Can We Please Retire High-Tech/Low-Tech? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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Can We Please Retire High-Tech/Low-Tech?

These terms don't really make any sense in terms of helping hobbyists.

We get to choose: tanks, substrate, lighting, dosing, CO2, automation, filtration, plants, inverts, fish, water changes, etc. Any of those choices could go in a different direction.

In the 90s, I worked at a record store selling electronic music. Categories were useless. We used keywords.

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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 11:57 AM
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By general word usage on this forum low-tech refers to tanks that are not running any kind of pressurized co2 whether they are diy co2 or from a pressurized cylinder.

With that co2 comes a host of other things you pretty much need to do to keep your tank in balance (better lighting generally, and regimented fertilizer dosing).

Without pressurized co2 it is very difficult (though my understanding not impossible) to have high lighting in a balanced tank.

In other words I feel like the terms have significant descriptive power. If there is a problem with them its simply that we do not have good rock steady definitions for what they mean. My understanding of their meaning is based on reading a LOT of threads on this forum. This seems to be the accepted definition for most people in the know. But another person will come in from outside this forum and have a different definition. What we need is a dictionary. I mean an actual dictionary that describes the terms we use all the time. We could update the dictionary as new terms are needed etc.
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 01:47 PM
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Although I would have chosen different names initially, renaming things so long established can increase confusion. I'm curious: what would you name the two very distinct approaches?
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:31 PM
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I think (as described) that they are valid terms that describe two very important differences....and frankly I don't see how hard rock, soft rock, R&B, country, rap, etc. wouldn't still be valid categories in a record store.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
These terms don't really make any sense in terms of helping hobbyists.


Cheers
In terms of helping hobbyists, no they dont. How many times have we seen the newcomer ask "What is high-tech in relation to low-tech?" 99.9% of the time the answer is the use of Co2.


Um , okay. That means - what?

That means... Then you get down to descriptors, keywords.. communicative terms that make sense in terms of helping hobbyists.



So, yeah- I get yah.


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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:05 PM
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In aquaculture, they use intensive, semi-intensive and extensive to categorize the production technology:

Extensive culture systems receive no intentional nutritional inputs but depend on natural food in the culture facility, including that brought in by water flow e.g., currents and tidal exchange.
Semi-intensive culture systems depend largely on natural food which is increased over baseline levels by fertilisation and/or use of supplementary feed to complement natural food.
Intensive culture systems depend on nutritionally complete diets added to the system, either fresh, wild, marine or freshwater fish, or on formulated diets, usually in dry pelleted form.

Maybe we could borrow from this classification and modify it for our uses?

Source: 1. Definitions
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
In terms of helping hobbyists, no they dont. How many times have we seen the newcomer ask "What is high-tech in relation to low-tech?" 99.9% of the time the answer is the use of Co2.


Um , okay. That means - what?

That means... Then you get down to descriptors, keywords.. communicative terms that make sense in terms of helping hobbyists.



So, yeah- I get yah.
In any new hobby I find the first stages are just understanding the terminology. I have .... a lot of hobbies.. At the start of each one when I ask questions on forums or in person its like communicating with people who speak another language. Getting a grasp of the terminology is key. When I started exploring diy lighting for tanks it was especially bad since a bit of math and physics is mixed into the electrical terminology already being used.

I really do think a dictionary would be helpful. At least something we could link people to when we they start having questions about what something means. /shrug
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
I really do think a dictionary would be helpful. At least something we could link people to when we they start having questions about what something means. /shrug
Good idea. Especially need an acronym page(s) for newcomers

I have MTS and my MTS burrow through my MTS

(Multiple Tank Syndrome) (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) (Mineralized Top Soil)

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by KayakJimW View Post
Good idea. Especially need an acronym page(s) for newcomers

I have MTS and my MTS burrow through my MTS

(Multiple Tank Syndrome) (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) (Mineralized Top Soil)
This made me Lol.

Anyway, yea it's all true. I have "Low Tech Walstad". But within my setup, I have a Fluval 3.0 (BT capable), Hydor In-Line heater and a canister filter. All of which I would consider not so Low tech. Also using remineralized RO water vs just tap water.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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iPhone reply:

Three dimensions, with three reference points:

Substrate: Dirt + Cap; Aquasoil; Inert,

CO2: None; Soil Decomposition, Passive CO2; Active CO2,

Fertilizer: None; Easy-Green; Custom Fertilizer Mix,

Extra Dimensions: Filtration, Lighting, Heating, Aeration, Automation, Water Changes.

Style: Organic soil, sand, gravel, plants, moss, algae, snails, shrimp, small fish
Tech: Fluval Plant Nano, Top Fin MF10, Tunze 3161, Apex EL
Tanks:
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Last edited by Streetwise; 10-17-2019 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Details
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 06:04 AM
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Get rid of low/high tech, just go to CO2 or no CO2 IMHO.

Also some savvy person create a form to embed in our signatures that we can fill out with our tank parameters. Would save the first few questions asked in about every thread with issues...... ofcourse it probably wouldnt get updated and people would still have to ask lol.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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The terms low tech and high tech is nonsense.
We can have dirt with UV, 100 PAR no CO2 short photoperiod, 25 PAR with pressurized CO2 long photoperiod, auto dosing no CO2, or any other tech combination.

In essence, itís the overall energy that is dividing the two systems into Low Energy and High Energy setups.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:14 PM
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Im traveling internationally today.... Thank you for posting this. However I did giggle out loud-
I turned to the person next to me and said 'great discussion over low tech walsted versus tanks that are artificially augmented/enhanced'.

The look I got was that I was insane. This now became a discussion: 'My kid has a goldfish in a bowl' vs 'I have a 1.5 gallon but it has a automatic light and filter... so am I low tech?'

I replied: its all in the eye of the beholder

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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:29 PM
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Whether we like the term low tech and high tech is in some ways irrelevant at this point in time. This is because the hobby as a whole use the terms extensively. Its even in product marketing, this fertilizer for high tech tanks, this one for low tech. This light for high tech tanks, this light for low tech. Etc etc.

Diana Walstad wrote about low tech tanks and high tech tanks in her book even. That book has a copyright in 1999, so 20 years ago. The terms have been around for at least that long. I can't say if they existed before that point, I was in high school and not past the "kids" tank stage of the hobby.

I will freely admit the terms are not as descriptive as one could want, but it is what we have. I think we should try to avoid language fragmentation as much as possible and instead provide stability.

To that end I am going to give a go to my dictionary idea. If its something that appears helpful we can keep it updated.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livebearerlove View Post
I replied: its all in the eye of the beholder
This pretty much sums it up. The terms are laid out already as @minorhero referenced to Diana Walstad's book. I think we can all agree that when posting questions, we should all probably lay out a bit of background on the tank in question.
Light, filter, heater, water parameters, flora/fauna, dosing/not dosing ferts, etc.

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

Bump:

What do those terms mean to everyone here?
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Last edited by Econde; 10-17-2019 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Question.
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