Originally Posted by niko
... "Cheap" is how planted tanks are seen. Make a beautiful planted tank and folk will ask you "Is that saltwater?". That is not funny. It's sad.
Don't go for "cheap".
That is very true. I get that all the time. I agree you can't go cheap on everything, but things that are 'under the hood' like ferts who cares if you go cheap as long as they do the job. You don't see ferts unless they are inferior in some way to the more expensive ferts. It's like buying generic, sometimes there the same product without the advertising or share of mind.
The money is behind saltwater because of the fish, period.
The tank evolves around the fish not the scape. The planted scape is still a culture that many here in the U.S. can't appreciate.