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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hey there, this will be my first time to learn setting up a tank with dry start method with classic iwagumi theme on mind..

i'm planning to use either amazonia (likely ver 2) with monte carlo and maybe two or three small clumps of dwarf hairgrass to gave accent near the hardscape. couple of things that's been my concerns are:
  1. do super powder soil greatly benefits carpet plants to take roots better than using regular powder only soil? if so, how much deep super powder do i need on top of the regular powder one? if so, i might get amazonia ver2 with regular and top it off with powder type to plant the carpet
  2. emersed leaves is the absolute must, or dry start can be achieved as well, with little to no difference, with submersed leaves? since my local store mostly sells only submersed one.
  3. what should i expect from the plants when the tank is flooded for the first time? will most of it melts or ideally, if the method is done with justice, i can just sit back and relax for the cycling period?
  4. what is the ideal ambiet temperature for dry starting a tank?
  5. do i really need to use bacteria starter and pumice if i'm dry starting my tank? i mean, since the water will be added later on when the carpet are settled, would it be pointless using the bacteria starter at the beginning?
  6. usually i use base ferts as a substrate before using soil to gave a more long lasting nutrients for the plants. do i need to do that as well with amazonia ver2 soil or i can just skip it since it's loaded with them and can rival the base ferts?
  7. what is the ideal photo period when doing dry start? i'm thinking about 8 hours..i will be using WRGB 2 Slim (30cm), but haven't decided which presets or settings for the dry start
  8. how many times do i need to mist the tank in a day (24 hours)? or it depends on the moisture inside the tank and keep an eye as long as there's droplets or "fog" coating the tank?
  9. what are the risks when doing dry start? like molding or anything else...if so, how do i prevent and/or deal with it?
  10. cling wrap/film is used when doing dry start method. do i need to replace it every "x" day(s)?
so far these are my concerns...and i'm sorry for the long read. i just thought that since this is my first time i wanted to learn as much as i can. and please feel free to add things that i might forget when dry starting a tank..

ooh and btw, thank is planned for shrimp only tank and i heard amazonia is famous to cause ammonia spike within first 2 or 3 weeks. hopefully it is safe for the shrimps....and as far as i know, one should do everyday at least 50% water change for the first week, 50% three times a week, 50% two times a week for at least two months straight before doing normal weekly maintenance..

please advise :)

EDIT: some missing informations: i live in Indonesia where the climate is quite humid (around 60%) with temperature ranging from 26-33 (celcius)...
 

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Soooooo I'm going to skip most of your questions to start with because I am assuming this will be a co2 injected tank?

If so, I would not do a dry start with monte carlo especially if your plants are not tissue culture but already transitioned to submerged form. The reason is that monte carlo is prone to crashing when going from a dry start to submersed. When you are not injecting co2 and planning a low tech tank, a dry start can be a 'necessity' to make sure your carpet grows in first. But if this is a co2 injected tank then there is little to no incentive to do a dry start since monte carlo will grow crazy fast submersed with injected co2 and will by much hardier if you go straight to flooding the tank then taking a submersed plant, transitioning it to emersed growth, then transitioning back to submersed growth when you later flood.

If you are not planning to use injected co2 I would generally not advise using monte carlo as its very temperamental in a low tech setup and prone to crashing anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Soooooo I'm going to skip most of your questions to start with because I am assuming this will be a co2 injected tank?

If so, I would not do a dry start with monte carlo especially if your plants are not tissue culture but already transitioned to submerged form. The reason is that monte carlo is prone to crashing when going from a dry start to submersed. When you are not injecting co2 and planning a low tech tank, a dry start can be a 'necessity' to make sure your carpet grows in first. But if this is a co2 injected tank then there is little to no incentive to do a dry start since monte carlo will grow crazy fast submersed with injected co2 and will by much hardier if you go straight to flooding the tank then taking a submersed plant, transitioning it to emersed growth, then transitioning back to submersed growth when you later flood.

If you are not planning to use injected co2 I would generally not advise using monte carlo as its very temperamental in a low tech setup and prone to crashing anyway.
Hey there, thanks for the reply..yeah, i will be using pressurized CO2 system. Hmmm i guess what you're saying does make sense

The reason i wanted to try dry start was to see how much diatoms / brown algae wil i get compared to conventional method. I thought that maybe having mc in a dry start tank for couple of weeks or until establish its carpet might have a better chance at competing with algae later on. And it seems I'm beginning to understand and trying to embrace the whole journey, but who knows i can have a much easier time to deal with early algae outbreak (diatoms/brown)..

this is assuming i can get my hand a couple of emersed tc pot of mc. Else, I'll go with the flooding way

Ooh and btw, regardless of dsm or not, will i benefit more using powder soil on top of normal spil of amazonia for carpet's roots to grow?
 

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Growing a tank with dry start method is not necessarily likely to stop diatoms from forming when you first flood, because all of your plans will have to transition stall and growth while they do so.

A better way to control diatoms would be to use water that has very little to no silicate in it. Or just simply ignore it since diatoms are pretty common at the start of a new tank and usually go away on their own.

Has far as powder first normal soil types, I'm not sure anyone has noticed a plant growth difference between the two. I think the difference is more aesthetic in nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Growing a tank with dry start method is not necessarily likely to stop diatoms from forming when you first flood, because all of your plans will have to transition stall and growth while they do so.

A better way to control diatoms would be to use water that has very little to no silicate in it. Or just simply ignore it since diatoms are pretty common at the start of a new tank and usually go away on their own.

Has far as powder first normal soil types, I'm not sure anyone has noticed a plant growth difference between the two. I think the difference is more aesthetic in nature.
got it! what about amazonia soil? this will be my first time using it and i heard it's notorious for leeching high amount of ammonia. i was thinking about doing water changing as follows:
  1. at least 50% water change everyday for the 1st week
  2. same as #1, but every 2 days, for the 2nd week
  3. same as #1 but every 3 days, for 2 months
  4. normal once a week
and i will be using my established canister to speed up cycling process. i was hoping by 3rd week i can already see a more stable water parameter..what do you think?
 

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got it! what about amazonia soil? this will be my first time using it and i heard it's notorious for leeching high amount of ammonia. i was thinking about doing water changing as follows:
  1. at least 50% water change everyday for the 1st week
  2. same as #1, but every 2 days, for the 2nd week
  3. same as #1 but every 3 days, for 2 months
  4. normal once a week
and i will be using my established canister to speed up cycling process. i was hoping by 3rd week i can already see a more stable water parameter..what do you think?
Sounds good to me.
 
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