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Old 09-04-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
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Thinking Iwagumi Style

Hello all, I'be decided to pop on here to get some much needed advice before I make any grave mistake.

I've recently set up a new 10g tank in my apartment. Currently the setup is pure fake...fake plants, fake rocks, fake gravel. Im at university in Iowa in an area with one marginal fish store that offers little help. I'm looking to take this tank to the next level and try out a style I've been eyeing, namely Iwagumi.

I'm not looking to nail the style on the head, but I am hoping to achieve that tranquil, minimalistic aquascape instead of the standard fakescape I have. The questions I have right now are:

1. Can I accomplish a relatively inexpensive setup for a 10g tank?

2. Is this this type of tank possible without a co2 injector and expensive substrates?

I'm currently in university so spending large amounts of money on an extravagant setup isn't in the cards, and I know little about the costs of getting this type of tank up and running so shoot me down if this is a bad idea. Thanks for any input!
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Old 09-04-2011, 05:59 PM   #2
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As I understand it all that you need for a basic Iwagumi are 3 rocks and 2 types of plant, 1 carpeting and one that grows longer eg HC and dwarf hairgrass. I'm in the process of doing the same thing in a 3.5usg shrimp tank.As for a planting substrate I'm not sure what is available in your part of the world but here it seems you can spend as much as you like on the stuff. For me the most expensive part were the rocks at just over £8. The plants were £2 - £3 per pot (I got 1 dwarf hairgrass and 2 hc) and the subsrate was £5 for JBL Manado. I already use co2 liquid in my 10usg and a weekly liquid fert so I'm just going to use the same thing in this one and decide if I need better ferts as it goes along.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:24 PM   #3
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Well that doesn't seem too terrible, but I do know ill have to ship just about anything I want here...the aquarium hobby isn't too popular in Iowa it seems.

Your reply does make me hopeful though ad that doesn't sound too expensive, nowhere near what I was afraid it would cost.

Whats your take on not using a co2 system?
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:07 PM   #4
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I started using it in my 10usg as I my hc kept dying on me so I thought I'd give it a bash. I priced up the cost difference between liquid and a system and basically the liquid came in at a significant saving (based on the size of the tank, for my 70usg community a system would be cheaper if I was to dose it with co2, which I don't ) and as I'm doing this as a hobby and not a living I opted for the less expensive of the 2 and the plants are doing really well. As for this 3.5, well I only planted it yesterday so I will see how it goes but I don't think I'm going to change from liquid co2, if anything changes it will be the ferts.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:03 PM   #5
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Sounds like some sort of co2 liquid additive would be the right way to go if I find that the plants are struggling. What I'm curious about now is where to find various aquarium sized rocks. I know that the local store here only carries driftwood, and I don't recall seeing much at Petco last I was in the city.

What I'm looking for is a rock similar to either of these:

Screenshot by Lightshot
Screenshot by Lightshot

I most definitely could probably just go out one day and sift through the rock piles down along the river, but those are generally very smooth and won't contrast very well with any sort of grass or short plant. I like the look of either the rounded white rocks or the sharper, severe lava like rocks, but I can't figure out the right place to purchase these for the life of me.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Those are nice looking rocks. Luckily for me my lfs has quite a range of rocks and I spent about 1 1/2 hours sat on the floor playing with formations of different types. I must have looked like a nutter lol. The ones I got in the end are sort of sandstone looking with some interesting (imo) marbling. I'll upload some pics as soon as I get my camera working.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:48 AM   #7
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Hey JD, I'm in the exact same boat as you. I'm in Des Moines Iowa and am looking to do an Iwagumi, as well. All set but for the rocks. Only 4 stores in the dsm area and no suitable rocks. A place in Cedar Rapids had some great Lace and Lava Rock in all sizes. Let me know if you track anything down, I'll do the same.
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