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DSM, dry start method: New(?) method to make a nice rug of HC before you add water

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Tom Barr, Aug 24, 2007.

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  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Certainly easier and you have 2-3x more HC now.

    About the light, the sun only hits the HC for a few hours, but like most plants, HC can adapt to high and low light, folks assume that all foreground plants are high light, Gloss , HC etc are not, they become weeds under high light is all.

    They are fair more manageable under low light.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Absolutely, I read folk often reporting, when planting HC submersed, that it tend to grow upwards even though CO2 is good. The reason is, plant didn't have time to anchor it self to the ground.

    I wish I had time to let it stay emerged for at least 6-8 weeks. As I said, this is for folk that has patience ;) but also for folk that can see the final result of such start.
    Excellent method!

    Thanks Tom.

    Regards, Dusko
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, while I have my own data and results, I'm always interested to see how other folks faired.

    If folks do well through the transition period, basically 2-4 weeks after flooding stages, then you can call it a successful, method.

    But CO2 is the devil for many.
    I know most of the ADA folks do not measure CO2 that much, rather, they eyeball it.
    I do a little of both, but am very critical of the measurement methods and flows, surface movements etc.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. wolfgang

    wolfgang Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    I am also thinking to give a try to grow HC emersed. But instead of growing it in Aquarium, I am thinking of growing it in plastic tube on synthetic cotton fiber.

    As there will be no substrate in tub do I have to added additives’ or fertilizer in water before planting HC.

    Can Utricularia graminifolia be also grown in this way?

    Regards
    W
     
  5. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,
    I know this is an old thread but I had a question regarding substrate choice. I've already ordered Flourite Black Sand and some Diamond Black leonardite for the bottom 1/2" of substrate. I have a 10g tank and I'm planning on growing either HC or Dwarf Hairgrass using this method to get a foreground carpet started. I know that my substrate isn't as full of nutrients as something like ADA soil. Would I still be able to grow these plants using this method? Would I need to somehow add ferts initially to help the plants grow?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts/comments. Thanks.
     
  6. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    I am planning to try this dy method in my new tank. The substrate i will use is Flourite Black mixed with gravel and lighting would be 2 x 1000 Lux flourescent tubes. I have some questions regarding:

    Planting of HC: What is the best method to plant the HC, should the plant be removed from the wool or should some wool still be kept attached in order to anchor the plant in the gravel.

    Other plants: WOuld Anubias spp and Java fern that have been growing submersed in my other aquarium fare well if planted during this phase in emergent growth?

    Water during the emersed phase: The water in the gravel during the period of emersed growth should not cover the HC am i correct in this statement.

    Thanks for your patienece.

    Chris
     
  7. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Hi all.
    sorry for not updating my emerged (later submersed) project, but here we go;

    This is how my HI-tech HC aquarium look like today (approx 2 month old set-up);
    IMG_0745.jpg
    Detail;
    IMG_0760.jpg

    Note;
    I didn't use Amazonas as Tom suggested, but instead used Aqua Soil mixed with Tropica substrate, and I sticked a few Tropica+N&P capsules into the substrate.
    I layed 1-1,2mm gravel over the soil (4cm thick).

    I wasn't sure (even saturated with water) will gravel get any nutrient from the aquasoil, for the emerged HC, so I decided to add 15ml of Tropica Aqua Care+N&P, to the water used to saturate the gravel, just to be sure HC gets enough nutrients to take off.

    After approx 4 weeks, the HC started spreading and forming nice roots (so no floating up, mess), I started the submersed method.

    I started the CO2 dosing (4 bubbles per sec via ceramic disc diffuser) and added 15ml more of Aqua Care+N&P.

    I ignored one very important thing though;
    I planted only slow growing plants that aren't tall (Eleocharis, HC, Pogosyemon helferi, C. balansae, Blyxa japonica) which couldn't out compete Green water algae for nutrients (my assumption, it could be also the NH4 from the aqua soil).
    Green water started, also lots of Hair algae. Halgae I killed with Easy Carbo (like Excel), but GW stayed for almost a month.

    I was doing wc every day (every second day) 80% for a month, UV filter, stopped dosing liquid ferts, planted lots of Hygrophila Rosanervig...nothing really helped...
    UNTIL I read a part in D. Walstads book about GW, where she mentioned the lights with lots of blue spectrum.

    I had 4 tubes with lots of blue in them, so I performed a huge wc (90%) to remove as much GW as possible (still running the UV), removed the middle 2 which had most of the blue, and replaced them with tubes from Sylvania which have only red, green and yellow (no blue at all).

