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Fw: Beginners Aquarium
>Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 17:10:06 -0700
>From: "Lou Van Blarigan" <louvb at mailexcite_com>
>Subject: Beginners Aquarium
>What are some easy plants for a beginner to start with for his first live
>tank? What are some good fish to put in with the plants? Does the water
>need anything special others than Light?
>We need more information about your tank to make good suggestions but you
>may not be familiar what some of the terms if you are a beginner. Ok I am
>new here too but hear is a brain dump in between meetings........bare with
>me Oh great APD planted tank gods...........
>How big is the tank?
>How much light do you have (total watts), how long is it on/day. Does the
>tank get sunlight?
>What is in the substrate now(gravel, laterate, kitty litter, vermiculite,
>We need to know more about your water parameters?
>If you are serious about keeping planted tanks you will need to get some
>Iron (get a good one Seachem, LaMott etc. $20-$50 bucks ouch!)
>kH (cheap Tetra is good)
>gH ( " " " )
>pH ( " " " )
>Nitrates (also don't go cheap on this test, I use Seachem (phosphate,
>Nitrite/Nitrate and Iron test kits and like em, they seem to be pretty
>Nitrites (in Seachem or use the cheap Tetra kit)
>Ammonia (once your tank is cycled you will hardly need this test unless you
>do something that upsets the biological cycle)
>Easy plants : Anubias barteri v. nana, Hygrophila polysperma or the
>Hygrophila with good light/iron it show some nice red coloring, Cabomba
>caroliniana, Bacopa caroliniana, some of the Echinodorus are pretty hardy
>try Echinodorus bleheri (paniculatus). Also type some Cryptocorynes like
>the Cryptocoryne wendtii it is pretty easy to grow but likes to be left
>alone. Just plant in fertile substrate in a low to average lighted area of
>your tank and don't move it. Others to consider are different varieties of
>Ceratopteris or Water Sprite and of course some Amazon Swords. For more
>"easy plants" look in the same sections mentioned below.
>Heavily planted tanks from the start are far less likely to be come algae
>farms and cycle easier !
>If this is a new tank you have to cycle it. Read stuff on cycling your
>at the links below. Good fish for a planted tank are Siamese Algae eaters
>(hard to find sometimes), Coryadoras, ottocinclis (no time for correct
>spelling, as if you couldn't tell) and maybe some tetras. This should get
>you started if you are trying to cycle the tank and they will eat algae as
>or if it appears. Mollys are also good "cycle fish" Heavily planted
>from the start are far less likely to be come algae farms.
>If you are new to aquatic horticulture, I suggest you go get a couple of
>good plant books at your local fish store (LFS). There is lots of aquaria
>information and good recommendations at FINS
>http://www.actwin.com/fish/index.cgi Go to the Aquatic-plants section read
>as much as you can. You can then search in the APD archive on keyword
>"books" or "good books", "beginner plants" whatever you want to read about.
> Also cruse THE KRIB at http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~aquaria/Krib/. Go to
>the plants and planted tanks section and read everything about fertilizer,
>plants, lighting, Co2, micro/macro nutrients, algae, substrates, heating
>Go to George & Karla Booth's page and read everything. George Booth is
>among many of the "planted tank experts" on the ADP list. He is a much
>appreciated long-time contributor to the list. He has a system and it
>works... the Dupla system. Go to:
>http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~aquaria/AquaticConcepts/ See Dupla at:
>Steve Pushak's page. Also very good information. I have been successful
>using Steve's methods on smaller tanks but have not used his methods on the
>125g. Go to: http://home.infinet.net/teban/
>Dan Quackenbush's page. Very good and sells nice plants and gives
>advice to boot!
>For me, still a beginner myself, I also really like Karen Randall's series
>of articles "Aquatic Horticulture" in the Aquarium Frontiers On-Line. See
>this months and also see her articles for the last 4-6 months in the
>archives. Go to: http://www.aquariumfrontiers.com/ Many of us have
>benefited greatly from Karen's posts to the APD over the last year.
>These are all very good approaches, read them all and decide for yourself.
>Pick ONE and try it. Don't mix an match to much though.
>For finding "Easy Plants" and Identifying plants. You first need to
>understand your water. Then match the plants requirements with your water
>or change your water to meet your plants needs (I am of the former school
>thought but the water gods have been good to me). Tropica has a good plant
>database to start with at:
>Here is a good publication that you may want to subscribe to:
>AMONO ! Here is the Aquascaping god's....site. He has some really nice
>picture books too. see http://www.adana.co.jp/ENG/ADA_e.html. This page
>some interesting stuff but mostly it is a "pitch page" for ADA products.
>I would try to get "The Optimum Aquarium" (basically the Dupla guys wrote a
>book. It is very informative but speaks only of the "dupla" products and
>style tanks. Consider this the "undergraduate study" program.
>I use the Dupla system in a 125g substrate heating, CO2, lots of light,
>Dupla fertilizers etc... expensive on the front-end but not really over the
>long-haul. My water is soft (1gH, 2kH from my well so I have to tinker a
>bit with Ca and Mg).
>Well gota go, I have to work so I can support my addition....hope this help
>and good luck!
>brennans at ix_netcom.com