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Iwagumi attempt

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Eboeagles, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    I've been very reticent of posting any pics of my first Iwagumi attempt because I'm still a total newbie and can just about keep the hardy plants alive! But I was desperate to have a go as they were what got me into this hobby in the first place.

    So down came my jungle style first ever planted attempt (you can see this in my evolution of the edge post if your interested) and in came this after weeks of demo hardscapes. Its now been running from the 10th March and so far not bad...

    Comments and critiques welcome please.

    I initially tried UG for a small carpet in the centre (around the Edges good light area) but after initially thinking it was doing well (it seemed to spread and grow) it started melting. This was my third attempt at this plant so I just pulled it out.

    Specs wise:

    Fluval Edge
    Fluval Edge Filter
    Newattino Plus Heater
    ADA Amazonia 2 (only in the central area) capped Argos play sand
    Dragon stone
    CO2 injection 24 hrs 1 bps (Im currently using TMC expert set)

    Flora:
    Mainly...
    Eleocharis Acicularis
    3 or 4 stems of Blyxa Japonica
    4 pads of Round Pellia (I think)

    Im also in the middle of trying some HC I've grown emersed on small lava rocks & a couple of pads of fissidens

    Obviously due to the constraints of the Edge I have always planned to concentrate the planting in the centre with a lot of space at the front and sides. My main inspiration came from George Farmers Project Scree Iwagumi.

    So here we are - I've recently chopped the grass hard so it will spread and I have a lot of runners so once this has recovered I'll post up to date pics.

    10th March - Hardscape in
    [​IMG]

    Pellila in
    [​IMG]

    Planted & filled
    [​IMG]

    24th March - signs of growth
    [​IMG]

    I love this angle
    [​IMG]

    This is my first time using sand & I have trouble when the filter is on full as it tends to blow it around a bit - in particular creating a hole at the front - but I've fiddled to control this a bit.

    Be gentle with me...
     

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  2. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    kudos! I love the hardscape considering it's a EDGE..:) Plus don't take it hard but maintaining sand is a bit tricky. And I love the planting as well. Will keep an eye on your thread for progress.. :)
     
  3. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks for the kind words! And Yes I'm already finding the sand time consuming!
     
  4. Kalan850

    Kalan850 New Member

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    lovin the hardscape. how long has it been planted?
     
  5. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks.

    Its just over a month since the start - I planted on the 10th march.

    I'll take some new shots after water change this wknd.
     
  6. Scorpio

    Scorpio New Member

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    Nice.
     
  7. ruson

    ruson New Member

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    looking nice ! XD
     
  8. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Some updated pics from last week:

    Before trim and water change. I've been pretty happy with the pace of the hairgrass growth.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After a trip to the amazing living waters just outside London I came back with two pads of Riccardia chamedryfolia which I had to add in, so these were initially placed in the front - but since the water change I've moved these in between the main rocks as I prefer the space at the front.

    I'm wondering about creating a mound at the back and carpeting the Riccardia chamedryfolia - a kind of green hill? But I'll leave as is for now and see how the grass fills in or alternatively as per my original plan I may just move and replant the slow growing Blyxa at the back more centrally to the rocks so that there is a more of a focal point and hopefully this will also hide the filter inlet.

    I'm still thinking the whole scape is a little 'orange' due to the rock and sand but I guess the more the plants grow the less this will be the case.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The sand has been tricky to maintain as suggested by Abhradipand I've also just started to get little patches of BGA on the sand on one side - not quite sure why? A couple of weeks back I changed my ferts to EI and I'm double dossing what I should be, so I'm a little confused as my nitrates should be pretty high. I'm guessing poor flow? I'm finding a cheap Turkey baster pretty handy for picking this and other debris up though.

    Comments and advice more than welcome

    thanks for looking

    phil
     
  9. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Phil looking really nice!

    The first couple of posts it was difficult to see the depth because of the angle of the photos. With your most recent photos, the frontal shot shows the depth, but looking at it, I think the depth could be enhanced by raising the substrate bed. I know that it's probably too late to do that now. However, I think the placements of the rocks are very good to provide some illusion of depth in that tight space. Lastly, the HC on the rocks is a good and bad thing. I see it as an interesting element to the aquascape, but I think I would prefer clean rocks and the simplicty and texture it brings to the rest of the aquascape. Obviously, it's all preference, but these are my two cents worth and I hope they help. ;)

    Overall, really loving the aquascape though. I think it's very clean, especially with the white sand. How you keep it so white is a mystery to me.

    -John N.
     
  10. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    Is the sand very fine? If so I've found that detritus builds up and it just chokes it impossibly quickly, more flow helps but it never seems to be the cure, not in the way that stirring it daily with a pencil or similar is but even that is sort of a compromise.
     
