Why so few low tech nano tanks? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Why so few low tech nano tanks?

I'm in the process of planning my nano tank and I've noticed that there are very very few low tech nano tanks on this forum compared to the high tech ones with lots of light and CO2, etc. Is there a specific reason for this?

Also if anyone has any good links to low tech nano's feel free to post them. I always like to read about other people's tanks to get ideas.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 04:06 PM
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Mine is somewhat more low tech. I am using Excel instead of co2, but the light is kind of bright, at that small there are fewer choices.
I think the main reason most nanos are high tech is because you can do it without breaking the bank like you would with a big tank. Although, some of those ADA setups probably cost about as much as my big tank.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by yikesjason View Post
Mine is somewhat more low tech. I am using Excel instead of co2, but the light is kind of bright, at that small there are fewer choices.
I think the main reason most nanos are high tech is because you can do it without breaking the bank like you would with a big tank. Although, some of those ADA setups probably cost about as much as my big tank.


Originally Posted by cdwill View Post
"C'mon, they're just plants, man, no big deal -- try some"
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2009, 09:40 PM
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I have a 1.5 gallon tank that is definitely low tech. It has a 13 watt CF light on it, but I don't dose anything and have no problems with algae. It currently houses crypts and marsilea, and I'm trying to decide what else to toss in there. Makes a nice home for my red ramshorns as it is, though.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 01:53 AM
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Here are some gorgeous super-low-tech planted large glass vases. I attempted this with no success.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by yikesjason View Post
Although, some of those ADA setups probably cost about as much as my big tank.
Some *might be* more

the aged ADA junky
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 04:44 AM
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My pico is fairly low tech, but I am dosing excel and have a small sponge filter.
I think lots of people enjoy the gadgets and quick growth from high(er) tech tanks.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 06:09 AM
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I believe the lack of low tech nano's can be contributed to the huge influence of Aqua Design Amano or ADA aquariums in the hobby. It seems that everyone has jumped into the rimless, high tech approach that has become all the rage. These tanks are capable of creating breathtaking aquariums and suit everyone's hidden tinkerer. Everyone likes to keep their hands in the aquarium so to speak. There is just so much cool looking equipment that goes along with the ADA high tech approach. The fertilizer is even cool looking! Everyone likes clean, eye catching tanks and the ADA approach satisfies a lot of underwater gardners. Its not for everyone, although it seems low tech nano's are definetly in the minority right now.

The low tech tanks are out there. The low tech approach doesn't really fit the instant gratification, internet age of instant information. High tech tanks grow faster, their owners like to tinker more often, and take millions of pictures. Its just the nature of the beast. Low tech is old school, it boring right now. It doesn't mean it doesnt work though. I'm sure you will get a lot of responses with people willing to show off their low tech tanks. My only tank is low tech. Would I like a full ADA setup? Absolutely. Its whats in, whats cool. Its also a lot of work and very expensive. It grows fast, has to be trimmed, keep up on co2 levels, algae, and everything costs an arm and a leg. Low tech is on average much less work. Slow growing species like anubias dominate a lot of low tech setups. The lower wattage lighting also dictates slower growth in general. Both tanks are here to stay. I think you will continue to see much less low tech nano tanks because of the reasons above.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 06:59 AM
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I'm trying to figure out what you mean by 'low-tech'. I mean compared to a lot of the nano tanks on here I would say my is low-tech.


I bought my 10g tank on Craigslist for $10 and I maid my own DIY CO2 reactor. I have found it to work okay but after reading and also meeting with people here on the forum I am finding more and more things that I can do to my low-tech to I guess upgrade it. I am finding out to have a very balanced amount of CO2 in the tank to get my plants looking healthier than they are now I would have to invest in a CO2 system. I mean after talking to most of the people on here and getting advice from them they all have told me that they started at the same spot that basically we are at now. But I guess have grown, with time, into some pretty techie tanks. I mean I already know now that my next tank I want is going to be an ADA tank with a CO2 system attached and some more expensive things for it. (I just personally like the neatness of the tank and the way it looks compared to an average tank). But I can tell you I would not know that if I did not spend the count less hours on here researching stuff and finding new ways to do things.

