So last time I mentioned not wanting to look at the front of my DSM tank. And here's proof why: after asking myself "Should I put more gravel in this tank? or in other words, Can this layout be cooler?" Of course, I concluded, YES.
So I rescaped! This, of course, sets back my DSM time.
So first, I added some silicone to that damaged corner of the first tank the vendor sent me. I sanded it down so it won't cut me in the future, and gave it a good glob on the inside and outside. Then I filled the tank up with water and watched it overnight for leaking.
Like I mentioned earlier, I bought two more bags of eco complete, making it roughly 1.5 bags per tank. I ended up redoing the first layout in the second tank, and then re shaping the initial tank. It was easier dealing with the HC that way, and it gave me the opportunity to thin out each clump so that obtaining and full lawn in both tanks will go faster (I speculate).
This is the first layout, a variation on the layout I had in previous posts.
This time I made sure I had at least an inch of soil everywhere, and also reinforced the slopes with some plastic strips, and non-decorative completely undergravel rocks. I wanted to do a minimalist iwagumi, so I have two flora: HC and DHG, and exactly four visible rocks, and three in the main formation; aka "Sanzon Iwagumi".*
The Oyaishi and Soeishi (1st and 3rd) in my layout are deceptively thin, almost veneers than actual masses, but given the dimension of this tank, this won't be noticed. The Suteishi (4th) is off on the right, integrated into the slope as if part of the same volume as the Oyaishi.
I am particularly happy with the Fukuishi (2nd) that I picked, which is the middle stone in my layout. It is split down the center with a crevice that is around 1/4" wide, and makes the stone look like two different pieces at certain angles. At some angles half of the Fukuishi looks like it's part of the Oyaishi, and others (like the angle shown) it reads as it's own mass. I've noticed this effect in some of the few shinto shrines I've ever been to; as I've noticed that they employ techniques to get the viewer to question the basic of count of stones in a simple rock garden. (more pics of this later, if this layout grows in how I hope)
I recognize that this will be a difficult tank to upkeep, given the lack of larger plants. I've resisted going the canister CO2 route so far, does anyone think I'll be able to keep this tank with DIY CO2 and a medium light?
The second tank is here, and unfinished at the moment:
If the idea of the other tank is to do a basic peak layout, then the idea in the 2nd is to do a basic valley, with an explosion of wood and darker larger leaf plants in the center. As you can see the left side is still unplanted, as I feel that the hardscape elements are incomplete, at the moment. I might get another piece of wood, to add or replace, as I feel this one alone isn't doing it for me, atm. I'm also contemplating getting more seiryu stones for this layout, but part of me wonders if this is better as diptych with different materials in the two tanks, or some common elements.
What do you think? 2nd tank: all wood hardscape, or add some stones?
Also, here's an even more interesting question: Which side of the first tank do you think the 2nd tank is on?
I started off thinking the 2nd tank was on one side, but switched mid-scape, so now it works on either end. What do you think?
*-basic sanzon iwagumi layout: