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Using The Dry Start Method

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by pest control, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. pest control

    pest control New Member

    Jan 26, 2010
    Likes Received:
    hi, i am soon going to setup my nano tank, and i'd like to start it using the dry start method. but i'm not really sure how to do this. the substrate i have is JBL manado (please give me your opinions of this substrate, as i've read some bad reviews on it and am starting to get worried!!!). do i just wash this substrate and then add it to the tank, adding enough water to submerge the substrate, but no higher?

    also, i'd like to know if the plants i intend to grow will be suitable for the DSM.

    the plants i intend to grow are:

    Eleocharis parvula
    Glossostigma elatinoides
    Crypt sp. (undecided upon which species)
    Rotala rotundifolia
    Hygrophila polysperma
    possibly Hc
    and possibly some more stem plants.

    which of these plants will be suitable to start with the DSM, and which will i have to add after?

    also, will all of these plants grow well in a superfish aqua qube 40, with the 18w light that it comes with, EI ferts, JBL Manado substrate and liquid carbon?

    and am i right in thinking that i add the substrate with enough water just to cover it, plant it, and then cover the lid with cling film to stop moisture evaporating off? and do i need to top the water up at all?

    and finally, do i need to add any ferts before the tank is filled with water?

    cheers :)
  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    North Dakota, USA
    I have completed a DSM with HC with some mistakes made so I will share those with you so you don't repeat them. First I would only DSM ground cover plants you want to grow in thick, the rest I would plant prior to filling.i wouldn't dsm stems such as rotala. Secondly some water in the substrate is good but not so much you can see puddles on the top. You want moist soil and humid air. I had too much water which caused some hc to die and rot. Then new hc grew over that so a couple weeks after filling and some melting due to transition from immersed to submersed I had a lot of dead matter which I ended up removing. A slight misting occasionally isn't a bad idea either. If you don't have visible water puddles in the substrate and enough humidity your glass is foggy or wet you are in good shape

    I don't know anything about your substrate but for dsm you want a good rich soil and I would recommend ada aquasoil.

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