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Re: nothing under the substrate or a newbie's first planted aquarium

Hello list friends,

Sorry for the long post, but I am now quite confused.

I am a newbie who has lurked for a while, spent a lot of time studying the
FAQs, and read many of the recommendations at many of the excellent sites
on the 'net. I had planned on setting up my first planted tank with
Duplarit in the substrate, 90 watts of fluorescent lighting (46gal tank),
Fluval 303 filter, and probably DIY C02.

Now I am reading (from people whose names I associate with experience):
<"Nothing in the substrate" is a great way to start in this hobby,>

I can see that there is a high tech/high expense approach and a low
tech/lower expense approach. I have concluded (maybe wrongly so) that for
this newbie the higher tech approach is better (less prone to failure).
Here are some examples of information that I have read which have lead me
to lean this way:

<snip from the Aquatic Plant FAQ
<``My friend grows plants beautiful plants and doesn't do high-tech stuff
like CO2 or fertilizers. Is it really necessary?''

The quick answer to this is no. It is completely possible to grow plants
using basic tank equipment, either by chance or by patiently learning
through trial-and-error. This is accomplished by slight modification of the
basic equipment and usual fishkeeping practice. High-tech gadgetry,
however, can remove much of the guesswork by allowing you to better control
each of the four ingredients.>

Or, another post which influenced me was by George Booth (APD 30Aug95).
This was in response to the question:
< can anybody suggest a good substrate and variety of plants I
> could use succesfuly in this set up?  >
He recommends Duplarit-G in the substrate and goes on to say:
<BE SURE to set up your CO2 injection right away.  Don't make the
mistake of waiting "until the tank stabilizes">

Now I am reading that the "nothing in the substrate" approach (which I
assume means plain gravel, no C02, etc.) is better for newbies.

Is there somewhere a recommendation for a newbie's first tank that is
somewhat agreed upon by the "planted aquarium experts" that I have missed?
I, for one, have no problem "practicing" for  period of time (a month, a
year, or whatever) in order to "do it right", but I do want to know what to
do in order to "do it right".

BTW, I am very impressed with the helpfulness of so many of the experts on
this list and am a little embarrassed to take up this bandwidth to ask such
basic questions, but where else can I turn?