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re: Idiot's club or.... just having fun with planted fish tanks.

Hi Loh et al!

I think that you have made some good points in the last few days. Since I 
have recently posted a number of emails about pH, GH, KH and CO2 tanks in 
the last few days I'll give you my perspective on this topic.

When I arrive home everyday one of the first things I do is stare into the 
fish tank for at least 30 minutes checking out what's happening. I check out 
the fish, pay attention to plant growth and to be honest unwind from the 
pressures of the day by taking a little bit of quiet time enjoying the 
peacefulness of my fish tank. For me this is the fun of the hobby.

I'm a technical person who works in a technical and very logical career. 
Prior to working in the computer field I actually worked in a local fish 
store where I quickly learned that the more technical information I read the 
better I was able to support my customers (at the time I was heavily into 
fish with 8 fish tanks with a major focus on salt water fishkeeping. I 
probably read more then two years of magazines and 40 plus books on fish 
keeping during my time at the store).

Both of these things point towards me asking questions about water hardness, 
ph etc in an attempt to obtain a better understanding of how various water 
chemistry factors influence plant growth in my tank. It is certainly not 
required to grow plants or to have fun with your planted fish tank but for 
me technical knowlege or the attempted pursuit of technical knowledge 
enhances the fun for me.

I find your comments interesting because they can also be applied to another 
activity which takes up my time, windsurfing. In that sport there are a 
number of techies as well. My slant in that sport is that technical 
knowledge is useful only if it doesn't detract from the sport itself. In 
other words I think technical knowledge of how to windsurf is useless if you 
never actually get out on the water and windsurf. Once the fun factor is 
gone then what's the point of the exercise?

With fish tanks the same is true for me. Everyday I learn something new 
about planted tanks from observing my tank and also from listening to the 
conversation amongst my knowledgeable friends on this list.

Right now my tank looks like a jungle but not in the overgrown sense. My 
plants are growing but since I am unfamiliar with the characteristics of the 
plants themselves I decided to just plant and see what happened. About 6 
weeks have gone by and the amount of light has increased from 80 watts to 
320 watts. Fertilizers have been added and hopefully within two weeks I'll 
have the CO2 equipment delivered to my home. After that has run for a month 
I'll know what to expect from my plants. So far some of my plants have grown 
taller then anticpated while others have grown small amounts. I anticipate a 
replanting of the tank to compensate for this and probably another 
replanting sometime in the far future to compensate for the new things I 
have learned..

Frankly I'm enjoying the learning process quite a lot. Each of the variables 
in the last paragraph has had a direct impact on the different plants in the 

I believe your message is this:

"Set up a tank, play with it a little, try new things, don't become over 
trapped in the water chemistry details and above all have FUN!"

If that's your message then I agree with your 100%.

~Jamie N

P.S. I like your tank too. Then again I haven't really seen a planted tank 
that I haven't liked! Keep having fun......
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