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Entered aecovding to Act of Congress, In the year 1858, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District (,f New York. 

\V H. TtjisoN, Stereotyper. E. O. Jenkins, Printer. 











ICOJ^OEIYE it but just to say that, in the following little 
work, I have indulged in no attempt at scholarly display 
or literary eifect. My object has simply been to prepare a 
treatise calculated to familiarize the family circle with that 
"l^ew Pleasure," the Aquaeium, in its more domestic form, 
and to do it in language intelligible to the plainest capacity. 
If it shall prove that I have been successful, my endeavor 
will have been accomplished, and the reader somewhat enter- 
tained and certainly instructed. 

The Aquaeium has become, within a short period, almost a 
necessary luxury in every well-appointed household, both of 
Europe and America. It has wholly superseded the old 
fashioned fish-globe in the popular affection. Its neatness 
and elegance; its fascinating combination of subtle phi- 
losophy and commonplace every day facts ; its ever-changing, 
never-wearying feature, of kaleidoscopic novelty ; its tempt- 
ing peculiarity, to thoughtful minds, as an introduction to the 
study of nobler and more recondite pages in the volume of 
natural history ; all constitute an attraction as chaste as it is 
beautiful, as refined as it is irresistible. 

As the great pioneer of the Aquaeia in the United States, 
Barnum's American Museum, in l^ew York, presents, of 
course, that variety and perfection in the number, quality 
and surpassing finish, of its specimens in this particular branch 
of art, which are necessarily due to long experience and fer- 
tile resources. The tanks constructed there are the handi- 
work of artificers originally taught and employed at the 
Gardens of the Royal Zoological Society of London. The 
"fitting up," at the Museum, of those tanks (which technical 
expression includes the materials used to impart to their inte- 
rior a picturesque effect, and also the artistic taste required 
to introduce and unite those materials daintily and character- 
istically), may be termed a classic example in this country, 
and is a subject of universal imitation. The Museum " stock' 


of animal and vegetable life, of rare sea-plants, of choice 
zoophytes, of appropriate fish, of useful and ornamental mol- 
lusca, etc., obtained from all parts of the world and culti- 
vated there, is equally admirable ; the demand for handsome 
Aquaeia being extensive, the supply at such an establishment 
of everything contingent upon their prompt and recherche 
production is proportionately copious and superior. 

And yet, regardless of facilities so ample and at all times 
so available, many a family will take delight in construct- 
ing, fitting up, stocking and maintaining, wholly or in part, an 
Aqtjaeiijm for itself. To enable each, however humble or 
however unlearned in the art, to indulge in this innocent en- 
joyment and to precisely the extent it may feel inclined, this 
work will be found, I think, exactly the desideratum. It is a 
complete adaptation to American peculiarities of every species 
of useful information upon the subject to be met with in the 
elaborate volumes of European authority. It is a careful con- 
centration of all the practical results of my own, by no means 
limited, experience in the structure and management of Aqua- 
eia and their constituents; while, it embraces, at the same 
time, much that is new and important, for which I have been 
indebted to the erudition of esteemed friends and eminent 
naturalists. To Mr. Charles F. Durant and Dr. John Torrey, 
I have been particulai'ly placed under profound obligations. 
The suggestions of the former as to the locality of American 
algae and zoophytes, and the advice of the latter in the more 
strictly botanic department of this treatise, have been invalu- 
able. On the strength of such able assistance, coupled with 
an honest conviction that I have withheld nothing of the 
knowledge in the premises with which, in my daily intimacy 
with the " Ocean and Eiver Gardens" at the Museum, I must 
have possessed myself, this lyrochure must chiefly rely for a 
favorable reception at the hands of the public. That it will 
not fail for want of earnestness in the subject, or a sincere 
desire to communicate that feeling to others, is, at any rate, 
the complacent impression of its author, 

Heney D. Butlee. 

Babnum's American Museum, 

N0W York, Jwtie 1, 1858. 


♦♦ • 


The Characteristics of an Aquarium, 9 


The Tank — its Nature and Construction, 22 

The Tank— how to fit it up picturesquely, 80 

Plants — their Nature and Phenomena — Stocking the 
Tank, , 37 


The Fresh-water Aquarium — its Vegetation — where to 
seek for it, and how to recognize it, 44 


Fresh-water Fish and Mollusca — their Description and 
Peculiarities, .,.,...,.,,,., , 58 


Fresh-water Reptiles and Insects — their Kinds and Pur- 
pose, '70 

The Salt-water, or Marine Aquarium — Fitting it up 
appropriately, 80 


Sub-marine Yegetation— Seaweeds and their haunts, ... 86 


Animal Life in the Marine Aquarium — the Plant-ani- 
mals, OR Zoophytes — the Mollusca — Annelides, etc., etc., 98 

The Fish and the Crustacea for the Marine Aquarium — 
Conclusion, ..,.,.... = . . . . . 112 




"Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord 
which thou lettest down?" — Book of Job, chap. xli. 

, .^, HE LEVIATHAN may not be canglit, or, in all 
If / human probability, his skeleton would now be ou 
exhibition at Barnum's Museum. The sea-serpent, 
like the mermaid, has hitherto been considered a poetic 
myth, visible only to imaginative sailors, and the more 
enterprising keepers of neglected ocean-bathing places. 
Yet many a monster may have escaped the vast destruc- 
tion of animal life that seems to have accompanied the 
deluge ; may not some of them, driven from the land as 
perilous associates for the teeming population thenceforth 
destined for the new-born earth, have become fitted, at 
length, to remain the imprisoned denizens of the world 
beneath the sea ? May they not still enjoy the unabbrevi- 
ated age vouchsafed to all existences before the flood ? 
May they not roam, from age to age, the stormless depths 

1* 9 


of the glittering ocean-bed, breathing the emerald atmos- 
phere of its valleys forested with crimson and purple 
foliage, or gathering in picturesque groups upon its moun- 
tain tops lit up with the gorgeous water-rays of phosphor- 
escent gold ? The serpent may be, alone, for some wise 
purpose, and through some anomalous condition of his or- 
ganization, occasionally manumitted — a prisoner on parole. 
Navigating his tedious way through the amethystine 
gates and coral palaces of the great deep, may he not 
come to us, from time to time, a messenger of God's infi- 
nite wonders in that universe of mysterious romance ? 

It is not for us to unveil the awful secrets interred by 
His hand amid those inaccessible gulfs of rare magnifi- 
cence. It is sufficient for us to know that poet's ^en and 
painter's pencil shrink back, appalled, in the attempt to 
depict their surpassing marvellotisness. We may, with 
aerial inventiveness, soar boldly upwards towards the glit- 
tering stars. With sub-aquean audacity we may dive 
down, down, towards the gem-strewed floor of the ocean. 
Alas ! how limited are our most ambitious endeavors in 
either direction. Ere we can reach the feeblest height 
or depth, our panting lungs bid us, peremptorily, return 
or die. The taunting clouds roll open, that the blue 
firmament may laugh, beyond, at our discomfiture. The 
murmuring billows divide, that the myriad creatures of 
the surge may mock at, far below, our human impotence. 
The limit to man's curiosity is fixed, the field of his per- 
sonal explorations is circumscribed, by the organism of 


bis nature. The telescope is our substitute in the " blue 
empyrean," and we measure orbs, weigh out their sub- 
stance, and compute their revolutions, if we cannot touch 
them. In the " world of waters " what is the resource of 
philosophy ? The microscope reveals to us much that is 
sublime, beautiful, and profoundly interesting. It has 
remained for the wondrous Aquarium to do more. That 
extraordinary combination of science and art may be 
called the crowning glory of the spirit of discovery char- 
acteristic of the nineteenth century. It opens to our 
inquisitive gaze the hidden chambers of the deep. If it 
does not actually place us where our foot-prints may be 
seen among the jewelled corridors, the many-pillared halls, 
the shining temples, the pebbled grottoes, the incompar- 
able gardens where time's ravages are unknown and 
eternity seems stamped on all that is matchless in its 
grandeur, it gives us, at least, a faithful copy, in little, of 
those enchanting scenes, for our leisurely perusal and 
admiration. It presents us with a miniature fac-simile 
of the fascinating reality in its exquisite colors, and replete 
with its inexplicable revelations. It exhibits, in other 
vrords, LIFE BELOW THE BILLOWS in all its surprising shapes, 
and amid all its amazing phenomena. The imperishable 
rocks are there in their peerless dyes of multi-tinted 
verdure. And there, for us to ponder on in rapt delight, 
are the flowers whose countless hues beggar the most* 
fantastic pictures gotten up by an extravagant fancy. 
The miraculous zoophytes, half animal and half plant, 


beamiDg with the innocent loveliness of tlie one, and 
manifesting the destructive instincts of the other, are 
there. The graceful fish — the brilliant reptiles — the 
shining ^insects that people this rare world, whilom 
hermetically sealed up from our yearning view, are now 
displayed in the Aquarium, sporting— feeding — slum- 
bering — pursued and pursuing — leaping into life, and 
fading into dissolution — each in its natural haunts, and 
yet all "at home," in these crystal palaces, to the enrap- 
tured eye of the most timid spectator. _ 

But, what is an Aquarium ? questions, perhaps, some 
reader unenlightened upon this new topic of popular 
excitement ? 

An Aquarium, we answer, in plain, untechnical lan- 
guage, is a rec&ptade for aquatic animal and vegetable life 
in fresh or in salt water, which (like the water of a river 
or an ocean) need never he changed. 

To complete the illusion, the bed of the Aquarium is 
assimilated, in appearance, to the bottom of the river and 
ocean, and is supposed to unmask all its diversities of hill 
and dell, rock and meadow, flower-field and forest, bar- 
ren sand and luxuriant herbage. 

Aquariums (or Aquaria, as they are generally termed, 
when two or more of them are alluded to,) are usually 
made of glass, in order to facilitate the popular obser- 
vation of their living contents, and are prepared in a 
manner which we have intelligibly described, and at full 
length, in another chapter. . 


The old-fashioned fish globes were not Aquaria, in a 
proper sense, because it was aisolutely necessary to change 
the water in them, pretty frequently, lest the fish should 
die. The yitalization of the water without this change, 
comprehends the leading principle of the Aquarium. 

That principle, generally applied, may be reduced to 
the common apprehension in the following simple, yet 
sufficiently exact manner. 

Animal life absorbs oxygen, and throws off carbonic 
acid gas. "Vegetable life, on the contrary, absorbs carbonic 
acid gas, and throws off oxygen. What one rejects the 
other needs ; what would suffocate the one, if not removed, 
the other would die of exhaustion if it could not obtain. 
This is the universal compensating action of nature, and 
applies, under certain circumstances, to man and a rose, 
bud, as peculiarly as it does to an ox and an oak, a trout 
and a water lily. 

An Aquarium exhibits a very accurate self-adjustment 
of this delicate balance of vitalization and destruction. It 
should contain precisely enough animal to sustain vege- 
table life, and sufficient vegetable to meet the demands 
of animal life. It is a very nice scale of physical equiva- 
lents. The fish, insects and reptiles, must, to thrive, con- 
sume the oxygen with which the plants impregnate the 
water ; and they supply, in return, the carbonic acid gas, 
all of which the plants must absorb for their own growth 
and the water's purification. 

This reciprocal action, nicely maintained in equilihrio, 


preserves and supports both classes of existences ; while, 
with an excess or deficit of either, disorganization and 
death ensues. The lower species of life, besides, play the 
important, though subordinate role of scavengers in that 
curious cosmos, the Aquarium. Some of them devour as 
food the feculence of the fish, etc., and some the decayed 
particles of the plants, while the two kind spawn, prolifi- 
cally, a banquet for their piscinal associates. 

The great principle of the Aquarium was faintly indi- 
cated by Priestley, as long ago as the close of the last 
century. Ingelhauss approached ^it more closely in 
ltt8-9. Daubeny touched its verge in 1833. Ward, in 
1837, suo-o-ested it with some distinctness. Dr. Johnston 
partially demonstrated it in 1842. Dr. Lankester, in 
1849, and Warrington, in 1850, rendered it conclusive ; 
but Gosse, in 1852, perfected all the labors of his prede- 
cessors in a series of decisive experiments that left no 
room for doubt or contradiction. 

An Aquarium had, also, about this time, established 
itself, by accident, at Hampton Court, England, and was 
described by Mr. Jesse. In a water tank, in the open air, 
plants and snails made themselves unbidden confreres 
with the fish. Nature did the rest, as she does in those 
more gigantic Aquaria, the placid lake and the majestic 

Next followed the grand Aquaria of London and Dub- 
lin under regal auspices. These were sumptuous exhibi- 
tions ; and in a short time created such a popular 


excitement in Great Britain that all tlie other curiosities 
of nature sank, at once, into comparative insignificance. 
An AquARiUM-mania seized upon the public mind. The 
Aquarium was on everybody's lip. The Aquarium rang 
in everybody's ear. Morning, noon, and night, it v\ras 
nothing but the Aquarium. Books innumerable vfere 
written upon it. Lectures, vfithout end, were delivered 
in elucidation of it. The gardens of the Zoological Soci- 
ety, in Regent's Park, groaned with the crowd ; and the 
AQUARiuM-house therein sweltered beneath the multitudes 
that suffered martyrdom, every day, to contemplate the 
cause of the sensation. 

It could not be expected that such a novelty would 
long escape the vigilant gaze of American enterprise. In 
the autumn of 1856 Mr. P. T. Barnum departed for 
Europe, carrying with him a carte, Uanche from Messrs. 
Greenwood & Butler, the current proprietors of the Ameri- 
can (Barnum's) Museum, for the purchase of such curiosi- 
ties as his matured experience might select. He visited 
the principal cities of Britain, France and Germany, as 
well as the continent generally ; but nothing struck his 
observant eye as so preeminent in its attractiveness as the 
Aquarium. Being personally intimate with Mr. David 
Mitchell, the gentlemanly secretary of the Zoological Soci- 
ety of London, Mr. Barnum promptly secured his valuable 
aid in the introduction of this "new pleasure " to the 
American public. 

Through Mr. Mitchell's influence, Mr. Barnum was ena- 


bled to engage the services of the two principal naturalists 
who had organized and developed the celebrated Aquaria 
of the Eoyal Society. This was a triumph ; but the next 
step was to endeavor to obtain a supply of, or learn how 
to manufacture, perfect glass tanks. This proved to be 
an exceedingly delicate and difiicult operation. But one 
chemist had yet been successful in the composition of a 
cement thoroughly calculated to resist the action of salt 
water. He had no leisure to furnish tanks for exporta- 
tion, and was unwilling, of course, to impart to others his 
original discovery. To this gentleman, however, Mr. Bar- 
num repaired and, after a liberal outlay, finally possessed 
himself of the critical secret. With this precious piece 
of knowledge, and several workmen who had for the pre- 
vious three years devoted their skill and ingenuity to the 
construction of these crystal tanks in all their faultlessness, 
he hurried back to New York. 

The result is patent to the world. The Grand Aquaria 
at the American (Barnum's) Museum, New York, has no 
competitor whatever in the western hemisphere, and is, 
beyond dispute, the largest, most costly, most complete, 
and most elegant production of the kind on the face of 
the globe ! It is not yet, however, what we may expect 
to find it when, in a few short months, the inestimable 
specimens of zoophyte, anemone, etc., shall have arrived 
that have been selected in Asia, Africa, and South Amer- 
ica, and assume their place in this peerless collec- 


As these glass tanks are now manufactured at reason- 
able prices in the Museum (by the only process whatever, 
that has proved unequivocally successful) and as they are 
"stocked," or fitted up with the appropriate animal and 
vegetable life at the same establishment, on generous 
terms, by the experienced adepts whose handiwork is so 
renowned in New York and in Loudon^ what is there to 
prevent the Aquaria from becoming the universal embel- 
lishment of the private parlor or the sitting-room, the 
conservatory or the garden, as well as the place of public 
entertainment ? 

The pretty carp we call a ''gold-fish" was a popular 
house-favorite in its day, and still remains so in many 
localities. When first imported from China into France 
to gratify the luxurious whim of Madame de Pompadour, 
it became a general pet, because it was found to thrive in 
water almost up to fever heat, as well as in water down 
to winter chilliness. These fish were tamed to come at a 
whistle-call, in ponds. They were crossed into the pro- 
duction of every variety in color, as well as made to 
assume such grotesque forms that some grew up crescent- 
shaped, and progressed not by swimming but by tumbing 
over and over, headlong, in the water. Cannot other fish 
be made to minister as piquantly to our innocent enjoy- 
ments ? With the bountiful contents of the wide ocean 
and the flowing river made so accessible, where is the 
taste, however bizarre or capricious, that must, perforce, go 
ungrratified ? 


Would you desire an aquatic flower-show ? 

The sea and the lake have their gardens, beside which 
the garish beauty of man's proudest efforts at floriculture 
pale into sickly impertinence. Behold them, reproduced 
in all their splendor, in the Aquaria ! 

There lie the quiet Corallines, from the rosy-tinted 
" arboret of jointed stone," or its blue and purple con- 
gener, up to the richest group of carmine that the eye 
would choose to dwell upon. In striking contrast, behold 
the delicate green Ulva — the pale, sulphur-colored Mdo- 
besia — the bright crimson Rhodymenia — the spotted 
Asperococcus — the fan-formed and wildly radiated Padina 
— the Sea-leaf, formed of " twenty thousand or more 
cradles for young Polyps " — the Trees of Glass, covered 
with trumpet-shaped bells, each one of which is the cosy 
frame of a " dehcate monster " — the Water Soldier, with 
its handsome white flower, and its pointed leaf that, like 
a sharpened sword, pricks the fingers of the unwary con- 
noisseur — the Iris, rainbow-colored as it is rainbow-called 
— the Grace of the Waters, with its dainty white flower- 
ets peeping from out their bed of purplish leaves — the 
Starwort, that wears rosettes — the Duck Weeds, with 
their game-preserves of diminutive living creatures, the 
provender of fish — and a goodly host in addition, whose 
names we cannot at this moment remember, and whose 
captivating qualities we have not, at present, leisure to 

Would you witness the grand spectacle of Life, as 


performed in that other theatre of being, to which nature 
has so Ions: refused even to sell us a ticket of admission ? 

Turn to the Aquaria ! Ring up the curtain of your 
thoughts. There, indeed, is comedy and tragedy, broad 
farce and exciting melodrama. 

