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Old 04-09-2012, 08:40 PM   #406
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My vote is to use aquasoil in the low-tech(w/o the powders), or if your going for the readily available products approach, azoo plant grower or fluval stratum, any kind of nutrient rich pellet substrate. I think the idea of the journal should be, not to do what we've seen done here and fail several times over like Tom has said, with a very small percentage of success. But if you want to go non c02, low light and h.o.b, what are the key components that will make this setup WORK! Having a good substrate is IME the most vital component in a 'low-tech' and i think your journal should express that.
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:20 PM   #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm View Post
The tank above is a dirt tank, so I would imagine it will last like that indefinitely; much longer than a typical high tech tank. The tank above is not mine.
Even dirt is eventually going to be depleted of nutrients. Nothing lasts "indefinitely". There's always going to be a set amount of energy present in a system, and once that energy is used up, it's not going to spontaneously generate more without outside interference. A tank like that with moss/anubia/java ferns will indeed last a lot longer than a "high tech" tank, if only for the sake of it grows at 1/10th the rate.

If it's not your tank, do you have a source for it, with permission to post the photos?
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Old 04-09-2012, 10:54 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by carpalstunna View Post
Well, I think he has some right, as I doubt that level of growth was achieved in 23 days as franks was. So his method is in fact more effective. Also since you are doing NO water changes and NO fertilizers there is a question of sustainability. What will happen once the AS becomes depleted? Where will the plants get the nutrients necessary to grow?
I agree with growth 100%. I feel like I get "tolerable" growth in many of my tanks.

However, sustainability is a different thing. I have had many non-co2, minimal water change tanks. Some are totally inert. If you have a plan, it can be totally sustainable for...I don't know, I get bored or have to tear it down well before I see the slightest bit of issues.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:13 PM   #409
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So is the challenge to do something hard or something easy?
Low-Tech is the easiest thing for me, but it is because I use safe plant choices.

Either way I'd say just use Aquasoil, no powders, additives, etc.

Dirt tanks aren't very fun in the long run, so I vote against that.

Easy Proposal:

Substrate: Just aquasoil
Light: Whatever you want
Co2: none
Plants: HM as a carpet + whatever plants someone else might think would be good. Or ferns + anubias - because that is as easy as it gets.
Hardscape: Whatever you want


Difficult Proposal: (This one is hard to even come up with because low-tech with aquasoil is always easy and its benefits are even more profound in the long run in low-tech tanks with bi-weekly or monthly water changes)


If you wan't something hard you could do Eco Complete or Flourite but I think demonstrating how easy it is to do a great tank with nothing more than Aquasoil is a great thing to demonstrate.


I'd vote against any ferns bolbitis blah blah.
It is easy and overdone.
I see many tanks with very dim light and loads of ferns and they are stable and quite boring, IMO.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:15 PM   #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
Let's start hammering out these details that can be agreed upon.

1.) No canister filter
2.) Let's just go ahead and say no Aqua Soil for kicks and grins. I'm up for a challenge.
3.) obviously, no pressurized co2
I agree with the filter. I would say an Aquaclear of the appropriate size would be good.

Substrate could be anything. I think Flourite at best (or similar), Petco gravel at worst.

Co2, I would say try not using it. It actually can be fun. The only thing that I personally find to be more challenging is carpet plants.



I am almost thinking a standard 10 gallon with an incandescent hood. Then throw 2 13 watt CFL's or similar. Add substrate of your choice.


I may be willing to go along for the ride and try the same. I have to see if my old 10 gallon is still holding water. I have the light, I would just used Petco gravel. I just need a filter.
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Old 04-09-2012, 11:55 PM   #411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
So, here's a good exercise for this challenge:

How do we define "Low-Tech"

Is it a reference to light?
To budget?
To equipment?
To plants?

What can we agree on as a something that is "low-tech," and what options are there?

Does Low-Tech mean no co2? does it mean co2, but cheap co2? does it mean dirt, does it mean inert soil?

As you follow this line of questions, it will become apparent the point moving forward.

Here's another gem of an idea! Why not participate with me in the challenge so you can learn more, have a great tank and see first hand your own results!
"The home aquarium is an ecosystem always on the verge of collapse."

This fits in with your description of all living aspects of the planted tank being Malthusian.

That is what I have in mind when I'm building my tanks/nanos/bowls.

The difference between a low tech tank and a high tech tank has nothing to do with budget. It is what you use as the limiting factor for those Malthusian components in your tank.

With "High Tech" tanks the goal is to provide more than enough light and nutrients to grow your scape. The limiting factor is CO2. You are spot on with your many points that cost should not be your limiting factor if you wish to go for a tank like this.

