Not finishing MTS cycle - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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Not finishing MTS cycle

So my girlfriend has had it with the giant tarp covering our entire patio with mud. Doesn't look like I am going to be able to completely the wet/dry cycle that is recommended 3 to 4 times. Is this a disaster? I understand I am going to have more excess nutrients initially...thus algae blooms. But does the soil mineralize over time in the tank? should I just be careful at the start? Let me know what you guys think. There is just no way right now for me to completely finish it. Kind of sucks.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 06:49 PM
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Look into the "dry start method" (DSM). I'm no expert, but my understanding is that some mineralization goes on during that process, so it'd probably be enough to get your substrate about 90% done by the time you flood the tank.

It's not perfect, but it'd help cut the excess nutrients and get the tarp off the patio. The benefit is that you could get a nice carpet of HC rooted, which would be much more difficult once the tank is flooded (especially if you're going for a low-tech setup!).
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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you read my mind... as I was planning on doing an HC carpet with a dry start method. I am doing a high-tech setup so it is good to know that I have not totally messed things up. thank you.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 09:33 PM
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Using "fresh" soil isn't an instant disaster. Its just more troublesome to manage as the soil slowly changes to take on submerged qualities. Ammonia may leech out, bacteria activity on organic materials produce CO2 and other substances; depletes the substrate of oxygen. Water quality maybe unstable till it settles.

However, with good lighting, CO2 and ferts, many plants don't seem to mind. I've done a few tanks with "fresh" top soil (planting HC immediately submerged also), and they've turned out okay.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-15-2013, 10:14 PM
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+1 on the DSM. I've got one in the works now with my 40b thats been going since memorial day. Another plus to the DSM is it cycles your substrate before flood, so when you do flood, you already have tons of BB ready to go.

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