Can We Please Retire High-Tech/Low-Tech? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:19 PM
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If I Google What is a high tech aquarium? I get CO2, High light, Ferts across the board

But with so many different types of aquariums in the world, I find it very interesting that this term just seems to apply to planted freshwater tanks. I'd say reef setups have the potential to be way more "high tech" semantically considering advanced reefers can easily have twice+ as much automation, computer integration, and equipment in general. Yet, the term high tech aquarium gets reserved for freshwater planted tanks that inject CO2 (and the stuff that generally go along with that, ie more light and plant food) However there are exceptions to every rule. caveats and whatnot...

Not taking sides on what to call it, I just find it interesting that "high tech aquarium" means fw plant tank in the first place. Maybe it's assumed that reef tanks are high tech, just like it's assumed that high tech = CO2 injection

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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
If I Google What is a high tech aquarium? I get CO2, High light, Ferts across the board

But with so many different types of aquariums in the world, I find it very interesting that this term just seems to apply to planted freshwater tanks. I'd say reef setups have the potential to be way more "high tech" semantically considering advanced reefers can easily have twice+ as much automation, computer integration, and equipment in general. Yet, the term high tech aquarium gets reserved for freshwater planted tanks that inject CO2 (and the stuff that generally go along with that, ie more light and plant food) However there are exceptions to every rule. caveats and whatnot...
I completely agree. My brother has had several Salt water aquariums with all the bells and whistles. Metal halides ramp-ups, protein skimmers, calcium reactors, chillers, etc. It was a sight to see with all the different corals, emerald crabs, fire gobies,turbo snails, trigger fish, assortment of shrimp, etc. I myself never did get the temptation for salt water. Freshwater for me only.


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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:59 PM
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The funny thing is, I used to be into salt water and had what I'd consider a low tech reef! It was a 50breeder with a 30 gallon refugium. Only equipment was a skimmer, lights, and pumps. I set it up to be low maintenance with soft corals, polyps, tons of inverts and hardy fish. All I did was top off, dose a few supplements and do about 4 water changes a year. It looked awesome for years until I sold it before a move. To me high tech would've been ATO, calcium reactor, ozone generator, chiller, controllers, etc but I had no interest in that stuff either. I just went with bulletproof fauna and they did well. My family and I absolutely loved it, but advanced reefers would've definitely seen it as Fischer-price, my first reef tank! My goal was interesting critters and pretty colors with minimal maintenance so it totally fits your definition of low tech
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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:07 PM
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I tell you @KayakJimW , I am all for the least amount of maintenance I can get away with. Yesterday I trimmed 2 stems and replanted and topped off the water. Love it. A few years back, I had a lot of time, so I didn't mind the extra maintenance, 30-50% weekly water changes. With my current setup it's 10% weekly water changes and am considering light ferts. I'll extend that to 2 weeks by next month and then possibly 3 weeks the next month after.

Yea I don't envy salt water setups at all. It's nice to look at but so much initial cost, time, maintenance.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Econde View Post

To me low tech means : Minimal maintenance.
High tech : Lots of maintenance.

What do those terms mean to everyone here?
As I was writing... I realized the complexity.


Low tech: HOB or internal filter. Standard lighting (which more than likely was part of the tank)

High tech: Upgrade filter to canister, CO2, DIY ferts and specialty lighting



I dont believe it is a plant issue (as a high/low tech)- I have living proof that even low tech can grow high maintenance plants.... but that is with my definition?
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post #21 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 03:03 PM
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Part of the issue here is that in the aquarium hobby there are many things that are properly called a "term of art".

This phrase has an already defined meaning.

Quote:
term of art noun phrase
Definition of term of art
: a term that has a specialized meaning in a particular field or profession
First Known Use of term of art
1570, in the meaning defined above
Source

Thus we have the literal meaning of the word "high tech" which in common vernacular means something that is sophisticated with its use of technology. But in the aquarium hobby the term "high tech" is a term of art and thus has a different meaning.