I meet with a guy this weekend that ended up just spending the money on a CO2 system just because he didn't what all the work that came with the low tech DIY CO2 system that he made like mine. I mean I'm pretty sure you don't really see that many low tech tanks on this forum because I guess most of the people have grown from that phase that are on here. I got lucky and found this forum when I was just starting out so I would not spend a lot of money doing the wrong thing and, I would have to say most people that are starting out to do a tank really don't spend the time reading for hours a day on arguments on what they should or should not do for their tank.

Although you might not see that many low-tech tanks on this forum does not mean its because everyone went straight for the all decked out tanks. It took them quite some time before they reached that point. And if you had any questions about low-tech tanks I am sure that they will help you on it just as much as they helped me. Of course they will tell you where to go to make a DIY CO2 reactor and it is probably the same site they used when they were making their very own but, then will tell you more efficient ways on how to do something.

I wish I knew what I know now when I was starting because I most likely would have tried to start at a different level. But I'm glad that I didn't because the knowledge that I gained so far is really rewarding to me.

But to fully answer your question I really think 'THaehn' is right. I think that most of the people on this site have made tanks for years and have progressed from low-tech to now what is considered one of the best brands out there for planted tanks ADA.

If you are considering a low-tech to cost a low amount of money mine was pretty cheap and to me looks decent.

Tank Spec's:
Tank: $10 (Craigslist) Came with filter, lighting hood and, thermometer.
Heater: $15 (PetCo)
Substrate: $20 (I had gravel but decided to upgrade soon after joining this forum. You can look at my link above).
DIY CO2 System: ~$15 (Everything included- Sugar/Yeast, Mini filter/power head, and everything else I had in the kitchen).
Driftwood: $10 (PetCo)
Light: $10 (Life-Glo)
Plants: ~$50

Total: ~$130

Well and I bought a drop checker that just came in today (can do without it would consider this techie but yeah) $25. So in total probably not to bad and I would say it is low-tech.

Check out my thread and it should be an interesting read. It's like a little journey. Hope this helps and just make sure to keep asking questions. Thats what helped me out a lot. People responded to me in like 10min or so.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 11:18 AM
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Here are some pics of my low-tech tanks:
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 03:32 PM
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In my opinion most nano tanks are high tech because of the plant selection. Low light plants generally are larger and the leaves are definitley bigger in order to soak up as much light as possible. Plants like java fern and crypts are too large for nano tanks as it makes the scale seem off. The higher tech plants like glosso and HC require much more light because their leaves don't catch as much.

Now this isn't intirely true, but its the case with most plants. There are exceptions like anubias petite which stay small and are very low tech and do great in nanos. There are also lots of mosses that are low tech that lots of people use in nanos. I guess its just personal preference when it comes to low and high tech.

Like others have been saying, high tech does give more immediate results and you can build a dense scape inside of a couple months.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 03:40 PM
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Heres my two low tech nanos (is 10g still considered nano?). Both are shrimp tanks, with air powered sponge filters and spiral CF lighting; with little to no dosing. The 5g has potting soil with a sand cap & the 10g is just plain old black sand. This past weekend I added another 5g on the other side of the 10g so I now have 3 low tech nanos. I think it just appears that theirs more high tech nanos since they get post more often since they are more interesting IMO.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by amp View Post
Heres my two low tech nanos (is 10g still considered nano?).
IIRC anything under 15 gallons is considered nano on TPT.

I agree with whoever said that there arn't as many low tech nanos because it's easier to get most of the nice equipment without spending insane amounts of money.

though honestly whenever I think of low tech, I think low light, wich by the nature of the wonky WPG over nanos, is nearly impossible. I've got a 15w over a 3 gallon, and it's basically low tech, only a HOB, but with a traditionally high light.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 10:50 PM
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I think high tech is more popular because it affords so many more plant options than low tech. Options like, color, texture, size, foreground, etc.... all are endless with high tech. With a nano you can afford to get small amounts of amazing plants and it fills up quickly.

Just keeping on keeping on....

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