I had covered why using the terminology of why the concept of an NPT and low-tech is more or less cockamamie.
The core idea might be a little unsettling. This is because it is derived purely by a monetary standing. The classic idea is that if I have no money, then I make a low tech tank.
Really, money has nothing to do with it. That is purely a human factor in what we can do and how we think we can do it. Because everything is so product oriented, we get clouded by either being a have or have not. Allowing this to be at the forefront inherently prevents your success.
I've already covered that Takashi Amano, has already done absolutely amazing layouts in what we would call today "low-tech."
I've emphasized that all you really need to focus on that end is: proper spectrum lighting (8,000K), proper technique, and a form of deliverable Co2, whether that has to be DIY or more preferably (due to consistency), pressurized.
The idea of high-tech is, also, BS.
High-tech really only means that I have more gadgets than you and come over and take a look at my hardware.
Over focus on the what I have, versus the aquascape that I've created, is entirely not the point. If all you want to do is show off hardware, then go buy yourself a fancy car and do whatever it is you've gotta do to justify the purchase.
Aesthetics do matter - but function and aesthetic is more important than function. Aesthetics are a function of what's pleasing to our eye. Function is the effectiveness with which it does it's job.
Of course an ADA Co2 Advanced System is always going to be better than a DIY system. Not because it looks better, but because it's better on a functional level.
Only buying stuff because it's stuff, does not enhance your aquascaping skills.
Buying an ADA Cube Garden doesn't by default make you a better aquascaper. Just like buying a Ferrari doesn't make you a better driver by default.
What is high-tech then?
High tech is at best, only stuff that does the job more effectively.
Equipment helps lessen the learning curve and make the job easier. The gap between a badass layout done in 'high tech,' and 'low tech,' is technique and knowledge.
If you can grow plants in 'high tech,' setups, you can grow them in 'low tech,' setups and vice versa.
So the whole idea of "I can't do this, because I have a low-tech setup," is only an excuse.
So, what then?
There are not multiple ways to skin the cat.
There are not high tech and low tech setups.
There is only one way to have a successful aquascaped layout. Everything else is based on this all-encompassing one way. This one magic formula.
But Frank, my tank is different!
No, it's not.
A small preview of what's next:
The foundation of all things planted tank:
1. Gases, Molecules, etc.
2. Food Sources (nutrients, fish food, etc etc.)
3. Bacteria & Micro-organisms
5. Fauna (fish, etc)
The Big Secret:
The debate between E.I. and ADA, or ADA and whatever dosing, is utterly idiotic. They are "grades," or measures of effectiveness and efficiency of the same universal method. E.g. one is the kindergarten version, junior high, etc etc to think about it.