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Dry Start Method, question and photo journal of the progress.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Whiskey, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Hello All!

    I've never done a dry start before so I'm going to give it a try with my new tank setup.

    First a question, this is a 48X18X20 inch tank with 4x54 W Tek T5's. Should I run all 4 bulbs for the dry start? Or is that too much (meaning it will burn the and I should only use 2?

    Tank Specs
    75 Gallon, 48" by 18" Wide, by 20" Tall.
    Substrate - Fluorite Red
    Additional ferts - I plan to dose the small ammount of water I leave in the bottom using EI Recommendations for a 30 ish gallon tank.
    Lights 4x54 W Tek T5 retro mounted 4" above the tank in a hood.
    Cover - the tank came with glass tops, I plan to use those.

    Plants I plan to dry start:
    HC
    Couple variations of crypt
    one Anubius that may not stay when I flood.
    Unknown plant - maybe you can help ID when I post pics.

    The plan is to have no standing water, keeping the water line under the substrate, keep the humidity as high as possible (Make glass fog) and run the lights about 10 hours per day. I also plan to mist the plants with a fert infused water every couple days.

    The tank is currently full of water for leak testing the tank, and the CO2 reactor I have built but in the next couple days (maybe tonight) I'll drain it and start with the dry start.

    Pics to come, but here's a pic of the tank empty showing the lighting setup.
    View attachment 3315

    Thanks for taking a peek!
    Whiskey
     
    #1 Whiskey, Jul 11, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2012
  2. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    This is where the tank is right now:
    [attachment=1149:name]

    The spray bar and intake will get painted black before the end of this.

    Note the remote weather monitoring thing in the tank, this will tell me tank temperature and humidity. I haven't put any plants in yet, I'm waiting to see what the numbers will be like before I do.

    Does anyone know what humidity levels I should be looking for?

    Thanks for reading!
    Whiskey

    DryStartStart.JPG
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Condensation a little but having the inside too humid is the problem for many, it needs a small vent or dried out at least once a day etc.
     
  4. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Thanks for the advice Tom!
    I can remove the plastic back part of the glass tops I have, this will allow me to slide that back and forth to create the size vent I need to keep the condensation to reasonable levels, I'll keep it low like you suggest.

    So! Call me impatient, but I can't stand staring at a lit up tank with nothing in it, so I trimmed a tiny bit of HC out of my 30G and put it in there. This will serve as my tester plant, if it starts doing well I will add more.

    Here's the tank now:
    I think I have too much water in there, because I can see it in some areas. What do you think?
    [attachment=1150:name]

    Thank you!
    Whiskey

    Drystartfirstplant.JPG
     
  5. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Hmmmm.

    Something just occurred to me. I once got fungus in my Cigar Humidor (It was a disaster) and it was caused by having the humidity too high. Since then I have prevented a re-occurance of this event by keeping the humidity to 70% and no more, I have also made sure that there is NO standing water on the wood, or on the plastic parts of the humidity sponges, and that the sponges themselves are kept only lightly damp.

    Is that the kind of effect I'm going for here? An area with humidity, but not a tropical rain forest type environment where everything is constantly wet?

    It concerns me that the plants may dry out if not kept constantly moist, should I be concerned about that? Is it okay if the leaves get dry?

    Thanks!
    Whiskey
     
  6. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Picture Update!

    Here's where my tank is at now, I'm excited to say that there has been noticeable growth! Since everything was doing so well I added some more HC, and even threw some crypts in there about a week ago. The crypts have been a little slower to adjust, but even one of those has put off a new leaf.

    Take a look!
    Whiskey

    [attachment=1155:name]

    EditedDryStart 7-23-12.JPG
     
  7. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'd keep the substrate wet (water line just beneath the surface) and let the plants do the rest. You're right not to have the enviornment too humid. What happened to your humidor happens in the DSM often if there is too much water. I grew e. belem emersed in aquasoil with a piece of plastic wrap loosly over the top of the tank. Air circulation is a good thing. Just keep an eye on the plants maybe twice a day. Mist if you think they are too dry. Let them dry a bit as Tom suggested.

    Hope you didn't lose too many nice cigars.

     
    #7 Matt F., Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2012
  8. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Thanks for the info Matt!
    I got lucky with the Humidor Fungus, it happened to be almost empty at the time, only one causality. :)

    I'm a bit concerned with the tank though, as I look really close I see lots of little white spots on the top layer of all the substrate, I'm concerned it may be the beginnings of a tank wide fungus outbreak! The plants are still doing well though, what do you think I should do? If it starts to go, should I flood the tank?

    That's my best idea so far, I'd love to DSM it for another couple weeks, but given the option I'd rather flood than hope to win agenst the fungus.

    For the time being I'm going to pull one of the glass tops which should really lower the humidity, I'm hoping that will help.

    Thanks,
    Whiskey
     
  9. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Oh Dry Up (The White Spots That Is)

    Hi,

    With DSM make sure it is not soggy wet, KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB] is very effective, sprinkle it around, it is actually hard to overdo.:)

    Actually if you do not have KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB], gypsum or corn starch work. If you are using cornstarch, take care as it adds food value and that can, solve one problem and turn into another.:disillusionment:

    Another trick is if it gets on the dry side is to mist with 1-part 3% Hydrogen peroxide with 4-parts distilled water.:)

    Probably not worth 2₵, but it is my 2₵ anyway.:)

    Biollante
     
  10. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    Thanks for the tips Biollante! If it works it's worth much more than two cents ;)

    Does the Hydrogen Peroxide kill the fungus? What about Excel? Have you had any experience with that killing fungus?