    Things started improving the next day, and day after I could proudly present my Hi-tech HC aquarium :D

    So, if using aquasoil under the gravel, yes do mix some KNO3 and KH2PO4 with the water (emerged method), but also do plant lots of fast growing tall plants to out compere the possible GW for nutrients that will enter the water column.

    Otherwise if you are intending to create an Iwagumi style, use Tom's suggestion...use Amazonas instead.

    I would suggest this method to everyone. great way to skip all the HC floating up and algae on plants which are trying to establish them selves (roots) in the start.

    @chris81;
    1.Yes you should remove all the wool
    2. Anubias and Microsorum are in nature mostly found emerged, I planted once the Anubias emerged in my paludarium, and it grew without any problem, just keep the humidity (seal the aquarium).
    3. water should not cover the HC when emerged, nor the gravel, but just under the gravel line (approx 1-2mm under the gravel).

    Good luck Chris, patience will create a nice HC carpet for you ;)

    Kind regards, Dusko
     
  8. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Wow!! Your aquarium looks stunning! Congratulations on a job well done, I really love it. I'm no expert but my one critique would be that the Rasbora's don't seem to contrast well with your lighting/aquascape. Btw did you have a journal thread on this tank somewhere?
     
  9. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    OT

    I am not trying to make a stunning aquascape, to please the visual, but rather testing for my self, learning how plants react to HI-light and lots of CO2, soil, EI, algae, etc.

    A few people that saw this scape asked me to enter Amanos competition (deadline in May I think), and I told them the same thing I said here...I am not interested in competing, doesn't give me the kick ;) I like to observe the planted dynamic system under different conditions, that's all.

    Don't get me wrong I do admire Amano and others, that build stunning scapes, but personally I am more into learning/observing these planted systems.

    For me Amano style scaping isn't something I would have in my living room, it looks way too perfect, just ain't me ;)
    This scape of mine is at my work (I work for a LFS) as a show off for my customers, and I used it to test Barr's emerged HC method.

    I like scapes that look more natural (with imperfections) like this tank (48galls with 1.25w/g) of mine which is in my living room :D
    nbnbnba025.jpg

    Also HI-tech doesn't suit my life style at all. Way too much work with weekly wc, regular EI dosing, lots of pruning, etc.
    I am more of a low/medium light guy. If you slow down on lights, you slow down on maintenance and it gives you more time to observe and enjoy. As I said just my personal way of life :)

    Thanks for your comments.

    Kind regards, Dusko
     
  10. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Wow and double wow! I love your 180L tank! Actually I'm like you in that I prefer the natural look like your tank at home. Amano type tanks do look pretty but I find the natural "imperfect" look more appealing. If I turn out to be half as good as you at aquascaping I'll be a very happy man :). I think I'm going to scour your blogspot site to follow the progress of this tank and maybe bother with you some questions :p. I can't wait for my substrate and manzanita to arrive so I can start contemplating how to scape my tank. I'm definitely going the low-mid tech route with around 2-2.5 WPG and Excel for Carbon dosings along with modified EI for ferts.
     
  11. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    Dusko thanks for your tips. Ps: Both your tanks are stunning. I really agree on your statement regarding natural looking aquascapes (yet i still stare at some aquascapes in AGA s competitions in awe... hi hi) My present setting is a low maintenance setup and it was my first attempt at a planted tank but now i want to try something slightly more demanding.

    Ps: Can any one tell me the proper way to plant HC tropica s guide quotes that at least a cm of wool should be kept round roots when planting as this is suposed to act as n anchor. I assume this doesn t appeal to the emergent methof but how can one mange to seperate wool from roots without causing damage??

    Thanks for any help!

    Dusko.. well done again!
     
  12. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    Pffft, you can do both :rolleyes:


    Anywhoooo, it has really filled in since i last visited you! And as you say, sometimes it goes too fast then you have to trim and trim and..

    Great looking tank!
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Still think the method is hard or that the plants all melt after you flood??

    Why doesn't ADA suggest this method?

    Seems weird.

    Regards,
    Tom barr
     
    Logos likes this.
  14. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Take the whole bunch (together with the wool) out of the plastic basket. With fingers, separate the wool in two pieces, so you have plants on both sides. You should be able to see all the roots.
    Take the whole plant bunch for plant leaves and peal it off of the wool.
    If you still have some wool left, dip the plant into a bucket with water and shake it a bit, this will remove most of the wool pieces, easy really.

