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Old 03-30-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
bluestems
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my little eden


Updated 03.11.13









specs
7g Aqua Pro aquarium (50cm x 20cm x 22cm) - a nice little inexpensive find from a lfs
ADA Aquasky LED 45cm (1st gen on a pre-order pricing deal)
Eheim 2210 filter w/ Do!Aqua lily minis, with purigen & bio media
CO2 paintball canister w/ Aquatek mini regulator & solenoid upgraded to more reliable GLA Atomic Paintball regulator v2 w/ solenoid
Do!Aqua diffuser & bubble counter
Okho stone & mazanita wood w/ ADA aquasoil new amazonia

flora
eleocharis acicularis
hemianthus callitricoides
nymphoides sp. Tawain (added 2/13)
phyllanthus fluitans
dwarf red lily


fauna
boraras maculata x9 (10 of orig. 11 died during co2 mishap; 8 reintroduced 1/25/13)
danio erythromicron x2 (male & female pair)
corydoras pygmaeus x5 moved to new home
caridina multidentata x3
caridina cantonensis sp. Bee x2 (RIP, lost during co2 mishap)
pangio kuhlii x2


__________________________________________
Hi all, I've been surfing the boards for some time looking for inspiration on a nano Iwagumi style tank. I've found a lot to consider, and thank you all for that!

I've had many tanks in the past, from nanos to 75 gals, but this will be my first time using ADA method. After searching and patiently waiting for the soil, the setup is coming along...



With the exception of the bulky light, I love it! I wanted a setup like this since seeing Amano's tanks many years ago.

This is the inspiration I'm looking to base my tank on:



It's the flatirons overlooking Boulder, CO. My family and I moved to the Seattle area nearly six years ago, but I still miss the Rockies and the flatirons that I used to hike. This little tank will be sitting on the corner of my desk and it already gives me warm & fuzzy feelings as I sit here typing this.

My husband doesn't get it...

Here's a mock up a possible rock and soil layout. It's a little silly looking, but I think it's gives the general idea of what's in my head:



I'm still working out the plantings, but am thinking it will be mostly carpeting groundcovers with possibly a slightly taller planting coming through the valley. HC, Glossostigma elantinoides, & Riccia fluitans. I'm not sure yet on anything else. For fish, I'm considering a large skoal of ember tetras or a grouping of three types: dwarf spotted rasboras, crossbanded dwarf rasboras, and celestial pearl danios; possibly otocinclus.

But, first... I need to find the stone. The fish stores here don't really stock much in the way of nano tank sized stone, and the one ADA store in Seattle had a total of 4 pieces of seiryu stone that weren't very textured or shaped well for my idea. I've contacted the ADA shop in TX, and trying to find some bonsai shops with a good selection. If anyone has an idea of where I might pick up some seiryu or ryuo stone in the Seattle area, I would greatly appreciate knowing!

Thanks for letting me share my little project!

ps- I have approx. 2 liters of the normal Amazonian style soil left over... anyone have any power type that they'd like to trade or sell?

Last edited by bluestems; 03-14-2013 at 04:58 PM.. Reason: specs update
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #2
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The stones you have photoshopped in might be to small. If the stones your are looking for are placed that flat they will be hidden by the ground cover. Overall I like the layout just keep in mind that taller rocks would be the way to go if you want to see them.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:37 PM   #3
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very nice design. i would either let the rocks sit higher or use less substrate to allow for the greens to grown in and not overtake the stones. in other words, expose more of the stones
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions! I definitely want the rocks to protrude above the plants. The height of my soil now is about where I would like the top of my groundcover, but I didn't have that yet so was using it for a visual on scaling the rocks. I'm most likely going to be taking it down quite a bit.

I purchased a large bag and have at least 2 liters left over. If anyone is interested in it let me know.
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Old 03-31-2012, 03:05 AM   #5
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Had a chance to scan in the inspiration for the plantings (from the 2010 ADA book) to show the look I'm hoping to achieve:








I think the deeply planted rocks and ground cover will mimic the flatirons and grasslands nicely. At least that's the intent.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:16 AM   #6
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Nice choice. I live not more than 20 min. from the flatirons.
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Nice choice. I live not more than 20 min. from the flatirons.
How I miss coming over the hill on 36 and seeing the valley. *sigh* I moved to Boulder for college, met my husband and lived there for 14 years before moving to Seattle. Nice people here, but I miss the sunshine!

