Thinking of Writing a Book on Aquatic Horticulture... What would You like to see in this Book?

Vishaquatics

Hi FishLore,

I'm thinking of writing a book on aquatic horticulture that would be revealing most of my techniques for growing aquatic plants, both above and below the water. This book would definitely be including a full on guide to building/managing my setups in full direct sunlight. I want this book to be for those who are getting serious about growing aquatic plants and those who want to learn more about commercial techniques for aquatic plant cultivation. I am also hoping to potentially have interviews with well-known planted tank gurus and nursery owners to give a broader perspective.

Are there any particular topics or issues that you would like to see in a book like this?

Thank you all for your suggestions, I truly appreciate it.
 

Dunk2

How about a chapter on how to NOT kill most every plant I put in my tank?
 

StarGirl

Managing Algae. This seems to be the biggest issue I ever have.
Which plants grow better in different substrates and parameters.
Fertilizers. Complete work up on which ones do what. So many people just have Flourish Complete as their only fertilizer.
 

Vishaquatics

Managing Algae. This seems to be the biggest issue I ever have.
Which plants grow better in different substrates and parameters.
Fertilizers. Complete work up on which ones do what. So many people just have Flourish Complete as their only fertilizer.

How about a chapter on how to NOT kill most every plant I put in my tank?

Great suggestions, thank you!
 

jake37

1) Which plants absolutely require dirt substrate.

2) How to grow purple aflame.

3) I'd third the algae section esp bba. Not how to get rid of it but how to keep it from growing in the first place.
 

AquaBaby

Nutrient deficiencies, how they present (with pics, not just description), and possible causes & solutions. -- For example, it took a while for me to figure out the calcium I was dosing for my inverts was causing an issue with uptake of magnesium in my plants. That would've been nice to know sooner! (Thanks to the knowledge here on FL I was able to learn and start making adjustments.)

For the level of book you're wanting to write, people may already know things like this. But, for people like me, I had read a lot about what the plants need and chose the ferts I wanted to use, and was not aware that this was possible to be able to account for it from the beginning and was adjusting the wrong thing.

Are you planning an ebook only or going to print?
 

Vishaquatics

1) Which plants absolutely require dirt substrate.

2) How to grow purple aflame.

3) I'd third the algae section esp bba. Not how to get rid of it but how to keep it from growing in the first place.


Nutrient deficiencies, how they present (with pics, not just description), and possible causes & solutions. -- For example, it took a while for me to figure out the calcium I was dosing for my inverts was causing an issue with uptake of magnesium in my plants. That would've been nice to know sooner! (Thanks to the knowledge here on FL I was able to learn and start making adjustments.)

For the level of book you're wanting to write, people may already know things like this. But, for people like me, I had read a lot about what the plants need and chose the ferts I wanted to use, and was not aware that this was possible to be able to account for it from the beginning and was adjusting the wrong thing.

Are you planning an ebook only or going to print?

These are all great suggestions, thank you. I'm not entirely sure yet about the format. The last book I wrote was an eBook, but I may want to do print for this one since I can show pictures in it.
 

jake37

You can show pictures in an ebook


These are all great suggestions, thank you. I'm not entirely sure yet about the format. The last book I wrote was an eBook, but I may want to do print for this one since I can show pictures in it.
 

Vishaquatics

You can show pictures in an ebook

I tried that last time and the formatting got entirely messed up on different platforms. I decided to add in an option that allows pictures to pop-up but it only works on the kindle app. It was a total nightmare to format it, but I'm sure there are better options now.
 

AcornTheBetta

Managing Algae. This seems to be the biggest issue I ever have.
Which plants grow better in different substrates and parameters.
Fertilizers. Complete work up on which ones do what. So many people just have Flourish Complete as their only fertilizer.
Especially green hair algae.

Maybe something about pest...

Where will you be selling this? Amazon?
 

Vishaquatics

Especially green hair algae.

Maybe something about pest...

Where will you be selling this? Amazon?

Definitely including this for sure. I'll likely be selling it on Amazon when completed
 

Pfrozen

The BBA thing would be nice because there's so much misinformation around what does and does not cause it and how to deal with it. And it seems some people dose with Excel once or twice and that's it, while others (like me) light it on fire with gasoline and it doesn't even die
 

AcornTheBetta

Definitely including this for sure. I'll likely be selling it on Amazon when completed
How long til completed? I will for sure buy it!
 

NoahLikesFish

Alleochemicals and plant compatibility
 

Vishaquatics

The BBA thing would be nice because there's so much misinformation around what does and does not cause it and how to deal with it. And it seems some people dose with Excel once or twice and that's it, while others (like me) light it on fire with gasoline and it doesn't even die
Alleochemicals and plant compatibility

I'll definitely be including segments on this in the book! Thank you for all the great ideas.

How long til completed? I will for sure buy it!
I'm not sure when it will be ready. I'm going to be working on it in December and January to make major progress on it, though I have no set deadline currently.
 

Willj626

I would be really interested in an in-depth look at the commercial side of things! Whenever you finish it I will definitely be waiting to buy it!
 

LeviS

Please include brown algae from the decay/organics in the water. Ive never seen it listed anywhere. Ill definitely be waiting to buy it.....lol signed copy please
 

aquaticbot

Did I create a Fishlore account because I wanted to respond to this? Yes, yes I did. Lol. I'm not sure if you're even still working on this, but I wanted to suggest a section mentioning certain stems plants & bottom melt after trimming. I did not know about that until I saw one of your posts, and I always just assumed my rotala macandra just hated me.
 

