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Old 08-05-2014, 03:38 PM   #1
studda
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High Tech vs Low Tech


Ok, I'm still pretty new here and have been reading people mentioning high tech and low tech. So, what is high tech and what is low tech?
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:17 PM   #2
PlantedRich
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Three points need to be kept in "balance". CO2, lights and fertilizer. Lights and ferts are not hard to deal with getting but the CO2 can vary from DIY yeast to Pressure tanks and regulators. So I feel it is generally considered "high tech" when you have gone into pressure CO2 and the compatible lights and added ferts? But then there are hundreds of variations along the way.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #3
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A simple differentiation is that low tech tanks don't use pressured CO2, while high tech tanks do. Going high tech is a large commitment because pressured CO2 systems tend to be costly compared to other components of a tank.

High-tech; Using pressurized CO2 allows for higher growth rates and its associated benefits and pains. It allows you to keep some difficult plants in better condition than a low tech environment. With CO2 enrichment comes the need for more active dosing of fertilizer.

Low-tech; without pressurized CO2, tanks depend instead on decomposition of soil, or chemical additives for carbon. Slower associated growth rates allow a more relaxing approach; less pruning & trimming, less active fertilization etc.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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High tech and low tech are really outdated words at this point. It was pretty dated when I got into the hobby awhile ago. It used to actually mean a tank was using a higher level of technology. In freshwater, we have basically hit the point were any new technology isn't really getting us further in what we can do, it's just replacing older technology by being more efficient. For the most part, it tended to describe lighting and CO2, but also other equipment as well. Now, you don't need the newest technology to have high light output, LED's are more efficient and can put out more light that T5HO's per wattage but T5HO's can give you more light than you may ever need.

That's kind of were medium tech disappeared. Most tanks that we call "low tech" would be "medium tech" not more than a few years ago. A low tech tank would likely have an internal filter, T8 lighting, and no fertilizer.

Ironically, some tanks on the board really are pushing the technology factor up, more than a few tanks on the board are almost 100% computer controlled. The difference between now, and maybe 15 years ago, whenever the terms really meant more than they do now, the new technology just saves time and energy, it doesn't do anything better, outside of some fail safe stuff, it just makes everything easier, or more efficient, or both.


For me, it's really just a distinction if you add CO2 or not. My "low tech" has LED lighting and a canister filter. My "high tech" has arguably dated lighting, a dated filter design that doesn't even self prime, lacks a heater, etc. So, in some ways, my "low tech" is likely higher tech than my "high tech". It's kind of ambiguous now in how we use it, I do wish we reevaluated the terminology.
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Only reason to go high tech IMO would be to grow more demanding plants. High tech means faster growth, this is only good for someone who is new and wants to see things happen quickly. It become a pita once the tank is established. Constant pruning.

Low tech tank don't need to have liquid carbon. Many of us have very lush gorgeous tanks using g low tech method. In larger tanks low tech is the way to go IMO.

Low tech is far more forgiving too, going away for a couple of weeks and your fine. Not so much with high tech tanks.

Ultimately it comes down to what you want. A lot of hobbyist go high-tech because they want that dwarf hair grass or baby tear carpet.

Bump: Only reason to go high tech IMO would be to grow more demanding plants. High tech means faster growth, this is only good for someone who is new and wants to see things happen quickly. It become a pita once the tank is established. Constant pruning.

Low tech tank don't need to have liquid carbon. Many of us have very lush gorgeous tanks using g low tech method. In larger tanks low tech is the way to go IMO.

Low tech is far more forgiving too, going away for a couple of weeks and your fine. Not so much with high tech tanks.

Ultimately it comes down to what you want. A lot of hobbyist go high-tech because they want that dwarf hair grass or baby tear carpet.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:26 AM   #6
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Well, if high tech is more maintenance, I will go low tech. I am converting my 58 gallon reef tank and am tired of such constant maintenance. I do have a dimmable 165 watt LED with wavelengths specifically tailored for photosynthesis in corals. Hopefully it works just as well with plants. I will also re-use my sump, overflow, heater, return pumps, UV sterilizer, and reactor. I won't actually have any power filter on the tank, just use filter floss in my sump. What else would I need for a successful low tech tank? Do I actually want nitrates for the plants to grow or will the algae outcompete the plants? My tank is 36X18X21 so I should be able to have a pretty stable system with that much water.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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if youre new to the hobby, let it run its natural cycle-
1st tank gravel+root tabs, no co2.
when youre ready to go further, add ferts. then add glutaraldehyde. then try dirted tank for root feeders. then maybe aquasoil. then add yeast co2. and to finish it off go pressurized
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:30 AM   #8
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You want 5-10ppm nitrates. Less than that you will have algae issues due to poor growth. I would recommend getting a couple of dry ferts as running with a mild fish load which you.likely will as its a new tank and no ferts is just going to starve the plants.

Get k2so4 and micros planted csm+b. Dosing the macro (k2so4 aka potassium sulfate) right after your weekly.WC and the micros the following day. Do this each week. Feed fish daily.with quality food and keep a decent stock.size. the nitrogen and phosphate should get taken care of from.fish waste. Start off with 6-7 hour photoperiod and work up to 10-11 hours over 6 months and ideally by then you have a heavily planted tank and things will be dialed in.
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:59 PM   #9
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You can do something in between. I like gadgets, so I have good lighting, Co2 and I dose ferts, but not necessarily high tech, because I raise the lights to medium intensity and cut the ferts in half. By doing this, I don't prune as much and the algae is not as invasive. If I want to keep more demanding plants and faster growth, I just lower the lights, crank up the Co2 and full EI dosing. I switched from saltwater, and I miss my gadgets.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzega View Post
if youre new to the hobby, let it run its natural cycle-
1st tank gravel+root tabs, no co2.
when youre ready to go further, add ferts. then add glutaraldehyde. then try dirted tank for root feeders. then maybe aquasoil. then add yeast co2. and to finish it off go pressurized
My first tank had DIY CO2 within about a month of starting and pressurized CO2 within maybe 4. Ironically, it was my best high tech tank to date, and lasted a long time, 2-3 years. I don't think it is necessarily important to start slow, it's just important to understand exactly what is required for that setup.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:51 PM   #11
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From my understanding, the brighter lights require CO2? My lighting is capable of sustaining any coral I could possibly want but it is dimmable. Hopefully it will dim enough not to have overabundant algae growth.
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