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Planted vs reef tank

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by MGB, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. MGB

    MGB New Member

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    Feb 21, 2010
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    Location:
    Livingston Montana USA
    Hi all, I'm a newcomer to this site but I really like the design energy that seams to be a big part of these freshwater planted tanks.

    I'd love to dive in and create one myself but I already have a 3 yr old 160 gal reef tank, which leads me to my question. Which system has more maintenance, a reef tank or a planted tank. I know I'm generalizing and that could lead to non conclusive answers, but I'm sure there are "dual" system keepers out there who might have a better idea.

    It's not that I'm looking for an easy way, it's just I don't want to create another "monster" that eats time and resources.

    Thanks MGB
     
  2. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Welcome to ASW :welcome:

    I can't answer your question exactly since I never try marine tank, the cost of purchasing marine equipment turn me off. :p

    Anyway, let me share my experience in Aquascaping and you decide your self whether it is time consuming or not.

    1) To me the most time consuming is during the initial setup. Basically you need to gather idea about what kind of scape you want to do. Draw sketch would be nice if you can.

    2) Once you have clean picture, time to search for the material. Again this is time consuming. Normally you can't get hardscape that you want in single shop (at least not in my country). It can take from a day, a week or even a month to get the right material. Now a days I just buy what ever I see nice and keep it in store room for future use. ;)

    3) Once you have all the material, you can start scaping. Scaping normally does not take that long because you already have an idea or scetch.

    4) Once hardscape finished, time for planting. This will take a while, maybe one or two hours. Time required is depend on how big is the tank. You can probably do it in half an hour for 2ft tank.

    5) Lastly maintenance, again depend on the tank size. For my 3ft tank it take 1 to 1.5 hours to do weekly maintenance. Basically trimming and change water. Of course the maintenance time will greatly increase if you have algae problem or other problem.
     
  3. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    I have to agree with Robert,
    Maybe something more to point out,
    The regular maintenance always depends on how much technical stuff you have.
    I´m sure you know it is possible to automate everyhting.
     
  4. addo

    addo New Member

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    In saltwater you spend more time measuring, dosing and tinkering with equipment, while in freshwater planted tanks the most time consuming task i trimming the plants IME.
     
  5. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    marine requires lots of time to feed all the animals doesn't it?
    I mean in fresh water you just have to throw in some flakes every other day - that´s all.

    Freshwater is fun with aquascaping, but marine is much more colorful and there is lot more motion. I´ve been told this by Arelav, you can find his Nano works both marine and freshwater here at ASW.
     
  6. addo

    addo New Member

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    Well it all depends on what you keep in the tank, most corals doesn't need additional food and most SW fish require the same feeding schedule as common FW fish. But there is fish and corals in SW that need a constant food supply, and those are allot of work.
     
  7. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    marine tanks are fascinating me, I´ll do one in future for sure.
     
  8. sanj

    sanj New Member

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    I have a reef and a planted tank. The planted tank is much bigger and my interest leans more that way. My reef is more automated, I would say there was not a huge difference, 80% of the plants I keep are not stems and I think that can be a major factor in maintenance. Even though i do 30-50% water changes every week on the planted tank and smaller less frequent changes on the reef.

    The main difference i find between the two systems is more in development and reefs are very slow to mature compared to planted tanks not to mention significantly more expensive.
     
  9. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    which one is more expansive, sanj?
     
  10. Luiz Augusto F. Costa

    Luiz Augusto F. Costa New Member

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    Location:
    Brasil
    I have both types of aquarium.
    Agree that we do a lot of measures and besides that the reef owner must correct a lot of parameters that decay with time like density, alkalinity, calcium and magnesium levels, ph.
    That means you must have the suplements and this represent costs. Even the water is treated until it can go inside your tank. Many people prefers to buy deionised or reverse osmosis water than buy these expensive filters. The result is the same: it costs.
    If you want to grow hard corals you will need a great ammount of light and this again increase th cost.

    So in my opinion the reef is a lot more expensive and time consuming than the planted.

    Just a curiosity, corals are animals but occasionally require what we can call trimming
    due to their excessive grow.

    best regards.
     

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