For warriors, lo ! we have the fish known as the Goby, 
who turns quite black with rage when he beholds his 
prey, and whose turquoise-colored eyes light up with fury 
as he dashes to the fierce encounter. We have, too, the 
graceful Stickleback, who makes his nest like a bird, 
waits upon his mistress with all the gentle complaisance 
of the knight-errand of old, and enters the lists in his 
uniform of glowing scarlet trimmed with white and green, 
or deep, deep purple, to do battle for the object of his 
affections. The Stickleback adores the tournament. In 
the heat of conflict his gorgeous colors flash out intensely 
in their brilliance. Defeated, his war-paint fades into the 
dullest hues, or only flickers changefully up in his dying 
throes, as if, in death, he had a dream of victory. For 
ogres, we have the Adinice, who, garbed in the seductive 
costume of the gayest flowers, lie in wait for thoughtless 
victims. Their delicate petals are a thousand murderous 
arms, prepared to grasp at all of Annelid life that may be 
tempted to embrace them ; while every pretty crimson dot 
conceals a poisoned barb, which they project unerringly 
as death at passing Infusorice. For sentimental perform- 
ers we have the Sea Cucumber and the Starfish. Some 
of the former, when irritated, deliberately commit suicide 


by expectorating the whole of their intestines, leaving 
their empty shells behind. Some of the latter, under like 
circumstances, suddenly explode themselves into frag- 
ments, as though filled with gunpowder, and touched off 
by electricity. For rakes, we have the Limpit and the 
Water Beetle, who, if permitted, will abandon the Aqua- 
ria every night to go on "a spree," returning, like other 
licentious ones, early in the morning. For beauties, we 
have the Sea Mouse, clothed in silken hair, and glittering 
in all the iridescent colors of the butterfly ; we have the 
Sea Slug, covered with gem-like specks, that may well 
pass muster for sapphires and emeralds ; and we have the 
Minnow, the dandy of his tribe, with his vest of roses and 
his coat of olive green. For Jeremy Diddlers we have 
the Hermit Crab, who pilfers a whelk-shell for his resi- 
dence ; we have the Nereis, who attaches himself, perdu^ 
to the Crab's doorway, and gormandizes on all the food 
he can seize as it enters ; and we have the Cloak Anemone, 
which insidiously mantles the two, and then devours all 
it can abstract from the mouth of both. To this cate- 
gory we might add the Phyllodoce, who turn themselves 
inside out, like a stocking, and when the inverted stomach 
fills with passing pabulum, restores his sated organ to its 
original position. The comic actors on this stage of life 
are too multitudinous for detail. The Climbing Frog and 
Climbing Crab are gymnasts of the first order ; the Red- 
nose carries a natural syringe, with which he squirts water 
upon all who inconvenience him ; the Pipefish uses his 


two ventral fins for " snckers," as boys do bits of wetted 
leather ; the Caddisworm sports a portable domicile of 
sticks and stones ; the Newt is alive with graceful evolu- 
tions, full of merry twists and laughable eccentricities. 

Such is an Aquarium, and such the unsolicited amuse- 
ment and instruction it ever furnishes. Could we have 
anything purer ? Could we entertain anything more 
delightful ? And if we hymn the Creator's praise in 
admiring the perfection of His works, is not the study of 
the Aquarium an honest, an ennobling devotion ? 

That every reader may, with very little trouble, supply 
himself or herself with an Aquarium, we proceed to give 
copious and lucid directions for the formation of the 
tanks, and for " stocking" them, subsequently, with fresh 
and salt-water plants and animals. 



^^\ E have already stated that a proper yessel, so 
fitted up with animal and vegetable life, in 
water, that the liquid need never be changed, is 
called an Aquarium. We have also mentioned that the 
vessel in question is called a " tank,'' no matter what its 
shape, or of what materials it may be composed. There 
are tanks of all sizes, all kinds, and all characters. A 
wide-mouthed vial forms one of a simple kind. The 
chief objection to it is the unequal refraction occasioned 
by the thick bottom. The sides not being, alv/ays, per- 
fectly perpendicular, is an inconvenience to the tiny 
rockwork or other marine architecture it might be desir- 
able to introduce. Occasionally, as a toy, a lamp-glass, 
or the glass-chimney of an argand burner is adapted for 
the purpose. A cork is fitted tightly into one extremity, 
and covered on the inside with black sealing-wax varnish, 
to make it water-tight. On a slightly larger scale, ama- 
teurs sometimes select a bell-glass with cylindrical sides, 



or what is known in the seed-stores as a " propagating 
glass." An article of this kind is inverted, and the knob 
at the bottom set in a wooden stand of mahogany, or 
oak, or pine, to suit the taste or other views of the pro- 
prietor. A common fish-globe has been converted into a 
tank for an Aquarium with very little difficulty. 

Constructed entirely of glass, all these substitutes for a 
regularly prepared tank permit their contents to be 
inspected with facility, but they are all alike obnoxious to 
two fatal objections. One of them we have alluded to as 
an unequal refraction, which distorts and deforms every 
object placed in the water, and subjects them to a change 
of shape and magnitude, while in motion, at every 
moment. The other may be found in the fact that, 
if manufactured of any size worth consideration, they will 
not stand the pressure of the water, and are liable at the 
slightest touch to burst into fragments, scattering a col- 
lection the result perhaps of patient study and compari- 
son, as ^ell as of some outlay in time, and money, and 
affection, over the carpeted floor. The vibration pro- 
duced by an approaching footstep, we have known to 
occasion such a calamity, long after all reason for appre- 
hension seemed to have passed away. In truth, glass 
tanks of a spherical or cylindrical form are not to be 
depended upon in any respect. They are never perfect. 
Their mode of manufacture renders them, of necessity, 
frail ; and it is a poor economy that will hazard, to save 
the expense of a suitable and permanent tank, all the 


beautiful array of marine vegetation and animal existence 
which time, taste, skill and experience, have nicely 
adapted to each other's association, rendered reciprocally 
supporting, and converted as it were into a natural 
" Happy Family." , 

We conceive that a square, or oblong form is, under 
all the circumstances, infinitely preferable to any other, 
for a perfect tank. The more angles presented, the more 
confused will be the picture afforded the eye by the 
Aquarium, and this confusion embarrasses, annoys and 
sometimes quite destroys, the enjoyment of its contempla- 
tion. The rectangular shape is decidedly the most ele- 
gant. It is, also, the simplest and the strongest. It is 
the best adapted to impart satisfaction, and involves the 
least expenditure, as well as the least risk. We would 
also suggest the propriety of making a revolving top to 
the stand on which the tank is to be secured, as it facili- 
tates the examination of the Aquarium on all sides, with- 
out subjecting the observer to the necessity of going 
round it. The top of a piano stool affords a good exam- ■ 
pie. The sides of the tank should be constructed of 
plate glass, of sufficient thickness to sustain, agreeably to 
the size of the tank, the pressure of the water. The ends 
and bottom should be made of marble or slate. There 
are those who conceive that the back should be of the 
same material, in order ta exclude the superfluous light. 
But this notion we look upon as slightly fantastic. With 
the front and back of glass, we have the animated embel- 


lishments of the Aquarium in a condition that leaves us 
an opportunity to scrutinize their habits and performances 
from a more advantageous point of view ; and should the 
light, at particular periods of the day, become too strong 
for the comfort of our little colony, we may easily dimin- 
ish it by fitting some green or other dark-colored calico to 
the side whence the inconvenience is experienced. This 
will remedy the evil instanter. With an excess of light, 
the plants may give off oxygen redundantly, and " too 
much of a good thing," we are assured, " is good for 
nothing." Besides this, the fish, like other creatures more 
human, like to retire at times to the privacy of their own 
apartments. There, amid the rockwork, weeds and flow- 
ers, whether engaged in their toilette with a view to co- 
quetry and a conquest, or whether seeking to enjoy a 
siesta in the sultry noon, too much light makes them rest- 
less and unhappy. 

With the two ends and bottom prepared of marble, or 
slate, we are enabled to get up the marine scenery with 
more security. The cement used in constructing arch- 
work, for instance, will not adhere to glass ; and when 
the cavernous grottoes, the mossy hillocks, the " coral 
palaces," and the other little poetic addenda for the " set- 
scenes," the '' wings," etc., of this new theatre of life are 
artistically transferred to their most effective places, it is 
better that they should be fastened there in the most 
complete manner. We shall not then be^ constantly afiiicted 
with a fear that, with an unexpected jar, they will topple 



over, and crush the uncor^scious objects of our admh'ation, 
and just perhaps as our enthusiasm may have worked us 
up into a state of enjoyment, like Shelly's — an 

" eternal heaven distilled 

Down to one thick, rich minute." 

The glass and the marble, or slate, are carefully fitted 
iuto a solid frame, grooved to receive them. These grooves 
being first filled with an appropriate cement, the whole 
tank becomes, in a short time, as compact as possible, 
and as strong as the combination of materials can make 
it. The use of iron, in this connection, cannot be too 
earnestly condemned. The action of the salt water upon 
it, especially, soon covers the glass with trickling rust, and 
not only discolors the water, but contaminates it until it 
becomes destructive to its inhabitants. If common putty, 
or if white-lead, be employed to secure the glass, slate, 
etc., to the panes, an equally injurious result will ensue. 
The water will acquire properties so poisonous that even 
the plants must expire, and with them will rapidly bid 
adieu to all our care the fish, insects, and reptiles, which we 
may have made their companions. The character of the 
cement used, therefore, is of the utmost importance. It 
must be powerfully adhesive, or else the tank will be too 
fragile for the purpose intended, and may shatter w^ithout 
a moment's warning. It must be calculated to resist the 
chemical as well as the physical action of the water. It 
must also, as a sine qua non, contain nothing Calculated to 


impart to the water a deleterious property, or the fate of 
the Aquarium, so far as its living qualities are concerned, 
will be inevitable. 

These points remembered, let us examine the propor- 
tions which experience points out as the most serviceable 
for a tank, under ordinary circumstances. We have tried 
almost every imaginable variety, to arrive at a sound 
practical species of knowledge on this subject. We have 
had them under investigation when quite small, and tested 
them when of as great magnitude as we yet have the 
means, either in Europe or America, of manufacturing 
them. Our settled conviction is that the following pro- 
portions, other things being equal, afford the most desirable 
tanks, viz : 

18 in. long, by 13 "wide, and 13 in. height. 
30 in. " " 18 " " 18 in. '' 
48 in. " " 24 " " 24 in. " 

The more closely these proportions are adhered to, the 
more perfect, we conceive, will be the Aquarium in all 
those more important peculiarities which go to constitute 
its excellence. 

A cover will be required for the tank in order to keep 
some of the more active denizens of the miniature lake or 
sea from leaping out of their limited homes in a moment 
of discontent, or while in sportive playfulness pursuing 
each other, absorbed perhaps in the profound minutisB of 
a game of *' tag," or carried away with the excitement of 


some piscatory " prison-baste." The cover will also keep 
the dust from temporarily disfiguring the surface of the 
water. It might be dispensed with, perhaps, without 
much impropriety, as the dirt soon settles down to the 
bottom of the tank ; but we prefer its presence, whether 
made of fine muslin or of glass. It adds a neatness and 
finish to the Aquarium ; and if simply laid over the top 
of the vessel so as to permit the gases to escape, and oc- 
casionally removed so as to allow a change of the superin- 
cumbent air, it will be found both useful and ornamental. 
Double tanks, it has been suggested, might be so con- 
structed that the water would, to a certain extent, imitate 
the ebb and flow of the tide, by running regularly first 
into one division and then into the other. This alterna- 
tion of high and low water might serve to develop some 
very interesting phenomena connected with those plants 
and animals whose natural habits are associated with such 
a change. There are marine animals whose organization 
demands an entire or partial exposure to the air, and this 
mode of gratifying their instincts might prove more effec- 
tive than the usual one of supplying them with rockwork 
sufficiently elevated to enable them to reach and enjoy our 
rarer atmosphere. There are plants, too, which will not 
thrive in tranquil waters. Sir John Paxton, knighted for 
his successful c onception of the plan of erecting the novel 
building so renowned and imitated as the Crystal Palace, 
discovered this fact when he was a simple florist to the 
Duke of Devonshire. A gigantic S. American water-lily, 


brought from the River Araazon, and well known at the 
present time as the Victoria Regia, refused to flower under 
his care in the elegant tank he had prepared for it. It 
was provokingly obstinate. Suspecting, at length, that 
the want of motion in the water might have something to 
do with its contumacy, he arranged a little paddle-wheel 
in such a manner that a mimic stream should roll over it, 
and thus, in its fall into the tank, continually agitate its 
contents. The ruse was successful. The lily imagined 
itself once more at home, and being perfectly at its ease, 
expanded its giant flowers without further reluctance or 
solicitation. But these, of course, are only luxurious ac- 
cessories to the Aquarium, which it may be as well to 
note, by way of appropriate information or entertainment. 
We do not expect the reader of this simple treatise, or 
the mere amateur in the matter of which it treats, to 
undertake such expensive or erudite experiments. 




C^IC^-^/E will now suppose the tank suitably con- 
structed, to be ready for " fitting up," as a pre- 
liminary to " stocking " it. Now an opportu- 
nity is afforded for the display of much ingenuity and a 
correct taste. So far, whether it was intended for a fresh 
or for a salt-water Aquarium, our tank has been the 
same in all its process of preparation. At this point, 
however, we begin to diverge. It is obvious that the 
scenery, or the landsccipe (if we may use the term in 
this sense), intended to represent the bed of the ocean, 
will not answer for the bed of a river or lake. Each 
locality has its characteristics, just as it has its respective 
population. To render the " fitting up " picturesque is 
one thing — to give it vraisemblance is another. Branches 
of coral might look pretty enough in a fresh-water tank, 
but they would be as ludicrously out of place as warming- 
pans in the tropics, or grapes growing ,in Nova Zembla. 
And yet we have been shocked with just such niaiseries in 



the Aquaria of gentlemen who profess no small share 
of gout and refinement. Eschew it, good reader, we ad- 
vise you^ altogether I Arrange your rockwork in its 
details, artificially as you please, but let its tout ensemble 
be quiet and natural. Do not overload with filagree em- 
bellishments or exaggerations ; and, above all things, 
remember that every inch of space thus occupied 
with the " still life " of your marine arcadia, will com- 
pel you to diminish, to a proportionate extent, the ani' 
mal and vegetable life with which you may propose su]> 
sequently to accommodate it. 

We do not consider it judicious, therefore, to introduce 
much rockwork into a small Aquarium. A large one 
will admit of ample ornament of this character without of- 
fending a sense of harmony, and without a sacrifice of 
valuable space. In a small one, however, enough fancy may 
be displayed with a very pleasiag effect. The slate ends 
of the tank might be quite concealed by facing them with 
irregular projections and ledges of rock, which you can 
fashion into quaint shapes and fantastic abruptness out of 
Eoman, Portland, or other cement, which, under wa- 
ter, quickly hardens into a semblance of stone. Into some 
of the precipitous declivities and rude precipices thus exe- 
cuted, you might hollow out cavities for such stones as 
support the growing plants. In salt-water tanks the sea- 
weeds may be arranged to drop from the mimic cliffs very 
naturally ; while the branching corals, having their bases 
first dipped in the cement, may be attached permanently 


to the floor of the tank, as though they were a luxuriant 
growth of arborescent madrepores. The rockwork in the 
centre may be of any kind of stone whatever. Two points 
in this connection, must be peremptorily attended to, 
if you desire to see your Aquarium meet your sanguine 
expectations ; the one is the production of your rockwork 
across the tank, with a careful eye to the elevation of the 
same point of it above the surface of the water ; the other 
is thesoaking of the tank itself for a considerable period 
after the use of the cement. The purpose of the elevated 
rock we have already alluded to, in speaking of such ma- 
rine animals as require an occasional exodus from the world 
of waters. The object of well soaking the tank is to remove 
the free lime that may be disengaged from the cement, as 
its subsequent incorporation with the water of the Aqua- 
rium would be destructive to all of the animal life it might 
contain. The only safe mode of ascertaining when this per- 
nicious transfusion has completely ceased, will be to con- 
tinue soaking the tank, by filling it with clean water and 
removing the latter as fast as it becomes impure until the 
prismatic scum, which you will have noticed on the sur- 
face, entirely disappears. When you are quite confident 
that it has ceased to present itself, and neither your sight 
nor your scent can, with the keenest effort, detect the 
presence of the slightest soil or efiiuvia, your tank will be 
j;eady for use. 

You may now prepare the bed of your Aquarium with the 
certainty of having proceeded with a caution worthy of 


complete success. First procure some coarse river or sea 
sand, such as is used for building purposes, and next sup- 
ply yourself with a quantity of river or sea pebbles, of 
small size. Wash both well. Place the latter in a com- 
mon wire sieve, and let the water run upon, as you dis- 
turb them, until it runs clear. The sand can be washed 
in any manner you find most convenient. " Silver sand," 
as housewives call it, and scouring sand, as we so often 
find it mixed with dirt, will not answer. ' At every agitation 
of the tank they will obscure the waterand mar your view 
of the fish, besides introducing lime, ochre, etc., into your 
Aquarium, much to the annoyance, if not injury, of its liv- 
ing inhabitants. When thoroughly cleaned, tlistribute to 
the depth of an inch or so, this sand evenly upon the bot- 
tom of the tank. Over this sand strew a layer of the 
cleansed pebbles, and your tank will be complete. The 
burrowing aquatic animals will find, in the stones and 
sand, all the facilities they ^require for their amusement. 
They will excavate hiding-places and cosy retreats to suit 
their own temporary caprices, and do it much more satis- 
factorily than we could by any process of art. And if 
•you have carelessly tbrov/n your pieces of granite, sand- 
stone, limestone or conglomerate, together with skill, so 
as to give their arrangement an air of accidental adaptation, 
their colors blending and their rough projections creating 
extempore caverns, you will have produced the gloomy 
haunts which, at times, the fish, etc., love to dart into from 



the garish sunlight, or to occupy in order to escape ob- 

The water in the tank, it is hardly necessary to say, 
because the intelligent reader will presume it to be ob- 
vious, should be of good quality. For a fresh-water 
Aquarium or River Garden, river, pump, or well water is, 
of course, to be sought, and should be as pure as it may 
be practicable to obtain it. Chalybeate water (water im- 
pregnated with iron and certain salts), and spring waters 
known to have mineral and other medicinal qualities, al- 
though suitable enough for invalid humanity, are scarcely 
suitable for an Aquarium. Nor will water that has been 
boiled, to purify it, suit our purpose, for the process of 
boiling expels too much of the oxygen, the presence of 
which is absolutely necessary to sustain aquatic life. The 
water we ordinarily drink, if well settled, is the kind to be, 
in fact, selected ; and if it be poured back and forth from 
one vessel into another, a few times, in order to aerate it 
(impregnate it with air), nothing could be more apposite. 
This aeration will be found a somewhat important consi- 
deration in the maintenance of a thriving Aquarium. Its 
effect is to impart, so to speak, fresh life to the water, and 
restore the equilibrium which may have been seriously dis- 
turbed by the want of an exact balance between your 
combination of animal and of vegetable existence. At the 
Dublin Zoological Gardens they have quite an ingenious 
arrangement for afe'rating all the tanks of the Aquaria at 


the same moment. A pair of bellows has been provided, 
and to its nozzle are attached gutta percha tubes that 
communicate with the tanks in question. When the bel- 
lows are worked, the effect upon the water and its living 
contents is very interesting. Indeed, it is so much so, that 
the visitors are constantly working the bellows to witness 
the result, and they do it so vigorously that the attendant 
who was employed for that purpose has been dismissed as 
a superfluity. 

