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· Premium Member
3,985 Posts

You've all presented such great points!

I think a lot of beginner problems could be avoided if the person takes the time to read and research basic care requirements. However, this requires some premeditation. Most of the time, plants are an impulse purchase with little or no guidance from the LFS. As a result, we see so many people with posts like, "Help Algae!!".

I think the Estimative Index from Tom Barr is a pretty good approach for beginners as long as they understand their initial tap water parameters. However, for Tom's method to work, the tank should have more than a couple of swords and a bog plant in it.

So what are some key things a beginner should do in order to optimize his chances of having a good looking aquarium if they are on a limited budget?
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