Mr. Aqua 7.5 gal cube moss cavescape
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:28 AM   #1
maximusprime
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Mr. Aqua 7.5 gal cube moss cavescape


Waiting for my tank to arrive, and working out the hardscape in the meantime.

I was heavily inspired my Mot's Moss Canyon, and decided to do my first real try at a proper aquascape. I officially have a case of multiple tank syndrome. My other tank will continue to be my fun, petstore impulse buy tank. This will be dedicated to the look. Might put shrimp in there but this is all about the plants (more specifically, MOSS).

The first challenge was finding stones. I thought about Seiryu, but the stuff is pricy, and after the first couple hundred Iwagumi scapes I have seen, I feel kind of ho hum about Seiryu, and I want to do something unique. Unfortunately, Georgia has a pretty sad selection of natural rocks nearby, so I started looking elsewhere. My goal was to find rocks with lots of detail. I think it gives them a sense of scale when used with small leaved plants, and makes it look like it could be a real landscape.

I found some great looking slate tiles at Lowes, and after finding a few broken ones I was able to pick them up for about $2 each. They break easily with a hammer and the broken edges result in wonderful jagged features, that look really cool.



After a lot of experimenting, I came up with this, and glued them together using Water Weld. Some of the best looking shards of rock were side/corner pieces, so I decided to put my "cliff" in the corner of the tank. I used two 8.5x11 pieces of paper to mark the boundaries of the 1"x1"x1" space I will eventually be working in.



Also got my Finnex Fugeray in the mail. Very impressed with this little light.


I plan to use only Fissidens, Mini fissidens, and Mini Pellia. Possible some Dwarf Hairgrass in the foreground.
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Old 07-15-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
Zimmanski
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Pretty cool, I'm following along! Let me know what you think about the light once you get it on the filled tank, I'm considering it for my fluval flora
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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Sweet idea with the slate. That light is awesome. I have an ADA 30c CRS tank with variety of mosses with that same light and all grow well.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:17 PM   #4
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I like your slate cave!
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Your tank sounds like it has a lot of good potential
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Good day today. I stopped by Mot's house to pick up some of his amazing mosses, and holy hell, his tanks are on another level! Mot, thanks again for the awesome plants, and I cant wait to see your next build thread for your new scape.

When I got home, the UPS guy had left me a present from Mr. Aqua! To my surprise, Marine Depot included a free hang on thermometer for free. Thanks Marine Depot!

Got to work experimenting with my cliff in the tank and seeing how it would look.



Mot convinced me to bite the bullet and buy some Aquasoil instead of the Floramax I had planned on using. In the meantime, I decided to play around with drystarting some of the mini Pellia and Mini Fiss on the rocks. I am using lava rocks in the foreground, hoping that they turn into little green mounds. I chopped up some moss and rubbed it into the holes on the lava rocks.

Bucket o' rocks and some finely chopped moss:


And some moss rubbed on the rocks:




I've seen this done in other threads and it looks awesome when it fills in. Hoping it works for me.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:06 AM   #7
PeterN1986
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How stable is the slate tower? Did you glue some of them together? It looks sharp and top heavy and all I can envision is some poor shrimp getting impaled

Aquasoil Africana might look amazing for this scape - kinda desert canyon or oasis-type. The scape looks really awesome and different. It is refreshing.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:28 AM   #8
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He said he glued it all in place. Should be safe, he used Water Weld.

This looks awesome! I tried to find slate, too - never thought to check a hardware store, doy!
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:38 AM   #9
maximusprime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterN1986 View Post
How stable is the slate tower? Did you glue some of them together? It looks sharp and top heavy and all I can envision is some poor shrimp getting impaled

Aquasoil Africana might look amazing for this scape - kinda desert canyon or oasis-type. The scape looks really awesome and different. It is refreshing.
Yep, used marine epoxy called water weld. I had to scrub some of the rocks to get a good bind, but it is very stable.

Looking at the Africana now and I almost regret ordering the amazonia! I'll see how it looks with the black soil, and if it doesn't work, I'll just have to pony up the cash for another bag of dirt.

Quote:
This looks awesome! I tried to find slate, too - never thought to check a hardware store, doy!
Yea, I was getting pretty discouraged, and then I found the tiles in the garden department and noticed that the broken ones looked awesome! Funny thing is, Petco was next door selling small pieces of slate for $5 a piece.

Thanks for the compliments.
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Old 07-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #10
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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most ghetto fabulous 2 stage perversion ever made.






Took a high pressure paintball gun regulator I had lying around, adjusted the output to 120psi, then connected it to an SMC pneumatic regulator I also happened to have lying around. Tied together with super high tech bamboo chopsticks and zip ties so it stays organized. I had the fittings, gauge and valve in my workbench as well (being a mechanical engineer finally pays off).

It works surprisingly well.


In other news, my aquasoil arrived today and I tossed it in the tank. Now we wait for the dry start moss to take hold.

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Old 07-23-2013, 01:50 AM   #11
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Oh my god haha, when I saw the first picture the very first thing that popped into my mind was "please tell me he's using chopsticks!" Haha. We use chopsticks in my home too, every time we go to Panda Express we grab a few huge handfuls of them, they come in handy for sure. If it works, it works, and that's all it has to do! Good job!
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:01 AM   #12
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Did you get the black lava rock at lowes also? Looks like things are shaping together! Good work.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:28 AM   #13
maximusprime
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimmanski View Post
Oh my god haha, when I saw the first picture the very first thing that popped into my mind was "please tell me he's using chopsticks!" Haha. We use chopsticks in my home too, every time we go to Panda Express we grab a few huge handfuls of them, they come in handy for sure. If it works, it works, and that's all it has to do! Good job!
Haha, yep. My only regret is that it wasn't duct tape and zipties, then I could call myself a true redneck. I was gearing up to drop $150 on a nice one and decided to see what I had around the house. Not bad for $0.00.

Quote:
Did you get the black lava rock at lowes also? Looks like things are shaping together! Good work.
Yup, lava from lowes too. About $6 for a huge bag. It is getting there, but slow going until dry start is over. Thanks!
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:32 AM   #14
maximusprime
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Here are another couple of shots with the cliff back in


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Old 07-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #15
maximusprime
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Quick update. It looks like the dry start is beginning to take hold.

The wetter parts of the tank are starting to look kind of mushy, while the parts that dry out the quickest near the tom pf the cliff look the greenest. I think the moss might be benefitting from letting them get a little dry, and then rejuvenating with the twice a day mist, but I really cant say for sure.

Keeping the light on 24 hours to encourage growth.



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