1st Low-Tech Tank -- DSM Questions

Nikki Baptiste

Junior Poster
Oct 23, 2014
I have a couple questions about the Dry Start Method that I am going to be doing on my first low-tech planted aquarium with low/medium light and no CO2 injection.

Anubias barteri
Aponogenton crispis
Water Sprite
Crypt Wendtii
Brazilian Pennywort
Tiger Lotus
Vallisneria spiralis

First question, will all these plants survive the duration of DSM? I am mainly worried about the Val, Apon, and water sprite. I don't know why, I guess because they have thin leaves they might dry out too fast for me to moisturize. I haven't found much information on exactly which plants are suitable for DSM. Typically people are usually using the DSM to create carpets of HC, etc. Could I use the DSM even though I'm not planning on doing any carpeting?

When planting stem plants, I need to lay the plant down horizontally so that new growth comes from the nodes, right? How would I plant the Val and Apon if I am to use them in the DSM? If not, should I wait until after I fill the tank to plant the Val and Apon?

I've read that the humidity should be kept at 70% to prevent fungus/mold. Can I do this by covering with plastic wrap but leaving a corner of the tank uncovered? Or, is necessary to get a hygrometer to measure the humidity?

How long should I wait before filling the tank? I am patient and wouldn't mind over but what is the minimum need for the cycle to establish, decomposition to take place, and all ammonia to used up by bacteria.