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Rocks and stone, who needs them anyway?

Alfie.A

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13 Feb 2021
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Ramsgate
I have recently decided to rescape my 180l, I've replaced the previous mismatch of substrates with dennerle 10 in 1, nyasa sand and tropica soil: used to create a mound at the back and somewhat stupidly capped with sand, more by accident of losing control of the 20kg bag. My Kribs have helpfully dug a pit into the aqua soil, no biggie as the goal in this tank is to go biotope (ish) and my little rainbow Kribs will eventually have a tank of their own. I digress. So I've been agonising over what stone to use, I want something light and fairly inert, dragon stone is my go to, but I just don't want it in this scape, I want pebbles and boulders to replicate a stream. So what I should of done is get all my materials together first and not act like a 5 year old and go crashing straight into substrate replacement, needless to say I went crashing in. I have some lovely bogwood and I will arrange these so they flow with the vallis at the back. Do I need the rock? I'm unsure if a stream style biotope will work with out it, I plan on dumping a butt load of oak and beech leaves in with some more botanicals to get my tannins going. I don't know kind of rambling now, so yeah rocks for a stream scape, wholly necessary? Any nice alternatives to pebbles and boulders? Fish will be Pentazonas and Harlequins with two krib squatters until I sort them out their own tank. I'll post some pics once I've sorted the bogwood situation out and my plant order comes in.
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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1,572
Hi, I think it depends on the stream. Blackwater or slightly tannin stained water like it sounds you are wanting, can be wood dominated. I wouldn't sweat it to much. It's probably bad advice but I'd see how the tank looks with just the wood and plants, you might feel it needs more or it might look natural without. I often find that once the plants have grown in you barely see any of the hardscape so it's not really that important (that is the polar opposite to most aquascapers though). Sounds like a fun project.
 

Alfie.A

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13 Feb 2021
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Ramsgate
I've just added the bog wood and it looks pretty good. Definitely needs more litter. I've got some more crypts on the way. I'm not sure how the valis is going to cope when I start to lower the pH a bit further. I think I will add some river stones at some point, if only to raise the wood up a bit more. I still need to tinker with the bogwood a bit, I may remove the Java fern from the large piece so I can flip it over and position some of the longer pieces slightly differently. I'll plant the crypts around the borders of the wood and I've also got some spikey moss coming to attach to some of the wood. My cherry shrimp are loving the botanicals that are in there currently, I'll look to add some more and more leaf litter.
 

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