NATURE IN THE GLASS ‘A simple Iwagumi aquascape with a powerful impression’

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal

A simple Iwagumi aquascape with a powerful impression
produced with a combination of a stone arrangement and soil mounding

This is a simple layout produced with three Ryuoh Stones. Because of its simple composition, the substrate was mounded high toward the back intentionally to enhance the sense of depth. Although the Oyaishi seems to be oriented backward in comparison to a typical Sanzon Iwagumi layout, the Oyaishi was placed intentionally to go against the water current implied by the mounded soil in order to produce a forceful image of giant rocks protruding from the ground stripped of the surface soil.  HC (Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’) was selected for its small leaves to let the aquascape appear expansive. A modest number of small fish were put in the aquarium to accentuate the size of the Oyaishi.


Shooting date: June 8th, 2018(ADA)
Creator: Yusuke Homma
Aquarium: Cube Garden W60 x D30 x H36(cm)
Lighting: Solar RGB x 1, turned on for 10 hours per day
Filter: Super Jet Filter ES-600 (Bio Rio, NA Carbon)
Substrate: Aqua Soil Amazonia, Power Sand Advance S, Bacter100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC
CO2: Pollen Glass, 3 bubbles per second via CO2 Bubble Counter (using Tower)
Additives: Green Brighty Neutral K, Green Brighty Mineral, Green Brighty Nitrogen, Soft Water
Water change: 1/3 once a week
Water quality: Temperature: 25ºC; pH: 6.8; TH: 20 mg/l

Aquatic Plants:
Hemianthus callitrichoides ‘Cuba’

Fish & Invertebrates:
Danio sp.
Crossocheilus oblongus
Otocinclus sp.
Caridina multidentata


Using Wabi-Kusa HC and powder type Aqua Soil
Planting HC to prevent a mounded substrate from disintegrating

The slope of the substrate in this layout is very steep due to mounding the soil very high. Although HC was selected for planting, it was feared that the slope may break apart since it would take a long time for HC to spread its roots to retain the soil if it was planted in the normal manner. Therefore, Wabi-Kusa HC was placed to cover up the sloped surface. Some Wabi-Kusa pieces were cut to fit small areas. Filling the gaps between Wabi-Kusa pieces with powder-type Aqua Soil stabilizes the Wabi-Kusa and encourages the aquatic plants to grow well. BIO Mizukusa No Mori HC was also used to fill some gaps at the front of the aquarium.
Wabi-Kusa HC pieces were placed over the entire sloped substrate surface to prevent the slope from collapsing. BIO Mizukusa No Mori HC was planted in the front of the aquarium.
Photographed on February 17, 2018.

HC is currently available from ADA in two forms: Wabi-Kusa and BIO Mizukusa No Mori.
*Bio Mizukusa no Mori is possible to purchase through ADA distributors.
When Wabi-Kusa HC grows and starts to float, sprinkle powder type Aqua Soil over the plant to bury its roots. Doing so encourages the plant to grow vigorously.
Filter media needs to be cleaned periodically since black beard algae tends to grow on stones when the media becomes dirty. Pro Brush and Pro Picker are handy for algae removal.

Nitrate tends to accumulate and causes algae to develop more in an Iwagumi layout planted primarily with underbrush plants than in a layout planted primarily with stem plants. Therefore, it requires more frequent water changes.