i am trying to create an hc carpet in my tank via the tom barr dry start method? - Aquascaping - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 08-31-2011, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default i am trying to create an hc carpet in my tank via the tom barr dry start method?

i am trying to create a hc carpet via tomm barr dry start method , any suggestions? is it better then growing hc emmersed ? thanks
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: i am trying to create an hc carpet in my tank via the tom barr dry start method?

The dry start method is a dumb way to start a tank. There are 4 major issues with it. The first 3 are Fungus, Blue Green algae, and not enough Oxygen for the roots to really grow well.

The 4-th major issue is that once you fill the tank with water the rules change completely. You will not find clear answers to the problems that show up after filling up with water. Basically you will have the same issues/questions as if you filled the tank with water from the start.

Fact is - the dry start does not work every time. Look at all the posts about it. It is a way to start a planted tank beating around the bush. The idea seems good but it is not.

An improved dry start method would be an ebb&flow practice. Blast the plants with tons of light and fill the tank with water (just above the plants) every day then drain all the water 5-30 min. later. That will work wonders, guaranteed. But it is much more labor intensive than just starting a planted tank the usual way, filling with water from the very beginning.

--Nikolay
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: i am trying to create an hc carpet in my tank via the tom barr dry start method?

thank you for your response. so do you think i should go with improved method or just the regular method ( fill the tank with water and let it run )

i have a 29 gal tank , diy co2, co2 supplement, first layer substrate, eco complete substrate , fertilizer tabs and supplemets , 2 t5 6000 k fixture , what do u think ??

thank you for your input.
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Old 09-01-2011, 06:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: i am trying to create an hc carpet in my tank via the tom barr dry start method?

It's up to you what to do. This hobby is about the fun, right? Choosing the dry start method as Tom Barr "invented" it is like learning to drive a car starting with an intentional accident. Sooner or later you will learn to somehow avoid that fire hydrant, allright. It will often be frustrating and not pleasant, yes. But you may find the whole experience to be enjoyable. This is a hobby and it's about the fun.

As I told you - the "improved" dry start method that requires daily water changes is labor intensive. It is not easy to suck all the water out of a tank with substrate in it. The substrate will get in your hose, or your hose will lose suction a 100 times. You need to do the routine every single day, and also you need REALLY strong light. Starting with 5 watts per gallon and more (10, 15 is better). Can you do all that day in day out and enjoy it? If you can then you will really love to grow plants that way because they will grow insanely fast. In case you have not realized it - what you will be doing is pure hydroponics. Google "ebb & flow" and stay away from reading too many marijuana forums (because that is what hydroponics is popular for).

Your Eco Complete is a substrate that is pretty bad. It provides porosity and black color. That's it with the positive things for a planted tank. It will buffer your tank water and it will release Calcium - both of which are not what a properly run planted tank needs. Still - you can have a beautiful planted tank with any substrate so Eco will work, just don't think it's something great. Great to see that you are using another substrate underneath. And don't rush to add those fertilizer tablets from day 1.

There are many other common sense advices that you need. Let's see if someone else will chime in on light period, CO2 diffuson, water flow in the tak, biofiltration.

One huge mistake you are making is to not even mention your filter. If you think all these dry starts, substrates, tabs, CO2, magic T5 bulbs, and so on will let you run a planted tank successfully in the long run you are mistaken. Find my threads that talk about filtration. For a start - you need about 2-3 gallons of biomedia only in your filter. But there is more to be learned about the flow through the filter, providing Oxygen for the bacteria, and especialy - what to do in the first 4-8 weeks of your tank development. Ask about these things in separate threads and label the threads clearly so other new folk can benefit from the discussion.

--Nikolay
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