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Re: Low tech/high tech

I think there are actually *three* different models of low tech.  One I
might call the "prepackaged" or "beginner's" model, which meets your plants'
minimal requirements of heat, light and nutrition, without requiring an
investment of ingenuity or effort.  Picture this scenario:  Customer walks
into a fish store and asks, "I want to add plants to my fish tank.  What do
I need?"  Not sure this qualifies as low tech?  Maybe not.  See below.

The second model, which I might call the "low cost" model, strives to create
an optimal aquatic environment at the lowest possible cost.  Picture this
scenario:  Customer walks into a fish store and asks themselves "What do I
really need this stuff for?" and after poring through the archives of the
APD, spends the weekend digging up dirt, pouring muriatic acid on the rocks
in their backyard and searching for a supply of the ingredients in PMDD.
Not sure this qualifies as low tech either?  Hmmm.  Maybe not, after all.
See below.

The third model, which I might call "anti-tech", decries any type of
gadgetry, homemade or purchased.  I don't actually know anyone who takes
this approach to their fish tank, but it's a model, nonetheless.

>Remember, "tech" stands for "technology",
>and I hardly think a pound of kitty-litter in the substrate qualifies for a
>higher tech rating! I think you may be confusing DIY ingenuity with
>technology. IMO, a "high tech" system is one which uses advanced
>e.g. substrate heating, high intensity lighting, pH controllers, etc.

In fact, I was quite deliberately confusing the two!  Remember Rube
Goldberg's monkeys with the buckets, and the rolling marbles, and whatever
else that eventually pull a rope and turn on a light switch?  I would argue
that such a setup is quite high tech, even if it doesn't incorporate
'advanced technology'.  Similarly, I would argue that PMDD is very high
tech, even though there's no gadgetry involved.  It requires a great deal of
research and ongoing effort.  Along these lines, I made the provocative
suggestion that even kitty litter would be considered "slightly" higher

>I see problems with equating "pre-packaged" with
>low-tech.  I would say that the Dupla gravel heating set is prepackaged.
>Is it low-tech?  If you had an all-in-one, ready to run, nuclear powered
>aquarium, would you say it's low-tech?

Point taken.  I was emphasizing ingenuity and effort, because I assumed that
'advanced technology' was already excluded from the model.  'Expense' was
implied, but should have been stressed.  If you'll notice, I didn't list
anything more high-tech than a filter.

>ok if you  don't mind some limitation of plant choices. There are a few
>other points I don't agree with personally, but if your happy and it
>works, go with it.
>Dan (TKLM)

Once upon a time, I was happy with it.  I was merely describing a typical
setup, which many beginners have, and which I started with, and which I
would consider to be a useful model of low-tech (i.e., unsophisticated).

The second model, which is useful for different reasons, is low-tech (i.e.,
do it yourself).

Thinking about them now, I'm not sure either is actually low-tech.  But when
people talk about a low-tech setup, I think they actually mean one of the
first two, and not the third, which is much more strictly low-tech.

Alysoun McLaughlin