"Low Tech". I am confused.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
tanks4allthefish
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"Low Tech". I am confused.


Before I say anything please let me say that it is NOT my intention to step on any toes or anything like that. I am just a little confused by the forum name of "low tech" when it is seems to be more high tech in a lot of cases.

I am wondering what the definition of "low tech" is as it relates here because when I hear low tech I am thinking of a simple tank that requires little maintenance and has very minimal filtration but more often none at all. Also, to me anyways, low tech means dirted capped by some form of material such as gravel to hold down the base. There is no ferting because the "dirt" contains the nutrients already and there is certainly no CO2 added. The only real addition to a low tech tank is a small powerhead to provide some movement.

I am not complaining but the Low Tech forum seems more like a catch all for all things planted and I was just wondering if maybe a sub forum or something would help to separate the two because a true low tech tank is kind of a different animal than a standard planted tank. Please dont get me wrong, there is alot of awesome information in the low tech forum concerning planted tanks and I enjoy spending time there but IMO, and its just that, my opinion, a separation might be a good idea.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:27 PM   #2
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For me, no high light and certainly no pressurized CO2. Dosing excel is fine. DIY CO2 is fine. Substrate choice? Dirt versus no dirt...I think it has to do with maintenance and convenience. Dosing ferts? Why not? Many of us have high tech tanks. We have the dry ferts already. Why not dosing them in our low tech tanks????
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra73 View Post
For me, no high light and certainly no pressurized CO2. Dosing excel is fine. DIY CO2 is fine. Substrate choice? Dirt versus no dirt...I think it has to do with maintenance and convenience. Dosing ferts? Why not? Many of us have high tech tanks. We have the dry ferts already. Why not dosing them in our low tech tanks????
I thought of doing a true low tech but I see the advantages of the things that you are describing. I use fert capsules in my existing 55 and they do well but the substrate is Eco-Complete and it needs them at times whereas something like Miracle-Gro Organic might not so much. I have been looking into DIY CO2 of some sort and a 3 bulb T8 fluorescent fixture from HD which would put me a little over 1-1/2 watts per gallon.

So, do people consider things like DIY CO2 and low light as low tech? I think I would, as well as having little to no filtration. I know it depends on the person and how "low" they want to go but true low-tech tanks dont have much at all but I do worry about water clarity if I go that low. It can be done though.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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Low tech to me is lower light and no CO2 - obviously a range of tanks fit into that category, not just the extremely low maintenance ones.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Low tech to me is lower light and no CO2 - obviously a range of tanks fit into that category, not just the extremely low maintenance ones.
You are right. There does seem to be a wide range of tanks that fall into this category and thus my question. To me, the range is a little too wide and some separation could be useful.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:50 AM   #6
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To me, dosing ferts and diy CO2 moves things to more of a "medium tech" tank. Meaning it adds to the maintenance aspect that "low tech" tries to minimize. I'm not saying diy CO2 and dosing is not low tech, just more involved from a maintenance standpoint.
The simpler it is, the lower the tech. I think most people fall into the "medium tech" category, myself included.
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Old 07-16-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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Low tech doesn't really have a universal definition. But, all low tech tanks have to start with low light, or they will very likely end up as maintenance headaches, and soon be switched to something else. I prefer to use the term "low light" rather than "low tech".
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:15 AM   #8
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Low tech,or low energy to me, mean's low light,no CO2,excell,DIY.
Dosing ferts is fine, but the minute you add CO2 of any kind ,it is no longer low tech,low energy.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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What you are talking about is what many people refer to as NPT, Natural Planted Tank.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Low tech,or low energy to me, mean's low light,no CO2,excell,DIY.
Dosing ferts is fine, but the minute you add CO2 of any kind ,it is no longer low tech,low energy.
so it's not low tech if you keep low light plants, with low light, but add DIY co2?

there is no real cut off. it's just kinda obvious. my tank is obviously high tech. I have two LED fixtures, pressurized co2, fertilizers, co2 reactor, and a sump. there is no way in hell it's anything but high tech. (though i'd prefer it medium tech because I've yet to set up the autodosing and auto feeders, but i'm just being picky)

low tech is is really low light, as hoppy suggests. it's the minimal requirements for plant growth. but even then, if I add co2 to a low light tank, it certainly helps the plants but is still far from being a high tech tank just because co2 is being added.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
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I just noticed the description of the Low tech forum has changed. It used to say something like "For those people on a budget". I define low tech 2 ways... Low cost/easily available or older technology.

1. Lower cost and easily available: I think low tech is a tank, where most equipment could be purchased from a walmart or other non-pet specific store. For example, from my Walmart, I can get a 10 gallon tank, top soil w/sand cap, DIY CO2, shop lights, bulbs, filter, and power strip.

2. Older technology: Well, usually older technology is cheaper than the latest and greatest. Prior to LEDs, I would consider t8s or spiral cfls as low tech. I guess with leds being mainstream now, it makes t5s older tech but the prices hasn't dropped too much???

I know this doesn't fit everyone's definition and someone will probably bring up that over time DIY CO2 cost more than a pressurized system. But these are my general guidelines for low tech.

Also, it doesn't count if someone gave you a High tech setup at low cost. lol
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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IMO, the terms are pretty meaningless. I think low tech/medium tech/high tech make a lot more sense for saltwater tanks as so much more goes into them.

I have a Zoo Med canister on my "low tech" but people consider a canister "high tech" because of price. The technology isn't much different between an internal filter and a canister but the price is. I would consider the Zoo Med to be a low tech canister anyway.

To me, low tech means no CO2. Low light isn't a good category IMO because you can have a decent amount of light without algae growth so what makes a low light tank with the same filtration, heater, etc different from one that has more light but is otherwise identical.

People also consider anything that is cheap low tech. Some DIY stuff works really well but takes a tank out of low tech, in my personal opinion.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
IMO, the terms are pretty meaningless. I think low tech/medium tech/high tech make a lot more sense for saltwater tanks as so much more goes into them.

I have a Zoo Med canister on my "low tech" but people consider a canister "high tech" because of price. The technology isn't much different between an internal filter and a canister but the price is. I would consider the Zoo Med to be a low tech canister anyway.

To me, low tech means no CO2. Low light isn't a good category IMO because you can have a decent amount of light without algae growth so what makes a low light tank with the same filtration, heater, etc different from one that has more light but is otherwise identical.

People also consider anything that is cheap low tech. Some DIY stuff works really well but takes a tank out of low tech, in my personal opinion.
I could almost see where a DIY CO2 setup could be considered low-tech just because of its simplicity and cost. I have a lightly planted 55g with no CO2 yet I have a T5HO light(a carry over from my old SW tank). Also I built a DIY inline heater and I run a Marineland Emperor 400 and a SunSun canister filter yet I dont think of my tank as high-tech. IMO a high-tech setup includes all of these, even higher end filtration as well as running a controller and a pressurized CO2 system. Then come the auto dosers and auto feeders. There are a kazillion gadgets you could add to a tank that would propel it to high-tech status but to me a low-tech is the no frills approach which does not cost a fortune and is easy to manage.
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