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Permission to 'Scape!


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So we have a 4ft tank in the lounge room, has been there 17yrs.

Don't like the set up much at all - pretty much the general setup: really fake looking plants, fake ship. I'm the one who maintains it, but haven't been allowed to change the setup.

WELL, after mum was looking at my tanks recently, she decided she liked my planted tank so much - I was given permission to scape it. :dance:

After blabbering on about ideas, and showing mum a few piccies, she's decided she likes the iwagumi idea, with a large school of a single species of fish (not sure what... blue eyes come to mind, maybe rosy tetras or something? Just not neons, they never last long).

So this probably won't happen for some time - just ideas going around. Next project is my cichlid tank, then this 4ft. Then work on the wilds again.

I have these rocks out in the shed, not the best pic of them - have since been cleaned and all that - nice and black. What do we think of these (not the wood... that's in the axie tank)?

Looking at the photo, there doesn't seem to be enough for a 4ft I don't think? I have like a 100L container out the back filled with riverrocks and these - positive there are more.


Suggestions, ideas and comments will be much appreciated!

Edited by Sarah
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Plenty of tetras other than neon make good schooling fish:

Cardinal tetras ( for the bluish colour )

Glowlight tetras (for the orangish colour)

Ember tetras

Rummynose tetras

They'll fit depending on your scape, I suppose.

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Ember tetras are another I had in mind.

I did mention to mum that cardinals are a lot like neons - just less fragile.

Currently in the tank are roughly 7-10 Rummies, so could always get a few more if I decide to go with them, or toss them into another tank.


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Thanks guys.

Shall take out those rocks tomorrow, get a pic of how many there actually are.

Oh mum says I can only do it if dad buys me a light for the tank... fine by me, she said she'll ask him later.

Adam - Chilli Rasboras look awesome! Will look into those! Thanks. :)

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There are some good iwagumi guides online so you know what to do :) look up the AGA competition for some inspiration. Can you afford CO2 injection? With such a low biomass it's the best choice and you need higher light to keep a foreground. I vote for glosso :)

Make sure your rocks aren't too "square" a scalene ish shape is best according to Japanese rules. Look into the rule of thirds and the golden ratio in regards to planted aquarium. The ADA catalogue has a fantastic guide if you can find an lfs with it. Was far better than the ones I found online IMO.

I think someone sells chilli rasbora, around $7 from memory. I like embers better for larger tanks :)

PS I think the best tip Wolfgang gave me was scape it, leave it for 3 days, make a few adjustments, leave it another few days, adjust and so on.

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Thanks Matt!

As for co2, do I need to? I am quite fond of the NPT method.

No idea if the rocks are "square" or not, haven't looked at them for a while (like last year :P).

want to come to Syndey and help scape it for me? Bring Wolfy too!

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For the DIY substrates you really need lower light and a higher plant mass. Diana Walstad has an article where she did it successfully, she used heaps of floating plants, your tank is a lot deeper though and you will need much stronger lights, you don't really want the light being obstructed.

My setup only cost me $200 but I only payed for the tank, you could probably set one up with a smaller tank for under $300. Or look for second hand.

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Aah interesting! Should look into that.

Psh mum just came up to me, said she changed her mind (before saying anything bout the co2). She's all like... I think I like a bunch of plants all bunched together... think there is too much open space in this iwagumi method.

In other words she doesn't want the iwagumi anymore.. <_<

Said she would like it like my other tank, filled with plants. There we go then... new plan.

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