Some prefer to effect this afe'ration, and supply, at the 
same time, the loss of water through evaporation, by sprink- 
ling from a little height above the surface of the tank. 
They suspend a drip-glass, or a bee-glass, or a simple fun- 
nel with a sponge in it, or a finely perforated mouthpiece 
of a garden watering-pot, over the tank. To this they 
attach a tube from a hydrant or reservoir, and in this 
manner produce a species of light shower, whenever they 
feel like amusing themselves with a treat bestowed upon 
their little favorites. This is not absolutely required in 
any Aquarium that is sedulously attended to, or is prompt- 
ly deprived of such impurities as occasionally accumu- 
late from decaying vegetation and similar incidents 
of the moment. There are many who never think of 
doing more than agitate the water with a small stick. 
Others again draw off a portion of the water, at times, with 
a syphon, and supply its place with some that is fresh. 
Others, more whimsical, contrive to erect a little fountain 
in the centre of the Aquarium for effect, spray from 


which is certainly picturesque, and leaves nothing more to 
be desired in the way of aeration. But many of these 
schemes are expensive ; few of them are of much import- 
ance, and none indispensable. The tank must be so placed 
as to throw an abundance of light on the vegetable portion 
of the Aquarium to enforce their growth, and with this 
light we cannot always avoid, even with a cover, an ab- 
sorption of the air, in a dry atmosphere, and an evapora- 
tion of the water. These, of course, when they occur, 
should be remedied. 

The simplest mode of aerating the water in a small 
tank, however, is either to use a common fire-bellows, such 
as all have at hand who burn wood. When coal is the 
customary fuel, and the bellows has become obsolete, as 
it has in some portions of the United States, a large sy- 
ringe will answer as a substitute. The syringe, of course, 
must be lifted, after each discharge of air, out of the wa- 
ter, in order to fill it again. In a few moments, the wa- 
ter under this disturbance will be seen to grow white with 
bubbles, and will resemble, on a small scale, the appear- 
ance of the sea or river in a storm, when the waves dash 
about, and da]ice, and grow furiously hilarious in their ex- 
citement, lu truth, it is this violent agitation of the sea 
and the river that aerales their waters, and disengages the 
gases that would otherwise tend to aifect aquatic life, 
and carries down to considerable depths, to be distributed 
by under currents, in every direction, the renovating and 
exhilarating influence. 



C L r^^^ stock," signifies to associate in a tank those 
1 1 living things which, when arranged in the just 
^^ proportion that enables each to contribute suf- 
ficiently to the support of the other, constitute an Aqua- 
rium. " Stocking " a tank is, therefore, the placing in it 
of appropriate plants, fish, reptiles, insects, etc. 

It will strike the most careless observer that a fresh- 
water Aquarium and a salt-water (or marine) Aquarium, 
cannot be ''stocked" at all in a similar manner. 

Vegetable life takes precedence in stocking an Aqua- 
Riuii. Your plants should be deposited and suffered to 
remain in the tank at least a week before it may be 
deemed prudent to supply the necessary amount of animal 
existence. Some may die from transplanta^tion. The 
tank must be carefully watched for indications of such a 
calamity, and every dead leaf, branch, root, etc., must be 
ejected as soon as discovered. Placed in a good strong 
light, each plant will rapidly develop its intention in this 



respect ; and when all that remain exhibit unequivocal 
signs of strength and vitality, you may proceed without 
hesitation. Perhaps the more exact plan will be to wait 
patiently until the water, after becoming quite clear, 
seems, when the sunlight is allowed to fall upon it, to fill 
with bubbles, which cluster upon the rockwork, as well 
as upon the bottom and sides of the tank. These bubbles 
will indicate the oxygenation of the water and the growth 
of incipient vegetation. They demonstrate, therefore, 
that your new world is prepared for the animal life you 
design to bestow upon it. 

Let us, before we leave this branch of the subject, and 
before we go into the minutiae of propagation in the 
Aquarium, say a few words in regard to plants generally. 

A plant is philosophically called an organized body 
without voluntary motion. What it is, practically, we all 
know, for we can distinguish it (except in some exceed- 
ingly delicate cases) without difiBculty. A plant has its 
solid and its fluid parts, like all other organized bodies. 
The cellular substance, the various vessels, the fibres and 
pith, belong to the former category ; to the latter belong 
the sap, the air, and the various juices. The juices con- 
tain nourishment adapted for assimilation into the sub- 
stance of the plant, and may be called its blood. In 
many other points, in a physiological sense, there is a re- 
markable correspondence between the organization of plants 
and animals. Sometimes this correspondence reaches a 
point that almost defies human discrimination. Many of the 


zoophytes, although now determined to be animals, so 
closely resemble plants that, until lately, they have been 
classed by science with the vegetable kingdom. The 
sponge affords us an illustration of this fact, and so does 
the sea-anemone. It is only the enlightened who are pre- 
pared to comprehend, even at the present time, that a 
sponge is an animal, and that its multiplied orifices are 
simply natural aqueducts, through which flow the tidal 
streams whence it obtains its food — aqueducts on which, 
after sufficiently nourishing its young, it launches them 
forth into the world to seek their fortune by their inde- 
pendent exertions. The habits of the anemone, and its 
curious characteristics, we have alluded to in our opening 
chapter. Nothing could approach more closely, as far as 
appearances go, the peculiarities of a flower, than this 
zoophyte. It is difficult to realize, while watching it, 
that it is not a beautiful specimen of some sea-rose, in- 
stead of a creature whose every lovely spot, almost, con- 
ceals a dart waiting in alluring disguise the approach of 
a victim. ^ 

Motion, as a consequence of vital power, is not to be 
denied to plants. The motion in some of them may 
almost be attributed to sensation, although having no 
nervous system that we can perceive, this apparent sen- 
sation may be reduced to simple irritability. The Quiver- 
worts, or Oscillatorue, for instance, have movements that 
have given rise to grave and learned treatises in the sci- 
entific world. They have been thought to form, in fresh- 


water, the same link between vegetable and animal life, 
which is conceded in sea-water to the lower order of 
polyps : that is, they are supposed to -be neither perfect 
plants nor perfect animals, but a combination of both — a 
sort of first starting-point at which the higher species of 
existence commences to depart, in development, from the 
inferior. The Sjpirillum are similarly remarkable, though 
Dr. Lankester attributes the motion of both these classes 
of plants, as in the Froto^hyta and Protozoa, to the " pro- 
teinaceous protaplasm within the cell," which is, in sub- 
stance, a concession to them of the essential elements of a 
nervous and muscular system. 

Plants sleep, too, after having been in continued and 
violent activity. Some of them which inhabit those high 
latitudes where the sun is withdrawn from sight for 
months at a time, regularly fold themselves up in slumber 
every twenty-four hours, and with as much exactness as 
if possessed of a time-piece, or as if enacting the part of 
one for the benefit of the less gifted by nature. 

The disposition of plants to turn to the light is too 
well known to demand more than a passing allusion. The 
stalks, branches, leaves, and blossoms, all move in the 
same direction in this effort, and the fact has suggested to 
many a poet a pretty image of affection. The sun-flower 
follows with its yellow eyes, " the course of the day-god's 
illuminous ray " with a fondness that is particularly strik- 
ing, though commonplace. Robbed of all romance, how- 
ever, this yearning for the light is owing, probably, to the 


circumstance that plants may be said to breathe only 
in the light, and that to the action of light they are 
indebted in a great measure for their colors. By 
*' breathing " is meant that absorption of carbonic acid 
gas and that exhalation of oxygen, the recent satisfactory 
demonstration of which has led to the formation of the 
Aquarium. This vital operation, it is insisted by some 
observers, is partially, if not wholly, suspended at night, 
and proceeds rapidly only when the plants are exposed to 
the sun, and hence their enjoyment in such an exposure. 
Hence, also, the importance of sunlight, and the disadvan- 
tage of gloom, in successfully encouraging the vegetable 
life inclosed in an Aquarium. 

As regards color, even Aristotle observed that plants 
were colored by the sun. Senebrer found that when they 
were put in a dark place their green leaves first became 
yellow on the surface and then white, while young plants 
which had grown up in the dark, when brought gradually 
to the light, exchanged their white color for a yellow, 
which, after a time, darkened, exhibited green spots, and 
finally assumed that general complexion. Van Mons 
and Yasali assert that the light of a lamp and even of the 
moon, exercises a coloring influence over plants as well as 
that of the sun. 

How the original constituents of plants are absorbed by 
light and heat ; how they are so united by the vegeta- 
ble organization as to produce the various substances of 
which plants are composed — the gum, starch, sugar, 


gluten, albumen, gelatin, wax, oils, resins, acids, aroma, 
the ligneous fibre, etc. ; how these substances in their 
last analysis are resolved back into their original constitu- 
ents, and so on, this is no place for us to explain. We 
may, however, properly close this portion of our subject 
with a glance at the mystery of vegetable propagation. 

Most plants have both sexes united in one flower. The 
pollen, or farina, is prepared and preserved in certain mas- 
culine vessels called anthers. The finer particles of this 
pollen penetrate through the stigma in the feminine por- 
tion, to the ovary, and fructify the germs or ovules there 
deposited. But then some plants do not unite the two 
sexes in one flower. Some have male and female blossoms 
on one stem. Some plants of a kind are wholly masculine 
in theu* organization, and some wholly feminine. Some- 
times these grow near each other, and sometimes they 
grow miles apart. When in proximity, the wind carries 
the pollen from one to the other, or else nature adopts a 
very ingenious plan of effecting her purpose. Certain small 
flies, attracted by the honey of the male flower, are com- 
pelled to dust themselves all over with the pollen in order 
to get at the luscious luxury. The moment they visit the 
female-flower for honey, that flower closes on them, and 
crawling in all directions to escape, they fructify the plant 
perforce. For plants of different sexes, that grow at a dis- 
tance from each other, bees and other insects perform the 
part of involuntary go-betweens. In pilfering the honey 
from the male flower they powder themselves with the pollen, 


and they convey it to the female in devouring the honey 
with which she attracts them. We may perceive from this 
how important a part the smallest atom of animal life 
enacts in the wise and wonderful economy of nature ; a,nd 
when we feel vexed at insect-annoyances, and are disposed 
to wonder why Providence permits the existence of such 
occasional torments to us, it may be as well to remember 
that without some of them the glorious world of flowers 
would soon become a desolate waste, and without others 
to devour these, they would become too numerous for 
human endurance. 





HE aquatic plants suitable for an Aquarium in this 
country are abundant, and easily obtained. They 
are necessarily of that kind which grows in streams 
and ponds, although, in certain cases, there are some that 
grow upon the margin, but whose roots only love the 
water, which might be introduced into an Aquarium with 
a happy effect. Long Island, New Jersey, and New 
York will supply the amateur with specimens enough for 
any useful purpose. A ramble by the river side — a stroll 
beside the creeping creek — a step around almost any col- 
lection of water of sufficient magnitude — will betray, when 
the eyes are rendered acute by the heart's inspiration 
with a love of the subject, a host of candidates for favor 
from which taste may readily make a selection. We 
append the names of a few, after which we shall proceed 
to indicate those which should be entitled to the prefe- 





Water Lobelia . 

. . Lobdia dortmanna. 



. . Ceratojphyllum demersum. 


Broad-leaved Starwort Callitriche verna. 


Narrow-leafed Do. 

Callitriche autumnalis. 


River Weed . . 

. . PodosUmon ceratophylhim. 


Golden Club . . 

Orontium aquaiicum. 


Sweet Flag _ . . 

, . Acorus calamus.: 


Naiad . -W^', . 

. . Naias flexiks. 


Pond Weed . . 

. JPotamogeton. 


Water Weed . . 

Anacharis Canadensis. 


Tape Grass . . . 

Valisneria spiralis. 


Water Star-grass . 

Scholhra gramhiea. 



. Isoetes lacustris. 


Water Cress 

. . Nasturtium officinalis. 


White Water-lily 

. , Nymphe£i alba. 


Yellow Do. 

. Nu'phar lutea. 


Small Yellow Do. 

. Nuphar jpumila. 


Duckweed . . . 

Lemna tribe. 


CosiMON Dock 

. Rumex aquaiicus. 


Common Rush 

. Juncus and Scirpus tribes 


Water Violet . . 

. Hottonia palustris. 


Spikewort . , 

. JMyriophyllmn spicatum. 


Brooklime . . . 

. . Veronica beccabunga. 


The Ferns . . 

, . 



• • 

We might increase this list indefinitely ; but, of the 
number we have thus presented merely to give an idea 


of the copiousness of nature's supply, not more than half 
a dozen, perhaps, would be chosen by a sound discretion 
as fitted, in all respects, for a private Aquarium. For 
Aquaria of large proportions, wherein the plants may be 
of a corresponding size, as well as varied in character, 
and quite numerous, we might enlarge our catalogue four 
or fivefold ; but, in this treatise, which we design more 
especially for the popular perusal, our object is to enable 
the family taste to gratify itself in a neat, useful, innocent 
and inexpensive manner, without running into idle display, 
or indulging in scientific exhibitions, 

No. 1. The Water Lobelia is to be found on the bor- 
ders of many a pond in northern New York, and through- 
out New England. The Lobelia syphilitica also grows 
in moist places, throughout the middle and western 
States. It is the plant once so famous for its medicinal 
qualities. It grows to a considerable height, and bears 
large and beautiful flowers of a fine blue color. The L. 
cardinalis is another of the moist tribe, with brilliant, 
scarlet flowers, and though indigenous here, is much cul- 
tivated in European gardens. The L. dortmanna is the 
only one, however, of the ten species of lobelia which 
inhabit the United States, that can be said to suit the 

No. 2. Hornwort is a common plant in ponds and 
other sluggish waters. It takes its name from the horny 
excrescences of its leaves, and is not very pretty. 

No. 3. and 4. Broad-leafed and Narrow-leafed Star- 


worts are also common pond plants. They may be trans- 

Callitriche Autumnalis— (Narrow-leafed Starwort,) 

l^lanted to the tank with ease, and thrive satisfactorily in 
confinement. Their leaves invariably assume a singular 
position on the surface of the water, forming a number of 
handsomely shaped asteroids, or small stars. On the 
leaves, if examined by a microscope, may be observed 
minute, rosette-shaped excrescences, that appear to be 
substitutes for the hairs on other plants. 

No. 5, River Weed, may be looked for on rocks and 
stones at the bottom of small streams in New Jersey, 


It resembles a seaweed, but grows only in fresh water. 
It takes up but little space, is ornamental, because it 
may be made to add a look of verdure to the otherwise 
naked rocks in the tank, and it throws off oxygen liberally 
to sustain the animal life in the Aquarium, which is always 
a point of material importance. 

No. 6. Golden Club is an inhabitant of slow streams 
and ponds. Its leaves float on the water, and its flowers 
are a bright yellow in color and attractive. It would 
not be of much value in a small tank. 

No. t. Sweet Flag, is the common Calamus, so abun- 
dant in swamps and on the borders of streams, and is too 
well known to need much description. The C aromaticus 
{acorns of the botanists), is an odoriferous plant formerly 
brought from India, but now found all over northern Eu- 
rope and America, It is much chewed by children and 
others in this country. The distillers of Dantzic use it to 
correct the smoky odor of spirits and impart a peculiar 
flavor. C. pastoralis, in the olden time, was the reed or 
cane employed as a musical instrument. The fistula, or 
shepherd's pipe, was made of this substance, and is hence 
figuratively used by the poets for the pipe itself. The 
C. scripforius^ or chartarius, sharpened with a knife or a 
rough stone and split like our pens, was used, by the an- 
cients to write with on substances such as papyrus, parch- 
ment, etc., which the common stylus might injure. The 
Calamus is too large for an ordinary Aquarium, in our 


No. 8. The Naiad, grows In ponds and slow streams, but 
we cannot recommend it highly. 

No. 9. Pond-weeds exhibit twelve distinct varieties in 
the United States, most of which may be seen in the vici- 
nity of New York, and some in brackish water, as well as 
fresh. They differ considerably in size, and in the form 
of their kaves ; and while the leaves of a few float on 
the water, those of the remainder are submerged. The 
latter kind of any plant is always to be preferred for an 
Aquakium, the reader should remember, and for an obvi- 
ous reason. The plants in an Aquarium are chiefly desira- 
ble for their ability to purify the water by oxygenizing it. 
Those whose leaves lie on the surface, or rise above it, 
necessarily wa,ste upon the atmosphere just so much of the 
oxygen they exhale, while those that live wholly sub- 
merged diffuse all their vitalizing property where it is most 
needed. When ornament and utility may be combined in 
any plant the acme of essential service is at once reached 
in its employment in the Aquarium ; when that is impos- 
sible, mere beauty must be sacrificed on the altar of the 

The Potamogeton natans, has a broad, green, pointed leaf, 
and might be mistaken for a lily. Occasionally we meet 
a P. natans with brown, ovate leaves, floating on leaf- 
stalks rooted at the bottom. This makes a good resting- 
place for the little Tritons, or Water Newts, and for simi- 
lar animals that require now and then an introduction to 
the atmospheric air. The P. densus is a small plant 



Potamogeton densus — (Pond-weed.) 

with waved leaves attached to the stem opposite each 
other. The P. Crispus has a reddish stalk with brownish^ 
green leaves, and adapts itself to any vessel. The only 
objection that may be urged to the best of these Pond- 
Weeds is the relish for them manifested by the Molluscs 
which an Aquarium demands (as will be seen by and by), to 
keep it in wholesome order. The little creatures will 
leave all other plants to feed on these, and thus soon de- 
stroy their beautiful appearance. 