Do you live in the Golden, Longmont or Lafayette direction?

edited to say that I'm blind. Your profile clearly states that you live in NORTHGLENN.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:33 AM   #8
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Your tank definitely shows promise. Can't go wrong with an AquaticLife fixture, either. However, due to the height of that tank you may have to suspend it above the tank to avoid excessive algae. Your inspiration shots look lovely. Hopefully you can use it to your advantage and make something even better! I look forward to seeing this progress.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestems View Post
How I miss coming over the hill on 36 and seeing the valley. *sigh* I moved to Boulder for college, met my husband and lived there for 14 years before moving to Seattle. Nice people here, but I miss the sunshine!

Do you live in the Golden, Longmont or Lafayette direction?

edited to say that I'm blind. Your profile clearly states that you live in NORTHGLENN.
HE HE, yea Northglenn, I am an Architectural Designer in boulder, I agree that is probably one of the most beautiful drives into a city in the nation. Go up over the hill and you have these great huge slabs of flat granite right in front of you.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freph View Post
Your tank definitely shows promise. Can't go wrong with an AquaticLife fixture, either. However, due to the height of that tank you may have to suspend it above the tank to avoid excessive algae. Your inspiration shots look lovely. Hopefully you can use it to your advantage and make something even better! I look forward to seeing this progress.
Thanks for the kind words. I've been looking for a suspension kit for the light, but am not sure I want to keep it. The Marineland Double Bright was recommended in another thread... I might give it a try, although I've heard mixed reviews on LEDs.

Edited to say that I won't be going with the Marineland light fixture as it doesn't seem to be made well (lots of reports of bulbs going out).
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Last edited by bluestems; 08-09-2012 at 04:11 AM.. Reason: more info
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
HE HE, yea Northglenn, I am an Architectural Designer in boulder, I agree that is probably one of the most beautiful drives into a city in the nation. Go up over the hill and you have these great huge slabs of flat granite right in front of you.
Were you there a few years back, gosh maybe 10-15 years now when the City missed out on buying the property at the top of the crest to the west side of 36, and a DIY homeowner snag up the primo real estate & put up the geodome house?
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:49 PM   #12
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I think you have some great ideas. I really like the look of scapes like the ones you've shown as your inspiration.

I agree that you want to be sure your plantings don't obscure the rocks too much. Rocks have a way of shrinking once the tank is fully planted! Even low carpeting plants like HC have a way of hiding the rocks more than you expect, especially in a small tank. You may need to go with larger rocks than you think you need.

Also, it has been my experience that the substrate tends to flatten out over time, so that nice slope you've shown may not last. I try to use rock placement to reinforce the slope (this can also slow down hairgrass from completely taking over). That's sort of what I did with this tank, although eventually it did flatten out. This is a 2.5 gallon tank, and when I first put the rocks in, they looked huge!
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:02 PM   #13
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Them are some great inspirations. Also nice tank chicken.
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Old 03-31-2012, 06:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMYukonon24s
Them are some great inspirations. Also nice tank chicken.
Thanks, and I agree... that's a beautiful tank Chicken!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chicken View Post
I think you have some great ideas. I really like the look of scapes like the ones you've shown as your inspiration.

I agree that you want to be sure your plantings don't obscure the rocks too much. Rocks have a way of shrinking once the tank is fully planted! Even low carpeting plants like HC have a way of hiding the rocks more than you expect, especially in a small tank. You may need to go with larger rocks than you think you need.

Also, it has been my experience that the substrate tends to flatten out over time, so that nice slope you've shown may not last. I try to use rock placement to reinforce the slope (this can also slow down hairgrass from completely taking over). That's sort of what I did with this tank, although eventually it did flatten out. This is a 2.5 gallon tank, and when I first put the rocks in, they looked huge!
I hope my gc will fill in as nicely as yours.

Thanks, and I really like the ADA planting too in that one. It just reminds me of the rocky grassland in that area.

I do hope to use the stone to reinforce the slopes. Although it looks like small rocks sitting on top of the slope, they actually used larger rocks that were placed first on some soil, then piles of soil were added in around them.

In my tank, I'm thinking about 1/2-2/3 of the stones will be "planted" and hopefully this will keep the slopes in place. I do intend to lower the soil quite a bit, so the picture you see now is more of where I intend the top of the plantings to grow/be trimmed to. The soil line in the mock up was used just so I could get a visual of how the rock should look in the finished scape. I've heard Amazonian breaks down over time, which may also contribute to the compaction and sinking effect...?

Going to a new LFS today, crossing fingers that I find my flatirons.
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:04 PM   #15
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Chicken, did you use a dry start or not for the HC to get established in the soil? I just noticed it looks like you used normal type Amazonian (or a substrate with similar sized granules). I wasn't planning on doing a dry start and am wondering if I should add a layer of power type soil to help the groundcovers stay put while the roots develop a foothold.
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