Saturday, March 5, 2016

"64.8L Passionately Curious": Hard-scape Setup

Finally, here comes the hands-on session for the hardscaping setup. To create the backbones of the aquarium, I have read through many resources and studied many layouts. It is really convenient to do research nowadays with tremendous resources from the internet. Also, thanks to AquaticQuotient forum, I got many helpful advices from the experienced hobbyists. It makes the learning process much shorten and enjoyable.

I decided to choose triangle style for my first planted tank since I was so impressed by the work on "Sticks & Stones" layout from James Findley. This layout was chosen based on the available driftwood and stones that I have on hand. Process of hard-scape setup was described on the photos sequence below:-

I use this drain board to cover the tank bottom to prevent direct contact of stones to the glass surface, which may cause cracks due to point load. With this board, force would be distributed more equally on the glass surface.
Two drain board were nicely fit in my 2ft tank
After that, ADA Amazonia Aquasoil (Powder Type) was added with slope upward to the back right corner.
I also use post-it notes and marker to draw the guiding lines which followed "rule of thirds" accordingly. The front part was marked with 2.5cm for minimum soil depth required, so that I would not keep it too thin.
Big piece of driftwood was put as the focal point of the aquarium. Counterpart is a smaller piece on the other side. River pebbles were added to give balance feeling.
From the top view, I tried to create more space for planting at later stage.
Plastic card case was used as substrate support in my layout.  
Small pieces of plastic were used to support the substrate base
Substrate support was pegged into aquasoil and covered later by another thin layer later to make it invisible.
Finally, the hardscape setup was done
I am quite happy with the final product and the process was really enjoyable. I also found out that sometimes the piece of driftwood or rocks that I like at the beginning might not be suitable for my layout eventually. Hence, the more materials that you have, the better. More options, more choices. The next step is equipment setup. :)

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