Well, I'm basically looking to see if anyone has had a similar experience to my own with a DSM. I'm setting up a 20L iwagumi with a typical HC foreground, and I opted to use this method for obvious reasons. I'm experiencing painfully slow growth, though, and I'm at a loss for the reason(s) why. It's been 6 weeks- while I've seen healthy growth, it's very slow, a lot slower than many of your experiences I've read about. The larger clumps seem to have done the best, but I'm nowhere near carpeted enough to consider filling yet. Anyway...onto the issue....
I'm using the new amazonia, so nutrient supply is a non-issue; I could see having this problem with inert sand given the lack of a water column, obviously. I'm using 3 brooder lamps (DIY light bar)- 20w spiral 6500k in each, 14 hours/day. Lighting suspended app. 15 inches off the substrate for the DSM-it will be raised considerably when filled to hit low light. I filled to the substrate level with water when I initially planted and I've added a bit since then, but I never fill it to the point where visible puddles are on the surface of the soil. I keep it wrapped with cling wrap except for a 2 inch gap on the left side; this allows some heat to escape without comprimising humidity. As expected, the walls of the tank and the saran wrap have condensation, so I know the tank isn't too dry. I air the tank out once a day to facilitate gas exchange, mist with water once every couple of days, and kiss the tank goodnight.
Any ideas? As with any venture, I did a lot of reading before I started this, and I'm sure I have the conditions dialed in....hence my confusion. After all, it's really not all that complicated...which adds to my frustration.
Holla at me
p.s. Jk about kissing the tank. Maybe.