The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Pelvicachromis Lover!
Joined
·
5,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I stopped running my injected CO2 and dosing ferts a year and a half ago, my main reason was because I declared it to be too time consuming. I had gone back to college, and keeping up with it all the fuss of a so-called "high tech tank" just seemed to take away too much time from what I thought was more important (studying).

But I'm beginning to question which is more time consuming: injected CO2 and dosing ferts or NOT injecting CO2 and dosing ferts?

Injecting CO2 and dosing ferts means you have to spend about 60 seconds each day putting the measured amount of ferts into the tank, buying more when they run out (yeah, maybe in 6 months), and getting the CO2 canisters refilled when they run out. There's also the trimming and thinning of plants. They grow at a much faster rate which means there's simply more plant growth to maintain.

However, when I stopped injecting CO2 and dosing ferts, I found myself spending a lot more time cleaning the glass from algae, cleaning out dead and dying plants, and cleaning out the grunge from the fish (since the plants aren't growing fast enough to use it up). I spend more time cleaning out my filters for the same reason. It seemed the plants "ate" the grunge from the fish so there was less for me to clean out manually.

The time it takes to keep the tank clean due to poor plant growth is much more than the time it takes to maintain injected CO2 and dose ferts! And what do I get for all my trouble? A tank that's not anywhere near as pretty to look at and enjoy.

Lesson learned the hard way!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,536 Posts
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,732 Posts
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
Tons of people have beautiful landscapes and don't break a sweat.... Lots of people like to "have" nice things but either don't have the time or knowledge to do it themselves.

A huge part of my clients fall into that list.

Co2 doesn't make a tank high maintenance. High light will though. Co2, nutrients and low/medium light are my preferred. Though I am non co2 in my main tanks now.
 

·
Pelvicachromis Lover!
Joined
·
5,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
I apologize for being apparently being unclear in my post which seems to have led you to misunderstand what I wrote.

In no way did I intend to suggest that when a person evolves from high tech to low tech and back to high tech that it is an indication that the person is unwilling to do the work. There is work to be done either way. Rather, I was discussing the misperception that high tech tanks are more work. They aren't! The work is merely different. And in my own opinion, having experienced both, I found the results from the work of a high tech tank more satisfying. :smile:
 

·
Pelvicachromis Lover!
Joined
·
5,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
That's an interesting point Vicki, but I can't help but wonder if some of those issues are due to still trying to grow the same high light plants with the same high lights but without the CO2 and ferts to keep up with the growth leading to poorer plant growth and hence more algae? With my low lights and plants that do well in those conditions, I don't seem to have quite those issues, my tanks are very low maintenance.

edit Vicki you ninja'd me :hihi: but I think my point is still fair, did you lower your lights and change your plants to low light plants? If not, perhaps you haven't TRULY experienced low tech? ;) (please don't think i'm trying to be mean, I'm just pointing out different angles ;) also I do agree, I think the work is different, more this for one, more that for the other :tongue:)

Sharkfood - I'm afraid I have to disagree with you, or at least say that I think you've made an unfair assessment, I do not think it's fair to say that the only things that make up the hobby are fertilizing and plant trimming. Not every person that keeps planted tanks keep them only for the plants. There are many of us that keep them because they look nice and accentuate the fish in our tanks, and help create a healthier environment for our fish. Furthermore, the low tech route is a specialty in and of itself, many people have both high light and low light tanks and all are beautiful. Some people choose to have low tech tanks because they like the challenges that come with that method, some people, like me, enjoy having a planted tank but lack the time and/or funds to make the high tech upgrade. This does not mean i neglect my tanks, simply that I chose plants and lighting conditions that require very litte maintenance so that I can enjoy the beauty of a planted tank, but one that I can leave be for weeks without maintenance and it won't crash and burn from the lack of fertilizers / CO2 etc.

Sorry Vicki, didn't meant to take your thread on a tangent :hihi:
 

·
Pelvicachromis Lover!
Joined
·
5,106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Karackle! Great to see you're still here! You didn't take the thread in a tangent. That's actually the discussion I wanted to start. And you make a very valid point regarding whether the issues I ran into were due to the tank having high tech plants and lighting and not being properly set up to go without CO2 or ferts.

I must admit, while I did lower the lighting, I didn't do it at first. That came later, after the problems began. So the imbalance had already started when I stopped dosing CO2 and ferts. Then I saw the negative effects, and then I reacted. Ditto with the plants. I didn't change the scape at first. It was only as high needs plants died out that I replaced them with lower needs plants, but by then, the problems were already set in motion.

However, I have other tanks that never had CO2, bright lighting, ferts, or plants with those requirement, and I found those tanks to be more difficult to maintain. One advantage to a high tech tank is that the faster growth rate allows you to recover from mistakes and problems faster. As a general rule, plants that grow in low tech conditions are slower growing. So if a newly purchased plant arrives in poor condition, it takes more time for the low tech plant to recover and grow into a full, lush plant. So in that sense, a high tech tank can be more forgiving.

The CO2 can also help fight against BBA. So if you received a plant with BBA and put it in both types of tanks, the BBA would be more likely to spread (and then require work to control) in a low tech tank). However, in tank with CO2, the BBA may not ever get a chance to spread; no BBA, no BBA control efforts needed.

I guess, in the end, there's pros and cons both ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
It always amazes me that people want to get into the aquatic gardening hobby, but don't want to do any of the things that actually make up the hobby. Trimming plants, adding your fertilizer, etc. That is the aquatic gardening hobby. It's like being a traditional gardener who doesn't want to get dirt on their hands.

You can stare at plants and fish in your LFS without doing any work at all if that's the only reason to keep an aquarium.
that's half the fun. looking at the end result is nice, too, but putting in the work is rewarding.

still, i literally spend 30 seconds a day dosing ferts, refill my co2 every few months, and do some trimming (maybe takes an hour) every month or two--on my 75g.

spent more time on trimming when i had a bunch of stem plants but ditched those, and the (can't think of the word right now) "bad" spreading plants a while ago, which cut the trim time down exponentially--but it looks much better, to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
Hi Vicki! Great to see you back here :) (did I already say that? :hihi:)

You make good points too for sure. What I have come to terms with is that stems of any kind don't do very well in low tech tanks unless the tank is VERY heavily stocked, really, very heavily overstocked, unless one take the time to fertilize. At least that has been the case with me. There is one exception, there is some sunset hygro doing quite well in our 60g tank, BUT it took the plant over a year to acclimate to the extreme low light, low fertilizer conditions. Now that it's acclimated, it grows relatively slowly for a stem plant and is looking very lovely nowadays, but with very little pink until they get right up to the top near the light. I finally got Pennywort growing well in my 30g, I think the addition of guppies that upped the "natural fertilizer" (poo) level helped a lot with that. Another kind of hydrocotyle has not done well though. So I stick mostly with crypts, mosses, anubias, java ferns and similar slower growing plants.

I also don't mind a bit of algae in my tank, or i've learned to live with a little. But it's not too bad. There's a good amount of BBA in the 60g that needs to be dealt with, but the other 3 tanks have a smattering of hair algae and some GSA on the walls occasionally, but all in all, pretty good. Also, the evidence is mostly anecdotal, but I think have bubble walls helps a lot too. I've noticed the tanks with more bubbles have less algae, and I've also had algae crop up and then noticed that the bubbles weren't working at all or as well, fixed the bubbles, algae cleared up. Interesting.

But I agree, I think it's just different kinds of work. All tank take management so it really comes down to what you want to grow I think.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top