24G long Iwagumi-inspired with dragon rock - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-29-2020, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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24G long Iwagumi-inspired with dragon rock

Hey peeps,

Time for a rescape and a second iteration of this tank. First installation was a nature composition, found here (https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11305833) but needed a replant of the carpet and figured it's more fun to do a whole new scape.

Since I already had live fauna the rescape had to be done in one go. I was anxious to get started so did this on Tuesday, starting at 7 in the evening and didn't finish until 4 in the morning... Not the smartest move, figured I'd be up till midnight but took a bit longer anticipated and I wanted to get the scape 'right'. Was worth it in the end though! The aquarium itch is back and I'm so excited to see this in a few months time.

Happy to receive any input to improve scape, trying to achieve a serene and organic look as a happy amateur. Some of the background plants will be removed once the Cuba starts spreading, probably add some more Bucephelandra and possibly Blyxa Japonica as well.


11kg/22pounds of rock
JBL substrate & soil
Tank is 120x40x30cm
Eheim classic filter & skimmer
Inline heater
CO2Art sodastream system
2x Fluval nano LED lights.


Brushing off some excess dirt and glueing some pieces together.









Had an idea of roughly where to place the stones & carpet, used JBL soil and nutritios sand.



As I was an idiot and accidentally deleted the different layouts I tried, here's the final result (not entirely clear yet)





Quite sparse with Cuba stems, it was only as much as I could recover from old setup. Might go to the store and buy some more just for a quicker growth.


Bucephelandra 'Wavy leaf'. Think Buce is one of the most beautiful plants so will definitely add some more.




Any good recommendations for fertilisers? Used Tropica's green so far, not sure if it's ideal. If anyone's got good experience or useful links on what nutrients to target and desirabel levels I'm happy to receive that.
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24G long & shallow dragonrock Iwagumi
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Last edited by Hujeta; 07-30-2020 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Typo
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 03:47 AM
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Nice job, looks pretty good for what was basically an overnight scape, haha! I'm a fan of buce as well, really cool plants with crazy variety. But I think that HC is gonna take ages to grow in, so I'd agree that if you can, pick up some more to add to it, or perhaps some other carpet plant as well.

Not sure how much feedback you want, but you may consider having the rocks on the same side point in the same direction? Particularly the left side looks a little disjointed having that second largest stone pointing left while the largest points to the center. The right island looks much better IMO because the largest features are oriented together with just a little one poking out in the other direction. So you may try to model the left side similarly. Other thing I notice is at least for me, my eye is immediately drawn to the big green clump of buce in the center of the largest rock. It may look more natural to have those big ones closer to the base of the rock and smaller ones up top. So maybe swap that if it's easy to do. Otherwise I'm sure things will grow in with time and it'll be fine. And depending on how refined you want your islands to be, you may want to consolidate plants to the respective islands. Another good option is to use smaller rocks to blend the line between the sand and the planting substrate. Some do the entire sand/substrate line in rocks, but I don't know if you'd have all that available, so even a few little rocks placed along the dividing line could help blend things together nicely.

For ferts, I've heard good things about Tropica, but I've not used them myself. I think if you follow their guidelines and are good about your water changes, it's probably fairly fool-proof. That of course is assuming your other growth parameters are good like lighting, circulation, and CO2.

But yeah, nice job and I think it'll look nice grown in!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-31-2020, 01:48 PM
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Hi, I love this tank. For ferts, I have been using the Nilocg NPK+M and have had some great results with it. I don't have a lot of time for mixing and such so this has been pretty easy. I purchased the bottles back in april I believe and have been dosing my 29 religiously and still have plenty left. Just a thought.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 02:10 PM
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Super pieces of dragon stones, can you add more? Agree the tank is looking bit sparse.

Otherwise would group the arrangement of all the rocks at the 2/3 point and leave the left of the tank as open area.

Also what’s separating the soil from the sand areas? I have had a tough time keeping the soil out of the sand esp when we have snails and shrimps.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 12:09 PM
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Good to see you back with another scape. I think you did a good job considering how fast you put it together. Since your asking for feedback I think you have a nice arrangement on the left. Pretty traditional for those rock shapes. If it was me, I would replace the right piece on the left arrangement with the left piece on the right arrangement. The one currently there is too small to me. Put the new larger piece in the same position.

