HC Cuba dry start

Benzo

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Good day,

New to the hobby and absolutely love it. Hurts the wallet though I have to say !! Anyways, straight to the point. Doing a dry start with HC Cuba. 45 Gallon tank. Temp 20-24 Celsius, humidity 90%, using ADA power sand special, topped with ADA aquasoil. Spraying once a day creating to puddling. Used 4 pots of Tropica and one pot of wool rock kind. Now I notice some yellowing here and there which doesn’t quite concern me. What concerns me is two bunches out of probably 20 have gone dark green in colour. Noticed it today so who knows how many more will (fingers crossed none).

Any insight on this colour change would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Hanuman

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Doing a dry will have no advantages. On the contrary. You will waste valuable time and the plants will have to adapt again in a few weeks time when you fill up your tank. So save yourself some time and effort and add the water now. I recommend using high lights and high co2 as Hemianthus Callitrichoides is a demanding plant.
For the yellowing and greening it's the plant trying to adapt to its new environment. You will see lot of leaves melt before new growth happens.
 

Benzo

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Hanuman,

I’m on day 22. The HC has grown in beautifully. I have since taken out the bad patches, took out some of the bigger HC (that have grown since start) and cut them and replaced the ones that had gone dark green and mushy.

I have to agree with you, after doing much more research, DSM doesn’t offer much value other than TIME, I am new to the hobby and have just finished gathering all the equipment needed to run High tech. But this is a good learning experience for me for sure.

Cheers.
 

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Zeus.

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IMO/IME DSM is great way to start.
High CO2 levels free
You can max the lights 12hrs a day max intensity with out algae issues
Easy to plant esp HC without water. Then it doesn't float up when you flood as will have good roots.
Fewer plants needed to start with also.
Choosing HC for your first high tech tank is brave IMO ;)
 

Cor

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+2 for DSM

With a DSM, the plant has the advantage that it can put all energy into root development.
And when the tank is flooded, the plant only has to worry about transmission to submersed.
 

Zeus.

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Plus when you flood the substrate has cycled and the plant has lots of energy store so it manages the transition easier
 

zozo

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Drystart has many advantages, not only maturing plants it also biologicaly pre matures the substrate with bacterial life.Depending on how its planted it can prevent substrate sliding because the plantroots keep it in place.

Tho knowing some plants and how they actualy develop and need to be maintained once they have to live submersed. Than i can imagine that HC is a plant considered not worth dry starting very much. Since it is very prone to melt and rot from the substrate up once it grows very dense. If you want to maintain HC in good health and want to prevent this you need to trim it regularly.. If you want to enjoy a permanent dense carpet it will come off the substarte one day because it is no longer rooted. That's a natural propperty of how the plants develops submersed.

Summing all that, it actualy aint a good plant for a long term community tank at all. Much to labor intensive and each time it is trimmed as it should be trimmed it looks awfull for the next few weeks. Once it looks good again a few weeks later if not sooner it should be trimmed again. Bottom line it's a little beautiful demanding pain in the neck plant. Good for contest aquascaping and temporary high tech setups, taking a picture and show it off when it looks at ts best.
For the rest of the time it longer looks awfull than good or it grows itself to death at least off the substrate and you find it floating one day.

But if you are new to the hobby.. You'll find out yourself.. I guess if its for a longer term community setup you probably will switch to another type of plant very soon.. :thumbup:
 

Benzo

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Zozo,

Fully ready for the task at hand. I’m not trying to win competitions or wow the internet. I’m LEARNING, and part of learning is failing, testing, and confirming a particular method or approach.

As fortunate as I am for the internet and the vast amount of information readily available, it’s also unfortunate to have so many mixed remarks both on the dry start method and on running HC Cuba in a tank.

Anyways. I appreciate your feedback.
Like everything else in life, you don’t learn unless you experience and I am extatic for the experience.

Cheers,
Benzo
 

zozo

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I'm sorry if my reply came across with a little sarcasm or me beeing cocky, that absolutely wasn't my intention. English is not my native language, also still learning, also about aqauriums, the plants etc. and desently communicating in this language.

Regarding this hobby, it is a probability in which we never stop learning, because each single aqaurium is it's own induvivual bubble always different from its predecessor or any other aqaurium out there. There is more behind the scene we all yet don't know much about, lots of issues we can only assume about how it might work. Hence the confusing mixed remarks.

You can compare it with a Chess game and it's numerous combinations. I once thougt i knew and was averagely good in it. Till i confidently entered a tournament and the first game i got swept off the board in less then 10 moves by a 7 year old kid. From that day on i stopped answering the question do you know Chess.

Same goes for the questions about aqaurium keeping, i'm rather reluctant to say i know i rather say i'm still learning. 1 lifetime is to short to know it.

