I'm a long time reef aquarium / SW aquarium hobbyist (25 years), but haven't had a freshwater tank in decades. Is there one or two books on this subject that are highly regarded when setting up a planted aquarium?
I second that advice. The only water plant experience I'd ever had until two or three months ago was with ponds. Now I have a thriving low-tech planted tank with red cherry shrimp in it (and they're breeding like rabbits). And I hardly asked any questions here ~ just read Rex's guide AND many, many, many threads on this forum. THAT will teach you a lot ~ just pick a forum and start reading (this forum is a good one to start with ~ first read the "glossary" sticky on the top of the first page). I guarantee that 99% of the questions you have has been answered here and/or in Rex's guide.
Good luck! :biggrin: You're gonna' have loads of fun and will be addicted in no time.
There's many small paperback books published by Barrons that have good info and they are fairly cheap.
I saw this one listed at the AGA site but I haven't looked at it. It look's good. The Aquarium Plant Handbook
New from Oriental Aquarium, this 185-page full color book is more than double the size of Oriental's two previous "catalogue" books, features new photographs and text descriptions of most aquarium plants, and an introduction by Takashi Amano. A great value for a reference book!
$25 (AGA members)
$30 (non-members) http://www.aquatic-gardeners.org/bookstore.html
I have read / own the books by Kasselmann, Walstad, Tepoot, and Amano. Every one of them is worth the money. I particularly like the photography in Tepoot's book (great for id's) and I love just about everything from the Kasselmann book. Walsted's is better for low-tech setups and Amano is great for inspiration.
For a newbie, as previously mentioned, The Peter Hiscock book is a good picture book to get an idea on the look of plants (Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants). I also like Oriental's "The Aquarium Plant Handbook" and of course the classic German published Baench Aquarium Atlas. This last book has a huge fish section (700?) and about 100 nice pictures of submersed plants. An old book (1980s) which is out of publication, but a classic for sure and easily found on Amazon/Ebay for around $20..
The calculations of hardness and water chemistry is good, nevertheless. I still think it's good reading to see where you were in the past so you can understand more about the thinking that lead to the errors so you aren't so easily caught by the same trap.