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Ugly Genius 06-02-2009 04:33 AM

Do!aqua Mini-M: riverrun
This tank exists because I found kick-butt rocks for eight dollars at a bonsai store in Japantown. I also wanted to do another 'scape with UG.

I've used UG in the past to varying degrees of success, but I never created a hardscape that did the plant justice as I feel that a carpet of UG looks best on slopes.

So, with my eight dollars worth of rocks and a bag and a quarter of Amazonia Powder, I created my hardscape and slope.
Initially, I filled the whole tank to help me remove some Duckweed that snuck in during planting,
and to fully saturate the substrate.
Here's what it looks like now, drained.
There's too much water in the front, I know, but I'm leaving it there initially until I gauge how quickly the top portions dry out.

This tank will dry-start for the first two months. After that, I may or may not fill it. (I probably will.)

If the UG takes to the dry-start, I will probably not add CO2. This means I'll use a HOB filter and about twenty-eight watts of CF from a fixture that is dim-able -- I got it years ago from Sharper Image -- and turn the light down to the equivalent of twenty-two watts. A reasonable light level for a tank this size without CO2, I'm thinking.

Speaking of HOBs, anyone have a recommendation for a Mini-M? I like the idea of a HOB as they allow for more oxygen exchange than a canister, resulting in, presumably, a more robust bio-filter. (I'm currently on a bio-filter-kick as I feel they are the unsung heros of a fish tank.) However, I've fallen in love with the Eheim 2211s and may get one of those if you guys think the benefit of a HOB is minimal.

Also, any tips you have for keeping the upper portion of a slope saturated is much appreciated. I've got a spray bottle, but if you got better ideas, I'm all ears.

Anyway, welcome to my fifth journal in less than a year.

Dollface 06-02-2009 05:08 AM

honestly I would just go with the 2211, if you want more oxygen exchange, raise the spray bar up. otherwise, an aquaclear 20 is a good go-to.

you could look into automatic misters, but really if you seal it well enough, and spray it occasionally, it should be good to go.

ch3fb0yrdee 06-02-2009 06:47 AM

Whats the name of that bonsai store in Japanese town? Is it close to AFA?

CL 06-02-2009 06:56 AM


Originally Posted by ch3fb0yrdee (Post 857333)
Whats the name of that bonsai store in Japanese town? Is it close to AFA?

Yes, he said in source that it was close to AFA, but I'm not sure what it's called.

I saw the tank filled up in the first picture and was like "No! He's given up on the emersed idea"

So are you gonna put this tank in your sig when you think of a name for it?:biggrin:

Martin Schellinck 06-02-2009 07:39 AM

katsura gardens...i've gotten stone there before also. it's 1.50 per pound I believe for that particular one.

brohawk 06-02-2009 08:29 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Hoppy referenced to me some other thread he'd read on the web where you tip the tank back w/ some supports during dry start so the substrate becomes level w/ the water. It's been working great so far for me. I only have to spray things down every couple days now.

Craigthor 06-02-2009 12:08 PM

Damn UG I disappear for a few days and you ahve another tank up and running. I love the rocks and hate you CA guys as you can get nice hardscape stuff and cheap.... j/k on the hate part but damn.

Great looking addition to your collectoritis of tanks...

Now to finish updating myself on your threads.


P.S. I'm back to stay!

JadeIceGreen 06-02-2009 12:27 PM

I would kill for rocks with that kind of texture and detail.

Personally, I would actually prefer the main rock to be bigger, you could also try to tilt the main rock so that it exerts a bigger personality over its smaller counterparts. This would also create a tension when the scape is viewed, something like, "the rock is gonna fall!" kind of feeling. This tension is essential to Iwagumi scapes.

You would also properly need to keep your foreground plants low, especially on your awesome right foreground. That empty space there between the two rock formations is going to look so good when filled. And to contrast this space further, plants that are taller behind your extreme right rock is gonna frame that entire area nicely.

