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.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.
Agree with that 100% I have already changed my plans and should have bought that controllable light first off. Live and learnBecause 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.
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.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
Sorry I should have given a more general answer rather than specific to you case considering its already ordered.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.
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!
However, it still makes me now question even more, the reason why I started this thread.
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