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  1. ebruenin

    ebruenin New Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
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    Location:
    Houston, TX
    So we have decided to make our 55 gallon tank into a planted tank. We have been reading up and have found lots of useful info on here! Does anyone have a suggestion for a great book or website for beginners that includes steps and all the info we need to know including fish that are compatible with what plants. We were thinking of dwarf gourami's in the tank. Any info would be great! Thank you!
     
  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
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    343
    Location:
    California
    I think most fish are compatible with plants, with the exception of gold fish. I had some gold fish pick at all my plants and constantly uproot them. Dwarf gouramis are perfectly fine for planted aquariums.

    I would scour the forum and people's journals and look for ideas regarding aquascaping and equipment needs. From there, ask many questions. There are many people who love to help and give solid advice. Some key things to note equipment wise that you might consider for your 55 gallon:

    Lighting = 110 watts Compact flourscent Fixtures (low/medium light good for most plants, and will keep them from growing too fast)

    Pressurized C02 using a regulator, C02 tank and glass diffuser work very well and will help you keep some algae at bay

    Fertilizers, there are many types of fertilizers out there. You may want to check out pfertz.com for ease to use fertilizers.

    Substrates, anything works reallly. But if you are serious about planted tanks ADA aquasoil is very good, and I also like Caribsea's Eco Complete.

    -John N.
     
  3. Guillermo

    Guillermo New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
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    Location:
    Mexico City
    A friend of mine has a 20 g planted with various crypts, j. ferns, b. haudeloti and dwarf gouramies and he's been happy so far. The tank is not exactly scaped, he likes the wild look. My .02.

    Regards
     
  4. trenac

    trenac New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
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    1
    Location:
    North Carolina
  5. mmarino

    mmarino New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
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    Location:
    Madison, CT USA
    there's an amazing amount of info out there...

    I recently started my first planted take after years of fish and fake plants, and I spent months reading threads on the myriad forums and about 5 different books. As with any hobby (or political philosophy or religion for that matter) there are differing views on the proper path to the perfect planted tank. There are 'fundamentalists' and 'heretics' and 'middle of the road' types. Any of these will work, but you need to decide which approach is right for you.

    What I learned is that you need to decide what your goals are: do you want an Amano or Dutch style aquascape, a specific biotope, a 'natural' tank or just some plants to add interest? These all require different levels of maintenance, equipment and investment. You need to decide which is best for for you.

    I ended up with a hybrid of my of my own device: a (so far) low maintenance tank for fish and plants that is combination of high-tech and low tech methods that felt right to me and the commitment I was willing to make to the hobby. It looks really cool, but doesn't take 2 hours per day to maintain. I can skip a day of fertilizers without panic, but I enjoy the regular maintenance , which is whenever I have the time.

    Bottom line is: Do your research! Read, read, read! Books (PM me for a list of those I found useful) and especially forums are full of practical advice, but they can't decide for you. See what appeals to you, your experience level and budget. Then give it a try - the worst thing that can happen is you fail and need to try again. We've all been there before, and anyone who claims to have never lost a fish or plant is lying. Maintaining a fresh water planted aquarium is a fun and rewarding hobby, but like any 'advanced' hobby - be it a reef tank, photography or fine furniture building - you need the right tools, the right experience and the right attitude to be successful.

    Read up, ask a lot of questions - the members of this forum are among the most knowledgeable in the world - then take the plunge. You won't regret it.

    Cheers, Mike
     
  6. dougz

    dougz New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
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    Location:
    mackenzie, BC
    The best book I have run across so far is:

    Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants, by Peter Hiscock

    Another good one is:

    Aquarium Plants: The Practical Guide, by Pablo Tepoot
     
  7. akmal

    akmal New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
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    Location:
    Malaysia
    I'm quite new to the hobby and i always find myself referring back and forth to the ADA Layout-Making Manual. Simple and straight forward (minus the sales pitch :lol: )

    Another suggestion is to look at some aquascape pictures and choose one that you like, then copy it. Yes, copy the scape as much as you can..that way you'll have an objective in mind.

    If you can't seem to ID the plants, fishes etc, start a journal here and post the picture of your reference (the tank you want to copy) and i'm sure the forum members here will be more than glad to help

    Good luck!!
     

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