Yeah, that’s my tea! The basic hardscape element here. I’m not doing anything without my tea! But good news is Tommy, you get to choose your own music! [Balazs] Because you’re gonna be the main star of this video! Oh yeah! I can’t even choose my own T-shirt, so… It’s gonna be a work in progress the whole day, so we should leave it up, and then people can’t see, what I’m doing. Yeah, just hide the hardscape! [Tommy] Until it’s finished. Ahh! [Balazs] What did you do to Dave Chow’s tank? [Tommy] It wasn’t the idea behind it! [Balazs] Sorry Dave! [Balazs] So shall we go to see, what kind of hardscape you did? [Tommy] Yes, I’ve prepared it, so this is not gonna stay empty for long now! Let’s go! [Tommy] Let’s go! He didn’t say the most important thing! Oh! Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping! So what are we doing here, Tommy? So after quite a while, I’m gonna build a new tank finally, in the showroom. This is gonna be a 120P, inspired by one of my old tanks. Actually it was my best rank, hundred-thirty-something, which is… That’s great! Congratulations! You’re a great Iwagumi scaper. We’re using the Frodo stones, that came from our friend, Adam Paszczela. Yes, and thank you Adam, for sending them so quickly! Tommy has this very distinguished, very clean style and he’s going by the picture composition rules, being a photographer previously and all, even now, I think. Yeah! Sometimes! Without further ado, let’s just let him work! Have a good luck! Thanks, dude! So what you can see at the moment, are the main hills in the aquascape. I don’t want it to be pushed to the glass, like it is now. It’s actually gonna be a bit towards the inside of the tank, but I can’t make it without the soil. And then, I have a lot of these guys. So these are very-very small rocks, and these gonna be some hilltops in the backside, so it’s gonna make it look very-very deep. I want to add a lot of depth to the aquarium. I’m gonna raise the soil, up to about here. And on the other side, I’m thinking about almost fully filling up with soil and having the small hilltops in the backside. In the center, from about here to here, we’re gonna have sand. I’m thinking of ADA Colorado Sand. And it’s gonna be lifted upright to the back, about at least the middle of the tank. It’s quite tricky, to make it stand like that, with sand. My experience is that from time to time, you have to refill the top of it, because it just gets a bit shorter and shorter with time. With these types of aquascapes, you always need to make sure to use very small bits as well. I think it’s better to have an image without the golden ratio, if it looks natural. I think it’s quite subjective. I’m not even sure, if this is perfect for golden ratio. [Balazs] This is golden ratio right here. [Tommy] Yeah! [Balazs] This is golden ratio right here. That’s the basic idea, let’s see if we can make it work! [Balazs] Very heavy! [Tommy] Ah, it’s quite heavy! [Balazs] I don’t know what to do, man! [Tommy] Nah, it’s just two pieces! [Balazs] What? Tropica was kind enough, to sponsor this episode and sponsor this tank behind me. I’m gonna use Tropica substrate, Tropica soil and Tropica plants. This is the base layer fertilizing substrate. The first bag of the Tropica Aquarium Soil. The general plant substrate. Don’t we usually use a step or something? [Balazs] You’re too short! [Tommy] Yeah, I am! This is the first bag, just to start off with. As I’m gonna start putting in the hardscape, we’re gonna start to raise the level of soil as well. I’m gonna start off with this one. As I mostly remember the place of this. You’re gonna find some very small pieces. [Sebastian] This one? [Tommy] Yes! I need a very-very small one. [Balazs] We’ve got a new colleague at Green Aqua, his name is Sebastian. We call him Szebi. I like to start at the front, with the first layer of rocks, because now I actually have about this height behind the rock, which I can easily fill up with soil, without risking it falling to the front. Woah! [Balazs] He’s breaking the step! [Tommy] Yeah! [Balazs] Do you want it like this? [Tommy] Yes, exactly! I think we should leave it now. I’m gonna build up the other side of it and then we’ll see the ratios. Now we have space, to put some plants in the front. This is just for holding the other rock. Now you can actually see what I mentioned before, that it’s not actually touching the glass. [Balazs] How’s your back, Tommy? [Tommy] It’s good for now! I’m only gonna feel it tomorrow morning. It doesn’t really want to stand in the place, I want it to. [Balazs] You want me to hold it? [Tommy] Nope! Good, we’re good! Please let me know in the comments, if this state is actually better, than it was in the original plan, or I’m just making it worse! Found its place! Always trust physics and Nature! [Balazs] Like this? You like it like that? [Tommy] Okay, I can live with that. Now my only issue is that they are actually the same height, with the other big rock. Let’s see if we can push it a bit downwards in the soil. [Balazs] Yeah, that’s it! Now we need some soil. It’s starting to shape up! Can you get me some… these small balls? We get the