Question about plants & dry starting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Question about plants & dry starting

I'm thinking about buying some hemianthus calli. to use on a rock but I've been told to use it with the "dry start" method.

Unfortunately, the tank that I wanted to use has already been cycled and has other plants with fish.

Until the last couple of days I had not heard of "dry starting" a tank. When I first got started in our hobby around late 1968 to early '69 things were much simpler.

Water changes were unheard of as was the "dry start method". About 15 years or so later I got out of the hobby, and now many years later I'm getting back into it. Its interesting that much of what I learned then plus what we had to work with (slate bottom tanks, stainless hoods, etc) has been superceded several times over!

Anyway, back to the title of my post!

Can hemianthus calli. be grown ok submerged? And if the HC plant I'm interested in buying was started in a "dry start" tank, does anything special need to be done in order to transfer to a "wet" tank especially if its a young plant?

If you plan to start a tank using the "dry start method" for plants, aside from the obvious that you need a tank & the plant or plants, what else do you need to do the job ?

I already have the rock I plan on using,and would you also need substrate ?

The substrate in my tank is Eco-complete and the water parameters are as follows using an API freshwater kit.

Temp 79 degrees "F"
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrites 0 ppm
Nitrates 5 ppm
pH 7.4
GH/KH 89.4


Thanks,

Martin
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 12:47 AM
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Plants going from emersed (dry start method) to immersed (underwater) will usually melt away and grow back once acclimated to its new environment. It's good to have co2 and a fertilizers and like 2+ WPG which is why mine never did very well.
Not saying it can't be done though, but people usually do a dry start to prevent the headaches of replanting all of the little stems again when they are uprooted from water current or fish or whatever else.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 12:48 AM
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Hi Martin! Unfortunately, attempting a dry start with HC using rock as a substrate won't work. A nutrient rich substrate (or a juiced inert substrate) is required for this method, as there is no water from which the plant can obtain nutrients. I have seen it grown on rock before, but I assume this was done submerged, as the rock cannot provide anything for the plant nutrionally, nor can it provide a suitable rooting medium. I would suggest lightly fixing some individual plantelets of HC to the rock and growing it submerged; this will allow the roots to crawl and glean nutrients from the water column.

Just to clarify-you are inquiring about a dry start with a rock, correct? As to your other query, HC can be grown submerged easily in any finer-grained substrate, provided you had good CO2 and nutrients. Many say high lighting is required, but many use far too much light
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 12:52 AM
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I've seen many people successfully get a thick lush carpet submerged. I'm growing an HC carpet this way in my two tanks right now (link in signature).

The most important thing is probably having a sufficiently high CO2 level. Are you injecting pressurized CO2?


Tony

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLE041 View Post
I've seen many people successfully get a thick lush carpet submerged. I'm growing an HC carpet this way in my two tanks right now (link in signature).

The most important thing is probably having a sifficiently high CO2 level. Are you injecting pressurized CO2?
Bingo!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 01:19 AM
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Tank is about 3-4 weeks end from a DSM.

Plenty of other examples.

You can easily do a DSM using plain sand, but you need to spray or add ferts to the water you add to keep the roots moist.

There is no melting in transition, if so, why would this not also occur when you plant initially without doing the DSM???

This way, the plants have roots put down and only need to redo their leaves.
Also, bacteria and cycling are done and well in place.

If you start with a small amount of HC, you end up with 10X that much at the end of the DSM, so it cost less and is zero labor.

This said, if you have fish etc.........then the DSM is sort of out unless you can house them elsewhere, so then you need to go the traditional route.
As far as good CO2 etc.........this will save regardless of DSM..........whether the plants are pre grown in or not, algae and poor growth with bad use of CO2, DSM will not save you.

It's just used to start up a tank without having to do many water changes and work with little plant biomass. Can you do the traditional way? Sure, does that way take more labor and work and risk? Sure.

I do both.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I have a 15g that finished cycling about three weeks ago. AT that point many Vals had melted while some are returning, and I had a bad algae problem.

I also have Cabomba (cabomba carolinia), some Elodea, and one other type I forgot besides the Vals.

Several days ago I introduced shrimp to help with the algae, AND I cut my lighting back a few hours each day.

Now,many plants are almost 100% free of algae, or what can be seen anyway.

My tank is low tech with no Co2 and a single tube T-8 thats 18" & 15 watt.

Probably next month I want to get a twin tube T5NO thats 14 watts per tube, 24" long and the tubes are 10000K & 6700K, plus I'll get a glass hood. The hood I have now is plastic & the light is 6" shorter than the tank needs IMO. It won't be exactly 2 WPG, but I think that it should be fine.

I used the graph that Hoppy did in order to help choose the light (twin T5NO instead of the HO tubes.

I'm thinking about a DIY Co2 system. Someone suggested using a "paintball" Co2 .

I don't understand how to set up a Co2 system yet but it looks like I'll be learning. In the process I just hope I don't kill any of my critters.
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