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29g Jungle cave

Discussion in 'Critique My Aquascape' started by h22prelude2k, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Would love to get some opinions and suggestions on my first go at aquascaping

    I have in mind what direction I want to go, now its just a matter of fine tuning everything. I want to do this right the first time and not have to keep tinkering with it.

    Here is some of my inspiration:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And here is mine- still deciding on how big i want the cave to be- two options so far

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    still in really rough stages of putting it together. Would love to hear any opinions, suggestions and criticisms.

    Also, open to plant suggestions.

    Thank you!
     

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to ASW!

    Great to start off with some inspirational tanks. Could you let us know what equipment you plan to run. This will help in deciding what plants will be appropriate for your setup.

    My critique:

    The first inspirational scape is by far the best one done. You will notice the front is level. I am not a fan of the curved substrate in the front. You lose perspective and it tends to look to cross sectional. Many have done it with some good effect, but I'm not sure they wouldn't have had a better scape with a better sense of dimension, scale, and perspective without the curved front edge. I would suggest leveling that and building a better slope to the back of the tank. In the back you can do all kinds of things with the slope of the "horizon line"

    I cannot decide if I like the wood or not. You could maybe use more or take it away completely. I can't make up my mind.

    I prefer the second layout with the larger cave. The rock placement is nice, but may need some tweaking if you follow my recommendations on the substrate alignment.

    Keep working and keep sharing. I'm sure others will have more to say.
     
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  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    with the wood...I think it looks unbalanced as a single piece in one location. It throws off the balance of the hardscape. That is what is bothering me I think.
     
  4. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Hi ShadowMac thanks for the response!

    Setup will be an Eheim 2217 canister filter and GLA Pro-1 CO2 regulator with 5lb tank, substrate is Eco-complete, and lighting will be provided by Aquatic Life Marquis Dual T5 HO.

    Would love to hear plant suggestions and locations for them.

    Thanks again!
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    h22prelude2k

    The Aquascapes you have chosen are certainly very interesting both have their good points and points that could be improved upon.

    Here are a few points for you to consider.

    [​IMG]

    I have leveled out the substrate at the front.

    At the ends sloped the substrate to that level.

    The RH end added more height to the back of the tank and sloped it to the front.

    Added two rocks to the LH side plus three to the RH side.

    This has opened up the front of the aquascape.

    The DW is now leading your sight flow to the rocks on the RH side.

    If this is your first Aquascape I would strongly suggest you apply these basic design points.

    Keep It Simple KIS
    Less is More and More is Less

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Hi Keith, thanks for the pointers.

    Before seeing your reply I made a few modifications to my tank. What do you think now? My idea was to have a valley in the middle with a small stream running from the back right corner of the tank to the front middle- but it doesnt sound like that would work too well with evening out the front substrate

    [​IMG]
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    h22prelude2k

    I can only offer you suggestions that we have learnt over many years of helping others and Judging Aquascapes.

    In the end its your tank in your home and as long as you are happy is the main concern.

    If it was my Aquascape I know which one I would work towards.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  8. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Keith,

    I took your advice and leveled out the front, how does it look now?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    h22prelude2k

    That is a great improvement, you still have the slopes and pathway.

    Planting like the hardscape it must blend in with what you have done so far.

    As the rocks on the RH side are low they can be easily hidden by the wrong plant selection.

    Try to keep the plant species and varieties to a minimum other wise you will finish up with a green garden salad,

    Use texture, height and shape to give your Aquascape a greater interest.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    started planting today- going to drystart the HC and dwarf hair grass. First time dry starting, any pointers?

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    h22prelude2k

    Sorry I cannot help you there.

    Several members have done this with great success and they should be able to assist you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  12. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    It's looking good. It's just a little weird seeing parts of my setup in someone elses.
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    You could break up the bits of HC more. I'm doing a DSM right now. I'll try to get a photo. You may have a little too much standing water. It's more about moist soil and good humidity.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Shawn

    Are you saying the more water used could cause problems with the plants starting to grow in the substrate as its just too wet?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Added a couple more plants

    So far I've got planted:

    alternanthera reineckii mini
    staurogyne repens
    Dwarf Hairgrass
    Hemianthus callitrichoides

    Also, removed some more water after this picture was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    pooling water isn't healthy for the plants. It is stagnant. It can cause the HC to yellow and die.
     
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  17. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    DSM for the A. reineckii isn't really beneficial. Works best for plants like HC, S. repens, and hairgrass. The main reason is because it is tough to get HC to stay in place and it will carpet well without much care required. I'm using a DSM because the steep slopes in the scape will get blown around by the moving water if it is not carpeted first.

    I would hold off planting anything like stems and such until you are ready to fill.
     
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  18. h22prelude2k

    h22prelude2k New Member

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    Should I remove the A. reineckii then or leave it?
     
  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It should be fine to leave but will put it's energy into changing growth forms, which it will have to do again after flooding. It won't die...just won't grow a ton. That's what I mean by there is no advantage to planting them before flooding in a dsm start

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    h22prelude2k

    If I am correct it's called a Dry Start Method not a flood method.

    What is your water level now?

    Photos would be appreciated.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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