Question for high-techers - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Question for high-techers

Was just wondering how many of you started out with the notion of, "I just want some green in my tank and want to keep it simple."

How quickly was your progression into high tech~ lighting, CO2 and ferts?

I know I look at some of the tanks from members and am blown away with the lushness and growth.

I was overwhelmed when I first started studying and was thinking low tech/low light but now that I'm starting to figure things out more, I am wondering if I'd end up wasting a bunch of money going that route when I know what my long term goals are and where I want to be heading. When I look at liquid carbon supplementation vs. the co2 and ponder long term cost. It would seem that the initial outlay for the co2 equipment would pay for itself over time.

So, just curious as to how many of you started out slow and went high tech once you started really getting into it? Your answers will help in my soon to be proposed argument to my husband on the CO2 system.....lol.

Thanks.
Elyssa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:38 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 120
Send a message via Skype™ to zimbo
I went from a random 55 gall with T8 lights, and inert gravel off craigslist to a 90 with MH lights and CO2 injection and substrate redo in a span of about 9 months....

It just depends on what you want to do with your tank. Some people are really happy with the low tech set ups. If you feel there might be an upgrade in the near future, it might be worth saving up a little longer and just get a high tech system to begin with. At least that was my experience.

Also remember the learning curve doesn't stop.You will keep learning things, each tank is different. There isn't a fool proof formula that says get equipment x,y,z and it will look like a coffee table picture book. I've been doing this over 4 years now and you're constantly tweaking and learning no matter if its a high or low tech tank.
zimbo is offline  
post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:48 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Outside Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,846
I had kept planted tanks for years and had some success with some types of plants. It was very conventiona,l standard aquarium gravel, and no ferts. However, the big breakthrough came when I redid the tank with a decent substrata, pressurized CO2, and dry ferts. Now it look fantastic.

So yes, either method will work, but the high tech methods let you keep almost any plant and give you maximum growth.
DaveK is offline  
 
post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:50 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Bergen Norway
Posts: 14
It really depends what you want yourself.
I started with a 60 litre tank with a few simple guppies and neons and some plants and end up with over 35 tanks now and many co2 systems and hailde lighting systems in other tanks for growing plants to sell.Its always would do the 5 p,s before you spend.Propper planning prevents poor performance ;-) so plan what you want it to look like , how much everything will cost what you need and if it is worth spending money to keep replacing plants that die because you did not just make the investment at the start for good lighting and co2 system.They are many co2 systems that are great and not to expensive.I have had good success with
CO2 GENERATOR CONTROLLER SYSTEM, its an electric one you plug in and works well for me:-)
ceech1 is offline  
post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 07:54 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
HD Blazingwolf's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 4,907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Was just wondering how many of you started out with the notion of, "I just want some green in my tank and want to keep it simple."

How quickly was your progression into high tech~ lighting, CO2 and ferts?

I know I look at some of the tanks from members and am blown away with the lushness and growth.

I was overwhelmed when I first started studying and was thinking low tech/low light but now that I'm starting to figure things out more, I am wondering if I'd end up wasting a bunch of money going that route when I know what my long term goals are and where I want to be heading. When I look at liquid carbon supplementation vs. the co2 and ponder long term cost. It would seem that the initial outlay for the co2 equipment would pay for itself over time.

So, just curious as to how many of you started out slow and went high tech once you started really getting into it? Your answers will help in my soon to be proposed argument to my husband on the CO2 system.....lol.

Thanks.
Took me 1 month to realize i needed more

Sump Pimp #7

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HD Blazingwolf is offline  
post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:13 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Dublin, OH
Posts: 208
I started off low tech, then I started having algae issues and wanted done different plants, etc. now I have 1 high tech and 2 low tech nanos that i wish were high tech.
82nd_Airborne is offline  
post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:19 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Jorge_Burrito's Avatar
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 584
I started off low tech, went to high tech within a couple months. Stayed high tech for two years and am now back at low tech. Low tech is so much less maintenance and so much easier. Plant growth is slow but with proper plant choice, aquarium setup, and lots of patience you can get some incredible results.
Jorge_Burrito is offline  
post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:24 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
scapegoat's Avatar
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: philadelphia, pa
Posts: 2,454
i jumped into planted high tech after buying a setup from someone. It's only gone even more uphill from there haha.

Before that I had a 45 cichlid tank with no plants. I didnt know you could get as crazy with plants as you can until after i bought the 55 w/ co2 and 4 t5ho fixture.
scapegoat is offline  
post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Zimbo,
I hear you and understand about the learning curve. I've been doing a lot of investigation and research for weeks. From where I was weeks ago, I'm already thinking upgrade. I realize the variables & complexities involved.

I'd prefer flexibility and growth over a limited amount of plants as DaveK points out.