No. 10. Water-weed. This is one of the most prefer- 
able of all aquatic plants for an Aquarium. It belongs 
to ponds and sluggish streams, and grows so easily and is 
so prolific that, if cut off, and thrown into a tank, it will 
soon fill up all the space that may be devoted to it. The 
A.Canadensis has, of course, a northern origin, but is abun- 
dant in Fishkill Creek, and can be had in the ponds on 
this island, and particularly in the small streams out the 
Third Avenue, New York. It is exceedingly ornamental, 
and of a bright green color. It should be frequently 
pruned and kept under ; for, unlike most water-plants 
that require some earth to attach themselves to, the 
Water-weed, the A. Canadensis or alsinastrum, flour- 
ishes in a manner wholly independent of its position, 
and grows as it travels tardily down a stream without 
being attached to anything but its fellows. In England 
it acquired notoriety by singular accident. Some of it 
was sent from Canada to a Cambridge professor, who 
threw it away. It fell into a drain that emptied into the 
river, and soon afterwards quite a consternation was cre- 
ated by the choking up of the river in question by a river- 
weed. This weed, when examined, proved to be the 
Anacharis. Since then it has made itself a home in the 
Thames, where it is called Water Thyme, and is one of 
the most troublesome of weeds, while in not a few of the 
English canals it fairly threatens, at times, to lay an em- 
bargo on navigation. As it is hardy, easily obtained, 
graceful, gaily colored, prolific, easily thinned out, and ac- 



tive in its oxygenizing capacity, nothing could be more 
appropriate for an Aquarium than the Anacharis Cana- 
densis, or Water-weed. The same high praise may be 
bestowed on : 

Talisneria spiralis — (Tape Grass.) 

— No. 11. Tape Grass, which may be had in the Hudson 
Eiver, especially near Newburgh, or in the Delaware and 
Raritan canal, where it becomes seriously abundant occa- 
sionally, about Princeton, N. J. The Valisneria spiralis 
came originally from Italy, and is named after Vahsnei, 
an Italian naturalist, who wrote on insects and plants in 


the last century. As the male and female flowers of this 
plant grow from different roots, care must be taken to 
secure both for propagation. They may be distinguished 
without difficulty. The female flowers are borne on long, 
spiral foot-stalks ; the male ones are on straight, short, 
flower-stalks. The female flowers ascend by the assist- 
ance of a coil and float on the surface of the water. The 
male flowers, when matured, gallantly detach themseNes 
from the parent stalk, and follow their feminine relatives 
to the surface. Here they expand, float among their fa- 
vorites and impart to them the pollen with which they 
are laden. The female plant then descends to the bottom 
and the process of reproduction goes on agreeably to the 
order of nature. The Tape Grass is also propagated by 
offshoots. A lateral shoot, branching from the mother 
plant, pushes forward until it discovers some suitable spot 
in which it may strike root. Here it fixes itself at once, 
and in its turn assumes all the characteristics of the pa- 
rent plant, and devotes itself to the same functional per- 
formances. This plant, and the one last mentioned, look 
uncommonly well when grown together, and with a few 
choice fish, and some fresh-water mollusca, will constitute 
as picturesque an Aquarium, on a small scale, as a family 
could desire. 

No. 12. Water Star Grass, grows in the slow streams 
of Nevf York and New Jersey. 

No. 13. Quill wort, is to be found at the bottom of 
ponds and slow streams. 


No. 14. Water Cress, everybody is familiar with. It 
grows on the margin of, and is sometimes immersed in clear 
streams, over nearly all the globe. In France, the Cress is 
cultivated for the table in clear streams, being inserted in 
rows in the direction of the current. The flowers are 
small and white. 

Nos. 15, 16, and 11. Water Lilies. The white lily 
belongs, botanically, to the Nymphaa, and the yellow to 
the Na^phar. They embellish our lakes and slowly-moving 
waters, and are amongst the most elegant and handsome 
of aquatic plants. The leaves are rounded and heart- 
shaped, supported on stalks so long as to enable them to 
float on the surface. The flowers are large, and contain 
numerous petals, so as to appear double. In color, some 
are a brilliant white, occasionally possessing a tinge of 
red, and diffuse a delightful fragrance ; some, again, are 
yellow, and these are called, in England, on account of 
their peculiar fragrance, the "Brandy Bottle." It has 
broad, shining leaves, that form a pleasant resting-place 
for the amphibia — such animals as live both in the air 
and water. The flowers raise themselves, every morning, 
out of the water and expand. In the afternoon they close 
again, as if for slumber. The famous Lotus of the Nile, 
is a lily with flowers of a pink color, and leaves with a 
toothed margin. The roots are still cooked and eaten in 
Egypt, and the seeds bruised and made into ■ bread, as 
they were in the time of Herodotus and Theophrastus. 

No. 18. Duckweeds are not so attractive to the eye, 


but are very useful. From tlie close manner in which they 
cover the water, they have been named Lemna — from 
lej)is, a scale. The duckweeds produce a capital shade in 
an Aquarium, so as to screen the animals from the sun, 
and harbor a host of minute creatures that provide an 
ample game-preserve for the fish, etc., as well as a wide 
field for the inquisitive observer, if armed with a good 
microscope. The surface of any pond will furnish you 
with duckweed, and as it is a floating plant altogether, 
it need only be thrown into the tank, where it will estab- 
lish itself a home and spread rapidly. As it looks best in 
a mass, the loose pieces might be picked out and rejected 
with advantage. 

No. 19. Common Dock is too large a plant for our 
purpose. It may be seen along the margin of rivers, has 
a stout root, alternate and often entire leaves, and bears 
panicles of small greenish flowers. There are about 
sixty varieties, five or six of which are natives of America. 
Dock is somewhat esteemed in medicine. 

No. 20. Common Eush needs little or no description. 
It is a sedge-like plant, chiefly growing in marshes, with 
inconspicuous greenish flowers. It is botanically called 
the JunciLs. The soft rush, or J. effusus, is remarkable for 
its tufts of long, awl-shaped leaves and stems, looking 
something like the spines of a porcupine, with flowers in 
loose, lateral panicles. These are the leaves and stems 
used in making mats, etc. The /. scirpus, or club-rush, 
is common in marshes. Its flowers are disposed in little, 


solid, oval spikelets. The bulrush grows iu deep water 
In China the S. tiiherosus is cultivated in tanks, and the 
tubers are eaten, both boiled and raw. None of this 
species can be commended highly for the Aquarium. 

No. 21. The Water Violet is, properly speaking, an 
exotic plant, and is rarely found growing wild in this 
country. We have met with it, but the reader may not 
be so successful. It has bright green, feathery leaves, 
and whorls of pinkish-purple flowers. 

No. 22. Spikewort is also a scarce aquatic plant. It 
is bushy ; looks somewhat like fennel, and is found in 
ponds and rivulets. It gives off oxygen liberally. 

No. 23. Brooklime, has sky-blue flowers in loose, lateral 
spikes. The leaves are ovate and very thick. The flower- 
stalks proceed from the joint. 

No. 24, Ferns, and No. 25, Forget-me-not, are culti^ 
vated upon the projecting pieces of rock in an Aquarium. 
Both kinds love to grow 7iear, but not in the water. They 
are only employed, therefore, as embellishments. The 
ferns are very numerous, and if the foot-stalks of the 
fronds or leaves are placed in the water, so as to allow 
the feather-like foliage to droop over the rockwork, the 
effect is agreeable. In a similar position, the tender 
shades of delicate turquoise-blue of the forget-me-not are 
admirable, with the small touches of white and amber at 
the base of their petals. The German legend has em- 
balmed this flower and made it immortal. A lady, desir- 
ing some that grew in the Rhine, her lover sought to 


grasp a few, but, overrcacliing himself, was precipitated 
into the stream, and, as he sunk, exclaimed, " Vergiss 
mich nichtP Hence the name. 

This closes our chapter on the fresh-water plants. We 
should advise, when placing in the tank any one of those 
plants which demand a fixedness in the earth at the bot- 
tom, the following process : First make a ball of wet 
clay ; with this ball inclose your roots. Deposit it in its 
proper place, and then carefully surrounding it with your 
sand or gravel, cover it with the weightier pebbles to 
keep it dow^n. The water, which it is better to put in 
the tank by installments, and not all at once, will not then 
disturb your river-garden arrangements. 





The tank is now presumed to be fully prepared for the 
introduction of animal life. In order to keep it in that con- 
dition, it becomes obligatory upon its proprietor to supply 
it with a few common pond-snails. These will consume 
the decaying vegetation. They will even do more than 
this, as we shall see presently. If your tank be placed in 
too strong a light — and particularly if placed in such a 
position as to catch the direct rays of the sun — you will 
soon observe its effects both upon the plants and the wa- 
ter. A greenish, slimy kind of mucus will soon be found 
adhering to the sides of the glass, and obstructing the 
view, besides barring the passage of the light. This will 
become gradually denser and denser until thoroughly in- 
tolerable. This deposit is, in fact, a new vegetable 
growth of an infinitely small species of algce, or vegetable 
weed, and is termed the confervce. With too little light, 
your large plants languish ; with too much, your Aqua- 
rium fills with confervcB. Hence the necessity of observing 
a prudent medium. With the growth of the confervcE, 



your shell-covered moUusca — the snails, for instance — come 
additionally into play. They act as natural scavengers, 
and soon devour the obstruction, if not entirely too abun- 
dant. In the latter case, the tank must be placed in a 
comparatively dark place for a few days, when all the 
superfluous matter will disappear. 

As variety is of some consequence, it may be as well to 
have more than one kind of Mollusca to enact their 
humble but valuable role in the Aquarium. Considerable 
caution, however, must be exercised in making a selection. 
Some of the Mollusca prefer to feed altogether on the 
confervce. and on the vegetable decay, while some are of 
so destructive a nature, that they demolish indiscriminately 
the confervoid growth and the large favorites of the 
Aquarium. The latter should, of course, be avoided. 
They may be interesting to contemplate, but they are 
expensive to keep. 

Of the most useful and harmless Mollusca, we should 
recommend the common Marsh Shell {Paludina vivijpara) 
the Trumpet Snails {Planorhis corneus and P. carinatus^ 
and the snail known as the Glutinosa. The first has a 
light-colored shell, with thin red lines. Occasionally one 
has a shell of a greenish-brown, marked transversely with 
brownish red bands. The second are flattened in shape, 
sometimes angular and sometimes keeled. They may be 
found in low marshes and ditches, as well as in ponds. 
The last mentioned is a smaller snail, but active and in^ 
dustrious. _ 


The Planorlis Armigerus is common in the swamps and 
ponds of every portion of this State. The P. trivolvis is 
common to most of the northern and western States. It 
is a pale yellow, and is twisted up like a ram's horn. The 
P. hicarinatus is abundant here in every sluggish stream,. 
The Physa heterostro^phci is a pretty snail, yellowish, or a 
greenish yellow, in color. The Paludina dioscisa is a snail 
to be obtained without difficulty. 

These mollusca would present quite as large an assort- 
ment for an ordinary Aquarium as would seem desirable. 
As long as too great a number of them were not placed 
in the tank together, they would not interfere with the 
general harmony of the community of which they formed 
a part. If rendered so numerous as to make their usual 
food insufficient in its supply, perhaps they, too, might 
be tempted to turn destroyers; but that would be the 
result of their protector's negligence, not of their own vora- 
city. On the other hand, these snails breed rapidly in a 
tank, but the fish have an excessive appetite for their 
young, and if permitted, will devour them as rapidly as 
they appear. It would be judicious, therefore, to remove 
the spawn, occasionally, to a jar containing healthy plants, 
whence they could be transferred to the tank when suf- 
ficiently matured. 

The Fresh-water Mussel (Unio radiatus), as well as 
the Anodon Jluviatilis, another neat mussel, would not be 
out of place in a perfect Aquarium. The mill-ponds and 
dull streams, here and to the eastward, will supply them. 



The Crawfish, or fresh-water Lobster, makes a strik- 
ing addition to the tank. It is common in most streams, 
and is well known and easily recognized. 

The Fresh-water Fish. Fish of every size may answer 
for the Aquaria. Those of considerable magnitude re- 
quire tanks of corresponding proportions, and such tanks 
are too cumbrous and ungraceful for domestic use. We 
shall chiefly confine ourselves, therefore, to the smaller 
class of fish in these pages. 

The Pigmy Dace {Leuciscus pygmceus), is a pretty little 
article, excellently well adapted to the Aquarium. He is 
ornamented with a small black spot, margined with white, 
on each side of the tail. In most of the brooks in this 
and in the New England States he may be captured. 

The Black-nosed Dace is an active specimen, of good 
habits and prepossessing appearance. He may be found 
in nearly every clear stream and rivulet. 
' The Tessellated Darter {Boleosoma tessellatum), is a 
singular fish, of small size, and equally plentiful. In a 
perfectly limpid stream you may observe him lying motion- 
less at the bottom, as if asleep, when suddenly he will 
spring towards his passing prey with marvellous velocity. 
It is this practice that has bestowed upon him his name. 

The Spotted Troutlet {Baione fontinalis) is another 
dwarf-fish, lively, handsome, graceful, and well behaved. 
Nothing could be better fitted for a tank. 

Gold and Silver Fish everybody is familiar with, and 
properly selected, they make very eligible denizens of the 



Aquarium. The common kind, obtained in open ponds, 
are the best for the purpose. They are not so prolific as 
others, but they are more beautiful, far more hardy, and 
are not so liable to be destroyed by changes of tempera- 
ture. In a house, however, the most delicate of these 
Carp, for they belong to that family, may be kept for 
years with a little attention. 

There is an infinite variety of the goldfish ( Cyprinus 
aureus). In China, whence they originally came 150 to 
200 years ago, they are raised by those who pursue it as 
a business, and the breeds are crossed to produce in them 
fantastic colors and habits. They exhibit some with 
streaked markings resembling Chinese letters ; some that 
are white as paper, with pearly-pink splashes on the body, 
and curious markings about the head and tail ; some that 
are a rich scarlet, shading to black on the back, in the 
midst of which is a white cross, with two transverse 
bands ; some that are a flesh-color ; some covered with 
crimson spots bordered with blue ; some of a deep carmine 
color, and shaped like an ^gg ; some with a drooping, 
fringe-like, ruby tail ; some, in short, of all conceivable 
hues and combinations. As a matter of recherche taste, 
any of these may be placed, when met with, in the tank, 
yince their natures are much the same ; but they can be 
had sufficiently handsome at much less cost and with less 

The Stickleback (G^<25^gro5^e?^5), the Minnow (imaV 
cus phoxinus), and the Gudgeon {Gohio Jiuvialis), are 


all pigmy fish, that may be chosen with discrimination for 
the Aquarium. 

The Stickleback, which is also termed the Prickleback, 
on account of the small spines with which nature has 
armed it for defence, is one of the tiniest of all fish, be- 
sides being one of the most interesting. Though a dap- 
per little fellow, very active and very courageous, he 
would soon fall a prey to all his companions, on account 
of his dwarfish size, were it not for the stiff, sharp, prickly 
arrangement, like a row of fixed bayonets, which embel- 
lishes the lower surface of his body. He can erect this 
at pleasure ; and in that condition it is impossible for 
his natural antagonists to make a mouthful of him with- 
out seriously lacerating themselves, particularly as he is 
an irritable little creature, and remarkably pugnacious. 
With this weapon at command, he plunges into an im- 
promptu quarrel, occasionally, with fish of considerable 
magnitude, and has been known to rip up their stomachs 
in his ferocity, leaving them dead upon the field of 
combat. Indeed, the stickleback is so mettlesome, and in 
his habits so belligerent, that when several are placed in 
a tank together, the males often make it a point to com- 
mence with a severe battle to determine which shall pos- 
sess the favorite females of the company, and which shall 
be entitled to the choicest localities of their new domain. 
In this engagagement death sometimes ensues ; for the 
victor seldom gives the conquered much peace, unless 
quite exhausted himself in the struggle. The females in 


the meantime, being inactive lookers-on, quietly bestow 
their affections on the conquerors. 

The female stickleback is not often pretty, and the male 
is sometimes nearly black ; but the more showy ones are 
robed in a style of fanciful elegance. They may be found 
with many a shade of rich purple, blending into green and 
white adown their glossy backs, and with a vivid scarlet 
glowing on their breasts. As we have said in another 
part of this treatise, these colors intensify when the 
stickleback is excited, until they gleam with a brilliance 
and beauty beyond all imagination. The moment he is 
defeated, however, by a superior force, his colors fade 
away into a dingy, dull white, or a common -place combi- 
nation of hues of no attraction. What is still more extra- 
ordinary, he, like a chameleon, assumes, for the nonce, the 
color of any vessel in which you place him. In a white 
bowl, he becomes white ; in a pink one, he rivals the rose. 
This is why he is so frequently indistinguishable in his 
place of abode ; and this may enable us to impart to him 
the complexion we most prefer. 

With all his pugnacity, however, the stickleback is an 
affectionate and attentive mate. His gallantry is per- 
fectly exemplaire. Unlike other fishes, he builds a nest, 
even, for his chosen partners. He is somewhat of a Mor- 
mon in the polygamous principle of his domestic economy, 
it must be confessed ; but this failing aside, he. is a model 
of a husband. In his little mouth he conveys, about 
spawning-time, all the necessary materials, even from 


great distances. With these he first constructs his found- 
ation, and as each layer is formed, covers it with sand to 
give it weight, keep it in place and prevent it from being 
washed away by the stream. He then rubs himself care- 
fully and well over all these layers, and a glutinous sub- 
stance that exudes from his skin furnishes a cement that 
secures the whole. With roots and twigs he attaches 
the floor, thus reared, permanently to its anchorage- 
ground. This done, he erects his uprights, fills in the 
sides and top, cements the entire edifice as before, and 
completes a tidy, well-inclosed, comfortable dwelling, with 
two orifices for entrance and retreat. With a home of 
his own — every stickleback is his own landlord— it is to be 
presumed he then settles down, a well-behaved family-fish, 
and attends to the marital duties which nature has set 
before him. 

