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What do you think?

This is a discussion on What do you think? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Guess scratch the no wcs, I'll be doing those, hopefully less frequently though. As far as the plants being submersed slowly, what if I ...

Old 01-06-2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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Guess scratch the no wcs, I'll be doing those, hopefully less frequently though.

As far as the plants being submersed slowly, what if I bought plants that weren't submersed, then slowly acclimented them to submersed?Just like in a bog, where rain would increase the water supply, and cover the plants?
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #12
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Actually, I'm not convinced of 1077's opinion of the dry start method.

What do you think happens in the rainy season in the rainforest?
the water level soars by about 2 feet, and stays there for months. The plants have evolved to handle it.

Plus, it's a GREAT way to grow anubias. Sure, anubias is a slow grower if submerged. In a terrarium enviroment however, it grows much faster.

Also, Kazzy, you're not allowed to say the names of other forums, but you can say the member's name since he's one of the foremost experts in the field.
You're talking about Tom Barr, right?

Kazzy, Bloodworms swim in the water column... Blackworms live in the substrate.
Not sure if I would use blackworms in your setup though... That's a LOT of substrate. (about 3-4 inches total?)

Just found a catch-
Originally Posted by Tom Barr
If you dose well, do the water changes etc, good tending of the CO2.......the system should start off and stay looking good from then on.
I forgot he uses CO2.... Maybe think about Diana Walsteads version instead?
(The only difference I see is to use OC potting soil which has peat rather than using pure peat)
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:50 PM   #13
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Sorry, meant blackworms. Got them confused.

I guess maybe instead, mix the peat moss and soil together. I may just use clay instead of the potting soil on top.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:56 PM   #14
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I think it would be cheaper that way... You really only need organics (for CO2) and nutrients (for nutrients)...
Most potting soils are 70-90% organics
Leaf Mould

Yard soils (relatively low in organics)

Seems it would just be more work is all, when you can pretty much pick one from each category and be done. Ya know?
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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Yes, I understand. So, basically it would be (for example) clay+peat moss, no worrying about other soils, etc. except for the sand.

So, revised it would be this:
clay mixed with peat moss, about an inch of it, then inch of sand, plus plants, then do a short term dry start method for about 2 weeks, afterwards slowly adding water to submerge the plants so that they can easily acclimate to the depleted CO2, slowly add inhabitants (excluding the blackworms, which I'll add during DSM, and snails which I'll add as I add water (depending on how much water is slowly added).
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:05 PM   #16
You are correct with anubias, but anubias is a very semi-aquatic plant. Most are not like that. I have an emersed tank and trust me plants hate making the switch. The switch to submersed usually involves shedding all the leaves on most plants. So I still fail to see how this will aid in proper growth. Even with CO2 a most plants will not retain emersed growth under water. The leaves, especially with stems often destroy themselves.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:16 PM   #17
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Well I've been looking up on the dry start method since I posted the first one-
Seems there are problems with every turn...

In Diane Walstad's Ecology of the Planted aquarium, adding iron rich clay to a soil substrate can result in iron toxicity... Of course, if you mean clay from the ground it shouldn't be TOO bad, but laterite is definately a no-no.

I'm gonna try this with my new tank, and maybe so a soil substrate part III for it. :)

I'd probably use OC potting soil rather than peat. Peat should work, but peat is a non-renewable resource... Not very good on the enviroment when there are substitutes... Plus OC potting soil is cheaper. When I set up mine, I'll probably use OC potting soil and dirt from my yard... Mostly because I'm cheap, and will use the cheapest thing that will work. (I may even add leaf mould, since I can get it free... Hmm...)

Reading, it seems that even the foreground plants put out massive root systems when grown emersed... (I've had stem plants with massive root systems, so I'm not sure it's better... but..) A 3 inch substrate should be fine with the DSM.

See, this is what I get for thinking I know what I'm talking about.
Originally Posted by Tom Barr
The substrate is also 4 inches deep in non carbon enriched planted tank. I can get away with less, maybe 1/2 that in a CO2 enriched tank but I almost always slope up to 3-6 inches in the rear of the tank.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:24 PM   #18
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So more soil is better?
What about using soil from a creek/pond (washed of course with dechorinated water) plus the OC? Definitely don't want to use peat if it'll be harmful to the environment.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #19
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Also, I plan on adding clams to this tank.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:39 PM   #20
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I'm trying to follow Tom Barr's advice.. He's a foremost expert and researcher, but he's always improving his methods... Hard to find his most current technique.
Originally Posted by Tom Barr
Some the best soil is wetland soil. Black smelly goo.
We have lots here in the Sac river delta.
Adding sand to the mix does not stop any stink, it just reduces it and the mess.
The main point is not trying to make thick distinct layer. Rather, make a mixture 3x less messy and spread out, yet still the same total volume of soil.

Ponds etc near the edge also work, grab a shovel, bucket, dig and then if you want, you can screen out any larger chunks etc.
A nice peaty blackish clay is ideal. I just got 2000lbs of delta sediment for my lab experiments. That's where the aquatic weeds are, so that is what I use.
By soaking or boiling, you remove most of the stink source.
This is interesting and seems easy.. Of course, that's for CO2 enrichment. Would still need organics for CO2 production... Thinking thinking... Peat wouldn't be SO bad... (since you only use a little, and would last a long time..) Or OC potting soil... Or sawdust even... Oh, there's an idea I might try.
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