I would'n call myself and ex-reefer (I have a 40B with 20L sump I'm itching to setup and rejoin that money-pit) . But to compare the two....
When i had both, I deff spent alot more time in upkeep on the reef.
No, you do not have to gravel-vac a planted tank (usually, once established).
Yes, Plants are much cheaper than corals, grow alot quicker, and are much less finicky.
The equipment is much cheaper, you can get a good co2 system for under 200 bucks, I would recommend a good canister filter, and lights will cost about the same if you go high tech on them. (note: read the lighting forum, lighting requirements/goals are much different for a planted tank) But in comparrison to sumps filled with protien skimmers and calc reactors, and all the other junk you need for saltwater (salt is a big one) it is much cheaper.
The fish are much cheaper, and have better chances for survival.
One key difference in terms of theory: In a reef you constantly battle to keep nitrates and phosphates down. With planted tanks we are constantly adding them as fertilizers.
Good luck, I enjoy my planted setups, but the color and vibrance of a reef is hard to match.
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.