The Minnow is so called from minimus, the least ; be- 
cause, with the exception of the stickleback, he is the 
infinitesimal specimen of fresh-water fish. He is handsome, 
lively, exceedingly agile, uncommonly graceful, very 
hardy, and in all respects a very "pink" amongst his 
congeners. In fact, he is known in popular parlance as 
the Pink in some quarters ; but that is probably on ac- 
count of his summer wardrobe. His back is ordinarily a 
fresh olive-green in color, very glittering in the sun-light, 
and shades to a silvery white beneath. This white, in 
warm weather, is delicately tinted with rose. The min- 
now is readily tamed. With a little patience he can be 


taught to come to the side of the Aquarium, and take 
food from the hand. He soon acquires confidence, if un- 
disturbed, and will follow his fair keeper quite around the 
tank, manifesting considerably what may be called a 
grateful recognition. 

The Gudgeon is another amusing little fish. He seldom 
grows to over four inches in length ; but as he is gregarious, 
and accustomed to swim in company, three or more, if 
any, should be introduced into the Aquarium together. 
His back is of a purplish-green ; his belly a faint purple 
running into a dusky-white ; his tail and dorsal fin a 
light brown, waved or spotted with darker brown. He 
thrives fully as well in the tank as in his native home. 

The SuNFisH, or common Pondfish {Pomotis vulgaris), 
is so familiar to the least instructed that he needs no 
description. He owes his common name to the glittering 
hues he exhibits while basking in the sun. In some parts 
of this country he is known as the Pumpkin Seed, on 
account of the numerous spots that adorn his body. He 
is quick, comely, and interesting ; but we cannot com- 
mend him as a companion for other fish in the Aquarium. 
He is excessively quarrelsome, and has a vicious habit of 
attacking the eyes of his associates, as if he took a de- 
light in rendering them blind to his own pursuits. 

The Shiner {Stilbe chrysoleucas) is a beautiful little 
fish, and well adapted to the Aquarium. He- is to be 
found in the fresh-water streams of this and the adjoin- 
ing States. We have kept a number of them for months. 


in a small tank, without impairing in the least their health 
or playfulness. 

The Barred Killefish (Fundulus zehra) is found in 
the salt-water creeks about New York, but thrives well 
in a fresh-water Aquarium. His body is marked with a 
Tarietj of silvery white spots and steel-blue dots, which 
present, at times, a singularly beautiful appearance. He 
is a vivacious little fellow, full of spirit and mirthfulness. 

Small Eels are sometimes selected for an Aquarium. 
If quite small, they may answer. Their sinuous move- 
ments may form an agreeable contrast to the rapid and 
elegant motions of some of the jfish we have named. 

In a large tank, the following would increase the list, 
in enumerating a variety. We do not recommend them, 
except in special cases, where space is of not so much 

The River Moon-eye {Hyodon tergisus) is popularly 
known as Herring, as River Herring, and as the Toothed 
Herring. We have kept them finely in a capacious tank. 

The Common Sucker [Catostomas communis) is abun- 
dant in this State. We have caught them of excellent 
quality for rearing, in the Croton River, 

The Brilliant Chubsucker (Labes oUongus) is a hand- 
some fish. It has a green back, shading into a lemon- 
yellow at the sides. It is common to most fresh-water 
streams, both here and in the eastern States. 

The Brown Catfish {Pomehdus pullus). 

The American Yellow Perch {Pera fiavescens). 


The Brook Trout {Salmo fontinalis) . 
The Common Pickerel (£502; reticulafus.) 


Before we leave this portion of our subject, it may be 
as well to indulge in a few remarks relative to sup- 
plying the fish with food, now that we are supposed to 
have gotten them, with the plants and mollusca, into the 
Aquarium. The spawn of the mollusca serve in a measure, 
it is true, to furnish the daily table of our favorites, and, 
in peculiar circumstances, this might be enough to satisfy 
their hunger. But, we desire to do more than this. It 
is our wish to render them plamp and hearty ; to bestow 
on them all the beauty of shape and brilliancy of color- 
ing, of which they are susceptible. To effect this, 
they must be made happy and contented ; they must be 
so well fed as to make life an enjoyment to them ; their 
wants and necessities must be so anticipated as to rob 
them of all disposition to forage upon each other, or thin 
themselves in their endeavors to hunt up a banquet. In 
short, they must be fed, and fed daily; but never with biscuit 
or bread, both of which are always perilous to their health, 
and never nutritious. Common red worms, cut up small, 
form the best food for them. As an occasional change, you 
may give them well-scoured gentles and millet seeds. 
The worms are best, at any time, for small fish, and may 
be easily kept through the winter, by placing them in a 


small box filled" with earth, and keeping the box in some 
spot where it cannot be reached by the frost. Pieces of 
dried beef, divided into minute fragments, will do as a 
substitute sometimes for the worms. A little flour, 
mixed up into paste, and made into pills, is relished by all 
kinds of fish . About a pill to each fish is sufficient. In 
spawning time, a few of the brewer's fresh ale-grains are 
given in England, and might answer here. But care must 
be taken not to kill with kindness. They must be fed 
sparingly, and whatever is not eaten must be removed, to 
avoid the unpleasantness of its decomposition. 




C^ N order to maintain the pleasing resemblance of our 
Aquarium to the flowing river and majestic lake, it 
will be judicious in us to introduce a few fresh- 
water reptiles and insects, to complete the illusion. If 
they perform no other part in the aquatic entertainment, 
at least they strengthen the company like so many super- 
numeraries in costume, and fill up the gaps which, in some 
diverting performance, might mar the perfection of a bril- 
liant scene. They are not positively demanded by the exi- 
gencies of the case. We could do without them, perhaps. 
But the Aquarium, as an artistical imitation of Nature, 
who leaves no unfilled hiatus in her scale of nicely bal- 
anced existences, would not be complete without this 
addendum, and many an hour's satisfaction would be lost 
for want of such a costless opportunity to study some of 
the more diminutive but not less extraordinary phenom- 
ena of vitality. As it is advisable to be more fastidious 
than generous in supplying this department, we shall only 




allude to the animal life of this kind most serviceable in 
an Aquarium for private purposes. The first one and the 
best one, to our taste, is : 

The Crimsox-spotted Triton {Millepundatus) , often 
called the Water Newt, and by many the Eft, or the 
Evet. No fresh-water tank can be said to be perfect 

Crimson-spotted Triton (Millepunctatus), 

without this droll and playful creature. He is to be found 
in ponds and similar localities, but readily accustoms him- 
self to any place v/here he enjoys comfortable accom- 
modations and good treatment. Nothing could be more 
nimble, more eccentric, more curious than his movements, 
as, now balancing himself upon a leaf, now "treading 
water " in the centre of the tank, now darting headlong 
towards the bottom, and anon dashing gallantly to the 
surface and creeping like a pigmy crocodile to the top of 
a projecting rock as if for observation, his symmetrical 
proportions are displayed to the greatest advantage. He 


is a notable little swimmer, and withal, although his shape 
does put us in mind of " the monster of the Nile," an inof- 
fensive, light-hearted animal, who gambols his time away 
in the happiest possible manner. Some of the Tritons are 
nicely colored, are vividly marked about the tail and under 
parts of their bodies, and have bright laugh-like, glittering 

It would be as well to keep the cover on the tank in 
which the Triton is confined, for he is as adventurous as he 
is lively, and when permitted, will extend his explorations 
into the room itself, crawling about in places to which he 
can find access without the slightest regard to ladies' 
nerves or the delicacy of the occasion. 

As the Tritons feed upon the minute parasitical insects 
that injure aquatic plants, as well as upon ordinary earth 
worms (of which they are fondj, they are really useful, as 
well as comely, in the Aquarium. Besides this, they go 
through no less than nine different stages of being from 
the time of their first appearance from the Qgg, before they 
perfect their physique and accomplish their mission in the 
world, and every stage presents us with some novelty 
worthy of an idle hour's consideration. 

There are three kinds of Tritons, but our allusions have 
chiefly reference to the smallar kind, which has a smooth 
skin, and in summer is a full rich grey on the back, spot- 
ted with black, while he is of a fine orange color under- 
neath, enriched with large prettily-formed spots of crimson, 
and has a remarkable fin-like crest running the whole 


length of his head and tail. The female is not so richly 
colored, at that season. 

The Red Salamander {Rubra) is a common species of 
the Triton, and to be found under stones in shallow 
streams. It is a still handsomer animal than the one last 

Red Salamander (Rubra). 

described^ its color being a red, more or less vivid, orna- 
mented with small black spots profusely scattered over the 
body and tail. 

The Darkey Triton ( Triton niger) is much larger in its 
proportions. His haunts are similar to those just mentioned. 
By all means have a few Tritons or Newts in your Aqua- 

The Frog {Rana viridis) is a relative of the Triton, 
and in the tadpole state the two cannot easily be distin- 
guished. As they grow, however, their differences become 
more apparent. The hranchice, or external gills, of the 
Triton spread out beautifully, and assume a distinct form. 
His tail also lengthens, while that of the frog tadpole 
diminishes. The frog, in his tadpole condition, makes an 



agreeable addition to the Aquarium ; aftsr his gills have 
disappeared, however, his tastes alter and he has a decided 
hankering for more terrestrial enjoyment. As a frog, he 
cannot live exclusively in the water. He is a first-class 
diver, and aji expert at natation, but he cannot remain 
altogether under the billows, and if forced to, inevitably 
drowns. By obtaining in April or May, some of the 
spawn, you will be able to witness, as the frog develops, 
a continuous succession of piquant phenomena. 

The Spring Frog {Rana fontinalis) makes his home 
in clear pools and running streams, and feeds exclusively 
upon water insects. He is one of the very earliest pro- 
ducts of the season, and is easily domesticated, when his 
mode of satisfying his hunger is exceedingly interesting 
to witness. 

The Boat-fly {Nataneda) is ingeniously adapted to an 
aquatic life. His hinder legs are fringed and compressed 
in the lower joints, so as to look like oars, and he delights 
in swimming upon his back — his eyes being so placed, that 
he can observe both above and below his body, and thus 
gain intelligence of the approach of danger or the vicinity 
of his prey. You will find him in stagnant ponds, and in 
tardily-flowing streams, and will be gratified with his 
comical antics and manoeuvres if you make a place for 
him in your aquatic community, and feed him so as to 
keep him in health and activity. If not fed regularly, he 
becomes voracious, and preys upon other insects without 
mercy or remorse. You will see him lie, listlessly, close 


to the surface of the water, with his legs extended as if 
ready to move off. He is then watching for a victim, 
and if one comes within reach, he darts upon it with 
rapidity, and is out of sight with it in a moment, carrying 
it to some hiding-place, where he sucks out all its living 
juices. And he in turn becomes the food of — 

The Makgined Beetle (^Dyticus marginalis), a singular, 
scorpion-like creature, in its larva state, that it would be 
better to avoid altogether in your tank. When it has 
grown into a Water Beetle it is pretty, and when well 
fed, by suspending a piece of meat to a string for its use, 
may be innocent. In its larva state, it is so destructive 
and so homely, that it is known as the Water Tiger or 
Water Devil, and should a boat-fly approach within its 
range, the intruder is torn piecemeal in an instant. At 
the proper time, this Tiger builds himself a case, some- 
thing like that of a chrysalis when about to be trans- 
formed into a butterfly. In this case Ms change occurs, 
and he comes forth a Diving Beetle, emerging from the 
mud at the bottom of the stream where he has buried 
himself, with shining wings and a form altogether much 
more prepossessing than his original. It is unsafe, how- 
ever, to keep him, or in fact, any of the water beetles, in 
a tank with fish. 

The Caddis-worms are the larva stages of the various 
species of the Phryaganm. The angler is well acquainted 
with it, as it makes its home in running streams, and 
resides in a grotto or cell which it constructs around its 


person while awaiting its metamorpliosis into a winged 
creature. With wonderful patience it collects very small 
shells and stones to form its tube-like dwelling, which is 
about the size of a wheat-straw ; and having cemented 
them together, and rendered the whole quite smooth 
inside, as well as at the bottom, he drags himself along 
the bed of the tank, with his house about him, or else 
adds a piece of light wood to his habitation, and floats 
up nearer to the surface. 

The Diving Water Spider {Argyroneta aquaticus) dwells 
in ponds and running streams, and is a particularly agree- 
able inhabitant of the Aquarium. Its habits and appear- 
ance are very remarkable. Although it lives at the bot- 
tom of the tank, and is surrounded by water, it is never 
touched by that element ! It is inclosed in a bubble of 
air, which surrounds it like a silver box, and on the bed 
of a stream may easily be mistaken for a globule of 
quicksilver. Within that bubble the little creature per- 
forms all his functions of eating, spinning, and sleeping. 
He lives, in fact, in a crystal palace, built for himself, 
as though he were the inhabitant of an enchanted castle. 
This spider must not be placed in a tank containing fish 
or other animals of the kind that consider him and his 
shining raiment a bonne bouc/ie, or he will soon become 
their victim. His tank, too, should be covered with 
gauze. - ' ' 

The Oniscus Aquatalis, and also the Hydrous Picens, 
or Large Water Beetle, may, on the contrary, be associ- 



ated with the fish, etc., in a tank, for they are both 
inoffensiye. The hydrous feeds upon the auimalculae that 

Large Water Beetle — (Hycli-ous picens). 

are always abundant in the Ticinity of aquatic plants, and 
may be taught to become very tame and familiar. The 



Ouiscus has a body composed of seven articulations, 
besides the head and tail. His is round on the back, and 
flat underneath, while from each side spring seven feet, 
each growing larger as it approaches his inferior extremity. 
He is active and eccentric. To complete the list we may 

The Whirligig (Gyrinus naialor), a pleasant, playful 
little fellow, with a brilliant coat of bright bronze. He 

G-yrinus Natator 

Boat-fly (Notanecta). 

spins around in the sun, on the surface of the water, and 
amuses himself as though he had been created for no 
otiier purpose. His good nature and well regulated 
appetite may always be depended upon. He is the prince 
of jolly ones in his sphere, and too good-natured to 
injure anything that may think proper to share his 


hospitality. He is as shy, however, as he is nimble, and 
it demands no little dexterity to catch him, as he dives 
on the approach of a footstep. He inhabits all quiet 
waters, and can be seen gyrating in and on almost every 
roadside pool. 



^AYING completely instructed the reader (if he 
or she have paid sufficient attention to our re_ 
marks), in the part of forming, fitting up and 
stocking with plants, animals, etc., a Fresh-'water Aqua- 
rium, we now propose to go as minutely into the details 
of the construction and management of a Salt-water, or 
Marine Aquarium. 

All that we have said in chapters two, three, and four, 
applies to an Aquarium of any character. 

The Marine Aquarium differs from its fresh-water rela- 
tive, of course, in the " fitting up." The rockwork placed 
in it is designed to illustrate the aquatic landscape pre- 
sumed to exist, not in a river, but in " the great deep," 
and in exercising his taste the amateur should be scrupu- 
lous to introduce nothing which will not harmonize with 
this prevailing idea. Coral will prove, on this occasion, 
an appropriate ornament to the tank, although in the 
fresh-water tank it v/ould have been so much out of place. 



At this stage of the enterprise, as we have said before, 
there is an abundant opportunity for artistic display, and 
on a scale limited only by the exigencies of size and con- 
sistency. Little and graceful, is better than much and 
ungainly, in this connection. In making up your scene 
do not overcrowd the canvas ; be as picturesque as you 
please, but study simplicity ; and above all other things, 
be natural. Then will your Aquarium, with its storehouse 
of wonders, become truly attractive. Its elegant contents 
will be set " like apples of gold in pictures of silver," and 
its gems from the ocean-depths acquire new charms from 
the good common sense, as well as the dainty taste and 
delicate aptitude which characterize all that surrounds 

Having fitted your rockwork to the tank, and secured 
everything in its place in such a manner that an ordinary 
movement or an accidental jar will not disarrange its 
architecture or disturb its foundations, we next proceed to 
supply the minor forms of being which must precede the 
advent of the fish and other animals. 

The ocean, as a garden, will not afford us so wide a 

margin for selection as the lake and river ; not because 

marine vegetation is less plentiful or less diversified, but 

because only a certain number of the plants accustomed 

to flourish amid the vastness of the sea-parterres, are 

willing to be " cribbed, cabined and confined " within the 

limits our Aquarium can afford them. They soon languish 

and die ; and as, however prepossessing they may be at 



first, their decomposition affects the general health of the 
sojourners in the Aquarium, we are compelled to dispense 
with their presence altogether. The Oar-weeds and Tan- 
gles (Laminaria) , as a general rale, are all open to this 
important objection. They cannot endure captivity, how- 
ever young, and however assiduous you may be in your 
attentions. They decay rapidly, and begin to slough off 
in slimy shreds, at once very homely and very pernicious. 
The class called Fuci are not so precarious, but their de- 
formity excludes them from all consideration under this 
head. The Sponges will not live under any circumstances 
in a tank. As they are really not plants, but animals, it 
may seem somewhat out of place to allude to the fact 
here ; but as most people persist in considering them vege- 
table in their nature, we treat them as such for the pre- 
sent purpose. In obtaining, therefore, small pieces of 
rock, with plants attached, you cannot be too particular 
to render them as clean as possible. They must be 
completely divested of all spongy growth, as well as of all 
other vegetation that will not thrive in your Aquaeium, 
for the moment they begin to decompose they give off a 
most obnoxious gas, sulphureted hydrogen, which rapidly 
converts your tank into a miniature ocean of ink— a Black 
Sea without hyperbole. 

Should you propose to supply yourself with specimens 
for your Aquarium while on a visit to Newport, Nahant, 
Cape May, Rockaway, Bath, or other bathing-places, a 
suggestion or two in regard to the mg;nner of iisefully 



accomplishing the agreeable duty may not, at this junc- 
ture, prove mal a apropos. 

In the first place, provide yourself with an attendant, 
and let him accompany you with a crowbar, a cold-chisel, 
a hammer with a cutting edge as well as a striking one, 
and a basket containing a couple of wide-mouthed jars. 
Select low water as the time for your exploration. The 
spring-tides occur twice in a month, at the changes of the 
full and new moons. The ebb-tides that succeed them 
are, of course, the lowest possible, and the exact hour at 
which you may best avail yourself of the circumstance you 
will find noted down in the almanac. Few marine pl'ants 
or animals live in situations much exposed and hence, 
when the waves retreat well from the shore they leave it 
supplied with many an unexpected curiosity of which you 
may take lawful possession, provided you are early enough 
upon the ground, are active, vigilant and industrious. 

