The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium (including Planted Tanks)
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
Hoppy
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It is very difficult to write a comprehensive guide to setting up a planted tank, primarily because much of the information that should be included is still not settled. For example, for planted tanks, cycling is far different than for non-planted tanks, but the same standardized advice is always given, as it it doesn't matter that the tank is planted. And, people are taught that it takes human intervention to get a good bacterial colony established in a tank, but that bacteria is natural, and it will grow in every tank with or without our help.

Then, there is the subject of lighting an aquarium. This guide, by referring to another guide, treats light as something to be poured into the volume of water in the tank. I challenge anyone to pour light into anything. Light is radiation - it doesn't pour. So, any guide that refers to light as "watts per gallon" has to be in error.

And, there is testing. Some people enjoy testing their water. It can be fun, and it can be interesting and of some value to do periodic testing, plotting the test results, looking for changes. But, many of us successfully keep planted tanks without ever testing the water for anything. So, testing has to be optional.

I admire you for attempting this and posting it. But, I suggest it will work a whole lot better and be a lot more accurate, if you work on only one aspect of setting up a tank at a time, until that specific part is fine tuned to bring it into agreement with whatever the latest "scoop" is on that part. Then, move to the next part, etc. While doing this, don't attempt to present greatly and wrongly simplified information that can only lead to unnecessary problems.

You could start with a summary introduction that tells a beginner what questions he needs to answer for himself before proceeding, and including a brief discussion of what things are involved in a successful planted tank. Then, I would move to a discussion about what sizes and shapes of tanks are best as planted tanks and why. Next needs to be light, since the amount of light selected drives a lot of the next decisions. Etc.

Somewhere in there needs to be a discussion of water - what water is good for a planted tank and why.

When this gets completed and generally accepted, or at least not furiously challenged, it should be listed as a FAQ post at the beginning of the forum.
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