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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello!

I'm working on a 10 gallon dirted Iwagumi style tank. This is my first tank and I'm learning the mechanics of how these ecosystems work, so I would love some input on my methodology.



Substrate
The bottom 1" layer of the substrate is a 1:1 ratio by volume of organic potting soil (peat moss, bark, compost, perlite, earthworm castings, and organic fertilizer) and CaribSea Eco-Complete. The top 1" layer is entirely CaribSea Eco-Complete.

Rocks
5 Seiryu stones

Lighting
20" Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED

Plants
Hemianthus micranthemoides "Monte Carlo"
Staurogyne repens
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah you cant go wrong with either! Is everything else progressing well with your tank?
Yes! Thanks for asking. The MC is filling out quite nicely. I think I will flood in 2 weeks. Next weekend I'm quite busy, but the weekend after I will have time to set up my Eheim. I'm so stoked!

:bounce:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looks like it's going to be a great tank. With a small school of fish, maybe some microrasboras, it will look fantastic. Great job, especially on a first tank
Thanks! I was considering getting a small school of green neon tetras. My local aquarium store has them and they mesmerize me every time I visit. I was thinking about some crystal red shrimp as well.

I'm still unsure though. I think I'm going to let the tank stabilize for a few weeks after flooding, then see what wildlife will be suitable for the tank.
 

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Yes! Thanks for asking. The MC is filling out quite nicely. I think I will flood in 2 weeks. Next weekend I'm quite busy, but the weekend after I will have time to set up my Eheim. I'm so stoked!

:bounce:
I never did a dsm personally but it seems like a lot of people after a couple of weeks run into yellowing and algae problems. I wonder why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never did a dsm personally but it seems like a lot of people after a couple of weeks run into yellowing and algae problems. I wonder why?
I believe the yellowing is caused by a lack of CO2. If the tank doesn't have enough carbon or organic material in the substrate and if plastic wrap (commonly used to keep humidity high) restricts or blocks air entirely, the plants may not get enough of CO2.

As for algae, perhaps that's simply adding too much moisture. I feel that many people soak the substrate with a lot more water than they should in the DSM. DSM is meant to be a way to use high light cycles without the risk of algae, but with enough water (even though it isn't enough to submerge the substrate) it can still grow algae.

I actually had some algae begin to grow on the edges of my tank. Cutting back on moisture and light has reduced it significantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks great! How many hours of light did you give it and how often did you spritz? I'm also putting together my first tank.
8 hours a day split in two sessions. 8am-12pm and 2pm-6pm. The soil was already pretty moist when I first began so I spritz maybe once a week and kept plastic wrap over the top. The key is to have the tank moist enough to create good humidity but not so much where there is excess water building on the glass. You can get a fair amount of algae there is too much water. Are you using soil for your first tank?
 

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I'm using Amazonia and Special sand. I read 12 hr lighting schedule in some thread, I'll try out this 8hr, 2 session schedule out.
 
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