A few introductory words

The core and the heart of this website is both the theoretical knowledge I have acquired by studying the literature and the practical experience I have gained by performing various experiments. Sometimes it only takes chance to get something right once (or a few times). However, if you want it to succeed consistently under different circumstances (i.e. in different places with different water quality, using different plants or substrates), then you need to study about it beforehand and understand the laws that govern the environment. In other words, if you want to have lasting success with aquarium plants, you need to understand their needs, and how different things in the aquarium meet or block those needs. In my experiments, I tried to find answers to questions that seemed important to me in terms of growing aquarium plant, and to which I could not find satisfactory answers anywhere else. I must say that I was later greatly helped by my friend Martin Langer (aka Maq), who followed up on my initial research efforts and took my modest knowledge in this field to a much higher level. Many of my earlier experiments (especially those from „Episode I“) seem rather amateurish in light of his findings, but I still believe they have some value (at least as an inspirational „stepping stone“). A big breakthrough in my research was the „discovery“ of Marschner's book Mineral Nutrition of Higher Plants and numerous discussions with my colleague Maq, which I remember very fondly. But I did not have this new knowledge at that time (i.e. when I carried out my first experiments). Now I would have investigated many things differently, or investigated different things altogether.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) fate willed it otherwise, and so I was „at best“ finished with my experiments [and soon with the aquarium hobby also]. I would not like to go into detail here, so it is surely sufficient to say that the main reason was probably over-expectations, where I clearly expected more from the aquarium community than it could actually give me, which [logically and quite inevitably] resulted in a later deep disappointment and frustration that I could not overcome for a long time. In short, because of my extremely introverted nature, interacting with others is just plain difficult for me – especially when dealing with blinkered people incapable of rational thought and self-reflection. I'm sure you know the saying: „if you talk to a jerk for more than a minute, two jerks are talking“. So I have come to the conclusion that in any community (and the aquarist community is certainly no exception) there are only about 1% of people who think rationally (i.e., who are capable of substantive discussion), 4% of those who are just kidding themselves (and try vehemently to convince others of it), and 95% of those who silently accept the opinions of others and go with the flow. I believe that this state of affairs cannot be reversed because it conforms to some natural law. Today I am resigned to it, I no longer have the need to „change the world“.

After hanging my aquarium hobby on a nail, I then moved on to the study of „life wisdom“ (or philosophy), the result of which is the book 7 Pillars of a Happy Life, which deals with the following topics: 1/truth, 2/reason, 3/things, 4/god, 5/world, 6/man, and 7/family (+ five supplementary articles on 1/good character, 2/violence, 3/christianity, 4/school and work, and 5/evolution). If you prefer rational arguments to conjecture and speculation, these might appeal to you.

Currently (01/2024) I have decided to return to aquaristics again and pick up my research where I left off → see Episode III.

Lysa nad Labem, 01/2024

Marcel Goliaš