I definitely see new glosso growth as some of them start to die off. Also, as you can see in the 3rd pic, some of the HC bunches look rotted and dead, while the rest look green and lively. There is definitely HC starting to runner out and new small leaves popping up. Should I leave the rotted looking parts there so that they can break down for the bacteria, or remove it so that they don't rot up the rest of the root system of the other HC bunches?
I have not submerged the substrate in water at all; in fact, all I have been doing is spraying (Excel + tank water from my 20H + dry ferts in 750mL bottle) a good amount twice a day (when I get to work and before I leave work). I know the DSM method calls for submerging the substrate no more than 1" over it, but I think the heavy spraying I'm doing is working quite well.
Iv'e never read to go one inch over the substrate before. I try to keep mine with enough water that most of those air spaces in the substrate is gone. I'd add more water personally, but it looks good so far.
I should probably break up some of the bigger HC clumps and replant them to fill up some of the empty spaces. Also, I am noticing HC growing more spread out than the glosso. The glosso has a good amount of new growth, but it seems to be a little bit upward instead of laterally. I'm also going to try and remove the dead looking clumps of HC. The java moss is doing its thing, sopping up the moisture.
Thanks guys for the props! Xalyx, I peeled back the cling wrap to take the above-tank pictures. I had to travel for work again this past week, so the tank was covered for 4 straight days without any misting. I think this is a good period to build up the moisture and let the substrate dry out a little bit.
RiverRat, I ordered mine online from the ADG shop. It shipped perfectly fine. There are a lot of journals and set ups that I have looked through on here for inspiration. My initial inspiration was this awesome tank:
This is week 3 of my DSM. The HC bunches have grown a great amount. This week I decided to break some of the clusters up and break them up into smaller pieces to fill in some gaps. I know a lot of you use aquasoil, but I think eco complete is fine too. When I was breaking up the clusters, the roots were clinging to the granules of ecocomplete, which is good; they were getting their nutrients from them and the roots were established well.
Week 3 Update:
After breaking up some clusters and replanting:
Hopefully the smaller pieces will bunch up on their own and spread out.
I cheated a little and bought a small pot of HC for $6 at my LFS on Sunday. I broke it up in small clumps and planted the gaps so that it will carpet faster. I'm going to give it a week or two to set up its roots, then flood.
The glosso is sending out runners OVER my HC. I had to pick a couple of them out and move them to the side. I can see the this being an issue down the line, but for now I'm going to let it slide.
When I flood, should I flood with tank water I siphon out of my 20g, or use straight up tap? I have the Aquaclear 20 running on my 20g for about 2 weeks now, so that should have established mulm and bacteria. Would that be enough? I also plan on adding some cabomba, anacharis, and sunset hygro as fast growing stem plants to suck up any initial nitrates and ammonia, and maybe even some floaters.