Hello Everyone. This is my thread journal for my High-tech six (6) gallon nano aquascape. I am brand new to the forum and relatively new to aquascaping, so please share with me your critiques along the way, "as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Enjoy!
Here is a photo of the tank in its current state, I will backtrack some steps to show how I arrived at this point and then progress from there.
Ehiem Aquastyle 6, Stock filter, Eheim Power Led Daylight x2, 20oz Paintball Co2 Tank, Aquatek Paintball C02 regulator, Green Leaf Aquariums CO2 tubing, Atomic 50mm Co2 diffuser, Cal Aqua Labs Clip Drop Checker
ADA Aquasoil Amazonia Reg and Powder Type, Ecocomplete and plastic Egg Crate Underlayment
Petrified Wood, Driftwood
Hemianthus Callitrichoides, Staurogyne Repens, Bucephalandra Arrogant Blue Mini
: Rams Horn Snails, Planning For: Neocaridina - Blue/Red Rili, Micro Rasboras
Fertilizing Method: EI Dosing
This aquascape is a experimentation ground for me. I knew I needed some height to the scape given the relatively high vertical dimension of the tank, and I wanted the petrified wood to be the focal point of this aspect. My greatest challenge would be creating and maintaining a ridiculously high slope of substrate, so I planned specific measures to mitigate the risk of collapse. In order to achieve the height I was looking for, I started with an underlying frame of plastic light diffuser ("egg crate") and zip ties.
Periodically between installing the eggcrate layers, I filled the gaps with eco complete to avoid the presence of air pockets later on. Then, I placed the hardscape and filled the tank with aqua soil. One trick I used was to pour thin layers of the aqua soil and mist them with water in-between so that the subsequent layers would stick to each other instead of tumbling down the slope. The area with the most extreme slope is in the top left of the tank. I planted the S. Repens here, utilizing the bulky stems to hold the steep hill of aqua soil in place.
I added the HC throughout to start a carpet, I want to cover every inch of substrate with it to additionally reinforce the slope. It melted substantially in the first two weeks, as it was grown emersed, but I removed the rotting portions daily, and now it is established.
I placed the small portion of buce I had in between the stacked pieces of petrified wood. In my opinion, the supporting stone is the weakest point of this scape; It does not match as well as I would like with the piece above. I thought the buce may eventually fill the gap between the two pieces, and I may be able to train it down to cover the lower piece as well. I'm looking to put some sort of facade here, and if the buce doesn't work, I will likely try a moss (I'm open to suggestions here).
My first draft of the completed scape did not include the driftwood.
I ended up adding the driftwood, because it takes the attention off of the in tank filter, (which I plan to switch with an external canister-recomendations please). The driftwood diminishes the scale a bit, but I think it adds an extra dimension to the scape, and I like the incorporation of surreal elements into otherwise natural looking landscapes. Additionaly, I have always felt that minimalist and iwagumi type scapes are better suited for large aquariums, while small scapes are more interesting to me with abundant elements.
I will be posting another update soon. I hope you've enjoyed this journal so far and were able to pick up something new from it. Please feel free to send me your recommendations, questions, and critiques. Thank you.