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3 gal. Iwagumi

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by George Farmer, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    It's hardly "advanced" but its a start!

    This is my first nano and attempt at aquascaping with stones.

    12x8x8" Clearseal aquarium
    [​IMG]

    Hood and lighting gear (18w PC T5 Interpet Triplus with (to be modified) 12" Arcadia T8/T12 reflector
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    Hood and DIY fitment of T8 reflector
    [​IMG]

    Installing compost substrate (5-10mm depth)
    [​IMG]
     
  2. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Installing quartz substrate
    [​IMG]

    Aquarium lighting
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    Full-frontal
    [​IMG]

    Selection of stones collected from East Falkland Island
    [​IMG]
     
  3. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Now for the tough bit!

    Any comments welcome. I'm the first to admit that I'm a talentless enthusiast when it comes to aquascape design so I expect to be moving the stones about a lot more yet!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Aquascape will be ultra-simple to start with - carpet of glosso. If that work's OK then switch to HC and take it from there.

    Quick spec -

    Tank - 12x8x8" AGA (12 l. / 3 gal.)
    Lighting - 8.5" 18w PC T5 Interpet Triplus
    CO2 - Pressurized, mist
    Ferts - undecided, probably daily trace and macros when required, big regular water changes
    Substrate - Loam-based compost, 1-2mm quartz
    Filter - Hagen internal - 120 lph (10x turnover)
    Animals - none planned yet, plan on super high CO2 to combat potential early algae issues

    Any comments welcome. Cheers.
     
  4. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Post-fiddling

    [​IMG]
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The last thing I would say about my self is that I am an experienced aquascaper, but I think the stones major slopes should all be towards the middle of the tank - turn the two end rocks 180 degrees. The way I have done this decision making process is just keep fiddling with the placement until it suddenly looks right to you, and aim to end up with the rocks center of mass being off center of the tank.
     
  6. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for the feedback. This is my latest composition - getting there!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Better, keep working on it.
    That is the main thing, try it!!
    Do the work and you'll have a better feel for this.

    You might try looking for nicer stones.
    I am very picky about stones and wood.

    Refer to the articles on Japanese rock gardens etc posted recently, these will help you.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    I have come up with my final stone layout. No doubt I tweak it here and there but in general it will stay like this. Believe me I've tried a lot of combinations of stone size, shape and positioning. I find it hard to believe I was almost content with my first effort looking back. I have learnt a lot just in this surprisingly complex (for the talentless like me) process of stone arranging.

    [​IMG]

    I am also excited to announce my plant choice. HC (Hemianthus callitrichoides ''Cuba'') and hairgrass (Eleocharis sp.) Four pots of HC and two hairgrass, all supplied by Aqua Essentials that now stocks top notch Tropica plants.

    I decided that glosso would have too large a leaf and after seeing some HC in the flesh I had to have some. The HC will cover most of the substrate with the hairgrass acting as accents to soften the transition between the stones and the horizon. A similar concept to Justin Law's materpiece here - ­ì³¥の­· Breeze of Wild :: 9 -- fotop.net photo sharing network Think more HC, less hairgrass though.
     
  9. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    That looks very good to me! Unfortunately it is getting me inspired to try to make a similar sized nano tank from sheet glass, and run it low tech. Maybe in a couple of months.
     
  10. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks very much. For me the learning part of it all is the most fun. I hope it meets my expectations, I haven't touched an aquarium plant for well over 6 months now and am very eager to grow some green again!

    Nano's are becoming very popular, in the UK at least. Practical Fishkeeping magazine were giving some 12x12x12" cubes away with lighting and filter as part of their subscription offer. They sold out in days!
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Consider the Utriculria in place of HC.

    It's a nice grass like plant.
    I like the final rock layout.

    I'm doing a similar tank at the 1.5 gal scale with only HC.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks Tom. I've seem UG and it is lovely, although I like the look of the HC/hairgrass combo more I think. Maybe a possibility for the future though. No doubt I'll get bored after a few months so will try out new plants/design.

