Plants can have a hard time to adapt from submerged to emersed state, rather than the opposite. Tom, on the barr forum wrote this method initially growing HC.
If you start with submerged form, you'll need frequent misting the first days, than progressively space the misting so that the leaves can adapt to emersed form. The risk here is fungus developping if kept wet. Humidity must be kept above 80% while a good vent is still present and leaves dry to avoid trouble. Misting can never compensate a low humidity. Many tried Tom method and failed, others, including me, didn't have any trouble. I think the key factor is really to switch to a dry humid state the faster possible, with a constant humidity above 75-80% (monitored via a calibrated cheap hygrometer).
Never close the tank completely, plants need CO2 and O2, find balance between openings and humidity. I use a 5mm acrylic top I cut my self and that will be maintained straight by aluminium U shaped borders
Also never let water above the soil level ---> algae and fungus
When submerging the tank, you'll have to max the CO2, as under water they'll move from 300ppm in the air to very little in water. Than, CO2 can be decreased on some days, or even better 2-3 weeks. No fish of course meanwhile. Tom and others didn't note any HC melting during immersion if CO2 is kept high
Better results will need a mineralized soil (ADA AS) or organic one (castings). To cycle your soil, use mulm and water from main tank and spray/mist plants with that water too. Flash the water few times when immersing to remove any leaked organic parts
Tom advised 4-6 weeks to cycle the soil and so that plants establish well. Or immersing when plants achieve the density you look for. I'll be going 8-10 weeks for planning restrictions and also as I love the "watch it growing without maintenance" thing.
I find your tank worth the try of a dry start. The time spent waiting for introducing fish is compensated by a maintenance free planted aquarium
I managed to do a water change tonight and get some pictures. Ignore the wood at the top as ive removed it and will replace it when i can get it flat like in the previous pictures. It floated too much and stuck up so I need some more glue in at next water change
Other than that everything planted quite well with the minimum of clouding. Pics below include the Dazs Chisel diffuser and some nice ADA parts set grey tubing (I left them in as I was bound to break the glass if I tried to take it out!). Boyu bubble counter on the outside. I took off the HOB and the light for the photography.
Close-up of diffuser and planting
In-situ in the lounge under the TV with the HOB and light in place. The jury is still out for bruce, he doesnt like the wood at the back either
you're right about the wood as it looks crap after I checked the pictures so I took it out of the top sections. Ive got to cut it and reposition so it creeps over the top rather than standing to attention!
thanks for the hairgrass by the way thomas, its planted up nicely in the back of this tank!
I really like the ADA tubing, really flexible and doestn kink when you loop it over the top of the tank. Ill be using it in all my tanks at the last stage from now on. Just wish it wasnt so dear!
The HOB is working wuite well as the outflow drops onto the top of the co2 bubbles thus distributing them around the tank. The only thing im worried about is a lack of flow aournd the left side of the main stone.
Little update. ive been doing daily water changes. The HC is grwoing well and im going to give it a trim tonight. Unfortunately some of the UG is starting to melt but other bits are fine so im hoping some survives so it can grow on.
As I dont start scapes with AS very often (only used it once) when should I start dosing TPN+ ???