• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Critique my hardscape Iwagumi's are hard!

Aqua360

Member
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
Iwagumi's are hard!

I'm trying to obey the law of thirds, along with a general sense of direction with my stones, and an uneven number (7), but I'm not sure about the below, thoughts?

Not sure if the collection of stones are perhaps too small also?
PXL_20210517_223416897.jpg
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
444
Location
DE
Achieving a balanced Iwagumi scape is always a challenge. But the height/width ratio of your tank makes it even harder than it would be in a wide, shallower tank. In any case, the volume of rocks you have is insufficient given the height and total volume of your tank. You can consider adding two large rocks placed according to the golden ratio. One option is to have the tip of the larger rock at ~2/3 of height the tank. Other option is to go really big and have the tip of the larger rock breaching the water line, which would probably look nice in your open tank. Note that the largest rock you have at the moment does not even reach half of the tank's height. In this process you will also need to raise part of substrate significantly and stabilize it. Consider adding lava gravel to the bottom and maybe a plastic egg crate structure to help raising the rocks and to save soil/substrate. A couple of scapes below in tall tanks from EALPC and Green Aqua.

As an alternative, you can try a "minimalistic" Iwagumi scape with a lot of empty space. But those are even harder to balance and the examples are mostly found in shallow tanks, not in tall tanks.

Have fun!

1621427136809.png
1621427610201.png
1621427676985.png
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
Achieving a balanced Iwagumi scape is always a challenge. But the height/width ratio of your tank makes it even harder than it would be in a wide, shallower tank. In any case, the volume of rocks you have is insufficient given the height and total volume of your tank. You can consider adding two large rocks placed according to the golden ratio. One option is to have the tip of the larger rock at ~2/3 of height the tank. Other option is to go really big and have the tip of the larger rock breaching the water line, which would probably look nice in your open tank. Note that the largest rock you have at the moment does not even reach half of the tank's height. In this process you will also need to raise part of substrate significantly and stabilize it. Consider adding lava gravel to the bottom and maybe a plastic egg crate structure to help raising the rocks and to save soil/substrate. A couple of scapes below in tall tanks from EALPC and Green Aqua.

As an alternative, you can try a "minimalistic" Iwagumi scape with a lot of empty space. But those are even harder to balance and the examples are mostly found in shallow tanks, not in tall tanks.

Have fun!

View attachment 169043View attachment 169047View attachment 169048

Thank you for the feedback and detailed response! 😁

Will look at getting more rocks and egg crate!
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
Back again 😂

I switched to a narrower tank, same length and height. Grabbed a couple extra rocks also, with the below result.

Still not convinced, I think it's that big rock at the right, it lacks character and is difficult to position, I also think I'll need to grab the egg crate to raise it a bit to the right... Thoughts?
PXL_20210819_185213332.jpg

PXL_20210819_185220755.jpg

PXL_20210819_185225821.jpg
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,694
Location
Lancashire
All the rocks are all similar angles Green Aqua observing the lovely rock scapes at Ada Gallery noted some postioned in the opposite direction created "tension" in the layout . In your set up the end stone left try maybe. The Ada set ups are huge tanks though.
 

Geoffrey Rea

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
27 May 2017
Messages
1,776
Location
Cambridgeshire
Just a suggestion but the two rocks that appear to lend themselves to the maximum character change:

1629449684067.jpeg


Twist the red around to broaden its appearance. It’s the dominant stone of the scape. The green can be angled down:

1629449804810.jpeg


Focal point being here:

1629450109418.jpeg


Leaning rocks towards the front glass can create shadow and depth in the foreground. However, as you say it is a narrow tank so the foot print will make this difficult without causing maintenance access issues.

Final suggestion, slope your soil lower at the front to higher at the back to gain more depth. This really counts if you are doing a carpeted Iwagumi for example.
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
All the rocks are all similar angles Green Aqua observing the lovely rock scapes at Ada Gallery noted some postioned in the opposite direction created "tension" in the layout . In your set up the end stone left try maybe. The Ada set ups are huge tanks though.
Thanks for feeding back, this is a good point, I'll try this change and post pics!
Just a suggestion but the two rocks that appear to lend themselves to the maximum character change:

View attachment 173330

Twist the red around to broaden its appearance. It’s the dominant stone of the scape. The green can be angled down:

View attachment 173331

Focal point being here:

View attachment 173332

Leaning rocks towards the front glass can create shadow and depth in the foreground. However, as you say it is a narrow tank so the foot print will make this difficult without causing maintenance access issues.

Final suggestion, slope your soil lower at the front to higher at the back to gain more depth. This really counts if you are doing a carpeted Iwagumi for example.
Thanks for this, helps to see it illustrated as you have, I'll try this change and post pics!
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
Have attached some updated pics following feedback @Geoffrey Rea @PARAGUAY

Some very minor changes to rock positioning in some photos, but have tried to reflect the suggestions in a few of them, alongside a couple of new positions that don't really work.

I'm quite drawn to third image

PXL_20210820_161342041.jpg
PXL_20210820_161028859.jpg

PXL_20210820_161117727.jpg

PXL_20210820_161606815.jpg
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
So after deciding that I hated my previous attempts, alongside advice received, I got more rock, substrate, and took to watching and looking at tonnes of iwagumi content 😂

I've came up with the below, which I'm 90% happy with, it probably violates a tonne of unwritten rules, but after trying many conventional designs, I decided it's got to be expressive of the scaper, so here we are.

The first person to feedback has kindly advised it looks like "two frogs humping" 😭😂🤔

Ps, I need to clean off the rocks toward the bottom left, covered in dirt while positioning!

PXL_20210823_192146161.jpg
 
Last edited:

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
And...planted.

Settled on monte Carlo, cause it always comes through for me, I was going to do dwarf hairgrass but I think it might have been just a bit too big for the Scape. Just need to settle in now and hopefully see some good growth in the next month or so!
PXL_20210823_195835678.jpg
 

Ady34

Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
27 Jul 2011
Messages
4,991
Location
Co. Durham
Love the progression through rock collection and swapping the tank out. The final composition is light years ahead of the first iteration and you should be proud.
“two frogs humping” unfortunately cannot be unseen and adds a nice humorous element to the scape and perhaps even a journal title should you choose to create one 🐸🐸 Maybe two frogs in the pond would be more pc.
Good luck with the growing in…..
 

Aqua360

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,899
Location
paisley
Love the progression through rock collection and swapping the tank out. The final composition is light years ahead of the first iteration and you should be proud.
“two frogs humping” unfortunately cannot be unseen and adds a nice humorous element to the scape and perhaps even a journal title should you choose to create one 🐸🐸 Maybe two frogs in the pond would be more pc.
Good luck with the growing in…..
Thanks for the kind words!
Yeah I think that's going to stick 😂
 
Top