How not to SUCK at aquarium plant keeping?
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:26 PM   #1
hubbahubbahehe
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<-----just a very frustrated man who is on the verge of giving up. How do you not suck?
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Old 12-29-2003, 10:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbahubbahehe
<-----just a very frustrated man who is on the verge of giving up. How do you not suck?
Blow! :lol:

Just take your time with it and prepare yourself for the mistakes you will make and any unsuccesful events. It's all about experimentation, guided by others knowledge, and learning from you mistakes. Stick in there and it should get better!

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Old 12-29-2003, 10:54 PM   #3
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have you ever checked out the Tom Barr method of growing aquatic plants? try it, you'll like it!
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Old 12-29-2003, 11:02 PM   #4
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i definitely am interested in the tom barr method.... where can i find more info on it?

lbsfarms, i think i spoke with you before right? you were nice enough to offer pearlweed i think it was (very generous of you)..good thing i didn't get any from you or they would have met an untimely death....sigh. i think what i'm going to do is take a break cuz i'm burnt out from all the experimentation that i've been doing with shoplights and soil.... i think when i come back...say, spring time? i'll be more ready and i'll use the tom barr method. i decided to spare no costs on substrate(eco-complete 100% or fluorite 100%) and i would also like to spare no cost on lighting..... say, how should i go about this for 20G long and 10 G ....?? JBJ? Coralife?
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Old 12-30-2003, 12:42 AM   #5
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Sounds like you might be back on track Hubba. Stop experimenting so much! . Go with some of the tried and true methods first. After you achieve some success, then start experimenting again!

Either of the two light you mentioned should be good. I have JBJ and I have Coralife. I am impressed with the quality of the Coralife!

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Old 12-30-2003, 01:08 AM   #6
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Mike, thanks for your words of encouragement, it means a lot to a struggling hobbyist who just wants the plants to be happy!

i would like to hear more about your "tried and true" methods.
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Old 12-30-2003, 01:36 AM   #7
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Personally I would go with a AH Supply 36 watt kit on the 10 gallon and a 55 watt kit or a pair of 36 watt kits on the 20 gallon. You can buy or build simple wooden enclosures for the lights.

Soil IMHO is not a beginner substrate. Too many variables in soil and many people don't do enough research before going with soil. You have also found that "cheap" lighting is almost always that, cheap.

As for the Tom Barr method check out http://www.aquatic-plants.org/fert/e...st_index1.html
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Old 12-30-2003, 03:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Personally I would go with a AH Supply 36 watt kit on the 10 gallon and a 55 watt kit or a pair of 36 watt kits on the 20 gallon. You can buy or build simple wooden enclosures for the lights.

Soil IMHO is not a beginner substrate. Too many variables in soil and many people don't do enough research before going with soil. You have also found that "cheap" lighting is almost always that, cheap.

As for the Tom Barr method check out http://www.aquatic-plants.org/fert/e...st_index1.html
hi Rex, I want to thank you for your suggestions.

I actually have a 55 W kit from AH supply that I bought over the summer. Let me share my experiences with it, hehe, cuz it's real funny ok. First I placed it on my 20 G long. Now, the 55W kit is a lot shorter in length than the length of the 20 long... ok the 20 long is 30 inches and the 55W is significantly shorter. Now, the plants grew very well, however the "leaned " towards the light. hahaha so you can imagine the aquascaping look of it...oh man! very interested but not desirable .. from this i learned the importance of uniform lighting around the tank. ok, next, i tried the kit over my 10 G , let me tell you, it was blinding light... my goodness, it melted all my plants when i went from 30W to 55W..... and being the newbie, and not knowing that they would grow back, i threw out all the melting plants cuz i thought they were dead.. and now, the 55W is sitting in my garage not being used. The problem i have with it is that i don't have a hood or a wood enclosure...oh man...i tried to build my own and bought the supplies from home depot...oh dear...i learned that i'm a suckie diy guy. so i've decided to just go ahead and save up my money and slowly buy the professional products, cuz they look so much nicer than my diy projects would ever look. I'm looking on aquabid for lighting prices....aquariumlight seems to have good deals. they got good hoods at reasonable prices. i'm discovering that power compacts are the wave of the future in terms of planted tanks...it really is the way to go if you want a nice, clean setup. www.petsupplyliquidator.com <----to me this is the way to go for lights...cuz you don't have to worry about putting everything together and you get good prices.

