Sorry about the longggg delay in keeping you all updated. Well let me just say its been a long journey with this tank and it didnt go as well as I wanted to go. Sooooo....the dry start allowed the carpet to spread nicely. The only drawback is that it took wayyy longer than I expected.
After finally deciding to fill the tank was when disaster struck. I used a paper towel to slowly fill the tank and then half way thru, multiple air bubbles started uplifting patches of the carpet. I didnt have anything to anchor it down I ended up using these plastic washers. Anyway, about 80% of the carpet was uprooted so I was hoping the washers could hold them down long enough to take root again. I added pressurized CO2 and hoped for the best.
After 2 months the plants were growing vertical instead of horizontal so I tried trimming to promote thicker growth and thats what you see in the last pic.
Sept 12, 2013 - 5 months after setup
1 month after filling (brown algae break out)
So here's my opinion on the dry start:
-Set up as usual
-Use spray bottle with mixed hydrogen peroxide to prevent algae
-Before filling USE SOME KIND OF ANCHOR TO PREVENT UPROOTING OTHERWISE THE DRY START IS USELESS.
Today I added 6 cherry shrimps and 1 amano to clean up remnants of the brown algae bloom. Im assuming my lights arent strong enough since theres more vertical growth. Anybody have any suggestions? I think I might start the carpet over.