33g – Rescape Debut!

January 29th, 2013

This weekend, I decided it was time to rescape my 33g cube. This aquarium has a few other changes, namely that I replaced the 4x24w HOT5 + 250W MH light with two Finnex Ray2 LED bars. It doesn’t take a mathematician to calculate the energy reduction from this change to “a lot.” The amazing thing is that as soon as I put the LEDs on top, the plants in my previous aquascape started pearling more than they normally did with the metal halides on.

33g Hardscape


For the hardscape, I’m using some new Manzanita from Msjinkzd.com that I got over the summer. If you’ve never looked at Rachel’s stocklist, check it out now, as she carries amazing nano fish and inverts for our planted aquariums. For this hardscape, I wanted to do something a little bit different than I’ve done before. I wanted to have the hardscape flow throughout the aquarium in a more artistic way, while still looking somewhat natural.  You can see the bare hardscape above. Since I didn’t soak the manzanita ahead of time, I tied all of the piece together using florist wire so that I could keep them from floating via angular resistance between pieces, and a large rock that I put on the largest pieces for a couple days.

33g Rescape


In planting the tank, I had a bunch of plants from the previous aquascape that I wanted to carryover, namely the Anubias barterii ‘nana petite’, Java Fern ‘Trident’, Cryptocoryne lucens, Limnophila repens ‘mini’, and chain sword. I also pulled some Ranalisma rostrata, Gratiola viscidula, Syngonanthus anomalous ‘Madeira’, Fontinalis hypnoides, Nymphaea micrantha, and Didiplis diandra to the tank. I’m still figuring out exactly what direction I want to take this time in terms of how the plants should fill in, but I’m happy that the first planting is complete and looking forward to see how the LEDs perform in their first aquascape. Comments welcome!

7 Responses to “33g – Rescape Debut!”

  1. Kevin Says:

    Oh wow I’ve never heard of that site (msjinkzd) before. I’ve been working on a small planted tank myself and have been looking for some suitable fish to stock it but have been coming up empty on where to acquire them. Time to kill a few hours looking up each of the species they offer!

  2. Scott Says:

    I love the curves in this driftwood! Is it Malaysian or some similar variety? I would imagine with the twists and smooth surfaces it would be difficult to find. Most of what I have found has been rather boring and simple. This reminds me of the bottom of a trees roots that are submerged into a bog. It is incredibly pretty.

  3. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks Scott. The driftwood is manzanita, also bought from msjinkzd. It’s not sandblasted, so it has a more natural look to it.

  4. Anna Durrance Says:

    Hello, I was doing a google search trying to figure out the best way to display my new Cryptocoryne De Witt and I stumbled upon your blog. I’ve seriously been enjoying reading it. I’m a fish geek myself and I would love to make new friends in the hobby. My cat currently is the only being that shares my passion. LOL She does get super excited about it to the point it’s comical.
    I look foreward to reading more of your blog.

  5. guitarfish Says:

    Thanks for commenting, Anna! Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘DeWitt’ is a nice variant of C. wendtii that’s a great easy-to-grow mid-ground plant. If you got a pot of it, pull apart the individual plants and plant them individually. That’ll prevent the often root bound plants in the pot from rotting in your aquarium, and will encourage them to grow/spread faster.

  6. Anna Durrance Says:

    Thanks… For the information! I bought a bare root “clump”. I was told planting in clumps not only prevents crypt melt but is more appealing to the eye. I was also told not to get into “collectors” mode because the less types of plants I use the more appealing and less demanding my aquascape will be.Instead I should pick 4 or 5 and plant them in groups.

  7. guitarfish Says:

    It’s definitely true that you might induce the crypts to melt if you trim the roots, pull apart, but they can melt regardless if the conditions they were growing are different from your tank. If you tease them apart, and plant them close to one another, but not as a single clump, they will soon grow together on their own forming a more nature looking clump anyways.

    I agree with the advice that if your goal is to aquascape, you will usually create a more natural looking scene by limiting the number of species you use. Whether or not it’s easier to maintain is more dependent on the types of plants you’re using and their growth habitats.

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