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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. NS2

    NS2 Junior Poster

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    That makes sense. Sure, why wouldn't there be some shock after tearing apart the root system. I just assumed that the browning happened solely because the blades of grass were clumping together and causing problems.

    Nice piece of driftwood, by the way. The anubias look good with it. I wish I had a deeper tank like yours. I have a 55 gallon that's only about a foot deep so it's a bit limiting on the landscaping. Keep us posted on how the trimming works, I may do the same!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    HCin180.jpg

    So this is my 180 using this method.
    I used simple depression rather than digging the HC apart.
    Since I pre grew the HC in small tanks with this method anyway, I just teased the plant clumps out without pulling up the roots, careful to keep the sediment intact around the root zone.

    Then you simply place the HC in the "holes", just like you do with terrestrail gardening.

    Planting and transitioning cannot get any easier for this method near as I can tell.

    I'll wait about 3-4 weeks before flooding.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Great looking tank there Tom! I recall seeing a thread somewhere where you had posted the setup. I think it's going to look awesome once you flood it and it grows out. Btw, what substrate are you using?

    Edit: Nevermind, I found the other thread. It's AS.
     
  4. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi guys,

    I was thinking whether i am doing the correct thing by misting the plants with water with some PMDD plus phosphate and chelated trace elements in?? What s your opinion regarding this???

    I was also thinking whether supplementing co2 gas to a dry method will further increase groth rate of carpet. As Co2 is a heavy gas it will sink to the bottom and being covered the co2 concentartion in the tank increases. Its the kind of thing they do in green houses! DO you guys think it will be worth trying it out??

    Ps: That tank is awesome Tom!

    Thanks guys!

    Chris
     
  5. NS2

    NS2 Junior Poster

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    I never knew they did that in green houses! That sounded interesting so I did some searching and came across this page:

    Effectively Implementing CO2

    It's interesting, it says if your other nutrients are in order, optimum plant growth (emmersed) happens at around 1200-1500 ppm co2 in the air, whereas normal air is 300-450 ppm co2. With the increased co2 levels it says growth can jump 25%-60%.

    I think one of the difficulties here in implementing this would be finding the right flow rate out of the regulator to get those target values. Without the right measuring tools or flow meters it might be real hard to know how much co2 to use.

    Then I found this document:

    http://www.planetnatural.com/planetnatural/images/co2_system.pdf

    It's instructions for one of the co2 systems they sell. They have the calculations you need to figure out how much co2 flow you need to get the target ppms. I did the calculations with my 55 gallon as the target room volume.

    I came up with an answer, but the problem is that I have no idea what to do with it! Apparently I need .0028 cubic feet of co2 per hour to maintain 1500 ppm. Ok, so I know how to measure bubbles per second, but how the hell do i convert that to cubic feet per hour!

    The setup they sell is a regulator, solenoid, and flowmeter in place of where we would use a bubble counter. Even if you had that flowmeter, I'm thinking the levels we'd need for a tank sized space is so small, it might not measure that low. The other things is that you would also need a good way of distributing the co2 around, like a really small fan or something.

    I'm content to just sit and wait for my tank to fill in on its own, but since I just filled my co2 cylinder today, maybe I'll try a simple experiment. Maybe I'll just stick the end of my co2 airline by one section of the tank resting on the substrate. I'll let it go at a few bubbles a second (or more???) during the time I keep the lights on, and then see how that small section does compared to the rest of the tank.

    Very interesting! If anybody can figure out the cubic feet per hour thing, please chime in!
     
  6. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Sounds like a good experiment. I'm still anxiously watching more leaf tips turn brown on my Dwarf Hairgrass :(. It's going to be a week since planting tomorrow. I'm hoping I see some signs of growth in another weeks time. At least I'm hoping the hairgrass doesn't die on me.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It does not work that well, you are not trying to grow weed here.
    The plants do not need added CO2 really to grow better.
    Also, you can add too much CO2 to seal tank, and then not enough O2.

    I tried this, so have many emergent Crypt growers in effort to help plants grow faster.

    You need to set things up to blow out the tank good a few times each dasy and saturate CO2 after,.

    Fungus, too much CO2, no way to measure it for aquarist, a more complex system etc. But generally, not that great results.

    Even then, in optimized systems, 30% more growth is about all you might see.
    Good if you grow illegal weed, since the value is so high and can justify the cost.

    Our tanks?
    We just need to wait a little bit.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    HEy Guys,

    I just was thinking about the CO2 and just decided to post my ideas on the site?? None the less i might try this experinment in another setup one day by a simple DIY yeast reaction.

    WIth respect to my other question?? Is it good to mist plants with a PMDD solution+phosphate and trace elements or doesthis harm the plants? IS itbetter to mist with water and just used PMDD in the substrate!?

