Resources for Aquatic Plants and Related Items
last updated July 2000This section contains mail-order sources for much of the plant-related items discussed elsewhere. They are all listed here so this section can be kept up-to-date without the bother of changing the others. Oh, one more thing, these are United States sources, and will probably be useless to the rest of the world (feel free to volunteer info for other countries, and we will try to add it).
Arizona Aquatic Gardens
Large selection listed in their catalog, and prices are quite low.
PO Box 91491
Mobile AL 36691
Their selection is more limited than other sources. Check their web pages for online catalog, etc.
Natural Aquarium and Terrarium
3209 Bouquet Road
Pacific, MO 63069
phone 800-423-4717, 314-458-4717 FAX 314-458-9722
Reasonable prices, and easy-to-comprehend catalog. They also sell books, driftwood, Dupla and other plant-growing products.
Tropica plants are known worldwide for their quality. Unfortunately, due to the United States import/export laws, they are not available in this country. Check their web site for details on availability throughout the rest of the world.
PO Box 2330
Ramona, CA 92065
phone 619-789-2983, FAX 619-789-0297
Horizon has licensed the Tropica name and supposedly uses the Tropica "method" of hydroponic growing in the US. However, they are not otherwise related, and Tropica has no actual control over Horizon's quality. Some have reported problems with delivered selection, and inclusion of bog plants unless they specify otherwise.
Please send names of your favorite supplier; this section could be expanded.
When this FAQ was originally written in 1994, there were only two options used by most people: Dupla or Do-It-Yourself. In recent years, many suppliers of specialized aquatic plant hardware have emerged, more than would be practical to track here. Most of the big mail-order companies carry a selection of plant hardware. Some sources frequently cited (by others than just their proprietor) are listed below:
Dupla supplies CO2 equipment, fertilizers, and heating cable systems, among many other nifty expensive specialty products. Dupla is now without an importer for the United States.
Dave Gomberg assembles CO2 injection systems (utilizing Eheim diffusers), sells Tropica Mastergrow fertilizer, and a variety of other gadgets. He is also the publisher of Planted Aquarium Magazine.
Aquarium Hobbyist Supply sells inexpensive compact fluorescent lighting setups.
Shoeler Enterprises is mainly known for Substrate Gold, a laterite.
Monolith Marine Monsters stocks assorted plant hardware, including CO2 injection systems.
You can get many of the supplies for building your own CO2 injector from local welding shops and carbonated beverage distributors. Some of the equipment has been found particularly inexpensive:
- Cylinders: (This comes from Matt McCabe) One cheap source is Geer Gas in Ohio, $38.50 for a 5lb cylinder, plus big shipping. It's still cheaper than buying it in some places. 1-800-696-4337 (614-464-4277). Refill at fire extinguisher store or beverage supply house.
- Regulators: We had previously recommended something here called a "FROG." This device is actually a flow regulator, and is not really recommended for the bubbling rate we use in planted tanks; at best, it will merely keep your system from exploding if the needle valve breaks under all the pressure. If you are looking for a cheaper regulator, try beverage supply models, which are less rugged than welding regulators.
- Needle Valves: (originally located by Gary Bishop) An inexpensive metering valve (around $14) is the ARO model "NO1" or "NO2" from The ARO Corporation, One ARO Center, Bryan, OHIO 43506, Phone (419)636-4242. In Canada, (416)213-4500. Web site: http://aro.ingersoll-rand.com/power/valve.htm It provides infinite control from full-close to full-open. It has a neat color scale to indicate the degree of openness and can be locked at any setting. The adjustment is very smooth; I can go from off through incredibly slow flows to just right and beyond to way more than I need. You can locate a distributor of this valve in your area by calling the ARO company. Even if you cannot locate this exact valve, your local dealer might be able to suggest an equivalent substitute of a different brand. A more expensive option (around $50) is one of the fine metering needle valves by Nupro, such as the "S" Series (model B-4MG2). Web page: http://www.swagelok.com/
- Solenoid Valves: (from Gary Bishop) ``$24.00 from "Air Power Inc." (In Yellow Pages under Valves). This is solenoid valve model "CAT33P-012D" from "The ARO Corporation, One ARO Center, Bryan, OHIO 43506, Phone (419)636-4242". You can get it with a variety of coil voltages. I chose 12 volts DC.''
- Individual plant species (identification, cultivation, propagation, etc.)
- Substrates - pros and cons of commercial substrate additives, potting soil, peat, etc.
- Water conditioners and fertilizers
- Hardware - heaters, filters, surface skimmers, etc.
- Compatibility of fish and other organisms with aquatic plants
- Trades/exchanges between hobbyists (advertisements from commercial-scale operations are not permitted.)
- disseminate information about aquatic plants
- to study and improve upon techniques for culturing aquatic and bog plants in aquariums and ponds.
- to increase interest in aquatic gardening
- to promote fellowship among its members.
Send check or money order to
71 Ring Road
Plympton, MA 02367-1406 (USA)
(All funds must be in U.S. Currency)
AGA is a non-profit organization.George Booth)
- Aquatic Plants; Hobbyist Guide to the Natural Aquarium
Aquarium Digest International #45
- Hobbyist Guide to the Natural Aquarium
1991, Tetra Press
- A Fishkeeper's Guide to Aquarium Plants
1986, Salamander Books Ltd., London.
``Lots of people recommend this as a great first plant book.'' -- E.O.
- Water Plants in the Aquarium
1987, Barron's Educational Services
- Aquarium Plants Manual
1993, Barron's Educational Services
``Lots of detail and good photographs for a small book. Well worth the price.'' -- E.O.
- The Complete Book of Aquarium Plants
Allgayer, R., and Teton, J.
1987, Ward Lock Limited, London.
Plant Identification and Culturing
- Aquarium Plants, their identification, cultivation and ecology
Rataj, K., and Horeman, T.
1977, T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd.
Somewhat disorganized and out of date, but readily accessible to any hobbyist. Says something about virtually every plant.
- System for a Problem-Free Aquarium
Available in the US through the AGA, contains a thorough thumbnail plant catalog.
- Baensch's Aquarium Atlases each include a large plant section.
- Aquarienpflanzen by Christel Kasselmann, Berlin.
1995 Eugen Ulmer GmbH, Stuttgart.
Book from the "DATZ-Atlantic" series.
ISBN 3 - 8001 - 7298 - 4. Language: German
472 pages including 494 colour photos.
48 pages on the water plants' natural biotopes, 16 pages on plants' general demands on temperature, light, water, nourishment etc. 350 pages describe over 300 aquarium plants separately (info about scientific names, person who indentified the specimen, meaning of name, brief but exact description of each specimen, growth and demands on water conditions).
``a book that can be described as a perfect mixture of natural knowledge, experience based on expeditions to the nat ural biotops and years of intensive and enthusiastic studying of relevant literature.'' -- Claus Christensen on the Aquatic Plant List
Technical Setup, Equipment and Maintenance
- The Optimum Aquarium
Horst, K., and Kipper, H.
1986, AD aquadocumenta Verlag GmbH.
``The bible for anyone interested in high-tech planted tanks.'' -- E.O. Sadly, out-of-print.
End of Plant FAQ.