With his crowbar, let your assistant turn over the 
large stones you meet; beneath their shadow, or under 
their surface, you may often secure excellent specimens. 
Pry into the rough clefts and fissures covered over with 
Bladderweed and Oliveweed, which abound among the 
low, dark ledges of shelving rock. Peep into the little 
pools and basins scooped out of the stony mass where it 
rises in rude, irregular, massive forms, about you. Hidden 
in these secluded spots you will often discover the loveli- 
est of marine plants ; and when you do, make no attempt 
to remove it from its bed, but out with your hammer and 



chisel, and carefully cut away a sufficiently large piece of 
the rock to which it is attached, and place the whole in 
your basket. A bed of fresh seaweed for it to repose on, 
and more with which to cover it, will keep it uninjured till 
you return. When the plant thus obtained is a very 
delicate one, particularly if taken from beneath the sur- 
face of the water, it will be better to place it at once in a 
jar and cover it with the element it loves, as a few 
minutes' exposure to the air will metamorphose its beauti- 
ful colors into the dull hues of death. 

In these researches for plants, you will be able to ob- 
tain= your mollusca, as they go crawling freely over the 
surface of the rocks, or reposing idly amid the thick 
under-growth of weeds. You will also perceive the Acorn 
Barnacle in great numbers, as well as the svv^imming Crus- 
tacea. The Actinia, etc. (Sea Anemones), will be seen 
adhering to the rocks. Insert your thumb nail nicely be- 
neath their base, where they are so accessible, and you 
dislodge them at once. Your chisel must dispossess of 
their abiding-places those which reside in cavernous locali- 
ties. The Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, etc., will be detected, 
and also many a novelty among the Annelides, under loose 
stones, at the lowest tide-level. There, too^ love to dwell 
many a singularity of the Crab kind, as well as the Nudi- 
branch Mollusca, which, transferred to your Aquarium, 
will amply reward you for all your patience and all your 
exertion. It must be frankly confessed that you can have 
your tank fitted up with still greater perfection (and at 


very little expense) by those who make it a specialty and a 
profession. Your personal sacrifice of time and attention is 
wholly superfluous, except as a matter of entertainment. 
It is as well, however, to know to what extent the amateur 
might supply himself with subjects for his future marine con- 
servatory, if unable to reach those whose resources can be 
made promptly available, or if disposed to enjoy himself 
in a ramble as a practical naturalist. An hour or two 
spent in such an intimate communion will only the better 
adapt an observant mind for subsequent interviews with 
Nature on the more limited scale of an Aquarium ; and 
cannot but gift it with enlarged conceptions of that eter- 
nal beauty, fituess and order, which preeminently charac- 
terize the mysterious and fascinating phenomena of which 
he must become the privileged witness. 



'HE WATER.— The water from the ocean itself is, 
beyond all question, the best for a marine Aqua- 
rium. No artificial substitute can approach it in 
point of excellence. It should always be procured, too, 
not from the beach, or from any spot in the vicinity of the 
shore. A trifling sum will tempt the cook or steward of any 
sea-going vessel to fill you a cask from the clear and open 
ocean ; and this done, you have the material provided by 
nature herself, and with which, therefore, other things 
being equal, her creatures have no right to express dis- 
satisfaction. The cask itself, if not new, should never 
have contained, at least, anything calculated to impart a 
taint to the wood, as the sea water would be certain to 
acquire, from that defect, som^ quality that would, or 
might, render it fatal to all the life deposited in it. No cask 
that has been used for spirits, wine, acids, chemicals, etc., 
will answer. Even the bungs should be, if possible, quite 



new, if a proper regard be paid to the success of tlie 

There may, however, be circumstances in which the 
use of actual sea-water is left temporarily out of the ques- 
tion. In such a case, we are coerced into the choice of an 
artificial combination which will approach as nearly to 
the original as science may permit. The following formula 
will be found to adapt itself to this necessity with toler- 
able exactness, as it corresponds, with a slight exception 
or two, to the chemical constituents of sea-water, viz. : 

Common table salt, .... 3|- ounces, 

Epsom salts, ^ ounce. 

Chloride of magnesium, . . . 200 grains, ) 

Chloride of potassium, ... 40 grains, j ^' 

Add to these salts a little less than four quarts of river 
water, and you will have a solution that we do not recom- 
mend, except au -pis alter, when you are unable to supply 
yourself with the genuine article. It is confidently stated 
that the iodine, iron, silica, lime, etc., which is found in 
sea water will soon be communicated, by use, to the com- 
position above given. How far this statement may agree 
with the fact, it is not in our power to decide, as we have 
never been placed in a position which demanded a resort 
to such extremities. The assertion is made, however, on 
good authority. 

Your tank " fitted up," and the salt water provided, 


you will next proceed, as directed in chapter fifth, to 
supply the latter by installments. This effected, and the 
usual care exercised, the tank will be prepared in about a 
week for its share of vegetable existence — since, in the 
water, as on earth, animal life must always be preceded 
by that copious organization of subordinate being, which, 
comparatively insignificant as may seem its pretensions, 
enacts so important a part in the physical economy of 

Marine Plants. — In this department of service, we are 
afraid that we shall have to affect an air of erudition we 
should much prefer, if possible, to avoid, for the sake of 
more readily reaching the understanding of the unlettered. 
On laud, and about fresh-water streams, we have com- 
mon or popular names for almost every object, in addition 
to those titles bestowed on them by science, for the purpose 
of facilitating their classification. The ocean flowers have 
much escaped this species of familiarity. For ages " born 
to blush unseen," they are only, in the present era, becom- 
ing the subjects of vulgar manipulation and admiration. 
They stand, with few exceptions, therefore, nameless in 
our vernacular tongue ; and we are compelled to introduce 
them in those classic terms by which they are recognized 
in every country, no matter what its local speech or native 

The following list of names will be found to embrace the 
names of such as have been tried in the marine Aquarium:, 
and discovered more or less satisfactory. We arrange 



them aliolmbetically, for convenience, after whicli we shall 
select for the reader those we are convinced will prove 
most worthy of experiment in private Aquaria. 


Asperococcus Turneri - 
Bangia fusco-purpurea 
Bryopsis plumosa - - 

Chondrus crispus - - 

Chrysymznia rosea - - 
Corallina officinalis 
Chordaria divaricata - 
Callithamnion arhuscula 
Chordaria Jiagelliformis 
Codium tomentosum 
Codium bursa - - - 
Cej-amium stridum 
TDdesseria Americana - 
Delesseria alata - - - 

Delesseria sanguinea 

Edocarpus sUiculosus - 
Ectocarpus tomcntosus - 
Gisartina acicularis - 

Turner^s asperococcus. 

Dark-purple bangia. 

Feathery bryopsis. 

j Curly chondrus, or carra- 
\ geen moss. 

Roseate chrysymenia. 

Common corallina. 

Small-branched chordaria. 
Tree-like callithamnion. 
Whip cordaria. 

Close-haired codium. 

Purse-like codium. 

Pink ceramium. 

American delesseria. 

Winged delesseria. 

Crimson or oak-leaved de- 

Slender dumantia. 

Podded ectocarpus. 

Hairy ectocarpus. 

Pointed gigartina. 




Gracilaria confervoides 
Hildebrandtia rubra - 
Iridcea edulis - - - 
I.aurencia j[)innatifolia 

Lamimaria phyllitis 

Leathesia Berkleyi - - 
Laminaria digitata 

Melobesia lichenoides - 

Nemahon multifida - - 
JVytophyllum punctatum 
Polysyhoniti parasitica 

Ptilota plumosa - - - 
JPunctaria latifolia 

Plocamium coccineum - 

Porphyra vulgaris - - 

Peyssonetia Dwhyi - - 

Jlhodymenia palmata - 

Rkodymenia lacinata - 
Rytiphlcea pinastris 

Taonia atomaria - - 

Ulva latissima - - - 

Vo.ucheria suhmarina - 
Zonaria parxmla - - 

Sponge-like gracilaria. 

Red hildebrandtia. 

Eatable iridea. 

Pinnate-leafed laurencia. 

j Leafy laminaria, oar weed, 
\ or tangle. 

Berkley's leathesia. 

Fingered tangle. 

Lichen-like melobesia. 

Many-cleft nemaleon. 

Spotted nytophyllum. 

Parasitic polysphonia. 

Feathery ptilota. 

Broad-leafed pnnctaria. 

Scarlet plocamium. 

Common porphyra. 

Duby's peyssonetia. 

Dulse or dillis. 

Lace-edged rhodymenia. 

Pine-like rytiphlsea. 

Speckled taonia. 

{Broad-leaf ulva or sea-let- 

Submarine vaucheria. 

Lesser zonaria. 

To which we may add the 

Cladaphorce rupestris. 


Chylodadia articulata. 
Dorsga elegans. 
Entomor'phaj ramulosa. 
Entomorjpha compressa. 
Gelideum corneum. 
Padina pavonia. 
Polysiphonia arceolata. 
Tuhularia indivisa. 

The Asperococcus is a singular looking, tube-shaped, light- 
yellow plant. The Spotted Asperococcus is of a light green, 
dotted with black. 

The Bangia Fusco-purpura are seen in red violet tufts, 
and resemble glass-plumes, colored up to suit a taste for 
the purples. 

The Bryopsis plumosa is a very elegant seaweed, and one 
that thrives exceedingly well in an Aquarium, besides add- 
ing greatly to its attractions. Its name, " Bryopsis," is 
derived from a couple of Greek words signifying a resem- 
blance to moss ; and the "Plumosa" is indicative of its 
light, pretty, feathery appearance. Its color may be termed 
a yellowish green. It is common between the tide-marks 
at Hurlgate, Yellow Hook, Bergen Point, and in various 
portions of New York bay. It may be seen early in the 
season, velveting over, as if with a rich carpet, the float- 
ing timber. At a later period it mosses in its delicate 
embrace the rugged face of rocks. The latter is the choice 


kind for selection, as the timber is certain to decompose 
and contaminate the water in your tank. 

The Chondrus crispus is another strikingly appropriate 
as well as handsome plant for the Aquarium. When 
dried, this weed constitutes the carrageen moss of trade, 
and is made up into jellies as an article of medical value. 
It may be found sometimes in open pools, and sometimes hid- 
den away under piled up rocks, where, entirely enveloped by 
a thick and tangled mass of the rank olive-weed (Fucus), it 
grows in little leafy bushes, each leaf widening to a flat- 
tened tip. In its native element this plant is a perfect 
aggregation of brilliant hues, some of its leaves gleaming 
with nacreous tin^ts, as though made of mother-of-pearl, 
and some shining like tempered steel, in blue, violet, and 
glistening semi-crimson. 

The Ckrysemenia rosea, with its pink fronds, is a unique 
specimen. It is hard to say what it resembles, but it is 
not inelegant. 

The Corallina, in its earlier stage, may be seen, like a 
shelly or stony cast, incrusting with a dull purple hue, like 
that of some of the mosses, the rocky surface of low-lying 
pools. It is exhibited in irregular patches, continually in- 
creasing from the circumference in concentric zones. By 
and by, it shoots up into little bushes of many-jointed 
twigs, which jut out on every side, or gather in bunches, 
and hang lovingly over the verge of the .precipitous 
rocks. It is chiefly composed of lime, and is of a stony 
hardness ; yet it is a vegetable beyond dispute, and in a 


tank liyes well and long, besides adding to its perfection. 
When white in color reject them, as they robe themselves, 
like true Orientals, in that color to indicate the season of 

The Chordaria divaricata is a bright green plant, with 
a multitude of little branches. The C. Jiagelliformis is a 
deep olive, and, as its name imports, stands up like a bunch 
of whips. 

The Callithamnion arbuscula is a bushy specimen of 
the Algce tribe, and has all the aspect of a juvenile 

The Codium tomentosiim is remarkable for its complex- 
ion of light, vivid green. Each branchlet is ornamented 
with an edging of delicate cilise, as if it were a border of 
a daintier shade. The C. bursa belongs particularly to the 
coast of France, and is an oddity, if nothing more inter- 

The Ceramium stridum grows in crimson tufts, and may 
easily be mistaken, except in color, for a Bangia. 

The Delesseria Americana and D. sanguinea are dark 
scarlet weeds, abundant in the environs of Hurlgate, and 
about Boston harbor. It is a showy specimen for the 
Aquarium, but the season enjoyed by it is much briefer 
than many other of its species. It is, in fact, unusually 
delicate, and a few minutes' exposure to the air imparts to 
it that jaundiced tint which shows that death has already 
commenced his work of destruction. The D. alata grows 
in thin, much cut leaves of crimson. 


The Dumantia filiformis may be recognized by its tufts 
of lively green. 

The Ectocarjpus siliculosus is a bright green, feathery- 
shaped plant. The E. tomentosus is much closer in form, 
and resembles a spray of wild broom. 

The Gigartina acicularis is a dark brown, verging on 
black, and were it exaggenated and placed on the head 
of a buck, would pass very respectably for antlers. 

The Gracilaria confervoides, with its purple branchlets, 
is graceful and curious. 

The Hildehrandtia rubia grows on pebbles and rocks, 
and rejoices in a garb of brilliant red. 

The Iridcea edulis is known by its solid, deep crimson, 
or dark-brownish scarlet fronds, looking, at times, like 
red morocco cut into pear-shaped pieces. It is easily 
torn, and amid the waves its smooth leaves are soon made 

The Laurencicb pinnatifolia and L. pinnatijida are 
found in tufts, with cat leaves, and a pointed outline, 
occasionally of a deep yellow, and occasionally a dull 
purple hue, as the plant may have happened to grow 
exposed to the sunlight or hidden in the ocean shadows. 
The sunny colors are the bright ones, of course. 

The Laminaria phyllitis is seen in clusters, neatly frilled, 
of delicately thin texture, and a yellow brown in color, 
like some fair lady's ringlets. The L. digitata has a broad, 
smooth, leathery leaf of dark brown, on a slender stalk, 
and as it matures, splits into long fingers, or ribbon-like 


bits. These Oar-weeds, or Tangles, are of no value, we 
think, to the Aquarium. 

The Leathesia Berkkyi look like convex kernels done up 
in bronze. 

The Melolesia lichenoides is a pale, sulphur-colored 
plant, of moss-like appearance. 

The Nemaleon multifida has violet, antler-like fronds. 

The Nytojphyllum punctatum is a charmingly marked 
plant, with a richly frilled edge, and black maculations. 

The Polysjphonia parasitica is a delicately branched para- 
site, that makes its home on the lichen-like Melobesia. 

The Ptilota plumosa is a feathery plant, of a dull, red 

The Pundaria latifolia is a delicate pale plant, thin as 
tissue-paper, with a light buff surface, sprinkled over with 
minute dots of vivid black. 

The Plocamium coccineum grows in pretty pink tufts. 

The Porphyra vulgaris is a very common, but surpris- 
ingly picturesque, sea weed. It has a large and gracefully- 
bending frond of rich purple, with narrower and younger 
fronds springing from the same root. 

The Peyssoneta Duhyi is a pale crimson plant, embrac- 
ing the first convenient pebble. 

The Rhodymenia palmata grows in bunches of broad, 
dark-red leaves,^ the size of one's hand, smooth and glossy 
in appearance. The red often runs into a dark crimson, 
which shades off into a pale green towards the tips. The 
jR. ladnata is bright crimson, and has the finest possible 


transparent fronds. The Rhodymenias are not much to be 
recommended for the Aquaria. They are pleasing, but 
too uncertain. 

The Mytiphma pinastris is a brown-fronded plant, and 
wins its title on account of its pine-like formation and 

The Taonia afomaria grows like a bunch of fasces, of a 
brownish-green hue. 

The Ulva latissima, or Sea Lettuce, grows everywhere, 
almost, on the coast, and is one of the best sea weeds for 
a tank in the entire category. It prospers in that species 
of confinement as well as in its home in the ocean, and 
throws off oxygen continually and in great abundance, for 
the support of the animal life around it. The green weeds, 
as a general rule, are less precarious than the red ones, 
and hence ought always to be preferred by the amateur ; 
but the Ulva is most to be preferred of all. Its broad 
leaves, of brilliant green, are familiar to nearly every eye. 
They are thin as silver paper, all puckered up and folded 
at the rim, and usually torn and chafed away at the 
edges. It is to be found in the hollows of the rockp, be- 
tween tide-water marks, luxuriating almost to the level of 
high water. 

The Vaucheria siilmarina is a graceful light green, and 
not unattractive plant. 

The Zonaria parvula is a small brown plant of the 
pebble-hugging species. 

The Cladophorce rupestrifi does well in a tank, and fills 


up the hollows in the artificial rock to advantage. It is 
of a bluish green, that harmonizes well with the sea 

The Chylodadia articulaia is a pretty weed, like a multi- 
tude of " tiny, oval bladders of red wine, set end to end 
in chauis." It grows in dense, mossy patches, on the per- 
pendicular face and overshadowed edges of the rocks. 

The Dorsgd degans, a showy red weed, may be found in 
all portions of our harbor, from half-tide to low-water 
mark. When removed young to the tank, it flourishes 
very satisfactorily. 

The Entomorjpha compressa is also quite common in our 
bay, and in the vicinity of Long Island Sound. It is a 
green weed, and grows rapidly in the Aquarium. The 
E. ramidosa is equally suitable. In form and size this 
plant exhibits great variations. It is full branched, and 
much twisted in figure. 

The Gdideum corneum is a red weed, usually slender 
and of small size, its leaves fringed with delicate processes 
all round. It is a hardy plant, and so is 

The Fhyllophora, a brilliant red weed. 

The Padina pavonia is a comely, plant, fan-shaped and 
brightly radiated. 

The Polisyjphonia arceolata grows in reddish-purple tufts, 
and presents an agreeable contrast beside the light green 
or pale yellow leaves of its companions. 




/^^HE Marine Aquarium now supplied with appro- 
j I priate vegetation, and fitted at length for that 
^^^ raore active organization of existence which we 
term animal life, our next duty is to tenant it with 
creatures to whose good character, suitable habits, and 
prepossessing wardi'obe we can bear honest testimony. 