fish… [Balazs]You’ve got two of them already! Tommy’s balls! Vicky and Orsi’s gonna help us with the planting here! I don’t like it! It’s still not perfect. Actually it’s really hard, to make a hardscape like this, from the start. The one I talked about at the start of the video, that was made in about 8 months time. I’ve made a basic hardscape, I started a tank and then I added details along the way. I’m gonna work with the sand now. [Balazs] I thought you were supposed to put in the sand last, as Filipe told us. Sorry Filipe! This is my way. As you could see, it just started to roll down, so that’s the physical limit of raising sand. [Balazs] So I hammered some stones for you. [Tommy] No, you did not! These have been sent by Adam, for Dave Chow’s event. My aim is that you don’t actually see the back of the tank. So you can see the line of sand coming up here. It just turns in-between these two rocks. It actually adds a lot more depth to the aquascape, because you don’t see, where the road is going. Actually I’m quite satisfied with the look now. We’re gonna start planting. Girls, are you ready? Now I can work. I always liked to use the shortest one available. [Coughing] Regarding pinsets! Yeah okay, so sharp pinsets and small balls. That’s what I always have with me. We are starting off by planting Elatine hydropiper in both sides. By using Elatine, I can actually reserve the texture of the rocks, because it won’t be so high. It’s always good, to have some assistance. Thank you! We usually make sure, that we don’t build symmetrical scapes. Make sure, that you don’t make the planting symmetrical. If the tank is already filled up, and you need to clean the glass with something, you just use vinegar. Or lemon juice, it actually helps a lot. As usually, I’m not planting as dense, as Balazs would do. I actually have this thing, called patience. A very nice part of aquascaping is to see the plants grow, and see the tank evolving. This way, with these kind of carpet plants, with these kind of lights and CO2, so if you have a perfect system, it takes about a month, for these plants, to grow as a carpet. You should spend on more proper technical stuff and proper soils and the hardscape you really want. Because plants, they grow. [Balazs] A lot of plant mass will help with the establishment of the biology in the tank. So you’re not gonna have any algae issues, or… you’re gonna be safer from algae. I’m curious, if we would make a video about two hours of planting. How many people would watch it all the way through. Let us know in the comments, if you want to see a video, like that. Always good to have a few plants right up to the glass, so you can actually see its roots. This way, after a few days you can check, if the roots have actually started to grow. Putting sand and soil beside each other, they will start to mix immediately. Plants themselves, their roots can keep the soil and the sand apart. I’m ready! [Tommy] Oh you’re ready! [Vicky] Yeah! [Tommy] Please come and join me! Dense it up! Okay, so I don’t want them in any new places, just where I already put them, make it more dense. So Vicky, we’ve got a lot of comments, asking about when the next part of Aquagirls Rock is coming? [Vicky] It doesn’t depend on me. Guys? I have some new ideas. What was your result for your first aquascape ever built? It was #394. My first ever application was #1500 something… In the very back, I’m gonna use the normal Eleocharis parvula. I’m not good at calculating the amount of plants needed. [Balazs] What are you doing, Tommy? Just these two! [Vicky] Did you break this? Or another? [Tommy] I didn’t break it, it just made a noise. I’m gonna start to glue the Riccardia, that comes as these small patches. And I’m gonna use the Seachem Flourish glue. If you have rocks this big, you should break them in some parts with some plants. So actually I’m gonna glue some Riccardia in here. I need a lot more details! Especially in the sandy part, it’s way too empty. I’m just gonna pour this in, in-between the rocks and the sand, so that it makes a nice transition in-between them. And now actually I’m gonna pour some sand on top of the gravel, so it makes it more mixed. I’m basically finished! We’ve got to fill it up with water! Cause we cannot leave it like this! Cause the comments are gonna come. [Tommy] I actually left out a plant, a plant called Eriocaulon polaris. Even though they are quite small plants, I think they would be too big for this scape. Yeah, but they will grow this big. And also, very small bits of rocks may come in. It’s gonna be an all-time evolving tank, so whenever you come around and see it, always look for the differences! Thanks Tommy! Thank you! [Balazs] Great work! Let’s see, if you can do any better next week! The viewers will decide anyway! Yep, exactly! Alright, so thanks guys for staying here with us! I hope you liked Tommy’s work, I for one, did love it! Let us know, what you think, in the comments! Smash that like button, if you really like this video and this scape and also subscribe to the Green Aqua YouTube channel, if you didn’t do so yet! And until next week! Bye! Bye! [Laughter]


