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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tank: Mr. Aqua 12 Gallon Long (Dimensions: 35.4" x 8.3" x 9.4")
Lighting: Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED Plus 36"
Filtration: Eheim 2215
Substrate: Fluval Plant and Shrimp Stratum, 17.6-Pound
Hardscape: Seiryu Stone
Flora: HC Cuba, Mini Pellia

Final Hardscape


Lazy Dry Start Method
Started on 7/23/2020
Separated and scattered 5 pots of HC over the damp substrate
Misting with water 2 times a day
Photoperiod 10 hours
 

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Can't wait to see this develop. When will you flood it?
 

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Great to see a journal on this build. Eagerly following the progression here as my tank is very similar to this one (I even borrowed some inspiration from you in terms of composition).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's been about 6 weeks ongoing with the dry start method and I can't take it anymore. I feel like it's taken forever and the HC doesn't want to spread out anymore. On top of that the wife adopted a kitten from the local Humane Society and the little rascal has been hell bent on tearing into this scape and treating it like an all you can eat salad bar at your local casino. I'm hoping that flooding it will help deter his hunger and curiosity but I'm worried because for some odd reason this cat doesn't seem to fear H2O. Going to start off with a 5 hour photo period while cranking the C02 to hopefully help the HC transition to being submersed while also crossing my fingers I can stave off the inevitable algae attack as much as possible. Will start with daily 50% water changes for the first week and proceed from there. Below are pics of before and after flooding today.
 

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That tank looks AWESOME !!! I tried the dry start method twice...... ended up buying plants three times !!! Just never got the dang thing to work. I envy folks that do it well.... Great job...... I like this one !!
 

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It's been about 6 weeks ongoing with the dry start method and I can't take it anymore. I feel like it's taken forever and the HC doesn't want to spread out anymore. On top of that the wife adopted a kitten from the local Humane Society and the little rascal has been hell bent on tearing into this scape and treating it like an all you can eat salad bar at your local casino. I'm hoping that flooding it will help deter his hunger and curiosity but I'm worried because for some odd reason this cat doesn't seem to fear H2O. Going to start off with a 5 hour photo period while cranking the C02 to hopefully help the HC transition to being submersed while also crossing my fingers I can stave off the inevitable algae attack as much as possible. Will start with daily 50% water changes for the first week and proceed from there. Below are pics of before and after flooding today.

Very nice start! Sorry for the dumb question. I’m a newbie still learning as I go.. What is the purpose behind a dry start? Any benefits?


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Very nice start! Sorry for the dumb question. I’m a newbie still learning as I go.. What is the purpose behind a dry start? Any benefits?


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Not a dumb question at all. Asking questions is a great way for all of us to gain knowledge.

Some of the benefits for a dry start:
No algae
No water changes/loose pieces floating around/being pulled up
No replanting
No cycling the aquarium
No dosing
No fiddling with CO2
No having to buy a lot of plant material initially
No extra electrical cost running other equipment during the dry phase.
 

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Not a dumb question at all. Asking questions is a great way for all of us to gain knowledge.

Some of the benefits for a dry start:
No algae
No water changes/loose pieces floating around/being pulled up
No replanting
No cycling the aquarium
No dosing
No fiddling with CO2
No having to buy a lot of plant material initially
No extra electrical cost running other equipment during the dry phase.
That's a lot of benefits! Never realized it til you laid it all out like that.
 

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Not a dumb question at all. Asking questions is a great way for all of us to gain knowledge.

Some of the benefits for a dry start:
No algae
No water changes/loose pieces floating around/being pulled up
No replanting
No cycling the aquarium
No dosing
No fiddling with CO2
No having to buy a lot of plant material initially
No extra electrical cost running other equipment during the dry phase.

Nice good to know! Thank you appreciate it.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's been a while since I updated the progress on this tank. I had a major bout with some nasty cyanobacteria that ended up covering almost everything. The only way I could get rid of it was to use UltraLife Blue-Green Slime Stain Remover. I was so happy this stuff works! I had previously tried Seachem Excel and Hydrogen Peroxide treatments but neither of those worked.
After dealing with the cyanobacteria, some green thread algae appeared of which I am still trying to deal with. This has been through manual removal with tweezers or twirling a toothbrush around it. Current CO2 and photoperiod is still only 5.5 hours so I'm quite disappointed I'm still dealing with algae with such a short lighting period.
The HC cuba got its first trim in areas that were getting too tall in the front of the tank. The mini pellia while barely noticeable on a few areas of the hardscape is starting to show signs of growing veeeerrrry slowly. I finally picked up some critters to add in here. There are now about 25 or so blue dream neocaridina shrimp buzzing around in this tank. I really hope they will thrive and also help with my algae battle. Here is a most recent picture right after the trim and adding the shrimp (which are barely noticeable if at all).
 

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