Super easy method to start a new tank without any algae, any issues,dosing etc
I've been toying with a few ideas that are I suppose radical to most, but not really when you think about it.
This method allows you to set the tank up flawlessly in the start up phase which is arguably the hardest and toughest phase of planted tank care.
You can grow in many species of plants such as HC, or gloss or most any nay pesky foreground plant without any water other than enough to soak the sediments well for 4-8 weeks first then after it's well grown in, add water and fish. You simply cover the tank with a glass lid or plastic like a terrarium, there's plenty of water in the sediment.
By not adding the water, you can grow the plants flawlessly, no algae, no water changes every 2 to 4 days etc, no NH4, no fish uprooting things etc. The tank is also completely cycled buy the time you add the water to fill things up.
This is the Easiest method to start up a tank without dosing, water changes, any algae, completely cycled tank etc.
The first 2 months are the toughest and this avoids it all.
Just cover the tank, add light and sediment(ADA AS works great BTW and cost about the same most sediments, you can mist the plants if you use flourite black etc with a NPK and trace solution 2x a week otherwise)
You can add the taller stem plants after you fill the tank up and/or other plants that ADAPT FAST.
Pretty darn easy.
I made a nice rug of HC this way using nothing more than a 1" layer of ADA aqua soil, filled the water to about 7/8" depth, added more water about once every 1-2 weeks to keep it moist and after 4 weeks, the tank is entirely grown in.
No dosing, no water changes, no CO2 issues, no uprooting, no nothing. Easy as it gets.
Bacteria will cycle after about 3 weeks or so, about the time frame the rug grows in using the ADA AS. So the NH4 is now been converted to NO3 and has plenty of bacteria to keep it low.
Some will say they wanna add their fish right away, then can do the old way if they want to, but this method makes life much easier and a little patience can make the tank look very nice with virtually no work.
Not many trade offs here.
And the success rate ought to be near 100% without any issues with algae, growth etc.
I do not think there are any other methods that can come even remotely close to that for the general plant hobbyist.
Crypts have long been grown as well as swords, Anubias, hair grass, Gloss, Dwarf clover, Utricularia grammifolia, as matter of fact, most of the plants that Tropica carries are emergent grown.............
I'd wait to add most stem plants later as you add the water. Then a week later, add shrimps, algae eaters and another week, the main fish.
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 think this method can make many folk's life far easier and less labor and far better results than the "water in the tank methods" to start a new tank up.
I've grown Crypts for many many years this way, but given the issues, taking the next step with the start phase of the tanks that submersed seems pretty reasonable.
Don't you think so?
Many want a nice rug of various foreground plants and this is dang easy way to get a massive rug pre rooted.
Since all of these plants would begin growth as emergent plants, will their existing leaves die off when submersed? I'm thinking specifically about crypts, anubias, and other non-carpet plants. If not, then this should become the primary way to start an aquarium.
No, since their roots are well established, they do not die, rather, new growth and submersed leaves tend to grow in.
Like those rock wool emergent plants you see at the LFS's. They do not rot(if taken care of) off etc. New growth comes in nicely.
A lot of the melt issue is from transplanting, however, here, there is no transplanting, just submersion. Far less stress to the plant.
The plant is also well adapted to getting sediment sources of nutrients since that's the only way prior.
Some plants might be a bit fickle and lose some leaves, but much less stress than any other method upon filling of the tank.
However, this method ought to be the defacto method for new tank start ups.
I'm not sure how to make life easier for the new tank start up phase, admittedly one of the most painful for folks.
BTW it takes about the same or slightly less "total time" to let things fill in this way vs the traditional water method.
So patience is lost only with adding fish, but the gain is a fully cycled tank when you do add them since the bacteria and the roots are well established once you add the water.
It's so simple it's cool.
I'll post pictures hopefully later today on the 12inch turtle cube tank I have just sitting outside with 1-2" of ADA AS.
It's a nice full rug. I've trimmed it twice and used the cuttings to start a few new tanks.
What a great way to avoid "new tank" stress & hassles
That is a good idea - but what if have hardscaped in various elevations of HC for example where some will need to be submerged for others to get enough water to keep their feet wet? In this situation you are probably best off just starting submerged - or perhaps starting out flat, getting the plants to fill in, then messing with elevations (replanting HC is not fun though)... Hmmm...
Even a "flat" layout typically slopes up quite a bit towards the back... Does the water level need to come up to the base of the highest planted plant?
Capillary action will suck some water up through the substrate to keep it moist in the higher elevation for those with sloping scapes, so you don't actually need to have the water level raised to reach the roots. That, along with a covered tank to preserve the humidity should provide plenty of moisture for the plants.
I've seen it done without the tank being covered, but it required frequent watering.
As mentioned Dave, it works well.
Several folks have dry tanks or wasbai etc style.
Several keep emergent Crypts tanks etc.
Most aquatic plant growers such as FAN, Tropica, Oriental etc grow their plants emergent except for a few.
So combining the attributes that take advantage of emergent horticultural methods, and applying to it the hardest phase of submersed culture, seems like a simple logical idea.
While I've said this is not a new idea per se............the application appears to be so.............why would someone not suggest this and why on earth would such advice not sell itself?
That is what I do not get.
Why would someone not tell folks about it?
The trades offs are so few, the growth excellent, and the ease labor etc almost none.
Well, I guess them days are over now.
I prefer the labor and then hassle you about it.
I'm setting up another ADA AS tank in the next week to 10 days, so I think I'm going to try this.
During this period, do I run my C02 as I would have done, if the tank was filled. Or is there no C02 addition during this time?
How will I know when it's time to fill the tank completely. Is it a fixed time thing (eg 2 months) or are there signs I should be watching out for.
Thanks in advance.
Originally Posted by TW3
There is no point in adding CO2 because they will be growing emersed and can get all the CO2 they need from atmosphere.
It looks like 4 weeks does the trick depending on how many plants you start with. The idea is to grow the HC emersed until the carpet fills in so it's really up to you. If you start with fewer plants it'll take longer to fill in the carpet.