Dsm - Dry Start Method

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by PatrickShrimp, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    Hey, so I started my dsm a few days ago, and I believe it is going good. I just have some questions. First, are the plants I am using dsm capable, although I believe they are I just want to be sure.
    Alterna reineckii mini
    S. Repens
    And later Eleocharis acicularis
    Second, is three 13 watt 6500k cfl bulbs able to grow these?
    Third, I have a humidity reader, and with spraying, suran wrap and these lights the humidity is around 80%. Is this a good humidity?
    And lastly, should I put ferts in my spray bottle?
    Thanks for any responses!
     
  2. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    [​IMG]

    So here it is. I have moved aside some sand to put in a heater, and the temp is around 23-24 degrees. I am not certain though because I still need to find a proper thermometer, as I am just using a floating one now. This is 6 days in.
     
  3. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

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    Hope you guys will like it!

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    Here's day one!
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    @SilisterTrench I was updating and no one had anything to say, so it is mostly me

    Or @Silister Trench

    Got some new pics 55c179573d65b889fe5f7e6b718eb45b.jpg0a89c7c5dc216c3a66af042757ae51f3.jpg
    S. Repens in front, Alternia reineckii mini in back, around 3-4 weeks in. Another month and it will be warm enough to order some eleocharis mini and then a final 10 months to get the dhg to a suitable carpet thickness, then 3 weeks slowly filling it up. 3 6500k cfl bulbs, one 90 watt halogen at an angle, keeping the tank at 26 on the dot in the day, then a small heater placed in a pool of water, keeping it at about 23-24 C.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  5. BottomDweller

    BottomDwellerFishlore VIPMember

    Very nice!
     
  6. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    At night.
     
  7. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Can you take a more frontal picture so we can see the layout as a whole?

    Love the Alternanthera Reinekii sp. mini background idea because it reminds me of my personal favorite aquascape 'Crimson Sky' by James Findley & The GreenMachine. Aside from my current Iwagumi I have no emersed experience really, and to add to that I wasn't testing humidity levels - just used a shop light with an incandescent build directed at the tank without touching it.

    While I've never tried growing the three plants you listed emersed, personally, whenever I purchased them some time ago S. Repens + and A. Reinekii were in their emersed form, which your A. Reinekii appears to be. So yeah, you shouldn't have much issue with growing this in your set-up. What the 'ideal' humidity is I haven't a clue, but at %80 I'd venture to guess you're somewhere in that ball park. If you're looking to confirm what an ideal set up is like, I'd do a google search. You'll likely find someone on a different forum having these numbers already in a thread. As far as adding fertilizer to your water spray-bottle? I added 1ml of NPK to mine [tap water] and spritzed it, but you have very strong root feeders, so if the substrate is a complete substrate it's probably not needed.

    I think you have a very nice layout from what I can see, but a more frontal view would give everyone a stronger idea of how it looks!

    Also, your current lighting is probably sufficient to grow this out emersed, but A. Reinekii sp. mini is much more delicate and demanding than your other two plants. I have grown it under minimal lighting, but it's not a healthy, long-term sustainable growth. Under low lighting the topside of its leaf became a rusted color, while the underside had a little red to it. Because of it's slow growth if you aren't adding an outside source of Co2 I'm doubtful it will do well. Even excel won't be a great alternative. It has a very strong root system that needs nutrients in the substrate, much like the colored crypts, and A. Reinekii may be even more susceptible to melt (some times even the loss of portions of the plant) when uprooted and moved.

    If this isn't the sp. Mini variety of A. Reinekii you'll have better luck. The common variety looks very similar with emersed leaves to the sp. Mini, which is a delicate but beautiful plant.

    All in all, you have some cool stones. look forward to seeing more pictures.
     
  8. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    I'll be able to get more pics another time. it's complicated. I'll see about tomorrow or the day after. In some of the earlier pics you can see the formation, though I will admit that it is not the best angle.

    I just received some new pics
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    They're the best I can get for now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  9. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, thanks. I've got an okay idea as to how it looks. From what I can see between the pictures it looks fantastic, so far.

    That A. Reinekii is really crazy how it sprung to life! Honestly, I wouldn't have thought it would have rebounded so rapidly. Really awesome! Is it the true Alternanthera Reinekii sp. mini version, or the more common Alternanthera Reinekii?

    Also, where's that E. acicularus going?

    The two plants you have right now are similiar structurally, but Eleocharis Acicularis is almost too different to blend seemlessly. Don't get me wrong - totally see what you're going for, but Co2 is going to play a huge part.

