"Mangrove Rockpool" Low-tech 30L Cube


20 Jul 2011
It's been nearly 10 years since my last scape - a 60L Iwagumi (https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/60p-iwagumi-mountain-scape.29806/) and I thought it was about time for a new one in a completely different style. I thought I'd share and log the process with you all again (partly because I may need your help along the way after not running a tank for so long). This will be a jungle / forest type low-tech 30L cube scape kept in my kitchen, which I hope will also be the home to a breeding colony of black and red CRS.

The initial plan is to run the Twinstar LED at 40% for 8 hours a day. I'm contemplating having two photoperiods of 4 hours (6am-10am and 3pm-7pm) - any thoughts on this, especially those who have had success with it would be appreciated. I'll be dosing liquid carbon at 1ml daily but might add pressurised co2 further down the line depending on how successful the growth is without it. 50% water change once a week and I'll use RO water. I've just filled the tank up with only the substrate and hardscape and will leave it like this for 2/3 weeks before planting. Livestock will come much further down the line once the tank is fully established and grown in.




Aquarium: 30x30x30L bought from pets at home years ago
Lighting: Twinstar 300E LED, dimmed to 40% with dimmer/timer module from Aquarium Gardens
Filtration: Dennerle scapers flow with shrimp guard
Heater: SuperFish Nano 50W
CO2: Easylife Easy-Carbo 1ml per day (might add pressurised at a later stage)
Fertilisation: Lean dosing - Tropica Specialised, 1 squirt per week
Hardscape: Redmoor wood + a few bits of Seiryu Stone (Mini Landscape Rock)
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia powder
Plants: Anubias petite, Moss (fissidens, java), Monte carlo, Mini hairgrass, Salvinia auriculata, Mini java fern, Rotala green, Staurogyne repens
Livestock: (To be added further down the line) Crystal rainbow tetra or Mosquito Rasbora, black + red CRS, Otto's, Snails, Pigmy's

Very keen to hear any thoughts, suggestions and opinions along the way.
20 May 2020
Kew Gardens
I can see you’ve done this before and put some thought into it. Plant wise, I’ve had success and failure with Monte Carlo without CO2, depending on how you look at it. I‘ve carpeted it twice, but it has gone to 💩 after neglect, so I’d say it can be done. Hairgrass is currently also working for me without CO2, but beware it grows even slower than Monte Carlo, so would be suitable to play 2nd fiddle rather than as a lush carpet. All the other plants can be done without CO2, though the Rotala won’t look as nice.

btw Easy-Carbo works as an algaecide rather than as a Carbon source, so worth it if used for with the right intentions.
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