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Diana Walstad's book

On Mon, 13 Dec 1999, David Whittaker wrote:

> Diana Walstad has just published a book specifically geared
> to the aquarium hobbyist attempting to maintain a planted
> tank. I haven't read it yet. She has a web site at
> http://www.atlasbooks.com/marktplc/00388.htm

I got a copy of this from Diana; haven't yet had time to sit down and read
& review it seriously, but from first scan it reads as a feature-length
version of much of what she's written in _The Aquatic Gardener_ during
this decade (there are even reprints of her Q&A columns interspersed with
the new material). Beginners may be put off by some of the detail, which
oftentimes to me goes beyond the hobbyist level & ventures into "real"
plant research.  On the other hand, she actually bothers to experiment
some topics that fall under the "old wives tales we accept as fact'"
section of our hobby, and presents the results for us.  People who bother
to do this get a big thumbs up from me (George Booth, Ron Wozniak, Shawn
Keslar and others come to mind recently in this forum).  Diana actually
compared measurable plant growth with several different lighting
combinations.  Cool.

This is definitely not a plant species ID or picture book.  Most of
the drawings are from the University of Florida public archives and seem
like they're there just to offset the huge amount of text and graphs.  I
think this is a good thing, it makes this book completely different from
anything else out there.

Most of the people who are regulars here will want a copy of this book.
Beginners who are interested in some of the science and aren't scared of
things like graphs will like it too & can use some of the info to leapfrog
some of the startup issues we encounter.  Beginners who want a cookbook
for how to set up their planted tank should probably look elsewhere.

  - Erik

(Wow, was that a review?  That'd be MY first!)

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com