With "Low Tech" tanks the goal is to use lighting as the limiting factor. You can absolutely use Aquasoil for a tank like this, you can also use top of the line equipment and have CO2 and still be a "low tech" tank.

I think Tom made a key observation about the type of people attracted to each method.

Back to my earlier quote. A high tech tank consumes quickly, grows quickly, and can go wrong and be fixed quickly. A Low tech tank, consumes slowly, grows slowly, and goes wrong slowly and gets fixed slowly.

The biggest problem people following the "high tech" method run into is not paying due diligence to balance and maintenance. Your insight into this has been amazing.

The biggest problem people run into with "Low Tech" is too much light and cutting corners with fertilizers, water changes and refusing to use CO2 when necessary to rescue a tank they've let be neglected too long. (cheapskates)
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:29 AM   #412
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I've got a dirty secret. I've got to admit it now.

In fact, you could call it:

An Ulterior Motive

You see, year after year I chronically see less and less and less Americans placing highly in the IAPLC. Yet, I continue to see relative growth in the hobby here.

Yes, the hobby expands far in Japan, China, SE Asia, Europe, etc. Regular conventions with large planted aquaria expo's.

See, I have a hidden intention to this thread.

My motive is to help encourage as many people as humanly possible to be badass aquascapers.

I want you to learn from my mistakes. From your mistakes, from other's mistakes.

I want an American to win the IAPLC.

It's my gut feeling that the person who will one day win this competition is right here, reading this thread.

That's why I say there's only The Method. The one method that works, in which all others are derivative.

So, take from this everything you can, follow along with your own aquarium and cast off the unnecessary clutter in your mind, and let's get off to the races.

Don't be disheartened by failure, every one of us will always have more failures than successes. They define our success.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:36 AM   #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
I agree with the filter. I would say an Aquaclear of the appropriate size would be good.

Substrate could be anything. I think Flourite at best (or similar), Petco gravel at worst.

Co2, I would say try not using it. It actually can be fun. The only thing that I personally find to be more challenging is carpet plants.



I am almost thinking a standard 10 gallon with an incandescent hood. Then throw 2 13 watt CFL's or similar. Add substrate of your choice.


I may be willing to go along for the ride and try the same. I have to see if my old 10 gallon is still holding water. I have the light, I would just used Petco gravel. I just need a filter.
Hey Matt,

I was hoping you'd chime in on the CHALLENGE, and I would welcome you to join in with me with open arms!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
So is the challenge to do something hard or something easy?
Low-Tech is the easiest thing for me, but it is because I use safe plant choices.

Either way I'd say just use Aquasoil, no powders, additives, etc.

Dirt tanks aren't very fun in the long run, so I vote against that.

Easy Proposal:

Substrate: Just aquasoil
Light: Whatever you want
Co2: none
Plants: HM as a carpet + whatever plants someone else might think would be good. Or ferns + anubias - because that is as easy as it gets.
Hardscape: Whatever you want


Difficult Proposal: (This one is hard to even come up with because low-tech with aquasoil is always easy and its benefits are even more profound in the long run in low-tech tanks with bi-weekly or monthly water changes)


If you wan't something hard you could do Eco Complete or Flourite but I think demonstrating how easy it is to do a great tank with nothing more than Aquasoil is a great thing to demonstrate.


I'd vote against any ferns bolbitis blah blah.
It is easy and overdone.
I see many tanks with very dim light and loads of ferns and they are stable and quite boring, IMO.
It's not so much going for easy or hard, rather something that is a cool and desirable scape.

To be honest with you: if driftwood is to play a role, then of course a Java Fern Trident and some Anubias would be a great addition for the role they play in the scape.

However, the overriding goal is to have a carpet going here. And not a moss carpet. Moss will be used with driftwood - but to the extent to which it's tied to the driftwood.

The balance of plants with a composition is just as important to the CHALLENGE as it is to grow the plants into the full form of the scape.

I'm envisioning the use of stem plants, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ach1Ll3sH33L View Post
My vote is to use aquasoil in the low-tech(w/o the powders), or if your going for the readily available products approach, azoo plant grower or fluval stratum, any kind of nutrient rich pellet substrate. I think the idea of the journal should be, not to do what we've seen done here and fail several times over like Tom has said, with a very small percentage of success. But if you want to go non c02, low light and h.o.b, what are the key components that will make this setup WORK! Having a good substrate is IME the most vital component in a 'low-tech' and i think your journal should express that.
Good feedback! Of course the ultimate objective here is to have something duplicatable by just about anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bannik View Post
"The home aquarium is an ecosystem always on the verge of collapse."

This fits in with your description of all living aspects of the planted tank being Malthusian.

That is what I have in mind when I'm building my tanks/nanos/bowls.

