Dry start: My first attempt on a 11gal nano

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Hi,

Thanks to the help and tips of Tom, Philosophos and many other members that helped me choosing the light... I could start my first nano, dry, on teh 27 june, so 2 weeks ago

Soil is mix of earthworm casting (bio label) + Flourite Black Sand, topped with Flourite Black Sand

Light is 2x11W ArcPod PC light

Tank is an Aquatic-Nature cocoon 7 (11 gal rectangular)

The plants are doing very well and I didn't have yet any trouble with the Tenellus. The Cryptocoryne Parva didn't melt and the P. Helferi is already growing. I also chose plants that were just arrived to the shop from Dennerle, so emerged growing and easier to acclimate to a dry start

Humidity is maintained near 80-85%







 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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And, now, after 15 days (sorry, but front view is difficult because of condensation that I can't remove fearing to alter the glass with some sand)






The recipient is to help maintain good humidity. And 2 calibrated Hygrometers to monitor hygrometry reliabely
 

VaughnH

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I don't remember seeing anyone try a dry start with those plants. They look great now! This will be very interesting to watch for the next few weeks.
 

Philosophos

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Looks like the dry start method is working very well for you. I might just have to give it a try.

Good to see the E. tenellus looking healthy; it certainly goes well with the P. helferi.

-Philosophos
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Thank you for the comments,

I chose those plants because I'm targetting a low maintenance shrimp tank. I'll use CO2 though. I renounced to use Excel because of safety concerns raising on some forums

Stems, anubia, java fern and other crypts will not be grown emersed as I have them growing in my main 60gal

I'm especially happy to see the parva and tenellus so healthy after 2 weeks. I saw other expieriences with tenellus rotting very quickely and C. Parva melting.

It suerely helps starting the tank in summer as it is easier to maintain constant temperature/ventilation/humidity. Also, using my cycled aquarium water rich of NPK-micro and mulm from it helps the plants to establish for sure

I'm still waiting for new emerged leaves though to be sure I'm on the good way
 

Philosophos

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Excel (glutaraldehyde) is something you can get along without just fine. It isn't so dangerous as people make it seem though. Most problems happen when people ignore established dosing ranges, and don't bother to check how sensitive the species they keep are to the chemical.

Glutaraldehyde can be used to increase hatch rates at one level, and sterilize them at another. It's a matter of dose. You don't need to worry about cumulative effects of excel either; it's got a half life around 11 hours.

Again, not saying it's necessary to use it, but it can be a helpful product. Spot treating algae on hardscape that can't be moved without disturbing plants is usually how I end up using it.

-Philosophos
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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There's a long debate, now locked, on UKAPS about its safety for human on the long term

I don't like to debate it here, in this topic, especially as the silence from seachem and other companies using such product is complete.

Here's the UKAPS link:
UK Aquatic Plant Society Forum • Login

You can read through it and, if you like, open a new topic on these concerns maybe
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Hi,


I have a big issue that I need your help. I'll submerge the tank in about 2 months and wondering about the placement.

I'd like to put it facing 2 big french windows, so consistent direct daylight, but no direct sun light. I'll be going for pressurized CO2, yet with my rather low 2x11W PC lights and slow growing plants.

Do you think placing such a setup in front of these french windows is asking for trouble on the submerging phase?

Otherwise, emerged foliage is getting denser on the Helferi, tenellus is sending shoots with new leaves and the Parva is still so beautiful, no melting
 

Philosophos

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Light gets a little tricky when it comes to outside sources. Outside of finding access to a PAR meter, about all you can do is eyeball it, and adjust. A lux meter would be cheaper to get your hands on, and it would allow you to at least compare one level of light to a previous amount.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

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jonny_ftm;38913 said:
Hi,


I have a big issue that I need your help. I'll submerge the tank in about 2 months and wondering about the placement.

I'd like to put it facing 2 big french windows, so consistent direct daylight, but no direct sun light. I'll be going for pressurized CO2, yet with my rather low 2x11W PC lights and slow growing plants.

