10-23-2010, 02:50 PM
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Very good growth. But I do disagree about natural soil tanks being able to match high tech in growth rate. My crypts are trying to forgo the substrate in there war for the light. Some of the rhizomes are a few inches off the substrate with roots running back down. There is also one up against the glass trying to send up leaves from 2 inches below the surface of the soil
. Not a lot can match EI high tech in terms of growth. It does require extra work, but not really all that much once you get the hang of it. High tech is expensive and is not worth it if you don't intend to stay in the hobby for a long time. My nicer pressurized system costed close to $200 to get running and uses about $20 of CO2 a year. The cost to run it is very small and being of good quality completely made of brass and metal, if you care for these system properly they tend to have a very long life. Also if you know the proper way to setup a pressurized system it can feed more then one tank. Though its not setup to do that right now a $4 splitter makes it able to feed up to 3 tanks. but a line to each tank costs $50 max, you can get a lot more out of the more expensive parts of the system which is the regulator, canister, and optional solenoid.
But in the end my tanks are setup to grow plants as quickly as possible, not everyone wants that. I sell the plants. I did kinda bad this year, mainly cuz I didn't actually put much up for sale online. Online made maybe half what I made in 09, which just on ebay was almost $150 raw profit using a 20 and 55 gallon tank. The fall auction for the Minnesota aquarium society is next week. At least a 1/3 of my plants go there. Clean out the tanks real good, cuz its either the auction or the garbage for excess plants in winter. But at auctions usually any profits disappear cuz thats where 90+% of my fish come from.