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Goals for Planted Aquaria


  1. Optimum
    by ternay/ (Andy Ternay) (Tue, 11 Aug 1998)
  2. RE: personal goals
    by Kelly <apples/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  3. Personal Goals
    by Troy Luttrell <Rathwine/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  4. Personal Goals
    by Aquatect2/ (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  5. Optimum
    by Loh Kwek Leong <timebomb/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  6. Optimum
    by Hostler Richard <rhostler/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  7. Re:personal goals
    by Susan.C.Jorgensen/Dartmouth.EDU (Susan C. Jorgensen) (12 Aug 98)
  8. Personal Goal
    by "Louis Lin" <lhclin/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  9. Personal Goals
    by Ellistonk/ (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  10. reasons to aquarize
    by Roxanne Bittman <RBITTMAN/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  11. Goals (Humorous ?)
    by George Booth <booth/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  12. Optimum
    by rjw/ (Ronald Wozniak) (Wed, 12 Aug 98)
  13. re: Karen's question
    by "Brad Grenard" <brgrenard/SMLY-01.HFS.PURDUE.EDU> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  14. Optimum
    by Henry Miller <hmiller/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  15. RE: Personal Goals
    by "Thomas D. Kryger" <tdkryger/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  16. Personal Goals
    by "JACQUES GERBER" <jgerber/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  17. Personal Goals
    by Henry Hatch <hhatch/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  18. optimum aquarium
    by "Joe Anderson" <wja70/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  19. RE: Optimum
    by "Shimoda, Wade" <WShimoda/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  20. Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #443
    by BErney1014/ (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)
  21. Optimum
    by "Kudzu" <Kudzu/> (Wed, 12 Aug 1998)


by ternay/ (Andy Ternay)
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998

1.  +++visually impressive
2. must be educational--I regard this hobby as a long term, low key science
education--best of all is there is no final exam!
3. challenging without being the source of insoluble frustrations
4. engaging to friends and family--stimulate their curiosity and interest
5. fun


*Of course you can trust the government; just ask any Native American!*

RE: personal goals

by Kelly <apples/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Karen wrote:
  I'd like to hear
from some of you hundreds of "lurkers" on this list.  What is important
_you_ in your planted tank hobby? 
In order of preference:  my planted tank is 120g and has been set up
for  4 months.

- ----a stunning display that attracts guests in my home to it--hopefully
to ooh and ahh
- ----a cool place for fish to hang out in
- ----ease of care/requirements for the plants to thrive and the fish to

That's about it :)  I enjoy my tank and actually still don't mind
cleaning and taking care of it, but its main focus was as a centerpiece
in a new home--and still is.
- -- 
ICQ # 9473419
My goal in to be the kind of person
                my dog thinks I am!

Personal Goals

by Troy Luttrell <Rathwine/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Ok, here are my goals with my planted tank.

1. Happy fish, that are active, and happy to see me each day.
2. Beautiful plants that are soothing to look at (one of my favorite past 
times, watching fish and plants)
3. Learning everything I can about the interactions of the different 
chemicals that make the above happen.
4. Not too much maintenance, or money.  (Don't have enough money to buy 
everything name brand.

I think it is pretty interesting that when I am doing things right in the 
tank, the fish are active and even breed.  This to me is a sign of a pretty 
healthy tank.  I can not stand losing any of my fish, and each day I spend 
an hour or so looking at each one and trying to make sure they are ok.  On 
the plant side, the hardest part was finding what would grow in my tanks. 
 I have one that is a gravel substrate that we fertilize with jobes sticks, 
k2so4, flourish iron, and sometimes flourish.  This tank runs 82-86 f, 
(27-30 c), 7.2ph, and we have found the only plants that like growing in 
this setup are ones with a rhizome of some sort, or a bulb.  Onion bulbs do 
great, swords do pretty good, apons of all kinds do good, if they can take 
the heat.

Now in the 55 gal tank, it is a different story.  I have a peat substrate, 
with sand on top, and most anything grows great there.  I do not add any 
fertilizer, and my ph stays about 6.8.  The plants there grow great, and 
fast.  I have Asian lilies, apons, swords, cabomba, and val all doing 
great.  Most anything I put in that tank grows, including the fish.

