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Anyone have any recommendations on good Tropical Fish and Aquarium Plant guides I should invest money in?

I'm looking for books that will help me identify fish/plants as well learn how to take care of them.
 

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There is a wealth of information online. Especially on these forums. Also, if you post then you get responses tailored towards your specific situation.
 

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This forum is very dense with information. :)

Also, this might be a good starter book for plants. It has been helping me learn anyway:

The 101 Best Aquarium Plants, by Mary E. Sweeney.
 

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Tom Barr, search for plantbrain on this forum

Spending money on a book is a waste, in my opinion, compared to what you can quickly learn here. I'm skimmed a few books out of curiosity and many are just plain wrong when it comes to keeping plants, what causes algae, etc. In terms of equipment, many are also so hopelessly outdated - especially with lighting - it's just a waste of time in that it will confuse you.
 

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Books are not a waste IMO, especially the Kasselmann Steve mentioned. It offers more depth and perspective than one or two forum posts. She has what amounts to a chapter on amazon sword varieties that really heped me figure out which I wanted for my situation.

You can learn a lot online too of course. Its all good.
 

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Tom Barr, search for plantbrain on this forum

Spending money on a book is a waste, in my opinion, compared to what you can quickly learn here. I'm skimmed a few books out of curiosity and many are just plain wrong when it comes to keeping plants, what causes algae, etc. In terms of equipment, many are also so hopelessly outdated - especially with lighting - it's just a waste of time in that it will confuse you.
Books are useful. Forums rely too much on opinions just like yours and this one, but they can provide correct information sometimes.
 

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There is a wealth of information online. Especially on these forums. Also, if you post then you get responses tailored towards your specific situation.

This is true, but there are also UNFATHOMABLE amounts of inaccurate misinformation online. The best route is to reference a college textbook. They are expense and hard to navigate at times, but they will paint the full picture and are much more accurate. That's not to say that textbooks never have misinformation, it's just that they have A LOT less.

IMO, if people started reading books addressing their questions rather than asking the 'Google-Gods' we would drastically reduce the concentration of stupid in this country.
 

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This is true, but there are also UNFATHOMABLE amounts of inaccurate misinformation online. The best route is to reference a college textbook. They are expense and hard to navigate at times, but they will paint the full picture and are much more accurate. That's not to say that textbooks never have misinformation, it's just that they have A LOT less.

IMO, if people started reading books addressing their questions rather than asking the 'Google-Gods' we would drastically reduce the concentration of stupid in this country.
:thumbsup:
 

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I agree. There is too much good info online to warrant buying a book. Plus, with the rate that we are increasing our knowledge, books become outdated much faster than they used to. Periodicals are good because they are published monthly (some less than that). Fishkeeping magazines such as Amazonas and Practical Fishkeeping are great fishkeeping magazines but they don't contain much about plants. For an excellent online tropical fish guide, check out http://www.seriouslyfish.com/. It contains thousands of fish profiles.
 

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for books, i would suggest anything that has large lists, such as axelrods atlas. it doesnt really have much information in it, but its a great place to start. i often thumb through it, see a fish that catches my eye, and then just look up every bit of info i can about it online. there is a lot of misinformation online, but if you use a little common sense, its easy to tell when someone is being dogmatic and claiming "facts" from a very limited pool of experience.

a good example is elassoma gilberti, gulf coast pygmy sunfish. there are references out there that say they NEED soft acidic water, with ph sometimes as low as 4. the fact that i have mine breeding happily in a ph of 8.7 in extremely hard water goes to show that the "facts" were prematurely determined by some literate individuals with access to a computer. it seems as if they had made the claim based on a single collection report from an isolated swampy location. i collected mine in hard alkaline water.

anything new is going to be pretty much the same. people will make claims, write books, and draw conclusions without first exploring other possibilities. the best thing is to look up the fish, look up the experience of others, and if you cannot find the experience of others, look up info about their habitats or those of similar fish.

for plants i usually jut google things from the list on wikipedia, or pull out the reference papers that i have accumulated ever the last several years.
 

