1st Low-Tech Tank -- DSM Questions

Nikki Baptiste

Junior Poster
Oct 23, 2014
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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.

Flora:
Anubias barteri
Aponogenton crispis
Moneywort
Water Sprite
Crypt Wendtii
Anacharis
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.
 

Whiskey

Member
Jun 14, 2010
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San Diego, CA
I had no luck with the stem plants I tried during my DSM time, I did however have fantastic luck with HC. Some of those plants may do okay, I'm fairly sure anubius Bacteria will be fine, but this type of method is mainly targeted to ground cover. With that plant list I would probably not do a dry start.

HTH,
Whiskey
 

kevinmichael77

Guru Class Expert
Oct 5, 2012
385
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Wisconsin
Whiskey;130521 said:
I had no luck with the stem plants I tried during my DSM time, I did however have fantastic luck with HC. Some of those plants may do okay, I'm fairly sure anubius Bacteria will be fine, but this type of method is mainly targeted to ground cover. With that plant list I would probably not do a dry start.

HTH,
Whiskey

Will HC grow a carpet in a low tech with no CO2?
 

Whiskey

Member
Jun 14, 2010
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San Diego, CA
kevinmichael77;130522 said:
Will HC grow a carpet in a low tech with no CO2?

It will during the DSM ;)

I've seen some people do a low tech no co2 tank with only HC but it is not something I would recommend to beginners.

Whiskey
 

kevinmichael77

Guru Class Expert
Oct 5, 2012
385
7
18
Wisconsin
Whiskey;130524 said:
It will during the DSM ;)

I've seen some people do a low tech no co2 tank with only HC but it is not something I would recommend to beginners.

Whiskey

Gotcha. I have a high tech going but an starting a low tech 40b with some leftover equipment. Thought a carpet would be cool but wasn't sure what would grow. I'm thinking if a school of Cory cats so a hc carpet may not be the best idea anyway.
 

Whiskey

Member
Jun 14, 2010
368
1
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San Diego, CA
kevinmichael77;130529 said:
Gotcha. I have a high tech going but an starting a low tech 40b with some leftover equipment. Thought a carpet would be cool but wasn't sure what would grow. I'm thinking if a school of Cory cats so a hc carpet may not be the best idea anyway.

It really won't work if you have a bunch of other plants competing with it too. The only way it's really possible (I've heard, no personal experiance) is if it is a HC only tank where it doesn't have to compete for what little CO2 there is.

Whiskey

- - - Updated - - -

kevinmichael77;130529 said:
Gotcha. I have a high tech going but an starting a low tech 40b with some leftover equipment. Thought a carpet would be cool but wasn't sure what would grow. I'm thinking if a school of Cory cats so a hc carpet may not be the best idea anyway.

It really won't work if you have a bunch of other plants competing with it too. The only way it's really possible (I've heard, no personal experiance) is if it is a HC only tank where it doesn't have to compete for what little CO2 there is.

Whiskey
 
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Nikki Baptiste

Junior Poster
Oct 23, 2014
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I would assume in my case it might be better to grow these plant submerged?

My main goal is to establish these plants and their root system before I add any fish. When grown submerged, how long should I wait until I add fish?
 

Whiskey

Member
Jun 14, 2010
368
1
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42
San Diego, CA
The way I usually do it is to setup and plant the tank all in one day, then the tank takes a month to cycle, and the plants are nicely settled in by then.

Whiskey
 

Nikki Baptiste

Junior Poster
Oct 23, 2014
4
0
1
Whiskey;130544 said:
The way I usually do it is to setup and plant the tank all in one day, then the tank takes a month to cycle, and the plants are nicely settled in by then.

Whiskey

Thank you so much... you definitely saved me time and money. I would have hated for those plants to die!