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Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants Hardcover – March 1, 2003


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Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants + Ecology of the Planted Aquarium + Nature Aquarium: Complete Works 1985-2009
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The natural biology of plants * Water quality and filtration * Choosing substrates * Selecting plants * Planting techniques * Lighting * Feeding * Propagation * Essential maintenance * Aquascaping * Populating with fish

A complete guide to more than 150 popular aquarium plants

Fully illustrated with more than 250 color photos and graphics

About the Author

Peter Hiscock trained at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, one of the U.K.'s leading schools for aquatic studies. He has published widely on fish behavior and aquarium keeping. Among his other books published in North America by Barron's are A Practical Guide to Choosing Aquarium Plants and A Practical Guide to Creating and Maintaining Water Quality.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Barron's Educational Series; New title edition (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764155210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764155215
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The best introductory planted aquarium manual in existence.
Philip C. Jones
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for general information about aquarium plants.
Jean-vincent Roy
Everything from water, lighting, substrate, to filtration, this book covers it all.
F. Davis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 104 people found the following review helpful By G. Hoeppner on July 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book for the first time, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Finally, an aquarium plant book that is concise, easy to read and laid out in an attractive manner.
This book is divided into two parts: the "practical section" and the "plant profiles".
The practical section, 121 pages, covers aquatic plants and how to care for them. Selection of substrate, proper lighting and nutrition, ideal water quality, and algae identification/control are all covered in this section. The author also includes some plant-friendly fish and sample aquascapes.
The plant profile section is probably why this is called the "Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants." This 75-page section lists many, many plants along with a brief profile on each type. Profiles include: growth rate, lighting and temperature requirements, propagation, and special notes about that particular plant.
I can't say enough about the number of pictures in this book and their quality. Full-color pictures on each page really help you identify what the author is talking about. Layout of the photos is anything but mundane; each page is different from the last.
Even the index of this book is tremendously useful. It is divided into three sections: General Index, Plant Index and Fish Index. Having the three distinct sections to the index makes it easy to pick the book up off the shelf and find what you're looking for. I've even taken this book right to the pet store to select my plants...there's too much information to remember!
I also feel inclined to note that this book has a glossy, durable, hard cover, and the pages appear to be bound to the cover by stitching. I can open the book to any page and not have to worry about the pages flipping around when I'm not holding or weighing them down.
Overall, the information, photos, layout and general quality of this book make it the best aquarium book I own!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A. Parker on December 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Many of the plant aquarium books readily available are either pamphlets or gorgeous books to dream over. Each has its merits, but this book is headed in the right direction. The balance between fish and plants is a delicate matter and one that should not be taken lightly. There is a lot to be learned and this book is a great place to start. There are a lot of easy to understand color graphics which show how plants and fish need to interact for your aquarium to thrive. The explanation of how water chemistry changes at night is most valuable. The listing of plants in the back is more of a sampling than a true encyclopedia. I hope a version of this book comes out with just a listing of plant species!
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By the occasional reader on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The name "Encyclopedia" implies a far more extensive listing of plants than this book actually provides, but what Hiscock lacks in the plant listing he makes up for in other ways. The majority of the book is actually comprised of plant care facts, design tips, and aquarium setup and maintenance, all of which is presented in a very accessible format for novice to intermediate freshwater aquarium plant enthusiasts. It's a great guide for those thinking about setting up a new system or for those with existing aquariums who (like me) are wondering why plant growth has stalled (or is declining). Hiscock does a great job of explaining, in layman's terms, the biological processes and requirements of the aquarium's environment.

Despite my initial disappointment over the paucity of plants listed in the second section, the listing is still quite helpful. Hiscock presents information in a very clear and concise way that quickly identifies the necessary lighting, the space requirements, the difficulty level of growing the plant, and more. The listing is a good place to start for plant selection, and can be supplemented by more advanced books (such as Kasselmann and Kotlenga's "Aquarium Plants").

The book as a whole is brilliantly illustrated and the pictures of plants and aquariums are both beautiful and helpful. I have been quite pleased with the book and recommend it to others. I only hope that Hiscock will publish another book dedicated to plant listings.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Philip C. Jones on February 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The best introductory planted aquarium manual in existence. Covers most commonly available plants, their care, and their uses. Not much here on design or aesthetics, but then the author never intended to address these issues.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By plant aquarist on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This a great introduction piece to plant aquarium and all should read it. Beginners will benefit immensely with many tips on starting a plant aquarium. Also the photos on the plants were excellent.

However on a critical note the author has given us a limited range of plants as compared to other books. So to claim the book as an encyclopedia is a misnomer. Secondly as an academic it would be nice to admit that one has changed one's opinion in the search for truth. In his previous book[I forgot the title..I've given it away]it was stated dogmatically that snails must be removed indiscriminately but in this book this animal retains some redemptive value as an algae eater. And there are a few more examples where the author apparently has been converted to another view....perhaps of Diana Walstad?

But overall this is still an important contribution to the plant aquarist hobby.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By jared on October 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
best aquarium planted book i know of for beginers! adresses many important topics in clear, easy to understand fasion. it also has a great varaity of common aquatic plants as well as terestrial plants sold as aquarium plants- these usualy parish in aquariums. it is published in the united kingdom so many things are slightly differant (substrate and lighting in perticular) than in the US and canada; however, this is easy to over come and dosnt take away at all from the book.
although great for beginers, it dosnt realy have enough meat to satisfy the needs of advanced aquatic gardeners. the plant selection, although vary good lacks less common and hard-to-find plants.
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