Early Stages of First Ever Aquascape

Discussion in 'Critique My Aquascape' started by dowheim, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. dowheim

    dowheim New Member

    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Hi All,

    I am relatively new to Planted Aquariums but have instantly fallen in love with the hundreds of Beautiful Aquascapes that are out there. I must admit I started off very unprepared for the amount of work and equipment that is necessary, I am also a little disappointed with my first layout.....I guess I expected a Takashi Amano after a few weeks! ;)

    Some Constructive Critisism of my first attempt in this Rio 125 would be much appreciated. Bearing in mind I have an external filter on order along with various fertilisers. So far I have DIY CO2 and a pretty poor 600L/H Temporary Filter.

    [​IMG]
  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Location:
    California
    I have to say you're off to an excellent start. You have great lines (triangular both with the driftwood and stone arrangement). There is also a good sense of depth as a result.

    In my opinion, things that are missing from this layout include:

    - Healthy, mature plants.
    - Balance on the both left and ride sides (the right side feels heavier because more driftwood).
    - Texture. By this I mean the largest of the plants (Amazon Sword in the center) has only flat bladed leaves which simply blend in with the flat appears of the rocks. As a result, for me, it makes the aquascape feel...well flat. Don't get me wrong, this impression may change as the (all) plants mature and develop, but as it stands there is no real texture to the aquascape besides the lines from the driftwood and the hardscape.
    - Sense of height from the leveling of the substrate.

    -John N.
  3. Dabrits

    Dabrits New Member

    Location:
    UT
    It sure beats my first scape!!!

    I really like the sand, it was probably the first thing that caught my eye. For some reason though, I don't really like the rock placement on the left side, but I don't really have solutions on how to make it look better.

    Overall good job!
  4. CHUNTC

    CHUNTC New Member

    Location:
    Brunei
    It is a good first start! Fill it with more plants and when they mature, it will look alot better.^:)^
  5. dowheim

    dowheim New Member

    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Thanks for your comments guys,

    The fertilisers should be the main boost that the plants need to help it fill out, the delivery company delivering my ferts are messing me around this week so im driving to their depot in the morning to collect my own parcel becuase they are taking so long

    John youve commented on the uneven weight from right to left....main reason being I ran out of driftwood, I will be getting a bit more thin branch wood soon, would you say I should try and lighten the right side and build up the left or keep the right as it is and match it on the left? Obviouslty once the filter has gone it will look even worse on the left side, only my Nutrafin Ladder will remain on the glass.

    Dabrits, I completely agree with your comment about the rocks on the right side, it looks a little unnatural as it is, I'll have to have a play
  6. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

    pretty darned good job!! My only observation is that all of the stone are relatively the same size. If you can find maybe one or two much larger stones, keep the ones already present in the tank, and add two or three grades of many smaller sized rocks down to pebble and almost gravel size it might give more interest to your composition. I do like what you've got going and hope that it will be the start of something wonderful.---R
  7. dowheim

    dowheim New Member

    Location:
    Ashford, Kent

    Yes the Rocks were a bit of a head ache! I went to 4 pet shops in a week and couldnt find any rocks that were to my liking, I finally resorted to slate. Last weekend I had a drive down to Maidenhead Aquatics in Polhill, they had a lot of Rock Selection so I may end up replacing what I have eventually. I really like Molten Rock but not many people use it so Im not sure what it looks like.
  8. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

    its that spongey looking red rock that looks like pummas and is found sometimes in peoples yards as a type of colored gravel. I think...?
  9. dowheim

    dowheim New Member

    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    No I mean black Volcanic Rock, What I meant was I dont know what it looks like in the tank as part of a scape
  10. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Location:
    California
    I would build this aquascape up evenly on both sides. So that would mean placing more driftwood on the left. Remember the arrangement of the wood creates lines that help aid in creating more visual movement. Think "V" shape.

    -John N.
  11. dowheim

    dowheim New Member

    Location:
    Ashford, Kent
    Im not sure my idea is going to develop as planned anyway, plant growth seems to have halted and algae is killing older leaves.....so much for CO2 and Fertilisers making a Difference!!
  12. hrishi007

    hrishi007 New Member

    Location:
    india
    good start
  13. mr_ED

    mr_ED Aspiring Aquascaper

    Location:
    PHILIPPINES
    cool but definitely newly set up. wish to see update based on comments and suggestions.
  14. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

    Mate, do you have CO2 being pumped into the tank? Plants usually need more than nutrients and light. What type of algae do you have?
    What does it look like?

    I like the scape, looks good, and it will look even better when the plants grow more. Try moving the amazon's to the back, and put some crypts on their place, it will add some colour and shape in front of the rocks.

    But CO2 is the key, without CO2 the plants will grow slower, and as you are adding ferts and maybe leaving the light for more than 5 hours, the algae gets a grip on the plants and rocks.

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