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Thread: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

  1. #1
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    DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

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    Subquaria

    Sera
    This method I developed is nothing new, but combines two hobbies I have.
    Terrariums and aquatic emergent plant growth, and start up phases of aquariums.

    Most all aquatic plants are grown emergent. This reduces pest and algae and increases the rates of growth dramatically without having to use CO2 at a massive scale as well as reduced labor/operational cost.

    Using this same horticultural method, we may start a new aquarium in the same manner, saturating the soil with water, and allowing the leaves to remain in contact with the air above for good CO2/O2 exchange.

    Obviously, we must everything that the plants require into the water or sediment at the "dry phase" as they are totally dependent on root uptake.
    So I suggest ADA Aqua soil alone for this as once we flood the aquarium, it looks nice and does well for the plants.

    Since it also contains NH4, this will help cycle the aquarium before you even fill the tank up(you typically wait 1-2 months before filling the tank, plenty of time for the bacteria to be well established).

    Here's the benefits to the method:

    Well, after the 4th week, I have 60 Cardinals, 70 amano shrimp, 40 Otto cats, 36 N. espei pencil fish and few L number plecos. The HC continues to dramatically grow without any issues.

    Based on this case example, this method provides a simple easy no labor method to produce any number of low growing foreground rock or wood aquascapes without any real work.

    No algae
    No water changes/loose pieces floating around/being pulled up
    No replanting
    No cycling the aquarium
    No dosing
    No fiddling with CO2
    No having to buy a lot of plant material initially
    No transition from emergent to submersed states(some plants will, but with good CO2, this is greatly minimized)
    No extra electrical cost running other equipment during the dry phase.
    No labor
    Can do it outside in a tray even.........

    Week 3


    Week 7



    Week 8:

    Filling the tank:



    Regards,
    Tom Barr

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    It takes about 2 weeks for the Hc to root well and produce new leaves above the surface, they are putting down roots initially, so you do not see that part.
    So be patient, the same is true if you do his the traditional way and not via the DSM.

    here's the tank 3-4 weeks after filling it up and pearling is intense, there's no transition phase at all:





    Week 1 after filling:



    The method is actually insanely simple.
    Most folks slap their heads and wonder why we have not been doing this all along?
    ADA even does the wasbai which really suggest something similar, but for some reason, ADA never took it to this next step.

    Seems like for most any foreground plant aquascape, this is the only method anyone would really want, the cost for a nice rug of HC is far far less and you only have to wait and not do any labor/algae removal/no water changes etc for the same rates of fill in and growth(you actually get better results using this method vs submersed).

    I have found no problem issues or negative trade offs with this method, few folks add fish inside the first 1 month time frame anyway. You still have to wait 1-2 months anyways, so the patience issue is still the same as well.
    You add the stem plants when you fill the aquarium or any other plants that you want that cannot handle the emergent condition without problems, or changes in their appearance. However, those plants grow really fast and are easy to establish.

    So try this out, it's really a no brainer.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

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    I came across your article some time back in plantedtank.net and have tried it out myself, i wouldnt say it a 100% successful method from the looks of things, same deal with alot of other stuff you have mentioned to the community. Namely because there are too many variables for different users and we dont follow down to the last letter on how you proceed to have these great success everytime.


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    Hi Tom, may I know if we're able to use this method for certain specimens only? Quite a while ago, I tried growing a lawn using this method but it melted & rotted on me. Sorry, I forgot which plant I was experimenting with.

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    Like i say, its like a cook book recipe posted on the internet. Have it being made by people across different locale, or just to have a sample test of different people making it and you will have different taste, fragrant, scent, after taste or something off all together. Even though the ingredients are the same, but its not from the same source, it is not possible to have a consistent result.

    That is the way how things really work in aquarium world.

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    Yeah, I agree with torque6. I had tried using this method on Glosso but it kept on growing upwards, despite a few trimmings . Feeling frustrated, I pulled out all the visible Glosso before flooding the tank. Now, I see Glosso starting to creep all over the substrate .

    This method is very useful in establishing a strong root system before flooding the tank.
    Last edited by uklau; 25th Jun 2008 at 10:38.
    Cheers,
    U.K.Lau

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    I got a question for the Singapore folks. Where do we get the emergent plants? Most of the plants I have seen in the LFS are submerged. If we use the DSM won't it cause problem for the submerged plants which have to once again go through the transitional phase?

    And for Tom, do we really to use nutrient rich soil like ADA stuff or just plain gravel will do? Does the ambient temperature and humidity play a factor? Singapore is pretty hot here and those that replied above are Singaporeans so the results may be different from what you get in your country.
    Yours Truly, Avan

    I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

    ~ Henry David Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyblack View Post
    I got a question for the Singapore folks. Where do we get the emergent plants? Most of the plants I have seen in the LFS are submerged.
    You tried Teo?
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by zyblack View Post
    I got a question for the Singapore folks. Where do we get the emergent plants? Most of the plants I have seen in the LFS are submerged. If we use the DSM won't it cause problem for the submerged plants which have to once again go through the transitional phase?
    Avan,

    Most plants kept by LFS in their tank are in emmersed form (from the farm). I only know of Colourful having most of their plants in submersed form.