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This was a list i made a couple years ago. If you search my posts there was a similar topic back in 2011.

This is my list. You can find them all on Amazon...

High
Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad
Aquarium Plants by Christel Kasselmann
Planted Aquariums by Christel Kasselmann
Aquarium Plant Paradise by Takashi Amano
Nature Aquarium Volume 1 by Takashi Amano
Nature Aquarium World Volume 2 by Takashi Amano
Nature Aquarium World-Book 3 (Bk. 3) by Takashi Amano
Nature Aquarium World: How You Can Make A Most Beautiful Aquarium by Takashi Amano
Nature Aquarium: Complete Works 1985-2009 by Takashi Amano
Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock

Medium
Dr. Axelrod's Atlas of Freshwater Aquarium Fishes by Dr Harbert R. Axelrod
Baensch Aquarium Atlas Photo Index 1-5 (NEW REVISED THIRD EDITION 2007) by Hans A. Baensch, et al.
Baensch Aquarium Atlas, Vol. 4 (v. 4) by Hans A. Baensch, Ruediger Riehl
Baensch Aquarium Atlas, Vol. 3 (Third Revised Edition 2004) (v. 3) by Hans A. Baensch, Rudiger Riehl
Baensch Aquarium Atlas Vol. 1 (7th REVISED EDITION 2007) by Hans A. Baensch, Rudiger Riehl
Baensch Aquarium Atlas Vol. 2 (4th REVISED EDITION 2008) by Hans A. Baensch, Rudiger Riehl
Aquarium Designs Inspired by Nature by Peter Hiscock
Encyclopedia Of Exotic Tropical Fishes For Freshwater Aquariums by G. S. Axelrod

Low
Limnology, Third Edition: Lake and River Ecosystems by Robert G. Wetzel (Advanced Book)
Natural Aquarium by S. Yoshino, et al.
Aquarium Plants Manual (Complete Pet Owners Manuals) by Ines Scheurmann
Fishkeeper's Guide to Aquarium Plants: A Superbly Illustrated Guide to Growing Healthy ... by Barry James
Holger Windelov's Tropica Color Catalogue: Aquarium Plants by Holger Winelov
Aquarium Plants: The Practical Guide by Pabloo Tepoot, et al.
Fish Behavior in the Aquarium and in the Wild (Comstock books) by Stéphan Reebs

For beginners this site has an excellent guide at the top "Planted Tank Guide". I would also recommend the various forums, not just The Planted Tank. You have the Barr Report, Aquatic Plant Enthusiats, Aquatic Plant Central, AGA, IAPLC and to an extent MFK (not really for plants).
Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
 

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FINALLY!! someone suggests reading a book about limnology! i usually dont bring that one up since most people arent willing to spend the money to read something that advanced.
i must say though, i have to agree with old wetzel when he said you cant really have a good understanding a sub-discipline without having a good understanding of how the whole big picture works(paraphrased of course).

i would also like to add hutchinsons treatise on limnology. it is a bit dated, but much of the information is still quite relevant.

these are pretty advanced.. but if you can get through them, and apply what they teach, you will be able to find ways to do incredible things.
 

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i just bought walstads book and its great, dont understand it all yet but theres always wikipedia. I also have a book called dwarf cichlids because i keep, yip, dwarf cichlids. The books to me are far more useful than browsing forums in certain respects. eg the dwarf cichlid book has information on where they actually collected the fish. Now if i were to ask what conditions to keep one type of fish in, there would be a hundred different answers, but if you try to recreate the conditions of where they were collected you can't go wrong. sometimes forums excel for first hand info on breeding/feeding etc but having the books is a must if you want to keep a level head.
 

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I love me a good book!
Sometimes I get sick of the internet, staring at a monitor and trying to filter BS and opinions. It's nice to grab a book and loaf around on the couch and soak up some inspiration.

Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock is pretty solid.
The Simple Guide to Planted Aquariums by Terry Anne Barber & Rhonda Wilson is more basic but ok.
The Takashi Amano Nature aquarium books are phenomenal to look at and page through, definitely some serious eye candy and inspiration.
 
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