3g Mr. Aqua Iwagumi - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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3g Mr. Aqua Iwagumi

Alright, first, a the story of how this tank got started. I'm sure it'll sound familiar to most of you.

So, it was Christmas a little while ago, and I got a few gifts. My girlfriend is well aware of my little aquatic hobby, and so got me a $10 gift certificate to my favorite LFS as a little aside present. She figured I could use it to fill out my rasbora school in my 29, or pick up some plants. She wanted to get me something for my tank, but didn't want to get me anything that might hurt it or that I didn't need.

So, I went to the store, with every intention of just spending the ten dollars. However, I saw a Mr. Aqua 3 gallon rimless bow front tank, and thought it would be a fantastic replacement for the ugly 2.5 hex I have on my night stand. I checked the sticker and it was $27. I couldn't help it, I got it. So I was $17 in and had an empty tank. I already had some Eco-Complete, but needed a lamp, a filter, and plants. After a good bit more spending, this is what I came up with:






Sorry for the blurriness. They're all taken with a camcorder, as I don't know where the camera is.

Tank: 3g Mr. Aqua bow front
Lighting: 15W desk lamp
Filter: Red Sea Deco Art Nano Filter
Flora: Marsilea Minuta

Thanks for looking! Comments are of course welcome.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 04:15 AM
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i really like that tank, but that rock on the left seems a bit big to me


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-17-2010, 05:36 AM
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I agree, the rock on the left is a bit big. BUT I also believe there is no such thing as too big a rock for a tank. I think you should put more emphasis on that rock, maybe angle that back rock to sort of lean towards it from the right.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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I think you're both right, rrrrramos and bigboij; that rock is a little big. I actually think all the rocks are a tad big for the 3g, and I had originally picked them up with a rescape for my 5.5 in mind, before seeing this tank. I think that the marsilea growing in and up should soften the hardscape some though, or that's what I'm banking on. Also, I cant do too much regarding leaning the back rock, due to the parts of the rocks that are under the substrate.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 07:08 PM
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 07:19 PM
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Very nice rocks nice texture and color. i think the rock is ok just move it to the back sink it more in the substrate and move the smaller one in its place. Your story sounds too familiar

ADA 120P x2 Iwagumi ADA 75P, 60Px3, 30Cx3 ADA Mini S solar (LED) Mini M solar Do!aqua Mini M


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-19-2010, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Why thank you, alan j t. I tried to put it to good use. I'm afraid of a substantial initial die off of the marsilea, though, which is what happened in my 29g. I see some signs of one. I'll feel better once I see some new growth.

MARIMOBALL, I can't nestle the left stone in the substrate more, since the bottom corner already sits on the bottom glass pane. I did try to account for the final height of the marsilea when I put down the substrate, though. I wanted to make sure the hardscape stayed strong after it is somewhat buried by plants, especially the back rock. Unfortunately, I will likely have to wait a good while to see the final product and find out if I made the right call. But it does look a little better in person.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, lots of changes with this tank. Kind of. In the last month I managed to mostly kill off all of the marsilea. Then I upped the light a little to help what I had left. I got a bit of new growth and a bunch of diatoms. I was also beginning to side with the train of thought that the left rock was too large. Remembering it was a tiny tank I emptied it to try again.

I switched the left rock to one a little shorter and more squat. I don't like the texture of the new one quite so much, but I prefer the size and shape. Also, the flora has changed. I'm going to give HC a go, and have it growing via the dry start method. I'll go for excel with this tank, and maybe eventually split a bit of the pressurized stuff off my 29g, since it's five feet away. We'll see. If I kill the HC too I'll move on again. I'll get something going eventually.

And, I'll get pictures up sometime soon for some more opinions and critiquing.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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As promised:



A little closer...



So, any opinions on this iteration?

