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Borneo stream DOOA H36 mizukusa mistwall60


1 Feb 2022
Hey guys,

PS: Figured I post this journal here as well. 🙂 The posts below are from the past when I set this up approx in November of 2021.

Here is my second attempt at aquscaping. After my first ADA 60 Aquascape (see ADA60p Iwagumi scape) and a lot of obsessive YouTube (watching Greenaqua, ADA and other aquascaping videos over the years), I found that I really enjoy diorama scapes which give a sense of scape to the layout. Particularly, I was super inspired by some of the amazing scapes at ADA Poland by Adam P (see some of the amazing videos made by George Farmer and Green Aqua of Adam's gallery). Therefore, I decided to focus my next tank towards a wild scape with a lot of above water/underwater elements such of mosses, epiphytes, orchids and ferns. Among these groups of plants, I really got interested in the variety of Bucephalandra in the hobby. Now, my other hobby is growing Carnivorous plants and almost 7 years ago, I had the privilege of going to Southeast Asia to see some plants in their habitat. Little did I know in those amazing river crossings and crystal clear streams, I totally neglected/missed taking pictures of all the amazing aquatic plants including Bucephalandra species in the habitat. Nevertheless, bringing both my passions together, I figured I wanted to make a snapshot of my vision of a fast-flowing mountain stream with Bucephalandra in the habitat. I did a lot of research for inspiration and tried a lot of mock scapes with the materials on-hand to come up with this tank.

This is the main equipment I wanted to use for this vision:

A DOOA shallow tank H36
DOOA Mizukusa mist wall
UNS mister
Ecotech XR15FW pro Gen 4
ADA ES-300 V2
Amazon random submersible pump
ADA cube cabinet
Manzanita and random wood
ADA Sansui and Koke stones


Original concept:

With that concept, after months, I finally set up the tank. It is always super difficult to re-make the same exact scape.

I also made a DIY light stand to finally use a pendant light and get a more classy look on the tank.



End of part 1... next step...the actual substrate process and scaping for real...

I wanted to maximize the planting area in the scape and give a nice perspective by using smaller plants at the back. It was really difficult to achieve the same scape and stability. As a result all my neatly arranged under substrate layer was totally ruined. As a result I had the hard task of picking individual power sand and pumice pieces to clean up the final result. This was my first attempt at making a scape using superglue to ensure it was fully stable. I am very pleased with the result and I think it definitely achieved my vision.






It took a while to figure out the back right, but I finally ended up with this (given my limited amount of stones I have). Here is the substrate all mixed up with the Aquasoil.



This was my best attempt to clean it up: this is my final scape


Planting. I wanted to go for a ADA Poland style minimal scape with no stem plants...these were my choices. I am very happy with the way the perspective turned out after initial planting...but I was in for a surprise as the plants have now grown in...mostly... but I guess the carpet failed when I tried to remove the chunks of UG and replanting it..only to kill it in the process.







Final shot after setup:



I've always wanted an ADA superjet filter


it took a couple of years to get all the pieces in place. I am glad I finally am able to make the full ADA setup.

For now the wall seems ok (thankfully)..the only issue I am having is with Bolbitis difformis which has melted and rotted away.. But the Bucephalandra seems to be doing ok for now. Even some Bucephalandra on a metal mesh has put its roots into the mat at the back through the air gap. I do manually mist the wall every time I pass by the tank with a hand sprayer.

Here is the tank as of now: Feb 16, 2022


you can see the only inhabitants of this tank here


Here is the tank after trimming/maintenance. It is a very different feeling to maintain this tank. The juncus goes too wild and has to be trimmed or pulled out in a way that preserves the vision but doesn't make it artificial.

Loving the mini fissidens



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The next phase was preparing for entry into my first aquascaping competitions. Here is the tank maturing:
Meanwhile, I switched from the ecotech fixture to a RGB VIVIDII fixture and that makes the colours pop.




Unfortunately, the blue rasbora don't seem to survive long term with me. I had 20 of them at a point and they just either jump out or randomly die. I had much better luck with chilli rasbora in this tank.
That is a really nice build and scape.
Thanks! 🙂 Appreciate it ! 🙂

Cutting to 6 months after setup, I submitted this work to IAPLC 2022 competition and the AGA 2022 paludarium contest

This was the shot submitted

Another angle


My IAPLC ranking wasn't very high (since they discard anything above the waterline). Yet, I am happy to receive world ranking 1285 .

