This will be the 3rd incarnation of this tank. I'd thought about using some nicer Seiryu stone I've collected over the last couple of years with some root like moss covered branches. But the choices and the limited novel look did not appeal. I can still return for that at some other point in time.
In looking at the ADA examples and the one at AFA, as well as some ideas from Bonsai, the Unzan stone seems like a fun way to use the larger rock.
I will certainly be using this concept to do at least 2-3 scapes in the coming year.
From natural systems, the islands on Ha Long Bay and Phang Nga Bay
Are representative of what many of the ideas I was thinking about, with the water as a foreground type plant.
The tops of the "islands" would poke out of the water with emergent growth and adding moss or drilling holes into the lava is fairly easy to do.
Given the nature of EI dosing to the water column, Crypts, and various other stem plants can be be roped onto these islands, think about wabi kusa, but larger and on a good sized or medium sized stone.
This makes a nice flooded forest look also.
Like my old 60p ADA emergent non CO2 tank, the joy and lower maintenance of emergent growth is a good goal for many.
As each island grows, it becomes lusher, but it is not overly difficult to trim, and you do not "uproot" the sediment. Seiryu contrast well with the darker Manzy wood, but not so well with a dark rock like lava/unzan. Ohko stone will contrast well with Manzy, and can be used in a similar manner, as it is soft and you can drill into it and it has many natural holes already.
But......finding larger pieces is tough.
So, I did a quick hardscape with the lava today in the 60p ADa tank, I think I'll go with it.
2 stones, one taller and larger sticking out of the tank, another smaller, but with potential for the plants to become emergent.
The larger stone will hide the in/out flow pretty well. So this is a bit like the older non CO2 emergent growth, but with stones this time.
No heater for this tank also.
Not sure what foreground plant I might use.
Might use belem grass and HC mix.
I'll be using some H pinn and Bolbitus as emergent plants on the stone.
Then some smaller Hydrocotyle. Maybe some xmas moss and Mini pellia on the rock. Some background stem plants might be added behind the stones and trimmed(topped)
SSS CRS and then some smaller surface range fish. Not certain here yet.
One of the goals for this tank is no uprooting horticulture, 100% topping and pinching leaves here or there only.