    Thanks a million!!

    CHris!
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I used tank water to mist plants, generally PMDD and other ferts are too rich and can burn plants.

    Go less and use more frequently.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. NS2

    NS2 Junior Poster

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    For what it's worth, here's what I've been doing:
    I have some substrate fertilzer tabs from aquariumplants.com (Total Pellets w/out Phosphate) that I cut in half and buried every few inches from day one. Their instructions say use no more than one tablet every 3 sq. inches per month.

    I mist the plants every day with water taken straight from a 10 gallon tank that was freshly dosed with Seachem Potasium, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and regular Seachem Flourish, all per bottle instructions.

    So far it seems the HC is doing well, as I can already see new growth. The hairgrass on the other hand looks to be very slowly getting a tiny bit more brown, but it looks like it will survive (I hope).

    I do not know how this compares to PMDD. Like Tom said, you probably want a weak solution, and just mist more often. I would make a solution that would be the same concentration as properly dosed tank water. That, plus the fert tabs seem to be working well for me, but this is my first tank so what do I know!:D
     
  11. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks for the dosing advice Tom. I think I have been misting with too strong a solution. I'm going to dilute it down and use it from tomorrow. My hairgrass has also been gradually getting more brown, but I'm still keeping my hopes up. I also found a fabulous pot of hairgrass at Petsmart today (the shipment came in an hour before I got to the store). It was in absolute mint condition, and there were little buds at the ends of all the leaves. I spent a good 2 hours planting the little plantlets in my tank. With 3 pots in my 10g I already have a very dense plant coverage!!

    PS- I just noticed a couple of new leaves popping up from some of the older hairgrass! Looks like some of the old brown leaves might die, but the plantlets will send out new shoots.
     
  12. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    After Toms advice i swapped my PMDD solution and went for aqurium water again! I am a bit worried as a bit of HC is turning yellow forme and it seems like to be dying! WHat can have gone wrong? Has this hapened to anyone. I mist the aquarium plants daily and the substrate is well saturated. So i doubt it could be due to drying up? Can it on the otherhnd be because there is too much wter in the substrate!? But this would not make sense either cos that will mean all the HC would die when the tank is flooded!

    PS: Guys i decided to replant all The HC which i had initially planted with rock wool with out the rock wool as the HC without rock wool was doing visably better! In fact the only plant i left with the rock wool ( for the experiment s sake) is the one i mentioned earlier.

    All other plants seem to be faring better. The tips of some hairgrass has turned yellowish too but otherwise the plants seem healthy!

    Tom is there any glitch in my method which i have over looked.

    THese are my specifications:

    Lighting: 30 000 LUX for 10 hrs a day.
    Substrate: SEachem black dosed with PMDD solution.
    Misting: Once a day... Plain water now.

    PS; Just another question - WIll MOSS survivr this setting?

    Chris
     
  13. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Things seem to be going pretty well with the hairgrass. Although I've had some people mention to me that they've had trouble trying to grow hairgrass emersed, so far I think I might be able to pull it off! As I mentioned previously, I can definitely see new shoots popping up from the little plantlets, even from the ones whose original leaves have turned completely brown (probably the transplant shock).

    I also noticed today that some of the plantlets have sent out runners as I can see a few new shoots sticking up from the sand in places where I hadn't planted any hairgrass. I'm really excited and I can't wait to have the hairgrass grow out. To document what I've been doing for my setup:

    Lighting:2x15 Watt Spiral CFL lamps for 30 Watts on my 10 Gallon (with terrible DIY reflectors), lights on for 12.5 hours daily

    Initial flooding: Mixed N, P, K to levels recommended by EI for a 10 G tank...but obviously this was dissolved in less than 1 Gallon of water which was used to flood the substrate. Thus the substrate was saturated with fairly high levels of nutrients. I also used 5ml of Excel in the substrate. I poured in an EI equivalent mixture of traces on the next day.

    Planting: Separating the hairgrass into small plantlets is definitely the way to go. I can definitely see the smaller plantlets being more healthy and sending out more shoots. Also, from what I see so far, I think it might help to not stick the hairgrass in too deep. In fact the interesting thing is that I dropped in a couple of hairgrass horizontally (no planting involved) to test out whether they would still take root. (Vaughn managed to plant some of his glosso this way). 2 of the Hairgrass strands which are horizontal have taken root and have now sent up little shoots. So you could possibly get away with just tossing the hairgrass onto your nutrient rich substrate. Another thing to note is that you should take the pains to separate out your hairgrass leaves before planting. To achieve this, with my newest pot, I separated the rockwool in water, then while having a fan blowing at me and the plantlet, I separated the leaves. This dried the leaves out letting me separate them easily, and then I planted the hairgrass. If your mister is fine enough, it shouldn't cause the leaves to stick together post misting.