I would then completely get rid of the arrangement on the right, you don't need it and it distract from the main arrangement. I would then preferably go with a full carpet for the rest of the tank. The full carpet will sweep the attention to the main rock area. Iwagumi and sparse go hand in hand.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the comments and feedback guys! As mentioned it's an overnight scape and could use some tweaking, and I'm happy to hear your input. I've got my hands on some more Cuba and will do some tweaking now keeping your suggestions in mind. If I read it correctly some of you's suggest consolidating the rocks into an island scape, something I've pondered but decided to stick with the two island layout for now.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Nice job, looks pretty good for what was basically an overnight scape, haha! I'm a fan of buce as well, really cool plants with crazy variety. But I think that HC is gonna take ages to grow in, so I'd agree that if you can, pick up some more to add to it, or perhaps some other carpet plant as well.

Not sure how much feedback you want, but you may consider having the rocks on the same side point in the same direction? Particularly the left side looks a little disjointed having that second largest stone pointing left while the largest points to the center. The right island looks much better IMO because the largest features are oriented together with just a little one poking out in the other direction. So you may try to model the left side similarly. Other thing I notice is at least for me, my eye is immediately drawn to the big green clump of buce in the center of the largest rock. It may look more natural to have those big ones closer to the base of the rock and smaller ones up top. So maybe swap that if it's easy to do. Otherwise I'm sure things will grow in with time and it'll be fine. And depending on how refined you want your islands to be, you may want to consolidate plants to the respective islands. Another good option is to use smaller rocks to blend the line between the sand and the planting substrate. Some do the entire sand/substrate line in rocks, but I don't know if you'd have all that available, so even a few little rocks placed along the dividing line could help blend things together nicely.

For ferts, I've heard good things about Tropica, but I've not used them myself. I think if you follow their guidelines and are good about your water changes, it's probably fairly fool-proof. That of course is assuming your other growth parameters are good like lighting, circulation, and CO2.

But yeah, nice job and I think it'll look nice grown in!

Good callout, just collected a stimpack of "XL InVitro" Cuba to get this carpet growing asap. I appreciate the small details you point out here, like how it makes sense to have the Anubias and Buce oriented more to the bottom of the large rock. Anubias is glued already but I'll see if I can relocate them without harm. In time I hope to clear out some of the background fill plants, their purpose is to add biomass during the startup phase rather than being a part of the final scape. As to the left rock leaning leaning to the left, 'twas a compromise to make it less protruding and also to have a bit of space around the large rock but I'll see if I can rearrange it for better result. For now I've decided to stick with Tropica's fert.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aryanasdad View Post
Hi, I love this tank. For ferts, I have been using the Nilocg NPK+M and have had some great results with it. I don't have a lot of time for mixing and such so this has been pretty easy. I purchased the bottles back in april I believe and have been dosing my 29 religiously and still have plenty left. Just a thought.

Really happy to hear you like it! I researched Nilocg and also 2hr aquarists own fert, but they're both US based and shipping here would be almost same as product itself so for now I'm sticking with Tropica.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sudhirr View Post
Super pieces of dragon stones, can you add more? Agree the tank is looking bit sparse.

Otherwise would group the arrangement of all the rocks at the 2/3 point and leave the left of the tank as open area.

Also what’s separating the soil from the sand areas? I have had a tough time keeping the soil out of the sand esp when we have snails and shrimps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have one or two medium sized rocks left but I couldn't make a good composition using it myself. Any suggestion where you'd like to place it? There's nothing separating soil and sand at the moment, more than some buried plastic support pieces, it was a bit optimistic hoping it wouldn't mix but once the carpet is grown I'll either try and cap it with more sand or just smaller rocks as dividers as suggested above.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Good to see you back with another scape. I think you did a good job considering how fast you put it together. Since your asking for feedback I think you have a nice arrangement on the left. Pretty traditional for those rock shapes. If it was me, I would replace the right piece on the left arrangement with the left piece on the right arrangement. The one currently there is too small to me. Put the new larger piece in the same position.

