Worth it to go from low tech to high tech? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Worth it to go from low tech to high tech?

I have 90% of the parts for a pressurized CO2 system but my low tech tanks runs beautifully and I have plants that do grow well, though I went through many different ones to know which can survive without CO2. Is it worth it or should I stay hassle free?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:20 AM
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I would stay hassle free as you say . I do and don't regret it....lol I grow many different plants with just Excel and simple ferts . It really depends on what YOU want....just a tank you can enjoy with some effort , a tank that excels with much effort , a plant nursery , etc .
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:39 AM
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After breaking down and moving all my tanks, I have begun finding my way to medium tech. Small bump in light and 2 hours of co2 mid day . You just have to be ready to find the NEW sweet spot for your tank .

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:07 PM
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I grow low tech, low light, extreme detail tanks... but recently I went ahead and got a new brighter (better, programmable) light, dose excel mid day, and have medium light plants... I thought about going with CO2 inject...... but honestly I dont think I need it with my plant preference.

Its Kinda like cars.... Everyone has an opinion based on their use.
Figure out your use.

I successfully have baby tears and dwarf hairgrass....

Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
10 gallon midwest bluffs I 10 gallon freshwater coral I 15 gallon custom I 2.5 gallon female tank I Vases I 7 gallon fry I all these critters to feed critters
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:10 PM
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Or.... you stay low light and use CO2, best of both worlds.

Just because you're running CO2 doesn't mean you have to increase light.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 01:57 PM
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I'm bias....I'm a fishkeeper with planted tanks. The plants, especially fast growing floating plants, help purify the water...so low to medium tech for me.

Do you have a fish tank with plants, or a planted tank with or without fish???

Admittedly, there are some gorgeous planted tanks...but to a point, I feel bright light, CO2, and increased ferts are great for the plants, but may be a bit hard on the fish.

And low-medium tech is more hassle free then high tech. Like comparing a SW tank to a reef tank.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I have many fish and that was always fear of trial and error with starting pressurized CO2. I’ll most likely stay with what I have and maybe when I pull the old 40 gallon breeder out I’ll just make that my planted and figure out tweaks without any fish until I get it all down. Thanks for the advice!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Or.... you stay low light and use CO2, best of both worlds.

Just because you're running CO2 doesn't mean you have to increase light.
This x 100. Adding CO2 will just make things grow better and be healthier even if you don't change anything else, and there's no reason to change anything else if you don't want to.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:55 PM
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All aquatic plants are somewhat co2 deprived even the ones that do grow fairly well. As mentioned everything will just grow better with co2 regardless of most lighting setups.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:17 PM
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This x 100. Adding CO2 will just make things grow better and be healthier even if you don't change anything else, and there's no reason to change anything else if you don't want to.

Or.... you could be like some of us and turn up the lights to Yankee Stadium levels, run the co2 at nose bleed levels where the fish almost... almost gasp and die, AND run your fertilizer at the razor's edge and call it fun.... Just so you can trim the hell out of your plants every weekend for 1-2 hours....


Oh wait, thats just me! Hang on, gotta trim some plants...


Ok, I'm back. Anyway, some times (most times) having some co2 and a very reasonable amount of light actually yields the best looking plants.


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:28 PM
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I have kept both low tech and high tech tanks, and they are completely different animals.

To me, high tech is well worth all the extra effort. But it is not for everyone.

In general, it requires a higher level of commitment in every way. More of a true "hobby".

It's not a casual undertaking, and requires you to be fully involved.

That being said, the satisfaction and rewards are much greater as well.

So the only one that can answer that question is you. I can tell you that standing in front of tank full of fast growing flowery stems can be stunning, and there is a great sense of accomplishment. But the truth is getting there is not easy, and requires more effort than most understand.


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:14 AM
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There is a perception within this hobby. That perception is that if one keeps a low tech tank, this somehow translates to said tank being left in a dark corner where it is neglected and never taken care of. Are there people that do that? Absolutely. Does everybody do that? No.

I've lost count of how many times I've been lectured about gravel vacuuming my tank, doing water changes, how often I clean my filters, ect... One would be lead to believe that I was asking the tut-tutters to do these things for me. Sometimes if I mention that I actually test my tank more than once a year, there are those that will come out of the woodwork just so they can tell me that I'm a newbie in the hobby even though I've been keeping fish alive and for long life spans for over 20 years. Am I expert at keeping a planted tank? No, but I don't want to be one either. That has never been my goal and still isn't today. I take in information that is relevant to me and apply it. Most of said information is not specific to low tech or high tech, it is general information that would work for any kind of tank being kept. Meanwhile, there are people that have high tech tanks that don't take care of them which leaves their tanks just as much of a hot mess as those that neglect a low tech tank.

My point: If you want to change things up because you want to, go for it. If you are doing so because you are feeling pressured, you'd be making the change for all the wrong reasons. You will never be able to please all of the internet because you decided to go high tech. Some keepers of high tech tanks will be just as fast to crawl up your butt about something else once you've transitioned into 'their world'. You're not using the right ferts, the right light, your red plants are not red enough or whatever else they can come up with. Don't get sucked into that trap. Listen to voices of reason; ignore those that engage the endless nagging and barking.

For the record, I'm not throwing shade at Immortal1 or Greggz with this post. They are two of my favorite people around here. Both of them keep beautiful tanks, love their Bows and are very much so voices of reason.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:46 AM
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My point: If you want to change things up because you want to, go for it. If you are doing so because you are feeling pressured, you'd be making the change for all the wrong reasons. You will never be able to please all of the internet because you decided to go high tech. Some keepers of high tech tanks will be just as fast to crawl up your butt about something else once you've transitioned into 'their world'. You're not using the right ferts, the right light, your red plants are not red enough or whatever else they can come up with. Don't get sucked into that trap. Listen to voices of reason; ignore those that engage the endless nagging and barking.
Amen. I wish more people would come out and say this.

I've never regretted over engineering a system, but often regretted under engineering one.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:53 AM
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I grow low tech, low light, extreme detail tanks... but recently I went ahead and got a new brighter (better, programmable) light, dose excel mid day, and have medium light plants... I thought about going with CO2 inject...... but honestly I dont think I need it with my plant preference.

Its Kinda like cars.... Everyone has an opinion based on their use.
Figure out your use.

I successfully have baby tears and dwarf hairgrass....

I went ahead and turned one tank into 'high tech' with the cheapest 'high tech option' (mini CO2) and a super fancy light and nifty new filter system. Thus far.... its a huge pain in the arse. But I really want to see what all the chatter is about.... but everyday my app doesnt work, or the valve on my mini CO2 is not in the right position..... I spend more time with my high tech tank out of necessity, and more with my low tech out of pleasure.


But ya gotta love a challenge!
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Giving back creates a virtuous cycle that makes everyone more successful (as long as they cycle!)
10 gallon midwest bluffs I 10 gallon freshwater coral I 15 gallon custom I 2.5 gallon female tank I Vases I 7 gallon fry I all these critters to feed critters
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:04 PM
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I love my new led lights .
But they will shine a bright light on what your water is lacking real fast .
I wish there was a easy recipe for :
Tank A + light B + C (water + nutes+co2 ) = Y growth
But the C veritable of water and fertilizer can be huge .
I moved from Texas (high calcium) to alabama (low calcium and high phosphate ) and water balance has been like night and day.
My micros bottomed out fast and algae came in quick with my high tech tank but my low techs have been easily manageable.
It's a lab test and if your not ready to dig into the specifics you may get burned.

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