We might proceed at once to introduce our select 
coterie of mollusca, Crustacea, or even fish, but, in the 
natural gradation of being, the wonderful zoophytes, which, 
to all appearance, are ocean flowers, and yet are really 
animals, endowed with mouth and stomach, and the means 
of locomotion, should take precedence in this connection. 
Zoophytes. — The Actiniae, or Sea Anemones, may 
safely be pronounced the most gorgeous, as well as the 
most extraordinary of the zoophytes. They are all 
entitled to the character of beautiful, but the colors of 
the actiniae are superb beyond ordinary realization. With 



their tentacles thrown out like the petals of a flower, but 
employed, in that fair disguise, as arms for arresting- 

Group of Actinise. 

their unsuspecting prey, nothing could be less snspicioi; , 
nor more bewitchingly deceitful. It is not at all mar- 
vellous that they passed so long for oceanic yegetation, 


nor yet when, only a portion of their novel pecaliarities 
became the subject of observation, that they were so gene- 
rally held to be the grand connecting link in which were 
imperceptibly fused the attributes of animal and vege- 
table existence. 

There are many species of adinm known to naturalists, 
all of which would be highly ornamental to a marine 
Aquarium, but some of them perish when wrested from 
their habitat in the sea ; while others, with little per- 
suasion, accommodate themselves to their new condition. 
The former may be briefly alluded to, but the latter should 
be the particular object of our attention. 

The Sea Anemones adhere to rocks. A certain class 
often dwell high up, exposed to the air, but the rarer kind 
in more concealed and out of the way places. They must 
be carefully removed, as we have suggested in other 
cases, by inserting the finger-nail beneath their base, loosen- 
ing their hold, and quietly shoving them off. Those that 
refuse to yield to such insinuating influences, must be 
captured by chiselling away that portion of the stone to 
which they cling so pertinaciously. When secured, the 
next difficulty is to transport them safely. To accom- 
plish this feat, first place some wet, green algcB (sea- 
weeds) at the bottom of a basket. On this downy bed 
lay each one, after enveloping it well in more wet sea- 
weed. Over them put another layer of the same material. 
In this condition they may remain for a day or two 
without injury. Great care must be taken, however, of 


the base by which th« animal affixes itself to the piece 
of rock, for a wounded base often occasions death. If 
the anemone enjoys the luxury of nerves at all, it is quite 
probable that the base is where the ganglion may be 
concentrated. Once in the Aquarium, if disposed to live 
at all, they will soon provide themselves with a suitable 
position, and proceed to business. 

The Actinia crassicornis (Thick-horned Sea Anemone) 
would probably take the palm from all its congeners for 
beauty. The mouth is of a delicate straw color, the 
tentacles white, with bands of pink, and the body or stem 
a rich orange-brown, sprinkled with tubercles of a bright 
yellow. It seldom if ever flourishes in the Aquarium. 
The A. gemmacea (Gemmed Sea Anemone) might possibly 
contest the point of elegance with the Crassicornis ; for its 
body is also embellished with rows of brightly tinted 
tubercles, and its whole surface toned with orange-pink, 
blue, and pale rainbow hues, while gem-like touches of 
blue, yellow, and brown, are seen about its mouth and 
sharply-pointed tentacles. The tentacles, as we have 
mentioned, are food-seizers, in fact, although they look 
so innocent ; the tubercles have an air of still greater 
innoxiousness, but they are perfect engines of war, for 
they contain a thread, armed with a barbed and poisoned 
dart, which the creature can project to a considerable 
distance, and with an unerring certainty that leaves its 
prey bat little hope of escape, however secure he may 
have imao-ined himself in his distance. 



The Actinia mesemhrianthemum (Carnation-like Sea Ane- 
mone) is well adapted to the tank, and not so difficult to 

Actinia diantlius. 

preserve as the species just mentioned. I:s body is 
usually of a rich, warm brown, and its tentacles of a rosy 


piuk color. They are found, however, with a great variety 
of hues, and may be so chosen as to create increased interest 
by comparison. The Actinia diantMis (Pkimose or Feather- 
like Sea Anemone) is another with an assortment of colors 
to suit itself. Some of them are scarlet, some snow-white, 
some a dull brown, some orange, and some even a light 
green. Theyl. clavata (Nailed Sea Anemone) is a brilliant 
white. The A. anguicoma, or Snake-haired, looks as if it 
were shaking a mass of serpents from its conical head. The 
A. vestita (Clothed Sea Anemone) constructs a shell for 
itself, into which it retires when disturbed, or when for- 
saken by the tide, thus metamorphosing itself into an 
article too common to attract attention. The A. margi- 
nafa make its home on the rocks, at low water-mark, 
about our eastern coasts. The A. carneola belongs to 
the coast of Maine, and is only about half an inch in 
diameter. It may be known by its mouth, which pro- 
trudes far upwards on the disk, on the edge of which are 
the tentaculse. These alternate in two rows of eighteen 
each. The A. ohtruncata has a short body, and a broad, 
flat disk. The tentaculse are placed between the mouth 
and the margin. They are short, and very blunt at the 
extremities, as if cut off. They are indistinct, and not 
numerous, and arranged alternately in rows of four or 
five. The A. rapiformis dwells in the sand on the coast 
of New Jersey. You may find them washed up some- 
times on the sand, by the waves, when a careless observer 
would mistake one of them for an onion, or something of 


that character. This is because, when disturbed, it 
withdraws the tentaculse it usually displays above the 
common surface, and retreating thus into its habitation, 
loses its peculiar appearance. The young are more 
transparent than the old ones, and sometimes of a darker 

The class of Zoophytes, known as the Lucernarice, are 
not without claims to favor. The L. auricula is a light 
pink in color, and is supposed to resemble the flower after 
which it is named, though some naturalists pronounce it 
more like the convolvulus. The Camjpanulata is more 
bell-shaped, and is of a liver color. All the Lucernarim 
are too frail for the Aquarium. 

The Polyps, or compound Zootypes, may furnish us 
with a few specimens of utility. The Pennatula 'phos- 
phor aa, or Sea Pea,, is seen at times standing upright, its 
bare portion or trunk, which is of a purplish red, resem- 
bling a quill, and its purple branches, or pinnae, standing 
sponsor for the feathered end. When plunged into cold 
water, it emits, in its irritation, a shower of phosphoric 
sparks. The Alyconium digitatum (Many-fingered Ane- 
mone), is sometimes called Dead-men's Toes by the fisher- 
man. It looks hke a mass of short fingers when the final 
florets are closed ; and each finger-like cell contains a sepa- 
rate being, while, at the same time, each is virtually a por- 
tion of the common body or spine that supports them all. 

The Mollusca. — The Mollusca, as we have suggested 
in our chapters on the Fresh-water Aqu.\eium, perform the 


ignoble but important part of scavengers, and cannot be 
dispensed with. They devour the refuse of decaying 
plants, and decomposing animal substances. They also 
feast upon the millions of spores, or seeds, of the Algas, 
held in suspension at times by the water. In this manner 
tb 3y are enabled, if sufficiently numerous, to keep the tank 
in a cleanly condition, and deliver us from all that might 
interfere with a good view of our cherished favorites. 

The Periwinkle {Littorina littorea) is a sea snail, that 
they boil and eat in England, as we boil and eat chest- 
nuts in this country. It is as popular among children 
there, and as common in the theatres, as peanuts are here. 
The periwinkle may be gathered everywhere on our sea- 
shores, and is one of the Aquarium's most valuable ad- 
juncts. The decaying vegetation is its natural food. It 
rejoices in a multitude of colors, from a dull grey up to 
orange, red, and even bright scarlet, and indulges occa- 
sionally in black bands. The small, yellow kind are not 
to be depended upon as thoroughly as the rest. 

The Winkle {Pyrida canalkulata) is a common shell 
upon all our coasts. It is hardy, and can be sustained for 
months in a tank. 

The Sea Hares {Aplysice) should not be omitted, when 
they can, without much difficulty, be secured. The A. 
hylrida succeed well in European Aquaria, and its con- 
geners might with us. The A. leporince of the Mediter- 
ranean is said to have supplied the poison with which 
Locasta terminated the intrigues of Nero's enemies, as 



well as composed the draught he finally dh'ected for him- 
self, but had not the courage to swallow. 

The Trochus tribe, vulgarly known as Tops, are as use- 
ful as the Periwinkles. They have evenly-conical shells, 
from the peculiar shape of which they derive their names. 
The T. cinerarius is of a dull purplish grey, marked with 
zig-zag lines. The T. umbilicatus is of a dull olive or 
green, with narrow, reddish bands radiating from the 
centre. The shells have a remarkably pearly appearance 
inside, while not a few are strikingly finished off with 
iridescent tints, and brilliant changeable shades of the 
nacreous character. The T. ziziphinus, or Pearly Top, 
is of a rich orange color, striped with black. The most 
profitable to the Aquarium is the T. cinerarius, who, if 
you have a good pocket-lens, will be found a busy 
little customer. The Tops and the Periwinkles, when 
viewed through a proper instrument, may be seen putting 
forth their probosces and turning them inside out, like a 
stocking, until the silky surface, which is the tongue, en- 
counters the glass sides of the tank. Here each proboscis 
makes a grand sweep, like a mower with his scythe, tak- 
ing up in its swath all the mass of confervse on the 
spot. When the proboscis infolds its walls the tongue 
disappears, and with it goes to the interior all the col- 
lected material. A forward movement is made, and 
another portion of the glass swept clean, after a similarly 
unique fashion, until, having reached the end of their field 
of industry, they recommence again. 


The Bacciiium obsoktum is a good scavenger for the 
Aquarium. He inhabits all our coasts. 

The Fusus imbricatus is a pretty and useful snail, and 
can be procured, by dredging, in our bay and harbor. 
The F. domrens is called the Drill by oystermen, and is 
in full possession of the implacable hatred of that class of 
our industrial population. It is stated to be very destruc- 
tive in the oyster beds, boring holes in the shells of the 
luscious bivalves, and helping itself remorselessly, through 
the orifice, to the body of the helpless animal within. 

The Scolloj) (Pecten) sometimes called the Cockle, is 
abundant on our coast. The empty shells always attract 
attention by their beauty ; but the animals once the occu- 
pants of these frescoed walls, and who, as they mature, 
grow fashionable and erect edifices still more imposing, 
are more prepossessing than their late tenements. The 
rows of blue eyes, like fine points, which are visible upon 
the very margin of the shell, when the valves are partially 
open, give us a faint indication of the royal colors worn 
bj the gaudy and luxurious creature within. 

The Sea Cucumber [Holothuria) can be obtained on 
our eastern coast, and is a very gay and showy append- 
age to the tank. There is a great variety of the class, 
some of which uncommonly resemble a gherkin lying in 
the water. The tentaculas of many are colored a bright 
red, of many others a pale brown or yellow, while you 
occasionally meet them of a dark purple. They always 
adhere to the surface of rocks by the side on which the 



suckers are developed. Now and then you may perceive 
them in the gravel, near low water. They merit all the 
space they will occupy, so do not omit them. 

The Oyster ; the Sea-Mussel ; the Murex ; the Anomia ; 
the Bullas ; the Chitons ; a species of Sea Wood-louse ; 
the Modioles ; all the Nudihranch or naked-gilled, and 
most of the Tedihranch species, may be placed in the 
Aquarium with advantage. The sand-burrowing bivalves, 
as Madra, Pallastra, Venus, etc. ; the Gastroc,h(Ena 

Sea Cucumber (Holothuria.) 

and Saxicava, burrowers in stone ; the Whelk ; the Cowry ; 
the Ascidice / the NaticcE ; the Cynthia ; the little Rissoce ; 
the Acmcea; the Phasianella ; the Calypfrcea, or Cup and 
Saucer ; will all prove welcome additions. 

Annelides. — The tubular cells of the Serjpulm, formed 
of hard shell, out of which rise the dashingly gay colored 
tentacles, deserve appreciation. The S, Contortujplicata 
has a " stopper " of white sometimes, but sometimes of a 
glowing orange color, which accompanies the fan-like 
and feathery group of tentacles that serve the animal for 


a breathing apparatus. The slightest disturbance induces 
these tentacles to withdraw themselves hastily into their 
tubular shell, and when they do, the "stopper" follows, clos- 
ing the orifice completely, as if with a cork. The Sabellas 
construct their tube of mud. The Gold Comb {Ampki- 
trite auricoma) is very curious. It ''corks up" like the 
Strfvla, but it has scarlet gills just below its cork-like 
head, and across the latter article runs an appendage, from 
the color and shape of which it has obtained its title. The 

Serpula Contortuplicata. 

Long Worm ; the Sea -Mouse ; the Terebellas ; the Ner- 
eides ; the PlanaricB and the Sea-Leech, may be presented 
in this company. 

The Ttibularia Indivisa, of which we give a graphic 
engraving, is one of the most beautiful objects of the 
AquARiuiL It may be procured at Hurlgate, where it is 
seen grouped in masses of thirty or forty together, upon 



the surface of shells and stones, as though resolved to 
fashion a brilliant bouquet of animal flowers for marine 

Tubularia Indivisa. 

admiration. It exhibits a head resembling a superb scar 
let blossom, with a double row of ten taenia, and often 
hanging in pendent clusters, like grapes. These heads are 


of different dimensions, figures and shades, and when wit- 
nessed in combination are inconceivably magnificent. In 
the tank a singular phenomenon occurs with these Tubu- 
laria. After a few days' confinement, their heads drop off. 
Subsequently the stalk darkens again, and new heads are 
observed internally advancing towards the point whence 
their precursors had fallen. By and by, these heads drop 
and are succeeded again by other new ones ; and so on ad 
infinitum, perhaps, though we are unable to state, from 
observation, to what extent the curious process is carried 
out. Our own specimen, from which the artist has made 
his life-like sketch, has been in the tank since August 
185t, and blossoms in the novel manner described about 
once in two days. It looks extremely well beside the 
Actiniae and Serpula. 

CiRRiPEDES. — The Common Barnacle (Pentelasmis ana- 
tifera) is too well known to need description. The 
Acorn Barnacles {Balani) usually attach themselves para- 
sitically, to the shell of a Whelk or some univalve, and 
spread out a cast-net of the feathery filaments of which 
their tentacles are composed, to entangle the minute 
Infusory or Annelid. The Pyrgoma cements himself to 
the plates of the large Madrepore, and travels in this 
manner an original " dead head." 





ISH. — The fish indigenous (if we may use that term 
in this connection) to the sea^are generally propor- 
v_J tioned in size to their habitat — to the locality they 
inhabit. Our choice from amongst them, therefore, is some- 
what limited, though the list is certainly copious enough for 
ordinary purposes. We may congratulate ourselves also on 
the fact, that it comprises some of the prettiest and most in- 
teresting specimens of that branch of natural history. Those 
which have been tried in the Aquarium successfully may 
be thus enumerated, viz : the fifteen-spined stickleback, 
the minnow or killifish, common bass, striped bass, bagall, 
tom cod, pigmy catfish, banded garnard, flounder, poggee, 
and the eel, to which we might add certain fish that have 
thriven uncommonly well in the London Aquaria, viz.: the 
tansy the young of the grey mullet, the wrasse, the black 
goby, and the pipefish. 

The catalogue might be increased indefinitely, perhaps, 



because any fresli-water fish that spawns in salt water, and 
vice versa, will flourish in either condition ; but, as we 
have repeatedly observed, large fish occupy an amount of 
space, and demand an amount of oxygen, that will not ad- 
mit of those addenda without which we cannot produce a 
characteristic Aquarium ; we are compelled, on that ac- 
count, to restrict our attention not only to fish more 
diminutive, but to those accidental aberrations of nature 
which furnish us with dwarfish specimens of such as are of 
greater magnitude. 

The Stickleback, Triton (Gasterosteus), and also the 
Minnow {Leudscus), we have amply described, under the 
head of the Fluvial or Fresh-water Aquarium, They will 
do admirably together. The minnow, however beyond 
the stickleback in size, is not often disposed to try the 
point of those two-edged swords with which his compan- 
ion goes ready armed, like a warrior arrayed cay a pie in 
all the panoply of battle. The stickleback, though a 
pigmy, is one of the most truculent of his tribe ; yet he 
little cares to do more than chase up the minnow, when 
the latter provokes him by a display of too much inquisi- 
tiveness, unless the exasperation be prolonged, when he 
(metaphysically) *' takes off his coat — rolls up his sleeve " 
— and usually leaves his ■ antagonist under the impression 
that — 

" Jordan is a hard road to travel, I believe." 

The bass^ bagall, tom-cod, catfish, flounder, poggee, and 


eel, are so familiar to our readers, that we forbear all 
expatiatioa upon their appearance or peculiarities. Al- 
most any breakfast or dinner-table, on the seaboard of 
our country, will be prepared to exhibit them. Our in- 
land friends may obtain them from the nearest coast by 
furnishing, not a description, but the mere titles of them. 
Young flounders, when quite small, are amusing on account 
of their novel mode of swimming. The poggee is rather 
too much disposed to hug the bottom of the tank to show 
to advantage ; and yet his plate-armor, running in re- 
gular longitudinal lines, and displaying so many sharp 
ridges from head to tail, would be unique and attractive, 
could he often be tempted to invite criticism. 

The Tansy {Blennius pholis) is a sort of changeable 
silk in color, and has bright scarlet eyes. He can exist 
on the smallest possible amount of oxygen, and is a pocket- 
edition of a fish nicely suited to an Aquarium, when you 
can get hold of him. The mullet will do, because, if the 
water be not well oxygenated he will ascend to the sur- 
face, and pilfer it from the atmosphere. 

The Wrasse (^Labrus maculatits), with his crimson ma- 
culations, is inconveniently overgrown in point of longi- 
tude, in our opinion, for our object. He is handsome, but 
cannot conveniently " come in." • 

The Black G-oby {Gobius niger), with his turquoise- 
blue eyes, is another illustration of the occasional defects 
of beauty. He is a voracious glutton. " Dog will not eat 
dog " is a common saying, but the goby will devour his 


own species, as well as all other fish sufficiently timid or 
amiable to accommodate his appetite. We cannot coun- 
tenance such a savage The Pipefish ( Syngnat/ms 
acus) would not prove an improper member of your 

Hermit crsib— {Fa gurus Longicarpus.') 

