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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. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I suggest you get a drop checker and use it to be sure you are providing enough CO2, instead of relying upon a specific number of bubbles per second of CO2. This would be a good choice for a drop checker: CAL AQUA LABS - Double Check CO2 Checker

    Chris, I don't see what size your tank is, and I'm not sure of the wattage of the lights you plan to use.
     
  2. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    HI VaughnH,

    My tank is 100 cm by 45cm by 55cm. I have 3 40W Flourescent tubes thus 120W in total on for 10 - 12hrs a day.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You should have enough light for the plants to grow, but those 40 watt T12 tubes are not at all efficient compared to T5 or even PC bulbs. Do you have room for a fourth 40 watt bulb? I think that would work better.
     
  4. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    I have space, but the thing is that to change to bulbs i have to get rid of all the fittings holding the tubes! I am really not good at these things!! :p

    Just one question: Has anyone had problems with mosquitos using this dry method! My tank has become some swamp i think! How can i get rid of them! am tempted to spray some insecticide but this is harmful in the long run!

    i ll post some pictures of the tank soon. WOuld appreciate any help with quascaping!

    Thanksa million!

    Chris
     
  5. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Wow! Mosquitoes? From what I know they require stagnant pools of water to breed in. If you don't flood the substrate, and keep the water level 1/2 inch below the surface I don't see how you could have mosquitoes breeding in there. Do you have any stagnant pools at the surface?
     
  6. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi there Orion, Yes i do have some shallow pools, at first i had none but with the daily misting of the plants, thw ater slowly rose up! Shouldi siphone off some of it u think andget rid of them??

    Chris
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Stagnant water plus light equals algae. That alone is reason to remove any visible water. As far as the mosquitoes go, if their larvae will just take lots of time before metamorphosis your new fish will love you for setting such a great house warming buffet for them.
     
  8. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Haha, what Vaughn says is true. Your fish would love you for it. However as he mentioned you don't want algae all over your substrate. If you look hard enough you might notice some algae on your glass near the substrate since it is always wet with nutrient rich water. I'd definitely get rid of the pools...siphoning can be a pain, a damp cloth or a few paper towels will do the trick.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    the evaporation rates are pretty high in many places, so the pools are gone pretty fast in my 180 gallon tank, the HC is starting to grow in pretty fast now after sitting for about 2 weeks.

    The same is true in submersed culture.
    You will get denser growth in submersed culture after you flood the tank.

    I am going to squeeze a few sponge filters worth of mulm into the new filter, that+4-5 weeks worth of HC growth, plenty of NH4 in the sediment, high surface area, will help the system's microbial community better than any other method I know of.

    The other thing is that it's almost too easy.
    Looking and thinking about how many water changes etc I'd need to do to get to this point and the stages of the algae as well.........

    Not a bad deal at all.

    I'll pack the back and rear sections with plenty of plants from my other tanks, I have a nice 3000gph wave maker, UV, excellent mechanical filtration, venturi CO2, very flexible lighting.

    The tank should be up and running well rather quickly.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. orion2001

    orion2001 Guru Class Expert

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    Sounds great Tom. I can't wait to see you fill that beast up and pack it with plants. It should be awesome!
     
  11. Dusko

    Dusko Prolific Poster

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    Exactly something I didn't do when started the submersed part. Only low plants (HC, Blyxa) + fertilisers + HI-light = Hair algae all over.
    I should have planted heavily with tall plants from submersed day one.

    Regards, Dusko
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Note, once the tank stabilizes, then you can remove them and go back to normal.
    Or you can focus a lot more on CO2, adding Amano shrimps and doing more water changes.

    Excel does not have good general effects on Cladophora near as I can tell.
    Spot dosing, it will kill most any species though.
    But that can be said for H2O2, bleach, permangnate etc etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. AdlA

    AdlA Junior Poster

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    I am trying this method to grow an HC carpet but had an outbreak of blue green agae. What's the best way to eradicate bga on HC growing emersed?
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Blackout works fine, alternatively, you can simply spray EM diluted in a spray bottle(say 200mls of water and one tablet), and spray with that. Do this 3 days in a row. You can/should lower the water level and allow the sediment to dry out more if you get algae/fungi etc

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    I have encountered a problem. My HC plants were doing fine util 2 days ago when suddenly 2 of my HC plants which were doing fine detriorated and nearly died! WHat could the reason be?

    ANother question i d like to ask is whether HC grows fastest when submersed or emersed? The 4 weeks have nearly passed and i am no wherenear close to having a carpet! :p PAtience is a virtue i know.....

    Am worried about my dying HC it feels as if all the effort was im vain! Couditbe becuse of inadequate lighting?? I have 3 30w T8 tubes. Is it enough for my tank measuring 100 cm/45/50cm.

    CAn you please Help!

    Thanks
     
  16. AdlA

    AdlA Junior Poster

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    I'll give the blackout a try first. If that doesn't work, I'll try the EM.

    My water level is actually pretty low. The top part of the substrate is dry. It's the lower part that is sumbersed that is growing the bga.

    Thanks much!
     
  17. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Do you mean the BGA is below the top of the substrate? If so, the easy fix is masking tape, or something better looking, to mask off the substrate from the light coming through the glass. One sure thing - no light means no BGA.
     
  18. AdlA

    AdlA Junior Poster

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    Yeah, the bga is mostly below the top of the substrate. I'll try taping off the edges as well when I black it out just to be sure I get rid of it all!

    Much thanks!
     
  19. redcaptrio

    redcaptrio Junior Poster

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    i have a quick question.. can HC be grown without CO2 supplementation at all after flooding the tank? or can HC be grown on a non-CO2 tank for that matter? TIA
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, use Excel and it does very well.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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