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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. After months of seeing how awesome 12-gallon long aquariums are, I couldn't resist buying one. Today, I finally bought substrate and HC to begin a dry-start.

I bought a 9 liter bag of ADA Africana aqua soil powder and two 4X8 inch sections of healthy baby tears from a fella I met on here who runs a cool shop in Scottsdale. He set me up with a neat rock as well.

I planted the baby tears, seriously moistened everything, and wrapped the tank. It's sitting in front of a sliding glass door in Tempe, AZ for plenty of light at the moment. I'm thinking of also running my aquarium light or some clamp lights over it for darker portions of the day. What do you think?
 

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Within reason, I don't think you can go wrong with more light. I've had success using a 12 hour photoperiod while dry starting HC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Follow up:

For lighting, I'm running a 30" Finnex Ray II and two serious watt fluorescent clamp lights over the tank, which gets a couple hours of sunlight too. I'm leaving the lights on for about 15 hours per day thus far.

I almost wrecked my DSM on day two. I didn't saturate the soil enough and was lazy and tried to only mist from one side of the tank. I pulled back the left portion of plastic wrap and tried to mist the whole tank from that side. Realized later in the day that a tiny bit of HC around the edges on the far side were wilting. I starting misting more heavily and from both sides. Everything now looks wonderful with the exception of two clumps. I think that the problem was that the soil wasn't saturated enough. Also, the water that condensed on the plastic wrap caused the plastic wrap to sag away from the edges. Water then rains back down. It's less likely to rain on the edges.

Back on track. Here's a pic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Two issues:

1. I'm going to experiment and only use .5 inches of aqua soil powder. I was a bit worried that this isn't enough. A few knowledgeable people chimed in with serious doubts in the substrate forum. The gentleman who supplied me with the HC and the substrate assured me that a pure HC tank will work with only .5 inches of substrate. He's been good to me so far, so I figured I'd give it a try.

Worst comes to worse, it looks nice for a while and then falls apart and I use it as a learning experience...and get an excuse to try again!

2. I need advice on lighting. I have a Finnex Ray II. I'm under the impression that this is far to strong at tank level...and it's not long enough to fit. How high would you recommend hanging it? And how? Via curved conduit? What's the best way to do that? I've seen many styles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That must be the guy who used to run Ridgewood in NJ!
I'm running 2 finnex fugerays on my nano DSM, and it's growing nicely.
I'm also doing a 12 hour photo period, and used shift's success there as inspiration.
Yep, I believe he's that guy.
 
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