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Old 03-25-2004, 03:47 PM   #1
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Newbieville.

All right, it's not like I haven't tried doing planted tanks before, but there's mostly fake vegetation in all my home aquariums for a reason. ;)

However, I am hopefully going to be helping to set up a decent-size (it's at least 50g and it's a "breeder" or "wide" sort of tank) FW aquarium and I was thinking about taking the plunge and designing it as a planted tank. It's a while away (6 months, more or less) before I'll actually be working with it, but I'm pretty sure I'll have the funds to do what is necessary to keep stuff...uhm...alive. I'm just starting research now so I don't go and buy a show-quality Amazon sword only to have it wittle away into nothing (those were the days :/). I am very keen on having a nice aquascape for it, and not just a jungle. It will be on display in a public place.

So right now what I'm looking for is good (correct information) books and websites I can be directed to, as well as places where I can find profiles of different plant species and perhaps some ideas on aquascaping. I know Takashi Amano is a big name, but that's about it. I've seen one page start-up "basics" sheets but I would enjoy some in-depth information if anyone has it. When I get the tank's exact specs I'll throw them on here and see if you guys have some ideas for it.

Till then, thanks for any info.

Addendum: Is it possible to do a mixture of low-light plants in a 5g? I almost forgot that I would like to make my paradise fish's tank a little nicer-- right now he just has...space...and what I think are some java ferns.
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:14 PM   #2
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lol

welcome to newbieville, population - YOU

man, i'm too funny. as for designs, check out the AGA Contests (http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/) and the aquabotanic contests. the stuff by the senske brothers is second to none, imo. james hofteizer also has an absolutely stunning -and difficult- tank. luis navarro is quickly making a name for himself as well...
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:17 PM   #3
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almost forgot...here's a psuedo step-by-step of some amano tanks. have fun reading whatever language that is.. http://www.naturacquario.net/amano/
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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Mr Burns gave you some great sites Hypostomus. I'm finding that doing a higher light plant tank is challenging, but worth it.

I like the idea of starting with a low lite planted tank for your paradise fish. You can do a lot with java fern and anubias.
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Old 03-25-2004, 10:24 PM   #5
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Definitely check out Rex Grigg's sticky post at the beginning of this forum, and follow the link to his webpage as well (don't let the first pic you see on there make you run LOL).
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:42 AM   #6
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Peter Hiscock's "Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants" is a good book with great pics of more than 150 plants and their light preferences and heights... and a half dozen plans and some basic info for starting a nice planted aquarium. Oddly, Hiscock doesn't mention the substrates that many of us use in the U.S., those being both Flourite by Seachem or Eco-complete. It is written at more of an advanced beginner level... but I think its a really well put together piece.

Another classic from the '80s, is the Baench Aquarium Atlas, out of print but easy to find used and its a great resource for FW fish and also has about 100 plants listed and 600 species of fish... with water parameters and lighting, height or size etc. suggested for both.

Another source is Christel Kasselmann's tremendous book (also rumoured now out of print and only recently translated into English from German). Its subtly titled: "Aquarium Plants". She discusses natural biotopes of many of the plants and most are photographed in their submersed state with over 525 color photos. If you can find it, this is a great resource for advanced planted tank nerds. Its not too cheap at 60 to 85 buckos. Aquatic-store.com still has one new one I believe for $60 plus shipping.... http://www.aquatic-store.com/ My little aquariums are not ready for this book, but it is terrifically informative reading and has some hard to find plants listed... I ditto studing Rex's FAQ. He sure has helped me and I do appreciate it.
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:48 AM   #7
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Thanks for the help guys. Here's one more question for you: what online store has the best aquarium plants for sale?

As in...healthy stuff that isn't lathered in snail eggs?
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:21 AM   #8
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http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/

Don't forget the Krib!

Older stuff, archived posts, but TONS of quality info there. I used it almost exclusively when starting my planted tank adventures, and it didn't steer me wrong!
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:11 PM   #9
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You can treat your plants for snails by soaking them in a bleach or lime solution mentioned in the thread below. I don't know if any plants are sensitive to the lime treatment, but some are sensitive to bleach.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=19281

Just be sure to rinse plants carefully before adding to tank.

I don't know if there are any places you can order plants without the snails...
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Old 03-26-2004, 02:24 PM   #10
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You know, I used bleach dipping once when I was trying out some plants (1:19 bleach-water ratio) and still got snails. I accounted it to them being annoying little buggers.
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Old 03-26-2004, 03:47 PM   #11
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I don't think any place can fully guarantee their plants are invert/bug free.

The best stuff I've used was Lime-It; wasn't cheap tho, considering one bottle only made 48 ounces, and that barely did one medium size order of plants.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:18 PM   #12
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I actually like snails... bio diversity etc. Of course so do my Clown Loaches, so no problemo either way.
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Old 03-27-2004, 12:20 AM   #13
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Snails. Ewww LOL

That being said, I DO have some red ramshorn in my planted 15g. The rams keep the population WAY down, and while there hasn't been a population explosion yet, my loaches are ready for em

But I've had other hitchikers as well. Some sort of tiny snail or limpet which came in on some plants, cyanobacteria on some others. So its something to be concerned about (plus, some snails EAT plants).
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Old 03-27-2004, 08:15 AM   #14
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Did the limpet release a slimey goo that glows in the dark?

http://nwp.rsnz.org/content/projects_latia.htm
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Old 03-27-2004, 08:38 AM   #15
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Yeah, but if I don't have some clown loaches in there the tank isn't gonna look too great.

I'll admit though that there are about 4 big "pest" snails in my newt tank. Since there's never been more than four and they're very large and pretty (my friend wanted one for a pet), I don't bother them.
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