If anyone gets to this far down in this post, I do have a question to ask. 
 In the big tank mentioned earlier, 80 gallon, 7.2ph, 10ppm nitrates, .5 
phosphates, 5deg kh, 8 deg gh, 86 deg f, filtered with a wet dry filter, 
240 watts of light, 2 5000k daylight bulbs (GE), 2 cool white, 4 20 watt 
grow lux bulbs, fertilize with s2so4, jobes, flourish iron, and every 3 
days flourish.  That was a run on sentence if I ever saw one.  Oh well. 
 This tank is not growing like it used to.  One of our apons dropped its 
leaves and now is growing short leaves.  The old ones were 12" long each. 
 Now they are 4" long.  Some of the other plants are starting to curl on 
the edge of the leaves, and  the tips may be bent back on the leaf.  Any 
ideas?  I know I am missing something, but not sure what.  Any help would 
be appreciated.


Personal Goals

by Aquatect2/
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

This is an interesting question.  I think if I listed my reasons, they would
all be about the same as what has already been posted.  But what I think is
underlying these goals is some kind of inherent desire to create an orderly
universe amidst our chaotic lives.  Order-making is something humans seem to
pursue on many levels and an aquarium is yet another expression of this
desire.  That's why algae invasions cause so much distress, it represents some
unwanted chaos in the little orderly world.   

In Austin where it's so hot, going to hell would be a relief!


by Loh Kwek Leong <timebomb/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Hi, Karen Randall and all,

I'm from Singapore and I like to share what I feel are my personal goals
in this planted tank hobby.  

1.  A beautiful tank, something like one of those in Amano's Nature
Aquarium World books.  Mine is still a long way off (sigh) but I'm

2.  To keep my fish healthy.  I believe although we talk about plants
most of the time, it's still the fish that matters.  I find myself
looking at my fish more than the plants.  It's good to have plants,
they are great to look at but trouble is, they don't swim.

3.  Maintenance wise, I don't mind spending about half an hour each
day fiddling with my tanks.  After all, isn't that what's its all about.
I do derive a certain pleasure doing the maintenance work, be it
the plants or changing the water.  It takes my mind off the unpleasant
things happening around here.  (We're having an economic crisis, you

4.  Cost wise, I accept the fact that the hobby will cost me money.
I'm really not much of a DIY person so I buy all my stuff from the fish
shops.  Well, it's either spending my money at the fish shops or
else.  I doubt I will be any richer if I had not taken up this hobby.

5.  Knowledge wise, I'm not much into understanding the reasons why 
certain things work and others don't.  I find it too much of a hassle
learning about the chemistry of the water and all that stuff.  Frankly,
half the time, I can't follow the discussions here in this mailing list.
It's a bit too cheem (Chinese for deep) for me.  I have several test
but I hardly use them.  Fortunately for me, the water from our taps do
need much conditioning.  I'm an idiot, really.  All I do is change water
and put in fertiliser.

Loh K L


by Hostler Richard <rhostler/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Here's my take on the optimum tank:

1. It must provide me with new questions or ideas which I can use to
expand my knowledge regarding the aquarium. I will be greatly
disappointed if I even find myself sitting in front of my aquarium and
not wondering how or why some aspect of the tank is the way it is.

2. It must be balanced. I am not saying that I try to run a "natural"
tank. I use external filters and CO2 reactors and the like but I want
the inside of the tank to be completely balanced. I want the fish to use
the plants and the plants to use the fish. I don't want to be surprised
by test results and I want all changes in conditions to be minor. I
enjoy working with all the external machinery, but prefer not to do
anything more in the aquarium than is absolutely necessary.

3. Life. Everything in the tank must be alive and vigorous. All plants
must show visible growth (they need not grow inches a week, just a new
leaf every now and then or a flower or floater). All the fish must be
active and reproducing. I have only tried to raise fry a couple times,
but I enjoy seeing eggs or fry in my aquarium even if they are gone the
next day. Such is life. My filter must be alive, in fact, I even add
some snails to the filter to help the process.

4. Finally it must be a microcosm of the macrocosm. If my life is going
well, my tank seems to thrive. If my life is not going so well I seem to
find problems in the tank. I may be bringing this to a static aquarium,
but at least it can reflect my mood back to me and provide me with a way
to escape the doldrums.

As far as work involved, that doesn't matter. Most of the time it is
extremely low, but there are days when it takes hours to fix one little
problem. Either way it's worth it.

Re:personal goals

by Susan.C.Jorgensen/Dartmouth.EDU (Susan C. Jorgensen)
Date: 12 Aug 98


in order of importance:

a) It's healthy and growing
b) It looks good
c) It provides a good home to whatever fish live there

I'll take advantage of this non-lurking moment to thank you for all the helpful
and sensible information you share with the "silent majority" out (t)here.  We
may be quiet, but we're paying attention!      

