284L low tech with dry start

Bon MotMot

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Just realized I have a holiday weekend coming up the beginning of Sept so might flood the tank then. Nervous, though, because the transition to submersed is going to be tough. That means I need to order the filters NOW. Trying to decide between an Oase Thermo 600 paired with a Oase Biomaster 600 non-thermal, or a EHEIM 2217 Classic. I only need a heater for Dec through Feb; is it OK to get a Thermo but leave the heater turned off most of the year?
 

Kalum

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Why not just have the thermo set to your desired temp and if its naturally higher anyway then the heater won't need to kick in, but if it drops then it's there to keep it stable (say at night), saves any fluctuations and provides consistency without thinking about it again?
 

alto

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A large tank like this will only change slowly with regards shifting air temp, so I’d not worry about anything “sudden”

Most fish are quite resilient regards reduced temps when all other things are equal (I have a tendency to forget to plug my heater back in :oops: :oops: :oops: :sorry:)

Rather than leaving a heater plugged in when not needed, I’d unplug - in theory the tank temp won’t rise much above ambient or set heater temp, but in practise I find it’s much more consistent to unplug heaters during heat waves (tanks with heaters consistently ran hotter than they “should”)

Don’t forget to trim plants during the dry start
 

alto

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Sorry
I was meaning trim during dry start so plants are a suitable height/growth at flooding - not so easy to remove trim I suppose - but take care that carpet plants are not so dense that lower leaves will be too shaded upon flooding
Try to plan any trimming so that new shoots are nicely going when it’s time to flood

Also realize that the emergent growth will still mostly “disappear” upon flooding - lower temp, lots of CO2, high light tends to extend the flooded half-life of the non-submerse growth, simultaneously new submerse leafs will be forming and with the activity of a decent sized shrimp crew you may not much notice the old leaf disappearance

(Or your Hungry Hungry Shrimp may decimate your happily growing MC :eek: ... first time I’ve had this happen :oops: )
 

Bon MotMot

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So I decide to flood my tank this upcoming holiday weekend and nature comes along and says 'here let me give you a hand with that'

Screenshot (123).png
 

Bon MotMot

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I made a joke a few days ago about Hurricane Dorian flooding my big tank on the weekend I was intending to flood it anyways. The reality as it unfolds is I have the luxury of scaping most of the day with one eye on the weather radar as occasional rainy squalls with gusts to the mid 40’s go by. At the same time people in Abaco and Grand Bahama are dealing with a surge event of historic proportions as Dorian has stalled over them.

I feel so fortunate for the miss here but also so heavy-hearted at the catastrophe unfolding 220 km away. Think I need to go watch a George Farmer video now. Something pretty and soothing.
 

alto

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Looks grand :)

The Excel is fine - within reason (I’d stay inside Seachem dosing limits) as some plants can be sensitive to high doses

Large daily water changes with cool (even cold) water are likely more beneficial than exceptional Excel ;)

Good to hear your weather stayed reasonable
 

Bon MotMot

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Cold water is hard to come by this time of year in south Florida and I'm not going to be able to do more than two water changes a week tops because of my work hours. What % would you recommend? I was thinking around 50% 2x/wk because that has worked for my other tanks but none of the others are transitioning from dry start. It looks good right now since nothing has had a chance to melt. Still have some more plants to add on the islands; I grab whatever I can find wherever I can find it since we don't have any of those glorious aquascaping shops nearby like Europe seems to have.
20190902_205255 (2).jpg
20190902_205338.jpg
 

Jayefc1

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Looks really cool mot do you have a plant list carpet looks like its coping well with the flooding I'm sure there are some amazing aquascape shop in Florida a state that big must have
Cheers
Jay
 

alto

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A Python water changer is the best time investment ;)
(I’ve used alternate branded systems but quality, especially of the tubing, is no where near as good)

Just start syphon and drain to garden or toilet etc to save on water usuage (though Python does claim a 7:1 ratio once started (which is consistent with theory) - certainly the outflow water does run close to tank temp rather than the cold tap water, but that’s the extent of my measurement ... note if your tap pressure is low, it can struggle to start the syphon from tank (depending on distance and height) and will waste water during this stage)

Refill tank directly from tap, adding sufficient Prime for entire tank volume (depending on tap additives, you can omit Prime if no livestock - as I usually have a cycled filter, I add shrimp and snails the day after tank setup)

With the twice a week water change, I’d aim for 70%
Check each day for any melt and do a quick syphon to remove any debris (maybe 10% water change to do this)
Even 20% daily should increase CO2 levels in water - obviously one can also add sparkling water but most contain significant sodium levels, if you have a SodaStream system, just carbonate some tap water and add to tank ;)

I find that melt becomes obvious around the second week - but this is going to vary with temp, also lighting and CO2
You might run 24/7 CO2 - usual (higher) rate during photoperiod, reduced rate during off hours - this should maintain a slightly elevated background CO2 level; this is more relevant if tank is in a bright room rather than a (very) dim corner
:oops: forgot this is non-CO2

If you plant R Vietnam H’ra, you can see the (surprisingly) low level of ambient light needed for leafs to “open”
(this plant grows rather nicely in non-CO2 and will show pink even in quite low light, slow growth setups, it’s become one of my favourite plants)
 

Bon MotMot

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Thanks y'all!

Here is my species list for the DSM and how they fared:

Grew well:
Gratiola viscidula
Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
Staurogyne repens
Hydrocotyle tripartite
Marsilea angustifolia
Eleocharis parvula

Got established; didn't melt but didn't go crazy:
Helanthium tennellum
Lilaeopsis Mauritius

Mosses (yogurt method):
(these all established but did not grow like mad)
Spiky moss
Fissidens fontanus
Riccardia chamedryfolia

I think the mosses did not take off and spread because of the warmth (28 deg). I am fine with slow growth, as long as things are alive. I don't expect everything to do well in a low tech tank, but it is fun to try. I misted twice a day and aimed mostly at the taller branches; the floor stayed moist enough on its own. I sucked water out of the sand area from time to time. I kept the glass lid and saran wrap on for the entire 46 days. I did not have mold issues, but had all kinds of interesting fungi pop up here and there. In addition to the toadstool I had miniature shelf fungi and a couple of other types on the wood. I'm going to also post this in one of the DSM-specific threads.
 

Bon MotMot

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Homestead, FL USA
There is another thread around here somewhere about inspiration. One of the things I like about aquascaping is its celebration of the small and humble beauty in nature. I see scapes in weedy lots that I pass on the way to work. I have always loved the textures of the weeds growing on the side of my house where the homeowner's association can't see. Much more interesting than lawn!
detail_yard weeds 3.jpg
 
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