The Web site
      Aquatic Gardeners
      Aquatic Gardeners

1/24/05: New! Wave your cursor in the photo above. What fun! (Hopefully, the effect will work on your computer!)

Aquatic Concepts is a hobbyist run web site that caters to the information and technical needs of all levels of aquatic gardeners. We have been in the aquarium hobby for most of our adult lives and have specialized in planted display tanks for the past 16 years (see the Photo Album for pictures of our tanks). We have written articles for the Aquatic Gardeners Association newsletter "The Aquatic Gardener" (TAG), Aquarium Fish Magazine (AFM), and Planted Aquaria Magazine (PAM) and have presented seminars at aquarium conferences and to aquarium clubs. George has been very active on the Internet for almost nine years and we have learned an enormous amount of Things Aquatic from the news groups and mailing lists. This web site is an attempt to pay back all those individuals who have contributed to our success in aquatic gardening and to pass along our knowledge to people just starting out in this fascinating aspect of the aquarium world.

Information contained herein is to a large extent our interpretation of the principles put forth by Kaspar Horst and Horst Kipper, the founders of Dupla Aquaristik, GmbH, in their seminal work The Optimum Aquarium. I consider this book required reading for anyone serious about growing aquatic plants. It is out of print now but can sometimes be found on e-Bay or hidden on aquarium store bookselves. Get one if you can.

Enjoy this site and let us know what else we can do to help you. Feel free to write us at "gbooth at frii dot com". Of course, that address is a secret code to foil the spam-bots, but you should know how to figure out the real e-mail address. If you don't get a response right away, one of four things may have happened:

George and Karla Booth

To navigate the site, use the Contents bar on the left. Content is organized into the following sections:

Technical Information
How to select an aquarium for a planted tank. Recommended substrate materials. Using substrate heating coils for long term stability. Choosing the proper filtration for a planted tank. Everything you've always wanted to know about carbon dioxide injection. Important data about lighting your planted tank.

Getting It Right
Curious what kind of equipment we have used. Here are some tank setups that have proven successful for us. Also, step by step instructions for starting up and breaking in your new plant tank. The right technique seems counter-intuitive at first, but following this advice makes the difference between a cool Aquatic Garden and a bummer Algae Farm. Maintenance is also very important -- these things don't run themselves!

Common and not-so-common plants and how to grow them. Do you know the tricks for planting, pruning and propagating? Look here. Confused about Aquascaping? Not any more! Ever wonder where to find information on the interesting sounding plant? How about a Master Cross Reference of plant books? 

What do fish have to do with a planted tank? Quite a bit, if you want your plants to be useful and decorative and not fish food! Some plant-compatible species and helpful algae eaters and groundskeepers.

The Results
Want proof that we have acheived some modicum of success? Check out our photo album.

Good Stuff
We have written a booklet that delves deep into the information contained in this site and have made some videos that show how to do all this stuff and what kind of results we have achieved. Also included is an extensive bibliography of other books we have found useful and enlightening. There are even some organizations for you to join. Hey, lighten up a little! Aquatic Humor collected from the Net will put a smile on your face! And, of course, there are the ubiquitous Links.

Ramblings from the Fish Head

We will be happy to answer questions related to the information on this site. However, unlike many Internet writers, we don't feel right answering questions about areas in which we don't have direct experience. For example, our fish rarely ever get diseases, so we have no experience with medicines and the like. For another example, we've never setup planted tanks smaller than 55 gallons. I'm sure our experience scales to smaller tanks but we don't know for sure so we can't answer questions about them. Also, even though George has his name on an Internet FAQ that has snail info, he doesn't know JACK about snails, so don't ask. He especially doesn't know how to cook land snails even though he gets many questions about exactly that.

Please feel free to send comments and suggestions. Flames are cheerfully ignored.