Hi everyone. This will be my first attempt at the Iwagumi style. I decided to try it in this 5.5 gallon that I got for free from a friend. Before this I was doing high tech everything in my 15 gallon and was eventually not able to keep up with the maintenance. I decided to turn the 15 gallon into a grow out tank for my cherry shrimp and certain plants to trade or sell. I figured having the 5.5 as my focus tank would be a lot easier and would take much less time on maintenance. On top of this, since its so small, and its the Iwagumi style, I wont be thinking of the huge number of plants that I should throw into it, as well as fish/inverts. I am keeping it simple. I tried low tech, high tech, and am now settling for what I have as money is tight and I cant keep completely changing my expensive tanks monthly!
Here is the end result plan:
Tank: 5.5 Gallon Bowfront
Lighting: 10 inch CFL fixture from Catalina Aquariums:1x 13w 10,000K and 1x 13w 6500K
Substrate: Amazonia Aquasoil II 3 liters, Bacter 100
Rocks: Ryouh Stone x3
Flora: Dwarf Baby Tears (Hemianthus callitrichoides), Dwarf Hairgrass (Elocharis acicularis
), Staurogyne repens
Fauna: Yellow Shrimp, 6x Pygmy Corydoras, 1 CPD, 1-2 Otocinclus Catfish
Ferts: Estimative Index
CO2: Fluval Pressurized CO2 Kit 20 grams
Other equipment: Replacing fluval diffuser with a nano diffuser from The Shrimp Lab, Bubble Counter/Check valve from Green Leaf Aquariums, drop checker from The Shrimp Lab
Plan: The plan is to have a simple tank that I wont be trimming 24/7 like I was doing on my 15 gallon. Since I got a free tank, and have been wanting to try a nano Iwagumi, I will be using what I got. Its a little different than most peoples Iwagumi in that I left the rim (not sure if I want to try and remove it or not), am using a bowfront tank, and wont be using all ADA products. I want to make this as simple as possible for ME. This might be a lot of work for others. This is meant to fit around my busy schedule. That means a little bit of tweaking every day once the tank is complete.
I am using 3 Ryouh stones for my hardscape. Dont worry about critiquing the hardscape now as I have already laid down the HC. I spent a good amount of time getting these rocks right where I wanted them. Like any of your own personal tanks, they should please you more than others.
After positioning the stones I made it so the soil was short to tall from front to back. Then laid down the HC. Boy I would not want to be planting this submersed! 3 pots took me a very long time! I tried to spread it out the best that I could. After planting I filled the substrate with water and wrapped the top of the tank with plastic. I am leaving the light on as long as I can. From when I wake up to when I go to sleep. I am averaging about 16 hours a day. I am spraying the plants every few days with water.
At first I was worried that my HC would melt like many others has but I have seen a decent amount of growth after 2 weeks. The obvious growth told me I was able to start this journal
I am going to keep the dry start going until I am pleased with a full carpet. Once the dry start is done I will add in the dwarf hairgrass and maybe some stauro. Then I will add in my yellow shrimp followed by the pygmy corydoras.
Was having trouble getting good pictures on this. It looks so much better in person. Hard to see with the humidity. I'm just glad its working as I can see the end result already!