Then, I submitted my entry in the AGA 2022 contest and remarkably won rank 4 in the paludarium contest. It was truly a great result and I was super happy to receive such a positive reception.

Awards and Comments​

Top Five

Tremendously beautiful. The density and lushness of the mosses quite literally everywhere cannot be understated. There are details all over this scape that after longer examination can be appreciated for their full beauty.

The Utricularia carpeting is done with care and great success as it shows a careful control over the plant and an understanding of how to grow it well. The submerged portion alone is impressive but when combined with the impactful foreground of the emersed region and its lush background the entire display holds together well.

Brilliant work.

— Jack McCarley
I like your pleasing transition from the land to water area. Nice job with that! I would like to see a broader selection of plants on the back wall rather than solid moss and the dark area on the left feels quite heavy in comparison to the rest of the display.
— Karen Randall
Your plants are all very healthy! I think adding moss along the left and right emersed branches will help conceal your constructive elements (terra tape + cotton thread) and will help create a more natural feeling overall. The lava stone on the left emerging out of the water has a very flat face lacking character. Consider a different stone choice or using multiple stones broken up that you then plant moss on to have the land area continue seamlessly into the water area.
— Alex Vella
This leads me to NOW.... Feb 2023. 😉

This is the tank as of now. As you can see ... the UG carpet is gone. Part of this is my own doing: I wanted a thin substrate line, but the shrimp don't let that be. I also tried uprooting and replanting UG and that doesn't work. The remaining UG is now completely smothered my rare fissidens and other micro mosses all over the tank/wall. As you can see, the fern has overgrown the hardscape. I like the wild look but it is always interesting to see how nature can do its own thing. I tried to take much care with the placement of my plants and the plants had their own ideas. 😛




Shrimps completely run this tank and I don't mind it one bit. I super dig my pure red line shrimp. I am sure there are a couple of hundred shrimps in here. They are best seen at night when they are most active.

This is really beautiful!
thanks 🙂

Beautiful tank! I actually prefer the 'now' shot over the IAPLC one, personally 😉
haha! yea. I do like the grown-in look as well, However, I am more annoyed of loosing some of my rare ferns and mosses. But as we all know, plants do their own thing. Now with this experience, I will try ways to properly trim some of these mosses for better management.
Looks amazing! How do you keep the humidity up? It is open so does the mist wall work enough to stop the mosses from drying out or do you have additional spraying (manual)?
I worry about having something in my flat, which has quite dry air in the winter from the central heating.
Thanks everyone 🙂
Is it relatively easy to m bring them back? Hope you don't mind me asking...
If you are getting a couple of plants, maybe, but not a whole carton. lol. Hence, might be easier to get a couple of cups.
Looks amazing! How do you keep the humidity up? It is open so does the mist wall work enough to stop the mosses from drying out or do you have additional spraying (manual)?
I worry about having something in my flat, which has quite dry air in the winter from the central heating.
The water on the wall is enough to keep it humid. I did forget once to turn the filter back on for a few hours and the top of the moss dried out (hence the U shape bend in the moss wall). With that being said, I do spray the plants on the wood on top once a day to keep the orchids from drying out. Some orchids on the right dried out and died, but the pack on the left is now dying from rot: As the moss grows thicker, it creates new channels for water to run and if that is in the path of the orchid, it becomes too wet and rots. Hence, it is a balancing act and you need to keep an eye on it.
Oct 2023 pics

It is always a rewarding and satisfying feeling to admire our planted tanks right after maintenance. I can’t believe this tank is already 2y old this month. The number of minute details, unique and rare plants/mosses alongside the scampering pure red line shrimp always delight me. I am very proud of this slice of nature that I have achieved. Of course not everything is perfect: over the two years, I have faced staghorn algae, still suffer from blue green algae on the walls of moss, plants and mosses smothering slower growing species, tons of aquasoil being dragged onto the sand by shrimp, the inability of shrimp to allow me to have any semblance of a inclined substrate, and most of all, nearly 30 or more nano fish that have jumped out of the tank or died. The rabbits foot fern is also smothering all my orchids and killed some of them. It shows you that a dynamic living ecosystem such as this is constantly changing and in flex. Yet, the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. I am always conducting regular weekly 50% water changes and the low bioload allows me to only do a filter maintenance once every two months. My next iteration would be to get rid of the ugly clothes hanger that I use to hang the light. The small pump that I have used to circulate the water also didn't work as well as I would like to (fern roots blocked the path of the water + cheap amazon pumps start making a lot of noise).