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Critique my aquascape My First Iwagumi Scape

ricardodarmali

New Member
Joined
23 Jul 2020
Messages
23
Location
Jakarta, Indonesia
Hi Everyone,

I have stumbled across this wonderful forum and have done my 'study' in several threads regarding Iwagumi layout, and here is my first attempt to do Iwagumi layout, any feedback, critique are most welcome.

Stats:
Tank: ADA 60p
Substrate: Neo Soil Compact normal 8L + Neo Media Normal as bacteria housing underneath the substrate
Light: Twinstar 600s

Cheers!

Iwagumi Hardscape.jpeg
Iwagumi Hardscape 2.jpeg
 

noodlesuk

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Joined
21 Jul 2020
Messages
245
Location
Oxfordshire
Nice hardscape, like the composition. What are you planning plant wise? Will be amazing with the plants in.
 

ricardodarmali

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Joined
23 Jul 2020
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Location
Jakarta, Indonesia
Thanks @noodlesuk , plant wise I am thinking to go with Monte Carlo as the carpets and would like to also grow Eleocharis Parvula mini next to where the stones are.

Thinking to plant some rotala species (might be the blood red or h'ra) as well on the far right as backgrounds so to have vivid contrast between greens and reds, do you think it will be any good?

Thanks @EA James ! And I can't help but noticed that I have joined the forum exactly on your 1st anniversary :).

I will update the progress of my tank in this thread, once the hardscape settled, I am planning to cycle the tank for at least 2 weeks to avoid any serious algae issue in the future while testing the tank with test kit for ammonia, etc.
 

Andy Pierce

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2020
Messages
76
Location
Cambridge, UK
You probably know this already, but from my experience if you put any amano shrimp in the tank they will very rapidly rearrange your nicely sloped Neo Soil into a perfectly flat layer. :)
 

Yanee

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17 Nov 2020
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40
Location
North London
Ricardo, nice hardscape with great shadows! And I think you can use 2 shades of rotalas at the background to get more vibrant contrast. Also if you use like h'ra and wallichii/or indica, it s mean more texture too. But I really like your hardscape and plant ideas.
 
Joined
20 May 2020
Messages
98
Location
Kew Gardens
A very pleasant arrangement! The rocks are a little small for a 60P and would suit a 45P better, but with some delicate planting they won’t be overpowered and it could have quite a peaceful atmosphere.
 

ricardodarmali

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Joined
23 Jul 2020
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Jakarta, Indonesia
Hello @Andy Pierce , actually this is the first time I have heard such thing, is it because amano shrimp like to dig substrate a lot or they love Neo Soil specifically? - I only have experienced keeping red cherry shrimp previously, and they do dig substrate a bit.. I am thinking to get amano shrimp this time around, what I currently have are 1 oto, 1 SAE and 74 red cherry shrimps give or take, from my previous tank which has just been decommissioned last week in trade of this current layout haha..

Thanks @Yanee ! Happy to hear that, you reckon I should plant the rotalas up to the far left corner of the tank or should I stick with only far right corner? I am going for the bushy look of rotalas, hope it can grow that well in this tank.

Thanks!! Yes indeed I am going for that peaceful serene look, with a little more colors than just greens, the inspiration came after I watch one YT video titled 'Iwagumi layout with colorful plants @glasscanvasart .

So far I have filled up 3/4 of the tank with RO water (currently waiting for my RO gallons to fill back up), I have checked water parameters prior to the deployment, here they are:

  • pH I reckon should be in the range of 6.4
  • Ammonia 0
  • Nitrite looks like somewhere in the range of 0.25
  • Nitrate 0
  • TDS 18

API Test Results.jpeg
TDS Test Results.jpeg
 

Yanee

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17 Nov 2020
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40
Location
North London
Hey Ricardo, if I put bushy rotals at the back, I would do this. Just play with those beautiful rock forms! But that is your great hardscape, I m sure, you will do a cool planting. 😁
 

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ricardodarmali

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Thanks @Yanee for the suggestion! I will definitely weigh on your inputs when deciding planting position and hey thanks for the sketch! A bit of visual person myself :thumbup:

Thanks! @Plant Heathen , hope everything goes as per planned.

Day 2 update:
Tank flooded yesterday and I have dosed it with 5 ml Seachem Stability as per suggested on the bottle.
Done water tests for the second day, it looks like the cycle has kicked off already from below readings:
  • pH in the range of 6.8
  • Ammonia 1.0
  • Nitrite looks like somewhere in the range of 0.5
  • Nitrate 5.0
  • Water change 10%
  • TDS 234 (From TDS 18 RO water yesterday!!)
  • Decided to put the aerator feature on my SunSun skimmer so it helps with the bacteria
Flooded tank.jpeg
Water parameters 2nd Day.jpeg
TDS 2nd Day.jpeg
 

ricardodarmali

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Day 3 update:
I am happy as the cycling looks like it is well on track.
Done water tests for the third day, and got below readings:
  • pH in the range of 6.6
  • Ammonia 0.5
  • Nitrite looks like somewhere in the range of 2.0
  • Nitrate +/- 40 ppm
  • Water change 10% RO water
  • TDS reading 208
Cheers!
Water parameter test 3rd Day.jpeg
TDS 3rd Day.jpeg
Seachem Stability dose.jpeg
 

RudeDogg1

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3 Sep 2010
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Barnstaple, Devon
How have u managed to start cycling after 3 days? I did a 6 week dry start and I’m on my 3rd week of it being flooded and nitrites and nitrates haven’t budged but the plants keep taking the ammonia
 

ricardodarmali

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Jakarta, Indonesia
Hi @RudeDogg1 , the Neo Soil that I have used in this setup comes with bacteria starter (little round black pills that are to be inserted in the bacteria housing - for this purpose I use Neo Media Normal that comes free with the soil), also I use Seachem Stability which has nitrifaction bacterias. I believe the ammonia are leached by the soil itself, so it must be the nitrification bacterias in both the bacteria starter and Seachem Stability that plays a role in kicking off the cycle really. - I am not a pro, maybe some senior members could point out whether my opinion is spot on or not.

Only parameter that I need to check but I haven't is silicate, I don't want to spend another dime on test kits so I think I will address the issue with doing daily 10-30% water change in the first 2 weeks.

Cheers!
 

ricardodarmali

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Have you tested your water parameters? On my previous set-up I didn't do a proper cycle and planted the aquarium on day 2 (but I use ground water at that time and I didn't test for water parameters), skip forward 4 weeks I would have different type of algaes - diatom, BBA, hair algae, and what have you. So I am doing all this in hope for less troublesome start..
 

ricardodarmali

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Day 4 update:
Cycling still in progress, done water tests for the fourth day, and got below readings:
  • pH in the range of 6.6
  • Ammonia 0.25
  • Nitrite looks like somewhere in the range of 2.0
  • Nitrate +/- 40 ppm
  • Water change 10% RO water
  • TDS reading 195
Cheers!

Water parameter test 4th Day.jpeg
TDS 4th Day.jpeg
 

ricardodarmali

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Day 5 update:
Cycling still in progress, done water tests for the fourth day, and got below readings:
  • pH in the range of 6.8
  • Ammonia 0.0 (I hope there are enough bacteria colonies to decompose ammonia already)
  • Nitrite still high in the range of 2.0
  • Nitrate +/- 40 ppm
  • Water change 10% RO water
  • TDS reading 183
Cheers!

Water parameter test 5th Day.jpeg
TDS 5th Day.jpeg
 

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