The Enchanted Cave in a CADE River 1500

When Nature Aquariums in Mont Albert Melbourne asked us to help out with a CADE River display for their CADE Gallery we jumped at the opportunity.  I don't get the chance to scape as much as I'd like so spending a few days on site with a blank canvas and an unbelievable amount of hardscape materials at my disposal was a lot of fun. 

The tank chosen was a CADE River CB1500-1 450L Open Top Opti-Clear tank set measuring 1500mm x 600mm x 500mm high. It's one of my favourite sizes to scape in, perfect dimensions for almost limitless possibilities. 

What started out as an image in my head then developed into a rough sketch which finally eventuated into this elaborate rock structure appropriately named 'The Enchanted Cave'. Watch the video below to see how it came together. 

The concept was to create a hollowed dormant eroded volcano forming a cave and channel to a land beyond. Not something I've seen before in another Aquascape or even in nature for that matter but definitely a cool idea. Within this hardscape we aimed to create depth perspective and when planted you will view a distant lush miniature mountain scape through dense flanking foreground shrub with mosses of varying types lining the cave walls and path.

The hardscape was created using a rock called Pagoda Rough, the soil is Fluval Stratum, lighting is Maxspec Razor and CO2 Injection is a CO2PRO Professional kit running a 2.6kg Keg King cylinder.

The rock Pagoda Rough comes in a few versions, all with incredible texture making it perfect for creating a miniature landscape effect. The 2 prominent plant species we've chosen are Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo' for the mid ground and background with Cryptocoryne parva for the foreground, a slow growing crypt that has fine and short leaves. 

Currently the tank is planted and establishing and if you're in Melbourne drop into Nature Aquariums and check it out.

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