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A recent trip to Japan has inspired within me everything Japanese. I love the culture, the design of gardens, plants, architecture and of course Iwagumi and its placement in all of the above.

Well after working on my Japanese garden, Bonsai, new living room, all in the Japanese design, I finally completed my first Iwagumi designed aquarium. The design is a little different in that the aquarium is placed on an island in the kitchen. So it is designed to be viewed from all angles. My study of rock placement and Amano aquariums does not allow this as there should be a "front," but I am breaking that rule.

My placement has provided a fairly balanced Iwagumi design from all angles with a primary viewing angle which can be considered a front. Essentially with the rocks and substrate in place (after hours of tweaking and tuning ) and water filtered, I am now faced with the real challenge, plants.

Being Iwagumi, I like the minimalist design and dont want to infringe upon the sand and rock. However a few grass like plants to enhance the placement of the rocks. Also maybe a lawn type plant to add.

For lighting I am starting now with only a 40w flourescent light that is used for growing plants. I have an additional bulb that could be added if I need to go to 80w. The tank is a 30 gallon breeder which is perfect for this aquarium. I really like the depth provided by its width and the low profile. The ballast sits right on top of the aquarium so 100 of the light gets to the aquarium.

I am not using CO2 since I am not sure its necessary if I am only going to grow a sparse grassy plant. With that said I am thinking dwarf hair grass is the way to go given my requirements. I dont personally like the look of the bubble counter with CO2 and am looking into ways of injecting CO2 directly into my canister filter tubing.

I do want the plants to thrive and not simply exist so if CO2 is required I will have to consider it.

So what do you guys think? Hairgrass with 40w light and no CO2 in a 30 gall breeder tank.

My First post, I think

Dave
 

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Hey Dave, first off, welcome to apc! Sounds like your trip had quite an impression on you.

IMHO you will have problems growing hairgrass with 40W on that 30. Most low growing/lawn type plants require good lighting to keep them low and healthy, or they get long and leggy. Marsilea, might fit your bill best. I have never grown it, but supposedly it is a slow grower and doesn't need as much lighting. I'll let others chime on in on that.

With that amount of lighting, some mosses, ferns, Anubias, and some hardier Crypts would probably make it, albeit, slowly.

Again, welcome to the forum!
 

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With the full 80w and the shorter profile of the breeder tank you may be able to get a lawn of utricularia graminifolia going. Also due to the all around viewing one idea might be to do a center line of cyperus helferi or blyxa japonica or a mix of both. This would almost give you a "back" in the center of the aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Hey thanks for the information. I am going to try the UG in order to create the low carpet of green.

I have posted my pictures of this aquarium. Forgive the low quality as they are captured from a Quicktime movie I posted online. The photos are from the front and the back and you can see how the rocks capture the scene in line with the Iwagumi style.





My goals are to have the UG on the far left and right sides and leave the sandy areas bare to continue the Japanese Garden feel.

Anyone know if I can buy UG domestically, IE in the US?
 
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