Sunken Gardens: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Freshwater Aquariums

Sunken Gardens: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Freshwater Aquariums

by Karen A. Randall


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The essential guide to creating your own underwater world.

Sunken Gardens is packed with everything you need to plan, design, and maintain a planted freshwater aquarium. Karen Randall shares her years of expertise and makes this enchanting hobby accessible to everyone. You’ll learn everything from the biology of aquatic plants and basic aquarium chemistry to tank maintenance and troubleshooting. Plant profiles highlight the best options for a range of tank situations, and a chapter devoted to aquascaping styles provides basic design principles and inspiring examples. With hundreds of color photographs and clear, reliable advice, Sunken Gardens is an essential introduction to a fascinating pastime.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604695922
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/08/2017
Pages: 252
Sales rank: 483,387
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 8.75(h) x (d)

About the Author

Karen A. Randall is an expert on planted display aquariums and the propagation of aquatic plants. Her articles and photography have been published internationally. For many years she wrote the monthly column “Sunken Gardens” in Aquarium Fish Magazine and is now technical editor of the Aquatic Gardeners Association magazine, The Aquatic Gardener. In 2003 she won the Northeast Council of Aquarium Society’s Betty Mueller Award, a lifetime award for her outreach work and other contributions to the aquarium hobby.

Read an Excerpt

Aquatic gardening, or the keeping of planted aquariums as opposed to “fish tanks,” is a pastime that has grown by leaps and bounds in the 21st century. Previously, those of us who were interested in planted aquariums had to be pretty inventive about finding and making the equipment and supplies needed to be successful with our aquatic gardens.

Today, many sources of good quality, commercially made equipment, substrates, and fertilizers exist. There are internet communities where planted aquariums are discussed and debated, and articles in general aquarium magazines that address the interests of planted aquarium enthusiasts. With so much information available—some great, some not so great—it can be difficult for the novice to sort through. Even among the good information, a number of different though valid approaches exist that can be confusing for the beginner. Each of these methods may work well, but if a beginner starts mixing techniques, he or she can become hopelessly confused and end up with an empty tank for sale at the end of the driveway.

Outside the aquarium world, the term aquatic gardening is not well known. Common questions when someone sees their first really beautiful planted tank are, “Are those plants real?” or “Is that a saltwater tank?” People are often surprised that a freshwater aquarium can be so beautiful. Among terrestrial gardeners, aquatic gardening brings to mind the garden pond: a lovely garden but a different type of gardening altogether.

My hope in this book is to introduce readers to the fascinating world of the planted aquarium. For those who come from a terrestrial gardening background, the planted aquarium is a perfect extension of your hobby: a way to keep your thumb green even through long cold winters. For those of you who are fish aquarists and want to expand into the world of planted tanks, you will find them to be not only a very interesting addition to your aquariums, but they provide a much better environment for your fish. And for those who are brand new to it all, I hope this book opens a door into a world of wonder for you.

Happy (and wet) gardening!

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