Susan Jorgensen
Sherman Art Library
Dartmouth College

- --- You wrote:
 I'd like to hear
from some of you hundreds of "lurkers" on this list.  What is important to
_you_ in your planted tank hobby?  Remember, there are no right or wrong
answers here.  
- --- end of quote ---

Personal Goal

by "Louis Lin" <lhclin/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

I guess I am a little different than many people
and do not put visual appeal on the top of my list.
My plant tank is more like a toy to me than a
piece of decoration.  So here is what's important
to me:

1. Fun to work on.
2. Fun to watch.
3. Visually appealing (yes, that is different from fun to watch).
4. As an educational tool.  To learn things that I would
   not learn otherwise.

If I take out the spouse factor, I can even take out number 3 :).

Louis Lin

Personal Goals

by Ellistonk/
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

In a message dated 8/12/98 3:53:38 AM, you wrote:

<<OK, we've had responses from a bunch of our list regulars (although not
everyone has reported in yet<g>) We've had some interesting responses, but
I think I could guess the views of most of our regulars.  I'd like to hear
from some of you hundreds of "lurkers" on this list.  What is important to
_you_ in your planted tank hobby?>>

1. The availability of relatively inexpensive ready made sets of equipment &
supplies that can help "make it happen".

I wanted since childhood to grow healthy aquatic plants. It wasn't until what,
'91 that I discovered "The Optimum Aquarium", and sometime after that, this
list. Then it took me a couple years to save the money, track down all the
equipment, and a lot of trial and error to make it all work right together. In
a way it was fun, challenging and rewarding, but I'd rather have been able to
concentrate more on the artistic expression and aesthetics of the tank than
fighting algae battles and driving all over the countryside trying to
find/jury rig equipment. People, especially young people have to scrimp and
save to buy cars and maybe that first house. They shouldn't have to do that to
have a nice planted aquarium. 99% of the people that see my tank and
immediately want one of their own, just as immediately scrap the idea upon
hearing what a ready made system costs or what's involved "doing it on the


reasons to aquarize

by Roxanne Bittman <RBITTMAN/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

My top goals for planted tanks:

1. Creativity outlet - so important for working people! 
This is number one for sure.

2.  Beautiful plants, arranged to create a sense of
depth and diversity that might remind one of nature. 
The plants should be robust, grow well, and show no
signs of deficiencies.  I'm always striving to make
something as pretty as T. Amano's tanks.

3.  Happy animals that breed, although I don't raise fry.
 Watching their behavior is wonderful (esp. Australian

4.  Equipment that is reliable, unobtrusive, and
functional.  I tend toward the Eheim and ADA product

5.  Plants that bubble...I like this because it's so
relaxing to lie on the floor and look up at the tank and
see the sparkle.  It's an indicator that all is well to me
as well.

Roxanne Bittman

Goals (Humorous ?)

by George Booth <booth/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

      The Top Ten Reasons To have Aquatic Plants

10.  I am a botanist and, like, what else is there?

9.  I keep oscars and it gives them something to play with. 

8.  I keep African cichlids and they aren't hungry any more.

7.  I've mastered reefkeeping and I need a more challenging hobby. 

6.  I have more money than I know what to do with. 

5.  It keeps me out of bars on nights and weekends. 

4.  They look more natural than diving dogs and bubbling volcanos.
    Not that diving dogs and bubbling volcanos are bad, mind you. 

... And on a more serious note ...

3. They remove harmful toxins and excess nutrients. 

2.  They provide high oxygen levels. 

1.  They provide hiding places and shade to give the fish a sense
    of security and they make the tank look great.  


by rjw/ (Ronald Wozniak)
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 98

Well, regards personal goals for planted tank:

1. Bring a little science to the art aquatic plant growing.

I view aquatic plant growing as one of those hobbys where
one can know a little bit about a lot of different things.
The disciplines of chemistry, biology, physics, electrical engineering,
mechanical engineering, etc... can all be used at their basic levels.
I'm a tinker, deprived experimentalist, and designer. I love to
build things, optimize and simplify.  Most of my gadgets are home
made or heavily modified commercial stuff.  Cheaper the better.

( My work requires that I know a lot about a few things. Also, I find
it enjoyable to study science for the fun of it. )

2. Aesthetically pleasing.

Approaching the beauty of an Amano's tank would be an ultimate goal.
Unfortunately, I've got a long way to go, but it sure is gratifying
to hear a visitor coming into your home and saying that you have the
most beautiful aquarium they have ever seen.

