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Teak Root Mini 2


23 Aug 2009
London, UK
It's been an interesting year and a half and I (think) I've learned a lot.

I'm ready to tear down my tank and start anew. I like the nano layout, it allows you to make mistakes without serious financial consequences. It does however allow you make mistakes very easily. One small change can have a very big effect when the body of water is so small.

That said, I'm going to go for an Iwagumi style layout again. I want to keep it pretty simple, four varieties of plants at most and this time one large stone, with two other smaller, almost buried stones. I think a bluish/gray stone like Ryuoh or Seiryu stone would be ideal.

For plants I'm thinking a mixed carpet of the following:
  • Marsilea hirsuta
  • Glossostigma elatinoides
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides
I'm not sure how tricky a mixed carpet is to do though?

And I also feel I need a background plant to add a little texture to the scape. A plant I love, and want to try (though I feel that maybe it's better suited to non-iwagumi layouts?) is taxiphyllum barbieri. Alternatively I was thinking maybe the reddish background plant used in the aquarium below. Can anyone identify it?

ADA Mini M by Johnny Ciotti, on Flickr

Just brainstorming at this point but any input appreciated.
Rotala indica. I've always found java moss to be somewhat invasive. If a tiny piece gets loose in your tank, it can stick to places you don't want it to go wild. Once it goes in a tank, it doesn't come out again :bored: Have you considered Fissidens fontanus?
Very strongly agree with comments on java moss above, it's a pain in the a!? to manage. There are better mosses out there but fissidens is a beauty, see my journal and what this moss looks like 100cm optiwhite - the learning curve | UK Aquatic Plant Society

I couldn't get java moss off my scape many years ago in another tank, the stones that I had cleaned thoroughly or so I thought when I had to empty that tank, came back a year later on the same reused stone even though it had sat dry for over 10 mths. If you are determined to use it however, do it with care but whatever you do, do not let it get into your local water ways either as it is extremely invasive. Best to dispose your trimmings in the black bin and not even the brown waste.
Thanks for the comments. Think maybe I'll stay away from moss until I've mastered some of the less invasive plants. I'm thinking Manten stone or Ryouh. Anyone know why this stuff is so crazy expensive?

Any alternative stone suppliers from the UK which anyone can recommend? I tried a few garden centres near me and they seem to have stones with cut markings or at least one or two clean cut edges.
Hmmm, decisions, decisions:





The fourth pic looks very promising. I am not an aquascaper at all but IMHO i feel it would like really nice if you

1) move the tall left most stone to the spot where you have placed your current 2nd stone from the left & then just slant it to direct to the rear upper left corner of your tank .
2) move that current 2nd left small stone to the spot just infront of your current tall left most stone so that the small stone is placed in the foregroundish area. Then slant it down to face the right upper rear corner of your tank.

Just saying .:oops: It looks lovely either way anyways.:)
Yeah, I like 6 too but wife said it was too circular and unnatural. 7 followed but she didn't like that either.

Told her to show me how it's done and she made a few tweaks coming up with 8. Think 9 is the final layout and a combination of 6, 7, 8:
Teak Root Mini 2 - Layout by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Time to order the plants and get it wet!
Plants arrived today:
  • Glossostigma elatinoides
  • Hemianthus callitrichoides
  • Rotala wallichili
9038383702_a434f5d51c_c.jpg LEO_5485 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Thankfully the wife helped prep them whilst I planted. I think I could have done with half the plants if I was being stingy. But having seen slow growth in the past along with algae at the early stages I figured I'd rather spend a little extra and have a greener tank quicker.

Pretty standard stuff. Take out the stones, add more substrate and bank it towards the back. Try to put the stones back in the same postition they were then wiggle them, check my earlier layout pic, wiggle them some more, etc. etc.

9036150949_fb18d94c94_c.jpg LEO_5468 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

9036152369_b48760133f_c.jpg LEO_5469 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

9038377576_c1f70d0d8d_c.jpg LEO_5477 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Finally took some TGM substrate dividers (black corrugated plastic basically) and bank that substrate high. Last time I forwent these and found the substrate with time slipped forwards - very annoying. Substrate dividers come highly recommended from me. Could probably chop up a few loyalty/credit cards and get the same effect ;)

Sprayed the substrate to wet it and prevent it floating when filling the tank:
9038378884_758b45d05d_c.jpg LEO_5478 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Partially filled the tank so the substrate is fully wet and planted HC:
9038382134_6f38cd60ea_c.jpg LEO_5482 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

9036161725_e5b2368999_c.jpg LEO_5488 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Planting Glosso:
9038386632_5888dc1699_c.jpg LEO_5489 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Keep those plants wet:
9036164669_386ebc8923_c.jpg LEO_5493 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Finally planted Wallichili:
9038389512_ca04096e0e_c.jpg LEO_5494 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Then filled the tank the rest of the way:
9036168459_c1a3cd3a70_c.jpg LEO_5495 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Still filling:
9038393110_5824b87a0a_c.jpg LEO_5496 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Still filling (helps to fill it slow unless you want substrate everywhere:
9038394830_2fa48399d9_c.jpg LEO_5497 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Glass hooked up, turn on the filter and CO2 and I'm all done (for today at least...):
9036173657_0a2dc68a8c_c.jpg LEO_5500 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr
That rotala is looking great. Is it the wallichii you mentioned earlier in your plant delivery post ?
substrate in my tank seems to collapse no matter what...grrrr....
That is normal after a while it will just crumble, I am moving back to gravel in my next scape.

This was my tank this weekend after I uprooted a couple of crypts:

Update following hard trim on the Rotala. That thing just grows and grows and is tricky to prune. The cuts need staggering since the tips of the cut ends go black and look obvious:
Teak Root Mini 2 by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

I'm struggling a little with green spot algae though. Dosing EI alternate days so surely I must have enough phosphates to handle it...
Teak Root Mini 2 - Algae by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr

Anyone able to identify this tufty, black algae though? Any suggestions on dealing with it?
Teak Root Mini 2 - Algae by TheLeonRoy, on Flickr
Nice looking tank! Great to see a scape being done nicely with a smaller sized tank. I had similar algae in a tank, found that by having a siesta with the lighting, so 4hours on 2hours off 4hours on etc, worked a treat along with some algae eaters such as shrimp, otos or flying fox. Others recommend flourish excel dosed directly on the algae.
worked a treat along with some algae eaters such as shrimp, otos or flying fox

I agree with having shrimps and otos but they do not do anything to BBA. The fish that actually eats BBA is the Siamese Algae Eater other wise known as SAE but NOT the flying fox which looks pretty similar. Although SAE will eat BBA they will grow quite large and this aquarium in my opinion is not suitable for an SAE in the long run. Flourish Excel or liquid carbon will work against BBA and also manually removing it will do with a toothbrush.