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Why do we advise Newbies like me low tech

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Kendal, Cumbria
As others have said, it depends on the individual. I went straight for high tech when I began, and would recommend it if you like to take on new challenges with gusto.
Things can wrong more quickly, but that's a great way to learn, if you're robust enough not to get discouraged and downhearted.
And personally, I reckon a high tech tank growing at full speed is simply awesome!
 

mort

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I think if you are coming from a reef background then higher tech is less daunting than for the average person. You should be relatively comfortable with juggling variables and balancing nutrients, it's just a case of switching the mindset to a new set of them.
There is always discussion into which is harder to maintain, a reef or a nice planted tank, it does matter how far you want to push either but for me plants aren't as scary as corals and it's easier to rectify a planted tank should you need to.
 

Paul Kettless

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I think if you are coming from a reef background then higher tech is less daunting than for the average person. You should be relatively comfortable with juggling variables and balancing nutrients, it's just a case of switching the mindset to a new set of them.
There is always discussion into which is harder to maintain, a reef or a nice planted tank, it does matter how far you want to push either but for me plants aren't as scary as corals and it's easier to rectify a planted tank should you need to.
Over the years I have kept multiple fish only tanks, Oscars. Discus, cichlids, community tanks, puffer and the list goes on. My biggest effort and worry at the time was my 7x3x2 reef tank and that one coral/fish cost as much as a whole tank of plants would nearly. Whilst on a holiday and my folks in charge of the tank I had a sea cucumber quite literally explode after being in the tank for a couple of years with no sign of any problems. Basically poisened the system and I lost 80% of the stock and corals and being 1000s of miles away had no way of rectifying the problem. My parents refused point blankly to never come near the tank again. I knew keeping water params stable was the key to a healthy reef and did that no problem, and knew it was nothing any of us did, most probably a fish scared it into a reaction maybe either way I lost 100s of pounds worth of stock and some beautiful fish. I closed the reef down soon after that as I lost heart in the hobby and just couldn't enjoy the tank as was constantly worrying about it. Partly why I came out of the hobby altogether.

My thoughts on plants are not the same as corals as they were living things. If they die, melt whatever I will just pull them out and start again.
 
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Karmicnull

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Cambridge
Having started last August I'm very happy to have kicked off low-tech. In particular the time factor that has been mentioned several times. I'm still on a voyage of discovery, but when stuff goes wrong, I don't have to hurry to fix it. Also I can work out a time-spent-on-tank balance that suits the rest of my life. I may go CO2 at some point, but I'm wary of the extra pruning involved - I can see the difference in rate of growth between my floaters and the rest of my plants, and the thought of the whole tank growing at that rate is somewhat alarming!

Cheers,
Simon
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
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Yorkshire,UK
I feel that planted tanks have less an impact on the environment as reef tank also, even with high tech tanks CO2 injection they IMO not as big an impact as 'reef tanks', obviously low tech tanks have the lowest impact on the environment.
Plants IMO are more of a challenge than the fish and can create a stunning and challenging hobby which helps escape some of the stresses of modern life. My tank helped me massively in the last few years as the stress of professional life and selling a business weigh quite heavy at times, allowed me to escape in planning and getting it all sorted. I fully understand why @George Farmer got into the hobby after a stint in the armed forces.
 

Paul Kettless

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Well folks I really appreciate all your input, it really has helped me to step back and take other peoples views and opinions on board. Even though I think I would enjoy the high tech, I have decided that it will be low(ish) to start with. This is based on a number of factors. The intension is to then move on to high tech as and when knowledge and most importantly funds allow.

I have already blown my original budget out of the water with investing in the Aquascaper 900 for the low ion glass, and a bigger set up. The light I currently have is one of the cheap Chinese Nicrew Rgb led, which I understand is fine for low level plants. This is brand new and already throwing good money after bad if I don't use it as the plan was just going to have a few fish in a tank with a few plants.