As for the soil, yes, I did do a lot of research on the soil and it actually really grew some beautiful plants...i didn't even have to fertilize (as i haven't figured that out yet w/o getting lots of green water) and the plants were green , no nutrient deficiencies, absolutely gorgeous... the soil actually grew the best plants...howeever, two reasons why i quit on the soil, it was a mess to plant and keep them in the soil and it was a mess to uproot (as soil inevitably gets into the water.). those are the only reasons.

Thank you for the tom barr page, i will take that into careful consideration.....
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Old 12-30-2003, 04:25 AM   #9
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AH Supply sells some nice wooden enclosures for a good price. I have one on a 20 high right now and love it.
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Old 12-30-2003, 07:58 AM   #10
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My advice is start slow and don't set your expectations too high. What is it exactly that you think you suck at? What is frustrating you? Algae? Plant growth?

There are three things involved in growing plants: Light, C02, and nutrients. How you supply each of those three things and in what combination will have the greatest affect on your end results. Having the right plants for the right conditions, and taking the time to learn and fine tune things if your expectations are not being met. Thats basicaly it in a nutshell. Do what you enjoy doing. Its a hobby, not a homework assignment. If you do not enjoy doing it, then you shouldn't do it!

You can answer your own question by reading your sig.. "No C02, no ferts" If you want to be a better gardener, you need to give the plants what they need, C02 and FOOD. Or settle for how they look with out it. Your water is so hard...with a ph of 8.0 you virtually have no C02 in the water whatsoever. You desperately need C02
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Old 12-30-2003, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubbahubbahehe
<-----just a very frustrated man who is on the verge of giving up. How do you not suck?
So how do you not suck? Well I think its a 3 part forumla, patience + LUCK + education = average chance of success. As it turned out, when I first started keeping aquatic life the internet was in its very infantcy, and getting info was usually only found in books, most of which were very DATED or finding out what books were worth reading a bit harder. I guess thats where luck comes in, I met someone that was willing to hang out and talk the hobby with me, which net me decent info. Lastly and for me the biggest factor patience, when I first started in this hobby it was what truely limited my success. So no matter how educated I thought I was, when I was not patient my luck factor took some very nastly downhill turns.

I think I can completely relate to how you feel. As back in the day I had a mighty big "black thumb". As I managed to crash a reef with about 5K in corals and inverts. And after buying 8 Flame Angels at $60 US (across 3 years) a pop I have yet to keep one alive for more then 10 weeks. And I won't even go into the story about my inability to read copper sulphate tests, but you can imagine what high copper levels can do to fish that can't say hey WTF. And sadly I got plenty more disaster stories

Well I would love to try and find a way to keep you from taking a break, but the bad news is, thats exactly what changed everything for me. After I couldn't handle anymore disasters, I said its time for a break. I gave all my saltwater fish remaining to the LFS, my minantis grouper, snowflake morry eel, and a lionfish. Well long story short I got some aftican chiclids from the LFS for those fish I gave them. (highway robbery I know) But was a good thing for me, as basically this was fishkeeping at its easiest. Cause basically my tap water is almost identical to thier home water. (my water is a little higher ph and hardness tho) And all I did was take a one gallon bucket scoup out the water and pour in clear water every day I fed them thus only doing like 20 water changes in 9 years.

Well as it turned out for me getting away for a bit really helped me come back from my disasters. Cause lets face it, there is no more rewarding hobby out there. For me I am just absolutly amased with aquatic life, and even tho I was away for almost 10 years, I knew I would be back. Its been really only ~ 10 weeks since I been back, and just starting slow, right now I am working on becoming the master at growing newbie plants (ambulia, and green hygro), and just taking it slow.

Hey do you have any friends that are also in the hobby? If so that could be something that will really help right now ALOT ! If not how about an aquarium society? I am actually looking into that one for something around here, in hopes of finding some people that I can talk the hobby with, if there is one out by you, might be just the thing you need to break out of this funk !

Sorry for rambling on so much, but I hope it helps.
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Old 12-31-2003, 06:42 AM   #12
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Not all planted tanks have to be high light tanks. What about keeping with your current setup, but picked plants more appropriate. Java fern, java moss, anubias ect. Low light, low maintanence plants that don't need alot of work to look good. Start there, then, as you get more comfortable with that work your way up. This board is full of high light tanks with lots of maintence (not that thats a bad thing, I think there awesome, I just don't have the patience for that). Try something different. You might end up liking it.
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