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

  1. #41
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

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    Quote Originally Posted by nospace View Post
    1.5 yrs O_o

    I really feel your pain gemo82...


    i think the key is maintaining a constant humidity level within the tank... not too high that it's optimal for mold growth, but not so low that the HC dries out...

    i would go and grab a barometer to conduct tests, but my tank is already full (which reminds me.. i need to go buy erythromycin).. and i don't particularly feel like using DSM again so soon...
    It's not that difficult. After you fill up the water to the soil level, Cover the top with cling wrap --> and then most importantly you have to make some holes on the plastics wrap with a toothpick. THis should free the trapped temp and humidity inside the tank to a more appropriate level Just my 50cents.. Good luck trying this

  2. #42
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    A question, now it's been a about a few months I've started a tank on dsm. There are algae growing on the sides of the tank and on some on the soil. Should I restart or just add more hair grass or leave it alone? I've topped up the water a little.

  3. #43
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by pvinpvin View Post
    It's not that difficult. After you fill up the water to the soil level, Cover the top with cling wrap --> and then most importantly you have to make some holes on the plastics wrap with a toothpick. THis should free the trapped temp and humidity inside the tank to a more appropriate level Just my 50cents.. Good luck trying this
    Hi pvinpvin,

    thanks for chipping in. your advice is very sound

    just wanted to point out that majority of the ppl having these issues with the DSM are in Singapore, not the USA

    hence my earlier assumption that the difference in humidity is the key... Singapore is pretty hot and humid throughout the year... :P

    Cheers!

  4. #44
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    nospace:

    Yes it is painful to clear the tank to restart, and 1.5 years may be intolerable when thinking about it, but ultimately, it is a hobby and hobby is to kill time. Even after flooding the tank, need to fertilise it, water changes, filter maintenance etc... for years till you decommission the tank. Got to admit it, we are all slaves of our aqua-hobby, just that I am currently willing to be stuck in this DSM phase since I got other tanks at other stages to play with, and to maintain =( It is all a process, so I slow down this stage to learn more, consoling myself that if I moved on to flood it, I'll have another tank to do water changes and maintenance and deal with other problems like algae.


    Wah using barometer, so scientific ah... Good to have data, if you can maintain different levels of humidity at constant then see what is the optimal level. But I see no point in going to that extent.

    Firstly, it is difficult to control the humidity as it changes constantly throughout, day and night. No point getting an equipment to monitor, without others to provide feedback and adjust whatever you are measuring. Unless you sit beside the tank and monitor yourself, mist the tank when humidity is low, air it when it rises...haha...Still, you cannot get a constant level...

    Secondly, you need to run the same test for different humidity level many times, either in the same tank (means you need to restart more times than me and take years) or to run many tanks at the same time (other variables like tank size, temperature and lighting level should be the same).

    Thirdly, even if you got the data, say x% humidity, it is only applicable to your current set-up (i.e. tank side, mass of plants, arrangement, amount of substrate, lighting, temperature etc).

    Also, there are just too many other variables we may not have taken into account, like what type of soil, water used to mist the plants, nutrients, etc etc).


    900801: Can you provide more information, like: are you just planting hairgrass? Is it still DSM, or moved on to flooding, or did you just partially fill it with water?
    If still at dry stage, the presence of algae confirms there is too much water in your tank. Scrap away those on the side glass, remove the layer of soil and top up soil, remove excess water.

    If you have already fully flooded your tank with water pump or filter running, then the methods are similar to the usual way of dealing with algae in planted aquariums. Remove algae, reduce lighting, increase CO2 or other carbon source, increase the full range of fertiliser dosing, increase water flow etc.

    If you have partially filled the tank, meaning the plants are submerged but no filter or water pump running yet, this is the worst scenario. Stagnant water with light = algae bloom. Clear the algae manually, then either drain the water fully and get back to DSM for a few weeks, or totally fill up with water, add some water movement and treat it like a normal planted tank.

    If the hairgrass is still alive and healthy, with good rooting, I see no point in restarting the tank. Maybe just replant on patches where they died, and trim those affected with algae.

  5. #45
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Hey Gemo82,

    not that scientific la... only instrument available to measure humidity is a barometer... only other way i know of is to DIY, use a tensioned strand of hair and measure at different intervals in a day.
    which is more appropriate for demonstrating humidity to primary school children rather than an instrument for measurement XD

    anyways, our hobby is not really an exact science, quite overkill to perform experiments like these in a 100% controlled environment.
    Humidity can be kept relatively constant by using cling wrap to seal the top of the tank with no holes / vents and locating the tank in a part of the house where temperature variance isn't very big.

    not going to conduct the experiment XD never thought i'd say this, but i'm very happy dealing with my blue green algae right now... anything is better than that stupid white mold...

  6. #46
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    That's my experience that Singapore tropical high temp-high humidity climate requires a significant modification to DSM to work. As I understand from the DSM threads in the various sites, the objective of sealing the tank is to create a green-house environment to induce the plants to grow quickly. I also notice that the sites reference climate that has four seasons and suggest that spring is the best time to start DSM.

    But Singapore average temp indoor is already at 30 degrees and humidity is 100% most of the time. Anyone wants to conduct experimental trials?

