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High Tech vs Low Tech

  • High Tech

    Votes: 16 57.1%
  • Low Tech

    Votes: 12 42.9%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:help:

Which is better?
I am not [STRIKE]really[/STRIKE] bothered about energy consumption as I'm not paying for it.

This is my opinion:

PROS

High Tech
Faster growth
Generally more attractive
More interesting (I have a habit of tearing my aquascapes apart :angryfire when they stop changing; I am an impatient person.)

Low Tech
Cheaper
Less maintenance
Less risk of gassing fish/inverts (via CO2 injection)

CONS

High Tech
More expensive
Higher risk of gassing fish/inverts
Availability of CO2 refills
Waste of tech for easy plants (whether 'waste of tech' makes sense I do not know. Probably not, but you know what I mean.)

Low Tech
Less attractive
Less changeable - most plants grow slowly because of less nutrients (so I am more likely to tear it up :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire)
Unsuitable for demanding plants

Any thoughts?
 

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As far as attractiveness, there are some pretty darned ugly high tech tanks, especially those that aren't managed well with all sorts of algae and nutrient issues. Additionally just because you're able to grow "more demanding plants" doesn't make it an attractive tank. I'll take a well scaped low tech tank full of ferns, anubias and moss any day over a high tech tank full of fast growing stems that are all lined up in straight lines looking like a corn field.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I'd think twice before you start dissing a particular style.
 

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I've done both and I can say low tech's are much much easier maintenance wise. So if your the person who doesn't pay attention to their tanks very well or isn't willing to do work weekly, go low tech. High techs are a lot more fun because you can grow a lot of different variety and have tanks that mature faster.

I will say however that you can solve a lot of issues in the beginning with a high tech tank by

1. Figure out lighting *MORE ISN"T BETTER" ~~~~ For instance, I started with 4X54W T5HO on my 75G, after fighting algae for about a month I backed it down to 2 bulbs for the same period. Everything else was kept the same, including CO2. Plants grew exceptionally well and there was little algae.

2. SUBSTRATE SUBSTRATE SUBSTRATE - I personally believe this is one of the most important things. - I decided to to Mineralized Top Soil for my 75 and can say that I'm satisfied with it completely. As of the past 3 months I have yet to add ANY ferts, other then 30G water changes a week. No ill effects.

3. co2 is important in a high tech. Don't skimp out on a cheap setup. They will cost you more in the end.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
I've seen some gorgeous high tech tanks.

I've seen some equally gorgeous low tech tanks.

Low tech tanks tend to take more patience. However, they also tend to be a lot less work to maintain looking nice. Since I don't like my hobbies to be "work"- I like low tech best, personally. :D
 

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As far as attractiveness, there are some pretty darned ugly high tech tanks, especially those that aren't managed well with all sorts of algae and nutrient issues. Additionally just because you're able to grow "more demanding plants" doesn't make it an attractive tank. I'll take a well scaped low tech tank full of ferns, anubias and moss any day over a high tech tank full of fast growing stems that are all lined up in straight lines looking like a corn field.

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I'd think twice before you start dissing a particular style.
True dat, Dog.
 

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Algae Grower
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6,444 Posts
:help:

Which is better?
I am not [STRIKE]really[/STRIKE] bothered about energy consumption as I'm not paying for it.

This is my opinion:

PROS

High Tech
Faster growth
Generally more attractive
More interesting (I have a habit of tearing my aquascapes apart :angryfire when they stop changing; I am an impatient person.)

Low Tech
Cheaper
Less maintenance
Less risk of gassing fish/inverts (via CO2 injection)

CONS

High Tech
More expensive
Higher risk of gassing fish/inverts
Availability of CO2 refills
Waste of tech for easy plants (whether 'waste of tech' makes sense I do not know. Probably not, but you know what I mean.)

Low Tech
Less attractive
Less changeable - most plants grow slowly because of less nutrients (so I am more likely to tear it up :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire)
Unsuitable for demanding plants

Any thoughts?
It's not really a high tech or low tech thing. It really just boils down to knowing what your goals are and how you want to achieve them.

I mean, lets take the 60P I'm about to set up for example.

I'm going to be growing mainly moss and ferns. Low tech, right?

Nope... I'm also going to be using pressurized co2, lots of ferts, and a HQI metal halide fixture. That means high tech, right?

Light is really the driving force here. The more light you have the more everything becomes essential.

My main goal with the tank was to assemble something pleasing to my eye. For me that meant going with a HQI fixture. Granted it will hang way over the tank to get the light levels down so I can keep up with ferts and co2 it will require. It will still be a slow growing tank.

My point is to find your goal and then do what's needed achieve it. Doing it backwards is much harder.
 

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Shrimpsanity
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3,052 Posts
It's not really a high tech or low tech thing. It really just boils down to knowing what your goals are and how you want to achieve them.

I mean, lets take the 60P I'm about to set up for example.

I'm going to be growing mainly moss and ferns. Low tech, right?

Nope... I'm also going to be using pressurized co2, lots of ferts, and a HQI metal halide fixture. That means high tech, right?

Light is really the driving force here. The more light you have the more everything becomes essential.

My main goal with the tank was to assemble something pleasing to my eye. For me that meant going with a HQI fixture. Granted it will hang way over the tank to get the light levels down so I can keep up with ferts and co2 it will require. It will still be a slow growing tank.

My point is to find your goal and then do what's needed achieve it. Doing it backwards is much harder.
+1 on that advice. All depends on how you want your tank to look. What you can do with High vs Low Tech are completely different.
 

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This decision should be based on how much time and effort you want to put forth. A good looking aqauscape doesn't require high or low tech, it requires a good eye, as well as understanding water quality and the right plants to use for the setup. But the final thing a good looking tank boils down to is a creative eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I read in an article in a magazine that you should start off low tech and then move on to the tank of your dreams. (Which for me is the ultimate Iwagumi nano. But the aquascape is not my no 1 priority - I am a fishkeeper who likes nice aquascaping raather than an aquascaper who likes nice fish.)
Is it possible to run a high tech tank using only liquid carbon and no pressurised CO2? I am slightly worried about the CO2 breaking, adding too much, getting refills etc.
 

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+1 jaidexl said in post #12.

Not sure what high/low tech means any more. Amount of light dictates supporting elements. If you are a fish person who just wants them in a natural scape, lower light and lower maint would make sense.

So decide your goals and priorities first.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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24,403 Posts
Is it possible to run a high tech tank using only liquid carbon and no pressurised CO2? I am slightly worried about the CO2 breaking, adding too much, getting refills etc.
Yes, just don't put too much light over the tank.

I personally would probably consider a tank like this "medium" tech, but those types of distinctions are far from set in stone...
 

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I agree with you lauralee I would consider that medium tech too. Also like you said the types of distinctions are far from set in stone I agree. My distinctions of low tech is low light and no CO2 or Excel, Medium tech would be using excel. High tech would be pressurized high light. That's just my distinctions of the types of tech.
 
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