Anyway if you are new to the hobby and want to start with one of the most difficult and demanding plants in the hobby because you want to learn. Nothing wrong with that, I'm not saying you shouldn't or you can't. Just trying to share an experience, that you are going to be in for a treat and prepare to role up your sleaves and get your arms wet once it is flooded. That is something that will never change regardless how much you have learned about it.

Even if you grow it with success, it stays a very demanding plant to grow and keep healthy.

Thus succes.. :thumbup: And i sincerely wish you pull it off.. I love to see pictures of scapes with beautiful HC carpets.. :)
 

Tim Harrison

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An HC carpet can look great, but it can also be a PITA. Like Marcel (zozo) says above, it's high maintenance and the trimmings take root everywhere; it's impossible to remove all of them :meh:
MC is a little better, not so demanding, it grows well emersed and doesn't tend to melt that much when flooded, so a better choice than HC for DSM. And once grown in and trimmed the two are very difficult to tell apart.

But it's also like Marcel said, each and every aquarium is different, even your own and even if you think you've followed the same methodology...so what might work in one, may not work in another. In short, aquascaping is not an exact science, more of an art really. That's why everyone's answer will be different and that's why even good advice (like that above) will only get you so far; ultimately you're better off learning through firsthand experience, which I guess is exactly what you are doing :)

Deliberately neglected HC carpet, from this...
29600311481_338783d05d_c-jpg.jpg


To this in about 8 weeks...
31159833650_485157e040_c-jpg.jpg
 

Benzo

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5142F179-1D27-4655-B7AF-D021DF810267.jpeg
18D6E7B5-800C-44BA-BC99-EBDDE224C845.jpeg
Here is the tank after flooding,

Currently cycling the tank and Ada substrate provides good ammonia for that to happen. At this point my question is,

What type of ferts does everyone use? and when should I start dosing. ?

I purchased Tropica Specialised Nutrition. Is this enough ?

Current plant list :
  • Hemianthus Callitrichoides
  • Elatine hydropiper
  • Eleocharis Parvula
  • Hygrophyla pinnatifida
  • Rotala Hra
  • Pogostemon erectus
  • Hygrophila siamensis 53B
Thanks,
Benzo
 

alto

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Elatine hydropiper
note Elatine prefers cooler water, 21-22*C max recommended (check the Green Aqua 90cm x 90cm x 45cm (tall) aquarium video), decent CO2, seemingly less particular about light

I tried a lazy dry start with some E hydropiper that was not in the best condition, it slowly disappeared

Current E hydropiper was planted in Tropica Powder, then filled straight after ... 60 P to
 

alto

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using ADA power sand special, topped with ADA aquasoil.
Tropica Specialised Nutrition.
You don’t mention tap water conditions, my tap is very soft (mostly rain & snow melt fill the reservoirs), I use Tropica Aquarium Soil and Tropica Premium & Specialized fertilizers (& CO2)

ADA soil has high levels of nutrients to start (& longer term nutrients in the PS Special), following ADA methodology, I’d begin with Tropica Premium, then include Specialized after 1-2 months (depending on plant growth)
 

Hanuman

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IMO/IME DSM is great way to start.
High CO2 levels free
You can max the lights 12hrs a day max intensity with out algae issues
Easy to plant esp HC without water. Then it doesn't float up when you flood as will have good roots.
Fewer plants needed to start with also.
Choosing HC for your first high tech tank is brave IMO ;)
+2 for DSM
With a DSM, the plant has the advantage that it can put all energy into root development.
And when the tank is flooded, the plant only has to worry about transmission to submersed.
Plus when you flood the substrate has cycled and the plant has lots of energy store so it manages the transition easier
Drystart has many advantages, not only maturing plants it also biologicaly pre matures the substrate with bacterial life.Depending on how its planted it can prevent substrate sliding because the plantroots keep it in place.
I don't want to start a fight on DSM and its benefits [or not]. This has certainly happened already - lol. Truth is I am not a multi-year experienced aquascaper. This said one doesn't need to be an agronomist either although I do have some experience with plants. This far I fail to see the real compelling benefits that DSM offer over the standard flooded method. I will quote the benefits that were stated before and give my comments on them. Don't get worked up, it's just my opinion:

