Low Tech definition? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Low Tech definition?

Does low tech essentially mean no co2, or is there more to it? When does low tech become high tech, just if you add co2?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 04:55 AM
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High tech:
CO2, pressurized.
Daily ferts (EI or equivalent)
High light.
Specialized substrate.
Lots of trimming, swapping out plants, redoing the tank.
Lots of cleaning (water changes, filter cleaning)

Low tech:
CO2 comes from the tank itself. Decomposing organic matter, fish respiration.
Fertilizer mostly comes from fish food, though known deficiencies can be supplied by simple sources, perhaps fertilizer tablets. Daily fertilizer is not generally done.
Low light, perhaps augmented by sunlight through a window.
Specialized substrate only in the sense that it is supposed to help supply the nutrients. High CEC substrate is a very good choice for a low tech tank. Almost like adding fertilizer tablets. Mineralized soil with ferts added is a good way to go, too. Put the work in to make a nice set up that is self sustaining.
Some trimming, swapping out plants, but nowhere near as much as high tech.
Not much cleaning (some water changes, filter cleaning as needed, but set up the filter so less cleaning is needed. No ultra-fine media that clogs so fast.)

Medium tech (If there is such a thing)
CO2, perhaps from yeast or excel
Daily ferts might be used (low level EI or equivalent)
Medium light.
Specialized substrate. (especially in the same sense as low tech. Make the substrate work for you)
Some trimming, swapping out plants, redoing the tank.
Fair amount of cleaning (water changes, filter cleaning)
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 05:48 PM
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There's really no absolute definition for low/high tech and just about everyone will give you somewhat different go-/no-go points for each according to their own standards.

For the most part, pressurized C02 is commonly agreed on as a make or break point for "high tech" but you'll find folks who disagree even on that if it's not combined with high light levels and high ferts, or if it's DIY c02, or if it's liquid carbon like Excel.

Consider: I've a no-tech (no filter, no heater, no powerhead, no lights) tank that gets direct sunlight. I dose Excel and do a modified EI program to provide sufficient fertilization--so I'm adding heavy ferts and carbon source and doing regular large water changes, but there's not thing one on the tank that requires electrictiy. But some standards it'd still count as high tech, while others would agree with me that it's no-tech.

Conversely, I'm babysitting a dirted tank with low-moderate light levels that recieves no supplemental fertilization, minimal water changes, has a powerhead but no mechanical/added biological filtration and DOES have pressurized C02 injected. High? Or low?

I tend to fall into the camp of counting "tech" as "things that require electricity" and leave fertilization, sbustrate choice, etc out of the equation.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Knotyoureality View Post
I tend to fall into the camp of counting "tech" as "things that require electricity" and leave fertilization, sbustrate choice, etc out of the equation.
Agreed with the latter part of that, although ferts can get pretty techy, especially if you set up a drip fert system.

Not sure I'd agree that using electricity constitutes high tech, though. A light, an airstone, and a canister filter? None are especially high tech. (well, some lights can get pretty fancy, but it's still just a light)

For me, absolutely, I'd agree that pressurized co2 makes it high tech. It gets a little fuzzy, however, with simpler DIY co2.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:07 PM
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You can't successfully do a low tech tank, if low tech means no CO2, unless you have low light. So, I continue to believe that we should call this a low light forum, rather than a low tech forum.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You can't successfully do a low tech tank, if low tech means no CO2, unless you have low light. So, I continue to believe that we should call this a low light forum, rather than a low tech forum.
What about the low end of medium light? Like PAR 36. (assuming medium is 30-80 as I've seen elsewhere)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by kman View Post
What about the low end of medium light? Like PAR 36. (assuming medium is 30-80 as I've seen elsewhere)
You are very likely to struggle with algae once you get above 30-35 PAR, if you don't use CO2, or at least, Excel. But, that would just slightly extend the range of light intensity to call "low tech".

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 04:47 AM
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How can a tank be considered low tech if it uses a 5 stage filter? Low medium or high LIGHT is a much better way to draw some definite lines. I may be guilty of throwing 'tech' around out of habit though....

Fertilizing is a chemistry not really technology. It's also an art....and I'm not an artist
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jonnyboy View Post
How can a tank be considered low tech if it uses a 5 stage filter? Low medium or high LIGHT is a much better way to draw some definite lines. I may be guilty of throwing 'tech' around out of habit though....

Fertilizing is a chemistry not really technology. It's also an art....and I'm not an artist
There's filters, and there's filters. I guess some can get pretty high tech. But a plastic version of a box of riverstones is not exactly rocket science... and that's all most normal filters are. Mine has a pump, some rocks (ceramic rings, technically, but that's just jargon), and a sponge to "filter" the water. Rocket science it ain't.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You are very likely to struggle with algae once you get above 30-35 PAR, if you don't use CO2, or at least, Excel. But, that would just slightly extend the range of light intensity to call "low tech".
I do dose excel, guess I should have included that. Think PAR 36 with excel dosing would suffice to stave off the algae attack?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 11:04 AM
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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=43401
Side view of ten g tank built in LOW TECH LOL filter...bio-only, no pads/screens for
particles, but only bio-media and the next picture gives a top view to better see the shape of the filter.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pi...ictureid=43393
When I first started in tanks, an under gravel filter in your tank gave you the title of having a high tech tank. But that was in the 60's.
So if high tech is/was used to signify having the "latest" equipment...then LED lights would qualify your tank as high tech.
But I only brought that up to make a point.
A..that this discussion has lasted 54 years SO FAR...
and B...that it still seems to be a matter of who you ask to describe which is which.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
But I only brought that up to make a point.
A..that this discussion has lasted 54 years SO FAR...
and B...that it still seems to be a matter of who you ask to describe which is which.
LOL meaning there's a chance we're not going resolve this once and for all today?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:34 PM
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Only agreement is usually.

High tech= lots of money and time
Low tech = very little money and less time.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V View Post
Only agreement is usually.

High tech= lots of money and time
Low tech = very little money and less time.
i disagree with the time aspect. i've got a high tech tank that I spent time on every other week.

Though, i probably don't spend the amount of time on it as I should.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE V View Post
Only agreement is usually.

High tech= lots of money and time
Low tech = very little money and less time.
I'm sure there are plenty who would dispute that low tech = very little money.
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