Some foreground plants are white during DSM - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Some foreground plants are white during DSM

I have started my first soil based planted tank and am also attempting the dry start method. I am using common topsoil that I mineralized via the Aaron Talbot method then topped the soil with Estes black aquarium gravel. I have planted only foreground / carpeting plants as follows: dwarf hairgrass, marsilea quad, styrogyne repens and a few moss types. Once planted I did not fill the tank but misted until I saw puddles - I only have one small puddle left. At first I used my hinged glass lid and allowed an air exchange via the rear open area of the lid but have since been advised to cover the top with plastic wrap. I have completely removed the hinged glass lid and covered the tank top with 2 pieces of 18" wide commercial plastic wrap. I also open a small area of one corner during the day for air exchange and completely enclose the top at night. I now only mist the tank when it appears dry. All of the plants appear to have turned from green to brown, which I believe I should not be concerned about but now some of the plants have turned white like cotton or spider web-like - what does that mean and am I doing something wrong? Is this just part of the DSM process?
Thanks for any and all tips, advice or information.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 03:52 PM
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At least with my DHG, mine never turned brown. I filled the tank with water until it was just below the substrate, then misted twice per day. Perhaps the soil isn't saturated underneath and the roots are drying out? Were the plants previously grown submerged?

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Some foreground plants turning white

To answer your question some of the plants I used came from one of my other running tanks while the other plants were purchased online so I do not know how they were grown. I also failed to mention that I have a light fixture with 2-39 watt T5HO light bulbs suspended some 8" above the top of the tank one is a 5000K pinkish bulb and one 6700K white bulb on for 10 hours a day.
I am a bit confused now because I was previously told that misting was sufficient. I initially misted this tank to the point that I had a number of puddles all over the gravel and when I dug down there was mud so I think the soil is saturated. I am wondering if I added too much gravel and the roots are not reaching the soil? I planted some of these small plants deep enough where they were not that visible so they would be in the soil! Thanks for your input.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 05:54 PM
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If the soil became saturated from misting, that's fine. It sounds like you are good there. It may be too much light or possibly getting too hot. What is the tank's depth?

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Some foreground plants turning white

The tank is a 40 gallon breeder so it is only 16" deep or high without the soil and gravel. The 2-39 watt T5HO light bulbs are suspended 8" from the top of the tank and are on from 0900 until 1900 hours each day but it does not seem to be hot. I mist with treated water / excel mixture when dry.
I was also thinking that perhaps I added too much gravel so the plant roots have not all reached into the wet soil (just a guess) though I did plant some of these plants so deep I can hardly see the top as I was trying make sure they were into the soil. Hoping to solve this problem so I can continue the DSM schedule. Thanks
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 11:30 PM
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The white stuff might be mold, but I'm not sure how to get rid of it. Some searches will suggest spot treating with H202 or excel. In regards to the DSM. I usually fill up the tank to 1cm below the substrate and mist it once a day. I would also siphon out the water if it gets too full. Good luck!


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