    Is HC still expensive over there?
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, it's not that pricy, a bit more than Gloss was.
    But it's a better plant, ships poorly though.
    Very easy to grow emergent.

    If you want to make $$, a simple little seedling starter terrarium box will recoup the $ in few weeks many times over.

    I agree, for such a small tank, it would be a better choice, justa thought to try something new rather than the same thing many use.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Background added.

    It is simply a 12x8" photo of the sky (taken from the top of a Welsh mountain!) fixed to the glass using vegatable oil and a credit card.

    The filter and CO2 are running ready for the planting.

    The CO2 diffuser I am using is so small I've squeezed it into my HOB filter just before the outlet. This way the microbubbles get distributed throughout the water column effectively and there's less gear in the tank.

    I get some more photos soon.

    [​IMG]

    4 pots of Tropica HC and 2 hairgrass should arrive 25th Oct.

    I have a few questions for you guys.

    Do you think 6 pots will be enough bio-mass to help prevent early algae?

    Are diatoms inevitable?

    I won't have any animals for some time so will crank up the CO2.

    I assume I should dose macros and trace from the outset?

    Any tips of planting HC?

    Cheers.
     
  15. Sintei

    Sintei Lifetime Charter Member
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    why did you use compost substrate if this were to be going a high tech aquarium?
    Edit: It looks very nice!
     
  16. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    I wanted to see if it would work. I've never tried it before. If it doesn't then I will use either ADA Aqua Soil (powder) or Tropica's new product.

    Thanks.

    Close-up of CO2 diffuser and HOB filter
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    CO2 diffuser in position
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    Tank in situ (kitchen) with all running gear
    [​IMG]

    The final tank location will probably be away from the stereo so not to scare the livestock!
     
  17. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Yesterday my Tropica plants from Aqua Essentials turned up in excellent condition.

    I was working away all day so the missus kindly sat the pots in the aquarium. I had already set the CO2 and lights on a timer . I stepped through my kitchen door I was greeted by some very healthy looking and pearling plants. When these photos were taken the lights had been on for two hours.

    I'm sure you'll agree these plants look top notch, a credit to their growers and suppliers.

    [​IMG]

    Close-up of HC
    [​IMG]

    Now for the exciting task of planting. Obviously I'll keep you updated.
     
  18. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    One beauty of the nano is that it can be emptied in seconds and transported to wherever you like. In this case my dining room table where I can sit comfortably, listen to the TV and drink beer!

    Bucket full of plants, almost empty tank to make planting easy, spray bottle to keep plants moist once planted, scissors, tweezers and old tea towel.

    All set for planting
    [​IMG]

    About three short hours later - planted
    [​IMG]

    And hey presto!! Something that resembles a planted aquascape. Note my experimentation with a new background - transluscent colourless plastic with rear lighting (an old 3000K T8).

    I'm quite happy with the progress so far. CO2 is set to 1 BPS, dosing ferts EI, 6 hour photoperiod to help prevent algae, no animals until the plants are well and truly established. Water change 50%+ twice per week.

    Don't ask for water parameters, I have no test kits. Temp is stable at 24-26C with lighting. 21-23C without.

    The plants are pearling nicely. My biggest hope is that the algae monster doesn't appear.

    [​IMG]
    .
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    George, once the tank grows in:

    Remove the equipment
    Do 2-3 water changes(80%) early each day, the day of the photo: no water change or only if you wait a long time near the end of the day.
    Clean tank walls very well each day for 2-3 days in a row.
    Even if you think they do not need it.
    Add more ferts than normal after each water change(mega dosing), clean any lime deposits etc.


    Hair drier, use this to make the ripple effect on the water's surface.
    Try a pic without this.

    The background: buy some cheap colored paper etc and try various colors out, blue/Black/white etc

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. George Farmer

    George Farmer Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for the top tips Tom. Some I've never heard of before there.

    Will the HC die off a little before re-growth as it adapts from its emerged state?
     
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