Join Date: May 2014
Location: North Shore, Oahu
This is the first official update!
Yesterday I made it to the aquatic store, Aquascapes808, which seriously went above and beyond. Other than chains, they are the only local freshwater store (to my knowledge) and they have a mind blowing showroom. I had been following them on Instagram, so they knew me as soon as I walked in the door and started digging through their drift wood. It's run by a local family, and they really take their jobs seriously. After I pulled every piece of wood out, put it back, pulled them back out, compared them, put one back, pulled another out, put the other back, put them all back, pulled them all out again, I asked how often they watch people sift through every little bit of wood, and was surprised that they normally have to help people do that! I guess most people are timid about playing with wood in public.
I did the same thing with the rocks (Yamaya stone), but fortunately the small pieces were already pretty limited, and they weren't going to be the focal point of this scape, so I was less choosy and just wanted a small variety. The largest one I selected was a slightly different variety or quality (not much was marked, it's more of an ask and find out game) but they priced it all the same.
I also grabbed a bag of Aquasoil, which was something I had debated getting online, but after their customer service and deciding the price difference wasn't worth not supporting locally, I bought a bag of the regular Amazonia.
The last thing I got was a nice clump of narrow leaf Java fern, and they through in a half clump extra for me. I wanted a little more cover for Osioto while he hangs out in his 2.5g tank.
All in all, I was really blown away by how expensive everything was, but it is Hawaii and everything here is marked up as it is. Add to it the shipping cost of sticks and stones, and make it a really specialty item, it will run you a pretty penny. I also would always rather support local when I can, and with hardscape items it's really important for me to actually have my hands on the item. The layout of this tank made that even more critical, since the dimensions are so unusual. This does make me feel better about trying to budget everything else out, so I can splurge on the scape itself. Ended up paying $61 for the hardscape, and $36 for the substrate. I told my boyfriend I bought a $36 stick and he was amazingly understanding.
Played around a bit, and was mostly impressed with how perfectly the wood filled the space. It wont be easy to clean and maintain, but that's part of a vertical layout I guess. Next step is to go back and get some plants. I held off on getting them until I had a better idea of what the actual hardscape I'd be working on would look like. There will probably be a lot of anubias petite, mosses, java ferns and a few crypts and maybe vals and floaters. Also going to see what foreground plants they have.