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Discussion Starter #1
Tsunami and I have worked up some proposals, and we want to hold the first ever South Florida Aquatic Plant Club meeting in late February or early March! Lets hear who will come, and help us fill in the plan:

When: Last weekend in February (Feb 25-27) or first weekend in March (Mar 4-6) What day works best for you? What day wont work at all for you? Is Saturday better than Sunday?

Where: Osteomata's condo on Miami Beach. Feel free to make this meeting part of day at the beach. If you are coming, PM me and Ill get you the address and directions.

Agenda:
1) Meet, mingle, introductions. Refreshments provided.
2) Discussion of what we want to do with this club, (e.g., how to generate interest, how often to meet, how to pursue discounts with LFS's, etc)
3) Team Aquascape! I will provide a small tank and all supplies, you supply ideas and put your hands into the substrate. We will discuss the plan of attack in this forum. We can debate substrate, plant types, lighting, etc, and as the group comes to a consensus, I'll get the supplies. There will be some limitations (cost, size), and Ill give details in a follow on post. This is not a scam to get you to bring me free plants and equipment. If you really really want to donate something to the cause, feel free to mention it in your posts, but its not a requirement at all.

OK, who is in?
 

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Im in... I also replied in another forum.
Give a week or two And I will become a supporting member.
 

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I have sent an email to a handful of people -- the only people I could glean an email from. If you know some of the posters on the membership drive thread, please email them and let them know that we will be having a meeting very soon. Also, we need to start spreading the word on the forums, at the LFS, etc.

Let's see how often we can meet. I think once a month would be good, even if 8 out of 12 meetings a year are just meeting at a cafe as a small group and exchanging spare cuttings (a plant swap, like what SFBAAPS has been doing to get together).

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great! In 7 hours we have 4 people planning to attend! At this rate, by late February we should have most of Miami-Dade county and parts of Broward present. hehe.

I posted this meeting announcement in one other forum (plantedtank). My intention is to ask anyone from there who responds to join this forum, so we can carry on a public discussion in a single place. Anyone else able to do the same in other forums?

Art,
I was unable to email beefarmer or radavidoff (they posted in the membership drive posts), was hoping you might be able to send them word.
As for the "keep it small" vs "invite the general public" question: I think even a small group would be a success for a first meeting. Anyone that expresses an interest in the various forums is welcome to attend. I just don't know if I am gonna get the flyers made, printed, and distributed in time. How bout we play that one by ear? Anyone from this forum should feel free to invite others who might be interested.

Take care,
Jack
 

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Nice to hear you are doing something locally for the hobby.

From what I've seen in my planted tank club usually one or a few people make things happen. For some reason the majority of the members prefer to attend but to not get involved too much.

That is probably a natural thing, this is a hobby after all. So I'd say keep this observation of mine in mind in the future and keep your chin(s) up :-D

The other important thing is to keep the meetings casual but with some sort of order. Folk usually love to socialize, but a short and interesting presentation during every meeting makes the meetings appear more worthwhile.

Good luck!

Hey, ask radavidoff if he is from Bulgaria.

--Nikolay
 

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Osteomata said:
Art,
I was unable to email beefarmer or radavidoff (they posted in the membership drive posts), was hoping you might be able to send them word.
Jack
Jack,

Send them a PM. They should receive an email alerting them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So we have one vote for Saturday, February 26. Anyone have issues with that day?
- Jack
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Discussion Starter #10
First SFAPC Meeting: the tank project

OK, for the first meeting "group aquascaping fun" project, I have purchased a 10 gallon standard tank, a mini canister filter (Zoo-Med 501 turtle filter), and I moved some mulmified eco-complete into it tonight. I need to get a board for it to sit on tomorrows before I fill it, so I hope to have the cycle started by tomorrow night.

Sooo: tank, filter, and substrate good to go. I also have a most of the Flourish line for ferts. I thought we could begin a discussion about the rest of the components:

Lighting: I dont want to skimp on this area, the tank occupies a prominant position and I would like a nice looking light. I love the look of the Current USA Orbit light, but wow its 80 watts. A bit much yes? Anyway, if any of you have ideas, spot a nice ebay deal or whatever, lets hear it.