    I've got a final tonight after work, I'll pickup some Hydrogen Peroxide on the way home.

    Thanks!
    Whiskey
     
  11. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Fungus

    Hi,

    Yes, Hydrogen peroxide kills fungus and I have had more success using it than with Excel. Also, while H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUB]2[/SUB] can be overdone, Excel is downright toxic.

    KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB] it turns out is quite effective as well.
    :)

    Remember that is a strong dose of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUB]2[/SUB], (6-ppt) so you do not want to get too much on any mosses or other desirable primitive plants. It is good for misting and directed squirts at problem areas.

    Apparently, I cannot tell my
    Unicode 00A2 from my 20B5.:eek:
    So it appears rather than my 2¢ I gave my 2₵ (Ghana cedi’s) so that would be about US$1.02.

    Biollante
     
  12. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    So Hydrogen Peroxide is less toxic? Wow, I would not have guessed that, Hydrogen peroxide it is. I just finished spraying down the tank and substrate (it all had tiny white dots on it) with a 1-4 part mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and water, I'll come back with a water spray in a couple hours targeting the plants just in case.

    The tank only has HC and Crypt speices in it right now, so I should be safe using this.

    I have to tell you! I'm impressed you know what a Ghana Cedi is, I sure don't. I must say the advice is still worth more than a buck though :)

    Thanks,
    Whiskey
     
  13. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    It looks like the Hydrogen Peroxide and dryer tank is doing it's thing! The Fungus or Mold is way reduced today, after this most recent spraying I bet it will be gone completely. I caught it at the stage that it was just tiny, barely visible spots, and I think that played in my favor.

    Do I need to do anything to remove the hydrogen Peroxide before I flood the tank? Or does it just evaporate on it's own?

    Thanks!
    Whiskey
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    An Oxidizer... Or A Biocidal Maniac!

    Hi,

    Hydrogen peroxide is not actually toxic as such; it is a strong oxidizer, stronger than chlorine or even Potassium permanganate. The way in which H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUB]2[/SUB] works is also relatively harsh, particularly compared to Potassium permanganate. Therefore, you want to take care in using H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUB]2[/SUB].
    :) Remember you can always dilute the concentration if the plants are adversely affected.:)

    I use this mix to mist potted and container plants as well.
    :gw

    Hydrogen peroxides advantage in this case is the lack of residual, nasty or potentially nasty products, no need for any additional steps when using Hydrogen peroxide and water, pretty much just water when you are done.
    :calm:

    To be fair I do not use Excel, I use a 1.7% solution of glutaraldehyde, and glutaraldehyde is a biocide also listed as a microcide and fungicide. I treat Excel as a 1.5% glutaraldehyde solution that may not be fair as Seachem claims it is a polyglutaraldehyde of undisclosed strength, made with a proprietary method that gives it special powers.
    :eek-new::highly_amused: I have not a clue what a polyglutaraldehyde is, but then I only have an 8[SUP]th[/SUP] grade education.:eek:

    The glutaraldehyde is a biocide that worries me a bit after all if “they” ever succeeded in murdering me; the charge would be “biocide.”

    Though admittedly it is unlikely anyone would investigate, much less prosecute, which brings me to the real reason I know what a Ghanaian Cedi (GHS) is and roughly its value…
    :rolleyes:

    Having been kicked, chased and hounded out of as many places as I have, being totally misunderstood, while remaining as totally annoying, I have learned to keep my options open.
    :cool:

    Biollante
     
  15. Whiskey

    Whiskey Member

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    I always like it when I don't have to do anything :)

    So, I think I may have dried it out too much now because the plants started to look significantly less healthy, not in a chemical burn kind of way, but in a dried up and yellowing kind of way. I've started misting spraying more often again, and I've also raised the humidity in the tank back to about 75%.

    One other thing I've done that I think will help both problems is I've reduced the light by half, not because I think it's too much light, but because I think the temperature in the tank is too high. The tank has been running at about 88 degrees in the heat of the day, and that can only help the fungus, with the hood lid cracked a bit and only 2X54w T5 running the temperature is topping out at around 82.

    Interestingly enough my girlfriend keeps frogs, their tank is full of glass marbles, with a big lake in the middle for them, it's hardly vented at all, the humidity is higher than mine, and she never gets fungus on her live plants or decorations. The major difference between her tank and mine is the temperature, she has very little light so the temperature of her tank stays much lower than mine.

    Thanks,
    Whiskey
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Of Course When You Figure It Out, It Is 3-Years Beore You Use It Again

    Hi,

    I think “DSM” is one of those things you where you develop a “feel.”
    :calm:

    It really is the Goldilocks principle in action.
    :)

    Biollante
     
  17. Rodrigo

    Rodrigo New Member

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    Hello Whiskey, I have the same problem with my dry start. The web like fungus killed all my monte carlo. They simply melted. Did you have success with Hydrogen peroxide ?
     
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