I'm new this might be a dumb ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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I'm new this might be a dumb ?

Why do some tanks start out with their plants in tanks that are not filled with water?

I have my tank filled with water and cycling with no plants or fish ( just a filter from a tank thst was running with fish).

Is it a bad thing that my tank is filled and I haven't decided on what p,ants I want or want to use?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 02:40 AM
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There is more than one way to start a planted tank. One way, especially good for "carpet" plants, like HC, is a dry start. For that the tiny little plantlets are set out on wet substrate, the tank partly covered with plastic wrap, and the water level kept below the top of the substrate. Once the plantlets begin growing good, establishing an anchoring root system, and even covering the substrate, the tank is filled with water and other plants as wanted are set out. Another way is what you are doing. Another way, my favorite, is to partly fill the tank with water, set out all of the plants and use a lot of them, then finish filling the tank, add fertilizers and CO2 or Excel, and you have a fully planted tank, quickly starting to grow, which makes cycling the tank easy and largely invisible.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-19-2013, 03:03 AM
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And to expand on that, the main reason to do use the "dry start" method is that the types of plants most often used for carpeting--such as dwarf baby tears (latin name generally abbreviated as "HC")--are quite tiny on planting, made even more so as you get the fastest growth/fill in by planting each tiny stem individually. In a filled tank with a filter running they'd be blown about. In the dry start method, the high humidity keeps the plant moist without disturbance so they're able to set down roots that will hold them in place once the tank is ready to be filled.

If you're starting with more robust plants, the flow isn't an issue and you're free to plant at any point you wish.
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