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Your average hobbyist gives it a half-hearted effort? I've been at this for 10 months now, I've spent in excess of $3,000, and up to this point it is pointing to a miserable failure. I've purchase and read books, I've participated in forum, I'm put forth MUCH more than a half-heart effort. NO ONE seem to be able to help. I get a thousand different pieces of advice all tugging in different directions and there simply is no clear concise advice or help on the problems we encounter in trying to overcome the problems encountered in the planted tank arena. Remove the plants, ferts, co2 and high light and I can be as successful as Petsmart. This business of planted tanks is tough.....but don't say that we fail because it's a half hearted effort. The ability to get people factual information on how to solve their problems , simply isn't available. It's more of...well you might try this, and if that doesn't work, try this, and if that does work, try this....well I've tried it all and the more I try the worse I get!
Maybe you are making this more complicated than it has to be. When I set up a new tank I toss in a half inch of mud, cover it with gravel, stick the plants in, and turn on the lights. The next day I add some fish. In a few weeks I have to start pruning. And I am far from being an "expert."

Have you tried to get help here? Even if you get conflicting advice (which is to be expected because there is no "one way") it should help you to solve your problems.

Good luck!

Bill
 

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There are not enough aquatic plant enthusiasts to support a mass retail market. That's just how it is.

And since maintaining healthy aquatic plants does take a little study and some effort, it is doubtful that there ever will be.

I've raised aquatic plants since well before there was an internet. Some stores carried a few then, and I collected others from local waters, some of which survived. There were also mail order plant suppliers who advertised in aquarium magazines and, of course, friends and fellow hobbyists could help out.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

Bill
 
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