    Are you going with the current lighting or upgrading in the near future? Co2 injection?

    Your layout looks really good and for the most part I like it all! Keep up the good work! Excellent job!
     
  10. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    The E. acicaularus is going in front of the S.repens. I think I see where you are going with how the plant structures are different. I would like to give it a try, though, just to see how it looks. What carpet plant would you suggest? Also, I am sure that it is the Alternanthera Reinekii 'mini'. I am planning to try out a diy co2 source once it is all setup. On the subject of upgrading the lights, when I start to fill it in 3 months time, I'll see how much water it can penetrate, and if it is not sufficient, I have 3 more bulbs. Or I may go with the led floodlight option, I am not sure. Not that you have to like it, but what do you mean "for the most part I like it all" , which part do you disagree with? Thanks by the way. Your work is very inspiring.
     
  11. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Actually, I think I stand corrected. I was having a hard time Piecing it altogether from different angles. Had my sketchbook close by so I doodled it - gave me a better sense of direction, as did googling some pictures to see Staurogyne Repens and Dwarf Hair Grass together and it actually looked really good.

    My only thoughts were to break up that inner circle of S. Repens with smaller stones, which for the most part would separate the plants and likely only be visible when the grass is freshly trimmed. I know this is way easier said than done when it comes to Seiryu if it was ordered online and no rocks geologically near you have a similar color, so my second thought was a blend of mixed carpet I've been playing with in some of my tanks by filling in a spot with hair grass and then short pieces of hydrocotyle sp japan every 1 and 1/2 inches or so once the grass is dense. The grass keeps growing nice and under the right conditions sp. Japan sort of weaves through it for a multilayer carpet. You can trim it normal, which is why I plant many small pieces of sp. Japan so close, because even if you hack it down hard the hair grass and sp. Japan spring back up.

    - BUT I only was thinking that before I looked over Google images. S. Repens and Hairgrass pair very well together without something to transition between them.

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    I thought about one of the floodlights for a tank a while back, but buying a Chihiros turned out much cheaper. A 20 Long is just one of those tanks where lighting isn't cheap even though you don't need very intense light to penetrate the depth.

    Haha! That wasn't meant to be degrading or rude - promise! I was typing in a hurry to get out the door. I like the approach you took to plant selection with this tank, and how it appears (at least in my head) like island-like, yet a mountain iwagumi at the same time. What I wasn't really hot on is the almost linear line the right side had in some of your pictures. Don't get me wrong because I'm sure you played plenty with them and all I have is a picture, but I'd have tried to broaden the depth of the right side. Maybe when you snap some photos in the near future it won't look quite as linear.

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  12. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    I took less offence and was only curious about what I needed to do to improve it. This is not proper seiryu if I remember correctly, just stone that looks very, very similar. But, what do you mean 'linear'. Do you think I should add some smaller stones in the area behind the far right rock? Just so you know, there is some S.repens that will eventually separate the Ar mini and eleocharis. I'll have to come clean though, they're all my favourite plants, and I am fortunate they are not cube or glosso because that would be a little tricky.
    I could rotate that far left stone backwards, maybe curve it back. There is a rock there that you'll see in a over head, so tell me where you think is best. I'll see about going to my LFS today and will maybe buy some new rocks. I did play around with them for 1 hour, then slept on it. I had it perfect, just the way I wanted, then my family said I had to use all 7 rocks instead of the 5 I had perfect. The lights I found where actually pretty cheap, 19.99 Canadian for 6, 13 watts bulbs. I might just diy a reflector with four bulb, just to add some power, then place it overhead.

    I can take a photo from any angle for the next three hours. Here are just some new angles.
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  13. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    In the other pictures, save for the top view, the right formation looked very linear - as in the rocks were set 1/2 to 3/4 into the tank all down a straight line which didn't add depth. I could clearly see they are not set in a straight line, but in the other photos that's what I was seeing: rocks in a row.

    Don't get me wrong! Your very last picture definitely shows that this isn't the case. It just looked off from the other various angles and the two bigger stone on the right side looked very square to go along with that in some pictures. If you have more stone, or could get more without it costing a fortune, I think what I would try would be adding the subtle details. The very closest stone (laying horizontal in the middle) I'd move slightly to the left so it flows with the angle of the left formation by tipping upwards, and then stagger stones large enough to not be completely hidden when the grass grows in on that stones right with 1 - 2 inches apart (either 2 stones or 4) to give the appearance of boulders half-sunk into a hill you can plant grass between, which would act as both a retaining wall and a way to separate the grass from the S. Repens + trimming pattern in the future.

