First Tank Ever - Hardscape Attempt

Dejen

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Hi all, I've got a 20-Gallon Long tank that I just set up a hardscape for. It's both my first tank and my first aquascape and it took quite a while to set it up. I know I made a few mistakes and the end result is quite a bit messier than I had envisioned (I'll keep tweaking it before I try to get plants) but I really loved the process and honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.

IMG_20190601_174700.jpg


I had the tank before I had my substrate and stones (which are Okho Dragon Stones, got 20lb of them). So, while I was waiting for my stuff, I started out with some sketches...

IMG_20190601_174519.jpg IMG_20190601_174525.jpg IMG_20190601_174514.jpg

Then, this morning, I started with the substrate. I think I made the mistake of trying to sculpt the substrate before I had added my rocks. One of the main reasons my final product is not looking too clean and crisp, yet.

IMG_20190601_103908.jpg IMG_20190601_105540.jpg

Began to add and position the rocks.

IMG_20190601_112649.jpg IMG_20190601_112653.jpg

As I added the sand last, I felt like I finally began to land on what I had loosely envisioned in my head:

IMG_20190601_143258.jpg

Then I added water and everything exploded, lol. I poured slowly and over my hand. There was just a lot of loose dust from the soil.

IMG_20190601_151605.jpg

So far, though, as the dust literally settles, the overall vision seems to have remained intact. The substrate and the sand are not as cleanly separated as I had originally set out to go for, but I'm not too beat up about it. I'll keep

BTW, this is sort of my loose inspiration. If anyone's familiar with the Uncharted series, I really wanted to go for a hardscape that I could imagine a tiny Nathan Drake climbing across.

Jungle Mountain from Uncharted 4
1490742161-1228007071.jpg


Over the next week or two, as I try to get the Nitrogen Cycle started, I'll also be looking into getting some plants. I'm thinking Dwarf Hairgrass, Java Moss, and (if I can find it) Monte Carlo. I really like carpeting, in case that wasn't clear.

I realize it might have been easier to plant some of these things before the water came in, but as a beginner, I just want to make sure I understand the hardware before I bring living things into the equation.

Thanks for reading! Hope it wasn't too much. Really, really stoked to have found this hobby and this forum.
 

Julabean

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Hi all, I've got a 20-Gallon Long tank that I just set up a hardscape for. It's both my first tank and my first aquascape and it took quite a while to set it up. I know I made a few mistakes and the end result is quite a bit messier than I had envisioned (I'll keep tweaking it before I try to get plants) but I really loved the process and honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.

View attachment 561855

I had the tank before I had my substrate and stones (which are Okho Dragon Stones, got 20lb of them). So, while I was waiting for my stuff, I started out with some sketches...

View attachment 561851 View attachment 561852 View attachment 561853

Then, this morning, I started with the substrate. I think I made the mistake of trying to sculpt the substrate before I had added my rocks. One of the main reasons my final product is not looking too clean and crisp, yet.

View attachment 561857 View attachment 561858

Began to add and position the rocks.

View attachment 561859 View attachment 561860

As I added the sand last, I felt like I finally began to land on what I had loosely envisioned in my head:

View attachment 561862

Then I added water and everything exploded, lol. I poured slowly and over my hand. There was just a lot of loose dust from the soil.

View attachment 561863

So far, though, as the dust literally settles, the overall vision seems to have remained intact. The substrate and the sand are not as cleanly separated as I had originally set out to go for, but I'm not too beat up about it. I'll keep

BTW, this is sort of my loose inspiration. If anyone's familiar with the Uncharted series, I really wanted to go for a hardscape that I could imagine a tiny Nathan Drake climbing across.

Jungle Mountain from Uncharted 4
1490742161-1228007071.jpg


Over the next week or two, as I try to get the Nitrogen Cycle started, I'll also be looking into getting some plants. I'm thinking Dwarf Hairgrass, Java Moss, and (if I can find it) Monte Carlo. I really like carpeting, in case that wasn't clear.

I realize it might have been easier to plant some of these things before the water came in, but as a beginner, I just want to make sure I understand the hardware before I bring living things into the equation.

Thanks for reading! Hope it wasn't too much. Really, really stoked to have found this hobby and this forum.
Wow! Your hardscape is absolutely stunning! I love Dragonstone, but don't have enough space for it in my 30 long. You can find Monte Carlo for cheap on Ebay or on . Good luck with the plants. That is still a work in progress for me. I just overhauled my tank and the last step is to add some Manzanita wood branches.
 

wrs2

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That tank looks awesome! I bet it will be a stunner once planted.
 
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Dejen

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Hi all, just an update on this hardscape. Added the rest of my hardware, driftwood, and a few plants (java moss, criptos, and a few others):

IMG_20190622_121802.jpg


Nice job!! Enjoy the process!
Thank you - that's definitely my priority.

Wow! Your hardscape is absolutely stunning! I love Dragonstone, but don't have enough space for it in my 30 long. You can find Monte Carlo for cheap on Ebay or on . Good luck with the plants. That is still a work in progress for me. I just overhauled my tank and the last step is to add some Manzanita wood branches.
Thank you so much! I'm looking around at all my options for plants. I've found a few good LFS in my area and some of them also deliver. I've also used Amazon once and it worked out well.

That tank looks awesome! I bet it will be a stunner once planted.
Thanks so much! It's a work in progress and I want to fill up the back a bit more, but I think it's certainly coming alive.
 

Dechi

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Very nice set-up !

I just started my new tank about 3 weeks ago. I started with some plants, then bought some 1-2 grow from the internet then bought some again from my LFS this morning.

I waited to make sure I wasn’t losing to many when they melted, before buying some more. This is so much fun, isn’t it!
 
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