is "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" a good place to start?
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:12 AM   #1
solchitlins
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is "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" a good place to start?


Where can I find "Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" at a good price and is this a good beginners book on getting started in this hobby or is it going to be way over my head, any suggestions on other books?
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:19 AM   #2
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if your planting a dirted tank, definitly check out Dustins Fish tanks on youtube, or his website google it
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:21 AM   #3
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It is not really a beginner book in the sense of easy to read and implement. It is more a scientific explanation of the various aspects of a "low tech" planted tank. I consider essential grounding and I believe it is recognized as seminal in the hobby, but for beginner information it might be better to read things like the FAQs here and related types of internet sources.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:06 AM   #4
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question,
as I'm looking for lighting solutions for my 48"x24"x22" 110gal., I have been emailing some of the manufactures asking questions, for example I asked finnex if a 48" LED could light my tank and they said something about "am I doing low light level?"

I guess I don't understand, does low level light= low tech or not necessarily?
I mean I get that I want enough light but too much or it will mean I need co2 and fertilizers or end up with algae right?

If I did a 4 light 48" T5 fixture with 6400k bulbs would this be low, medium or high light?
What if I bought the 6 light fixture of the same design? I get confused would I need 6 lights? I like that in that setup 2 of the 6 can be switched off if I choose, or I could add other colors etc..

I want to do dirt capped with sand, no co2, no fertilizers, etc.., so that's low tech right? How do I best match that with lights and what is possible to achieve?
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:22 AM   #5
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Best way to get that info is to keep on reading the forums about lighting, substrate, fertilizer and so on.

How high tech or low tech a tank is is made up of several things, but most basic seems to be:

CO2--> Yes --> High tech--> need more light, fertilizers...
CO2--> No---> Low tech--> need less light, low dose fertilizers (possibly satisfied with fish food and water changes)

So... light... It is a whole new ballpark since I started, and what I would call the dividing line is no longer considered accurate info, though it worked for me with T-12 and T-8 fixtures.
How to find out what light is 'high tech' or 'low tech'...
Read up about PAR, and see how your light measures up at the level of the substrate. Is the tank 24" tall? minus a few inches of substrate... so find out what the PAR is at 20-22", if you want a low ground cover, and a bit higher up for most plants.

PAR is a measure of how much light the plants can actually use, concentrating on the parts of the spectrum that plants use the most.
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Old 09-14-2013, 05:03 AM   #6
solchitlins
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thanks.
I imagine I want 3" of dirt and 1 or 2 of sand so 22-5= 17"

I guess what I don't understand is why wouldn't it be ok to just do low level light plants, centered towards the back of the tank with a Finnex 48" LED over them, grow some plants back there and have some shady areas in the front where the fish school or will all the light just be washed out if it's not centered?
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:06 AM   #7
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I really like Walstad's book is pretty awesome. I managed to get it from a library (I think inter-library-loan), read it, and then went and bought my own copy on amazon.

I wouldn't really say it's a beginners book, maybe more mid-level?
If you have a background in the sciences, the book will probably be a little easier to understand. Although, I think Walstad does a pretty good job of summarizing and explaining the info - you don't need to plod through all of the raw data, charts, and tables to understand what's being discussed.

As for more basic info, I'd say just poke around on forums like this one, and take a peek at the various FAQs and guides and such
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Definitely not a beginner book. I would start a thread about what you are doing with your new tank and you'll get the answers you are looking for.
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Old 09-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #9
solchitlins
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=434481

Started a journal thread
Thanks
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solchitlins View Post
thanks.
I imagine I want 3" of dirt and 1 or 2 of sand so 22-5= 17"

I guess what I don't understand is why wouldn't it be ok to just do low level light plants, centered towards the back of the tank with a Finnex 48" LED over them, grow some plants back there and have some shady areas in the front where the fish school or will all the light just be washed out if it's not centered?
Nope. 1 inch of dirt, or even less for your first time, and an inch or slightly more of sand/gravel.
I second the suggestion that you need to watch dustins fish tank channel. For your very first dirt tank, it will be a huge help.
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