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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wasn't happy with my old 55 gallon iwagumi, so I moved some stuff around while keeping essentially the same rock positioning and plants. I like the resulting layout more than my old one, though I'd welcome any comments. Details about the tank are listed below. Thanks for letting me share.








Aquarium / All-Glass 55 gal W48xD13xH21 (in) / 208 L W122xD32XH53 (cm)
Lighting / DIY AHsupply.com Kits, 2x 55W 7800K PC, 2x 13W 10000K, 2x variable white cold cathode
Filtration / Eheim 2217 Classic
Substrate / Quickrete All-Purpose Sand
Hardscape / "Sierra Madre" stones
CO2 / Pressurized, PVC in-line reactor,knockoff ADA bubble counter at 4 bubbles per second
Fertilizer / EI Estimative Index
Water Changes / Once a week 50% tap water
Water Conditions / Water temperature: 77 degrees Fahrenheit / 25 degrees Celsius, pH: 6.5

Plants
- Hemianthus Callitrichoides
- Lilaeopsis novaezelandiae
- Eleocharis Vivipara

Fauna
- Sundadanio Axelrodi 'Blue'
- Otocinclus Affinis
- Caridina Multidentata
- Gyraulus sp., Physa fontinalis, Planorbarius corneus (snails)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for the comment fastfreddie.

If anyone is interested, here is a picture of my tank right after planting in May 08:


And in September 08 before I added the fish:
 

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Ken great scape I am a big fan of the iwagumi style scape. The seems so simple and clean looking but they have been my greatest challenge so far. Yours one of the best iwagumi scape Ive seen in a while. great sense of depth for such a narrow tank.I have a few questions 1st where did you get your stones? 2nd did you supplement the Quickrete sand with root tabs power sand or anything at all? 3rd The sand looks dark is it available at home depot? 4th what did you use for your background? I have been looking for a white background for my 4ft 120P but have not found anything white that is 4ftlong. 5th Can you spare some vivipara?
 

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Verry well done, IMO its kinda hard to scape a 55gal and make it look as nice as yours. The plants look healthy I would have never guessed the substrate is quickcrete sand. I like the rock placement. I would love to see you scape a tank like a 40 gallon breeder or even a larger tank like a 125 gallon
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks for the kind comments Church, Marimoball, and Chuukus. Marimoball, I'll try to answer your questions the best I can.

1st where did you get your stones?
There are a few places in my area that sell landscaping products and carry all kinds of cobblestone, wall rock, boulders, etc at a few cents a pound. My stones were labeled as "Sierra Madre" at a place called Acapulco Rock and Soil. I think I got 50 pounds of it for around 10 dollars or so. They change their inventory often so it took me a while to find the kind of rock I was looking for. One time I found some amanoesque rocks there and bought a few pounds of it, but when I returned a few weeks later to get more it was all gone.

2nd did you supplement the Quickrete sand with root tabs power sand or anything at all?
Nope. My plants have a hard time rooting into the sand though, if I were to start over again I'd probably invest in some Aquasoil or something.

3rd The sand looks dark is it available at home depot?
Its dark because its dirty :). My first picture more accurately shows how it looked originally. I think Home Depot still carries it. Its pretty cheap, but its a lot of work to prepare. I had to sieve out the really fine (<1mm) stuff which is like half the bag and wash what was left a whole lot to get it clean.

In the end It saves you some money, but it involves a lot more effort and it doesn't even work that well. Again, if I were to do it all over again I would probably buy some Aquasoil.

4th what did you use for your background? I have been looking for a white background for my 4ft 120P but have not found anything white that is 4ftlong.
My mom's an elementary school teacher so I just asked her to cut a long sheet of butcher paper for me, the kind that her students use for arts and crafts. I just taped that to the back of the tank.

Home Depot also sells long sheets of cheap Styrofoam insulation board (insulfoam brand, ~8 dollars for 1/2 inch thick 8x4) that you can cut to size. If you peel the layer of plastic off of it (with all the logos), its a plain white. I haven't tried this though so I don't know how the Styrofoam texture affects the look of the background.

5th Can you spare some vivipara?
Vivipara is a horrible horrible plant :). In all my pictures I've spent around 2 hours previous cutting off the v shaped ends that grow at the tips of the leaves.

I think that those cuttings can actually grow into new plants, I can send you some the next time I trim if you decide you want it. I'll post a picture of my tank next time the Vivipara gets overgrown to help you decide if you want to deal with it or not.

If I were to do this tank over again, I'd probably replace the vivipara with Eleocharis acicularis. Actually now that I think about it, it would save me a lot of headache if I just pulled the vivipara out and replaced it. If I ever get around to doing that, the Vivipara is yours.

I hope my answers were clear enough. If you have any more questions for me feel free to ask.
 

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i always like to see setups with just regular sand and rocks, and still turn out stunning. and i tip my hat to you for waiting that long to put in fish. im sure i speak for a good number of people here, i wish i had the patience you do!

but what that being said, outstanding tank. that is really something
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i tip my hat to you for waiting that long to put in fish. im sure i speak for a good number of people here, i wish i had the patience you do!
Thanks for the comments cwilson. It was not patience that had me waiting to put in the fish, it was the lack of availability :). Sundadanio Axelrodi is a hard species to find. If they ever die out, I'd probably just replace then with cardinals. Not as small, but a whole lot more common.
 

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Thanks for answering all my ???
Lmk when you hit the rock yard again.
Yes i know about the mess the vivipara creates, it turns into a wild birds nest. But its tall and fine the giant hairgrass is thick, and the acicularis is very short and will not give you the same look.
Any other plant you have mind.
 

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that is un FREAKIN' believable. AMAZING scape! This is definitely one of the best i've ever seen.

and maybe its out of place to put this out there, but i would definitely buy some of the vivipara from you next time you cut it, it looks awesome! haha put me on the list :proud:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks demosthenes, I would again warn against the use of vivipara unless you had a buttload of time.

Marimoball, this is the look I was trying to copy: http://www.aquajournal.net/suikei_data/003/gallery_04.html

It lists E. acicularis as one of its components, but I agree with you that in the picture it does look too long to be acicularis. I'd sure like to know what plant it is if it is not Acicularis.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
As promised, here is my tank with the overgrown vivipara:


Here it is after I've run a comb over the Vivipara. This is how it usually looks, trimming all the individual tips takes way too long:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What a beauty. I love iwagumi, and this rocks!!
Hah, I don't know if that was meant to be a pun or not, but thanks for the kind comment malaybiswas (because rocks = iwagumi. Get it? No?). Maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
 

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beautiful!

I must say, that you accomplished a great sense of depth in a tank (ie, 55g) were it is almost an impossible feat, due to how shallow it is!

Great job.:thumbsup:
 
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