- High levels of Co2: yes and so does a flooded tank. One can inject high levels of Co2 at the beginning considering there shouldn't be any fish in the tank. Co2 is not exactly expensive, granted it's not free, still this is not a compelling advantage over a flooded tank.
- Ease of planting and no floats: well this I can partially agree. If you plant your HC properly and add water properly there is not reason the HC should float. It should be minimal.
- Fewer plants needed: well that's debatable and in my personal opinion not a benefit that outweighs starting flooded. How much are talking here 3/4 euros a pot of HC?
- Root development in DSM: Perhaps but then again after flooding the tank the plant will go into shock and partially melt. If you have healthy plants from the beginning, they should be fine and develop healthy root in a flooded environment as well.
- Cycled substrate after flooding or biologicaly pre matures the substrate: this one made my eyes open wide. The substrate will be cycled no matter what method you chose. The downside of a DSM is that you are not using a filter until flooded so that canister will not be cycled. Yes you might have plenty of bacteria in the substrate already (depending on how much substrate you have) but if you are planning on having a bio filter and will be relying on it as a bio filter then flooding from the beginning will cycle your canister as well and is most advisable.
- Substrate sliding: well I think this is just wrong. Substrate should be properly retained from the beginning, DMS or not. Relying on root systems to retain substrate is a gamble that shouldn't be taken. Plus even having a heavily planted tank with plants that shoot heavy roots does not completely prevent substrate sliding. Unless your tank is in dry mode for many months sliding will occur to a certain degree specially if using HC as it does not produce a deep and strong root system.

Now these are my comment for a no go for DSM:
- Time: the time you spend with a DSM is time basically wasted. Twofold: 1- plants will melt to as certain degree after flooding. 2- it delays your understanding of how your tank works. Once flooded your tank and plants will behave differently. You will have to adapt again. Flooding the tank from the beginning gives you the possibility of see things evolve and take corrective actions.
- Algae: possibility of having high concentrations of algae development on the soil. Being in DSM makes it very difficult to combat this compared to a flooded tank. Plus after flooding with a DSM you might have some plan melt with high levels of organic compound in the water. Considering you do not have a cycled filter yet the filter will merely be a mechanical filter. Unless you are experienced you will need to wait again some time (perhaps not that much) before adding fish. Your substrate alone might no be enough to cope with the ammonia/nitrites/nitrate. It all depends though.
- Mold: this is perhaps one of the major issues. A highly humid environment will see mold development with the potential of killing the plants.
- Humidity: you need to keep a constant eye on the humidity levels to prevent the algae/mold development. A bit of a pita considering a DSM can take several months before flooding.

The only "benefit" from a DSM I see is if you want to make extensive carpets and use mosses. Still I don't see it as a compelling reason to start a DSM.

Don't shoot me please! :wacky:
 

zozo

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Don't shoot me please! :wacky:
Why should we?.. :thumbup: Exchanging experiences and opinions is what this forum is all about.. :)

There is or can be a Yes and and No to every method of starting and keeping an aqaurium.. As so often said in this forum it is not an excact science. It is mainly how one experiences it personaly. And that is what it is all about personal experience and it's related prefered method. And in the end it is you that needs to like your aqaurium and do what you feel comfortable with.

Tho there are some biological facts one can take into consideration to possibly have benefit with the initial startup of plants. And i'm a great fan of Not using the word Cycling other than when i'm physically doing so on my bicycle. :) The term cycling in the aqaurium hobby is a rather outdated concept littered with assumptions and already scientificaly prooven misconceptions.

Anyway, when we look at the list of available aqaurium plants.. I don't know the excact number but i'm probably not far of and rather exaggerating with the statement only 5% of all plant sp. are true aqautics. The other 95% are Bog plants, nowadays with the aquascaping gaining popularity the majority of this number are bog plants that you certainly will never find growing aqautic in nature. They simply cannot be grown very healthy or not at all without adding additional Co² when they are permanently flooded.

Bog plants are actualy terrestrial planst that don't mind or prefer standing in wet invironments and evolved to survive temporary flooding periodes. They depend on a healthy root system in the substrate to survive harsh conditions dry or wet or even flooded, in harsh periodes foliage may die but if the roots stay intact the plant will certainly come back. Here you have already one factual benefit of so called dry starting a bog plant that you recieve in terrestrial form from the nursery. Giving it a chance to develop a healthy root system before you drown it and shock the crap out of it will benefit the plant to transition to a less favorable condition. Not saying it can't do that submersed, it does, but not as fast as it would do in a more favorable condition.

Than if you take into consideration how certain plants propagate and how their rootsystem developes.. You also can use this to your benefit. Take for example a plant that spreads with short runners.


Plants growing like this, grow very dense mats of roots interconnected with stolons, an interlocked chain of stolons with new crowns (seperate plant) forming and spreading its own roots. That's how many grasses grow and they prevent land slides when growing on a sloop. :thumbup: Yup you are 100% correct there are other means securing land slides. But that doesn't discared the fact that you don't need to if you use the correct plant and wait for it to sufficiently develop that rootystem. In our hobby this takes a lot of patience and that is a whole different level of experience..

