Hello guys and welcome to my journal!
I live in Sweden and I am getting back into the hobby after a 10 years hiatus. I have previously kept mainly fish tanks (cichlids) and even a couple of low tech, low demand planted tanks but never gotten into aquascaping. I have been however watching for months aquascaping videos and reading related articles and forums and I have now decided to try to set up a small tank. It is really exciting to see how the hobby has evolved during the 10 last years and I honestly consider myself a total newbie, once again.
I kind of feel overwhelmed by all sorts of styles, stones, plants and new equipment that has become much easier available since my last time. But I decided to go for a small tank mainly due to space limitations and since I really enjoy the idea of a "miniature landscape". I have read quite a lot about Iwagumi and Japanese gardening and I am fascinated by the style and its philosophy. I don't have the ambition however to go for a pure Iwagumi or call my scape an Iwagumi, since I really lack the experience and probably the knowledge to use effectively all the related rules and principles.
I decided to use the dry start method and use Hemianthus Callitrichoides as my only plant to start with, adding maybe later something more to create some better perspective and depth as well as to add some accents of colour (maybe Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'?). I am not planning for any livestock yet, since it will take weeks (months?) before everything is up and running (and cycled) but I have shrimps (Amano and probably Red Cherry) at the back of my head.
This is the equipment I have purchased by now, to get everything started:
ADA Cube Garden 45-F (45 x 24 x 16 cm) - that's approx 4 gallons
ADA Aquasky G 451
ADA Power Sand Advance
ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia Powder
ADA Bacter 100, Clear Super and Tourmaline BC
ADA Plain Cabinet 45 (this is made on order from Japan and it should take at least a couple of weeks more before it arrives to Sweden)
I still haven't purchased a filter and a CO2 system but I have my eyes on a couple of things
Day One:It felt like Christmas!
And what I was most excited for, the stones!
Day 2: Getting started!
I used a layer of ADA Power Sand Advance on the bottom and sprinkled the recommended dose of Bacter 100, Clear Super and Tourmaline BC. I kept the visible edges free from this and filled with Aqua Soil Amazonia Powder. It looked like this:
After quite a lot of experimentation and moving rocks around, I ended up with the following scape. I added substrate support that will hopefully hold the larger slopes in place and I am now patiently waiting for my HC Cuba to arrive to get the planting started!
I will try to update this journal regularly to keep everything documented and hopefully get some much needed help and tips down the road. This has been a long first post so if anyone has made it all the way down here, thanks a lot!