Ecology of the Planted Aquarium Hardcover – Jun 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
The information provided by Walstad was sufficient to allow me to turn a high maintenance hobby into one where fish and plants thrive with minimal work.
I have seen some authors dispute the theories that Diana puts forward, but I have seen nothing practical that supports their opinions either.
The bottom line is people walk into my house and are stunned by the beauty of my tanks, and the truth is, all I do now is add water.
This book showed me that I didn't.
So much information that has practical relevance. e.g.:
If pH is quite low, nitrification stops and ammonia takes the form of non-toxic ammonium.
If you raise the pH under these conditions, the ammonium converts to toxic ammonia, and you'll be countin' the floaters!
Want beautiful pictures? buy Takashi Amano.
Want beautiful plant tanks? buy Diana Walstad
I found that the soil-underlay method tends to produce a lot of Hydrogen Sulphide (=rotten roots) during the first few weeks.
Don't supplement this type of tank with any Sulphate containing fertilizers! I think I'll try a tank with just a 1/4" of soil, or try soil that's not quite as rich.
There isn't much I can say that hasn't already been written about this book. The glowing reviews are well-deserved. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Devil's Advocate: "1) It isn't inexpensive, and 2) it is way too complicated."
-1) You'll save youself a LOT of money.
I followed the author's EASY steps in chapter XI - "Practical Aquarium Setup and Maintenance" (it's barely over 10 pages long!) and - voilÃ ! I now have aquarium plants (even more difficult ones) THRIVING - not merely surviving or slowly rotting! This may come as a shock to those who've spent a lot of time and money trying to replicate the look of the Dutch or Takashi Amano aquariums (myself included.) But really, all that aquarium plants need is light and - even more importantly - a proper substrate! You don't need to have more equipment than a hospital!
-2) It doesn't HAVE TO be complicated. I simply followed the few, simple, easy steps in chapter XI. Although the underlying mechanisms of the aquarium ecosystem are fascinating, they undeniably are complicated. But you don't need to read the book in its entirety: as the author states, "In order to make the scientific studies more relevant to hobyists, I have interspersed the text with typical or actual 'Questions and Answers.' These Q & A, plus practical discussions at the end of chapters, show how the scientific information applies to hobbyists' aquariums."
So, if you adhere to the "K.I.S.S." (keep it simple) philosophy, this book is for you, and your planted aquarium (that includes the fish) will thrive - even if (like me) you read only chapter XI and the Q & A boxes.
P.S. The book's website...shows pictures of her aquariums.
This is a great book, because it doesn't simply repeat "conventional wisdom", or the same stuff that
is in every other book.
Sure, it reads like a science book.. but it's great because everything that Diana claims in the book
is supported by hard evidence/other studies.. So you can see the reason for everything.
Even if you don't know high school chemistry, she breaks it down to such an understandable
level, that it's easy to understand.. Plus, you can skip the chemical reaction formulas if you
wish and just take in the information.
The chapter on algae prevention/control alone is worth the price of the book.
There are no pictures, but you must keep in mind, the purpose of this book is to give information
on how to succeed with a "low tech" approach (no CO2 injection, expensive lights, etc).. The
high tech way works too (I've tried both approaches).. However, even high tech people can
benefit from the information in here.
This is simply the best aquarium book on plants.. period.
Most recent customer reviews
Good book! I liked it and learned a lot of things.. Sometime there is too much chemical stuff. But there is all the advices you need to build your aquarium according this method. Read morePublished 14 months ago by vincent mayer
Really wish I had read this before I set up my tank. Could have saved a lot of money, especially when it comes to buying a lighting system for my tank. Read it!Published on Dec 5 2013 by Amazon Customer
Couldnt put it down, makes a lot of sense. Some of the evidence borders on anecdotal, but b/c it is unique it is not widely duplicated and DW could not have been expected to run... Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2013 by Nonaldehyde
Great information on practical aspects of keeping a "low-tech" planted aquarium. I have both low and high tech planted aquariums, but have found the information in this... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004 by Philip C. Jones
Anyone interested in creating a successful planted aquarium definitely needs this book! The author gives very scientific information in regards to the chemistry behind the beauty... Read morePublished on July 29 2003 by Barb D.
This book is nothing more than a scientific put-down of modern aquariums. Her instructions are exactly the opposite of common beliefs among what she calls "High-tech" aquaria;... Read morePublished on March 13 2003 by Ramin Shafai