Hey all, I've been keeping aquariums of all kinds and sizes for about 15 years now, and have decided to write a guide on keeping planted aquariums (with lots of general advice on freshwater aquariums as well) as a way to learn more and to give back to the hobby that has given me so much.
Over the years, I've used plenty of online resources and books, as well as forums, for learning and general troubleshooting. However, I'm always frustrated with a lack of a good "all-inclusive" guide on keeping planted tanks, that is, a one-stop shop for all the information I need, at my fingertips without having to hunt it down online or otherwise. Similarly, most books on fish keeping and planted tanks are either so overly simple as to be near useless or excessively erudite in the information provide that you'd need a Bachelor's degree in chemistry or biology to even begin understanding the information presented.
So, that's where the idea for this book came from. Over the next few months I'll be perusing many sources and writing this guide. I expect the final page count to fall somewhere within the 200-400 page range. As I have a background in the sciences, I'll be including of explanations of the science, in simple language, so anyone with a high school education can easily understand the concepts. I'm a strong believer in focusing on conceptual/intuitive understanding so that you have a strong grasp on the concept and can understand the practical implications of it. This is the approach I'll be taking with this guide.
So that's the gist of the project. I have a sample PDF attached here so you can see the general structure of it (I've done some writing in various chapters, this is just the "skeleton", please consider what you see as a rough draft stage).
Since the target audience is fresh water aquarium enthusiasts, particularly of planted tanks, I figured this internet forum might be a great way to gauge interest in this project and open up the topic to feedback, suggestions and so on.
So what are your thoughts on this project? On the document attached? Any suggested topics you'd like to see or critique on the organization/content?
A bit about the logistics:
While I recognize the potential for commercializing this project, this is the hobby I love and I would like to distribute the final product as a free PDF online for all interested users. If there are enough interest, the book can be printed (hard cover maybe?) and sold at a price just high enough to cover the costs of printing and shipping.
Since I plan to distribute this as a PDF, I've included various handy features like hyperlinks in the document (there is a page on this in there, check it out!)
A bit about me: I'm a 20 something year old medical student who loves working on my aquariums in my spare time. I've been keeping aquariums practically as long as I've moved from crawling to walking. I've kept aquariums, both fresh and saltwater, in tanks of all sizes, from nano-tanks under 1-gallon to tanks over 280 gallons. I've dabbled in breeding (both fish and shrimp), reefs, aggressive fish set-ups, planted tanks, and many other set-ups. Over the years, I've learned quite a bit, and like any hobbyist, mostly through trial and error. I'll be using my science background as well as my experience in graphic design to make this book. I hope to make it aesthetically pleasing, as this greatly increases user satisfaction and ease of access, so you'll notice the modern design of the work. The expected finish date is hopefully within a year.