Hardscape: Drift wood? Rocks? A mix? man this area throws me. Im thinking driftwood will support greater "lushness", but what do I know.

Plants: This is wide open. By the time we meet, I expect I will have done a complete tear-down of my nano, which will result in a few plants readily available (maramo moss ball, red ludwig, frill, and dwarf hair grass) .

OK, Im beat, hope to hear from all of you.
Jack
 

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Lighting depends on how much you want to spend. If you like the open top look, try the 1x40w fixture from satellite. It is very chique. All you have to do is buy the 6700k/10,000k and the legs. May not be enough light to have super amazing stem plant growth though (as in, the plants grow fast but they grow upright).

I personally like thin driftwood branches, but these may not be available. Rock is possible, but, IMO, is harder to arrange without it looking like... just a jumble of rocks. Some research in Japanese gardening would have to go here. I know Atlantis Aquariums has several boxes worth of rock.

Plants: For a first time setup, we have to pack your tank with easy plants... but the problem is, what do you want to do. Is this meant to be an Anubias and Bolbitis setup with calmly cruising cardinals (they look amazingly good with deep green plants and dark driftwood set against a lightly colored background) or a happily bubbling stem plant tank with bright splashes of color and with the more subdued glowlight tetras?

By the way, planted tanks don't go through a "cycle" like fish only tanks do. ;)

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hmm, I dont know what I want out of this tank. I really wanted to leave that up to the group's imaginition. I do like the open top look.

Lighting: Im open to whatever meets the tank/plant criteria and looks good.

As far as cycling the tank, can you give me some clarification on this? the tank will have fish in it, and this is what I understood:
- Planted or not, it will go through an initial ammonia/nitrite/nitrate reduction cycle.
- A few weeks are required for benficial bacteria to develop in sufficient numbers to break down the ammonia into nitrate.
- here is where I get really shaky on my "knowledge": Planted tanks might reduce the severity of the initial ammonia/nitrite/ nitrate spike (and reduce the time to get it under control?) due to their roll in breaking down chemicals in the water column.

Is this incorrect or distorted?

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, regardless of a need to cycle, the tank is up and running. With some help from Carlos I resolved the excessive noise from the filter. Right now its putting a out a lot tiny air bubbles, but Im pretty sure that is a seal issue, and I'll check them tomorrow, wetting or sealing with some silicone oil/grease if necessary.

Substrate: less than 2 inches, I guess I need to pick up another bag of Eco-Complete. Probably wait until the meeting to put it in since i doubt it will take a full bag.

Jack
 

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Just to let everyone know, my household will be donating one to two gallon bag fulls of cuttings for all to enjoy. They will almost surely include:

Ludwigia arcuata
Hemianthus micranthemoides
Bacopa australis
Heteranthera zosterifolia

possibly...
Limnophila aquatica
Ludwigia repens 'Rubin'

Maybe some Ammannia gracilis and Bacopa caroliniana, emersed, clippings.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We are still a go! Only one person had a date preference, so unless someone expresses a different opinion, we will do it on Saturday, Feb 26, in the afternoon. I'll get directions out on email this week or next.

I have not done any fliers, just have not had the time/will power yet. I'm not to worried about that, Just getting one meeting down even with our small group will be a start.

As for the tank project, things seem to be going along fine, although I have not ordered a light fixture yet. I'll take care of that this week. I like the Current USA orbit light, but man so many watts (80!) that seems like too much. Might go with the 1x40 watt current usa light, cant recall name. I do need to come up with some hardscape, Im willing to ebay it if any of you spot an nice piece of driftwood send me the link.

Any comments or concerns? Everyone still coming?

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #18
First meeting, directions sent via PM, what time?

OK, still set for Saturday, Feb 26? What time works for everyone? I was thinking afternoon, but Im flexible.

I am sending a PM to all the interested people from this thread with the directions.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Art, you are the only person to reply, so I am suddenly a bit concerned about attendance. I am pretty sure Carlos is coming, but I have not heard from radavidof or Alex. (I sent them a PM with the directions a few days ago. I'll check and see if I have there email addresses.

Regarding the time: any time will work for me.

Jack
 
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