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Top beginners' FAQs

Being very new to the whole planted scene myself, Aaron has pretty much hit the nail on the head with the main questions that I found myself asking. I would expand on the 'what plants can I keep' by making a list of both high light and low light selection of popular plants (would also be handy for beginners to know what is classed as low/high light).

I am assuming that George is looking to write one main FAQ for the beginner? I personally find that most of the questions I needed to ask could be found by looking up stickies/using the search function.

One thing that might be handy to have would be an actual plant reference forum, much like the fish reference forum on TFF. This makes it a lot easier for people to search when they have all the information they need in one particular place. Someone (George for example) could make a standard template for people to stick to when writing a 'report' on a type of plant (light needed, difficulty to grow etc) to which other users could then add comments and pictures of the named plant in their tank.

One more thing that could be handy would be to get a FAQ reference page where people can do to find instant links to certain tutorials/guides currently written within the forum.
What should I be asking?

I thought someone had already written an article as an introduction for someone new to planted tanks. Those FAQ's not already answered in the article should perhaps be incorporated in to the article rather than duplicate in another form?

Alternatively, add links to pre-saved (forum) searches (e.g. "substrate", "lighting", "filter", "CO2", "El Natural") to encourage new people to learn the benefits of searching as a start point.
1. Do I need to use fertizers? Which one?
2. Do need to use CO2? How to use CO2.
3. Lighting levels, explanation of T5/T8/HO etc.
4. Which plants can I keep?
5. Which would be the best filter to use?

That's all I can think of, hope this helps.
Im not too keen on seperating the plants into high and low light as many of us are finding that we can grow the high light plants perfectly well in low light. I think for the beginner easy plants and not so easy is a better way of describing them and even then what I find easy may not be so easy for others and vice versa.

One thing that I think beginners FAQ is often about bps etc which is always the open ended question for all of us.

There could be a post of recommended off the shelf products as a lot of newbies prefer to use these to begin with rather than dive into making up their own.

Another question I often see is about air stones and surface agitation. Again an open ended question really but as can be explained.

suggested search topics sounds like a great idea to me.
On top of all the other suggestions an outline of what hardware is needed would be good in a beginners FAQ (IMHO).
When should I add plants?

Someone asked this @ my local MA the other day. The reply was "in around 3 weeks after the tank has warmed up and cycled." I felt like jumping in and saying something, but didn't have time to take on the argumentative manager. He is right all the time, after all :rolleyes:
I kind of agree with bugs, but...

The question Clive seems to answer time after time is 'why do i have algae?'

PS Hope you're keeping ok George
chump54 said:

A link to George's video on PFK... helped me loads!


Thanks ;)


Bit off topic I know but just had a look at this video and its well worth a view - I know it has taught me a few things.

Asking for video lessons on things for the forums on a regular basis would probably be pushing it a bit though ;)

Product reviews for basic planted gear such as Substrates, Filters etc could be handy too although would obviously take quite a long time for it to get going.
See "Hellboy II - The Golden Army" - basically very similar data presentation, especially the scene in the Troll Market... :twisted:

I reckon it would be useful to show what equipment you need to setup in different styles, (ie high/low tech routes and other alternatives, maybe shrimp tank etc).

And a commitment chart type thing (showing WC, cleaning, pruning, running costs etc).

When I began this I never knew I would have to work so hard to achieve anything like what I saw in for example Amano's books, and in heinsight I would have gone a low tech route if I knew then what I know now! :rolleyes: