Dry Start Method

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by hogan53, 21 Nov 2010.

  1. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi gang@ukaps
    Im intersted in the dry start method for growing carpet plants.
    Only problem is I dont have a lot of space to try this consept.As it is winter time now.... I was thinking on the lines of using a heated propagator to produce a carpeting plant for my little nano.
    This item http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sankey-Gro-Warm-1 ... 45f6e40c2d
    maybe ideal I guess :?:
    Or this cable :?: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PROPAGATOR-AND-SO ... 4cf321a124
    to use in a other propagator I have.
    Do you think this will work or Im i barking up the wrong growing method tree :crazy:
    Cheers
    hoggie
     
  2. NeilW

    NeilW Member

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    Were you keeping your plants in your house or a greenhouse may I ask mate? In a central heated house I think you'd be fine as you'd be keeping a lot of the heat in from the plastic cover/cling film by stopping the evaporation and also the lights warm it up too especially if you point a halogen desk lamp at it.

    Even better why not just grow it ready to go in your nano? That way you don't have to wait again for it to settle back in rerooting itself when you want to plant up. That first Ebay setup would be cool though if you were planning on growing stuff all the time and not just as a one off for your nano.
     
  3. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Neil
    Thanks for the response.
    I was thinking of just leaving it on the window sill to receive light.
    I don't have a green house. I'm in a flat unfortunately.The nano has been stripped down...I've removed the flora base as i would like to use some of it in the propagator.What do you think?

    Stripping the nano down to clean today i busted the 8/10mm lily pipes. :(
    I was also thinking i could get mosses to attach easier to stone/wood in a propagator also as well as different carpeting plants to grow faster.
    Any thoughts and input welcome Neil.
    Cheers
    hoggie
     
  4. foxfish

    foxfish Member

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    I keep several plant propagators on the go although I use heat mats under mine.
    I use them to store plants that I am not using - ie I quite often take out various anubis if they have algae problem or simply store excess plants.
    Anyway i find in the summer, in my cold green house in the garden, the plants grow really well & pretty fast with no attention at all but, in the winter the plants just survive but don't really grow.
    Not a problem for me but, you might need extra light?
     
  5. foxfish

    foxfish Member

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    Deleted double post..
     
  6. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi
    Thanks for the reply
    That's another plus point when having one of these on the go you can store plants that you have removed from elsewhere.
    The lighting wont be a problem.....How long do you think i should have the lighting on for approx bearing in-mind this is winter time.
    Cheers
    hoggie
     
  7. foxfish

    foxfish Member

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    I am not sure if your idea will work as well as using the actual tank you intend to plant, as you will need to uproot & replant the plants & then further distress them by submerging them under water!
    Also - the issue with a propagator in a house will be condensation forming on the inside & especially the roof of the propagator, this makes a good humid environment for the plants but stops light getting to them!
    If you were serious about giving this a go I would consider trying out some type of waterproof LED fixed to the inside of the propagator lid.
    You probably don't need a "heated" propagator if it is inside your house, you can buy some pretty big "unheated" ones in garden centres quite cheaply!
    However, it would probably be better to use your display tank to grow the plants in & use the same lighting as you would normally but, then you might as well get the gas & water movement right & just grow them underwater :? :?
     
  8. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Foxfish
    Well i was thinking of removing the whole top layer of substrate when the carpet plants had grown.... then move the lot to the display tank which would be already Co2 nuked and Macrotised and Traced :rolleyes:
    I suppose your correct I may as well drain my nano and try this in there.Nothing to lose.
    Ive ordered one heated propagator it can hold my small pieces of mopani wood that has moss attached to it.... when not on display in a aquarium.
    Will have a go soon.
    Cheers for the help.
    hoggie
     
  9. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    hi Hoggie,

    i agree with the others,it'd be better doing it in your tank.
    but also get a propagator and have some fun with it ;) .
    i just dumped some algae ridden plants in this and left it in the garden.

    Picture016.jpg

    B&Q do cheap ones ;) .
     
  10. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Neil
    Your own tropical plant :thumbup: nursery.... nice one.
    Ive got a few plants i would like to keep that are not in use but haven't the space for them so that's a option.
    Do you keep them outside all through the winter :?:
    Cheers
    hoggie
     
  11. Nelson

    Nelson Member

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    no,it'll be going to windowsill bay this week :lol: .
     
  12. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Yea i thought it would be to cold outside now.
    hoggie
     
  13. NeilW

    NeilW Member

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    If you want to just grow plants with minimal effort as just a side project then the propagator would still be nice to get. Setting the lights on a timer and spraying every now and then is hardly taxing.

    Condensation on the lid may stop the plants getting optimum light and the transition period from submerged to emersed will take time, but if the propagator is a side project and not a commercial venture then who cares? The plants are still going to grow much faster then when submerged anyways as they have unlimited CO2. When you realise suddenly that you have fully grown usable plants ready to go then its a pleasant surprise.

    I think your old Flora base would work very well in the propagator as its great at retaining ferts and water, I even use it as a bonsai soil.

    You can grow moss stones in just a barebottom tank/jar too.

    In your propagator you can even use terrestrial ferts like Miracle Grow as the ammonia content becomes irrelevant and actually is another fert in itself!

    Hope theres something helpful in my ramblings mate

    Cheers,
    Neil
     
  14. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Neil
    Thanks for the in-depth reply.
    Received the propagator yesterday....will fill with the flora base today and add some dwarf hair grass and HC that I salvaged from the decommissioned nanoscape.
    There's not a lot but there's enough........to get started.
    This venture is more on a trial and error bases.I would like to see if i can grow a nice carpet of hair grass in there.
    Ive planted out the nano with HC using the dry start method........more on that later in the hogans alley 2 journal.
    I wont add anything to the Flora base just spray with some made up ferts and trace.
    I have doubled the dosage that i would have used in my 36 litre Arc tank and added extra phosphate for misting.
    I'm not sure if this will have a detrimental effect on the plantlets?Or help them to get established.
    Cheers for the input.
    hoggie
     
  15. nayr88

    nayr88 Member

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    Interesting stuff, I'm trying this with a lunch box half filled with flora base and some e.hydropiper, I clingfilmed the top and its under a 9watt arc pod, It would of been better doing this with a brand new 'tub' that's grown on gel instead of taking from my tank after its already gone through the transition once...we shall see what happens.

    As far as dosing I was going to mix some TPN+ in a spray bottle with water and mist it every few days.

    One thing I really hope the humidity doesn't attract a rot or mold? Anyone have any experience with this and ways to avoid it? Maybe having a cooling of period once every few days where the cover is left open for longer?
     
  16. NeilW

    NeilW Member

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    I make sure I have an opening in the clingfilm so it gets fresh air through. I also used to flood it for an hour every few days and then drain it back off again to dilute any nasties and make sure the soil was fully saturated.
     
  17. nayr88

    nayr88 Member

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    I did think of making a small gap, and that flooding idea sounds good mate.

    Then you could increase the duration ready for the final flood.

    Ryan.
     

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