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Dirted aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Rachel Jo, May 23, 2017.

  1. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    What you have created is far harder to do than trying to recreate beauty.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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  2. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Set up in tank with 50:50 aquatic compost:moss peat, rocks are supported and packed out with expanded styrene foam. I tried several attempts at using black poster backing for the tank, but it looked awfull, was very messy and expensive. I actually settled on limo black, window tint film, much cheaper and easier to apply, mist with water, apply film, sqeege out, trim, job done
    20170706_155433.jpg

    End on, view
    20170706_155348.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  3. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    viewers always look straight to the front glass and not to the tank sides.
    so i would suggest that you twist your wood counter clockwise in order for the viewer to see the wood end when looking in front.
     
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  4. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thaks Ed, but the position of the tank, will mean that it will be viewed mostly from the front left and there is a power head intake just behind the DW which won't allow it to be rotated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  5. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Maybe switch the front square rock with small rock in the back. And tilt the wood at 45 degree angle going from back right to front left. Currently everything looks too deliberately placed.
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ed and Orlandog
    When Rachel was originally working in the mock tank the rocks had to be positioned where they are now because of the size of the DW and the Power head which will be placed in that corner.
    Rachel had to work in a small tank, the viewing sides and the materials she had to work with.
    Along the way its going to be a learning tank and that is always a big plus for a beginner.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    This is really just the bare bones of the scape, planting and general rock scatter will give it a more natural look hopefully
     
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  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    It will look totally different when you finish the hardscape and planting. Once that is done and the Aquascape has developed that is the time to start tweaking a little here and there at a good guess that could easily be a year away.

    The most import point its your tank in your home and as long as you are happy and enjoying your tank that is all that matters.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Next stage done, peat mix capped with nylon netting and then a 2cm layer of Nordic chippings, I chose a light colour to give more light reflection in my deep tank
    20170714_183136.jpg
    Rocks wetted to give a better idea of contrast
    20170714_183327.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    The light reflection will work but as the tank ages and you have plants you will that clean white look. White is the hardest Substrate to keep clean as it ages.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm hoping that as it ages, it will be carpeted with plants keith
     
  12. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I can't find that wonderful guide on the Dirted tank now, but I wanted to ask about the list of plants that was posted within it, and which of those is suitable for DSM?
     
  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  14. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yes keith, that's the one thanks. There is a list on there of low to med light plants. Are any of them suitable for DSM please?
     
  15. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    The DSM is usually used to help establish a lawn of low growing plants. As far as low-energy dirt tanks are concerned there are some easy low maintenance species that will perhaps give you a better chance of success. The bit below was dug up from a post I wrote on another well know aquascaping forum some time ago...I hope it helps.

    Low-energy lawns and DSM
    One of the biggest bugbears of the low-energy way is the length of time it can take to establish a lawn of foreground plants. However, it is possible to give your plants a head start by using the DSM (dry start method). The internet is a valuable source of information on the DSM with a variety of methodologies achieving a similar goal. But for most it simply involves growing plants in a wet substrate for 2-6 weeks before the aquarium is flooded. This allows plants to use the aerial advantage to become firmly established. In addition, whilst plant roots are growing in they oxygenate the rhizosphere which accelerates the bacterial driven processes of cycling and mineralisation.

    The DSM has the added advantage of being algae free (no water), and of being less labour intensive. For instance, there are no water changes and nutrient dosing isn’t necessary, although fertiliser can be added to the substrate to help establish a lawn quicker. Foliar feeding with a dilute nutrient solution can also help, but if the solution is too concentrated it may burn plant leaves. But when all said and done, the key to a successful dry start is very high humidity, so all that’s really required is regular misting and a tank cover; clingfilm usually suffices. This ensures the plants leaves don’t dry out and provides ideal conditions for growth.

    The methodology is usually as follows...

    1. Add water to a level just below the surface of the substrate; do not waterlog the top of the substrate.
    2. Keep the tank sealed, but let fresh air in for 5 minutes every day to replace the old stagnant air, this may help prevent mould.
    3. Respray and mist the plants, and reseal.
    4. Repeat daily for between 2 - 6 weeks during which time your lawn should become established, and then flood.

    Nevertheless, the DSM is not without its downside. Looking at a tank devoid of water for several weeks can stretch delayed gratification to its limits. The humid conditions also favour mould growth, which can becoming a problem. Also, many plants don’t necessarily make the transition from emergent to immersed growth very well, particularly in a low-energy system. Therefore, it may help to achieve better results by choosing easy care, low maintenance plants such as Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, L. novae-zelandiae and Cryptocoryne willisii. Other plants such as Marsilea hirsuta, M. crenata, Staurogyne repens, and Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo', may not be as low maintenance but might still be worth a go. Plants nursery raised in their emergent growth form will be better suited to the DSM.

    Low-energy lawns, bioavailable carbon or CO2 and DSM
    Another way to establish a lawn in a shorter period of time is to simply go high-energy for a while and use bioavailable carbon or CO2 in conjunction with an appropriate high-energy nutrient dosing and water changing regime. Once the lawn has been satisfactorily established both carbon and fertiliser can gradually be tapered to zero over a period of 2 – 4 weeks. This gives the plants time to adapt to low energy life; after which the rest of the aquarium can be planted. The method is even more effective if it's combined with the DSM, a la the Barr Report - Hybrid methods, fusing dry start + Excel with non CO2, which uses carbon for the first 2 – 3 weeks after flooding https://barrreport.com/threads/hybrid-methods-fusing-dry-start-excel-with-non-co2.4231/.
     
  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    I did some research yesterday and it is very hard to locate a list suitable for the DSM method.

    My only suggestion would be work in reverse select your plants and research each one.
    Remember if not suitable for the DSM they could be excellent once you have filled the tank.

    One method open another post in plants and ask what plants they used for the DSM and what was successful and which plats failed.

    Remember every thing about the plants might not have been in the best health to begin with or they did not understand the DSM fully.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  17. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Moderator Staff Member

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    These are my suggestions below; they're hidden in the main text above, second from last paragraph.

    It may help to achieve better results by choosing easy care, low maintenance plants such as:
    Lilaeopsis brasiliensis,
    L. novae-zelandiae
    Cryptocoryne willisii.


    Other plants may not be as low maintenance but might still be worth a go:
    Marsilea hirsuta,
    M. crenata,
    Staurogyne repens,
    Micranthemum
    'Monte Carlo',

    Plants nursery raised in their emergent growth form will be better suited to the DSM.

    The last four will probably stand a better chance of capeting low and compact if you add bioavailable carbon and nutrients.

    Take a look at Non CO2 methods also from the Barr Report https://barrreport.com/threads/non-co2-methods.2792/
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    It appears you have a free Photo Bucket account therefore it will not post your photos. I have an annual account that is the only reason I can post a photo. You will have to find another provider for your photos and edit them in.

    Keith :cat::cat:
     
  19. Rachel Jo

    Rachel Jo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi kieth, yeh, photobucket have just pulled the plug without warning and I'm not paying $399 a year for the privilage of continuing with them, any sugestions of free 3rd party hosting sites would be most apreciated
     
  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Rachel

    Here is the easiest way
    I think the $399 is for 3rd party eg Forums. I have had a private one for years nothing like that.

    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/forums/aquatic-photography.34/

    I started that topic to help members. If you are still having problems post a reply there. You can also do a test there

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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