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Interesting discussions. Some rambling thoughts...

I have never kept a salt water (reef) tank, and I know next to nothing about them, so I am going to ask a few 'stupid questions' here regarding them. How do they compare to planted tanks, as far as ease of maintenance, and time to reach maturity/stability? Are there as many 'methods' to reef tanks as there are to planted? (PPS, EI, Sub-zero, Walstead, etc)

Basically, ime, planted tanks do require a fairly high amount of dedication, especially at start up, to reach an equilibrium and a mature state. Looking at Niko's sub-zero, you're looking at minimum, a 2 mo time frame where you're doing water changes every 2-3 days. How many people have the time, and dedication to devote to that?

I love finding out the 'why' and 'hows' of the mechanism to obtaining the desired result. But I certainly don't have the time to devote to it myself. I can see why folks just want to know how to do it, without necessarily wanting to understand the why you do it. Though knowing the 'why' gives you a much greater ability to correct problems when they occur.

If your neighbor, who has never kept any kind of aquarium before, comes over and sees your beautifully planted, scaped tank, and says to you '...gee I love it! I want to set one up. What do I need to have a similar one?' What would you tell them? Would you keep it to a simple '...do this and this and this...' or would you go into an in depth discussion of methods/substrates/lighting, etc?

As I said, just some rambling thoughts...
 
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