Iwagumi style tank without plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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Iwagumi style tank without plants?

Hey all,

So I have a random question. Has anyone ever done a "planted tank" without plants?

A little background: I started out with the standard 10 gallon freshwater tank and quickly got a used 50 gallon for my freshwater community. A few months later, I started a 10 gallon reef tank, subsequently upgrading to a 40g reef tank. Meanwhile, my freshwater tank got converted to a saltwater fish only tank. The other day, I was a the LFS and saw a gorgeous planted tank. Must have been 100+gallons and I just couldn't keep my eyes off of it. Just so peaceful and serene. All they had were a large school of cardinals and some otos.

So I just took down my saltwater fish only tank and have been considering going back to the freshwater side. We just got a dog so I have a lot less time for my fish maintenance and the reef tank already keeps me plenty busy. So I was going to go with an Iwagumi style tank, but the thought of all the water changes and trimming is giving me second thoughts.

but I realy like the look of the zen nature aquarium. So here's my question: anyone ever done a iwagumi type tank with rocks and earth, but without any plants? I was thinking of setting up a rock-only tank also with just a large school of tetras. My goal is really just to have a relatively low maintenance tank that I can just enjoy and not have to worry too much about.

I've already done the community tank and I've already done the nature aquarium. So just looking for something different
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 11:14 PM
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Has anyone ever done a "planted tank" without plants?
Nope. Nobody ever has. Literally.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 11:16 PM
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Hey all,

So I have a random question. Has anyone ever done a "planted tank" without plants?
It would not be called a "planted tank" if you don't have plants in it. It just be a normal tank with rocks and substrate.

If you want low maintenance tank then just try slower growing plants and go low tech. My CRS/CBS tank is low tech and all the plants grow really slow. I have some fissiden, DHG, and mixed moss. The only thing that grows fast are the moss (except fissiden).


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 11:19 PM
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Honestly, I consider the plants the things that keep the maintenance levels down. They are good for the water chemistry, they defeat algae, and they are important for the wellbeing of fish such as cardinal tetras.

That said, you don't strictly need plants for iwagumi. Technically, all Iwagumi is is a method of rock placement. It can be argued that pure iwagumi has nothing but rocks by default.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:03 AM
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http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...rdscape-56474/

http://www.tfhmagazine.com/blogs/201...nly-aquascape/

I think these look awesome and modern even if it's blasphemous to admit it on this forum :P
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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I realize that its not planted. Just trying to think outside of the box. I've already done the low tech planted tank and even with that, I had to do a fair amount of trimming to prevent it from growing out of control.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:26 AM
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There's this too, someone did a white cloud mountain minnow biotope that I absolutely love...http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...32f9eb296f.jpg
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:28 AM
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I don't have any pictures but I have a tank that is heavily inspired by Iwagumi without any foreground. It was not on purpose, my foreground hasn't worked out (pretty low tech) but the background plants thrived. Don't have any pictures but it looks really nice IMO. I can easily picture mine without plants.

-Matt

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 01:57 AM
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I've seen some extremely nice hardscape only ciclid tanks as well.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 04:18 AM
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Yes, you can set up an iwagumi style tank with rocks and substrate.

No, you can't have a ''planted'' tank without plants. That's like saying you have hair but you're actually bald.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 07:16 AM
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Honestly, if I were to go that route, I would go a step further and make it a black water biotope kind of tank. The idea of just rocks and roots, and a sandy bottom just begs for some nice tea colored water with something like a big school of cardinals and maybe a little leaf litter on the bottom.
Damnit, I'm looking at my 10 gallon now getting ideas XD

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 09:47 AM
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It's called a hardscape and while they look pretty, they aren't as beneficial as a planted tank. Also, they aren't as interesting in the long run since the tank is one dimension - fauna with obstacles, nothing growing except algae. I think over time you'd want to add in plants, even if it's a low tech setup without co2 it's still interesting. A piece of brandwood around the rocks with java ferns on it could work.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2012, 09:17 PM
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Honestly, if I were to go that route, I would go a step further and make it a black water biotope kind of tank. The idea of just rocks and roots, and a sandy bottom just begs for some nice tea colored water with something like a big school of cardinals and maybe a little leaf litter on the bottom.
Damnit, I'm looking at my 10 gallon now getting ideas XD
Always been tempted to do this. But what would the maintenance on this thing be like without plants sucking up nitrates?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 12:53 AM
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http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...rdscape-56474/

http://www.tfhmagazine.com/blogs/201...nly-aquascape/

I think these look awesome and modern even if it's blasphemous to admit it on this forum :P
Nothing is blasphemous on this forum.

Iwagumi tanks without plants are totally epic.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-04-2012, 02:53 AM
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I'd imagine the same as a fish only tank
Water changes once a week probably
I originally was a fish only person so I'm used to that lol

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