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First attempt at iwagumi style tank hardscape help

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Hey everyone,

 

This is my first attempt at an Iwagumi style tank in my 4ft tank. I still need to save up for an LED light and CO2 set up.

 

In the meantime I'm trying to different layouts. I'm trying to do two mountains and a valley.

 

I know iwagumi style tanks are suppose to use only stone as hardscape but I bought this awesome looking bonsai tree and wanted to incorporate it in the landscape.

 

Let me know which one you like best. Any suggestions would be appreciated as well.

 

1. 8530d838f05cbccc3294b6ec14da3b1b.jpg

 

2. 3dc11da9f234fe856e1338151104e488.jpg

 

3. 54a5068069adaaf37979f260de011c2c.jpg

 

 

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yep that's mine, see the diy journal here: 

 

I spent a few months planning and finding the rocks, the key to this is dont rush just wait for the right rocks and leave it set up for a few days, if your happy with one design after a week thats the one you want to use.

 

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Latest improvements are nice. Try leaning the smaller rocks to point more towards the bigger ones, this makes a more triangular picture and can help to create that 'mountain' feel. There are so many rules to follow with Iwagumi but don't obsess over them too much, just find what you like and run with it. Also suggest having your two sides vary more in height.

 

Just my two cents. (bout alll it's worth too :) )

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It might be best to use the two taller pieces together on one side and the smaller ones on the other side in three. make use of the width of the tank too. Looking good, 

Whats your stocking going to be?

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Latest improvements are nice. Try leaning the smaller rocks to point more towards the bigger ones, this makes a more triangular picture and can help to create that 'mountain' feel. There are so many rules to follow with Iwagumi but don't obsess over them too much, just find what you like and run with it. Also suggest having your two sides vary more in height.
 
Just my two cents. (bout alll it's worth too )


Tilted the rock on the left down so it's smaller than the right. Tried to arrange the rocks so they all point towards the big rock.

Whole view
ec4ff48fb4fdc1be4d0e3de38fbfc989.jpg

Left side
38571f30589022ac535936f5febb9c84.jpg

Right side
5d095f2b0efb01d821874cf31df2f914.jpg


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It might be best to use the two taller pieces together on one side and the smaller ones on the other side in three. make use of the width of the tank too. Looking good, 
Whats your stocking going to be?


Stocking as in fish?
Atm I've got 5 cardinals and a dwarf gourami so I'm gonna move them over. Was gonna get more cardinals.

Plantswise I'm tossing up between HC or Monte Carlo for the carpeting plants. And just AR 'mini' for a red contrast towards the back of the tank


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Any updates on the final design?

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I've been starting to settle on this layout.

cdce23002f814573dff2c7db7cfd8173.jpg

I ended up putting the two larger rocks together on one side and smaller on the other lole you recommended but couldn't find a balance with the rocks I had.


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Personally I would try grouping them up as one mountain range and have a path of low growing plants to the tree at the bottom of the mountain. I know this destroys the iwagumi design but worth a try.

End of the day its a personal preference so go with what your happy with.

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Personally I would try grouping them up as one mountain range and have a path of low growing plants to the tree at the bottom of the mountain. I know this destroys the iwagumi design but worth a try.

End of the day its a personal preference so go with what your happy with.

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Yeah I get what you mean. That would cool. I'll try tomorrow one last time to move stuff around. Got some HC and AR'mini' coming in the post the same day so need to settle on a layout soon


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Iwagumi to me is the most beautiful aquatic display going around and when done perfectly or close to it look stunning.

Personally I wouldn't use the tree, I'd stick with the stone only, either group them together or have two groups, no stones sitting in straight lines, have them on angles, but the thing is, if you are happy with what you have created, then run with it, don't listen to critics too much, it's your tank, your display, if you like it, run with it.

You have everything here to create something very stunning, also use some smaller leaf plants and it'll look mint!

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I'm not a huge fan of the tree but I think the way you currently have it is the best way to include it so far. My reasoning for not liking the tree is not because it isn't a nice piece, but because it stands out a bit and draws your eyes, and I feel that should be the job of the fish once introduced. If you are introducing smaller cardinals etc then there is a risk in my opinion that your eyes will be drawn more to the tree than the stars of the show. Having the tree off to the side kind of reduces that in my eyes. 

In the end though, the tank is for your appreciation above all others so go with what looks appealing to you.

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I've been tossing up whether to put the tree in since I know Iwagumi tanks generally are made of only stones. But I saw an amazing moss tree in another tank and really really wanted one in my tank.

I positioned the tree on the far left of in the hopes that the tree would grab attention and lead the viewer towards the right where the 'mountain' is since the tree points to the right.

I originally placed the rocks and tree's using the golden rule with the tree at 1/3rd of the tank and the 'mountain' at 2/3rds but it didn't have the same scale.

I think I'm set on this layout for now.

Thanks for everyone's input and recommendations. I'm just waiting on some HC to get started.


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The way you have your rocks spaced out looks unnatural

Google image iwagumi, look at how closely rocks are spaced apart, usually they're touching or very close

You also want to tilt your tall long rocks at least a bit, having multiple rocks placed vertically isn't great for the visual effect

Practice on arranging a clump first, don't worry about trying to fill out the rest of the tank. Get a nice clump formation and work from there

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Tree with no moss = meh
Tree with moss = OMG THATS AWESOME!!!1
 


Yeah I'm planning to get some moss for the tree. Any recommendations on which one makes the best tree?


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US Fissidens and mini taiwan moss work out nice for bonsai trees imo!


Any recommended reliable suppliers?


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Most mosses seem to work well in my experience. Have had great success using willow, and peacock/xmas. The best IMHO is fissidens but its pretty slow. Looking at how its going to contrast with the surrounding plants is the best way to choose, but also not exactly easy before the surrounding plants are there! You are just down the road from us, could always drop in and have a look.

 

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Most mosses seem to work well in my experience. Have had great success using willow, and peacock/xmas. The best IMHO is fissidens but its pretty slow. Looking at how its going to contrast with the surrounding plants is the best way to choose, but also not exactly easy before the surrounding plants are there! You are just down the road from us, could always drop in and have a look.
 


Yeah I got my tank from you guys. Last time I was there you didn't have any US fissidens in stock. If you guys could get some I'd definitely get some off you.

I'm not having a lot of plants in the tank. Trying to keep it simple for now. Just having HC as carpet and some AR 'mini' in the back to give a bit of contrast


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