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[APD] My Planted Tank Story

I believe that Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, was once asked how to succeed in business. His response was that if at first  you don't succeed increase your failure rate. This certainly applied to me. 

After 3 or 4  failed attempts at keeping a planted tank, I threw in the towel vowing I would never spend so much time, money and effort with no reward again. 

Even after swearing off plants, I still looked at this list from time to time and admired the beautiful planted tanks  that I could never keep successfully.

One day I was at the LFS and saw a very attractive planted tank and I started to get the urge. I later found out from the owner that the tank was set up as part of a demo done be NEAPS ( New England Aquatic Plants Society). 

I decided to give plants one more try.

Based on my extensive experience at failure I decided that I would focus on three basic things as I set up my new tank.

1. I decided to reduce light level to 2 watts per gallon with co2.  I felt this would give me a liitle more time to deal with problems that might occur.

2. No fish of any kind would be added until the plants were growing and healthy, in the event that ever happened.

3. Last, and what proved to be most important - my focus would be on growing the plants, not on how to get rid of algae which had been the cause of all my previous failures. 

I felt that my prior problems were a result of not giving my plants the nutrition they needed to out compete those no good scavenging algae. 

I decided to increase the nutrient levels from the very low levels I had maintained before. The question was how much more?  While I was setting up the tank I had been searching the archives and came across Tom Barr's  estimative index. What an eye opener.The concept of maintaining a range of nutrients combined with large water changes to re set the nutrient parameters and dilute among other things ,mistakes, really made sense to me. So I tried it.

After 2 months my plants are growing well, they need regular pruning, and I have less algae than any tank I've kept in 30 years. I do have some trace algae. The only reason I see it is I look closely . 

My tank right now is a mess, but it's a mess of healthy plants, Now I need to learn to aquascape. 

So that's it. Without this list, I never would have made it. Thanks this list and all the people who have websites that I've visited many times, George Booth, ( I love that ripple effect), Chuck Gadd, AGA, Tom Barr, The Krib, Kitty Litter Man ,who I miss, and many others. .

I never would have made it without you. I hope this thing word wraps. 



hhatch at sprynet_com
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