  1. I literally can't wait for new content to drop on GreenAqua and this episode did not disappoint. Great looking scape; layout always looks better in the actual tank as it gets depth and perspective, plus the black soil and plants add contrast to the whole composition. Well done Tommy, love it!

  2. great vid! work shops are probably my most favourite types of your videos! keep it up! also will you announce the winner of the contest?
    until next Thursday have a great week from Australia!

  3. stunning bold composition really look forward to seeing it mature. love the bond you guys have at green aqua like one big family such a positive channel and also very funny . remember tommy its not the size the matters its what you do with them hahaha

  4. Very nice Iwagumi! Well done Tommy (and Balasz and the aquagirls off course!) 😉
    Really like the details and the choice of plants, can't wait to see it grown in. Oh and Tommy, compliments on your choice of music, gives a good vibe to the video 👍
    Keep on growing guys!
    All the best to you 👋

  5. I wonder if the mother rock on the right side ought to be tilted back. The reason I am thinking along those lines is because both the primary stones on the left and right side of the scape are almost similar in height and are dark because of the shadow, causing the visual of two parallel, similar mountains side by side.

    Tilting the large rock on the right backward will cause it to reflect light and this make it a bit more un-parallel and assymetric. The other option would be to push the rock still deeper into the substrate, but that would be the standard solution.

    I'd love to a cinematic of this in a few months with the plants grown in. Love the fish selection too!

  6. I always think their names are so cool 'balazs farkas' and 'tamas danyiko' 😀
    I didn't like that sand path but the rest of the tank is just perfect, i also like the choice of fish.

  7. imo the most important thing when it comes to aquascaping is knowing in advance the growth patterns of plants, as stated @13:50. youtube is lacking a thorough walk through on growth patterns and pruning each individual species of plants. i think you guys are more than qualified for such a task. your aquariums look amazing.

  8. I think Tommy is the best aquascaper from green aqua. I love to watch Tommy and James Findley scape together. Please arrange it for me..

  9. I love this kind of style ie., Iwagumi. Very minimalist but places a huge impact on the overall design of the scape. Beautifully done. Nice work.

  10. …" I didn´t brake it….just made a noise"…hahahaha love it…and love the scape…good work with that beautiful rocks!

  11. Amazing job Tommy. I love the way rocks are placed to play with shadows and create perspective. So many tutorials on internet about iwagumi theory end to flat and boring results. This one really stands out of the crowd, one bad point…. It is too short !!
    I saw in the description that 100kg of frodo stone were used, do you have any idea about the weight and dimensions of the biggest ones ? I was a bit scared when I saw Tommy placing them without some kind of crushed lava stone layer to secure bottom of the tank. But seems to work pretty well !!!
    Congratulation guys keep on scaping

  12. He did a great job on this! I love it. ..and Balazs, how good is your job? Not only have you got all that gear to play with but, you have beautiful girls walking about preparing plants. Sheesh! If you fell in a river, you'd come out dry and with fish in your pockets. 😀 Haha.

  13. Very nice job!
    Yes, i would like to see a full planting video! It is always inspirating what you are doing with the mixture of plants and how to use them for these beautiful natural look!

  14. Thx 4 The Great Video Guys..im just in Time to Rescape my 60p ..today is The Day ..and your Video is a Great Inspiration ❤️💪🏽

  15. I like the overall flow of the tank— it became very cohesive in the tank compared to in the sand box. If I were to critique, I think there is a bit overuse of mid-size stones that take too similar visual weight to the bigger ones. I would have chosen some smaller ones, especially in the foreground to let the larger ones remain more impressive, and leave space for more plants to create more visual breaks between stones.

