My first crack at an actual aquascape

mytmouse

Member
Hey Everyone!

It's been a while since I've posted, but I'm back with the bug! LOL I'm currently setting up a 10 gallon tank for a pea puffer or 3. (Not sure just yet) My plan was to do an Iwagumi style tank with dragon stone, butttt the stones I ordered were just a tad too big to go with 3. I've got a plant pack coming that I'll plant heavily... it'll be awhile before I ever get fish in it, I want to let the plants do their thing and gain an understanding about what I can/can't do as far as light and ferts. I might throw a few Amano's in there or something. I've got a sponge filter that's seeding in my established tank. it will be in the back left corner. Welp here she is... Please excuse the hard water stains... I gotta bust the razor out.



What do you guys think? This is my first go at it so I'm open.

Thanks in advance!
 

Betta'sAnonymous

Member
I like those rocks and the placement. Should look pretty neat once the plants get going!
 

Pfrozen

Member
Beautiful substrate if you know what you want to do in terms of ferts and what kind of lighting you want I would be more than happy to help with your questions
 
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mytmouse

Member
Thanks Betta'sAnonymous and Pfrozen ! That means a lot, my nerves get bad doing something new. LOL! I always look for affirmation before I go all in.

I've already got a good idea of the ferts and have the light already. My larger community tank is planted, but I didn't plan that one out as well. I've got dwarf sag, tiger lotus, an aponogeton ulvaceus, red tiger lotus, rednecki, and a couple others... just a hodgepodge that I poorly planned. So I'm gonna go with what's working in that setup. Osmocote root tabs and ThriveS has everything growing great! My biggest thing is dialing in the light so I don't get an algae outbreak, hence why I might throw Amano's in at some point. LOL!
 

Pfrozen

Member
mytmouse said:
Thanks Betta'sAnonymous and Pfrozen ! That means a lot, my nerves get bad doing something new. LOL! I always look for affirmation before I go all in.

I've already got a good idea of the ferts and have the light already. My larger community tank is planted, but I didn't plan that one out as well. I've got dwarf sag, tiger lotus, an aponogeton ulvaceus, red tiger lotus, rednecki, and a couple others... just a hodgepodge that I poorly planned. So I'm gonna go with what's working in that setup. Osmocote root tabs and ThriveS has everything growing great! My biggest thing is dialing in the light so I don't get an algae outbreak, hence why I might throw Amano's in at some point. LOL!
No problem lol and yea the sand and dragonstone combo is awesome, love the color of the sand. sounds like you know what you're doing lol stop worrying. ill follow for updates!
 

MartinXIX

Member
I'm a sucker for Dragon Stone so that's an automatic like for me. I think it'll look great with plants and honestly if you went full on rockscape with smaller stones I think it would look great too! I'm usually a fan of seeing some clear parts and not having shorter grass grow all over the place so maybe it would work for you to have plants at the back and sides but have a cool sandy rock clearing in the mid?
 

Pfrozen

Member
what kind of sand is that lol I need to know now
 
  • Thread Starter

mytmouse

Member
MartinXIX said:
I'm a sucker for Dragon Stone so that's an automatic like for me. I think it'll look great with plants and honestly if you went full on rockscape with smaller stones I think it would look great too! I'm usually a fan of seeing some clear parts and not having shorter grass grow all over the place so maybe it would work for you to have plants at the back and sides but have a cool sandy rock clearing in the mid?
Yeah I think I'm gonna stay away from the dwarf sag on this one. LOL! In retrospect I wish I would've gone bigger, but I'm working with a confined spaced and I already had the 10 gallon. I plan on having some nice tall plants in the back and kind of accent around the middle stone with something red and some anubias coming in between them. The bottom left I think I will leave kind of open for the most part. Especially since I want to put pea puffers in there. It'll make life a little easier for me to clean the shells from the snails.