Do you think placing such a setup in front of these french windows is asking for trouble on the submerging phase?

Otherwise, emerged foliage is getting denser on the Helferi, tenellus is sending shoots with new leaves and the Parva is still so beautiful, no melting

I know ambient light is a touchy subject, my experience with four tanks in a high ambient light area has been good.

The rather strong daylight has had the net effect of turning the three tanks with no artificial lighting into low to perhaps even moderate light tanks. My two watt per gallon tank into a high nutrient consumer, high growth tank.

Most shocking to many is that for at least part of the year (winter) all tanks get at least some direct sun. One tank gets as much as four hours a day of sun.

As with all tanks it will of course most depend on your plants and your routines.

I would assume you would wish to account for the extra light, driving consumption and growth. I would say keep the CO2 levels and err to the high side on nutrients.

Biollante
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Hi,

Many thanks to both of you. I was afraid of daylight because of all what we read in the net: "daylight drives algae soon or later"

Indeed, with EI, we better understand algae ad plants needs.

So, I'll put this nano where I like it, so well exposed, and go on with CO2 and nutrients as needed. Maybe I'll have to decrease my lights to keep it low maintenance, we'll see

Thank you again for your help.


Soon, I'll post a new top comparative shot to visualize plants growth. I'm so happy with this dry start seeing how the plants are doing. I'm now getting new shoots of every thing and spaced my misting to 1-2x/week only. It should be 1-2x/3-4 weeks easily later as the substrate remains really well immersed
 

Biollante

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Well thanks for sharing this dry start. I am going to give this a shot.

It reminds me of a high school project back when...

Biollante
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Here's some news.

It's growing very well, no problems, not any crypt melting. The P. Helferi is getting bigger in size and is well rooted, far better than the ones planted in my 60gal since 2 months :-(

The C. Parva is the slower but new leaves are out and old ones still great looking. E. Tenellus is giving me some concern. It really doesn't behave like usual swords: fast growth, old leaves decay too quickely. I hope it will get slower once immersed with less debris from old leaves decaying too quickely like a stem plant. My first concern was a low maintenance tank and I won't keep with pruning the Tenellus if it will grow that way all the time :-(

Any idea on another plant I could replace the Tenellus with? Blyxa?

Ah, and here are the shots, I modified the small rock on the left and will be pruning the helferi for the layout in few weeks







And a top view to compare the growth with the previous shot, 3 weeks later, and after having pruned the tenellus from decayed leaves




PS: a great thank to Tom for his best ever starting method
 

Daniel Morris

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I'll be following your lead Johnny.

I'm setting up mine tomorrow and hoping for the best! (otherwise I just lost $100 worth of plants !! )

Please give us an update when you have a moment.
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Hi,

Thank you for the feedback.

No, I'm not on a hurry to flood it, really pushing it later and later, but should be by the second half-end September, so it'll be 3 months old then.

I'm liking it more and more dry :D

E. Tenellus was replaced by Eleocharis acicularis and it is doing very fine and sending shoots. C. Parva is growing fast and also sending many new shoots. P. Helferi is very dense, but very little shoots and 2 limited parts are getting brown/dry on top. I suspect these constant 28°C temperatures inside terrarium since 3-4 weeks with tops at 29°C. Hopefully it gets colder soon and I can see. It also could be a need for trimming as they grew significantely. Just not used with that plant yet.

Was on holidays, photos on next days
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Updated photos, tank is 2 months old now.

Eleocharis is only 3 weeks old, it is also sending many many shoots but at least it has the tall I want

C. Parva is also sending shoots and many leaves

P. Helferi: needed trimming because some plantlets showed some moisted browning, don't know why (high temperature, too dry...?)







48h ago, I added my anubia nana "petite" on the lowest branch of the wood



I love this dry start. Would quiet give Tom a kiss :D
 

jonny_ftm

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Mar 5, 2009
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Here's how it is gowing,

I changed the rocks, and modified the wood a bit

The Anubia nana petite is doing well, it seems. Just need some time to be sure
Eleocharis is sending mayn shoots