Vishaquatics

Did I create a Fishlore account because I wanted to respond to this? Yes, yes I did. Lol. I'm not sure if you're even still working on this, but I wanted to suggest a section mentioning certain stems plants & bottom melt after trimming. I did not know about that until I saw one of your posts, and I always just assumed my rotala macandra just hated me.

I appreciate that recommendation, and welcome to Fishlore! To be entirely honest, I realized that it was a bit too ambitious of a project to start and complete now. There is so much information to include about aquatic horticulture, and many things that I need to continue learning in order to write the most complete/satisfactory book possible.

But regarding your specific comment about bottom melt, there are many stems that do not take trimming very well. Rotala macrandra sp. among many others like the Rotala ramosior sp. and Cabomba sp. do not take traditional trimming very well, in which the tops are tossed and the rooted bottoms are left in the substrate.

In particular, I have been able to trim Rotala macrandra normally and the bottoms generally do throw out new side shoots, but the bottoms are not well adapted for repeated trimming. In general, most stems tend to do better when uprooted and the best tops are replanted. I recently was able to grow some massive Rotala macrandra variegated with a nearly 3" diameter by replanting only the tops each time the plant was due for a trim (along with heavy ferts, high CO2, and high light).


IMG_0006_2.jpg
IMG_0193.JPG
 

aquaticbot

There is so much information to include about aquatic horticulture, and many things that I need to continue learning in order to write the most complete/satisfactory book possible.

Totally understand. I imagine even a complete book focused on a single genus would be quite an undertaking given all the irregularities in care that come up between species.

In particular, I have been able to trim Rotala macrandra normally and the bottoms generally do throw out new side shoots, but the bottoms are not well adapted for repeated trimming. In general, most stems tend to do better when uprooted and the best tops are replanted. I recently was able to grow some massive Rotala macrandra variegated with a nearly 3" diameter by replanting only the tops each time the plant was due for a trim (along with heavy ferts, high CO2, and high light).

I see. In that case, what would you suggest as a method for propagation?

Unless I have the concept wrong, because what I'm envisioning is uproot+replant top=still 1 plant (replanted top) with the alternative being trim bottom+replant top=1 plant (replanted top) + the hope that the bottom will throw a couple healthy side shoots.
 

TClare

What I find is missing in a lot of plant articles is information about the different plants in the wild, their geographic distribution and what sort of habitat they naturally grow in (fast or slow flowing, bright light or shaded, water parameters etc.), or if they are widespread and grow in a variety of different conditions. This sort of information would be a great help in deciding which plants are best for particular setups. I realise this is not exactly the sort of information you are planning, but it would be useful...
 

Vishaquatics

Totally understand. I imagine even a complete book focused on a single genus would be quite an undertaking given all the irregularities in care that come up between species.



I see. In that case, what would you suggest as a method for propagation?

Unless I have the concept wrong, because what I'm envisioning is uproot+replant top=still 1 plant (replanted top) with the alternative being trim bottom+replant top=1 plant (replanted top) + the hope that the bottom will throw a couple healthy side shoots.

That's a great question! If you allow the replanted top to grow large enough, it'll eventually start to send out sideshoots. Typically within three weeks, that small top that I replanted will grow approximately 15-18" tall and will throw out around 5-6 sizeable sideshoots per stem. If you're really trying to induce sideshoots, let the stem grow tall enough to creep along the surface of the water for a few weeks. It will throw out a ton of sideshoots while doing that.

When uprooting, I trim off the main top and the smaller sideshoots as well. Those sideshoots can be replanted like a normal top. If your stems are reluctant to throw out sideshoots, simply topping it once and leaving the bottom in to throw out sideshoots will work. You'll just need to eventually uproot the bottoms and trim off the sideshoots before the bottom starts to rot away.

What I find is missing in a lot of plant articles is information about the different plants in the wild, their geographic distribution and what sort of habitat they naturally grow in (fast or slow flowing, bright light or shaded, water parameters etc.), or if they are widespread and grow in a variety of different conditions. This sort of information would be a great help in deciding which plants are best for particular setups. I realise this is not exactly the sort of information you are planning, but it would be useful...

Christel Kasselmann's book "Aquarium Plants" (most recent edition) has exactly what you are looking for. The geographic region, soil quality, water quality, lighting, parameters, etc for nearly all plant species available in the aquarium trade.

Realistically though, that information is not very useful in the context of personal aquariums. In nature, there is almost never a state of "ideal conditions". Simply put, plants grow where they can, and these conditions are almost never the absolute perfect. Trying to replicate nature's parameters in our own tanks may not lead to the most optimal growth conditions. For instance, I've been to places that have wild Bacopa monnieri growing like a weed everywhere. The growth is decent and healthy, but I can get much larger/robuster/lusher/faster/cleaner growth in an aquarium or greenhouse where I can blast it with light, nutrients, and CO2. There are almost never conditions like my aquarium or greenhouse in nature.

You'll find that you can grow at least 90% of the aquatic plant species available in the hobby with a nutrient rich substrate, pressurized CO2, a good light, and a basic all-in-one fert without much issue. And you'll probably be able to grow it even better than it would in the wild in those conditions.
 

TClare

I’ll look out for that book! I understand what you are saying, but still think that information would be useful, especially if anyone wants to set up a biotope type tank.
 

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