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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting a 5.5 gallon low tech (probably with shrimp only and maybe one guppy), and I wanted to try the dry start method for the first time. I've been doing a lot of research and looking up stuff and trying to take it slow and do it right, but I haven't been able to find any good posts or articles about whether a carpet will survive in a low tech tank?

Specifically, what I'm doing is:
DSM with Miracle-Gro Organic Potting Mix and Eco-Complete cap, going to carpet mostly DHG (belem, i think) and MAYBE some HC. And I was thinking once that got to carpet pretty nicely, I could then flood the tank. So my question is, has anyone done a similar thing, keep a carpet alive and healthy without dosing CO2?

If needed I'd dose Excel as well if the DHG needs it. But I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this, and also tips for anything along the process here. This is my first DSM, first time carpeting so help would be greatly appreciated! :help:

Oh and also: I have prior experience with dirted tanks and eco-complete, I already have a decent 29gallon with the same substrate and good fish/plants, and have a LOT of small vases/pico tanks with dirt and heavy planting. It's just this one that I want to make look like one of those really lush, picture-worthy tanks
 

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I'm starting a 5.5 gallon low tech (probably with shrimp only and maybe one guppy), and I wanted to try the dry start method for the first time. I've been doing a lot of research and looking up stuff and trying to take it slow and do it right, but I haven't been able to find any good posts or articles about whether a carpet will survive in a low tech tank?

Specifically, what I'm doing is:
DSM with Miracle-Gro Organic Potting Mix and Eco-Complete cap, going to carpet mostly DHG (belem, i think) and MAYBE some HC. And I was thinking once that got to carpet pretty nicely, I could then flood the tank. So my question is, has anyone done a similar thing, keep a carpet alive and healthy without dosing CO2?

If needed I'd dose Excel as well if the DHG needs it. But I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this, and also tips for anything along the process here. This is my first DSM, first time carpeting so help would be greatly appreciated! :help:

Oh and also: I have prior experience with dirted tanks and eco-complete, I already have a decent 29gallon with the same substrate and good fish/plants, and have a LOT of small vases/pico tanks with dirt and heavy planting. It's just this one that I want to make look like one of those really lush, picture-worthy tanks
I have a question: Why do you want to cap the dirt with Eco-complete?

I have never tried growing Hair Grass without co2. I would advise to grow hair grass, or hc with medium to high light, and with co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a question: Why do you want to cap the dirt with Eco-complete?

I have never tried growing Hair Grass without co2. I would advise to grow hair grass, or hc with medium to high light, and with co2.
I don't know, haha just extra nutrients? I like the look of Eco-complete too. You don't think excel would be enough just to keep the carpet alive?
 

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Yes, Excel would be good enough to keep the carpet alive. Right now what you gotta worry about is determining how much light your fixture puts out. I would also purchase some dry ferts because eventually the soil starts getting lower on nutrients. If you like that substrate, go for it, but you do not really need it.
 

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DHG will grow fine without CO2. You won't get a thick carpet though unless you're really patient. However, you will get some CO2 production from the decomposition of the organics in the substrate since you used MGOCPM. The dry start will give you a head start and help the colonies of decomposing bacteria get a foot hold before you flood. After you fill up the tank, the established roots of the DHG will help bring oxygen to the substrate and the dirt layer.
 

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I capped my MGOCPM with used / inert eco complete in my 75 gallon and it works good. IMO sand would have been better though (not a fan of planting in eco complete / my HC didn't hold too well in it...)

Did dry start with HC with good results - until I uprooted a lot of it and took too long to figure out how to make a high-tech tank work. Going to try DHG soon...

Low tech will keep it alive if you do it right. A lot of people have been able to carpet DHG in low-tech (after a lot of patience) so if your parameters are good you should be able to keep a carpet alive nicely. Will be low maintenance too I presume (BONUS)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
DHG will grow fine without CO2. You won't get a thick carpet though unless you're really patient. However, you will get some CO2 production from the decomposition of the organics in the substrate since you used MGOCPM. The dry start will give you a head start and help the colonies of decomposing bacteria get a foot hold before you flood. After you fill up the tank, the established roots of the DHG will help bring oxygen to the substrate and the dirt layer.
Okay, I'm fine with slow growth after I flood it. I think I might actually try to be patient enough to wait for it to grow into a full carpet before flooding, so I just wanted to know that they wouldn't die. But it looks good from the responses here, thanks!
 
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