Wednesday, July 3, 2019

"The Tiny Mighty Cave"- Dry Start Method (DSM)

Have you ever heard about DSM before? That is not "Dover Street Market" as what you can see from the first Google Search. If you search the keywords "DSM Aquarium", probably you will get the right results for "Dry Start Method" for the planted tank.

This method starts with the emersed growth of plants in a high humidity environment. Once the plant root system is developed and plant healthy growth, water can be introduced into the tank and the submersed form started. It is quite similar to the nature of the river bank where water raises up and down and aquatic plants need to adapt to that. Emersed planting setup was mentioned in my other post on a small scale.


I finally decided to go for a super low tech tank in my outdoor corridor garden by using DSM. 

Since I already got a metal aquarium stand which is very sturdy, I just needed to hunt for the tank itself. It was no rushing at all. I normally enjoy the period of gather the equipment one-by-one. It is the joy of this hobby in my view. J I really enjoy the process of making something old/rusty/ antique becomes more aesthetic. It is like bringing a brand new life to it. 

And the chance came on Facebook Market. I found the aquarium size of 90cmLx40cmWx22cmH was perfect for my plan. I wanted to have a low-profile tank which I can enjoy it as an aquarium as well as a pond. J With this low profile tank, I can have a good view from the top and the fish still got benefits from the wide surface plus long tank to swim about. :) So I quickly arranged with the seller and the deal inclusive of delivery to my block with a reasonable price.


I bought a white foam matt from a LFS in Serangoon North as a cushion below the tank and it was ready for setup.
Low profile tank is just nice for my outdoor plan :)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Emersed Growth of Rotala Macrandra 'green'

This time round, I would like to try an emersed setup with Rotala Macrandra 'green'. This plant is very easy going in the tank. With high light and good CO2, it grows very fast. Frequent trimming will make it become bushy in time. :) 

A jar for planting
Some Aquasoil
Some garden fertilizer 

And of course some trimming stalks of aquatic plants 
I had some trimming stalks of Rotala Macrandra 'green' to try on. Below are an illustration of step-by-step working on it.

Add a little bit of fertlizer at the bottom of the jar
Just a little bit since the size of the jar is quite small


Add aquasoil in the jar to cover the fertilizer. About 3-5cm depth is good enough for stem plants to spread the roots.

Add in water with water level is just above the soil surface
Group 3-5 stems at one go and plant in the jar. There is not necessary to plant one by one :)

After planting done
Cover the top with a clear plastic ClingWrap

Poke some holes there for better ventilation to prevent molding and for plant to uptake CO2 easier from air 
Label the jar with plant info and planting date :)
Putting it outdoor with nature (not direct) sunlight and watch it grow.
I normally prefer to put my emersed plants outdoor where it would have good lighting, but not direct sunlight. It would save energy and also effort to set up timer compared with having indoor lighting. You just need to have a daily check to ensure the moisture in the jar is alright. Normally, if you see water vapour on the jar / clingwrap, the moisture level there is alright. Spray some mist water time to time to keep the leaves wet.

And that's it! Now you can just watch it grow. :)