by Mary E. Sweeny
A very nice field guide to a wide selection of hardy, beautiful aquarium plants. I like reading about plants, even those that I can\’t possible grow, so I breezed through this one in a day. It has a nice introduction to aquatic plants and their needs, the technicalities of lighting, importance of water quality and the benefits of plants in your tank. There\’s a lot about how to set up a tank specifically for showcasing plants, in which fish are an accent if present at all (called Dutch aquariums). Some very pretty pictures throughout that really appealed to me. The individual profile pages tell a little bit about each plant species, where it comes from, its growth habit and size, needs in terms of water quality, temperature, nutrients, light intensity and how to propagate it. Very useful. I learned in particular that my Rotala, although the less demanding species in its family, is probably still not getting enough light.
My tank is low-light, low tech so most of the plants in the book would probably not grow well for me, but I did note down a short list of some I now consider to add to my tank someday. Aponogeton crispus /ruffled sword plant, Cryptocoryne pygmaea, Wendtii tropica, red melon sword/ Echinodorus x barthii, Fissidens/ phoenix moss, water clover /Marsilea hirsuta, pillea /Monosolenium tenerum (a liverwort), perhaps Elodea canadensis/anacharis although I\’d need stronger light.
Rating: 4/5 192 pages, 2008