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Aquarium Plant Database - please read

Art

Owner/Administrator
Staff member
Supporting
Founding Member
PAFF
  • Oct 29, 2022
    2,138
    2,390
    Miami, FL
    Hi -

    I am planning on beginning to build an aquarium plant database here on ScapeCrunch. The idea is to have a curated database of current information on plants that will be useful to aquarium plant hobbyists.

    Please review my initial attempt at how to categorize each plant so that it is a) useful to all of us and b) standardized so it's easy to search. Let me know if we should add anything. Thank you!

    Example:

    ROTALA SP. 'SUNSET'

    Synonyms: Ammannia sp. 'Sulawesi' (erroneous)
    Common name(s):
    Family: Lythraceae
    Genus: Rotala
    Region: unknown
    Location: unknown

    Cultivation
    - Hardiness: low, Moderate, high
    - Recommended KH: 0 - 3, 3-6. 6+
    - Recommended GH: 1 - 3, 3-6, 6+
    - Light Needs: low, medium high
    - Special needs: limit nitrate, micro dependent
    - Suitability: foreground, mid ground, background, epiphyte

    Morphology
    - Plant Structure: Stem,
    - Height:
    - Width: stem width 2 inches
    - Growth Rate: low, Moderate, high
    - Growth type: runner, side shoots
    - Trimming recommendation: top, trim,

    Description:

    This may be Rotala ramosior. It is uncertain if this plant is actually from Sulawesi.

    Copyright notice
    Photo #1 Submersed: © 2022 by Art Pennom [submitter] | All Rights Reserved
     
    @Art one thing came to my mind; I know that you are using XenoForo as the forum platform, don't know all the features in XenoForo and don't know the details about how the hosting, domain and website are configured but if you are thinking of a complete plants database then probably using a real DB would be better than creating the DB as static files inside the forum, something like MySQL DB can be handy and exposing the output based on the user's input/choices on an html/php page that can have its own URL; for example scapecrunch.com/plants-database
     
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    Thanks, Ayman. I've considered that and the old database I created on APC was exactly that. It didn't work as well as expected because of the limitations of a database front-end like MySQL. It wasn't good for SEO either.

    Xenforo uses a MySQL backend so everything you see is, in fact, a database. However, the benefit of creating the database in the form of articles in a forum is that now it can be searched like any other word or topic on this site. It's also fully indexable by search engines which benefits our SEO. The critical matter for this to be useful, however, it to standardize (as much as possible) certain terminology so that a search will pull what's desired.

    A real world use example - I want to see what the database can tell me about plants I can use in my foreground. I would search the database forum with the word foreground. Every species that has the word foreground in its listing will now be shown. The database used was the site's master database, not a separate one that would only be accessible via a separate query.

    Hope that makes sense.
     
    This is a fantastic idea and would be a tremendous asset, especially to people new to planted tanks.

    Something like this would have helped me a great deal when I got back into planted tanks earlier this year. Aside from the usual stem plants, I didn't really have a clue about how large a plant will get, what the requirements were, etc., aside from the very general descriptions on plant seller websites. They'll list stuff in those descriptions like: Water Hardness: soft. Well, how soft lol. Or medium....well what's medium exactly? I could find this stuff, but if you're setting up a large tank, or have a bunch of species you'd like to keep, that's a lot of research and a lot of hours.

    I bought a couple tissue cultures of Crypt Undulatus Red, only having a very weak description to go off of and knew they'd grow, but wasn't sure quite how big they'd grow. The end result is my little 30cm cube quickly became a jungle of overgrown plants. Had I known and been able to search by height range, or something along those lines would have given me a list of plants that would work in such a small tank, or small spot in a bigger tank.

    A database like this would allow someone new who is setting up a nano, or has specific spots picked out for plants that can only grow so large, and being able to plug that into a database and seeing a selection of plants that fit those needs would be incredible.

    I think being able to refine a search by hardness, light requirements, height, and possibly even color would be amazing, but probably a lot of work on the backend.
     
    The work is on the front-end and standardization so that it's easier to search. The search algorithm today is very good so it's easy on the back-end.

    Thanks for the comments and vote of confidence. I know from experience it takes time to build this as it's a LOT of information and research but I too think it will be valuable to the hobby.
     
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