Confused about dry start method

Aqua Hero

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@Tim Harrison did your moss ever look as dry as this

My hygrometer is saying the humidity is still 99% but the moss on the wood looks really dry. The ones on the rocks still look damp
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dw1305

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Hi all,
moss on the wood looks really dry.
Too dry.

If the wood isn't fully saturated with water it will "suck" the water from the moss. This will keep on happening until the wood is fully saturated with water. You can try spraying it, but even then you may find you can't spray it regularly enough to keep the moss suitably damp.

Personally I would only attempt a moss dry start with wood that has been into soak for a long time, and then I would keep <"the container sealed">. I would want everything beaded with water. "Dry start" is a misnomer, you want a "wet start", but just not under a layer of water.
The ones on the rocks still look damp
It is likely that the rock isn't permeable, so any moisture will sit on top in a film or puddle.

The puddle will only evaporate when the relative humidity in the air falls below 100%. You still have to be a little bit careful, because warm air can hold a lot more moisture than cold air, and any rapid warming (of the dry start) is likely to lead in a fall in relative humidity and damage to the moss leaves (microphylls), even if there is a reservoir of water that can vapourise and return the relative humidity to 100%. You just have a lag period when relative humidity is lower than 100%.

Bryophytes and fern prothalli are different from vascular plants, they don't have any conductive tissue (like xylem) to distribute water to the "leaves", or specialised epidermal cells to restrict water loss. They need to be really wet to survive.

If you can't find anything specifically for culturing moss on wood in a dry start have a look at the cultural requirements of "Filmy Ferns".

You can get also get the reverse situation with a permeable substrate (a rock like tufa, or a really wet branch) where the rock etc acts as a water reservoir and a fall in the humidity of the air will lead to water vapour travelling out of the rock into the air (and the attached moss).

cheers Darrel
 
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Aqua Hero

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Hi all, Too dry.

If the wood isn't fully saturated with water it will "suck" the water from the moss. This will keep on happening until the wood is fully saturated with water. You can try spraying it, but even then you may find you can't spray it regularly enough to keep the moss suitably damp.

Personally I would only attempt a moss dry start with wood that has been into soak for a long time, and then I would keep <"the container sealed">. I would want everything beaded with water. It is likely that the rock isn't permeable, so any moisture will sit on top in a film or puddle.

The puddle will only evaporate when the relative humidity in the air falls below 100%. You still have to be a little bit careful, because warm air can hold a lot more moisture than cold air, and any rapid warming (of the dry start) is likely to lead in a fall in relative humidity and damage to the moss leaves (microphylls), even if there is a reservoir of water that can vapourise and return the relative humidity to 100%. You just have a lag period when relative humidity is lower than 100%.

You can get also get the reverse situation with a permeable substrate (a rock like tufa, or a really wet branch) where the rock etc acts as a water reservoir and a fall in the humidity of the air will lead to water vapour travelling out of the rock into the air (and the attached moss).

cheers Darrel
That's just wonderful. And I actually soaked the wood for a good 3 weeks. Fortunately I saved some of the left over moss in containers I have misted and left near the window to grow so I can re use it when the tank is read to be flooded.

I actually though high temperature was a bad thing. I now have my light closer to the tank so the tank is about 27c and room temp is 24c. I will try to keep the wood as wet as possible for the time being. I wish I knew this sooner else I wouldn't have put the moss on the wood but then again I still have a huge amount of moss left over.



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dw1305

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Hi all,
I actually though high temperature was a bad thing. I now have my light closer to the tank so the tank is about 27c and room temp is 24c. I will try to keep the wood as wet as possible for the time being. I wish I knew this sooner else I wouldn't have put the moss on the wood but then again I still have a huge amount of moss left over.
Sorry run out of time to edit my other post. .....Have a look at this <"guide to filmy ferns">, basically they are the conditions you want for your moss to attach to the wood.

Filmy Ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) are really similar to semi-aquatic mosses in their cultural requirements, mainly because they have similar, really thin, "leaves", which are very easily damaged by low humidity.

cheers Darrel
 

Aqua Hero

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Hi all, Sorry run out of time to edit my other post. .....Have a look at this <"guide to filmy ferns">, basically they are the conditions you want for your moss to attach to the wood.

Filmy Ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) are really similar to semi-aquatic mosses in their cultural requirements, mainly because they have similar, really thin, "leaves", which are very easily damaged by low humidity.

cheers Darrel
In that case I'm alright. I'll let the moss dry out because the last thing I need is too much moisture to the cause mold.

Like I said I have also of extra moss that I didn't use
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Tim Harrison

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@Tim Harrison did your moss ever look as dry as this
No it didn't. The key is high humidity... I don't think you really need to worry about mould, I never got any using the method I gave above.
Give the whole scape a good soaking with a mister/sprayer every day, otherwise the DSM probably won't work, and you'd be better off just flooding from the start ;)
 

Aqua Hero

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No it didn't. The key is high humidity... I don't think you really need to worry about mould, I never got any using the method I gave above.
Give the whole scape a good soaking with a mister/sprayer every day, otherwise the DSM probably won't work, and you'd be better off just flooding from the start ;)
After re misting it a few hours ago the wood has gone dry again. Tbh it's not a lot of moss since it's just small chopped blended parts.

On the positive side, after two days I'm actually seeing growth on some of the carpet plants and the moss on the lava rock is still damp.

After the 2 months I will just re apply the extra moss in containers on the wood and then flood it
 

Aqua Hero

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Try getting the hydrometer into 'open air' so it's not sat in/on something really wet - it might make no difference but then again it might.
I've put it on the very top of the dry wood and it still says 99%. When I had it in the open next to my window it showed 65%.
 

Andrew Butler

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I've put it on the very top of the dry wood and it still says 99%. When I had it in the open next to my window it showed 65%
Just remember my DSM failed but that was quite probably down to the slopes being as steep so the front was saturated and the back dried out.
I was told Humidity so high was too much by a couple of people - @Tim Harrison and @foxfish are the people who seem to pop up the most with DSM questions but I know @Zeus. is also in on this one.
Just as an idea, if you are to dig a small well in the lowest point of your soil and it is saturated maybe removing some of that water with a syringe will stop the soil being saturated - this won't help with your moss on wood I know.

The wood will quickly dry out, the surface at least.
I've no idea if this would work at all but how about trying to cling film a small piece of branch where you have moss I don't think you've anything to lose by trying, other people might have opinion on this?
 

SRP3006

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My dry start has been going for just over 9 weeks now. I too have used the blender moss method and it's has attached and started to grow on the rock I attached it too. However like you have experienced, the moss on the wood dried up and did not attach. (Well, I will see when I flood if it has attached)

The rocks stay constantly damp whereas the wood is always dry, then again that's probably for the best to inhibit unsightly mould growth on damp wood.

I have followed @Tim Harrison's dry start advice and the plants have excelled imho. Root growth that I would struggle to grow in a submersed state.
 

Aqua Hero

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I had to remove the stupid redmoor wood as it was building up green white and stringy mold on the surface. None of the other plants or rocks seem to be affected.

I've also decided to leave two vent holes while still doing 7 minute air time everyday.

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Bon MotMot

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I just flooded after a 46-day DSM that was successful.

Here is my species list 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. Lighting was 12 hours a day at full power (Two Finnex 24/7 CC 48" (92 watts combined))

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