This way I can wait until I have sufficient funds to buy a quality light unit and co2 equipment. With this new lockdown the car trade has taken such a hit in the past year and I'm not entirely convinced that blowing a large chunk of saving is the right thing to be doing in this economic situation. I think it's very much a case that I want it rather than need it as my late grandfather would always say....

Secondly this will give me more room for failure/success through the learning process in regards to time frame and work commitments.

I will def be looking at low level ferts as I just cannot get my head around why I wouldnt. Also maybe liquid c02.

Thanks again one and all. For helping me see a clearer picture.
Kind regards
Paul
 
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South Carolina
Focus your planting with “easy” category plants in mind. A lot of new aquascapers see all these colorful scapes and say “I want that” without understanding the ways of making that plant red or “look” so red. There’s plenty of Easy plants that aren’t just epiphytes (anubias, Java fern, etc) but stems that will look nice and flourish. Your goal needs to be a full and healthy tank, so when your trying to figure out parameters, these easy plants will be more forgiving and give you a better chance at initial success.

Hope that helps, we’ve all started from the bottom!
 

tam

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Because when you are advising random strangers on the internet you usually assume the skill/knowledge down. Yes, there will be some people that do the research and pull off high tech first time without a hitch (and with some luck involved), but odds are most people will have more success starting low tech and working their way up. There is a lot to learn, and that process is fun to do. I 100% agree low tech is a slower pace which has a lot of benefits, gives you time to ask questions, research and tweak. Find out what you like and what works for you before you splash out a ton of cash and then end up wiping out your system on day two because you didn't cycle right or factor in fish survival into your CO2 levels.

I'd start with a nice tank, small is ok and some will be happy to stick to that, but 2-3' is also nice as it gives you more scope. You can add a lot of things as you go and factor in some flexibility e.g. pick controllable lights that will let you go either way.
 

Paul Kettless

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Because when you are advising random strangers on the internet you usually assume the skill/knowledge down. Yes, there will be some people that do the research and pull off high tech first time without a hitch (and with some luck involved), but odds are most people will have more success starting low tech and working their way up. There is a lot to learn, and that process is fun to do. I 100% agree low tech is a slower pace which has a lot of benefits, gives you time to ask questions, research and tweak. Find out what you like and what works for you before you splash out a ton of cash and then end up wiping out your system on day two because you didn't cycle right or factor in fish survival into your CO2 levels.

I'd start with a nice tank, small is ok and some will be happy to stick to that, but 2-3' is also nice as it gives you more scope. You can add a lot of things as you go and factor in some flexibility e.g. pick controllable lights that will let you go either way.
Agree with that 100% I have already changed my plans and should have bought that controllable light first off. Live and learn
 
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Sammy Islam

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I'm a noob myself as i created my first real aquascape a year ago when i purchsed an AS900. Before that i had a classic fish tank with plants like swords etc which eventually turned "high tech" which gave me a lot of practice and insight into growing different plants and algae.

My mentality is that if you decide to create an aquascape do it properly, good "high end" gear, lots of plants, go all out if you want the best chance of success with tried and tested hardware and methods. If you can't afford to go all out with a big tank (like the AS900) then get a smaller a tank and go all out on that. I know it looks simple enough, and you would be right to think so. But setting up and planting is the easy part, actually growing healthy plants and no algae is a whole different story. You can do everything correctly and still mess up very easily, and with very little free time it isn't fogiving.

I would rather spend 800 quid on a smaller set up and go all out, than spend 2-3k on a bigger set up for it to fail depending on your knowledge, understanding and experience etc. Failing in an AS900 is expensive if you want to rescape or replace plants etc and with little free time it would be very hard to achieve a full rescape. Where as a 60L tank you could rescape in 1 day and have the fish back in within a week. It would cost a lot less just in soil price alone, assuming you use something like tropica soil.
 
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Paul Kettless

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I'm a noob myself as i created my first real aquascape a year ago when i purchsed an AS900. Before that i had a classic fish tank with plants like swords etc which eventually turned "high tech" which gave me a lot of practice and insight into growing different plants and algae.

