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Total rookie


New Member
Thread starter
10 Oct 2023
Good Afternoon,

I am a complete rookie. So far I have the tank and light.

I am wanting to create a Igawumi style set-up in a Scaper 90 tank.

I am wanting to purchase seiryu stone. I am concerned about buying a blind box. Could anyone advise any retailers that let you pick the rocks you would like online??

What KG of rocks would you think I would need for 90l tank dimensions - 60 x 40 x 38 cm

Is setting up a Igawumi style aquarium unrealistic for a novice?

The first thing to spark my interested in years

any advice or recommended retailers much appreciate (are there any in Scotland?

Many Thanks

Could anyone advise any retailers that let you pick the rocks you would like online??
I use GreenAqua.hu/en. Very professional. You can pay them extra to put together hardscape in accordance with a photo/description etc. They have also been helpful to me when not paying extra and just dropping a comment like "30 kg of frodo stone, would like 2 larger stones that fit a 60P to be used as main and second stone + smaller rocks for the rest".

Is setting up a Igawumi style aquarium unrealistic for a novice?
Not at all, only if your expectations on it's look are too high :) YouTube is full of basic iwagumi guides if you search for "Aquascaping iwagumi compositional guidelines" or something along those lines.
You could always approach one of our sponsors for assistance with rock selection, short of that, the only real practical way of doing it is to visit a store or order far more rock that you’d require online and then pick the pieces that work.

The only way to really nail an Iwagumi is by having rocks that all compliment each other in colour and texture.
You’ll only achieve that by having it picked or going to pick it yourself.

The best Iwagumi setups are created from an abundance of available hardscape.
Iwagumi maybe the most difficult to set up and maintain for a first planted aquarium . I agree it's probably best to visit Aquarium Gardens ,Horizon etc sponsors specializing in all aspects of a planted tank. If you can't or on a very tight budget try garden centres and take a look at inert Rockery stone such as granite or slate
I wonder whether this is the right way to begin this hobby. I rather think not.
Besides, given the choice of Dragon Stone, we are unlikely to get anything original.
@Rondon1973, that's a beautiful vision I'm sure you have. Even at this stage, I would be interested in your overall thoughts on the whole package. Given that Seiryu stone (which is very different from dragon stone) is not an inert stone and will in many cases raise your pH and kH, and an Iwagumi layout consumes a lot of tank volume without typically providing adequate cover for many species of fish, what residents were you thinking of for the 60cm tank? Just a word from a novice to a beginner: if you plan to work towards winning the big contest someday, it's worth noting that 50% of the mark at IAPLC is for "Recreation of natural habitat for fish".
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Hi, one of your best bets is Riverside Aquaria, other than that you could drive to Horizon Aquatics but its approximately 3hrs from where you are I believe.

I don't think its unrealistic for you to do an Iwagumi, what i would recommend is that if you are confident with the research you've done, get your materials and start a journal while hardscaping; I did this and it really helped with my first iwagumi getting feedback from others on the composition. Then once happy, I would suggest dry starting, to give you a good idea of how it will look when filled, and also give the plants rooting so they don't float up and ruin your display.
Iwagumi forces you to worship rocks while watching patches of one single type of carpet plant spread into an impressive lawn as you stand a sentry's guard in fear of algae's ambush.

The alternative is to worship plants; try growing an assortment, to see which suits your tank's parameters. That way you'll get to learn more about planted aquariums, how each (future, hopefully) setup evolves through different iterations of plant growths.

Your plants will grow and so will you.