Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Best way to get that info is to keep on reading the forums about lighting, substrate, fertilizer and so on.
How high tech or low tech a tank is is made up of several things, but most basic seems to be:
CO2--> Yes --> High tech--> need more light, fertilizers...
CO2--> No---> Low tech--> need less light, low dose fertilizers (possibly satisfied with fish food and water changes)
So... light... It is a whole new ballpark since I started, and what I would call the dividing line is no longer considered accurate info, though it worked for me with T-12 and T-8 fixtures.
How to find out what light is 'high tech' or 'low tech'...
Read up about PAR, and see how your light measures up at the level of the substrate. Is the tank 24" tall? minus a few inches of substrate... so find out what the PAR is at 20-22", if you want a low ground cover, and a bit higher up for most plants.
PAR is a measure of how much light the plants can actually use, concentrating on the parts of the spectrum that plants use the most.