3. Someday I like to take all that I've learned and translate that into
a plain simple elegant inexpensive method to grow aquatic plants.
It would be kind of a payback to all that have helped me over the years.
There's no way to pay back all the helpful experts, but maybe I could
just help some of those who are just starting out....
We are dreaming here, but who knows.  Again, I've certainly have a long
ways to go, but even if it takes a lifetime to reach, who cares?

4. Low maintenance.  Battling algae, water changes, trimming, etc. are
all unavoidable, but reducing them to a minimum sure would be nice.
Filters that clean themselves, light that is piped in from the sun,
automating water changes, using fish and other critters to clean your
tank, automating the mundane boring stuff (i.e. water tests) would all
be a goal.  I enjoy feeding the fish every day, so I wouldn't automate that.

- ---------------
Ron Wozniak  Allentown PA, USA
AGA member

re: Karen's question

by "Brad Grenard" <brgrenard/SMLY-01.HFS.PURDUE.EDU>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

I'm one of the "lurkers" to whom Karen Randall referred, although I 
have made a few posts to the list.  My reasons for getting into the 
planted aquarium hobby:
* The challenge.  I had kept aquatic plants in containers in a 55 
gal. tank which had an undergravel filter.  Most of the plants grew, 
but there wasn't much freedom to create new or natural 
appearing layouts.

* I wanted to create a healthy aquarium environment which might 
require less maintenance.  I had been tearing down my UGF tanks every 
year.  More on setup later.

* I wanted to be able to use more plant species and have more tank 
decorating options.  This has come true for me.  I started using 
many of the techniques that are discussed on this list and my plants 
are growing very well and I've had few failures.  Being able to place 
plants in natural appearing ways is much more attractive than using 
plants in containers.

*  An unanticipated benefit is that my wife became more interested in 
the tanks.  She has a very good eye for artistic arrangement and has 
been a big help.

I'd like to thank some of the "regulars" on the list for their 
advice.  Last winter I asked for information about Ozelot Swords.  
The LFS had some, but they seemed expensive.  Several people wrote 
back and encouraged me to buy one.  I did, and now I sell small 
Ozelot Swords to the LFS.  Also, on the advice from some list 
"regulars" I bought a Python water changer and now I wonder why I 
waited so long.

And now, some words about tank setup.  Last January I set up a 55 
gal. and a 75 gal. as plant tanks.  The 55 has 120w of light and the 
75 has 160w.  For filtration, the 55 has a Renaissance model 20 
cannister filter and the 75 has a Renaissance model 30.  Both have 
DIY CO2.  The only difference in the 2 tanks is the way in which I 
installed the substrate.  In the 55 I first put in about 1/2" of 
gravel followed by about 1/2" of potting soil, followed by about 2 - 
2 1/2" of mixed Flourite and gravel.  The 75 has the same substrate 
ingredients and same substrate depth.  The only difference is that I 
didn't first put in the 1/2" layer of gravel; I first put in the 
potting soil followed by the Flourite/gravel mixture.  In the 75 the 
potting soil is now oozing up through the gravel to the top of the 
substrate and I have to vacuum it out. This hasn't happened in the 
55.  If anyone has any reasons for why this happened, I'd like to 
hear from them.

This turned out to be longer that I'd intended.  Thanks for your 

Brad Grenard
Otterbein, IN


by Henry Miller <hmiller/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

I'm a "lurker" and proud of it.  What I've learned lurking is
invaluable.  I use the low tech method and am quite pleased with my 65g,
29g, and 20g planted tanks.  Each one is different with its own
"personality".  After years of keeping the basic fish tank I decided to
accept the challenge of growing plants.  I'm just sorry I waited so
long.  Even though I've had success (knock on wood) I'm still learning
the science and botanical names.    

Optimum to me:
1. Visual appeal that gives a feeling of accomplishment and well being.
2. Healthy fish in a quasi natural setting.
3. Low maintenance, low stress.
4. Great hobby.

Thanks to all.