An example of a term of art from another field, if a doctor says that a patient is a good historian, they don't mean the patient can tell you about Napoleon Bonaparte, or the Renaissance. They mean that the patient knows their own medical history and is capable of relaying that information accurately. The term historian is a term of art in the medical profession.

This is relevant because folks already know the common definition of terms but will sometimes confuse these with the term of art as it exists in the hobby.
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post #22 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 05:15 PM
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To me, HIGH TECH means CO2 + auto dosing.

LOW TECH means no CO2 + auto dosing
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post #23 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 07:02 PM
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Maybe there should not have been made low tech high tech division at all, it is confusing and doesnt correspond with reality.

When we think about it, all of the known equipment, gadgets and procedures can be used in all known setup combinations. So what is dictating the necessity to use some? It is not light intensity, because we can have three hours of very strong light a day with no injected CO2, no inorganic fertilization, no filtration, no water changes, no forced water movement.

The dependency is related to joule, the unit of energy. In this hobby, it is light intensity per time that drives the speed of the system, PAR-h-d [PAR-hour-day].

Code:
PAR   hour-day   PAR-h-d
300      4        1200
200      5        1000
100      8         800
 50     12         600
 25     16         400

 25      8         200
I would speculate there is no clear low to high tech division, but rather proportional need for more equipment, gadgets and procedures. Everything can be applied across the range, yet only at about 400 and higher PAR-h-d some become essential. Higher PAR-h-d higher the need for more CO2 injection , more fertilizer dosing and better water movement.


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post #24 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting!

That gives me another idea for how to look at it: human effort per gallon or liter per unit time.

Ask the newbie how many hours per week they have for aquariums. "Sorry, you don't have enough time for your plan! Here is a slightly simpler plan."
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post #25 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 07:50 PM
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Newbie here. My point of view... i had ZERO issue with the terms high tech/low tech. Made perfect sense to me and coming from saltwater reef, it made perfect sense to go high tech.
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post #26 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 08:12 PM
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For me... high means: light strong enough that CO2 is a requirement, pressurized CO2, way more fertilizer than the average person uses or enough to support strong lighting & CO2 use. Low to me means: lowish/average light, no added CO2, no/low ferts/maybe root tabs or occasionally dosing.

Nothing is set in stone. There are variations with everything like on the marine side of the hobby. And after way too many years in the hobby for me to count, I don't think it's too confusing for most. Just sort of general terminology to point someone in a particular direction. People just tend to overthink things like this while a super-majority of hobbyists never pay attention to the categorization.


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post #27 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 08:20 PM
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Reminds me of "heavily planted tank"

Whatever that means.....

Completely discretionary IMO.

I like the idea of energy... High energy tanks vs low energy tanks.

Too many variables to dictate a single term for the 1000's of tank combos out there.

Call it what you will, but list out your specs, maybe a picture or two, and let others choose what style of tank you are running within their own thoughts and imaginations.

At the end of the day, it's your tank, not anyone else's.
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post #28 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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I think one reason I posted about this is reading some folks talking about low tech tanks but doing sophisticated dosing.

Besides squirting the occasional bit of Easy Green, I don’t have any first-hand experience with fertilizers. However, from reading almost every thread here since I joined, it seems like dosing is the most sophisticated part of the hobby. More than CO2.
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post #29 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 10:34 PM
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funny, I never heard the terms before this forum. I just figured high tech was co2 & high powered lights designed for plant growth. Every hobby or craft has lingo though. I'm sure the newbe asking "Hey what's the difference?" is a tiring question, but it's how we treat each other is what makes this place fun and I've never had a response to any of my posts on TPT that made me feel like someone was talking down to me. I may have a low tech tank, but this community is high class, lol!
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post #30 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-18-2019, 10:41 PM
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Personally I don't feel it causes many issues - generally, people will start off by saying "this is my high/low tech tank" and then launch straight into a description of the equipment, lighting, dosing regimen etc anyway - since even if we had a strict definition for these categories a different brand of lighting or different bulb would be relevant information anyway. For me, they're just a jumping off point - a way to guide my expectations for what kind of setup is about to be described.
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