I would then completely get rid of the arrangement on the right, you don't need it and it distract from the main arrangement. I would then preferably go with a full carpet for the rest of the tank. The full carpet will sweep the attention to the main rock area. Iwagumi and sparse go hand in hand.

Cheers! I like your suggestion of swapping stones, I was a bit afraid of the largest stones presence would be diminished by having a semi-large stone next to it on both sides but the idea is intriguing and I'm gonna try it. I had a vague idea that this scape would lead the viewer to imagining a mountain range, with some sandy "lowlands" with a road leading between the summits. I'll hang on to that plan for now, but it's fully plausible that once the carpet gets spreading I'll let it fully cover the ground. Appreciate your thoughts.
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24G long & shallow dragonrock Iwagumi
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Again I'm happy to receive any thoughts and comments on the rescape.



Before:



After (also gave some TLC for the camera settings):








I'm considering swapping #8 for #4 now that the dust has settled, thoughts?


Some more pictures of the added Cuba & the CPD's.







24G long & shallow dragonrock Iwagumi
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 10:13 PM
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Nice! I'm really digging the rescape! There is much better flow between the rocks now and you also have a well defined focal point. Your initial scape had 2 focal points which I found kind of distracting. I like your idea of swapping rock #4 and #8 I think it will look really good.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 808style View Post
Nice! I'm really digging the rescape! There is much better flow between the rocks now and you also have a well defined focal point. Your initial scape had 2 focal points which I found kind of distracting. I like your idea of swapping rock #4 and #8 I think it will look really good.

Thanks! I couldn't really put the finger on what was off with the previous scape but now that you mention it there was certainly a fight for attention between the two islands, much more relaxed now. Some tweaking remains but this was a step in the right direction and it's getting closer to what I hoped to achieve. Curious to see how it'll look like once it's grown in...

24G long & shallow dragonrock Iwagumi
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 10:49 PM
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Definitely like the rescape. I think you have the framework for a really nice one. If I can, I would suggest giant hairgrass across the back and let it flow in the direction the rocks are pointed. Carpet the front, play around with some midground epiphytes and your done.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 03:55 AM
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Really nice job with the rescape! You could try out the alternate pattern, swapping 8 with 4. I think it looks good to have the two disproportionate, islands, but I think the alternative could look quite nice too. And I definitely like Asteroid's suggestion of some sweeping grass in the background, that could look really nice!

Have the CPDs been hard to keep? I've always found them really beautiful little fish but never tried to keep them myself.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Today, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
Definitely like the rescape. I think you have the framework for a really nice one. If I can, I would suggest giant hairgrass across the back and let it flow in the direction the rocks are pointed. Carpet the front, play around with some midground epiphytes and your done.

Thanks man, your input was a big help in improving this scape. Giant hairgrass is an interesting suggestion which I wouldn't have consider myself. I'm waiting for a delivery of ferts & some plants (more bucephelandra and some blyxa japonica) right now, I'll keep the suggestion in mind as to see how it all comes together, not going overboard with number of plant species is one of the harder challenges!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChemGuyEthan View Post
Really nice job with the rescape! You could try out the alternate pattern, swapping 8 with 4. I think it looks good to have the two disproportionate, islands, but I think the alternative could look quite nice too. And I definitely like Asteroid's suggestion of some sweeping grass in the background, that could look really nice!

Have the CPDs been hard to keep? I've always found them really beautiful little fish but never tried to keep them myself.

Cheers man, as mentione above I've got some plants coming in soon so I'll play aorund with the composition then but it's a valid point, don't want the right island being too "strong".



The CPD's has been quite hardy in my experience, albeit a bit expensive to purchase, but I got good quality stock. What I particularly like (aside from the gorgeous colouration) is that they naturally come from shallow flooded grasslands and is therefore used to strong lighting and carpeted environments. They can be skittish and if not comfortable they'll be cramped up in a corner or a crevice so wouldn't keep them in a busy part of an establishment. They're shoaling rather than schooling and tend to stick more towards the bottom so if kept with other species I'd look for something that compliments the top of the water column.

24G long & shallow dragonrock Iwagumi
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