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Dry Start Method & Shrimp Tanks

20389 Views 34 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Teacher104
Hello Everyone,

My book's website now has a 9 page article Small Planted Tanks for Pet Shrimp. It can be downloaded (for free) from the website. I wrote it to further promote my book and help beginning hobbyists.

The article describes my shrimp bowls as well as the more recent DSM setups (Tom Barr's method). I am very pleased with the DSM tanks. They contain carpet plants, plants that I never thought I would be able to grow.

Website for Ecology of the Planted Aquarium
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Great article! I am trying this with a 3 gallon pico at my office; though I did not wait quite as long before filling it up with water. No critters yet, except that there's a tadpole and a few snails to keep the system alive until I aquire my tenants later on. My floaters were an Azolla sp., but I am moving those to the NPT at home and will be using a Salvinia sp. (little bit bigger root system).
I wouldn't mind seeing the results of some DSM NPT's. I've found low light setups are always a pain to get carpeting plants rooting on; it's harder to provide good spread.

You could probably get an NPT growing in faster with some very high lighting, back it off for a while to regular levels, then fill.
While I wouldn't consider my DSM NPT to have carpet plants (foreground is Crypt. x willisii...awesome roots underground, but not yet very dense on top), the many, many, MANY mistakes I made in the tank at the house has allowed for a very nice carpet in what is now "lower" light. I say "lower" because I have realized that I have no idea how much PAR those stinking T5-HO's are pushing to the substrate anymore, just that everything got better when I cut off half of them (now have 1.24 or 1.25 wpg on a 125 gallon tank) and stopped all water movement.

Maybe this weekend I'll post a pic or three if I get back with reasonable time to spare. Not that it's DSM, but it might be a good example since it went from relatively high lighting for sufficient growth of the carpet plants' root system to relatively lower lighting, perhaps simulating what it might be like doing DSM...
I am trying this with a 3 gallon pico at my office; though I did not wait quite as long before filling it up with water. QUOTE]

I waited 10 weeks, because I didn't want to fool with any tank problems over Christmas holidays. Otherwise, I probably would have added water a couple weeks earlier.
Hah! Makes good sense. My problem in NOT waiting 10 weeks was that I'm like a little kid staring at Christmas presents under the tree several weeks before Christmas and simply can't wait any longer. Ahhhhhh!!!! :rolleyes:
Hence the problems with Crypt species IME. Maybe it's just my water or the way I do things so inconsistently, but I have come to expect leaf drop going from emmersed to submersed setups with my Crypts (or staring at them wrong for that matter). But I am very pleased with the roots on the Crypt and Stauro species, which make up pretty much the whole DSM Picotope aside from needleleaf java and Fissidens. The Stauro have not had leaf drop, and I can see the roots peeking through the glass in some places, while I can look under the aquarium and see a beautiful root system under the Crypts. And since I've filled it up, even having mixed slow release micros (for the emmersed phase of the Stauro sps) and having relatively high light (18 watts over a 3 gallon, but set high and angled) I have no algae (maybe the baby snails have something to do with that, but there are only a few and they are really tiny).

BTW - Diana, it's all that energy and enthusiasm that got me into so much trouble with my 125 NPT. #-o That said, it's all of those mistakes I made that taught me first hand just exactly what all of you pros had been talking about all along. And now that it's starting to look nice (since I've messed it up about as much as I possible can by now) I can finally smile without hearing sarcasm when Melinda says "it's really neat that it's all natural".
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