions of fish. You can find out all about the natural habitat, how they bre
ed and how best to look after them. The writers will also discuss any diseases that the subject fish is especially susceptible to. To refer to the magazine, there are reviews for Mollies and one of the rarer species of African tetras in the tropical section. The marine section looks at the Majestic Angel and the cleaner shrimp. ASK THE EXPERTS This section used to be split into categories at the end of each section, e.g. Tropical and marine. To make it easier to find, it has been moved to the centre of the magazine and although still split into their individual categories, you can go straight to the questions and answers without a search. It is always the part I skip to first. My favourite part is the Tropical Answers section. This is where the reader can send their problems and questions. I find this a very useful section as you can pick up tips and tricks that you never thought of before. The Answers section is towards the centre of the magazine in a section called “Ask the Experts”. The other categories to read about in this section are marine, cold-water and ponds. There is a prize up for grabs every month in each of the sections for the question of the month. HEALTH This is a regular slot where the specialist health writer takes an in depth look at one type of disease or bacterial infection each month. From the April magazine, the doctor is looking at spinal deformity. You can learn an awful lot about health problems and their treatments in this section. LATERAL LINES This section is where readers send letters and opinions relating to the hobby. You regularly find success stories as well as opinions on the latest kit. Each month, One letter is picked for the star letter of the month and wins a prize. This is generally a filter. EQUIPMENT This section reviews the latest equipment and any useful gizmos that are around. You get a regular buyers guide wh
ere Practical Fishkeeping pick a piece of equipment and compare the offerings from several suppliers on several different points. Unfortunately, this section takes turns on what genre of fishkeeping is being tested. In April, it was a guide to pond pumps. You can generally expect tropical equipment every three or four months but when you get it, the information is very comprehensive. There is also a comparison of the various kinds of substrate gravel and sand to help you decide what will be best for your set-up. READERS TANKS Not really an amazing section, but if you send a photo of your tank and they pick it for publication, you can win a prize. NEWS In this section you can find out what is coming up and what has just happened. You can read up on fish shows and things like that, or you can look up clubs and companies that are planning events. If you see something fairly local, it could be well worth visiting as it is at meetings and events that you talk to real fishkeepers like you and you can learn a lot as well. CONCLUSION I have read other magazines that relate to the hobby. The closest competitor is a magazine called “Aquarist and pondkeeper”. Unfortunately, I don’t think it gets close to PFK. They are both informative, but PFK has the edge in the trendy stakes. It just has a modern and colourful layout and looks altogether more inviting. A&P just seems like the kind of dull magazine that you would find in the waiting room at the dentist. I find it boring. At around £3.00 an issue, it is by no means cheap but it compares with other magazines on the shelf at the newsagents. If you subscribe, you can get it delivered to your door for £2.33 per issue but you pay the whole subscription in advance. I would heartily recommend this magazine to both beginners and experienced fishkeepers because you can ALWAYS learn something new. You can also find new ways to make y
our fishes live longer and be happier as well as tricks to make the experience more satisfying for you. Hopefully you have found this review helpful, as I was useless at book reviews at school. If you have any questions about the magazine, you can either leave it as a comment or use the e-mail in my profile.
I have found this to be an excellent source of information. After trying several magazines on the subject of fishkeeping, I finally came across Practical Fishkeeping, and subsequently subscribed, and have been for two years. A recent "make over" has improved the over-all image of the magazine, with no loss of usefullness, although only a little gain. The only thing that I would complain about is the apparently large amount of information on Marine fish and Cichlids, which I currently do not keep, and do not plan to in the future. This would appeal to some, and does mean that, as there is plenty of information/subjects on Tropical, Coldwater and Pond fish, this magazine will cover every aspect of the fishkeeping hobby. The extensive range covered by PFK includes: Monthly special features (July's is Gill Power), regular information on live plant issues, detailed info. on the breeding of individual fishes. One of the great parts of this magazine is the "ask the experts" section. If you have a query about anything aquatic, simply put it in a letter/, and send off to the appropriate section (i.e. tropical, coldwater, cichlids etc., even equipment!). You will recieve a personal reply and may be included in the magazine (yes, I've tried it, and although I didn't like the answer, it helped me solve the problem). Also there is a readers tanks section (picture/details of other peoples tanks), Pond diary, News, competitions, giveaways, a whole equipment section, health section, buyers guide, shop tour....plus more besides. But unless the quantity/quality of areas of interest to me begin to diminish, I will not unsubscribe because of excess information. In fact, as I tend to keep magazines, I may turn to my old copies of PFK if/when I expand my hobby into these areas.
I'm a newcommer to the hobby of fishkeeping and was always on the look out for a good magazine to help me. I found this one, and have been buying it ever since. I keep all copies I have bought for reference as I find them better than books for this. The articles are varied and excellently written out. It's easy to read and it caters for amateurs and expererienced hobbyists alike. I keep Goldfish myself but I would certainly like to start up a tropical tank as well. This magazine would help do this, advising me on the best tank setup, plants, fishes and equipment to use for the easiest and rewarding tank. It has a regular problem page for all the different types of fish and tanks which I always read regardless. It has also a website which is growing each time I visit. This website is a new addition but looks like it will be the perfect accompaniment for the magazine. The website is http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk I would recommend the magazine and website for all fishkeeping enthusiasts, as it is the best fishy mag out ever!