The difference between a low tech tank and a high tech tank has nothing to do with budget. It is what you use as the limiting factor for those Malthusian components in your tank.

With "High Tech" tanks the goal is to provide more than enough light and nutrients to grow your scape. The limiting factor is CO2. You are spot on with your many points that cost should not be your limiting factor if you wish to go for a tank like this.

With "Low Tech" tanks the goal is to use lighting as the limiting factor. You can absolutely use Aquasoil for a tank like this, you can also use top of the line equipment and have CO2 and still be a "low tech" tank.

I think Tom made a key observation about the type of people attracted to each method.

Back to my earlier quote. A high tech tank consumes quickly, grows quickly, and can go wrong and be fixed quickly. A Low tech tank, consumes slowly, grows slowly, and goes wrong slowly and gets fixed slowly.

The biggest problem people following the "high tech" method run into is not paying due diligence to balance and maintenance. Your insight into this has been amazing.

The biggest problem people run into with "Low Tech" is too much light and cutting corners with fertilizers, water changes and refusing to use CO2 when necessary to rescue a tank they've let be neglected too long. (cheapskates)
Your mind is absolutely in the right place here. You are seeing how there's really no difference between "tech's" one just exchanges factors, but the basic formula and method is the same.

Execution and strategy has variation to it that equipment plays a role in, but otherwise the same methodology applies.

There are a few limitations between strategies and equipment, but the message here is that by and large one does not guarantee success and the other does not guarantee failure. They are only tools for us to use.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:09 AM   #414
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Hello Frank, I finally found some time to post. As far as I'm concerned your "How To" should be a sticky. The information found here is invaluable to beginners, intermediate and advanced individuals alike. I'm sure there will be many who will never admit to incorporating something from your write up into their scape but we know different.

I have to admit that's one heck of challenge, you must be glutton for punishment by the way, I posted updated photos of Connors tank just so you can see what he is up to. He is having the time of his life with the aquarium. No algae and lush growth, just like you talked about.

Dan
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:54 AM   #415
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I'm game.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:12 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
Hey Matt,

I was hoping you'd chime in on the CHALLENGE, and I would welcome you to join in with me with open arms!
I pulled out my old 10 gallon. Going as "low tech", "cheap ass", etc, etc.

I am by no means trying to prove you wrong, not that I know it will work, I just thought it would be fun. If it works, cool. It's still not as fun as a high tech tank, and I don't recommend what I am doing, but if it works out, it is just an example. I plan to buy a lot of ADA stuff after my record comes out or I have a hot streak with selling instrumentals (I am a musician for a living right now, kind of rough for me lol).

Here is the thread... http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...ml#post1812060

We will see how that works over time.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:15 AM   #417
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You may not know what this is, but those of you who do know how awesome this is:



Picking this full setup up tomorrow

Kicking it old school baby.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:26 AM   #418
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^ What is that? Never seen an ADA product like that, is it lights and just the tank?

A few suggestions, there a whole lot of post and it gets time consuming trying to get up to speed, can you just leave the current status or a post marker so people can refer back to.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:42 AM   #419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
Hey Matt,

I was hoping you'd chime in on the CHALLENGE, and I would welcome you to join in with me with open arms!



It's not so much going for easy or hard, rather something that is a cool and desirable scape.

To be honest with you: if driftwood is to play a role, then of course a Java Fern Trident and some Anubias would be a great addition for the role they play in the scape.

However, the overriding goal is to have a carpet going here. And not a moss carpet. Moss will be used with driftwood - but to the extent to which it's tied to the driftwood.

The balance of plants with a composition is just as important to the CHALLENGE as it is to grow the plants into the full form of the scape.

I'm envisioning the use of stem plants, of course.



Good feedback! Of course the ultimate objective here is to have something duplicatable by just about anyone.



Your mind is absolutely in the right place here. You are seeing how there's really no difference between "tech's" one just exchanges factors, but the basic formula and method is the same.

Execution and strategy has variation to it that equipment plays a role in, but otherwise the same methodology applies.

There are a few limitations between strategies and equipment, but the message here is that by and large one does not guarantee success and the other does not guarantee failure. They are only tools for us to use.
ill join in too, if youll have me.
i always see bettas kept in barebottom jars, or in unscaped tanks with just some anubias and hornwort thrown in. im sick of it.
i will build not just a betta tank, but a low-light divided betta barracks, from a 5.5 gal. and by god, im going to scape the little 4x8 plots, and make them look good (or eat my words ).
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:28 AM   #420
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Francis Xavier View Post
You may not know what this is, but those of you who do know how awesome this is:



Picking this full setup up tomorrow

Kicking it old school baby.
Hi Frank,

Nice looking setup!

BTW, you are way too young to be "Kicking it old school" lol
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