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Re: Low tech/High tech

I think I agree with Karen's comment a few letters back; the high tech or
low tech status of a tank is pretty irrelevant to it's success.  It's also
of only limited value when you're trying to give someone advice on how to
solve a problem.

Karen's breakdown between high light/high growth rate tanks and low
light/low growth rate tanks is much more descriptive and more useful when
you're trying to understand and help solve someone's problem.

Unfortunately there might be a quite a few tanks that don't quite fit into
that spectrum.  I don't want to get way into this matrix thing, but if the
light level can be high (L)  or low (l) and growth rates can be high (G)
or low (g) then there are four different combinations of these

                        High   Low
                        Light Light
                           L    l

         High Growth  G   LG    lG
          Low Growth  g   Lg    lg

"LG" and "lg" are Karen's two-part classification; the other two might
seem odd but they exist; I have two "Lg" tanks (brightly sunlit, but with
fairly slow growth) and I think that Neil Frank has described some "lG"
tanks (low watt/gallon lighting with ample growth).  There could also be a
"centered" classification.

At any rate, Karen's classification seems to describe what an aquarist
wants to do or is doing with an aquarium.  The low tech/high tech
breakdown just describes their approach.

When you're describing a tank, Karen's breakdown is much more relevant
than high tech/low tech.  If you want to describe a tank to me (for
example) I get a lot more information from knowing that you have high
light and want a high growth rate than I do from knowing whether or not
you have a pH-regulated CO2 system.

I understand that for a lot of us the technical gadgetry is part of the
fun of the hobby and something that we go out and pay good money for.  But
really, the plants aren't impressed by technology and the "tech" status of
a tank seems almost irrelevant to it's ability to grow plants.

Roger Miller