    Misting: Initially I was probably misting with too strong a mix of ferts. Now I alternate between misting traces and macros ever 2 days, but these are very dilute to the levels of what would be in tank water. I also have a very small amount of excel in my macro ferts solution. I mist atleast 4-5 times a day if possible. Basically I never top up my substrate manually, I use the misting to keep the substrate damp and "topped up". I also make sure never to have water showing above my substrate. If I do, I leave a bit of the hood open for a couple of hours to let the substrate dry out a little.

    Well that is pretty much it for now. No pics since you won't be able to see any changes just yet. Maybe in a weeks time if all goes well I should have some encouraging results. Thanks a lot Tom! This method rocks!...if you can avoid being impatient :D
     
  14. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Time for my weekly update. Things are progressing very well. A lot of plantlets have sent out runners now, some are visible on the surface of the substrate. I think the hairgrass might prefer the sand like substrate. Growth for the smaller/newer shoots is around 1-2mm a day. I have no idea if this is fast or slow. In any case, it's very exciting to see the plants doing well and sending out runners. I'm also trimming down the plants to try and encourage runner growth.

    Also, the new batch of hairgrass which I purchased from petsmart last weekend has been doing amazingly well. I think it helps a lot to have a good plant specimen to start with. I also didn't do the bleach dip on the new batch. All the new plantlets have adjusted very well and some have already sent out runners in a weeks time. I can hardly see any browning/withering away on this new batch. In contrast, the older batch of hairgrass which wasn't in the best of conditions to begin with, and also underwent a 1 min bleach dip (1 part in 20) is still alive and sending out new shoots and runners, but the old leaves have mostly all withered and browned away.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You need not do any bleach dipping in you do the dry start:cool:

    It's already dry..........

    My 180's HC has sent runners out about 1" long thus far.
    So it's coming along well.

    I went ahead for some other reasons and flooded the 38 Gal, since I have some other plants that do not fair well with this method and I need to move some fish in there sooner rather than later.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah, I figured I didn't need it. However I was a little worried about getting snails into the tank. I have found a couple of little snail shells, but hopefully it wont be too much of a problem in the long run. Besides, I've read that bettas tend to gobble up smaller snails.

    Good to hear about your 180. I'm sure the AS probably gives the best results for emergent growth since it is full of nutrients. I'm a big fan of this method. I'm probably going to give the hairgrass another 4 weeks to try and get it as thick as possible before I submerge the plants.

    On a side note, the Java Fern isn't doing too well at all. I think it's largely because I haven't made it completely airtight, so while the humidity in the tank is high, it isn't as high as it would get when close to completely airtight. The leaved tend to dry out a little, and it seems to be dying extremely slowly. It might still last by the time I submerge the tank, so I'll have to see.
     
  17. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Don't forget that Java Fern needs to have only the roots in the substrate. The thick whatsamacallit has to be above the substrate. (Brain freeze today) And, you probably should just prune off any leaves that are obviously dying.
     
  18. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks Hoppy, I think you were looking for "rhizome" =). I did make sure to keep it above the substrate and just have the roots below. As for pruning, should I cut it off at the base of the leaf? or pull it out?
     
  19. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Rhizome, rhizome, rhizome...I think I can remember that. My Windelov Java Fern is so vigorous I can prune the leaves just about any way I please and it just grows more vigorously. I suspect all Java Ferns are equally uncaring about the niceties of pruning.
     
  20. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi guys!

    Its time for an update! I m still resisting the urge to fill the aquarium! Planned submersion date is the 15th of May so there is still some time of patient waiting!!! The HC which were not planted with the rock wool attached seem to have adapted to the settig and are sending out runners and the hairgrass is sprouting new shoots too so i am happy! In the meantime im using this time to think about the final aquascape and which plants would be ideal for this setting!

    Currently i only have slow growing plnts in my setting! That is HC, hairgrss Anubaus ssp and E. tenellus! Before submersion i plan to order some fast growing plants to be able to control algae outbreaks as much as possible, however i am finding it difficult to decide on the choice of background plants to use!

    As i am planning a triangular setting with a diagonal bisecting tank from left to right i intended to plant either Limnophilia aquatica/ cabomba/Heternathera zosterifolia or valisseriana spp on the left bckground side but i just cant figure out which would the best choice be for a balanced finished look which complements the other plants!

    Tank will be illuminated for 10hrs with 3 X 10 000 lux flourescent tubes and also i intnt to inject 4 bubles per second of co2!

    WOuld appreciate any comments and help!

    Thanks a lot guys

    Chris
     
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