First time scaping a tank this small... any ideas? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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First time scaping a tank this small... any ideas?

Iíve recently acquired a 3 gallon nano cube tank, and Iím a little torn on how to scape it. I quite like this wood, but Iím unsure if it works with the tank? Is it too big, does it take up to much space? If not, does anyone have any recommendations on how/what to plant around it? If you donít think it works, could I see an example of what you would do?

(It will be a low tech shrimp tank) Name:  IMG_3760.JPG
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:10 AM
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I’d rotate it clockwise so bigger stump is in back left corner and smaller branches on right closer up to front glass. Maybe berm soil up a little higher in back left to tilt it a bit. Needs two or three small-med round black river stones around or tucked under edge of it.

Then plant some moss or fissidens on both those groups of branches. Will give you more of sense of depth in tank. Maybe small India java fern setting right on lower portion of stump.

Also by rotating stump slightly your planting area around it will go from straight lines behind and in front of it (boring) to more wedge shaped planting areas front left and back right corners. This will allow you to do plantings that also help build a sense of depth in tank by using plants of various height going front to back.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 02:34 PM
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The biggest problem with that wood is that its touching the glass which means every time you clean the glass you have to move the wood disturbing anything you put around it. Personally I wouldn't use it. However, if you do want to use it you could trim the branches back so none are touching the glass and allow enough room for your preferred cleaning method (which you should test before planting).

Moss on the wood and some dwarf hairgrass in big clumps around the base to make little grassy bushes. Put your larger plants in the back as per usual. I assume this is low tech? Are you trying for carpet or no carpet?

Smaller crypts could also work here in foreground/midground.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
The biggest problem with that wood is that its touching the glass which means every time you clean the glass you have to move the wood disturbing anything you put around it. Personally I wouldn't use it. However, if you do want to use it you could trim the branches back so none are touching the glass and allow enough room for your preferred cleaning method (which you should test before planting).



Moss on the wood and some dwarf hairgrass in big clumps around the base to make little grassy bushes. Put your larger plants in the back as per usual. I assume this is low tech? Are you trying for carpet or no carpet?



Smaller crypts could also work here in foreground/midground.


Hey, thanks so much for this! For some reason the inability to clean the glass hadnít even occurred to me and Iím so glad you mentioned it before I actually set the tank up. Itís drained and dry atm, Iím just playing around with scapes before properly setting it up. I know that I want one big focal piece in this tank. What do you think of this? Iím not really trying to go iwagumi or anything, just one focal rock. Does this one look good in this tank? I think plant wise right now Iím thinking about dhg, reineckii, crypts, maybe some Riccia or peacock moss or similar though undecided. (I only have a small amount of substrate in right now as Iím just brainstorming)




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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 01:43 PM
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I like the wood better. I think the suggestions of angling it differently and trimming some of the branches should work fine. I like big pieces in small tanks, but the rock doesn't have much interest to me and the vertical side on the right could be a problem unless you plant to cover it up.

If you not doing co2 I would skip the riccia and DHG.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 02:23 PM
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So the most important thing is obviously that you like the setup.

I really like rocks, a lot. So I wouldn't hesitate to do something with just stone. If you wanted to go that route I would add more stone then just the one. If that stone is your focal point you should add at least 2 other smaller stones around the base. Since this is for shrimp you will want to make sure your stone is not reactive (such as seiryu stone). If this is a stone only scape I would bank the soil in one of the back corners and plant your stones into the substrate a bit so they appear to be forming out of the ground as it were.

If you have smaller pieces of wood you could incorporate that into a stone scape as well. Or you could go back to the other wood piece and just trim the branches touching the glass after you get it in an orientation you like. /shrug

DHG can be kept alive in a low tech tank but it requires decent light (no idea what your light output is in this tank) and it will never carpet like a high tech tank. But it will form little clumps which may be something you like.

In a shrimp tank I also would consider using a sand cap over active substrate just for aesthetics, but that's a personal preference so your mileage will vary.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-11-2019, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately just trimming the wood wouldnít work, since every stem touches the sides. Thereís also a large piece in the back that you canít see in the picture, so there are only 2 ways it can be rotated and still fit in the tank. After trimming enough to be able to clean the glass, it would be an entirely different piece of wood. I like that piece enough to leave it as is and incorporate it into a bigger tank instead. I think with the plant scape I have in mind the single rock will work once it grows in, but Iíll probably still keep an eye out for smaller ones that might work in here. Also this isnít seriyu, not sure exactly what it is but the LFS I bought it from uses it in all of their display tanks, half of which house shrimp permanently so hopefully it wonít affect the water too much. Weíll have to wait and see though, I suppose!

Also thanks for the plant advice, but these are all plants I already have, so if transplanting them to this tank isnít successful I wonít be too upset




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Decided to play around with these


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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-12-2019 at 12:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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