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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I was thinking about using an old 5.5 gallon tank and making it into a low-tech sakura shrimp tank. I was wondering if I could use these two substrates for a dry start. I've had luck with a dry start in another tank by using organic peat moss capped with Fluorite Black Sand. The other tank was initially planted and the substrate was kept wet for about a year. As of now, it's been running filled up for about 4 months now with little visible algae and completely covered with dwarf hairgrass and some crypts. Anyways, would it be advisable to use MGOCPS and FSS together for a dry start? I wouldn't mind letting the substrate sit damp for a few months. Thanks!
 

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First of all, i'm not an experince plants guy but i did the same thing you attempting to do here about 6 month ago and just want to add my 2 cent.

I filled a 40 gallons breeder with half MGOC about 1 inches and top it with 2 inches of Fluval stratum. First problem, there are too many wooden barks in the potting soils and hald of the other stuff are way too light (float) a really big mess and have to be fish out with a fine net for the next couple of days. Then i capped with fluval stratum. Look great and i plant a bunches of blyxa japonica, crypt, and HM.
After 3 month of grow, i remove some plants trim some down and that when the problem arrise. The MGOC stuff are much ligther than fluval stratrum and often mix in and raise to the top. Once it at the top any disterbance of water cause it to cloud up. very annoying. I kept toppin it with FSS and in the end empty the whole tank and replace it all without MGOC. Plant grow fine in FSS alone.

MGOC is good and cheap but in the end it was too much mess to deal with. My canister filter often filled with these stuffs.
 

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There are tradeoffs to using it and I feel like I covered most of them in this thread.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/86457-55-gallon-low-tech-soil-sub.html

Included is the transition timeline and parameters on the tank as it aged as well. Use potting mix not soil as the soils all have cow manure.
It's use requires a proper capping material and an understanding of do's and don't with regards to scape changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the responses. I was thinking about the density of the MGOC compared to the FSS. Of course when I did the dry start with organic peat moss for my other tank, I screened out all the twigs and other debris first. Also great journal, wkndracer. I'm currently reading it right now. As for my tank, Im not setting it at the moment but I plan to keep the scape as stable as possible with the majority of the rooted plants being crypts. To keep the nutrient levels balanced, I plan on stocking the tank with root floaters and keeping some hygro floating in there as well. As for capping, I could probably go with pfs or flourite black and use the FFS in another tank by itself.
 
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