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10 Gallon Iwagumi Style - First Aquascape

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by J Art, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok. First time aquascaper here. In the process of finishing (don't mind the uncut shims) and leveling my DIY stand (still needs sanding, painting, etc.), but more importantly, I wanted to get some insight into the Iwagumi rock layout I have going here. Does it work? I'm about 2 weeks out from getting the substrate, lighting, etc. and wanted to get some critique on the design before I go any further. Any suggestions are welcome.

    For this layout, I'm currently looking into:
    Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light Plus Moonlights, 20-Inch
    CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black
    Penn Plax Cascade 300 Internal Filter for Aquariums (with DIY Co2 tube directly connected for diffusion)
    Seachem Flourish 250ml (after a month of growing)
    Dwarf Hairgrass
    - already have a 10 gallon tank heater, not sure which brand but still works good.

    Will keep this post going as I get equipment, setting, establish, etc.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    [​IMG]
     

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  2. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Overall shape looks ok, but your rocks are pretty flat. You have very rich colors though! Setup a dry hardscape with your substrate. It's much easier to visualize this way.
     
  3. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks Lucasgg. I was hoping to find larger rocks, but the color is what grabbed my attention. My thought is that it will compliment the green hairgrass. I have one other rock that I took home and am thinking about crushing it into smaller pieces and making this into a 5 rock setup.

    I won't have the substrate for a couple weeks, so I'm just getting some initial ideas in place for now.
     
  4. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Smaller rocks add a sense of depth and natural aging of the rocks. Sorta like they crumbled and rolled off. Just make sure not to kill any potential main stones! :0
     
  5. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Good point on depth and aging/scale. I didn't even think of it that way.
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Those rocks are not suitable for Iwagumi, reason being they have no character at all and are just too flat.

    My suggestion would be do a lot of research on and about Iwagumi once you understand what Iwagumi is it will make desigining your aquascape a lot easier to work on.

    Iwagumi is not just a matter of getting a few "Nice" looking rocks and putting them in a fish tank.

    This will give you a start for your research.

    http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main/create-an-iwugami-aquascape

    Keith:cat::cat:

     
  7. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm aware it's more than a matter of a few nice looking rocks and have done research.

    What would be your advice on how to improve this current 3 rock layout, which is what I will stick with for this setup? I disagree on them having no character.
     
  8. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    It's not an interesting character and it's not something that would have lasting appeal. If you're going to stick with those rocks, I wouldn't use them in an iwagumi. I'd break them up into small pieces, then use them as the substrate material to tie moss onto. Then add some wood and create a nature scape with tall stem plants and a short foreground plant. The moss will help transition the foreground to the background to give a more natural impression.
     
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  9. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Solcielo, yea the more I look the more I sort of agree with you. It does have character, just maybe not long lasting interest holding abilities. I'm starting to lean towards an Iwagumi-esque aquascape. Maybe different plant selections. For some reason I'm thinking low tech all of a sudden. Back to the drawing board for a bit. Thanks for input!
     
  10. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Keith means physical character, like texture and angles. It gives the rocks a very aged and interesting look.
     
  11. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That makes sense now. When I first read it, it seemed a bit too matter of fact. Thanks for clarifying! The research continues...
     
  12. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    One material that is both easily found and aesthetically pleasing are black lava rocks. If you go to your local rock yard, they should sell various sizes and shapes. Pick a few that have interesting character and play around with them. Buy more than you need so that you have options if one doesn't work out the way you thought it would. Here's a video of Takashi Amano creating an aquascape using black lava rocks:
     
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  13. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    @J Art What state do you live in? some other users may be able to help you with your rock search.
     
  14. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Wow, Those lava rocks look fantastic. Thanks Solcielo. I will absolutely look into these. @lucasgg Connecticut here.
     
  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Sorry about the confusion about the "character" of the rocks.

    With the Aquascape you want to create the rocks are the main feature and must be perfect.

    When you go to the rock yard make up a cardboard box (no front) the same size as your tank by doing that you can play around with the rocks that will work in your small tank area.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  16. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Great idea!
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Its one of the best ways to work on hardscapes, I have been recommending that method for many years.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  18. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, I've looked into the Iwagumi style a bit more and although I could create one with the rocks I have, you guys are right in that they aren't the most interesting looking for a true Iwagumi. So instead, I've decided to go for more of a mountain range scene.

    Equipment, substrate, etc. are on the way, but in the meantime I'm still working out a rock layout.

    More critique welcome. Thanks.
     

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  19. ashley

    ashley Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The amano video you posted, amano guy he has so many helpers!! Lol

    Sent from my SM-N910W8 using Tapatalk
     
  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    First impression, the large rock in the front is far too big, it would look a lot better if all the rocks were the same.

    For Aquascaping photos its best to photograph the tank not all the extras around the tank.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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