Dry Start Method - About to flood the tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Dry Start Method - About to flood the tank

Things have gone well these past 4 months. Its been setup and growing since March 29th. Daily, I take the lid off and spray the rocks and plants just enough to keep them moist. Then I dry the glass off with a paper towel. Thats all the maintenance its taken. I'm so nervous about filling it. I cut the holes in the polycarbonate plastic lid for my DIY acrylic lily pipes today.

I know I should set the CO2 at a 2-4 bubbles per second to keep the HC from melting while it acclimates to being underwater.

Are there any tips besides that will help me?

I really don't want to ruin all the progress even though the background plants didn't fare so well.

Day 1:


Today:



Here is a link to my tank journal: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=293602

Last edited by GJL Creative Solutions; 07-31-2013 at 06:53 AM. Reason: edit
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 08:34 AM
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You have no fish so when you fill just blast the co2 and you will be fine. I did that on my tank and had 0 melting. I was doing something like 10+ bps on my 29g with no problem.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 01:50 PM
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also cut back on your light level and duration so that the HC spends more time establishing itself in the submersed form instead of trying to grow new leaves. I would keep lights on about 5-6 hours per day to start and slowly increase from there.

Also, I am a big proponent of doing a 100% water change after filling the tank once to remove all the crap that has been in the soil for all that time, and then fill with again with fresh water.

After that, just watch the HC, and begin dosing fertilizers. I do from day 1 on all DSM tanks I have done.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, great info. Thanks to the both of you. Exactly what I needed to hear. Glad I posted before going ahead.

I have another question. Should I use the carbon my filter comes with, the Sea Chem Purigen I bought months ago and haven't used yet or no chemical filtration at all?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-02-2013 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 09:18 PM
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Well, your baby tears would melt transitioning to submerged form. Are those dirt substrate and did you cap it with fine gravels or sand? If so, you should expect the water to be cloudy and may have excessive organic load. May want to do 3 to 4 50% WC consecutive days. Use your a drop checker to check your CO2 level. Forget your bps. They are meaningless....


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Should I run to CO2 24/7 at first?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-31-2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJL Creative Solutions View Post
Should I run to CO2 24/7 at first?

I don't see why since CO2 isn't being used at night. You may want to cut back the lighting while the baby tears are going through the melt. Just keep your CO2 drop checker to yellow. Dose EI.


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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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I moved the tank its final spot and tested out the filter outside on a 5 gallon bucket. Didn't want to make a mess inside messing with it for the first time. Filter media goes: sponge, ceramic, purigen, sponge, and back to the tank. I hooked up the CO2 line and ready to go with a drop checker half full with 5 drops Bromothymol Blue.


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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Its done. I'm gonna do a full water change tomorrow.



I'm having a problem with my CO2 regulator. I cant get it to a low enough pressure to even come close to 1 bps or less.

I have this Hydro Farm regulator here :

http://www.hydrofarm.com/product.php?itemid=7106

I have the flow adjuster all the way down and its still coming out at about 9 bps.

Its kinda old and the screw is tough to turn. I bought it off of Craigslist for around $100. It was previously used to make beer. I may just buy a replacement. Hopefully I can still use the solenoid to save some cash.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 01:38 PM
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because you have no fish the CO2 levels at that rate should not be an issue especially at the onset as the plants are going to be using so much of it.

If you turn of the regulator at night, make sure you turn it on about an hour before the lights come on so that the tank will have a high CO2 saturation level once the lights come on so the plants can utilize it right away.

I would try to do a water change as soon as possible if that is the first fill since DSM.

The HC looks to have grown out nicely for you!
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 01:11 AM
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Your regulator has a single stage of pressure regulation followed by what looks like a flow regulator (not the same as a pressure regulator). This flow regulator wasn't likely intended for such low-flow applications. As you said, it was previously used for draft beer.

What you need is a needle valve. Google for Rex Grigg needle valve. He's got some info about the mechanics/technology.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Your regulator has a single stage of pressure regulation followed by what looks like a flow regulator (not the same as a pressure regulator). This flow regulator wasn't likely intended for such low-flow applications. As you said, it was previously used for draft beer.

What you need is a needle valve. Google for Rex Grigg needle valve. He's got some info about the mechanics/technology.
Thank you. The aquarium shops around here aren't much use for info about this kind of technical information. The guy at the hydroponics store just looked at me with a glazed look in his eyes. I wonder why. lol

Great info. This thread has been very helpful. I did an 80% WC today.

The drop checker is a greenish yellow



I have the timer set at 5 hours of light right now. I managed to get the regulator putting out about 2bps but its sooo touchy. I'd like to increase the flow but If I move the nut just a little bit it starts shooting out. I will be picking up a needle valve asap. Should I keep my solenoid or just buy a whole new setup and sell the old one as a complete unit for hydro? Any links to recommended regulators around $100?

Last edited by GJL Creative Solutions; 08-02-2013 at 05:57 AM. Reason: Added pic
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 03:40 PM
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Valves:

Fabco are cheap and reasonable.
The Parkers on ebay are good(I use these and the next suggestion)
And the Ideal valves are perhaps the best.
Nupro/Swageloks are good also.

I'd not use a drop checker, IME, these have caused more issues and assumptions than they have resolved.

pH (and KH) likely is a better method, at least in relative terms and lag times.
KH can be off and has it's own errors, but it will NEVER over estimate the CO2 content. It can only UNDER estimate it.

So you can start with the pH/KH table, then adjust based on your plants and livestock slowly and progressively till they are all thriving. Done correctly, this works about as well as any method.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Valves:

Fabco are cheap and reasonable.
The Parkers on ebay are good(I use these and the next suggestion)
And the Ideal valves are perhaps the best.
Nupro/Swageloks are good also.

I'd not use a drop checker, IME, these have caused more issues and assumptions than they have resolved.

pH (and KH) likely is a better method, at least in relative terms and lag times.
KH can be off and has it's own errors, but it will NEVER over estimate the CO2 content. It can only UNDER estimate it.

So you can start with the pH/KH table, then adjust based on your plants and livestock slowly and progressively till they are all thriving. Done correctly, this works about as well as any method.

This is kind of strange hearing from you, not to rely on the drop checker. I have always been told that using the kh/ph reference to gauge the CO2 level is totally inaccurate. Perhaps, you are suggesting that we should determine how much the ph is dropping and to what level. Then, use that ph valve, with the known kh degree, to determine the CO2 level?


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
Valves:

Fabco are cheap and reasonable.
The Parkers on ebay are good(I use these and the next suggestion)
And the Ideal valves are perhaps the best.
Nupro/Swageloks are good also.

I'd not use a drop checker, IME, these have caused more issues and assumptions than they have resolved.

pH (and KH) likely is a better method, at least in relative terms and lag times.
KH can be off and has it's own errors, but it will NEVER over estimate the CO2 content. It can only UNDER estimate it.

So you can start with the pH/KH table, then adjust based on your plants and livestock slowly and progressively till they are all thriving. Done correctly, this works about as well as any method.
Great to hear from you Mr. Barr. I've received input on this project from you on your website and it is in part to your credit that I have been successful thus far. Thank you


No melting as of yet. I am seeing some nice pearling. I have the DC in the yellow at about 3-4bps 24/7 with 5 hours of light per day.

How long until I should extend the daylight hours? How frequently should I change the water on a 7.5?
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