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Re: low vs high tech

Hey Gang,

Chris Newell wrote:
> Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 21:55:02 -0700 (PDT)
> From: john wheeler <jcwheel76 at yahoo_com>
> Subject: Re: high tech
> Hey gang,
> I'm posting because I've seen the term "High Tech"
> applied toward the activity too many times to feel
> comfortable....especially at this late date.
> (many apologies to the most recent poster. This is
> *not* directed at you or anyone else.)
> What is so "high tech" about good lights, CO2
> injection, water column ferts, and an enriched
> substrate? I'm having a terrible time deciding where
> this term came from and why people still insist on
> calling it that when the things I mentioned above
> things *so* much easier than the alternative.

>>John, I have always thought that high tech was a
comparison between fish waste, simple lighting, and
plain gravel as compared to; dosed macro and
micro nutrients, super powerful fluorescent fixtures
with complex phosphors, and injected co2.  In that
light the "high tech" term seems to apply 
rather well.<<

So, even if that was what I was saying, how is that
"high tech"? There is no real "technology" happening.
What on Earth is so complicated about measuring and
dumping a few ferts into a constant amount of water?
For those who decide to use more light than Las Vegas
over their aquariums, I say good luck. You didn't read
that I was advocating tons of light in my last post. I
didn't say that. 

After a poster(s) had reminded me via a message here
that the term came from Mrs. Walstad's book, I went
back and reviewed it. She seems to share some of your
views on the terms, But that's not what the common
term is representing these days. BTW, she doesn't
advocate plain gravel. 

  >>I can't quite follow your statement about the high
tech approach method being easier than the
alternative.  Nothing is easier than ~not~
doing something - like not fertilizing is easier than
fertilizing, not injecting CO2 is easier than
injecting Co2, and a simple fixture or bare bulbs is
easier than figuring how to cram intensive lighting
over an aquarium.<<

My point was that the term "high tech" is a misnomer.
I never said that the "high tech" method was easier,
or that I snub those who don't grow plants at max
speed, or that folks who don't use CO2 are doing it
wrong. I just see patterns in the messages that
indicate that "high tech" and "low tech" are bad
terms. Never said anything about light intensity

As for *not* doing something makes life easier, well
try going on a trip and not putting gas in your car;
or doing a water change and not putting water back in
your tank; or owing taxes and not sending a check.
Once again, I never said anything about super high

> are many "approaches" that have given all of us a
> proof way to fertilize our tanks,

>>I don't think that the high tech approach is
foolproof.  If the high tech method is so foolproof,
why is there so much endless discussion of individual
nutrients and CO2 tinkering?<<

Nope...never said "high tech" was fool proof. Read the
post again. If one was to follow Diana Walstad's
methods right down to the letter, they would be very
successful. The people who would go out to dig their
own soil, carefully select appropriate plant species
through trial and error and anecdotal info, and find
just the right balance of substrate, flora/fauna
mixture, fish food additions, and lights are doing
just as much work. Most *don't* and that's where they
have problems. That way is not any easier so most
half-ass it, then resort to "high tech" methods like
DIY CO2, et al. hehe....Really advanced stuff!

 including , but not
> limited to CO2....There is no guess work involved.
> "technology" for that matter;) All of that which you
> need is very carefully chronicled in the archives.
> High tech should read "things that plants need
> and low tech should read "trying so hard to cheat
> algae, and save a dollar method".

>>I can't follow this statement either.  There are
many folks who have healthy plants (without excessive
algae) who don't do what you refer to as "things
that plants need".<<
Name one that doesn't use some sort of fert, some sort
of CO2 (incl. soil production), or good lights (NOT
high powered, just good quality). I'll name someone
who has problems, or a tank that wasn't meant for
someone else to see... 

>>These people enjoy a simple way of managing their
aquariums and can have beautiful plants as a result. 
Most of my plants are grown under what I would call
low tech conditions.  Sometimes I use some
high tech methods, but mostly it's fish waste and shop
lights. I am really unimpressed with your evaluation
of the low tech method.  Is it possible that you made
this statement in haste or jest?  I hope so.<<

You should read more carefully and not insert ideas
that suit your post....

Allow me to clarify:

Let's forget the common conception of "high vs low"
tech (for this post...I know the terms aren't going
anywhere). They don't apply these days. With advances
in retail, e-tail, and sheer quantity of hobbyists,
their is no reason that we should refer to our stuff
as high or low anything. It's commonly available, and
it's not really expensive. Granted, Mrs. Walstad's
approach is very cheap, and I've heard it works....The
vast *minority* of us use that method. It's not a
consideration. You admitted that you use some "high
tech" methods. What, DIY CO2?....TMG? What is so
complicated? There is nothing "tech" about it. pH
probes have been around for *years*. Selanoids,
bio-media, powercompacts, wet-dry, flourite,
PO4...Nothing new or complicated here. All "old hat"
to the world. Maybe we should change our terms to "old
hat approach" vs. "new hat" approach;) So, my point in
the generalizations above is that most people don't do
one or the other...there is some hybridization of the
methods AND approaches and that, along with impatience
is the source of most of our "I'm in trouble" posts.  

Both projects end up
> costing the same if you look at it in dollars per
> year. The way to get a really "juicy" tank is to
> plants what they need.

>>I think you are linking super high growth rates with
healthy plants exclusively.  This really isn't the
case.  It is very possible to have healthy thriving
plants that grow slowly - or slowly compare to the
phenomenal rates you can see with the high tech

Nope...never said that either. I didn't *once* mention
plant growth rates. Although, growing plants fast
doesn't require any "high technology". I said that you
should give plants what they need. I don't think I'll
get any argument there.

Isn't that why we do this
> anyway?

>>I enjoy caring for the fish and plants and seeing
both thrive.  I also enjoy the discussions with fellow
hobbyists about fish and plants.  Even with the
low tech approach, I can do this.<<

Yeah, but you said you don't use the "low tech
approach". Hybrid, remember?

>>Some people really enjoy to tinker and experiment,
the high tech approach lends itself well to these
folks.  Enjoy that if you like, but please don't
disparage the low tech enthusiast.<<

Wasn't doing that either. The main jist of my post was
to question the use of "high tech" vs. "low tech" as
terms for describing our aquaria. It doesn't make
sense, although, I understand that the terms are quite
engrained and will not be abandoned. Low tech as was
coined by Diana Walstad is not what you are doing. I
never said that it doesn't work or that someone
shouldn't try it. In fact, it seems just as difficult
as the alternatives, but it is an approach that could
work for you.....You don't do that. 

Any more comments, or complaints I'd be happy to
address off list. 

John Wheeler

> John Wheeler

Kind Regards,

Chris Newell
Warren, MI

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