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Hi, I am new to this board and new to the world of aquariums. Getting ready to set up theb inaugural tank. I have been reading voraciously - books, articles, web sites, blogs, you name it - and I have learned way more already than I ever thought there was to know. But a strange thing is happening.. the more I learn, the less clear everything is. The enormous amount of information there is to know about water chemistry seems to be totally overwhelming. Can it really be this complicated? (I mean, yes, I know the fish don't just swim around in tapwater, but still....) To add to the burden, lots and lots of the information I am picking up seems to be contradictory. One book I read yesterday on planmted aquariums warned specifically not to do anything that might raise the oxygen level in the water (huh? don't fish need oxygen?) There are apparently so many different compounds and characteristics to test for, and such conflicting direction as to what the correct ranges and levels should be, that I am just completely lost. Most frustrating, almost every single bit of advice I read talks about the importance of testing for a certain element, and the crucial importance of keeping the level within the correct range, but almost NEVER tells you what to do if your test results are off. So I suppose my questions are these: (1) should I just give up before I start? and (2) is there someplace where this stuff is presented in a single simple coherent place? LIke maybe a master chart that lists all the things you should test for, what the appropriate raneg is for each, and what to do if your results are off? Sorry for the ramble.... it's just that usually more education leads to better understanding, not less. Thanks for any advice!!!!! - marc
 
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