Anyone experienced with dry start method

tubamanandy

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Looking to do my very first dry-start (experienced planted tank enthusiast).

Is it permissible to use a sand over soil (not sure which soil but would like to use one of the cheap Miracle Gro soils) base ?

Would the roots of the fledgling plants reach down through the sand to the nutrient rich soil in the 9 weeks to set the system up.
 

Tim Harrison

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I've never done a dry start with compost but there is no reason why it shouldn't work even with a sand cap.
 

zozo

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Have a look at this.
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/a-wardian-case.53297/page-2#post-581491

It's already dry starting for over a year. Well? It's meant to stay dry and can not be flooded. But it contains mainly crypts and Microsorum, with a few terrestrials. The soil is Velda Lelite, it's a clay/peat-based compost specially developed for growing Water Lilly. I've also used this soil in an aquarium capped it with sand and gravel. And i liked it very much, the tank never had any need for fertilization in the 3 years it is running. What i liked about this soil is its adhesive but still soft consistency because of the heavy clay contents. :) If i ever go for a soil compost substrate again in an aquarium this will definitively be it. It also isn't that expensive at 2 GPB p/litre. Tho that's a UK price i buy it for €1 p/litre

I also see no issues with a dry start on a compost soil capped with sand or what so ever. Plant roots will find their way to the goodies. :)
 

SRP3006

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Mine looked very similar to @Zeus. with the root penetration. I used a aquatic compost capped with sand. All the roots grew very well and into the soil I believe and the carpet spread very well. My only issue came when I flooded the tank TBH. That's when I lost the carpet.

To add my dry start was 12 weeks.
 

Zeus.

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Mine looked very similar to @Zeus. with the root penetration. I used a aquatic compost capped with sand. All the roots grew very well and into the soil I believe and the carpet spread very well. My only issue came when I flooded the tank TBH. That's when I lost the carpet.

To add my dry start was 12 weeks.
How did you lose it ?
 

SRP3006

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18 Feb 2019
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How did you lose it ?
Inexperience. Not implementing the co2 correctly, possibly not enough light to punch down to 24''. Dwarf Hairgrass became chocked by moss that was mixed in and I maybe trimmed it too hard and too early.

Hopefully I've learnt from the mistakes so next time might be better

OTOH the dwarf sag has done fine, but that's a weed.
 
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