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COST - If I were to guess I would think that the largest group of aquarium owners are young people. College age and into the 20's and 30's. These people don't have enough money to foot the bill for expensive substrates, lights, plants, fertilizer, etc. I know it can be done much cheaper than it often is, but at the very least you're looking at $300+(if you start from scratch and consider the essentials) Too many people want a little fish tank for 50-$100 for the hobby to explode, imo.

I should add that its likely those who think they want a planted tank with $50-100 to spend, end up buying a few plants, poking them in blue gravel and watching them die. The End...for many...not me:)
That pretty much sums it up from my experience. Everyone gets really excited when they see a picture of my beautiful tank, but the moment they hear about the different things they have to buy to set it up they lose interest.

As far as stores go, I don't think it would kill anyone to sell legitimate aquatic plants because they'd make serious money off people buying ferts and CO2 supplies. More stores should carry Compact Fluorescent Lighting, that's another way to make huge money. I think the main obstacle is just getting the interest out there. If each Petsmart/Petco/Petland/Wal-Mart/etc put up a nice planted tank OR if Disney made a movie about a neon tetra living in the Amazon River, we'd see a huge explosion in the hobby.
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