    The leaves of the plant will speak for itself whether it's submersed or emersed .
    Last edited by uklau; 25th Jun 2008 at 11:48.
    Cheers,
    U.K.Lau

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    Tried this method and what I got are a lot of white webs and melting like what torque experienced. I must say you get different set of problems with our hot weather and pests.
    You can if you dare to fail - Stan Chung

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    Did your cover with glass lid or plastic wrap to keep it moist? As Tom had mentioned,

    "One of the keys is growing it high moisture, so a glass lid or a plastic wrap should be used along with the tank's lighting(1.5 w-2w/gal of standard FL's works pretty well)."

    If covering the whole thing wouldn't it be even high temperature like Singapore weather?

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! TIME TO LAY BACK AND RELAX!
    A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step

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    Yes. It did not dry up but it had this white fungus web growing.
    You can if you dare to fail - Stan Chung

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    I did try it before on my office tank, temperature is around 24 degree C. I'm successfully growing it submerse however, it all melt within a week after I flood the tank.

    I guess this method not as easy as Tom sugested, are we missing something?
    -Robert
    Aquascaping is a marriage between Art and Farming
    My Blog: http://aquatic-art.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goondoo View Post
    You tried Teo?
    Nope. Never been there. A bit of the way out for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by uklau View Post
    Avan,

    Most plants kept by LFS in their tank are in emmersed form (from the farm). I only know of Colourful having most of their plants in submersed form.

    The leaves of the plant will speak for itself whether it's submersed or emersed .
    Oh I see. How do you tell if they are emersed or submersed? Colour or something I should look out for?
    Yours Truly, Avan

    I went into the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life... to put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

    ~ Henry David Thoreau

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    I did try it before on my office tank, temperature is around 24 degree C. I'm successfully growing it submerse however, it all melt within a week after I flood the tank.
    I guess this method not as easy as Tom sugested, are we missing something?
    The usual guessing game.

    I removed my melted/rotting HC today and found additional ingredients, not sure if the advance melting could be due to them....



    earth worms !??

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue33 View Post
    Did your cover with glass lid or plastic wrap to keep it moist? As Tom had mentioned,
    "One of the keys is growing it high moisture, so a glass lid or a plastic wrap should be used along with the tank's lighting(1.5 w-2w/gal of standard FL's works pretty well)."

    Forgot to add my tank is under wraps, I have only added 3 scopes of water 2 weeks back, no new water ever since.

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    Hi, Folks,
    I am a layman on Aqua lighting and keen to learn.
    I have a brief idea on WPG and Lumeng.


    But when coming to the terms T5, PL etc. and 6000K, 8000K etc, I am totally lost.
    How many types of aquatic lighting tubes are out there and what are they?
    How different are they?

    What are the big names of the major brands of lighting fixtures and tubes?

    I currently have a Eheim MP tank(150L, roughtly 40G) with MP lighting 2x39W T5 tubes. Don't know whether it's a good setup. I consider it low lighting since it's 2WPG, what do you guys think?

    Can you guys link me to a good tutorial on aqua lighting?
    Thanks in advance!

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    I tried this method with HC in a small container, but everytime I add abit more water, the part that touches water, the leaves will turn brown and gone... some suggest that there are not enough CO2, wonder what went wrong..

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    I get confused when he says no need to add CO2, seeing as its in the air.

    But if folks are keeping a lid or wrap over the top then doesnt that trap the air, making air flow minimal if at all static?

    So do you need a lid or not. I think Tom Bar needs to reiterate a few missed out gaps here and there to clarify on everyones confusion. Maybe that way peoples results may improve eh
    Verminator

    Aquatic fanatic and keen learner of aquascaping

    The canvas is what you make it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireblade View Post
    I tried this method with HC in a small container, but everytime I add abit more water, the part that touches water, the leaves will turn brown and gone... some suggest that there are not enough CO2, wonder what went wrong..
    Quote Originally Posted by Verminator View Post
    I get confused when he says no need to add CO2, seeing as its in the air.

    But if folks are keeping a lid or wrap over the top then doesnt that trap the air, making air flow minimal if at all static?

    So do you need a lid or not. I think Tom Bar needs to reiterate a few missed out gaps here and there to clarify on everyones confusion. Maybe that way peoples results may improve eh
    That's what he's creating, GREEN HOUSE! when cover it. Plants produce CO2 and heat trap inside helps to circulate around, all sorts of gas is create for it to grow. Green house is something like self supply itself. Too much water will causes it to melt, that's what Torque6 is facing in early part, it needs moisture and not flooded with water. Do a search on "Green House" and you will know why!

    Verminator, you got to read carefully, you have missed out some part and infact most of the people missed out here and there. That's why most people failed. Though Tom has drafted the detail step of setting up.

    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! TIME TO LAY BACK AND RELAX!
    A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step

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