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A Practical Manual and Scientific
Treatise for the Home Aquarist
Third Edition (2013)

by Diana Walstad

List Price: $37.50

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Articles by Diana Walstad Available Here for Free Downloading

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— Mycobacteriosis - The Stealth Disease (2013) - 554k PDF

Small Planted Tanks for Pet Shrimp (2010) - 529k PDF

Have questions about your planted aquarium?  See the El-Natural forum of Aquatic Plant Central for lively discussions about plants, soil, water chemistry, and the author's method of aquarium keeping. Also, see the Aquatic Gardeners Association for more general information on planted tanks.

  • ISBN: 9780967377360
  • Hardcover, Third Edition (2013)
  • 194 pages, 8½" X 11" page size
  • 46 tables and over 50 figures and plant drawings
  • 70 questions and answers
  • color plates of author's aquariums
  • hundreds of scientific references

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ISBN: 9780967377384

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About the Author

Diana Walstad, a life-time aquarium hobbyist, trained as a microbiologist and spent many years doing medical research at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).  Her last position before retiring was as a cell biologist at (NIEHS) National Institute of Environmental Health Science. 
            Currently (2016), she is working on Family History of a Doctor's Daughter (1850-1950).  Written for a general audience, the book starts with the 19th century immigration of her Scandinavian and Dutch ancestors to America and ends with her father's military service in China during World War II.  Book draws on family material (interviews, diaries, letters, etc) that is fleshed out with genealogical and historical research.  And while the characters are inherently decent, the book doesn't shy away from allowing them to reveal their eccentricities and "humanness."  In following each character's lead, book covers an unexpected gamut of European, Chinese, Burmese, and American history.

Why Not Have a Successful Aquarium?

Diana Walstad's Aquarium

Juvenile Tanganyikan cichlids in a 20 gal. "grow-out" tank

This book will be your constant reference for setting up and maintaining a successful freshwater aquarium. You’ll come back to it again and again as you encounter (and learn to appreciate) the enormous complexities of aquatic ecosystems.

You’ll learn:
  • How plants purify both water and substrate to make the aquarium healthier for fish
  • What aquarium maintenance is important and what is counterproductive and/or a waste of time
  • Facts about plants and algae that will come
    in handy for preventing those inevitable algae takeovers
  • How to successfully grow plants without
    expensive equipment and supplies

    Reviews below.   For 70+ additional reviews, see

"Ecology of the Planted Aquarium" is outstanding in every respect. In my opinion, this is a definitive, practical guide for the aquarist who wants to set up a beautiful planted aquarium. Beyond the basics, it is an in-depth exploration of the aquatic ecosystem and how it affects the plants.

This book belongs in the library of every serious freshwater hobbyist who wants a lush, beautifully planted aquarium that he or she has only dreamed about in the past.
  Don Dewey, Editor of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium

I am delighted with the tack taken in which you provide scientific information for hobbyists to make sound aquarium management decisions. I applaud the approach to educate non-scientists about their subjects; too often the scientific laypersons are greatly underestimated. I was particularly pleased with the book’s total avoidance of ‘gadgets’ that are mostly quite useless. The book’s ecosystem approach and balance of the system is the only reasonable direction long term.
—  Robert G. Wetzel, Biology Professor and author of Limnology, the foremost reference book on aquatic ecology
Diana Walstad's Aquarium

Community tank with low-maintenance fish

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