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Re: Hello All! Newbie looking for help!

Peggy with the cool email address writes...

>Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 18:21:54 EDT
>From: LuvTheBtls at aol_com
>Subject: Hello All! Newbie looking for help!
>Hi, my name is Peggy and member of Aquarist.net Mailing List.
>Someone recommend that I join this list.  
>I started keeping aquatic plants about eight weeks ago.  After getting 
>frustrated with local pet stores.  Some of them couldn't even tell me the 
>names of the plants, that they were selling!  I did extensive research.  I 
>have come a long way and learned a lot.  Being a new plant keeper, I have 
>questions and hope to find my answers here.
>I have a 29 gallon tank that has been setup for over a year. I only have 
>gravel for substrate.  I have 2 different Crypts, 1 Banana Plant, 1 Anubias, 
>Cabomba, 2 Amazon Swords, (a Sandi?, not able to identify, not true aquatic).
>I have a double strip light 1 bulb (20 watt 10,000K) & 1 bulb (20 watt 
>I am noting remarkable growth, but a few problems.  I use liquid
>as directed.  I had some Hornwort, but it had brown spots and I got rid of 
>it, but now the brown stops growing on my Anubias and Swords.  What is it?  
>What should I do?
>Last immediate problem, is my Swords.  The leaves are thin, weak, elongated, 
>and curling in all directions.  Anyone know what the problem is? Oops, one 
>more thing, my Anubias has a new leaf, it is lighter in color.  Will it 
>darken or is there something wrong here?
>Chicago, IL

Aimed at the masses as well as the post:

There are several schools of thought regarding substrates including a
gravel only substrate.  No one is better than another.  The great thing
about this list is that although there may be certain philosophical
differences we are always trying to help.  Changing one's substrate is like
changing one's philosophy.    Hmmmm... Maybe because this list is so
respectful, that's why there are so few suggestions to change over to a
different substrate.

Which leads me to my attempt to help (without being disrespectful)...  You
may find that there exists a stone that kills many birds in an non-inert
substrate.  I envy those who can grow beautiful, flowering plants in the
many different inert substrates.  (Still dumbfounded to this day about the
kitty litter substrates)  There are many helpful successful persons on this
list too. 

For anyone considering substrate setups because I believe that is your next
step, first ask yourself a couple of questions to save yourself from future

1)  How much time do I want to spend?  in one day?  on a periodic basis?
2)  How much money am I willing to spend?  in one day?  on a periodic basis?
3)  Am I willing to try things that tend to require a couple of tries to
get it "right"?
4)  What color/look would you like to see in the bottom of your tank?
5)  Are there specific plants you would like to grow?

Okay, so it was more than a couple and I'm sure there are more questions
that could be asked.  

As for the swords, they are heavy *root* feeders which led my to this
little ramble in the first place.

Hope that helps,

darin at silcom_com
reminding himself never to reply again at 6:30 in the morning after working
through the night