    The tank though has a very natural atmosphere. Good work~

  16. I am from Indonesia, your canel fan and I always watch your videos, I really like it, I ask for a gift 1 canister aquascape mister

  17. Great video and aquascape. Do you plan in your tanks how the flow of water might impact the scape. I have issues with my Iwagumi scape with build up of broken down materials and such. I just don’t get the same flow with the lily pipes as I do with the spray bar that came with the eheim pro plus 350. It’s only on a 40 gallon tank so any ideas would be great. You guys are the best so might as well ask the best.

    P.s. How do I get a intern ship at green aqua. Lol.

  18. nice work , there is complex hardscape with that stone ,with beauty of simple plant…,nice work,we will wait how that tank at 1month after planting,

  19. Great job, Tommy. And yes, the actual hardscape layout in the tank looked even better than in the "dojo" sandbox area. I hope to see the tank in person when visiting the shop in the coming months (…need to look into flights). Best of luck!

  20. We would definitely love and watch a 2 hour video from you guys. Just go ahead and do it, will bill you just pop corn and Coke for the entire family 😁

  21. I've been with talks with Tropica and the department of agriculture here in Perth Western Australia. We in Perth are not allowed to import sterile Tropica lab grown/tissue culture plants without an import license and the pots need to be further quarantined. 🙁

  22. Gorgeous you guys make it look so easy. I have no eye for doing this, when I try it seems like I just dumped everything in. What fish are in there can not get good image of the green ones.
    If you guys and your sponsorship ever decide to come to America and build a tank for a fan keep me in mind.😁

  23. I've always been interested to see an unedited, real time video of some of these scapes… especially this one. I say go for it

  24. Tropica here, Tropica there, it seems they are sponsoring everyone, except me! Well sure I'm not a content creator, or any sort of aquascaping professional, but still – can't simple man get soil for free?! 😀

  25. oh hey, this scape reminded me of a question I've had for a while (not sure maybe I've already asked, it's been so long in my head) – do you ever consider making lowtech-cheap-simple-beginner aquascape, aka no fancy ingredients, just to show what's possible without big investments? I myself got high-ish tech scape and another super low tech scape, and to be honest sometimes cheap one looks even better (with all the easy-to-grow plants, no co2 etc.).

  26. Great job Tommy and to the crew at Green Aqua! Entertaining and funny as always! But also very informative and awesome tips! Thank you!

  27. Is there a video that shows the structural integrity of the cabinet holding the aquarium? Theres so much weight to support! I just want to see how all the weight is distributed.

  28. Very nice job Tommy!
    I love pathways in scapes, nice depth and the fish work well in there, look forward to seeing it all evolve. 👍

  29. Hi balaz how are you doing… Just got an excellent aquascape by Tommy… Good job 👍!!

  30. Tommy you truly belong amongst the best! You remind us of NAQ's co-founder Philippe the way you stay calm, patient and humble in front of your work 😀
    love the textures and overall impression, sincerly my favorite tank in your shop. Keep up the good work tommy, We are your number 1 fans 😉

  31. Great layout Tommy, very bold hardscape, look forward to seeing this grow in, would love a pallet of those rocks. What a great place to work at.great video as always.
    Nice shorts Tommy.

  32. I will have to visit your gallery again and see what has change. So many new tanks 😍🤤 Are you guys planning to do some paludarium aquascapes, like DOOA Mizukusa mist wall? Would love to see it done by pros! And nice iwagumi. The frodo stone is superb.

  33. Sorry but that music fits a mercedes black series C63 rolling down the bloke lowered by 2,5", not aquascaping. Love your work, like the music but its not for aquascaping, if you know what i mean. Aquascaping is more like 02:23, 09:08 or some chillstep 🙂

  34. Tommy did a great job,really nice, but with help from Balazs and Vickey and the ( sorry) other Girl. Only joking Tommy,great job.

  35. I wanna scape exactly this tank! But with an classic Island Style, like your 650l tank! Do you have any ideas for saving money?

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