    The 2 tanks that I have doing DSM
    - tank 1 : glosso = algae because water level too high. Learn that I have to reduce to 2/3 ~ 3/4 of soil level. Also, must occasionally open the seal and let air in. I fell sick one week and did not do that and that was when the all the algae roam thru the tank.
    - tank 2 : hairglass. So far okay since I learn from the first tank. But spread rate of grass is very slow. I am in no hurry since I already have one tank. Will wait another 6 months for the grass to spread and re-assess.

  7. #47
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Hi Gemo82,
    Mine is at the first one you mention. It's at partially stage, i've just topped up the water a little. There are also cotton like fungus growing on some parts of the tank. Should i remove the hair grass along with it and buy new hair grass for replant?

  8. #48
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    nospace:

    I didn't know got tensioned hair experiment. If only my Primary School teachers were like you, Science lessons would have been more interesting (not that they were dull in the first place). Blue green algae not that tough, increasing water circulation should do the trick. Claudophora is the one haunting me since the beginning and I have given up fighting, accepting it's presence as long as it don't grow at places too unsightly.

    limwsv:

    tank 1: I would still suggest 0 water level. As long as you see some condensation when you wrap it up, the soil isn't dried up colour, that is enough moisture for the tank.
    tank 2: Hairgrass more hardy and easier to use for DSM. But from my experience, they spread super slow, however good the conditions are in DSM. Once rooted, you can actually flood the tank and be amazed by how fast they spread in water! Planting in smaller clumps (3-5 stalks) and trimming helps too.

    900801:

    Like I mentioned, hairgrass quite hardy. If you want to restart, you can reuse back the hairgrass (if they still look green under the web of fungus) in your tank, after washing away the fungus. If not, you can remove those clumps that are affected, wash and replant. Clear away all the fungus you can see, drain the water to below soil (best is no water, only moisturised soil) and let those newly planted hairgrass take root in 2-3 weeks. After that you can start to FULLY flood the tank, as I see no point in waiting for them to spread (too slow compared to in water).

  9. #49
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Tom,
    I plan to use the dry start method in the near future in my 40 gallon breder tank after I have mineralized my top soil instead of using ADA aqua soil so the top soil should be just as rich. I wanted to know if I should add my soil topping, which in my case will be small black glass beads 2 - 4 mm in size, before adding the water needed to moisten the substrate. Also how long each day should the tank lights be on. Thanks

  10. #50
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Thinking of trying out DSM but hesitate after reading this thread so far not many success cases in this tropical climate.
    Could it be :
    - with the high temperate of our climate, having a green house tank elevate the temperature inside too high beyond the plant can tolerate ? Unliked a submersed system it can't be cooled down with fan or chiller.
    (Anyone measure the ambient temperature inside the tank during the DSM phase?)
    - too much water "flooded"some of the plants hence rotten (not enough CO2 for those marginally submersed plants)
    - rotten plants started fungus growing (white web staff) and spreading ?
    - getting into a vicious cycle fungus infects more plant, more dead plant induce more fungus ...

    Any success story/refinement for local climate condition to share so we can learn from ?

  11. #51
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    Does plants grown emerse count?
    I do sort of partially start my tanks outside the flat using dsm. Flooding will start once I see them starting to spread.

    We are already in a greenhouse. So hot and humid in Singapore.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Think I should give it a trial with these measure :

    -moist but not flood the gravel
    -aquatic soil top with lapis sand?
    -daily spray(twice/day?) with fine mist of nutrient rich water (from
    an EI tank)
    -keep the top of the tank covered with plastic wrap but not completely sealed. leaving some air gap at the sides.
    -10 Hrs light period
    -measure the temperature in the tank to see if can infer the humidity compare to outside ambient temp.
    Will start a new thread to show the progress.

  13. #53
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by felix_fx2 View Post
    Does plants grown emerse count?...
    I would think so, i.e. doesn't mean not wrapping with cling-wrap != DSM

    Quote Originally Posted by dc88 View Post
    ...Will start a new thread to show the progress.
    Eager to see your progress

  14. #54
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Some photo updates of mine:





  15. #55
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Cool! How long it takes to be liked this ?
    Any pic show day 1 view to compare?

  16. #56
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Really great info.... thanks TS

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

    Quote Originally Posted by dc88 View Post
    Cool! How long it takes to be liked this ?...
    Around 4 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by dc88 View Post
    ...Any pic show day 1 view to compare?

  18. #58
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Hi everybody! I've seen this thread about 2 years now, and when I read it I thought "aquarium plants with no wather? what is this?" and decided to give it a try. I've grown in my tank (70x30x30) "marsilea hirsuta" with DSM, currently flooded. Here (Argentina) this hobbie isnt very popular and cant really get a nice batch of HC. I get, after barter A LOT a "sample" of it not much bigger than a fingernail, two o three leaves tough. Im trying to get it spread a bit after trying anything, lol.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, they helped me a lot!

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ralliart12 View Post
    Around 4 months.
    Absolutely amazing !!! Admiring your great patience.
    ...dig trenches, farming, ....

    Thanks for sharing ! I am encouraged to hang on...

  20. #60
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by dc88 View Post
    ...farming...
    Nope, no farming. My results are that of a newbie trying his luck at this planting technique; not at a success rate to claim to be able to farm HC.

    Quote Originally Posted by dc88 View Post
    ...Thanks for sharing ! I am encouraged to hang on...
    Please do. I have had my fair share of setbacks. My 1st attempt went on for 2 & a half months before this happened:



    & I restarted the entire tank for attempt #2.

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