I’ve been working on an Iwagumi scape in my bookshelf tank since August. Back then, I spent several days working on the hardscape, using ADA Aquasoil (powder and regular types) to create the mounds. Originally I planted the entire aquascape with an Eleocharis species that I found growing abundantly near my house. In nature, it looked very much like Eleocharis parvula, the 1-2″ tall dwarf hairgrass that makes such a nice foreground plant. Unfortunately, my lights must not be as strong as the sun, and so it turned out to likely be Eleocharis acicularis, the 4-8″ tall hairgrass that remains as my background plant.
About 6 weeks ago, I pulled most of the hairgrass and replaced it with two types of Lilaeopsis, L. brasiliensis and L. sp. ‘micro’. Below, you can see that it’s starting to take off. The hardscape itself has remained pretty much unchanged since the initial setup. I have added a frosted background to the back glass, and finally put a heater in this tank, which has definitely helped to speed the plant growth.
I’m not currently using any filtration, but the two nano powerheads do a good job keeping the water circulated and my weekly large water changes keep it in good condition. The only livestock right now are a Dario hysgninon, a few rosy loaches, and a few baby bristlenoses that I pulled from my 50G. The hairgrass on the right background always seems to want to clump together and lay to the right. I need to figure out how to make it stay more like the hairgrass on the left. Otherwise, I’m really happy with how this is turning out, and am looking forward to it filling in. Comments/suggestions welcome!