35g Iwagumi, Dry Start Method

echan383

New Member
Jan 27, 2018
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Upstate New York
Hi all,

We're starting a 35G Iwagumi style tank, first time trying a true aquascape. In order to get the carpet growing strong, we'll be going with the dry start method.

The substrate is a mixture of Spaghnum peat moss, organic potting soil (moss, worm castings, etc), capped with 1-2 in of black sand.

Carpet plants will be Micanthramum Monte Carlo, the rocks will be capped with Java moss.

Not sure about the arrangement of the hardscape... Any suggestions would be very welcome!

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echan383

New Member
Jan 27, 2018
9
7
3
38
Upstate New York
Rearranged hardscape, saturated the substrate, and planted the Micanthramum Monte Carlo / draped Java moss on the top of the rocks. I'll try to keep weekly updates coming!

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rajkm

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IMO the size of hardscape looks small, for the depth and height of tank.i would have gone with bigger rocks. Also not sure if you have any substrate suppport because slowly the substrate will flatten out without support.
 

echan383

New Member
Jan 27, 2018
9
7
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38
Upstate New York
I agree with the hardscape being small and out of scale. Unfortunately this is all I have to work with... hence the iwagumi-style moniker. I'm not sure what else to do in terms of rearranging the rock to make it seem more natural.

On the second point, the substrate is supported by a heaped base of lava rocks (underneath the moss and potting mix and gravel cap). I'm hoping the lava rocks will help stabilize the layout while the plants put their roots down.

The picture is from a few days ago.

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franticlocal

New Member
Apr 3, 2018
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Indonesia
Hi echan,
Your iwagumi looks good. Me too, trying dry start with iwagumi style. Do you have any issues with mold (kind like spiderweb) in your 3 weeks tank? Could you please share your tank condition?
Thanks a lot.
 

echan383

New Member
Jan 27, 2018
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7
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38
Upstate New York
Here's the latest update to the tank... So the results aren't the greatest... Most of the plants died back, new growth starting to come in where there was die back. Not too much mold... I've been leaving it uncovered for about an hour each day, spraying once a day

Added some tank water from an established tank to add some additional moisture and nutrients, though there should be plenty from the potting soil substrate.

Going to try introducing some more MC to jumpstart the carpet and see if they do better.

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Kyalgae

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Aug 25, 2016
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Ah that’s unfortunate, it sucks when you lose plants like that. I have this hermit crab that requires a minimum 70% relative humidity. If things get too humid, and there’s no air movement you can get mould fairly easily. I’ve never done a dry start personally, but you could control things better with a humidity gauge. You could get a small hygrometer to show what your levels are, they are fairly cheap.

You could then crack two 1 inch gaps in the cellophane lid corners (front and back) to start, this will allow fresh air in, but still maintain humidity. As long as you kept the gauge between 70-80% relative humidity, I imagine your plants won’t dry out. You can do this by varying the gaps in the cellophane lid. This way they get a constant supply of atmospheric CO2 throughout the day. You close one of the gaps at night when your light is off and your temperature drops. I hope things work out for you.
 

Tim Harrison

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You set yourself quite a challenge so don't be too disappointed. It's much harder to get dry start to work with steeply banked substrate; where the sed is shallow it'll be water logged, whilst where it's deep it'll be too dry.
Also, I'm all for soil substrate capped with sand etc, but shallow rooting carpet plants aren't necessarily going to benefit especially during start up phase. You'd perhaps be better off using a Gucci substrate like AS.
This may help https://barrreport.com/threads/return-of-the-shallow.14359/page-2#post-145505
 

franticlocal

New Member
Apr 3, 2018
7
1
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35
Indonesia
Here's the latest update to the tank... So the results aren't the greatest... Most of the plants died back, new growth starting to come in where there was die back. Not too much mold... I've been leaving it uncovered for about an hour each day, spraying once a day

Added some tank water from an established tank to add some additional moisture and nutrients, though there should be plenty from the potting soil substrate.

Going to try introducing some more MC to jumpstart the carpet and see if they do better.

View attachment 13014

Please let me know about the lighting


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