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DSM - going low tech - advice on plants, please?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Firefrog, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Firefrog

    Firefrog Junior Poster

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    Hello,

    I'm from the UK - returning to planted tanks after 6 years break. I have 2, both starting under DMS

    Tank One (aka 'Learning Curve') is the one with the big questions

    Originally, I had planned pressurised CO2 and had planted accordingly. Since then, mainly as a result of reading the non-CO2 thread here, I have decided that low-tech, non-CO2 would fit the entire family better than if I were to exercise my obsessive/addictive streak.

    I'm 6 weeks into the DSM, but there's still time to change - tho' I may need to change the plants

    Data as follows:

    dimensions: 90 x 75 x 45cm (roughly 250 litres/65 US gals when full, taking into account the volume of the substrate)

    Lights: 4 x 39W T5 w reflectors. Currently on 12 hrs a day, all 4. Will reduce to 2 @ 5 hours when I flood

    substrate: Columbo Florabase and ADA Xingu sand

    plants: nice carpet of Hemianthus c. Some P helferi, that I love, some Staurogyne, 4x Anubias nana 'gold', lots of moss, some other bits I've put in to see what happens. Still to come: crypts (don't know what yet), java fern, bolbitis fern and a lot more moss

    So - my question - last night I re-scaped to reduce some sand and increase the surface area of active substrate - and had planned to plant it with either Pogostemon or Staurogyne - but I am in doubt as to whether these are going to melt on me in a relatively low CO2 environment when I flood?

    I've done a dozen searches and got a dozen different answers to that: some people say they *need* CO2 and will melt without, others that they're fine as long as they're grown in first.

    So I thought I'd come to The Source and ask: I'm happy to use glutaraldeyhyde if I have to -but if I grow them in well first, will they need pressurised CO2?

    Images:
    View from right front showing Hc carpet:
    [​IMG]

    and from above

    [​IMG]

    New shot this morning of the left front showing the newly substrated area - I'd like to cover this with either P.helferi (my preference) or, at a push, Staurogyne sp. But not if everyone says they'll melt under low carbon input - I'm happy to dose Excel if that's what's needed, tho' it's not my ideal for the tank.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If they *will* melt, then what would you suggest instead? Low crypts? which ones? Anything else?

    and

    I had planned stem plants - ceratopteris - for the left side and back - will these survive low CO2? If not, what else might be good?

    Many thanks



    Ff
     
    #1 Firefrog, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2010
  2. chad320

    chad320 Prolific Poster

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    If you can find emergent pogostemon it I would grow it to about 12" before starting to emmerse it. As for the HC, im guessing if youre going non co2 your going to have trouble with it underwater. Mine didnt like not having co2 at all. Crypts, criniums, aponogetons, ludwigias, and rotals wont give you any trouble though.
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    A lot will depend on how much light they get when you flood. Even keeping 2x39 watt of T5 is a lot more light than you think...

    I would suggest using ONE bulb and keep some excel handy when you flood.

    Remember that LIGHT is what will drive your c02 demand. The more light, the more c02 is needed.

    So, you can start of with very low light, see how they adjust. If okay, add a bulb and see. Are the lights adjustable? If not can they be made to be so? Many DIY ways to do this..

    A PAR meter would help increase light incrementally, but you get the idea I think.

    Very nice setup so far and you have some excellent growth...

    Can't wait to see it flooded and with fish...
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    BTW, I changed the DMS to DSM (Dry Start Method) in the title to help those who search...

    Hope you don't mind....
     
  5. Firefrog

    Firefrog Junior Poster

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    Thanks to all - I had the lights changed from 4 on one plug to 2 x 2 by the vendor -I'm not sure I can do the DIY to reduce it to one bulb - unless I simply take one bulb?

    I had planned floating plants from the start to reduce the light, plus of course, being such a wide tank, and given that I have a luminaire, it's likely that the plants at a distance from the light will be getting far less...

    I'll talk to my partner's brother and see if he's any good at lighting DIY

    and - glutaraldehyde is pretty toxic stuff - has anyone done any studies on how it affects fish behaviour? It might not kill them (or the shrimp) but they might feel pretty lousy, in which case, I'd rather just go for pressurised CO2...

    has anyone any ideas on Pogostemon and whether it'll survive?

    thanks, all

    PS - added at edit - thanks for changing the title, I hadn't noticed the finger slip...:)

    Ff
     
  6. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Pogostemon can grow in non CO2 and very low light. But it is a requiring plant in a non CO2 tank.

    The easiest way in my opinion is to inject high CO2 and nutrients as EI when you flood it to easier the transition from ambiant air with high CO2 to emersion with low CO2. Reduce light the maximum you can. 1 wpg T5 can be very high ligh in non CO2 I think. You can play with luminaire height too, or add some tinted cover to the luminaire if needed.

    Once plants are doing fine, switch to a non CO2 no waterchange.

    Now, Tom or someone elese can tell you if they ever tested DSM ---> non CO2. I only tested DSM --> CO2
     
  7. Firefrog

    Firefrog Junior Poster

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    I'd rather hoped that Tom would jump in here... I have read somewhere that he said that DSM --> non CO2 was an ideal route, but I can't find it anywhere now that I need it.

    And yes, CO2 or even glutaraldehyde before I add the fish (really don't like the idea of what it'll do to them if I add it when they're in there) to aid the transition would be wise. And I'll shade out some of the light - got floating plants on the way, to stay in a water butt 'till I'm ready.

    thanks, all

    Ff (who hadn't planned *at all* to be a trail blazer... so is hoping that lots of people have actually done this already)
     
  8. Firefrog

    Firefrog Junior Poster

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    My hero!

    Thank you....

    thank heaven I'm not the first...

    so - I'm putting some crytps, some java fern, some bolbitis fern in when they arrive from Holland, and will let it run for at least another month before I flood. Then Excel for a couple of weeks to let everything adjust to the new environment, then pull that and begin to add fish...

    yay!

    ff
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Cryptcyrne parva is a good choice for a low growing crypt in low tech tank. I'm thinking of using it in a low tech nano soon.
     
  10. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I never read that one, my shame. What I advised is at the end what Tom suggested in the hybdrid method article. CO2 should be injected (or excel) once you flood to easier plant transition.
    On very low light tanks, even with CO2 and well chosen plants/population, you can achieve a low tech maintenance level, except for waterchanges.
     
  11. Firefrog

    Firefrog Junior Poster

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    But some magical people manage to achieve low tech *without* the water changes... :)

    It's not that I mind changing water, per se, It's easily done with hoses and a tap, but I like the idea of the self-contained system...

    so I"ll see if it can be done

    ff
     
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