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Old 06-22-2013, 03:46 AM   #1
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Calling all geniuses!

SO I love science, but reading some of these other threads with a hundred and one different opinions and what is right, I feel like an idiot. I read lots of things about, 'In this situation... this. And in this situation...this. But you have to consider this variable...' And my head goes, "ooooooh look my Betta is wiggling at me" and I give up.

My new tank is cycling, I'm dosing liquid carbon (EasyCarbo) and I have ADA amazonia (new), my lights..... are shameful. It's my number 1 priority.

Honestly, I need a mentor. It is a huge thing to ask, but I desperately want to learn how to maintain and understand a perfect topical planted aquarium. My problem is I want to follow someone, not at this stage try and muddle through the plethora of debates over the 'right way.'

Is there by any chance someone out there with good experience and patience to teach someone like me who will have a lot of questions and to be honest want to know what advice given means and understand it rather than just blindly following. I really want to learn, I really want a tutor.

Crossing my fingers that someone might have the time to understand what I have got equipment wise, what I know and help guide me through the things I need to learn and the products I need to get.If you happen to have the experience and time, I would be so grateful if you would PM me or even post in the thread and perhaps others in my position might follow along and learn alongside me.
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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Remember that this is a hobby. Absolutes are for religion and politics.

You are trying to understand a complex ecology, and you need to start at the beginning. Learn about the nitrogen cycle, then about the parameters you want, and how to control them (pH ~7.0, dGH 3-5, ammonia/nitrites/nitrates ~0, Co2 planting appropriate, lighting planting appropriate, fertilization planting appropriate).

Understand your part, clean enough, but not too much, change water as close to weekly as is comfortable, feed your livestock appropriately (3-5 single bites per fish per feeding, inverts very lightly).

Your best mentor is a good book, so as not to get overwhelmed. (Aquarium plants is a good beginners book.)

Lastly be willing and able to make mistakes without having your brain explode, or else your brain will explode.

Good luck friend, and remember, have fun with it!
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:50 PM   #3
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I've found the learning curve for this hobby to be a pricey one. Once I trial and error'ed enough with different methods and products I finally found what worked for me. You can read or be told how to do it all you want but I find that there are just too many variables for well defined, clear cut instructions in this hobby. Once you find out what works for you can then understand why it works by applying what you've been told or read. This is my perspective and it could be completely flawed. Good luck

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Old 06-23-2013, 12:49 AM   #4
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A good book and an old book that got me started is *The Optimum Aquarium.
Another good book is .

A Practical Manual and Scientific
Treatise for the Home Aquarist
Third Edition (2013)
by Diana Walstad

Other books
AQUARIUM PLANTS by Christel Kasselmann

Dynamic Aquaria
(Third Edition)Building and Restoring Living Ecosystems

Walter H. Adey and Karen Loveland

*If you get this book ignore the part about undergravel heating cables.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:00 AM   #5
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start with the basic first, learn about NPK and Traces, which are used to grow plants, learn about the light, Co2, substrate. once you learn all about these things then you have most of your questions answered.

i can help you long as am online, shoot me PM whenever you have any question.
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