I do not think you want this tank to be a strict Iwagumi tank, but if you do (it will be a little boring! haha.) then I suggest getting another sharper, taller rock to be placed behind the current big rock. That will add depth to your focal point, which is the main rock. The current big rock which would be then in front of your main rock will add a powerful base to tie your main rock to the entire scape.

I would also highly recommend Eheim 2213 to be your filter. I run this on my Mini M and its simply awesome. You can use Eheim's double tap to control the flow rate if you need to, and when the flow rate slows down because the media is slightly clogged, just open it full throttle! That means longer filter cleaning intervals which I think will appeal to you. *wink*

Okay, sorry for this long post, I had no idea how I rambled on....
Looking forward to this scape!

Ugly Genius 06-02-2009 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by brohawk (Post 857356)
Hoppy referenced to me some other thread he'd read on the web where you tip the tank back w/ some supports during dry start so the substrate becomes level w/ the water. It's been working great so far for me. I only have to spray things down every couple days now.

Thank you, bro! I just did this and this was the a ha! I was knew existed but for which I did not have the "a" or the "ha".

I've got to hit the shower, so I'll reply to everyone else after work.

brohawk 06-02-2009 05:01 PM

3 Attachment(s)
No prob! Now if you ship me some of those rocks you scored, we'll call it even...

legomaniac89 06-02-2009 10:46 PM

Man is that hardscape wicked. When that UG fills in this'll look incredible. Maybe try a couple tufts of a shorter hairgrass behind the center rock? That'd look pretty sweet blended in with the Utricularia

bigstick120 06-02-2009 10:50 PM

That rock is sweet!!!

danakin 06-02-2009 11:16 PM

Looks like an octopus a little to me.

legomaniac89 06-03-2009 12:15 AM


Originally Posted by danakin (Post 857655)
Looks like an octopus a little to me.

Do!aqua Mini-M: Cephalopod

Sorry, couldn't help myself :biggrin:

Ugly Genius 06-03-2009 01:19 AM

I'm really leaning towards the 2211, Dollface. You're right about raising the spray bar. I've only found one source for the 2211 online, though. Hopefully, they'll become more available in the next two months when I fill this thing up. (I've decided I'm going to fill it up for sure.)

ch3f, it's about a block away from AFA. Katsura Gardens, as Martin pointed out.

cl, I'll put it in my sig once a name is found. Gotta observe this little guy for a while so I can get a feel for it's character before naming it.

Thanks, Craig. I'm hella happy you're still in this game. We'd be at a loss without you.

That's all really good advice, Jade. Judging from what you observed, you have a pretty good idea of the look I'm going for. My main concern is keeping the UG low so as to minimize the "shrinking effect" plant growth has on a hardscape.
This tank will not be a iwagumi in the strict sense of it all. My main intent is to showcase UG. (The plant.)
So far I have a couple of favorite plants: Mini Microsword, Mini Pellia, and Special Fern. I have a feeling UG can be added to this list, but I've yet to fall in love with it as I've yet to create a 'scape in which I'm proud of how it turned out.
As for the rocks, I absolutely agree. However, given the shape of the rocks, and my goal to have a rockscape that is solid (i.e. won't tip when I'm trimming), the placement you see is the only one that worked given my stubborn insistence on having the rocks stable and fit in the grooves of each other. It's a case of function winning out slightly over aesthetics.


Originally Posted by brohawk (Post 857484)
No prob! Now if you ship me some of those rocks you scored, we'll call it even...

You never know, bro.

lego, you friggin' read my mind. I thought the same exact thing! I thought that if I do introduce DHG, I'll add it after the UG's had a month and a half head start. I'd then slowly introduce other plants as the 'scape matured. It would make me feel like a conductor of a symphony guiding the tempo of the tank.

Thanks, big

danakin and lego, don't it? Why do all of my recent 'scapes look like animals?

I'm feeling a lot more confident of the success of the dry-start method because of bro's "tip the tank" advice. That said, I have a feeling that this tank will take the full two months to fill in. I'm growing UG emersed in a bowl in my bathroom and after about three weeks, only now is it starting to throw out new growth.
We'll see.

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