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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