RE: Personal Goals

by "Thomas D. Kryger" <tdkryger/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Here are my goals:

1.  To create an enviroment where my fish are happy
2.  To have something to look at when I need to relax, and think about the
things that happened during the day
3.  A low-tech tank, since it is the only thing I can afford right now,
being a student and all that
4.  To have something that grows in my room. I cant keep houseplants. They
tend to die :(

Thomas D. Kryger (Danish)
- ---------
AP-Data (Aquatic Database)

Personal Goals

by "JACQUES GERBER" <jgerber/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Hello All:
> OK, we've had responses from a bunch of our list regulars (although not
> everyone has reported in yet<g>) We've had some interesting responses, but
> I think I could guess the views of most of our regulars.  I'd like to hear
> from some of you hundreds of "lurkers" on this list.  What is important to
> _you_ in your planted tank hobby?  Remember, there are no right or wrong
> answers here.  I think this is of interest to many APD'ers, and I'm sure it
> will help me personally targetting my magazine columns/articles.  Although
> this was my own personal question, I think it will help the AGA recognise
> what interests the majority of aquatic gardeners too.

OK I'm coming at this from a rather awkward angle. I live in a large 
town in rural South Africa, where I'm doing my Masters in Botany at 
Rhodes University. Please pardon any spelling mistakes. I've had 
about a bottle of wine....Anyway there are two garden shops in town 
that keep pets, including fish. When they buy plants, they get 
offered "eelgrass, oxygenating weed (either Ceratophylum or 
Egeria), Ludwigia (Hygrophila) or assorted potted plants). Apparently 
the suppliers know enough that if someone asks for amason swords, 
they get amason swords, but that's about it.

1: Plants growing well
2: As many species as possible withing aesthetic limits
3: Boastability: No-one around here, give or take 500km, has a plant 
4: No larger than 2 foot long (I have a three foot, and nowhere 
to put it...
5: A few healthy, happy fish
6: Algae under control


Personal Goals

by Henry Hatch <hhatch/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

1. Beauty. Winter can be tough in New England. What better way to cheer
up the house than a beautiful tank when there's 12 inches of snow on the
ground. I've kept a reef tank in the past. I think planted tanks look
nicer now that I've seen what the possibilites are. 

2 Provide a healthy environment for fish. I've noticed that my fish
behave differently (more naturally ?) in the short time I've been
keeping plants.

3. Provide a creative outlet. The aquascaping possibilites when plants
are added to the mix seem limitless.

4. Observing and learning. I like to study a system which includes
plants and fish to understand why things happen, good or bad. Adding
plants to tanks which used to contain fish only has added another entire
dimension to my hobby. 

Henry Hatch
2 Kennedy Lane apt. 3
Milford, Ma. 01757

optimum aquarium

by "Joe Anderson" <wja70/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

For what it's worth here's my two cents.
1. Aesthetics, it's got to look worth the time/effort
2. Low cost. I am on less than a grad students budget.
3. Enough maintenance to keep it interesting/but not so much as to make 
it unenjoyable.
4. Consistent results without all the gadgets and test kits
5. Maintain an equilibrium betw. the needs of the both the plants and 
the fish (which I one day hope to breed)

That should do it,

Get Your Private, Free Email at

RE: Optimum

by "Shimoda, Wade" <WShimoda/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

>From one of the non-regulars.

An optimum planted aquarium should:
1.  Provide a fun activity for my wife and I
2.  Be nice to look at
3.  Provide a nice home for our fish
4.  Require low maintenance
5.  Provide a suitable environment that allows us to keep and propagate
all the types of aquatic plants that we like.

Wade Shimoda

Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #443

by BErney1014/
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Creating a wonderland that draws the attention of even the least interested
And all the gadgets that go along with the system.

> I'd like to hear
>from some of you hundreds of "lurkers" on this list.  What is important
>_you_ in your planted tank hobby?  


by "Kudzu" <Kudzu/>
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998

Well I guess my list is the same as most others but Karen asked.......

1. NICE LOOKING -- I am not looking for an Amano tank, just healthy
looking and unusual plants. I'm easy to please and just like to see
the faces of folks when they see their first planted tank.

2. LOW MAINTENANCE -- I like to piddle in my tanks but I want to
piddle when I want too, not because I have too. I usually do water
changes and clean the glass once a week.

3. LOW COST -- I like the KISS system (Keep It Simple Stupid) which is
usually cheap and low maintenance. That is why I like DIY CO2 and
kitty litter substrates.

Jeff <*\\><
"Consider carefully what you hear", he continued "With the measure you
use it, it will be measured to you -- and even more.  Whoever has will
be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken
from him." Mark 4:24,25 "Kudzu's Christian Clipart Collection"

Up to Plants <- The Krib This page was last updated 29 October 1998