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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V5 #437

> I presume there are now a fair number of people on this list who now have
> their copy of the book, either from vendors on the list like me, or from
> AGA convention, (those still waiting for a book from me, my next shipment
> goes out next tuesday)...so what does everyone think of the book? What are
> your favorite sections?

First, I think the photography and species culture/ecology section sets a
new standard.  Comparing it to some other books, she shows submerged growth
(whereas some books just stick LFS plants into the gravel) and the photos of
flowers are an indispensbile aid in identification.  I am considering using
a half-filled 10 gallon to start growing crypts and other plants emersed,
it's an element of the hobby so far I've not played around with.  I also
like her detailed explanation of taxonomy changes and will most likely use
this book as the standard reference for identification and speciation.  The
bibliographic information is a good starting point for further research.

However, I believe her culture techniques are very different from what we
typically use.  She is a strong advocate of enriched substrates and limited
water column dosing and trying to match water parameters from ecological
niches.   I don't believe she emphasises the importance of CO2 levels
enough, and creates the idea that soft water is necessary for culturing
anything slightly difficult (which suggests purchasing RO systems).  I think
our experiences are more along the lines of any water will do for almost all
species and that water column dosing is much more controllable and
desirable.  I do not think the book is good to recommend for the technique
aspect of the hobby -- a good source other than some websites and this list
has yet to emerge on this topic, Scheurmann's Aquarium Plants Manual is
perhaps the best available now, but still is incomplete.

All in all, the book was well worth the wait and the price, I would love to
see her book on the echinodorus genus translated.

Jeff Ludwig