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jcgd

How To Dry Start

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jcgd   

If you do a dry start do this:

1) add substrate and hardscape (rocks)

2) add enough water to just reach the surface of the substrate. You don't want puddles, unless you can't help it. The gravel will wick up water to the higher mounds that aren't totally saturated.

3) plant your plants in small clumps about .5-1cm in diameter. Try to plant them close together, but it's more important that the spacing is even. Work with whatever amount of plant you have.

4) Mist the plants as you work so they don't dry out. It can take a hour or two to plant everything. Use tweezers to help you. Your fingers are too big!

5) When you are done planting try to make the water level as even as possible so you don't have puddles, or really dry spots. I put a rock under my tank to prop up the front, but anything solid will work. The tank won't crack or anything because it won't weigh much with only substrate and a little water in it.

6) Cover the top of the tank completely with saran wrap. Some people poke a few holes but I find the air in Calgary is too dry, so I seal it.

7) Run your light for 8-14 hours a day. More is better, but make sure the tank gets some darkness each night.

8) Open the saran wrap once a day and mist the plants well and allow in fresh are.

9) Do this for about 1.5 months or until everything fills in enough to be satisfied.

MOST IMPORTANT PART!!

When you fill the tank with water, don't add animals for a few weeks and add lots and lots of co2. Your plants should be pearling like mad. (Little bubbles of oxygen stuck all over them). This helps the plants transition to submersed growth with less die-back then if you don't use co2.

After you plant, the tank will take about 3 minutes a day to maintain. If you forget to mist every few days, it will be fine. If the water level slowly rises from misting, use a dropper from a test kit, or a turkey baster to remove the excess water. Don't forget to de-chlorinate your water. Fertilizer can be used very diluted, or just plain water work fine if you have a good substrate, like aquasoil or Fluval stratum. Flourite has no nutrients unless it is well aged in a tank. It gets better the older it is.

When you have finally filled the tank and your co2 levels are down to a normal level it should be well cycled and ready to add a small number of fish without ammonia stress.

Hope this helps.

-Justin

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Jayba   

Pretty cool breakdown. I did overhear you explaining this to someone at the Jar show this past weekend. Got me thinking, would it be beneficial to pump in CO2 while the saran wrap is still on? Good idea or bad one? Lots of light and lots of CO2 would make it explode with growth (if the nutrients are there) right?

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ty_s   

this makes me want to get some lights and set back up my 55 i just broke down 2 days ago i got to sell it quick lol

one tanks enough one tanks enough one tanks enough. its not working dang it

sounds vary cool

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jvision   

Pinned :)

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jcgd   

High light will make everything grow faster, but remember, once you add watere, too much light will help algae grow and dropping the light levels a lot could shock the plants. You also have to be careful with fertz. Ice heard that dosing at 1/4 of the recommended dose works well.

As far as adding co2, you could do it, but if you read the article jewels posted below, it only helps up to a certain point. Reading and accurately dosing co2 in an atmospheric environment is expensive and more labour intensive than injecting in water. It would be hard to be accurate and know what you're getting into the tank. I'm not sure it would be worth it if you have a small vent.

I'm not totally sure of the numbers, but I believe water has co2 at <10ppm while the atmosphere has levels of about 350ppm. With that much co2, extra is not really needed.

Ill check ill my numbers and get some facts.

*Read the article below

Edited by jcgd

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jewels   

would it be beneficial to pump in CO2 while the saran wrap is still on? Good idea or bad one?

A tightly fitting cover could actualy stop growth.

As seen here in the CO² DEPLETION graphic ****link is toast*****

Try this one

http://journal.ashsp...6/1265.full.pdf

"

There is general agreement that co2enrichment is very beneficial

under commercial situations, especially during winter when

the greenhouses are tightly sealed and the CO2 concentration can

decline considerably below ambient levels (Porter and Grodzinski,

1985).

********************************************************

ALSO

"When the irradiance level was

1000 mmol·m–2·s–1 PAR or greater (Figs. 2 and 5 d–f), CO2 levels

of 1400 to 2000 /

ml·liter–1 were required to saturate the whole-plant

photosynthetic response.

************************************************************************

ALSO

In an analysis of day effects, irradiance, CO2

concentration, and temperature contributed 58%, 23%, and 14%, respectively

Edited by jewels

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jcgd   

would it be beneficial to pump in CO2 while the saran wrap is still on? Good idea or bad one?

A tightly fitting cover could actualy stop growth.

As seen here in the CO² DEPLETION graphic

This is very true. If you can do it without the humidity dropping too low, definately leave a bit of an air gap. I found it was too dry so I made sure to open the lid at least once a day. Everything grew great for me.

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jcgd   

There are many plants that you can do a dry start with, or even grow emmersed. (Out of water)

Some of the more common ones:

HC

HG

HM

Dwarf Hairgrass

Mosses (I believe most are terrestrial to begin with, and just grow well immersed)

Glosso

Some others that will grow immersed, but have conditions that aren't cut and dry:

Swords

Java fern

Bolbitis

Pennywort

Many stem plants (generally anything with a strong stem and leaves.

Anubias

Crypts

Microsword

Some plants can be very difficult to have transition to emmersed growth, such as sword plants. Some need very high relative humidity (anubias) and some can be in drier conditions (crypts). I don't know from experience, but I believe java fern likes lots of humidity and air temperatures in the high 90s. If you are having trouble, try getting new plants from the pet store. MOST are grown emmersed due to the growth rates, and the expense of running tanks with high light and co2 plus fertilizers.

Aquaflora plants are grown emmersed, and I believe from a tissue culture. They are perfect for emmersed setups or dry starts. Try to find plants that have arrived recently and haven't started melting. This is also a good note for those newbies who buy plants just to have them melt two days later and assume they have died. Give it time and many plants will rebound.

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Becky   

Can you tell me if the dry start method would work for a low tech, no CO2 tank?

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ckmullin   

Can you tell me if the dry start method would work for a low tech, no CO2 tank?

have a closed container to keep in the moisture. open 1x or 2x a day and let the air change over...give it a few good breaths (co2 source) mist very lightly some flourish fert. dry start is not much different than germinating flower/veggie etc seeds.

keep moist, have enough light, change over the air, 'sing' to your plants and give them some food.

however if you want to add co2 use the dyi yeast method. (i've done that too) it works better for a dry start than using it as a carbon source in a setup tank.

Edited by ckmullin

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jcgd   

Can you tell me if the dry start method would work for a low tech, no CO2 tank?

Not ideally. Most of the plants we grow where dry starts are effective don't do well without co2 injection. They will dry start fine but most will fail in the weeks/ months after filling. Pumping the co2 after filling helps the transition to submersed growth.

Most non co2 setups will not sustain carpets, at least not thick healthy ones. Dwarf sag seems to work well as the exception. No need to dry start there.

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I have only one really big complaint about DSM...

It is really really hard to sit around and do next to nothing while you wait for everything to root and spread out. I'm at the point of trimming taller HC stems that have roots and planting them in bare spots. Pathetic yet strangely therapeutic :P

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