Ceech1, yes! I love fish and I love growing plants and gardening. I can see in the future tweaking with aqua farming and growing fresh greens above the water, for the long winters we experience. I did hydroponics years ago out in Los Angelos, so my mind is really going on future possibilities and experimentation. Figuring out the CO2 contraption I see as the toughest battle at this point. Looks complicated, but really haven't researched. I realize I have options like starting out with a paint ball unit or something.

Buying plants and watching them perish, is not really an option and the more I see what plants I'm limiting myself to, is why I am thinking about going down a different road.

HD Blazing Wolf and 82nd Airborne, I can already see myself in that position and thinking I'd just better avoid the scenario to begin with.

Has anybody done any cost comparisons with CO2 and the liquid carbon. Looking into the cost, my LFS wants $14.99 for a 250ml bottle that will last a month on my 55. Then I see people saying they are getting their CO2 tanks cheaply and last for months. This is really why I'm going hmmmm. That's $180 for a year? After one year, I have nothing to show and at least with a CO2 tank & setup, seems like there is something that would pay for itself really quickly?

Dry ferts seem relatively economical in the long run, too.

Thanks for feedback, thus far. My proposal is slowing coming together...
Elyssa is offline  
post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:31 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (91/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 989
If you're thinking hi tech... then do it... you won't regret it! When I first started, I did both hi tech and low tech. They were both successful but I love my hi tech setup.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
n00dl3 is offline  
post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Jorge Burrito,
I'm in the same room as my tanks all day long, so maintenance won't be so much of an issue, since I'm always spacing off watching the tanks half the time. That's kind of why with the whole aspect of *slow growth*, I think in the long run would drive me nuts.

Scapegoat, underwater gardening is a new aspect for me. I don't know why I felt so intimidated about trying it since I can grow things. I've found a lot of inspiration from this forum and seeing what others are doing. I'm sure I can find something off of good ole Craigslist to start out with. Just got to know exactly what I'm looking for.
Elyssa is offline  
post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
n00dl3, I hear you. The more I've been researching low tech, the more I keep seeing the limitations of having no real CO2. The more I talk to people and look at different plants, it's oh, here you go my dear, these will work, all these beauties, won't!

I think with the CO2 it would be a win/win with the battle of the PH. As I keep reading about the KH/PH and CO2 connection.
Elyssa is offline  
post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:22 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: TX
Posts: 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
Has anybody done any cost comparisons with CO2 and the liquid carbon. Looking into the cost, my LFS wants $14.99 for a 250ml bottle that will last a month on my 55. Then I see people saying they are getting their CO2 tanks cheaply and last for months. This is really why I'm going hmmmm. That's $180 for a year? After one year, I have nothing to show and at least with a CO2 tank & setup, seems like there is something that would pay for itself really quickly?
It's more than just cost comparison.. you really can't compare the two because they are just not equivalent. Adding liquid products will help a lot of plants grow, but some don't react well to it and others just don't do well without injected CO2. So really it's more like comparing apples to oranges. It's also possible to get started with CO2 cheaply, and upgrade equipment later.

That said, it is entirely possible to create a beautiful lush aquascape without CO2. But it will take longer and it may be more difficult to manage... CO2 injection may seem more complicated initially because you need more equipment, but I think in the long run it's easier to achieve success - mostly because plants grow better and faster, and it keeps you motivated to keep up with the tank - I am trimming my 55 weekly now when I do water changes, that's how much growth it has.

I knew from the moment I started planning my 55 that it would be a high tech tank.. I knew I just couldn't do what I wanted without it. I do have some low tech tanks in the house too.
sarahspins is offline  
post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:26 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Orlando, Florida
Posts: 120
Send a message via Skype™ to zimbo
"Has anybody done any cost comparisons with CO2 and the liquid carbon. Looking into the cost, my LFS wants $14.99 for a 250ml bottle that will last a month on my 55. "

I haven't gone into the chemistry recently to refresh my memory and how it relates to Denver's water, however, the bottom line is that I don't use a lot of CO2. I filled my 10 pound tank a couple years ago, and its still going strong......Consequentially, at least with my current water parameters, it was drastically cheaper to use CO2 than excel. I know i could tweak my water chemistry to take in more CO2, however, i have such prolific growth that i don't need to. Denver water tends to be very soft at baseline.

I know from speaking to others that they use a lot more CO2, but still, they refill the cylinder every several months usually.

Cheers,
zimbo is offline  
post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 10:30 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
HD Blazingwolf's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 4,907
i use TONS of co2, and it's WAYY more cost effective than excel
going high tech has a huge learning curve. you'll battle algae and unhealthy plants for a long time until you figure things out
it has huge rewards as long as you have the time to invest into it.
if u go that route, co2 systems. don't cheap out. its one of the best upgrades you can make and also your worst enemy. so buy it right the first time. i made that mistake and spent my money twice. don't buy paintball, don't buy a cheap regulator. end of story there IMO

Sump Pimp #7

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
HD Blazingwolf is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome