Mr. Aqua 12 Long.
Marineland 36" DoubleBright LEDs.
Eheim Ecco 2236.
Vermicompost capped with Azoo Plant Bed.
Lace rock and Pond Foam mountain range.
Fissidens Fontanus, C. Parva (currently en route from Gordon Richards!)
Malawa Shrimp, to be transferred from my 12" cube.
GLA Paintball system. -- Soon to be ordered.
I recently got a good deal on a Mr. Aqua 12 Long and an Eheim 2236 on craigslist (that, thankfully, my fiancee pressured me into getting), so a new tank was born.
There are some restrictions on how I had to scape this tank:
It will be going between my fiancee and I's desks, with one of the short ends against the wall, effectively forming a peninsula in the room. Because of this, the tank needs to be viewable from both sides, and be scaped from both sides.
I decided I wanted to do an Iwagumi (sort of) because I think the dimensions on these tanks really lend themselves to it.
I want this to be an aesthetically effective Iwagumi, but without the headache of HC, or the maintenance often associated with the style. Because of this, C. Parva (a whole bunch of it) will be used for my foreground carpeting plant, and Fissidens Fontanus will be used in the cracks and crevices of the mountains, behind the Parva. The hope is the the larger, more brightly colored foreground plant in front of the darker, more delicate FF will create an exaggerated sense of depth in a very narrow tank whose lack of depth is exacerbated by being viewable from both long sides. In addition, neither the Parva, now the FF will need to be trimmed often, which should make for a much lower time investment Iwagumi than is normally the case.
20 lbs of lace rock, a can of Pond Foam, and 3 hours of intense Aspieness later, and this is what I came up with:
The board it is sitting on is almost exactly the same size as a 12 long.
Details on how I made the mountain range:
I bought more lace rock than I needed. The important thing, I thought, was looking for pieces that would make good "peaks." After that I concentrated on relatively flat pieces, with at least one side which looked less "volcanic" and more stony. I bought 10lbs worth of lace rock.
I spent some time laying them out on a foot print the size of my tank (that board). This involved lots of holding them up and together. You will have cavities at the "base" of each mountain.
I think propped up the bigger ones using other stones. I tried to lean them so they sort of supported their own weight. This helped a good bit.
I then squirted the foam into the base of each mountain. I spent about 10 mins wiping away excess foam that came dribbling out. Be careful at this point. Foam that bubbles naturally can sort of be broken off after it is dry. If you wipe the wet stuff on a rock though, getting it off will be very difficult.
I then let it set over night, and in the morning I used an old serrated knife to carve off the excess and to deepen the crevices until I felt like I could smear substrate into it later. On nice thing is that the foam is dark so it adds to the crevice like effect, imho.
I've got Tank, Stand, Filter, Substrate, Plants are ordered, Shrimp are waiting. Just need to order my Co2 system, though it can wait because I will DSM for a time to let the Fissidens take hold.