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So I got bitten by the aquarium bug bad. Thanks to a supportive wife, and this site with all of the great information contained on it, I feel like I am coming around with the 29 gallon that I got for Christmas. I really wanted a planted tank from the get go, but budget concerns and a lack of understanding of aquatic gardening concepts, it started off a little rough. I started off with a twin tube all glass hood with 34 watts, an emperor 280 filter, etc. and didn't have much luck- things weren't growing really at all. At this point I started to dive into the web to find out how to make this work like the pictures in the books I was reading. I set up a DIY CO2 system like the Levasseur paper, and it seemed to help, but my plants were still kinda lousy.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquarium-pictures/showimage.php?i=5523&catid=newimages
After so more research (and money;)) I decided to deal with a few fundamental problems. The twin tubes probably weren't enough light, and that the Emperor was probably causing too much CO2 loss by agitation, and that DIY CO2 is a pain in the neck. So I bought an orbit 130 watt CF lighting system, a Rena XP1 with and integrated heater, made a DIY inline reactor out of PVC, and bought an Aquariumplants.com regulator for a five pound tank. Thank goodness my wife thinks this "fish tank business" is theraputic;) I also invested in a full mix of Seachem liquid fertilizers and started dosing the tank, especially after I downloaded the Seachem dosing chart from this site so I could simplify my dosing regime. I fought through my first major algae bloom after I got the new lights with the information on this sight. (I just reduced my photoperiod and overdosed excel) So, for what it is worth, thank you all for the information an insights that you have provided to help me along. I know it has a long ways to go to become the garden of my dreams, or looking like some of the jungles on this site, but it certainly looks good to me and stuff is growing like crazy. Feel free to let me know what you think.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/aquarium-pictures/showimage.php?i=5522&catid=newimages
 
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