Planted tanks vs irritating saltwater questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Planted tanks vs irritating saltwater questions

Hi everyone,

Are any of you bothered when people discredit the difficulty or beauty of planted tanks?

Usually, it's when you're showing your tank and/or talking about your aquarium hobby with someone you don't know too well.
Almost every time, their next question is, "So, have you tried saltwater?"

Or, sometimes, they ask if it's saltwater.

It's as if saltwater is the creme de la creme of the aquarium hobby and everything else is crap.

My blood boils a little when I get questions like that, but I also realize it's ignorance of (freshwater) planted tanks, or perhaps the marketing behind saltwater that makes people think it's better because it's more expensive.

As far as expense, I'm actually not sure. Never had a saltwater tank and don't have any plans for one. I've had planted tanks most of the past 20 years or so, but rarely want another tank so I can do saltwater. Usually if I want another tank, it's so I can do a different planted tank set up.

Anyone else experience this? Does it bother you?


p.s. I'm a big baseball fan and this mindset is similar to one that exists, where some players and fans don't think you've truly "made it" unless you've played for the Yankees. Just pure ignorace, IMHO.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 04:46 PM
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Can't say that it bothers me. I just answer truthfully saying that salt water is a lot of work, is difficult to do in small tanks, is expensive, not worth the hassle, and more often than not dosen't end up looking very good. Plus being a scuba diver I don't like to see bits and pieces of the reef and it's inhabitants stuck in a tank waiting for the first thing to go wrong and then die. They usually get the message.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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But the thing is, freshwater can be expensive also.
Especially by the time you buy filter, heater, Co2 setup, UV sterilizer, lighting(same as reef typically), etc. etc.
Add more expense to that if you're going for the Amano-type setup with glass filter pipes, diffusers, bubble counters, etc.

Planted tanks are also a lot of work and many reefers say that PT's are very similar to reef in terms of both expense, time, and difficulty.

I suppose that's my main point.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 05:38 PM
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Whenever I tell anyone that I'm setting up a 125G tank you can always count on the question "Is it going to be a saltwater tank?" Then I mention the additional cost for fish and corals versus freshwater fish costs and plants.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:16 PM
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No, it does not bother me when casual observeres don't have the depth of knowledge about my hobby that I took years to develop.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharko View Post
No, it does not bother me when casual observeres don't have the depth of knowledge about my hobby that I took years to develop.
^ This.

I don't like to use the cost argument with regards to comparing FW and SW because they are two totally different beasts. Yes, FW setups can get expensive if you go all out, but so can anything else for that matter (buying a car, for example). If you are gullible enough to buy the "ultra premium" live rock for sale at your LFS (mine sells theirs for $20/lb ... wet), then the cost of just the live rock alone can surpass the cost of a fully-loaded FW tank.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:46 PM
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Don't berate, educate. Salt water aquariums are seen as the pinnacle of the hobby but that is only because most people do not know how much else there is out there like vivariums, terrariums, ripariums, and high and low tech planted etc. They have never seen the work of the Amano, Knott, Findley, and Barr's of the world.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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chayos00 - understood and point taken. However, I don't think the cost is always the reason people shy away from saltwater/reefs. I just prefer planted tanks, but I also recognize that it would take a while to develop enough knowledge to feel adequate enough to venture into something like that. Time and knowledge that I don't have the patience to develop, since I'm already very familiar with freshwater.

sharko - seems like kind of a snarky comment. I don't think it requires years of knowledge development to be able to visually look at a tank and know if it's saltwater or freshwater. Of course, knowing specific chemicals, equipment, or growing techniques I absolutely think is something that can only come with years of experience.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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@ Vepyr - no berating, just frustration. I know there have been plenty of threads similar to this in the past, as it's an age-old debate of freshwater vs saltwater/reef, similar to Apple/PC or Ford/Chevy.
Never going to satisfy or convince everyone, but doesn't mean there's not good discussion to be had

I agree that educating is probably the best thing you can do, but you just need to be selective about who you tell this to, and what you tell them...
In other words, some people may just ask "Is that saltwater?" but not really give a hoot either way, nor do they want a lecture about the differences, etc.

There's also the trap you can fall into if you start relaying gobs of interesting facts, insider knowledge, etc. of the planted tank hobby. Some might just roll their eyes and think it's pretty geeky for you to know all of that. lol

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 07:00 PM
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I think reef aquariums are beautiful to look at but it's very rare when I see a good one. I, personally would never set one up. My friend has one and he says it's a pain. We do water changes the same day, I pull out the water python, he pulls out water jugs and heads out to the lfs. When I wanna change something in my tank I stick my hand in there and do as I please. My friend hates sticking his hand in his tank. Basically they are beautiful but I personally would never try it.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 07:13 PM
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For the difference between the two when it comes to the source of water, the fish cost, and the "plant life" costs. That's the main thing I compare.

For water you either have good tap water for freshwater with some Prime added or you need to get RO for your salt tank. (LFS or your own RO system, which would be the route I would go.) Then fish, he'll just walk through a good saltwater store and see the prices of fish versus FW fish $$$. Now plant life as I will call it , FW plants are fairly cheap as the fish are. Now corals and what not also cost a ton plus needed live rock, which of course we all know can be made and safter than any actual live rock.

This is what I explain when I choose to do my tank as a planted tank versus a reef saltwater tank. Now I already have a sump tank being setup too, so not much difference with the equipment for me!

300g 8' acrylic aquarium acquired, in process to build/setup/plan setup

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2014, 08:43 PM
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If I care enough to bother, I show them a picture of one of my old reef tanks...
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