First Iwagumi Tank - 2.78 G - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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First Iwagumi Tank - 2.78 G

Already posted this in the aquascaping subforum but I thought I'd add it here too.
This is my first time doing an Iwagumi tank and it's been set up for about 1 month. Substrate is Marfied Controsoil. I'm running DIY CO2 with EI dosing and an ISTA LED fixture with 4x 3w CREE LEDs in it, running something like 8 hours a day. It is a fire red shrimp only tank. Please don't mind the floaters and equipment as a lot of that is temporary. Sorry for the off center pic, I just took it with my phone. Oh, and don't mind the flamboyant "sunset" background - I plan on changing that to a sky blue gradient as soon the carpet grows in.
Anyway, hope you guys like it. Would you guys add anything to this tank? Was thinking about some Blyxa in the back or some Stauro between the rocks, but part of me just kinda wants to keep it simple.
Current plants: Monte carlo, Anubias nana petite, frogbit, water lettuce (floaters are temporary).
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 01:21 AM
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This is a very impressive tank! I thought it was 5-10 gallons at first; I was very surprised when I realized it was only 2.8.

(I'm also jealous of your shrimp's color)

If you're looking for things we would add, this is what I think:
- Staurogyne repens peeking out from behind the rocks on the left and middle would look really nice IMO.
- If you're up to it, moving the hardscape a few inches to the right would move the focal point to the right in compliance with the rule of thirds (golden ratio). Sloping the substrate more would be a nice touch as well.
- I think the two anubias at the top of the rock take away from the focal point and the striking profile of that centerpiece stone. I like the other anubias pieces though, so maybe move the top two next to the others?

Other than those few things, I can't imagine a nicer looking tank!

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here!
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for the comments!

guess i can try some stauro. can you indicate using ms paint where exactly you think they should go? my only concern is that it might take over the monte carlo.
RE: the hardscape; i've only got about an inch and a half between the largest rock and the wall. i can try to move it, though. i'll try to pick up some substrate from my buddy next time i see him so i can slope it more.
i'll move the anubias too and take another pic when i get home. by the top two, you mean the one on the very top and the one on the left side of the large stone?

thanks!

Last edited by paosquared; 10-26-2016 at 06:43 AM. Reason: minor stuff
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 06:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Al3x View Post
This is a very impressive tank! I thought it was 5-10 gallons at first; I was very surprised when I realized it was only 2.8.

(I'm also jealous of your shrimp's color)

If you're looking for things we would add, this is what I think:
- Staurogyne repens peeking out from behind the rocks on the left and middle would look really nice IMO.
- If you're up to it, moving the hardscape a few inches to the right would move the focal point to the right in compliance with the rule of thirds (golden ratio). Sloping the substrate more would be a nice touch as well.
- I think the two anubias at the top of the rock take away from the focal point and the striking profile of that centerpiece stone. I like the other anubias pieces though, so maybe move the top two next to the others?

Other than those few things, I can't imagine a nicer looking tank!
don't mind the mess, i'll clean it up later and add more substrate to the back. i've moved the main rock to the right, angled the small rock on the front right a bit upwards. moved the other rocks to the right, and removed the anubias. i'll figure out where to put them later.

you don't think that the anubias looks better in that empty crack? should i put any of it back?
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paosquared View Post
don't mind the mess, i'll clean it up later and add more substrate to the back. i've moved the main rock to the right, angled the small rock on the front right a bit upwards. moved the other rocks to the right, and removed the anubias. i'll figure out where to put them later.

you don't think that the anubias looks better in that empty crack? should i put any of it back?
i kinda like it without the anubias. shows off the rock more. but thats my opinion

i like your lighting and the carpet looks healthy. adding some stem plants in the back to give it a background would looks nice too. give it more depth.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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welp moving stuff and adding substrate around made a giant mess. so i'm starting over and i'll just replant the carpet.
any suggestions, or should i just keep the basic layout and make the sloping more dramatic?

Last edited by paosquared; 10-26-2016 at 07:01 PM. Reason: minor stuff
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 01:31 AM
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In my opinion you should keep the layout but move it an inch or two to the right and slope the substrate more.

I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here!
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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slope it which way? i actually tried to slope this when i first scaped it, but eventually it flattened out a bit. guess i should stick with a more gentle slope.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 05:21 AM
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Beautiful tank! Can I ask how you achieved the sunset background?
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Beautiful tank! Can I ask how you achieved the sunset background?
basically, you first need a frosted background - i just used a frosted textured folder, but most hardware stores in the US have frosted window films that cling on without adhesive. After that, I hooked up an LED fixture to a simple switch and wall plug. Then I took cellophane in different colors and placed it over or behind the light to get the effect I wanted. Pretty simple!
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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In my opinion you should keep the layout but move it an inch or two to the right and slope the substrate more.
which way to slope it though?

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
i kinda like it without the anubias. shows off the rock more. but thats my opinion

i like your lighting and the carpet looks healthy. adding some stem plants in the back to give it a background would looks nice too. give it more depth.
thanks man! gonna pick up some stauro repens tmw and see what i can do with it.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 11:57 AM
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Make the back deeper than the front.

For this you can use substrate supports, which are just corrugated plastic. You stick em in the substrate and they act like little walls preventing the substrate from sliding down.

Some use corrugated plastic, some use disposable cutting boards, cut to size. Some companies sell them. Google can tell you a bit more.


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I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that's extra scary to me. There's a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here!
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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i've done exactly that! i just used a clear plastic clipboard i had lying around and cut that with a hacksaw. unfortunately while filling it seems that some of the substrate slid down anyway. i'm worried the substrate is too deep in the front now. i wanted it a little deeper than before so that the monte carlo could root better, but perhaps it's too thick or there's not enough of a slope. should i replant? what do you think?

anyway i left some room to put stauro repens in assorted spots. i think it definitely looks nicer than before, thanks for the tips! now i just need to decide if i want to reshape and replant. note that the slope on the back left can't be too high - the filter intake is there, and so is the output. i noticed that if the slope is too high, the substrate gets pushed down even if the filter's on its lowest setting. to compensate i made the right side quite high and i think it looks pretty good.

here are some pics. pardon the mess; i'm still cleaning up! also, man is it tough to re-separate and re-plant a formerly established carpet.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 02:43 PM
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Looks good as it is. It's actually better to have a slope more on one side than the other as it accentuates the focal point, so what you've done here is good. You really only need to bank it really high in one corner. So the fact the filter impeded sloping on the left side ended up working in your favour.
Maybe just stick with all Monte Carlo? May not need any taller plants in my opinion.


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 10-27-2016, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Looks good as it is. It's actually better to have a slope more on one side than the other as it accentuates the focal point, so what you've done here is good. You really only need to bank it really high in one corner. So the fact the filter impeded sloping on the left side ended up working in your favour.
Maybe just stick with all Monte Carlo? May not need any taller plants in my opinion.


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thanks for the encouragement! whew, okay. worked out i guess.

well, i already ordered the stauro and the person's meeting me tomorrow so i don't really have a choice, hehe. worse comes to worst i'll give it to my buddy.

Last edited by paosquared; 10-27-2016 at 04:37 PM. Reason: minor edits~
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