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Ecology of the Planted Aquarium [Hardcover]

Diana L. Walstad
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Hardcover CDN $40.29  
Hardcover, June 2003 --  
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Book by Walstad, Diana L.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the best Aquarium book I've read Oct. 28 2004
I've read possibly over 100 books on keeping aquariums from all perspectives. The information in this book is real (though possibly exaggerated at times) and the results are real.
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down, took pages of notes. Feb. 28 2004
A few years ago, my brother and I owned pet shops, so I thought that I knew a bit about water chemistry.
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
One warning!
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.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
As an experienced aquarist with a flair for biotop-aquariums I have a huge library of aquarium and ecology books at home. Most of them are printed with luxury paper and coverage including breathtaking pictures. But very few of them include key information that I exactly need. Can fish food alone cover all the nutrient needs of aquatic plants, if yes how? Do I really need additional CO2 and fertilizers? How can I maintain healthy low-tech natural aquariums free from algae with sun light? What are the most significant bio-chemical reactions that take place in the aquarium gravel & soil and how do they affect the general aquarium ecology, pH, KH, CO2, Iron-levels etc? Do plants really purify water, if yes how and which plants are better purifiers? Why are emergent plants better water purifiers? What does this heavy metal talk mean concretely? Do plants consume ammonia, nitrit and nitrate? Why do they generally prefer ammonia over nitrate? etc... etc...The author of this book apparently anticipated my unanswered questions of past and answered all of them in a step by step manner without a single logical gap. Don't let yourself negatively impressed by the modest look of the book. Its content is perfect!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Information Dec 5 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars University trained Chemist speaking Oct. 3 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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 100s of trials. She does have the proof of much success with all her tanks.
I bought this as I am about to start my 2d 65 gal planted tank, and am very glad I did. If you want advice with a name attached, this is it. If you want to get advice from badfish69er off a message board... knock yourself out.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally: a really great book! Nov. 22 2002
One of the best books I've ever read. This book is for the professional aquarist; it is certainly not for the beginner who wants book with more photos and less text. It has a very interesting and well-written chapter about the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. The chapter includes chemical equations and tips; it includes information I've not read about in many other books. This is a serious book. Few of the subjects are: allelophaty between aquatic plants, plants as water purifiers, the bacteria in the aquarium, carbon (water alkalinity, pH, CO2, bicarbonate use, sediment CO2 uptake) and much more. As a student I found this book to be very professional, scientific, and interesting, I used this book when I had a test, and also when I had to write a work about water purifiers. As I said, it is one of the most rare kinds of books, and I recommend every person whom the hobby for him is not just 40 cm aquarium with plastic plants, to order it. It is a must have book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best aquarium plant book Feb. 5 2004
By A Customer
Excellent, excellent..
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.
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