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Hello again, planted tank amigos. I've been itching to get something in a wide/shallow footprint ever since I stumbled on some journals for the 60F and 12l. There was no tank in my office, where I spend most of my time, so this week I pulled the trigger on a Mr. Aqua 12-gallon long:
Tank: Mr. Aqua 12 Gallon Long (Regular Clarity)
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia (approx 7L), Aquasoil Powder (1L), and La Plata Sand (1L)
Filter: Eheim 2213 w/ shortened stock spraybar and intake (for now)
Light: 36" Current Satellite Plus (suspended)
CO2: Either move the GLA Atomic V2 regulator/diffusor and 5lb tank over from my 29-gallon which currently only has S. Repens in it, or maybe a paintball setup. Thoughts?
Heater: Probably going inline to keep things tidy in this small tank
I'm open to suggestions. I was thinking of just a carpet over the areas of the tank covered in Aquasoil. Maybe HC (though I didn't have any luck with it on my last attempt) or lately leaning towards DHG Belem. I think a carpet is going to most match the mountainous look/feel I'm going for, but I worry that without any faster growing plants I'm in for an algae battle. Do you think a one-species carpet and a little moss on some of the rocks will be maintainable without starting an algae farm? Maybe some riccia shrubs too. I'd love to hear what you guys think.
1: 2x Snails (either horned nerites or apple snails)
2: Neo Shrimp Colony, with (maybe) some CRS or CBS
3: Small school of either Chili (or other dwarf) Rasporas, or Celestial Pearl Danios. Maybe a small school of each?
So far every tank I have done has been with driftwood, so I set out to do something with stone. A couple of lfs near me had some cool seiryu stone for a good price, so I picked a handful of good looking pieces.
I wanted to go for a dramatic mountainscape, with lots of exposed rock. I picked my main peak out, and took a hammer to the rest of the stones.
The main peak of my mountain
I cut a piece of light diffusion grid (eggcrate) from Home Depot to fit the dimensions of the tank. With non-tempered glass, I wanted a buffer between all of that rock and the bottom of the aquarium.
Here's the final hardscape:
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It looks a little too busy now, but I think with a dense carpet over all of the aquasoil it'll look pretty natural and dramatic. I wanted a combination of hard, jagged peaks, and pastoral grassy slopes. Hard and soft, aggressive and passive, ying and yang
. I feel good about it how it came out, and one of the big advantages of using sand and aquasoil in close proximity is that I can't really change it around now without creating a mess. After about 6-8 hours with my hands in the tank over 3 days, I think it's good that I'm forced to walk away and declare it finished. I'd love to hear your thoughts and critiques of the hardscape, but I don't think it'll be changing at this point!
Let me know your plant ideas! I'm open to more than a one-plant carpet (plus moss), but that's kinda what I'm feeling unless someone has a great idea. I'm also not sure whether I'll be going with a dry start or flooding right away. Would like to hear your opinions on that too!