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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Beautiful! And thank you.

    So you will take these "mats" of HC and put them into the aquarium when they are fully grown?
    normally is plant direct in the tank and grow them emersed or in easier terms Dry.
    Hence the saying "Dry start method", generally water will be introduced after growth is established enough (depend on individual)
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by felix_fx2 View Post
    generally water will be introduced after growth is established enough (depend on individual)
    I heard many people say that HC really needs CO2 injection after they are immersed. So is it really impossible to keep HC in a low tech tank without HC but with a lot of sun and a lot of fish? That is what I plan to do, with other plants added as well. I hope the fish respiration will provide sufficient CO2.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by felix_fx2 View Post
    normally is plant direct in the tank and grow them emersed or in easier terms Dry.
    Hence the saying "Dry start method", generally water will be introduced after growth is established enough (depend on individual)
    boss... meaning after out of farm, when you want to start a new tank you still need to dsm the new tank?
    thinking to follow you to not waste few weeks ahead.
    also, you move the whole soil or again need to dismantle the plants?


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

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    I heard many people say that HC really needs CO2 injection after they are immersed. So is it really impossible to keep HC in a low tech tank without HC but with a lot of sun and a lot of fish? That is what I plan to do, with other plants added as well. I hope the fish respiration will provide sufficient CO2.
    to me, the sun so powerful cannot consider low tech but mid.

    if only hc, yes and no , yes you can grow it & no it cannot last if you mantain it as you would with a low tech setup.

    just a gentle fyi, i used to do hc nano tanks outside. after dsm 3-6 weeks flood, after growth established every evening 5-10 mins algae spottin. bi monthly trimming. quite alot of work lol
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by mukyo View Post
    boss... meaning after out of farm, when you want to start a new tank you still need to dsm the new tank?
    thinking to follow you to not waste few weeks ahead.
    also, you move the whole soil or again need to dismantle the plants?


    removed annoyingly long tapatalk signature :banghead:
    dsm is so the plants get a good rooting.
    unless your target tank is soil on top & you move a large chunk of soil along with it. your not transplanting.

    soil + alot of water = cloudy water

    what do you think?
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    I heard many people say that HC really needs CO2 injection after they are immersed. So is it really impossible to keep HC in a low tech tank without HC but with a lot of sun and a lot of fish? That is what I plan to do, with other plants added as well. I hope the fish respiration will provide sufficient CO2.
    If you have alot of light but not enough Co2, the HC growth will be limited and all the excess light will be taken advantage by algae.

    Its very difficult to stock enough fishes to supply enough Co2 from their respiration to match higher light levels (naturally occurring Co2 levels from fishes can never get as high as with Co2 injection)... worse still, overstocking of fishes = excess bioload and excess nutrients from their waste, which the HC cannot use due to limited Co2, hence a totally unbalanced system for both the fishes and plants.

    You can have a read though my HC DSM and subsequent maintenance of the HC carpet in a non-Co2 injected tank here:

    http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...ethod-Journal!

    http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...ape-quot-Tank!

    Note that in the setup, i had to balance the plant types and density, nutrients (ie. control the bioload) and light (ie. use "siesta regimen" schedule) very carefully to match the limited Co2 available.

    It is definitely alot more difficult (and much slower) to grow and maintain a HC carpet in a non-Co2 injected tank, but its possible if you are able to keep everything constantly under control.
    Last edited by Urban Aquaria; 20th Oct 2013 at 16:46.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Thank you for pointing me to that wonderful thread.

    After reading through it, I noticed there was no discussion of your filter and associated equipment. I thought the low tech method does not use any filter at all except for simple mechanical filter to avoid clogging the pump?

    You use de-chlorinated water. Is that water straight from the tap?

    Your 20% routine water change also surprised me, as the low tech method usually keeps the same water for a few months.

    As for light duration, can I implement a closed loop control system where I continuously measure the CO2 in the water and shut off the light once it reaches a low level?
    Last edited by myhui; 20th Oct 2013 at 17:41.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Thank you for pointing me to that wonderful thread.

    After reading through it, I noticed there was no discussion of your filter and associated equipment. I thought the low tech method does not use any filter at all except for simple mechanical filter to avoid clogging the pump?
    If you refer to the first post in the 2nd thread that i posted, it mentions all of the tank's equipment and specifications. I used an Eheim 2224 on that particular tank, which is actually much more filtration than required for that tank size. The higher volume of bio-media and filtration helped to keep the water parameters more stable.

    There are many variants in setups labelled as "low-tech"... in planted tank context, "low-tech" usually refers to tanks with filters and lights, but without any Co2 injection (and consequently also reduced light levels, and either lower or no fertilizer dozing).

    On the other hand, the tanks that are setup and run without filter (and/or with only sunlight and usually with common potting soil) are usually referred to as "natural planted" or "walstad style" tanks, those are setup using lot of fast growing plants with very dense mass to act as the "natural filter" and very little fauna (only a few fishes or shrimps) to keep the bio-load as low as possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    You use de-chlorinated water. Is that water straight from the tap?
    The water i use is from the tap and treated with Seachem Prime, which removes the chlorine and chloramine, along with toxic metals and residual ammonia.


    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Your 20% routine water change also surprised me, as the low tech method usually keeps the same water for a few months.
    Depends on tank setup and water conditions... some people don't do water changes for a long period of time, but the majority do regular water changes as a common practice.