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:36 AM
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l don't wanna sound picky just advice but the rock on the right looks a bit too round and doesn't fit if you notice the other two are more pointy/jagged and fit together now if you don't have a replacement or are short of resources you can always find ways around it maybe angle it differently and work just a tad bit on creating more depth but in this case you're limited to your 3g space so l would think it's ok. l'm working on mines now as l speak tommorow i'll wash mines out and put the rocks and soil and maybe i might give you a good idea of what i mean but anyways keep up the good work and wish you luck.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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No worries !shadow!, I want picky. Helpful criticism is a good thing. And I do see what you're saying about that right rock. Do you think maybe it looked better in the first layout? More above the substrate and angled differently?

Also, I do have a few extra rocks of this type. Most are smaller and similar to the middle one. Maybe I'll snap a picture or two of them and see if anyone has some cool ideas.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 07:55 AM
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nice jar!
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Acula View Post
No worries !shadow!, I want picky. Helpful criticism is a good thing. And I do see what you're saying about that right rock. Do you think maybe it looked better in the first layout? More above the substrate and angled differently?

Also, I do have a few extra rocks of this type. Most are smaller and similar to the middle one. Maybe I'll snap a picture or two of them and see if anyone has some cool ideas.

That's the thing about iwagumi's, you think they're just "let's put lots of stones and put nice pretty grass around it and it'll look nice" stereotype but it's more complicated than that. You have to make it look balanced such as your focal point, make sure your rocks are all the same and fit well with each other. That's why you always get more than what you need so you have lots of options. you're also limited to 1-2 types of plants preferably if you want to follow one of the characteristic of the "waba-sabi" which is simplicity and that "less is more" which i strongly agree. As you can tell in my 10g iwagumi journal i'm still struggling to get it to a balanced look and give it a pleasing focal point. Like many say "experience is often the best teacher".

----gauny----

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, sapphoqueen I like it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !shadow! View Post
That's the thing about iwagumi's, you think they're just "let's put lots of stones and put nice pretty grass around it and it'll look nice" stereotype but it's more complicated than that. You have to make it look balanced such as your focal point, make sure your rocks are all the same and fit well with each other. That's why you always get more than what you need so you have lots of options. you're also limited to 1-2 types of plants preferably if you want to follow one of the characteristic of the "waba-sabi" which is simplicity and that "less is more" which i strongly agree. As you can tell in my 10g iwagumi journal i'm still struggling to get it to a balanced look and give it a pleasing focal point. Like many say "experience is often the best teacher".
Oh I agree, it's difficult. But not so much difficult to get something that looks nice, but to get it just right. You'll set something up, like it, then a few hours or days later realize it's just a tad "off", and you go and adjust it. Then the process repeats. At least that's how it works for me. And I'm definitely taking a "less is more" approach. Three stones, and a classic HC foreground. This 'scape, to me, looks better from a little ways away, and especially when looking down at it from an angle, which is how it will normally be viewed, since it will sit on a low night stand.

Also, the HC is growing great using the dry start method. I got it, I assume, in its submersed form, and it's needed to transition, but new leaves are popping up all over and it's spreading already. It was a breeze to plant, too, since I just took bits and set them on the substrate. I'm liking everything so far, but we'll see what luck I have once it's underwater. It's pretty exciting, for what amounts to watching grass grow.

Feeling adventurous? Maybe check out my current
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-25-2010, 05:07 AM
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yea i've been doing lots of reading lately maybe too much. l've probably read like 10 or so journals in the past 3 days and learning A LOT. From what i've heard hc is more of a co2 plant than a light plant so hopefully that helps you out in the long run. i've seen/read waaaay to many journals that people want to put a 4-5 wpg fixture on their carpet and can't even out the co2 levels and match the photosynthesis process and so their tanks end up developing algae and are frustrated with the look that their forced to tear it up and begin with scratch. l would just hate that to happen to ya. Don't get me wrong it's hard to find that balance of co2 even for me(luckily i like to read alot about the subject) who's been in the hobby for 8+ years due to the different size of aquariums, filtration system, substrate you just gotta take all of that into account. lf you have any questions just feel free to send me a pm.

----gauny----

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