    A 20G long is a hard tank to scape, which is why you don't see them used by professionals often because of their length, yet lack of depth + height. So the formation on the right would look better fanned out some to use more of the length of the tank and broaden the view, While the lovely island of plants you have is definitely the focal point, letting the viewers eyes view the entire length will add detail and bring stronger focus to that center.

    Give me a moment to upload a picture ... .... ...

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    Obviously if the resources and stone aren't there, don't beat yourself up on the little details. I think this would help add that little 'something' of depth and help take it to a higher level, but trust me... It's a lot easier for me to throw out ideas on this side of the screen than to implement them on your side.



    Never listen to the family. !

    To break it down further all I'm really doing in my sketch is separating 30" of tank into 3 formations that may or may not work together as a whole.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  14. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    I think I see what you're saying. If I put small stones closer to the glass, it'll make the big ones in the back look huge? The issue about moving the stones is that they are stacked up on plastic egg cartons, don't worry they've been washed. But I think that I can add some rocks in here and there, but only small or medium. I would like to replace the far left and closest rocks and maybe the big one in the back, if I can. Also, if I am correct, I can order the hairgrass when it is back in stock. By-the-by, if you want a great substrate, flourite sand is great for s.repens. When I took them out of the other tank, one was seven inches across and had 10-12 inch roots, all in low tech, but I guess it is s.repens after all.
     
  15. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, basically. It's all about leading the viewers eyes to points you want them to go, and the finer details go a long way into doing this and adding depth.
     
  16. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    Ok then, I guess I'll try and get more rock, though I can't guarantee it. Also, any thoughts on a primarily otocinclus tank? Well fed and had regular water changes of 30% every weekend. Clean up crew and will be great if they breed, because as I understand they're endangered or on the brink of being so. Thoughts?
     
  17. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember


    Love the idea of otocinclus! These are not only my favorite algae eaters, but probably top 5 fish. I have a squad of 6 that I shuffle to new or remodeled tanks prone to algae. Those 6 put in about as much work as 100 - 200 RCS! Haha! Wish I could get more, but the nearest store that sells them is 1.5 hrs away and sells them out before I'm able to get over there.

    I'd hold off on setting that idea in stone. I'm definitely not the best person to ask about stocking - maybe @TexasDomer would have a better idea of how many you could/would/should have in your tank farther down the road. With my otocinclus I have to watch their habits closely in 20G tanks because if I correct a tank's algae they're in too well I've watched them go into a panic mode where they dart from one spot to the next because they deplete their food supply, and I've never once seen them go anywhere near food I've offered as supplement. Right now they're in my forest tank, and the light in the back is directed at the back glass and set much higher in terms of PAR, which assures there's always food but that's a high-tech tank so algae appears much faster.
     
  18. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    I phoned my LFS a few hours ago and asked I they had dwarf hair grass, like I do every week, to which they responded yes. So I asked I they could save one for me and arrived to pick it up around 7:20. It was not eleocharis, but lilaeopcis brasilenis. So I am super annoyed and frustrated, and have decided that their phone service plus actual knowledge of plants means I won't return for a while. @Silister Trench
    Ps their phone service was horrific, and it is a chain company.

    Oh sorry about @ing you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2017
  19. Silister Trench

    Silister TrenchWell Known MemberMember

    Well, they're both grass-like if that accounts for anything... haha! No, seriously, not even close. You'd have a much better chance with the Eleocharis Parvulus with your intended set up. Laeopsis Brasiliensis - Micro Sword - has always been very finicky when it comes to my dealings with it. In one tank it'll grow very well and propagate fast. In the tank next to it under very similar conditions it'll quickly become an algae magnet and rot itself out of existence. Under like conditions in a third tank it survives but never does anything outside of that.

    I feel like they could have just looked at the package, been like "Nope!" and saved you a trip. :banghead:
     
  20. OP
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    PatrickShrimp

    PatrickShrimpValued MemberMember

    Yeah, it sucks. I should have figured though, because they never have it. One time, when they actually had it, it was a livestock weekend, meaning all livestock, including plants, were 25% off. I phoned and they replied saying they had it. So I almost got out the door and you know what, freezing rain that's what. So I had to go the next day, but thankfully it was a two day event. When I got there, the hair grass was gone, even the potted stuff in the holding tanks.
     
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