I got a 3 gallon Marineland kit with an interesting shape and decided to try to play around with perspective a bit with it. I wanted to go for a two sided cliff or mountain like look with tall points and a valley in between, all grown over with HC. The valley will have a path of Fluorite. I'll probably put some S. repens, Limnophila belem, and or Limnophila aromatica mini along the back (also open to suggestions). I want it to be almost like theres no aquasoil in there and all that is visible (besides plants) will be the hardscape and fluorite path. Should be fun. (:
Marineland Nook 3 (13"/11" L x 7.1" W x 9.3" H)
Mini intank filter or DIY mini sponge (or just air, not sure yet)
12" Finnex Stingray
Substrate and Hardscape:
Lava Rock (under substrate)
Not sure what else yet
Darrel the Betta
It's called a "nook" tank, which i guess describes its semi-bowed face and taper to the back.
I found the shape alluring since it already appears to go farther back than it really does due to the shape and I had a design in my mind (and the hardscape) already.
I had about 5 lbs of petrified wood that I received from a wonderful woman from Montana.
Very beautiful pieces, many colors which you can see. I decided to use most of the colors, but I guess the shapes of pieces I needed turned out to be almost all the same! Lucky me. (:
So I started by adding some Dr. Tim's Eco-Balance to some small(ish) lava rocks I had sitting around, then coated them with bacterial additives. I'm hoping to jump start the biofilm and biofilter that way (a'la ADA PowerSand).
I chose out the larger rocks for the base layer of support.
I began piling up the lava rocks, with the larger at the bottom.
Then I used the smaller on top to form a general shape for the two sides of the valley
The next step was Fluorite... WASH IT PEOPLE. OMG. SO DIRTY.
Dry Fluorite and wet Fluorite look much different.
So, I decided to cover it all with Fluorite. Yep, all of it. Mostly because I didnt want aquasoil going into the under-substrate with the low flow, but also I was curious to see what effect it will have on rooting. At this point, the basic shape of the path was set.
Okay, so not ALL. I left a little gap to fill with AS. It will look nicer up against the front with a separation between the path and soil portions.
Next it was Amazonia time. A mix of normal and powder types... not intentionally mixed at first...
I began to add soil, first by filling the moat I created earlier...
See, much nicer!
Then I put just enough soil to help support the petrified wood pieces.
It came together pretty quickly, but I used the rocks to shaped the path naturally. I tried to stay away from "lining" the pathway.
First ever wet down!
"Ahhh, I'm falling over" One petrified wood piece shifted, but was corrected.
Next is adding the HC and getting the drystart going. Interested in hearing what types of moss you guys think I should use that would go well in here?
Thanks for lookin!