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Desire vs Wallet.................Wallet usually wins.
Ditto! I (and a few others that I can think of) would be perfectly willing to plop down any amount of cash on proper equipment for a planted tank, but the "wallet" simply won't allow it. In my case, it's a matter of making due with lower quality or improvised replacements until the right stuff can be purchased. Example, If I had $500 to drop on a new filter for my planted tank, I'd do it without blinking. But, the money simply isn't there...so I have to wait until it is...
 

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I blame the industry itself. There is more money to be made in SW than freshwater so that's where stores try to push you. Every fish store you go into has a huge SW display. How many stores do you see with a nice planted display. NONE in my area. If they do sell plants it's in a small aquarium with inadaquate lighting, so why would a customer spend as much money on something that doesn't look as nice.
Follow the money, there's more money to be made from SW then planted.
I see this point and I like Tex Gal's response to it. Most stores probably don't understand how to push the "planted" side of the hobby. If they were able to really understand it and see the market potential, maybe that would change. Seems to me that hobby groups could have an impact here. For one person to go into a store and tout the praises of planted aquaia is one thing, but for an organization/club to go in and show the store owners the potential and some real "how-to" on making their displays look good, that might be enough to push the planted hobby forward more.

Look at the equipment that's currently available. Every year we see new and more powerful filters, better heaters, light fixtures, bulbs specifically geared toward planted tank, fertilization supplements, CO2 equipment...the tools are there...what stores lack is the know-how of setting up the sales area for planted tanks and how to incorporate the right equipment.

(Not to brag, but we actually have a store in Houston (Pearland) that is getting set up right now to cater to planted tank enthusiasts on a level that should equal the attention given to Salt Water!! )
 

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...and we are moving forward as a hobby. Just look at everyone's favorite hobby magazine (TFH). Even they have incorporated planted tanks into their issues. They run "Aquatic Plant of the Month" as well as a 2-3 page section on Planted Tanks and another full feature on ADA/Nature Aquariums. In addition to that, half of the mini-series type articles feature planted aquaria. Even this most recent "Import Report" is fully dedicated to plants.

Maybe our local stores need to read the magazine more often instead of just sellnig it. ;)
 

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It's been awhile since I checked in on this thread. I just noticed a bit about El Natural and how some might perceive it to be a style rather than a method, etc... I think there is some truth in the fact that many who use natural methods tend to scape in a way that looks..."El Natural". But it really all depends on the scapist. Here are 2 "El Natural" tanks. I'm not saying that these are extremely beautiful scapes worthy of competition or drawing people into the hobby, but they certainly don't look "El Natural" to me. They were simply scaped in a way that I would have scaped the same tanks using high-tech methods. The style would not have been any different using a different method.





Now, all that being said, the bottom tank is actually gradually being converted to high-tech (CO2 injection, high light, better filtration, etc...).

Sorry if I strayed off topic with this post...just wanted to inject a thought or two.

-Dave
 

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I mean ADA is positioned as Art. El Natural is positioned as Ecology.
Yes, I see your point here. In that respect, it comes to how the idea or style is presented. ADA has done a fabulous job at presenting the hobby as an art and as a form of "peaceful relaxation" (I beleive I've seen that in one of their translated adds...correct me if I'm mis-quoting).

So that brings us to...how do we promote that same idea here in the states? Maybe it's cultural? If our idea (as a whole nation, not as individuals) of art and peace is 'less input...just sit back and look at something and be entertained', how do we as individuals show someone how 'more input...cultivate an aquatic garden and put some physical energy and $$ into it' can also lead to peace and relaxation and artistic enjoyment?

My wife and I garden (vegetables, etc...) and it's very hard and tedious work. But, it's also very relaxing and rewarding to watch it grow, see the end result of our labor, enjoy the fruits of our labor. To me, an aquascape is the same. The more energy I spend taking care of it, the more rewarding it is to see it flourish. And it becomes my own art creation, which makes it more meaningful to me as the "artist".

(Niko, I'll take your advice on that thread idea. ;) )
 
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