When it comes to bacteria we need in our aqauriums.. They come anyway, they are omnipresent and will develop faster than you migh think. But these bacteria have a rather high oxygene demand they will simply propagate faster rather in a damp aerated invironment than in a flooded invironment. It's a small additional dry strat benefit that actualy can be neglected.
 

Zeus.

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High levels of Co2: yes and so does a flooded tank.
Dry start has 400PPM flooded tank 30-60ppm at a push so dry start x10 [CO2]

Flow in dry start not an issue as CO2 travels 10,000 times faster in air than water, water flow needed in CO2 tanks can cause issues/uprooted plants

Ease of planting and no floats: well this I can partially agree. If you plant your HC properly and add water properly there is not reason the HC should float. It should be minimal.
I had zero experiance of plants when doing my first one so DSM easier/quicker I didnt use HC but the roots are so small. some of my MHG and Micro swords was barley in the substrate not an issue for DSM they would of floated up if flooded

Root development in DSM: Perhaps but then again after flooding the tank the plant will go into shock and partially melt. If you have healthy plants from the beginning, they should be fine and develop healthy root in a flooded environment as well.
Most folk use 1-2 grow pots so plant is already growing in air so you just delaying the shock thats all. Plus more emergy reserves after intense lighting of DSM so can handle the change easier without issues.

- Cycled substrate after flooding or biologicaly pre matures the substrate: this one made my eyes open wide. The substrate will be cycled no matter what method you chose. The downside of a DSM is that you are not using a filter until flooded so that canister will not be cycled. Yes you might have plenty of bacteria in the substrate already (depending on how much substrate you have) but if you are planning on having a bio filter and will be relying on it as a bio filter then flooding from the beginning will cycle your canister as well and is most advisable.
Biggest biological filter in the planted tank is the plants roots, so DSM will have more plant roots ready to filter. Start the filter in bucket/bin full of water and get it working I did.

Substrate sliding: well I think this is just wrong. Substrate should be properly retained from the beginning
Agree, but nothing wrong with extra roots to hold the substrate in place.

Fewer plants needed: well that's debatable and in my personal opinion not a benefit that outweighs starting flooded. How much are talking here 3/4 euros a pot of HC?
my DSM cost £150 in plants, if flooded would of cost more OFC
upload_2016-12-15_20-33-24-png-12246-png.png


To
upload_2017-2-10_23-2-19-png-12469-png.png


Look at the roots in second pic;)

Time: the time you spend with a DSM is time basically wasted. Twofold: 1- plants will melt to as certain degree after flooding. 2- it delays your understanding of how your tank works. Once flooded your tank and plants will behave differently. You will have to adapt again. Flooding the tank from the beginning gives you the possibility of see things evolve and take corrective actions.
o_O Never had melt after my DSM, Wasnt in a rush to understand how tank work as it gave me the time to understand it. DSM is pretty simple after all.

Algae: possibility of having high concentrations of algae development on the soil. Being in DSM makes it very difficult to combat this compared to a flooded tank. Plus after flooding with a DSM you might have some plan melt with high levels of organic compound in the water. Considering you do not have a cycled filter yet the filter will merely be a mechanical filter. Unless you are experienced you will need to wait again some time (perhaps not that much) before adding fish. Your substrate alone might no be enough to cope with the ammonia/nitrites/nitrate. It all depends though.
Not a big issue IMO/IME flood tank and livestocked added in few days

Mold: this is perhaps one of the major issues. A highly humid environment will see mold development with the potential of killing the plants
I found it easy to control

Humidity: you need to keep a constant eye on the humidity levels to prevent the algae/mold development. A bit of a pita considering a DSM can take several months before flooding.
After a 3 month DSM Humidity was easy to control

Still I don't see it as a compelling reason to start a DSM.
If I was doing a carpet plant again I would do a DSM


I don't want to start a fight on DSM and its benefits
Your opening post was

Doing a dry will have no advantages. On the contrary. You will waste valuable time and the plants will have to adapt again in a few weeks time when you fill up your tank. So save yourself some time and effort and add the water now. I recommend using high lights and high co2 as Hemianthus Callitrichoides is a demanding plant.
For the yellowing and greening it's the plant trying to adapt to its new environment. You will see lot of leaves melt before new growth happens.
Well close to 'Trolling' IMO.
 

foxfish

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Doing a dry will have no advantages. On the contrary. You will waste valuable time and the plants will have to adapt again in a few weeks time when you fill up your tank. .
Well you certainly made an interesting comment and you gave a great backup post!
There is one other aspect though... it is great fun too.
I would say that DSM is just another part of our hobby and doing one is an interesting way to start up a new tank.
 

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