    I don't use wool when planting.

    Excel is good, but don't get fooled, it can never give you the effect CO2 would (yes it will, if you use only plants like Cryptos and similar).
    I don't advice over dosing with Excel/Easy Carbo anymore because I witnessed many times in different tanks (and different tap waters) how shrimps act poorly to it. They stop eating as soon I dose it and stay like that for a long time. Only using often WC to re-set the system did make my shrimps go back to feeding again.
    So if using C, I vote for clean CO2 gas instead :)

    Hi Sintei whats up :D I didn't see you in a while, what's keeping you away? Yeah when you last time visited, the HC wasn't all over the gravel, now it is time to mowe the lawn ;)

    Just kick in with good CO2 levels, and nothing will melt (so much about the famous "Cryptocoryne disease" :rolleyes: )

    Regards, Dusko
     
  15. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Hey dusko. I agree, CO2 will probably give me better results with a carpet but I dont have the money to do CO2 right now, and honestly I'd prefer a lower maintenance tank given my limitted free time. I'm convinced that if I go the CO2 route I won't have the time and discipline to always be on top of everything and my tank will probably be an algae disaster waiting to happen :D. I'd rather start off my first planted tank with lower lights and Excel as a compromise. Once I learn the ropes and get the hang of things I might go the CO2 way with my spare 10 gallong tank. If it means a not so great carpet for now, then so be it. Tom has mentioned here and in other threads that HC does grow fairly well with lower lights and Excel. I'm probably going to settle for dwarf hairgrass on any case. I hope that works well for my setup. My tank is going to have more of a natural look...I'll probably be trying for a look like your 180L tank. It won't matter too much to me if my foregrounf harigrass doesn;t grow as lush or is a slow grower.
     
  16. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi guys,

    I am planning this foreground cover, in the meantime i am going to plaNT the anubias in this setting too. SOm anubias have algae growing on the older leaves, will this algae die off during the emersed phase or should i just cut the leaves which have some algae growing on them. I am aware that the humidity in the setup would be high so most probably the algae would still survive yet i wanted your expert opinions.

    Thanks a million once more.

    Chris
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Actually this is an excellent method to kill algae on Anubias leaves.

    Ever wonder how the wholesalers and growers produce nice clean Anubias?:cool:
    Or 95% of the aquatic plants we see?

    Emergent growth.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom!

    Jippiieeeeeee Off with the algaee too..... This method is a god send!

    thanks a million again.

    Chris
     
  19. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hey guys,

    Its me again. Finally the HC i ordered arrived, I transferred most of the plants from my current setting to another tank and now I shall start this new method. Just a few questions:

    1. I am using flourite black as substrate mixed with gravel. Is this ok??
    2. I am planting the anubias in this setting from the very begining, will they survive if they have been submersed for a long period of time.
    3. Together with the HC and Anubias i shall plant also some Elocharis and E.tenellus, re all the mentioned plants suitable in this setting.
    4. With regards to lighting, my hood houses 3 1000 lux flouresent tubes, I am planning to use 2 for 10 hrs during the emersed state and than increse lightening during the submersed phase. Does this make sense?? (Am concerned that the high lightning would damage plants whem grown emersed.

    Thanks for your time and patience.

    ANy help would be greatly appreciated.

    CHris
     
  20. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Well I just started my experiment with growing a dwarf hairgrass carpet using this method.

    My tank is a 10 gallon tank with 2*15Watt CFL's (spirals) with not so great reflectors. I'm planning to have lights on for 12 hours during the day.

    Substrate: 1/2 inch of diamond black (leonardite) and topped up with 2-3 inches of Flourite Black Sand.

    Here is my starting pic:

    [​IMG]

    This was just after planting. The glass has completely fogged up now.

    I think I need to replant tomorrow...I probably need to separate the stalks out further. Some of my clumps seem to be too thick. Also I'll probably trim them down to 1/2-1inch height to stimulate growth and to make them send runners out. Does this sound like a good idea?

    I'd appreciate any comments/suggestions. If you'll see anything wrong with what I've done, do let me know. Btw, do you think the java fern will be able to grow the way I have it? I made sure not to bury the rhizome.

    For ferts I dosed the whole substrate with a mix of Seachem Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Flourish and Excel. Potassium should be here tomorrow so I can dose it then. I'm still waiting for my dry ferts from Rex...till then I can use up my stock of Seachem ferts.

    Well wish me luck and I'd love to get some feedback from everyone.

    Cheers
     
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