The look of the dragon stone on the other side is AWEEEESSSSOOMMMEEE I'm kind of bummed I can't position it in a way that highlights it. But I like these sides too. I think the biggest thing I'm doing, that I haven't done before is be patient... the plants I have coming, I'm sure some won't work out or look as good as I want, so there will be some rearranging at some point. Also I'm not going to fill the tank until I have them planted and where I want them. I always did it the other way around. LOL
Pfrozen said:
what kind of sand is that lol I need to know now
Shhh... it's just pool filter sand from my local TrueValue.
 

MartinXIX

Member
mytmouse said:
I think the biggest thing I'm doing, that I haven't done before is be patient... the plants I have coming, I'm sure some won't work out or look as good as I want, so there will be some rearranging at some point. Also I'm not going to fill the tank until I have them planted and where I want them. I always did it the other way around. LOL
First off I'm looking for pool sand now if it's cheaper than aquarium brand ones .

Have you considered trying the dry start method? You can keep plants in the substrate but without filling the tank water while they grow. This should allow you to change up the scape how you see fit without having to worry about the roots trying to re-establish themselves in the loose water substrate. This doesn't work for all plants though since they do need to be underwater.
 
  • Thread Starter

mytmouse

Member
MartinXIX said:
First off I'm looking for pool sand now if it's cheaper than aquarium brand ones .

Have you considered trying the dry start method? You can keep plants in the substrate but without filling the tank water while they grow. This should allow you to change up the scape how you see fit without having to worry about the roots trying to re-establish themselves in the loose water substrate. This doesn't work for all plants though since they do need to be underwater.
LOL thanks! It's HTH pool filter sand. Cheap as all get out. I used BDSB sand in my other 2 tanks and got tired of black so I switched it up. But both cheap as all get out.

I did look into the dry start method, but it seemed like that was mostly for carpeting plants. I'll have a little bit of carpet, but I don't think I'm gonna go all out. I'd love that, just not sure how it would work with the pea puffers looking for snails. But for my next one... I might definitely look into it especially since I don't use CO2
 

MartinXIX

Member
mytmouse said:
I did look into the dry start method, but it seemed like that was mostly for carpeting plants.
There are definitely plants you could do the DSM with.
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Red'
Hygrophila lancea
Ludwigia sp. 'Red'
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Anubias barteri

And that's just a few! I'm a pretty big advocate for DSM since my latest tank turned out so well even after being out of the hobby for 8 years since the 8th grade!

I've grown hygrophila, elocharis, s. repens, moss (to be fair moss is easy...), and more with DSM so it might work for you. Whatever is comfortable for you and those great puffers though should be fine.
 
  • Thread Starter

mytmouse

Member
Thanks MartinXIX ! I never knew there were so many other plants that you could use with the DSM! I guess I should've researched a bit more. I'd definitely be open to it, but I've got a ton of plants/trimmings coming...

Alternanthera Reineckii
Ambulia
Anubias
Ceratophillum
Helanthium bolivianum ‘angustifolia’
Hygrophila Corymbosa Compacta
Hygrophila Sunset
Java Moss
Limnophila Aromatica
Lobelia Cardinalis
Ludwigia Repens
Microswords
Montecarlo
Pearlweed
Rotala Gia Lai
Rotala Nenjasan
Rotala Rotundifolia
Star Grass

I'm not sure if they all will take well with the DSM and on top of that I just checked the USPS tracking and of course they're coming late. I'll be lucky to get something alive! Uggghhh! Not all of this will make it to this setup, the ones that don't fit or look right are going in my community tank.
 
  • Thread Starter

mytmouse

Member
Well, the plants got here ridiculously late, over 90% of them were dead. But a few didn't look THAT bad, so I figured I'd throw them in and see what happens. They're going through a mean melt phase, but they're starting to perk up. It has been about a week and a half now. I am just letting it go to see what comes back before I pull anything or plant anything else. Right now, I'm not pleased, but I know it's a process and it'll look better once the plants begin to take root and flourish.


I have learned that Pool filter sand is a PAIN to get plants to hold when using Tweezers. I'm not sure if the Monte Carlo will make it, this tank is low tech so my expectations aren't high, so that might get removed before all is said and done.
 

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