Crustacea. — The little Hermit Crab {Pagurus longicar- 
pus) may be discovered in great abundance upon all our 
coasts, and merits a good place in the variety of subaque- 
ous life which constitutes a true Aquarium. He is a pug- 
nacious individual, however, and when two or more are 
placed in one compartment, it would be judicious to select 
them as nearly as possible of one size and physique. They 
travel all over the tank, and when they meet invariably 
indulge in a savage encounter, until one, convinced of his 
inferiority, abandons the contest, and hastens out of the 
way on the approach of his antagonist. The Hermit Crab 
seldom inhabits a shell of his own. He may be found in 
almost every kind of shell whatever. He is not at all 


particular as to the character of its last possessor ; he is 
simply delicate as to its exact fit ; that quality conceded, 
he looks no farther, but introduces himself to such an ex- 
tent that it is impossible to seize and dislodge him. He 
must be fed, though, with some regularity, and will re- 
lish bits of almost any animal substance. Raw, lean 
meat, given him every day, will suit his inclinations and 
habits exactly, and his movements in feeding are well 
worthy of careful study. 

The Spider Crab, or Sea Spider {Lihinia canaliculata), 
is also common upon our coast, and is among the most 
useful of his tribe in the Aquarium, as he is a capital 
and diligent scavenger. They are very destructive crea- 
tures among the oyster-beds, as they devour the spawn 
with incredible voracity. The spider crab, like the her- 
mit crab, often carries on his shell a number of zoophytes. 
Some of the adinice seem especially to enjoy this species 
of locomotion, and indulge in it to an extravagant extent. 
We have had a spider crab for months in a tank, and find 
him quite a diverting companion. Now and then he tears 
the algce from the rockwork, and adorns himself with it, 
and in this shape presents himself as proudly as though 
he had just purchased, in some fashionable quarter, a new 
suit in the latest mode. 

The Climbing Crab {Eurynome asjpera) always insists 
upon clambering to the topmost object in the -tank. The 
Fiddler Crab may be found scampering awkwardly along 
the beach everywhere by the seaside. He is astonishing- 


ly nimble, though he does make such odd progress, and 
he darts down his hole in the sand with a celerity that is 

star fish, Sea-spider, Crab. 

marvellous. The Horse-foot, equally plentiful, looks well 
in the Aquarium. 

The Shrimp must not be forgotten. With his long, 


hair-like horns, he steals along with a gentle motion — the 
Grimalkin, as it were, of the Aquarium — his eyes glaring 
intently around, as if watching for some hidden culprit. 
His semi-transparent body, his wary movements, his un- 
usual fashion of personal cleanliness, etc, all render him 
a subject of entertaining observation. 

A few Star-fish (the Asterim) would be a fitting orna- 
ment to a neat Aquarium. The animal of this genus is 
well known, and may be had, by dredging, in great vari- 
ety in New York bay and harbor. They are of all colors 
and characters. Some have the power, when irritated, 
of exploding themselves to pieces, and dying in this man- 
ner (to speak irreverently) on a bust. Others, again, 
have the Polypi capacity of reproducing whole animals 
from any small portion broken off ; still others have the 
power only of reproducing mutilated parts ; and still 
others, if divided into as many fragments as there are 
rays, provided a portion of the mouth be attached to 
each, are able to create of each a perfect Star fish. These 
creatures, like the Drill and the Spider Crab, are the 
ravagers of the oyster-beds, and when caught are delibe- 
rately trampled under foot, to crush any disposition they 
may have to rise again remultiplied. They increase by 
the internal formation of a species of bud, or gemmse, 
which, when fully formed, are cast out by the parent to 
" seek their fortune," and commence a voyage- of discovery 
at once to that end. They are tranquil-looking, appa- 
rently respectable, " old fogy " denizens of the '' great 


deep ;" but they are sad rakes, if naturalists do not 
calumniate them, and, like other wicked ones, are much 
more mischievous than they seem. 


So much for the Aquarium I The unthinking may call 
it a toy. The reflecting will aptly term it a wonder. 
But may we not make of it something more ? Who loves 
not the billowy ocean, with its wild, weird-like, melancholy 
wail, and its light, dancing foam-tops, shaking, as they 
go, their " loosening silver in the sun ?" Who loves not 
the glistening river, and the wide, solemn lake, in whose 
glorious face, all day, but heaven itself seems mirrored, 
and at night whose bosom " throbs with stars like pulses ?" 
Yet here, in the Aquarium, we have their '^ counterfeit 
presentment," faithfully drawn by nature herself, in her 
most artistic moments, and finished up to life with all her 
tintings of romance. Here we may sit face to face with 
reality, in 

" Silent speech — a converse that affords 
Surer communion " 

than the babbling of the schools, or the dim picturing 
even of eloquent books. Here we may still learn some- 
thing in the simplest act to expand our narrow circle of 
useful knowledge. Here we may, indeed, find " sermons 
in brooks," for every pebble in the Aquarium is a text, 
and every leaflet on it a living accordance for study and 


consultation. A new world of wisdom will be opened for 
our private instruction. When the wind howls, and the 
storm rudely " draws the pale curtains of the vapory 
clouds" to shut out the light ; when the frightened 
waters leap frantically about, looking for help, and the 
tall ships groan as they fold their weary wings, and roll 
in their billowy beds as if in anguish ; we shall no longer 
ignorantly presume that its only purpose is to alarm or to 
destroy. We shall look at the Aquarium, and perceive 
that it is but one of nature's gigantic efforts to accom- 
plish a duty which she owes to millions on millions of her 
helpless dependents, down, down amid " the sombre depths 
of the silent sea." And though, to our finite vision, the 
orgasm may seem, at times, to sacrifice a painfully un- 
necessary amount of life, we may confess that, to eyes 
more infinite, that sacrifice is but an offering on the altar 
of fate to avert the destruction of ten thousand times as 
many existences just as important in the vast economy of 
the universe, however to our selfish conceptions so insig- 
nificant. When the rain-drops patter upon the sounding 
roof ; when the *' windows of heaven are open," and the 
silver bubbles caper so nimbly over the troubled pond, 
and the big tear-trops chase each other adown the 
casement-panes, like diamond splinters on a " spree ;" 
when the parched flowers and the thirsty road drink up 
the shower with such a look of grateful gladness ; we 
shall turn to the Aquarium, and chide the egotism that 
could fancy it all done to stimulate the growing crop, or 


beautify for us the face of nature. We shall gaze, iu our 
mind's eye, upon the heated stream, the seething rivulet, 
the steaming river, and before us will stand a countless 
myriad of living forms, to whose heart every splash of the 
rain must bring a universe of enjoyment ; to whom every 
iridescent globule is a messenger of renewed being ; to 
whom every tiny drop falls gushing with champagny ex- 
hilaration ; who revel in the temporary perturbation with 
all the intense delight with which we, higher intelligences, 
languish through a hal masque, or contemplate the fascinat- 
ing and brilliant tumult of a carnival ! 



Sent Free of Postage at the Price Annexed. 

1. Chesterfield's Art of Letter-Writing Simplifisd, SO m 

2. The Laws of Love, 25 

3. Gambler's Tricks with Cards Espooed, by Green, 25 

4. Everlasting Eortune Teller, and Dream Book, 25 

5. How to Woo and Kow to Win, - - - - 12i 

6. Bridal Etiquette, ISi 

7. How to Behave; or, the Spirit of Etiquette, - 12i 

8. How to Dress with Taste, 12i 

9. Mind your Stops ; or, Punctuation made Plain, 12i 

10. Hard Words made Easy, = = - . - 12i 

11. Dictionary of 3000 Abbreviations, - - - I2i 

12. Blunders in Behavior Corrected, . - . - 12i 

13. 500 French Phrases, -.-.-. I2i 

14. How to Detect Adulterations in our Daily Food, 12i 

15. The Young Housekeeper's Book, - . . - 12^ 

16. How to be Healthy, 12i 

17. How to Cut and Contrive Children's Clothes at a 
Small Cost, 12i 

18. How to Talk and Debate, - . . . I2i 

19. Children, and How to Manage them, - - 12^ 

20. Ladies' Guide to Beauty, ----- 25 

21. Ladies' Guide to Crochet, Cloth, Gilt, - - 75 

22. The American Home Cook Book, - - - - 25 

23. Inquire Within for Anything you Want to Know, 100 

24. Live and Learn ; or, 1, 000 Mistakes Corrected, 50 

25. The Magician's Own Book, containing over 1,000 
Tricks, Illustrated with over 500 Engravings, 1 00 

26. Every Woman her own Lawyer. A Guide in all 
matters of Law, ofEssential Interest to Women, 1 00 

27. The Book of 1000 Tales, and Wonderful Things, 100 

28. The Reason Why, by author of Inquire Within, 1 00 

29. The Family Aquarium, 50 

30. The Great Wizard of the North's Hand-Book of 
Natural Magic, by Professor J. H. Anderson, 25 

3L Kirk's Exposition of Odd-Fellowship ; Including 
the Secret Signs, Passwords, and Charges of 
the Five Degrees, 15 

32. Morgan's Freemasonry Exposed and Explained ; 
Showing Manners of Conferring the Different 
Degrees, as practiced in all Lodges, - - . 25 

33 The Arts of Beauty ; or, Secrets of the Toilet, by 

Lola Montez, -..-.- - 50 

DICK & FIT2GEEALD, Publishers, 




Corner of Broadway & Ann Street, 

The Managers of this favorite estabhshment, encouraged by 
their constant success in pleasing the puijiic, as is evinced by the 
throngs of visitors which croicd the Musemn every day and even- 
ing, have again made a most lavish outlay of money in order to 
secure valuable, rare and attractive novelties for their patrons. 
Although it is conceded that no place of amusement in the world 
provides one quarter of the attractions offered here for the same 
price of admission, yet relying on the immense numbers of persons 
who continually patronize them, the managers feel justified in in- 
creasing iheir expensesheyondi all former precedent, in order to add 
to the pleasure of their visitors. Those who visit the Museum at 
the present time will find, that on no former occasion have the at- 
tractions been so numerous, complete and valuable as at present. 
Rich and rare additions are continually being made to every de- 
partment of the Museum, while the Dramatic representations are 
unrivalled by any other establishment is this country. 


Which is without parallel in Europe or America in point of Sym- 
metry, Comfort and Gorgeous Decoratio7i, may be found 

Engaged on the score of ability alone, without regard to expense, 
embracing a WHOLE firmament of " Stars," for the splendid and 
effective production of 

Grand Moral Dramas, Sterling Temperance Plays, Solid 
English Comedies, Comic Local Farces, 

Lively Pantomimes, 

Gorgeous Spectacles, Pleasing Operettas, 

Pretty Ballets, Singing, Dancing, Music, &c., &c. 


As the immense curiosity saloons of this Museum are popularly 
called, are striking illustrations of what can be effected in the pro- 
gress of time, by means of indomitable energy, vast enterprise, and 
a fearless outlay of money. They comprise the substance of Seven 
Different Museums, purchased at various opportunities, besides 
a collection gathered from all quarters of the globe by industrious 
Agents, and the results of several expeditions after novelties, sent 
out at private cost, to Asia, Africa, and South America. 

This immense establishment is open, every day in the year (ex- 
cept Sundays) from 7 A. M. to 10 P. M. 

The performances in the Lecture Room take place at 3 o'block in 
the afternoon, and 7>^ o'clock in the evening. 

Admittance to the whole Museum, as well as the Entertainments 
in the Lecture Room — 35 cents. 



12mo, cloth, price 75 cents. 
Do. do do. Paper, illustrated cover, price 50 cents. 


Ti'liE, Large 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents. 
Do. do. do. Paper, price 50 cents. 


1jAN1>, Large 12mo, cloth, price 75 cents. 
Do. do. do. Paper, price 50 cents. 

" The writings of Judge Haliburton have long been regarded as 
the productions of the finest humorist that has ever attempted the 
delineation of Yankee character.and these entertaining works before 
us show that he has lost none of his original wit and humor. It 
will be diificult to find volumes so full ol fun and good sense as 
those which chronicle the experiences of Sam Slick." — Conimereial 

JL soon: ro^ wm^ Is^lbs^s. 
Ladies' Guide to Crochet; 


Copiously illusfrated with original and very choice designs in 
Crochet, &c., printed in colors, separate from the letterpress, on 
tinted paper. Also with numerous wood cuts printed with the let- 
terpress, explanatory of terms, &c. Oblong, pp. 117, beautifully 
bound in esti-a cloth gilt. Price SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS. 

This is by far the best work on the subject of Crochet yet pub- 
lished. There are plenty of other books containing Crochet pat- 
terns, but the difficulty is, they do not have the necessary instruc- 
tions how to work them, and are, therefore, useless. This work, 
however, supplies this much felt aud glaring deficiency, and has the 
terms in Crochet so clearly explained, that any Crochet jjattern, 
however difficult, may be worked with ease. 

Copies of either of the above books sent to any address in the 
United States or Canada. Send cash orders to 

Publishers, No. 18 Ann street, New York. 

ever Too Late to Ijearj 

Live and Learn 



Particularly Intended as a book of reference for the solution of diffi- 
culties connected with Grammar, Composition, Punctuation, &c., 
with explanations of Latin and French words and phrases of fre- 
quent occurrence in newspapers, reviews, periodicals, and boots in 
general, containing examples of 


Of daily occurrence, in Speaking, Writing, and Pronunciation, to- 
gether with detailed Instructions for "Writing for the Press, and 
forms of articles in the various departments of Newspaper Litera- 
ture. 216 pages, bound in cloth, 12mo. 

Price FIFTY CENTS, and sent to any address free of Postage. 

Such a book as this has long been wanted by those who entertain 
the wish alluded to in the title. It is suitable for all classes. "We 
have attentively conned its pages, and can recommend it as one 
of the best works of reference for the young student, or even the 
ripe scholar, and as desermng to ie generally consulted. The 
worJc is altogether useful and indispensable. — Teibune. 

Send cash orders to DICK & FITZGEEALD, 

No 18 Ann-street, New York. 

Extraordinary Volume! ! 


The title of this wonderful book is 

Inquire Within 


Or, Over 3,'3'00 E'acts for the People. 

Cloth Gilt, PRICE ONE DOLLAE. 436 Pages. 

" IxQuiEE WrrnxN " is one of the most valuable and extraordi- 
nary volumes ever presented to the American public, and embodies 
nearly Four Thousand Facts, in the most of which any person 
living will find instruction, aid, and entertainment, "Inquiee 
Within " is sold at the low price of one dollar, and yet it contains 
436 pages of closely-printed matter, and is handsomely and strongly 
bound. It is A Doctor, A Grardener, A Schoolmaster, A Dancing 
Master, An Artist, A Naturalist, A Modeler, A Cook, A Lawyer, 
A Surgeon, A Chess-Player, A Chemist, A Cosmetician, A Brewer, 
An Accountant, An Architect, A "Letter Writer," A "Hoyle,'' 
and a Universal Guide to all kinds of Useful and Fancy Employ- 
ment, Am.usement, and Money-making. Besides all this informa- 
tion — and we have not room to give an idea of a hundredth part 


that an enumeration of them requires SEYENTT-TWO COL- 

" Inquire Within " is no collection of ancient sayings and rec- 
ipes, but the whole is fresh and new, and suited to the present 
time. As a book to keep in the family for reference, it is une- 
qualed, comprising as it does all Kinds of Books of Information in 
a single volume. 

Published by DICK & FITZGERALD, 

No. 18 Ann-street, New York. 
Copies of the above book sent by mail, on receipt of $1, to any ad- 
dress, Free of Postage. 
Eeliable Agents wanted to canvass for " Inquteb Within." 

ic,— — — ■ g 

The Magician's Own Book ; 



Being a Hand-Book of Parlor Magic, and containing several huii- 
dred amnsing experiments, Transmutations, Sleiglits, and Subtleties 
in Legerdemain, &c., together with all the most noted Tricks of 
Modern Performers. Illustrated with over 500 "Wood Engravings. 
12mo, cloth, gilt, side and back stamp, 400 pages. With Tinted 
Frontispiece and Title. 

The matter in the above book embraces several hundred tricks 
never before in print, and is no catchpenny affair, but a standard 
work, containing every variety of experiment in conjuring, cards, 
legerdemain, transmutations, the magic of chemistry, the magic of 
mechanics, the magic of pneumatics, and the magic of numbers, 
&c., &c. Price ONE DOLLAE. 

The Reason Why; 

A Collection of some Thousands of Reasons for Things which, 
though Generally Known, are imperfectly Understood. A Eook of 
Condensed Scientific Knowledge for the Million. By the author of 
" iNQuniE Within." Large and handsome 12mo volume of o56 
pages, printed on fine .paper, bound in cloth, gilt, and embellished 
with a large number of Wood Cuts, illustrating the various subjects 
treated of. 

We have here condensed and put into popular form, all the learn- 
ing and the curious and useful discoveries which modern science 
has brought to light, and adapted to every-day life. If, therefore, 
you want to acquire a knowledge of Natural Science and Philoso- 
phy in a Nutshell — in other words, to become a learned person 
without the trouble of much study — buy this look. It contains a 
collection and solution of thirteen hundred and thirty-two facts 
in Science and Philosophy, some of which, on their first discovery, 
puzzled the most learned and apt scholars. The Table of Contents 
of this valuable work comprises Eoety ColximivS of Fine Type. 


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No. 18 Ann street. New York, 

A I'rivatc €!uide iia all Matters of lia-w, 





Containing the Laws of the different States relative to Marriage, and 
Divorce; Property in Marriage, Guardians and "Wards, Eights in 
Property of a Wife, Eights of Widows, Arrests of Females for Debt, 
Alimony, Bigamy, "Voluntary Separations, Discarded Wives, Suits, 
by and against Married Women, Breach of Promise, Deserted Wives, 
Clandestine Marriages, Adultery, Dower, Illegitimate Children, 
Step-Fathers and Step-Children, Seduction, Slander, Minors, Medical 
Mal-treatment, Just causes for Leaving a Husband, a Wife's Support, 
Property in Trust, Transfers of Property, Deeds of Gift, Annuities, 
Articles of Separation, False Pretences in Courtship, &c. 

Price OiS^e UoIIar* 

A Book for Youth. Containing over 300 Engravings, and 450 pages. 
Price One I>oilar» 


American Home Cook Book. 

Containing several hundred excellent Eecipes. The whole based 
on many years' experience of an American housewife. Hlustrated, 
with engravings. Price 25 Ceiats. 

All the Eecipes in this Book are written from actual experiments 
in Cooking. There arc no copyings from theoretical cooking recipes. 
They are intended for American families, and may be depended up- 
on as good and practicable. The authoress is a lady who under- 
stands how cooking ought to be done, and has here given her experi- 
ence. It is a book of 128 pages, and is cheap at 25 cents. We ex- 
pect to sell a very large number at this low price. 

Copies of either of the above books sent to any address in the 
United States or Canada. Send cash orders to 


PMblishers, IS Ansi St., New York.