My mentality is that if you decide to create an aquascape do it properly, good "high end" gear, lots of plants, go all out if you want the best chance of success with tried and tested hardware and methods. If you can't afford to go all out with a big tank (like the AS900) then get a smaller a tank and go all out on that. I know it looks simple enough, and you would be right to think so. But setting up and planting is the easy part, actually growing healthy plants and no algae is a whole different story. You can do everything correctly and still mess up very easily, and with very little free time it isn't fogiving.

I would rather spend 800 quid on a smaller set up and go all out, than spend 2-3k on a bigger set up for it to fail depending on your knowledge, understanding and experience etc. Failing in an AS900 is expensive if you want to rescape or replace plants etc and with little free time it would be very hard to achieve a full rescape. Where as a 60L tank you could rescape in 1 day and have the fish back in within a week. It would cost a lot less just in soil price alone, assuming you use something like tropica soil.re
You see this was my thoughts, and appreciate your points. Coming from a marine keeping background I know the benefits of having really good equipment and plenty of tech that helped keep the maintenance automated and the water parameters stable. This was def easier than tryng to guess dosing, remember, top up etc. I appreciate where you are coming from with the size but I am also a huge advocate of the more volume of water you have in the system, the easier it is to keep parameters more stable, and more room for error (to a degree anyway) The AS900 im happy with the size. Plus I know myself, if I bought smaller I will always want to be upgrading bigger, so buying twice in the long run.
 

Sammy Islam

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You see this was my thoughts, and appreciate your points. Coming from a marine keeping background I know the benefits of having really good equipment and plenty of tech that helped keep the maintenance automated and the water parameters stable. This was def easier than tryng to guess dosing, remember, top up etc. I appreciate where you are coming from with the size but I am also a huge advocate of the more volume of water you have in the system, the easier it is to keep parameters more stable, and more room for error (to a degree anyway) The AS900 im happy with the size. Plus I know myself, if I bought smaller I will always want to be upgrading bigger, so buying twice in the long run.
Sorry I should have given a more general answer rather than specific to you case considering its already ordered.

The best advice for a noob is do it properly, research a lot, and go all out. Spend money on a lot of plants, a good 10% of your overall budget seems like a good number for a fully planted tank. Buying a few buce and anubias can easily eat up a small plant budget. Lots of water changes the first month makes all the difference, especially daily water changes for the first week.

So for me essentially telling noobs to start low tech and then upgrade to high tech is because there is a better success rate, or if they go high tech route a 60-125L is plenty if they go all out. Also it sets a routine for weekly cleaning etc and the bigger the tank the more maintenance needed which they may end up skipping. If they fail after spending so much money, time and effort they may end up giving up and resenting the hobby and that's not what "we" want.
 
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Paul Kettless

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Fully agree Sammy, I have invested in good soil, jbl volcano and tropica for substrate and have a healthy budget for plants, as I will def be planting heavy from the start.
 

Paul Kettless

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Hi All,

I thought I would resurrect this post, and posted below is a link to another thread I started which once again was giving mixed opinions. To someone with some knowledge, and not a complete newbie, I appreciated the comments. So much so, that my opinion has been changed, and I have decided to start with easy plants, co2 injection, and dosing ferts.

I think the additional information and debate will help people with no experience or knowledge get a better handle on things, and also realise that neither route is right or wrong, just what is best suited for you. For me I can see the importance of co2 for plants to be healthy and grow, no matter what category they come in too. One particular comment was that even if you start with small amounts of co2 it is far better than none at all.

These days I encourage beginners interested in aquascaping to stick with easy plants, low-moderate light and CO2 injection. This is a trifecta of guaranteed success in my experience! :D

For me this seems to make perfect sense now, but I had to find that out myself between the combination of both posts.
However, it still makes me now question even more, the reason why I started this thread.
 

Kevin Eades

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24 Jan 2021
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I would say mainly cost. Why advise someone they need all the high end equipment to achieve success. Could scare a lot of people off the hobby. Also if they are new and spend a lot and find the hobby is not for them it's a lot of money gone to waste. You can always convert low energy to high energy but you won't get your money back if high energy is too much commitment.
 
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