I wanted to try my hand at Iwagumi, while also creating an environment the L. sp. 'Hongi' would be comfortable in. Jason Baliban's "Meander" is one of my favorite aquascapes, though for this tank, I planted more sparsely because plants are not common in Lake Malawi, and my primary goal was to make the fish happy. As such, the algae on the rocks is supposed to be there - they graze on it. And I find it makes the tank more like the real thing; nature, after all, is never as pretty as our aquascapes. :-)
Cryptocoryne crispatula var. flaccidifolia, C. parva, C. walkeri, Vallisneria sp.
Labidochromis sp. 'Hongi', Nerite snails
Plastic egg crate was used under pool filter sand and rock. Because the Labidochromis will dig in the sand, I had to select rocks that had flat bottoms, so they would stand on their own without support and would not topple if the fish hollowed out the sand around the rocks (as they have done repeatedly). One advantage to using eggcrate under the sand is that the plant's roots eventually intertwine with it, preventing the fish (or me, for that matter!) from uprooting them.