Minimum room temperature for DSM ?

bill321

Junior Poster
Feb 2, 2010
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Hello all,

I have been reading about Tom Barr's Dry Start Method and I would like to see if this is something I could try. But I have a concern about the temperature in my house.

I live in Colorado and in the winter months we keep the temperature of the house at about ~68 F during the day and at night it drops down to ~62 F while we are in bed sleeping.

Once my tank is filled with water and has an appropriate heater, I know can keep the water temps in the 76-82 F range. But when the tank is in the "dry start" phase.....will 62F be too cold during the nights?

The wife's house plants seem to be healthy in these temperatures, but then again those are all very well established plants. I know that with the DSM it would be like a little green house in the tank during the day with the lights on, but I wonder if 62F is too cold for struggling little new plants during the nights when the lights are off.

Thanks and forgive my ignorance.

Bill321
 
C

csmith

Guest
Not a big deal.

I'm also in Colorado and DSMing a tank right now. In the morning my tank is around 67-68 degrees, but my house is also at around 71-72. I was advised to get a reptile heater for inside the tank if the temperature became an issue, or even put a heating pad under the tank to keep the internal temp up over night.
Check out my DSM thread. Lots of good advice.
 
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jonny_ftm

Guru Class Expert
Mar 5, 2009
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Most plants won't bother in my opinion. The lights + a lid will help maintain a bit higher and plants should do well if other conditions are met. Humidity and water on soil are the most critical parts to avoid problems
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Tropical?

Hi Bill321,

I tend to recommend some type of heat principally to maintain the humidity, though I also think stabilizing the temperature keeping the swings down is a good idea. Living in an arid or semi-arid environment I suspect increase the problems. :)


You do not mention the type of plants, but I assume they are tropical and I suspect the temperature can send mixed signals at the very time we want them growing.

If it is a smaller tank, a heating pad and a towel or blanket covering the tank at night can help. Reptile heaters or even infrared basking bulbs, I have even used small ceramic electric space heaters under the tank and draping a canvas painters drop cloth (new) over the tank. I am starting a bit larger sort of tank and I am using a small ceramic electric space heater in the tank to keep the temperature and humidity stable. :)



Biollante
 

Philosophos

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In my experience, a good seal on the top of the tank (glass lid with striping) goes a long way for retaining heat and humidity. Plastic wrap made for a much more difficult dry start than glass. ~62 degrees at night was just fine in my 20 gal emersed growth tray, where the plastic wrap covered 48 gal ended up with some die off.
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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I Am Sure It Will Work Anyway You Chose

Hi,

My suspicion is that Dan lives in one of those places where relative humidity over 50% is common, even at night.

I do not know where you live in Colorado, but my guess is that your humidity starts out a little lower and plunges from there.

Also just to be clear I was not advocating the use of towels, blankets or drop cloths for any purpose other than retaining heat.

I am not suggesting that a heater is a necessity only that it will help in a couple of ways.

Just me.
I suspect tropical plants, maintained in stable warmer humid conditions tend to grow more rapidly and robustly. I really only have my experience and the difference I observed in ‘dry starting,’ growing out and transitioning some to bog or terrestrial plants.

Admittedly, the point in my producing and growing out so much Echinodorus spp. is to look at nutrient uptake, particularly iron. Therefore, the answer is no I cannot definitively say tropical plants grow better in tropical conditions, just an observation and adjustment to speed the process. Seems to apply to other species as well. :) Then I also cheat by providing extra CO2 as well. :eek:

Biollante
 

Philosophos

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I live in one of those places without much humidity, but I have so many tanks in my little place that the humidity inside of it never goes below 50%. Both enclosures still required frequent misting, and I found that even light nutrients in the solution seemed to do more harm than good. I enclosed the glass top one in tinfoil for the sake of retaining as much light as possible, which also did a little for insulation.

Both of their growth rate was staggeringly higher during the hotter months, and not even a fresh bulb matched the growth related to increased metabolism from ambient heat.

The nice bit here is that I had HC to compare in both setups, and some staurogyne. They both behaved the same in general, though the HC seemed a bit more sensitive.