    Water changes help to remove excess nitrates which will naturally build up in a planted tank (due to bio-load and especially with nutrient-rich aquasoil like ADA), so unless the tank is super heavily planted with established dense plant mass to consume all the nitrates, its best to do water changes to moderate the nitrate levels and also help to equalize/replenish minerals back into the tank.
    Last edited by Urban Aquaria; 20th Oct 2013 at 18:38.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    As for light duration, can I implement a closed loop control system where I continuously measure the CO2 in the water and shut off the light once it reaches a low level?
    wouldn't that create disorder? as in inconsistent photoperiod generates alot problems.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    As for light duration, can I implement a closed loop control system where I continuously measure the CO2 in the water and shut off the light once it reaches a low level?
    I've not heard of anyone automating the light supply schedule based on amount of Co2 available in the water before, most people automate the amount and duration of Co2 injection instead.

    In a non-Co2 injected tank, it'll be even more tricky as the Co2 naturally available is already very low, like only 3-5ppm... not sure if there is any way to even detect such low levels and tiny variations of Co2 with existing equipment. I guess it'll be quite tough to automate the light schedule in detail to match such low levels of Co2 too.
    Last edited by Urban Aquaria; 20th Oct 2013 at 18:54.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Aquaria View Post
    In a non-Co2 injected tank, it'll be even more tricky as the Co2 naturally available is already very low, like only 3-5ppm... not sure if there is any way to even detect such low levels and tiny variations of Co2 with existing equipment. I guess it'll be quite tough to automate the light schedule in detail to match such low levels of Co2 too.
    I meant to put the sun duration inside a control loop. How to automate that is indeed difficult.

    Walstsd's Figure XI-2 shows what can be done in terms of measurement technique. Whether that can be automated is the big challenge.

    Hence, putting aside how difficult it is to automate that, if I can manually measure the CO2, then I'll just pull the curtains to block the sun to my tank the moment the CO2 level drops too low. My point was that the duration of sun exposure each day is different, hence the need to control this as a function of CO2 level.

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

    Here is a CO2 probe that can be connected to computers:

    http://www.aquatictechtank.net/viewtopic.php?t=11


    8283703783_b482401e9e.jpg

    http://www.co2meter.com/collections/...evelopment-kit

    The sensitivity is not sufficient for non-CO2 tanks though, I suspect.
    Last edited by myhui; 21st Oct 2013 at 10:47.

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

    seriously you can easily have successful planted thank without the expensive spending on automated gadget. Unless those are part of your interest.
    -Robert
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    I meant to put the sun duration inside a control loop. How to automate that is indeed difficult.

    Walstsd's Figure XI-2 shows what can be done in terms of measurement technique. Whether that can be automated is the big challenge.

    Hence, putting aside how difficult it is to automate that, if I can manually measure the CO2, then I'll just pull the curtains to block the sun to my tank the moment the CO2 level drops too low. My point was that the duration of sun exposure each day is different, hence the need to control this as a function of CO2 level.
    Yeah, it'll be quite a hassle to keep pulling the curtains every time you detect the Co2 levels are low (if they can be tested), then open them again when they are higher. You'll also need to keep testing the sun intensity too (some days sunny, some days rainy). Seems like alot of constant testing required.

    I guess its possible to automate detection with high-sensitivity Co2 measurement equipment, then link to a light intensity sensor at the window, both do their calculations and send data to automated motorized curtains/blinds to open/close according to the Co2 levels and light available.

    Problem is even after doing all those things, the tank is still working with very low Co2 levels anyways... so the overall plant growth is still slow. If the sky is dark everyday like during rainy season, then the tank doesn't get much light for extended periods either.

    For less effort and simplicity, most chaps would just buy a Co2 tank with solenoid regulator and inject Co2 in schedule with their aquarium lights instead, much easier.
    Last edited by Urban Aquaria; 21st Oct 2013 at 12:46.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Why do I need to measure the sun's intensity? There is only one independent variable: dissolved CO2 level.

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

    I want to know when the dissolved CO2 has been depleted. How else do I know unless I measure it either directly or indirectly?

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

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Why do I need to measure the sun's intensity? There is only one independent variable: dissolved CO2 level.
    That's true, i see your point... since the sunlight availability and intensity would dictate the Co2 take up rate by the plants, only measuring the Co2 levels is required, a light sensor isn't needed.

    I guess the key to this type of setup is whether you can find a method or equipment to constantly detect and monitor Co2 changes accurately at very low ppm levels.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    Why do I need to measure the sun's intensity? There is only one independent variable: dissolved CO2 level.
    That's true, i see your point... since the light availability and intensity would dictate the Co2 take up rate by the plants anyways (with Co2 being the limited resource), only measuring the Co2 levels is required, a light sensor isn't needed.


    Quote Originally Posted by myhui View Post
    I want to know when the dissolved CO2 has been depleted. How else do I know unless I measure it either directly or indirectly?
    I guess the key to this type of setup is whether you can find a method or equipment to constantly detect and monitor Co2 changes at very low ppm levels.
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Any particular reason you want to use sun light instead of light bulb? Assuming not a pond
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    Re: DSM, Dry start method for starting a new planted tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Any particular reason you want to use sun light instead of light bulb? Assuming not a pond
    No it is not a pond.

    I happen to have a west facing window that gets reflected sun before noon, and three hours of direct sun after noon.

    With such a wonderful natural setting, I want to take full advantage of it.

    This tank has already experienced over exposure under the sun once, resulting in a massive algae bloom. Hence if I have a reliable means of detecting when the dissolved carbon dioxide is about to run out, then I will block the sun at that time and avoid another algae bloom.

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