09-29-2011, 04:11 PM
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Its the same as the greenhouse effect, the plant uses the CO2 in the air during the day, and then put CO2 back in the air at night. This method only works with plants that are amphibious, such as DHG, swords, crypts, anubias, some mosses, Dwarf baby tears, etc. It will not work with full aquatic plants.
DSM is recommended for carpeting plants like Dwarf baby tears because these surface cover plants are very prone to floating and grow slow at the start which makes the tank prone to algae. DSM prevents both of these problems and removes the CO2 limitation on the plant allowing it to grow as fast as possible. One major drawback is that some people who do DSM find that a lot of their plants melt when water is added because the leaves are terrestrial and the lack of CO2 causes them to die. Sometimes, they do not recover. Many people who do this method suggest cranking up the CO2 levels after filling and slowly dialing it back to ease the transition.