Anonymous asked: My girlfriend and I are looking to get started aquascaping but aren't sure where to begin. Can you give some pointers and/or some links that will help us?
If I was you, I would start with reading - if you type something like “beginners guide to a planted aquarium”, you’ll find a lot of resources that essentially teach the same basic things. Here is a random one of these: http://www.guitarfish.org/planted-aquarium-guide
I’d continue with visiting a store, if there is one nearby, where you can actually look at planted tanks, can familiarise with the layouts … and chat with the shopkeeper about your plans. Even more importantly, that is the place where you can really start understanding the costs, when you try to add up the price tag of all things that make the tanks you like work. You can than better decide what size, what technology level fits your budget and other needs.
I’d definitely recommend spending a few hours by looking at aquarium setup videos (such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q768Zto6g-w —- it shows the steps very well — there are a lot of those videos with different brands and styles. You do not need to watch more than three of these, they’ll all repeat the same basic steps anyway :D
When you are actually planning your first aquarium, it does not hurt if you try to copy a scape that both of you like. It will be difficult enough to tastefully and healthily reproduce existing scapes — it is certainly a safe way to learn. Tropica’s website helps with a lot of sample layouts — graded by difficulty —, with exact planting guides which helps you to navigate through the taxonomical names, needs, shapes and sizes of the various plants fairly easily. Visit http://www.tropica.com/en/layouts.aspx
I hope this summary helps :)