33G: New Aquascape

February 10th, 2011

I finally took a break from my on-going home improvement projects to rescape my GLA 33G rimless aquarium. Being inspired by Ghazanfar Ghori’s aquarium at the last GWAPA meeting, I wanted to setup an aquascape with a sand foreground, using some of the same type of rocks he used. I also wanted to utilize a pile of branches I had laying around.

33G New Hardscape

As far as plants go, I wanted to use the Hygrophila pinnatifida that I got at the AGA auction last fall. I’ve been growing it out from tiny plants straight out of tissue culture, so it’s taken a little while to get enough for an aquascape. My goal was also to keep the aquascape fairly minimalist, using only 3-4 species of plants, any heavily relying on the hardscape.

33G New Aquascape

After planting, the tank’s water was quite cloudy, but it’s looking pretty good this evening. To supplement the H. pinnatifida, I used lots of Trident Java Fern. I also placed a number of Fissidens covered rocks around, and planted some Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, which I hope will cascade up and over the rocks to soften the cracks between them.

33G New Aquascape

All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this aquascape has started out. I’d love to hear and comments/critiques you may have.

9 Responses to “33G: New Aquascape”

  1. MaryD Says:

    Impressive! Is the trident the brighter green and the pinnatifida the slightly redder one? I understand H. pinnatifida grows out a fair degree, so it should fill in nicely. The fish looks happy, too!

  2. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Mary! The Trident is slightly brighter, yes, but the leaf forms are very different. The Hygrophila has pinnatifid leaves. You’re correct that the HP does get redder as well, although mine’s staying more of an olive green with some reddish color here and there. See Tropica’s website here for a closer picture:


    So far, my experience has been that H. pinnatifida does send out a lot of runners, but older stems will grow upright. So, I’m hopeful that it will fill out and up. 🙂 It’s a very interesting plant!

  3. Johnny Dinh Says:

    Scape looks great! I see that you continued the same style aquascape going from the back right leading to the front left corner. Those rocks look very nice and give the aquascape a lot texture and character.

    I am thinking about doing a sand foreground aquascape myself. Keep it up!

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Johnny! Yeah, the tank is just inside a doorway, so it’s viewed from the left and front-on. That kind of dictates the flow of my aquascapes. I agree that these rocks were a lucky find. I’m looking forward to your new sand scape. 😉

  5. Alli Says:

    I really love the way you have the branches in there! I like all the different textures.

  6. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Alli! I’ve been wanting to use these branches for a long time!

  7. Tim Says:

    are those branches designed for aquarium use, or are certain types of common branches acceptable for aquariums?.

  8. guitarfish Says:

    Tim, these are sandblasted manzanita branches. The biggest thing to be sure with branches is that they don’t contain sap that can poison the water. For instance, you would never use pine branches for that reason.

  9. matt Says:

    i think the branches are too uniformly pointed in the same direction. it looks unnatural, forced, and draws the eye up and out of the scape. perhaps the rightmost group can be faced the opposite direction to add more balance?