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Re: Hard water and fertilization

 Merrill wrote

> I really don't want to "open a can of worms" or really start a thread, but

I think discussion threads are a big part of what this forum is all 


> The next problem causing agent is fertilization.  In the aquarium,
> providing you have fish, the only time you might need fertilization is when
> starting a planted aquarium and only a few fish. 

Certainly fish provide fertilization for our plants but how many 
fish we keep varies greatly.  Some keep a small number of fish and 
their plants need some nitrate added while others keep so many 
fish they need a trickle filter to help reduce the nitrate level.  
You could rely on luck and hope your fish population is just right or 
you could run a simple nitrate test. BTW these tests don't  require 
you to be a chemist to run them. 

> Snip

>  I don't need many complex test kits and continual testing.  I 
>enjoy my aquariums without algae problems.  Many people on APD have 
>seen my aquariums (including Claus Christensen of Tropica) and I 
>give plants away weekly.  
> Why do we try to make this so difficult and technical?  Let's try to make
> it easier for hobbyists to be successful.  I have done it the easy way for
> many years and that's why I'm still in it. 

Certainly the key for growth in any hobby is that people are 
successful. This is especially true for those who are new to the 
hobby. Based on the growth that has occurred over the last few 
years in people keeping planted aquariums in the US it appears that a 
lot of beginners are being very successful.  I don't think there is 
any question that this success is primarily related to applying a 
little science to the art of keeping  a planted aquarium.  Apparently 
over many years Merrill has perfected the art of keeping  planted 
aquariums and has aquariums without algae problems and he is giving 
plants away weekly.

I've been keeping a planted aquarium for 6 months now and by applying 
the knowledge I have gained from the APD I have a wide variety of 
plants growing, no algae problem, very healthy fish, and wishing I 
knew someone locally that I could give all these plants to that  I'm 
throwing out. 

> Everyone doesn't have to be a scientist or chemist to have a gorgeous aquarium. Takashi Amano is 
>not a scientist or chemist and he has gorgeous aquariums because 
>he's an artist that cares to have it as a beautiful work of art.

Testing your water doesn't require a degree in chemistry and my guess 
is that Amano tests his water. 

> We can do it simpler and better all the time without all the high tech
> equipment; but if that is what you like, great!  Do it! 

By meeting certain requirement for our plants, measuring and 
controlling a few parameters we give ourselves a high probability of 
success with a planted aquarium. High tech is just one of the ways we 
could meet these requirements.

To provide adequate lighting you could go high tech and invest $500 
in metal halide lamps or you could  build a hood with two $8 shop 
lights. Likewise to  provide CO2  you could go high tech and  invest 
 $1000 for a fully automated system or you could spend few dollars 
for sugar and yeast. The point is with either approach you will  have 
a high probabilty of success.

> But so many hobbyists are having so much trouble as I lurk through APD, I just 
>had to post this.

You must be reading a different APD than I am. What  I see a great 
number of people being very successful at keeping a planted aquarium. 
It is what encouraged me to start and I'm sure it has encouraged many
other to do the same. 

Jim Spencer   Sayre, PA
jrs at cyber-quest_com