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Re: More=Better, Optimum Aquarium Setups

Alysoun wrote:

If you follow a previous example or a standard 'system', then what I was
saying doesn't apply so much.  I'll agree with that.  And if you're
about it, and research what you're doing, there's no reason a beginner
go ahead and set up an extremely complicated, high-input, high-yield

The danger, as I see it, is in trying to jump from "I can't keep plants"
"I'm going to max out on every factor I can, and make the plants really
happy".  In the process, it's just so easy to screw with the balance of
tank, and end up out of control.  I'm urging caution, and trying to
a misperception that more of everything is necessarily better.

Well, I'm not an expert, but the danger, as I see it, is in trying to
mix and match assorted pieces of various "recipes" to grow aquatic
plants.  The best advice I've seen here is to pick "an expert" and
follow their recipe. There's lots of recipes ranging from high dollar,
high tech to low dollar, low tech.  Some  recipes that I've seen that
are well documented and appear to be successful are:

The Optimum Aquarium -  the book and George Booth's web site
Karen Randall - numerous magazine articles and posts here on the APD
Steve Pushak - numerous posts here on the APD and on his web site for
those who like to try alternate substrates
Dan Quackenbush - magazine articles and his web site on low tech with
kitty litter substrates

Those are just the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.  I'm
sure there are more.  The important thing for beginners is to pick ONE.

Just my $.02.  I don't usually get into this kind of discussion but I
get a little excited when people start a thread stating that they want
to follow the recipe outlined in TOA and then proceed to toss just about
every element of the recipe out the window.  It is an effective low risk
method to grow plants.  It's just not the lowest cost way.  However, I
think when you amortize the costs over several of years, it's really not
all that bad.  Most of the equipment doesn't wear out and should last a
long time.