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Christel Kasselmann's book, Aquarium Plants, published in English in one edition to date by Krieger Publishing Company (USA) and translated from the original 1999 German edition, Aquarienpflanzen, is virtually the only reference book we have for our hobby. See contents list below if you're not familiar with this title.

I have read the book cover-to-cover several times. But I was aware from the first time I read it in 2003 that it needs updating. Not only have more plants been introduced to the hobby, but the book is not very good at providing a means of accurately identifying the plants already in circulation.

My question is: What does this book lack? and how can Christel Kasselmann's Aquarium Plants be effectively updated. Currently it is a book whose lifespan is coming to an end. It is a book on the book shelf very occasionally referred to by the planted tank enthusiast.

In my opinion, I would add the following:

- accurate drawings of each plant in both submersed and emersed states, as appropriate. Drawings can help a great deal with idenitifying a plant - more so, perhaps, than photographs. The photographs in the current US edition are somewhat limited in usefulness. Identifying plants is as important as reading about the biotopes in which they are found.

- details of new plants including Toninas etc

Over to you. This book needs some work - or we need another book by another set of authors to bring us up to date. Perhaps there already exists one in German or Dutch? Certainly, when it comes to getting translations of books published in the USA, it is an uphill struggle.

Since Ms. Kasselmann is coming to the USA shortly and members of APC are in touch with her on an occasional basis, perhaps some feedback could be passed on. Maybe we can get a USA publisher who is willing to publish a new edition! My sense of business indicates Krieger certainly is not - but we should be grateful to Krieger for making it possible to have at least one edition in the first place.

Contents of Christel Kasselmann's book, Aquarium Plants:
Aquatic and Marsh Plants in Their Natural Habitats
Environmental Factors
Seasonal Influences, Vegetation Rhythm, and Types of Waterways, Climate Rhythmics
Adaptation Characteristics of Aquatic and Marsh Plants
Description of Selected Natural Habitats
The Importance of Ecological Factors in the Cultivation of Aquarium Plants
Aquarium Temperature
Light in the Aquarium
The Aquarium Substrate
Water in the Aquarium
Flower Morphology
Flower Structure
Forms of Inf lorescence
Flower Biology
Pollination by Animals, Wind, Water
Flower Biology in Hydrocharitaceae
Sexual Propagation of Aquarium Plants
Sowing and Growing
Cultivation of Aquarium Plants
Vegetative Propagation of Aquarium Plants, Cuttings, Runners, Division, Adventitious Plants, Bulbils and Brood Tubers
Propagation of Certain Floating Plants
Propagation by Tissue or Meristem Culture
Practical Application of Propagation by Tissue or Meristem Culture
The Correct Choice of Aquarium Plants
Geniune Aquatic Plants, Distinguishing Aquatic and Marsh Plants
Fast-Growing Marsh Plants, Slow-Growing Marsh Plants
Plants Unsuitable for Aquariums
The Design of Plant Aquaria
Aquarium Plants from A to Z
The Aponogeton Genus
The Cryptocoryne Genus
The Echinodorus Genus
The Lagenandra Genus
The Vallisneria Genus
Family Lemnaceae
Newly Introduced Aquarium Plants
New Echinodorus Cultivars
Appendixes
Appendix 1: Temperature Tolerance of Important Aquarium Plants
Appendix 2: Light Requirements of Aquarium Plants
Appendix 3: Leaf Shapes
Appendix 4: Leaf Arrangements
Appendix 5: Margin, Apex, Leaf Base
Appendix 6: Frequently Used Common Names of Aquarium Plants
Glossary, Bibliography, Index
Note, in 2001 Franckh-Kosmos Verlag in Germany published Pflanzenaquarien gestalten (Aquarium Plant Arrangements) by Christel Kasselmann. English translation of previous link. This title is not available in English.

Andrew Cribb
 

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She does have another book about the Echinodorus genus. That is her pet plant if you will. I forget the name of it, but it's supposed to be pretty awesome.
 

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I would like to see the newest varieties of pflanzen as well. There are many new ones that there isn't any information on them anywhere. Even in her current book sometimes a submersed photo is not included. I would like the next book, to be availabe on CD more than anything, so I can look at a clearer and larger picture. I'd also like it if she included some inspiring aquascapes from all over the world, reminiscent of Baensch's Aquarium Atlas. (Of which I have all three. Don't tell me there's more.)
 

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Yes, there are more. Volume 4 is in English now, but 5 and 6 are still in German. 4 does not feature any plants though. 5 does.

I think that if there would be a new edition of Christel's book, photos of emersed growth, submersed growth, and flowers of each species featured would make it even better. That and coverage of all the newer plants.
 

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grandmasterofpool said:
She does have another book about the Echinodorus genus. That is her pet plant if you will. I forget the name of it, but it's supposed to be pretty awesome.
The Echinodorus book is pretty good. It has majority of the same pictures as the Aquarium Plants book. Majority of the information (although in German) matches the information in Aquarium Plants. When I am attempting to read it, I type everything into a German to English translator on the web. One thing I do like is in the section "Beschreibung der kultivierten Arten", there are pictures of the flowers that are associated with a particular sword. There is also a section on Hybrids and Mutations.
 

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There is a booking coming out this fall by Vincent Hargreaves that will detail most of the commercially available species with very detailed photos of what you would get when you bought your plants at either an LFS or online. That should be a pretty good identification guide in my opinion.
 

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What I'd really like to see is a ring binder version of the book with subscribable updates that can be added as they are published.

Must be some reason why this isn't done very often, though.
 

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That's an excellent idea. In the past, "partworks" were common, especially in Europe. But it is probably outmoded.

The best way to publish this type of work is with an "on demand" system in which an update every 2 years is relatively easy. "On demand" means books are printed as and when needed in short runs. Quite possibly, this style of publishing gives better revenue for the author. However, it would be up to the author to organize the updates etc.

Andrew Cribb
 

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HeyPK said:
This looks like a job for Superm------er, Plantfinder!!!!
She needs to cover Tonina var. "I'm ripping you off with a photoshopped image and making up tons of whacky variety names to boost profits" :p

Jeff
 
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