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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I recently tore down my reef tank and thought I would take a shot at planted tanks. This is my first attempt at an Iwagumi...Any suggestions, comments, and pointers, are all welcome.

Equipment

ADA 90P
ATI T5 4X39 watt Sunpower
ADA knock off stand
Electronic CO2 regulator w/ 5lb tank
DIY CO2 reactor with inline heater
Rena XP3
AquaticMagic 13mm lily pipes
AquaticMagic drop checker

Substrate
ADA Amazonia I (3X9L bags)
ADA Amazonia Powder (9L)

Stones
Ryouh

Flora
HC
dwarf hair grass "belem"

Pics...:icon_smil







Ryouh Stones





tank, stand, light



Rockscape






Equipment



Filling up...



Filled


Lily pipe vortex
 

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The Circumloctioner
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1,332 Posts
Welcome to the forum!

Nice setup - this will be a nice one when filled in. Clean & simple.

If I may interject on the Aquatic Magic/Flo Lily pipes, IMO they're the nicest knock-offs out there. Nice thick glass. The vortex is that intense because the outflow pressure is slightly increased due to the fact that the Rena's 17mm in/outs have been reduced to 13mm. Even with my little xp1 the vortex is pretty powerful with my AQM/Flo pipe.

Nice job! This is one to watch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the compliments guys, so I guess it wasnt too bad for first timer :).

Yeah, I got pretty lucky on those stones.

I chose the aquatic magic lily pipes because of the shape of the outflow, price, and the fact that they have two suction cups. I am sure cal aqua's lily pipes are probably better even though I have never seen them but I couldn't justify spending that much. Its glass and I figure I would just get another set of lily pipes at cal aqua's price.

I cant wait for it to fill in, its still a bit cloudy but hopefully it clears up in the coming days.

Regarding the vortex, roybot gives an excellent explanation. Basically my filter is big enough to produce that nice big vortex. The closer the lily pipe gets to the surface, the greater the vortex. I was a bit skeptical about the surface skimming but I am impressed.

The bad thing about these lily pipes is that they came with a hairline scratch, not noticeable, but I contacted aquatic magic and was told I should receive new ones.
 

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For a first time Iwagumi, it's not bad. My gut feeling is that the beauty of the stones you have isn't fully utilized, due to placement, but again, for a first time it's a decent aquascape. If you would like some constructive criticisms, I'd be happy to provide them. Outside of that, keep up the Iwagumi practice and do some research on Iwagumi design principles (I have an article link in my signature). The first tank is always a great tool to use to learn about plant and rock placement, growth etc firsthand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For a first time Iwagumi, it's not bad. My gut feeling is that the beauty of the stones you have isn't fully utilized, due to placement, but again, for a first time it's a decent aquascape. If you would like some constructive criticisms, I'd be happy to provide them. Outside of that, keep up the Iwagumi practice and do some research on Iwagumi design principles (I have an article link in my signature). The first tank is always a great tool to use to learn about plant and rock placement, growth etc firsthand.
Hi Francis,

I am definitely open to criticism, let me know what you dont like and butcher it up! :). I honestly feel I need more stones, at least one or two bigger ones. Thanks.
 

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Good attitude! My first impressions of things that stand out the most are basically that the focal attention seems to be right down the center due to the big gap in between the stones. I find myself staring at the back wall almost as much or more so than the actual scape itself. The "V" design isn't a bad way to go, but just basically contributes to a 'generic' Iwagumi feel - which, don't get me wrong, is a lot better than it just looking bad. I have to admit my first reaction when I saw a reef tank guy making an Iwagumi was "oh god, it's going to be rock wall!" And I'm very glad that that isn't the case - it looks like you've put at least a little thought into the layout.

As far as the stones themselves - it's difficult to pick a main stone, it seems that the one on the right side is intended as the main stone, but isn't quite emphasized enough to fulfill that purpose. While the stones surrounding them seem kind of haphazardly laid down - too many of them are going the same direction in the same position (i.e. most are horizontal), which kind of takes away from their impact in general. Which as a result, makes the stones that do have angles to them look out of place, as if they're angled just for the sake of being angled. Overall there isn't a whole lot of transition to draw your eye from point A to point B. It's kind of difficult to pinpoint precisely what is throwing it off, I think a lot of it has to do with the gaps in between the stones (too much space between some, not enough between others), and that the main stone and main supporting stones need to be larger.

At this point, it would probably be too much effort than it's worth to rescape the tank - it's very hard to rescape an Iwagumi with wet soil and a filled aquarium. However, like I said, grow it out, experiment with plant growth and Iwagumi stone layout (maybe practice with some stones in some sand for basic principles), then in a few months when you're satisfied with what you've learned start thinking of a rescape.

Edit - More stones isn't necessarily the answer, it's more about spacing and transition between stones and how they're laid out than number of stones - remember you want to maintain an odd number of stones, as well as an odd number of plants (for that reason i'd recommend finding a nice accent plant to ease the transition between HC and HG)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, very nice review, Francis. Thanks for analyzing my scape. I do agree that the stones need to be bigger. I purposely made the slope higher to make the stones feel bigger but I think I still fell a little short.

As for the gaps, they were made purposefully as well to allow plants to grow and fill in. Throughout the scaping I felt I need more stones because I felt limited with the stones. I was thinking of adding Helanthium tellenum to the center of the V in the back and making it curve towards the bigger slope in front of the big rock. I might use Blyxa as well lemme know what plants you would suggest. Obviously, I am going with HC as foreground, I may remove the "belem" as it may be too short. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah, I've done two 50% water changes and yesterday I got home late so I didnt do one. I will do one tonight. My water is still yellow/cloudy from the tannins of ada aquasoil. Hopefully it clears up soon, seems to clear every time I do a 50% water change. I am running the lights for 5-6 hrs only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have carbon in mine and zeolite media, its been running for 4 days now. Should I change it?

I ran my diatom filter thinking it would clear it up but it did absolutely nothing. Its the tannins from the aquasoil. I think carbon and purigen are our best bet.
 
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