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Subtlefly
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Hi Team!

So the tank has been commissioned and paid for.  Final dimensions are 900x400x200, rimless, 10mm PPG starphire glass, polished edges.  

Now trying to think about design ideas

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Idea 1 would be a 5 stone layout with a split or canyon between the main and second stone.  This layout would attempt to play with the scale- seeming like a vast landscape.

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Idea 2 uses larger stones and breaks the surface - I think the sense of scale would be changed here and would not seem so large - more like one mountain monolith.

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Idea 3 brings the scale to 1:1 and uses some kind of tree roots to create a creek or river bottom.

What other ideas could work?  I guess I will have to see as I try to find what kind of hardscape I can actually source.

Thanks for any and all advice or ideas

Have a great day

Edited by Subtlefly
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I hope the tank doesn't take too long to make, and everthing arrives in good order!

As you say you are planning on Cherry shrimps things should be fairly easy and straight forward with regards the type of substrate and rock and cherry shrimp are quite adaptable! As you say, you will have to wait and see what rock you can get before you can really settle on a design/layout etc. Substrate usually falls into 2 types, inert or soil, whereby the soil reduces/buffers the ph (you don't need the buffering with the cherry shrimp as they prefer higher PH) but looks more natural and is good for plants. We have a new soil substrate which is made by tetra (german I believe, and quite new) that doesn't alter/buffer the PH but I don't know whether that is available to you in Australia, but that would be the best for both cherry shrimp and plants? You can just use gravel or sand with cherry shrimps if you don't want the soil?

I assume the tank won't be covered therefore it may suffer from evaporaton and this will need to be TOPPED up with RO (or equivalent) water otherwise there will be a build up of TDS over time? If your rainwater you plan to use has a very low TDS you may be able to gat around this so you won't need to buy RO water etc! You can't really go any further with this aspect though until you have tested your source water!

I hope you manage to source some great rocks for the scaping!

Simon

 

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I've always like Iwagumi style scapes. So I'm partial to idea #1.

It suits your tank as well, being shallow.

 

Have you seen Bonsai moss trees for aquariums? Those root driftwood can look really good in a tank. Just got to get the right size for scale.

Aquarium moss tree Bonsai Driftwood BSD 12 inches tall | Etsy How To Make Aquarium Bonsai Tree - bonsai tree Introduction to Aquascaping Tools (2)

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Yeh I think these Bonsai trees are really nice but wife says a hard no, she thinks they are naff (not her exact term).. so that one is off the list.  

I know that having the tank is a long term thing and I will probably be able to try out many variations as I go, but I am keen to try to really end up with something that is super cool and attracts attention to be able to sit and look at it for a long time at a stretch and find things to appreciate.  

I like the idea of the simplicity of an iwagami scape, but I know this is easier said than done.  Also I really want to have some crags and holes for shrimp and other things to hide and have cover- so crags and some splits between the rocks should be good and look great.

One thing the tank maker said is that these shallow tanks are particularly made for emergent scapes - where the rocks or wood breaks the surface..

Also if there is a way to get good looking hardscape on the cheap?  I have found an Australian store in Brisbane that will let you pick your own Seiryu stone and pay for it by the kilo - sounds like they have a huge pile that you can rat through.. $6.00 a kilo if you get more than 20kg...  but it would make me happy if i could find a sneaky alternative from a landscaping place or some other tricky alternative-  

Bundaberg has heaps of volcanic stone laying around (there are piles of it next to every agricultural field that has been pulled out and put aside over time) - but I wonder if all the bubble holes in the volcanic stones would mess with the sense of scale - not the same I think as a really nice aquascaping stone?  What do you guys think?

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Just a word of advice for someone who has spent decades on this planet!

In my experience trying to cut corners with cost NEVER pays off in the long term. You end up with inferior quality and not what you really want and will probably niggle you every time you look at it. With something as beautiful as you are planning it is worth paying extra if there is something you really want and then you will be happier with the result and probably save money/time anyway as you won't want to change it later! The rock is going to be the main item in the tank visually so don't sully it by getting anything you REALLY want as you will be looking at it everyday! 

I have lava rock but it isn't very pretty or inspiring, I got it just for the variety/unusual appearance, and that it doesn't alter PH as I was planning on Caridina! 

Simon

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I recently did a simple scape in my 5 gallon shrimp tank just using spiderwood and the result is awesome I don’t have any shrimp in the tank yet but there’s loads of nooks and point on the driftwood that shrimp can sit on and pick off. I think with the shallow tank some emerging wood with moss growing on it would look awesome. And then some small rocks where the wood comes out of the substrate. Maybe 3 or 4 for each price of wood. Then I used a dark inert substrate sand that’s quite coarse which means I can still clean it without sucking it all up. And as for growing plants often shrimp don’t require hard to keep plants but if you do want to keep some fancier root feeders just grab some root tabs. 
 

B

I recently did a simple scape in my 5 gallon shrimp tank just using spiderwood and the result is awesome I don’t have any shrimp in the tank yet but there’s loads of nooks and point on the driftwood that shrimp can sit on and pick off. I think with the shallow tank some emerging wood with moss growing on it would look awesome. And then some small rocks where the wood comes out of the substrate. Maybe 3 or 4 for each price of wood. Then I used a dark inert substrate sand that’s quite coarse which means I can still clean it without sucking it all up. And as for growing plants often shrimp don’t require hard to keep plants but if you do want to keep some fancier root feeders just grab some root tabs. 
 

B

Whoops did it twice.

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Here is some idea of what it might look like using locally sourced rocks in a cardboard model of the tank..

any thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks all:)

sub

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12 hours ago, Subtlefly said:

any thoughts or suggestions?

Looks good ! But I feel that small rock to the far right is out of place.

Either remove it or use it else where.

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Here is the latest version

spacer.pngspacer.pngStill playing around with the small rocks - but main question is - what do you think about the big one coming out of the water? !!

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It does add an extra dimension having the rock come out of the water like that.

When I did my Betta's tank yesterday I noticed that one of the anubias (?) has grown tallerr than the water so was sticking out, I liked it, unfortunately when the top is on the tank you can't see it protruding from the water with the condensation on the top but I like the look! Of coarse without the top it will suffer from evaporation so will need regular topping up with RO water TDS 000?

Simon

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Ok team,
So I think this is getting close to a final layout plan- I like the texture of the big rock being on the surface, I think it stands out, the only downside is having the space on that side of the tank where the plain end will be under the substrate. Other weird thing is that for some reason I wanted to get the flow to run from left to right and now it is going to be right to left.. not sure if that makes any difference.

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That would definitely be my pick of the layouts thus far!  lIve with it for a few days to get a feel for whether you like it or not, theory rarely beets actuality! It looks more natural, though adding the small stones will have added a new dimension, but to me it just looks right!

Simon

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Do you know what the rocks are? Have you tested them to see if they are inert and won't affect the tank parameters? This is less important if you are planning on cherry shrimp than caridina shrimp!

You can test with white vinegar. Also if yu have a couple of buckets put some water in both and test they are the same, then in a week or so retest that the waters are stil the same!

Simon

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You need to progress to the next step ... scape it in a dry tank WITH substrate.

The substrate adds another dimension.

You will either finalise or change it completely. But you won't get there until you try your design in a tank with the substrate.

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Thanks guys- Rocks are volcanic some sort of grey basalt or granite.  I am soaking them for the next Week or so and changing water every other day so will do some testing.  Blue dream cherry shrimp or fire/bloody mary is the current thinking on shrimp choice.

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