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Visit to George/Karla Booth
Around mid-March I had the opportunity to visit the Booths near Ft.
Collins, Co. For me it was like going to Mecca since it was reading the
AFM articles re Dupla regimen that finally broke the code for me and
allowed me to be terminally addicted to this hobby.
Their hospitality was generous and even the two cats tollerated my mangy
presence. Their tanks are everything you would expect. Rather than rave
about them it will save bandwidth to let you all know that they have two
modest priced offerings. For $15 plus shipping you can get a 73 page
book that is a collection of articles and updates on just what and how
they did everything. Then for $10 plus shipping you can get a 90 minute
video that walks you through the tanks.
While there is lots of hi tech stuff there I will let you in on a few
secrets (sorry, George :-). While one of the tanks is lit with MH, two
others have cheap shop lights (roughly 160 watts for 100 gallon tank).
The Booths are running below 2 watts per gallon and have very lush
growth. As an asside, I have 500 watts of MH on a 300 gal tank and
another with 600 watts of MH and both are doing great. I question the
need for 4 watts/gal. My plants fizz O2 when the lights are on and the
tank is in a dark basement.
Back to the Booth book - it is written to inform, not impress. I savored
every word and find it a valuable adjunct to TOA book.
As an asside, before I left George invited me into the basement to see his
model (HO) train setup. Wow, if you think his tanks are something you
should see the trains. It takes a dozen people with radio communication
to run the 22 trains. Talk about hi-tech.
While the Booths are in possession of some of the best looking tanks in
the hobby, they are not without their problems. There was a very slight
amount of cynobacter in the Discus tank but not an out of control
situation. While I am very impressed, I will still not hook up my UGH
since my tanks require no heaters due to the lamp heat load.
The Booths have gone through a progression of growing almost anything
they could get their hands on and are settling in on slower growing or
more artistically compatable plants. I learned a lot from my brief visit
and hope to return when we drive out to ski next year. I would suggest
is any of you want to get the book or tape that you email George. If you
are very nice about it and if requests don't get out of hand they may
even have you in for a visit if you are in the area.
--Earle Hamilton from northern Michigan where coral once grew