  11. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Nice! I really liked the pix before the trim growth was very good..:) Now BGA attack is kinda bad, I would suggest making a movement of the sand layer via hand just before WC..should do the trick..:) If possible reduce the fert dosing to half for a bit for 2 weeks and observe changes if visible.
     
  12. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    thanks all.

    John I think your right on both counts - on the next water chance I may dump in some more sand at the back and middle to see if it helps - it was supposed to be higher as per my initial shot without water but I didn't bargain for such a big slump and the water compacting the sand so much - never used it before though and always learning! loking at the progression in the shots as well its got gradually flatter, so I may need to get some more plastic supports in - some of these are already poking out from where I've had the slippage.

    As for the HC - I'm in total agreement I really wanted it to drape over the rocks and it has started to, but I'm not sure about it. I think I'll keep it there until the grass has grown in more and then whip it out for contrasts sake.

    Garuf the sand is pretty fine - I'm not sure I can achieve more flow in the Edge so I think its just a case of constant attention with my handy baster and Abhradip thanks for the advice water change due so I'll give it a go.
     
  13. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    Try cleaning the filter more often too, I wouldn't reduce ferts though, good way of triggering a bloom. Keep an eye on things and see where it goes. If it gets out of hand black out and a massive clean of the tank.
     
  14. kemal

    kemal New Member

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    Location:
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    Beautiful stone as its texture, and a good selection of plants..;)
     
  15. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    A little update.

    I added some more sand to the back as suggested by John + I added in 5 more stems of Blyxa as I was finding it painfully slow to grow.

    After ridding myself of the small amount of BGA, I was hit by a small amount of BBA on the top of some of the rocks. I've scrubbed the rocks and dosed excel so I'm hoping it wont return. I'm figuring it was down to my fluctuating CO2 injection - I always planned to use my FE but the Mrs wasn't having it as it was on show so I stuck with my TMC set with no solenoid and its difficult to set it at the right rate (too fiddly) - I should have sorted this by next week a I've collected most of the parts I need for an upgrade.

    Anyway on with the show:
    FTS
    [​IMG]

    The best Edge shot
    [​IMG]

    Fancy shot
    [​IMG]

    I guess its also about time I introduced some of the inhabitants:

    I have two Scarlet Badis which are fast becoming my favourite fish - they each have a little territory and they are forever stalking through the grass like tigers - not to mention the way they swim like little humming birds. Just beautiful...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I then have two blue neon rasbora - I wanted more but the rest in the shop were either not for sale or in quarantine, so I think I'll grab another 3 or 4 when they are ready:
    [​IMG]

    Lastly I have three friendly ottos and what seems like millions of various snails, that have not been introduced purposely. Rather than bring on my assassin from my other tank I'm told snails can help lower the water hardness so I'm leaving them be and hoping to introduce some crystal black shrimp for some contrast.

    As always thanks for reading and very interested to hear all your thoughts
     
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  16. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Phil, the aquascape is shaping up really nicely. I'm like you, I can't wait till the Blxya grows in for this layout. I think it will really add some shape to the background and help frame the rocks.

    I've never head of snails lowering the calcium and water hardness levels. That's interesting, do you know why or how?

    -John N.
     
  17. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks John. Impatience seems to be my middle name!

    Re the snails it was on another forum - I was told that Ramshorns soften the water thru shell growth. Thats all I got - no evidence or anything but I've ordered a GH & KH test kit to see. I also acquired one of those pillows, but I'm hearing conflicting things on whether they work or not. Either way we'll see soon.

    Anything to avoid the extra expense of RO water, but as I'm sure you know this is a rather addictive hobby so you never know...
     
  18. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    A small update as there is not that much to report since my last one which is a bit frustrating...

    The grass is filling in and spreading everywhere - I've had to keep pulling it out from the front to keep the foreground clear. The Pellila has also gone nuts, so I've harvested quite a bit of this. I've also pulled out the pads of fissedens as I've decided this gives it a cleaner look. Out came the HC on the rocks for the same reason.

    I've never had success growing HC before but in here its going great guns - there is some round the back of one of the rocks on some lava rock which is difficult to get an pic of. A shame I've not gone for a carpet in here, but it's given me the confidence to try it in my other tank which I've just rescaped (again).

    The Blyxa however is slow going I'm not really seeing much growth so as of yesterdays water change I'm up'ing the CO2. I've still had a bit of CO2 trouble as sometimes the solenoid seems to decide not to switch on? Fingers crossed I've corrected this now.

    Currently there is also a mini java fern in between the focal rocks but I don't think this is going to stay and I forgot to take it out for the shots.

    Room lights on:
    [​IMG]
    Edge shot:
    [​IMG]
    Room lights off:
    [​IMG]

    As always comments welcome.
     
  19. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    great pics! Sweet stones and very well arranged. Score!! Wish it was mine.;):)---R
     
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  20. Eboeagles

    Eboeagles Aspiring Aquascaper

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    H
    HA your way too kind! I would have liked better rocks but hey... I'm never happy!
     

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