Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I'm trying to get some market analysis for a potential beginners column in a publication and need your help. Please answer the following in as much or as little detail as you wish. Your input will help guide this potential column, should it come to fruition.


As a beginner, what would you have liked to know prior to starting that you perhaps didn't?

Now that you've got a little experience, what would you like to know about most?

Thanks,
Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
I wonder if this is TAG? If it is TAG, royalties would not be a factor. If it is not TAG, maybe we should get agents.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right now this is just an information gathering thing. When I began keeping plants things were a lot different than they are now and I'd like a fresh perspective on what it's like to be a beginner in the hobby these days. Lots of beginners these days are starting off with stuff that I would have considered advanced when I started. What I think is beginner's stuff may not be, and vice versa.

Thanks,
Phil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
I would have liked to know about lighting, when I started I thought that 80 watts on a 55 gallon tank would blind the fish. The other big things are CO2 enrichment and fertilization.

Now that I have some experience I like reading aquascaping articles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
The number-one thing I wish I'd known was about removing potted plants from the rock wool. I had dwarf and giant hairgrasses (Eleocharis parvulus and E. montevidensis), watersprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides), and Alternanthera reineckii that were all bought in rock wool pots. The rock wool was ugly, but I didn't know it wasn't required. Over the last few weekends (thanks to this site), I've removed all the rock wool, spread the hairgrasses out into a couple of dozen plugs, planted the roots of the Ceratopteris more securely in the substrate, and discovered that the Alternanthera was actually a cluster of about eight plants, tightly rubber-banded together (no danged wonder it wasn't doing well!) Lighting and CO2 were, for me, sort of "Hmm!" issues - easy to find out about, easy to rectify. The rock wool issue was a real irritant, and its elimination has been a great improvement in my enjoyment of the plants. Good luck with the column!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
I wish I had known to start out heavily planted from the very beginning. I think things would have been easier for me. I think I assumed it would be more difficult the more plants I had, when in fact the opposite turned out to be true.

I agree with the comment about lighting and CO2...these are some of the most discussed topics various plant places on the Internet, so it's quite easy to find out about.

I've seen fewer places (other than here) discussing the "balanced" tank approach and it took me quite a bit of reading to understand it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,819 Posts
For me, it is mostly one of a lack of information. This site and many others out there have helped immensely!

When I started trying to keep plants back in the early 90's, I had to rely on my LFS for information. While there are a few good plant related stores out there, they are few and far between. It seems that most LFS's and big box stores (along with most beginning plant enthusiasts, like myself at the time) don't take the time to make sure the plants they purchase are, in fact, aquatic plants. I still see stores selling plants like Purple Wedge and Mondo Grass, as well as others that are not meant to be submerged.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
I also wished that I had start out planting heavly to prevent algae problems. I also wished that I knew not to plant rhizomes from the begining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
I too have t jump on the planted heavily bandwagon, I was told to and read about what never really understood what heavy planting was. I thought I had a lot of plants I thought, but no, it was not.

Understanding ferts was an issue too, took me a few months to really get my brain wrapped around the concepts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
Wish someone would have told me how much this hobby can cost you!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,580 Posts
alexperez said:
Wish someone would have told me how much this hobby can cost you!!!
Too true!

Now I would like to know how to aquascape succesfully with drifwood and rocks. What to look for when choosing rocks, etc.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,309 Posts
alexperez said:
Wish someone would have told me how much this hobby can cost you!!!
[smilie=r: [smilie=r: :biggrin:

But then imagine all you might have missed out on!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
The thing i wish i had known more about at the start but never did is lighting, i'd never had plants before, so i buy this tank setup, throw a few plants in there and a few months later realise the lights are basically useless and i need to buy new ones, secondly the more you think you know the more you tinker which in turn can creates another set of problems. And lastly it can become addictive oh and costly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I can say with honestly that there is nothing I wish I had known before I got into this hobby, I have really enjoyed learning new things as I go along.

There is one thing I would have sorely missed had I not had it - access to forums such as this one.

The most valuable thing for anyone starting out is having contact with other people who can share their experience & opinions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,116 Posts
- All equipment and substrate must be placed and running from day 1. (Not adding tons of light but skipping on the CO2 for later, etc.)

- Consistency is very important.
(No sudden changes, no slacking off on maintenance.)

- Learning how to grow plants doesn't have to precede aquascaping.

- A few simple diagrams for layouts that are easy to copy and pleasing to the eye.

- Testing is a must in the first several weeks.
(All of them - N, P, (K), KH, GH, pH, Ca, Mg, (Fe/TE).)

- Patience and understanding of the natural flow of events.
(We can only try to direct the phases the planted tank is naturally going through.)

--Nikolay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
Substrate is the one thing that is hard or impossible to change once an aquarium is set up. None of the out-of-the-bag substrates sold in the USA (prior to ADA) work well without adaptation.

Lighting is expensive, but buy the best possible before buying and setting up the aquarium. DIY lighting systems are not for everyone. It takes time and special tools to get a professional finish. At the end of the day, you might do better buying an Arcadia or other good quality system, after all "time is money".

Test kits are useful. When you need them - you need them instantly, not have to wait for them to be delivered by USPS or UPS. Have them on hand prior to starting the set up.

Nothing happens in this hobby quickly. Ordering plants takes time - days, sometimes weeks. Ordering equipment - even from the larger sellers - sometimes results in incorrect delivery, delivery of a part broken in transit, the need to return something. Bear that in mind. If you order a computer from a famous US vendor, you can expect it to be drop shipped immediately. But plants, filters, test kits, CO2 regulators etc come more slowly. Often , though, the need for the item is instant.

Utricularia is a pain in the neck. It often gets delivered with Riccia.

Be patient and SEARCH sites like APC before asking questions. There are years of experience detailed in databases such as that of the APC board. Almost always, your question has already been asked and answered.

Andrew Cribb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,710 Posts
I wish I had known how addicting this hobby can be! Other than that, I really didnt have that hard of a time figuring out how to get a planted tank going. Of course I read and read online for about three months, joined APD and APC of course, and then read some more! I would say that probably the best advice I have gotten is to plant heavily from the start. This usually seems to help a lot when starting a tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
As a beginner who has just begun 2 years ago in this hobby, I wish I would've known more about plant types before I even began planting. God knows how much money I've wasted ordering from on-line stores purely due to my impulsive desire to get my hands on everything I could get at that time.

As a seasoned beginner now I have come to realize the more scape I do the more traveling I still have to do as far as this hobby goes. The more I know the more I know I don't know; sounds paradoxical?!



Paul
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,218 Posts
The importance of a good reactor and stable consistant CO2 levels. If you have that with good lighting.....at least you have something to pivot on. They seem to be the only two things in this hobby that you can get constant.
jB
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top