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Feedback on Hardscape?

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Padres1234, May 16, 2017.

  1. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    [​IMG]


    I want to go for a river themed tank with Cory's.

    I have larger river rocks available too that are not currently in the tank. I also have another piece of driftwood that's longer and more flat.

    Advice?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017

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  2. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm not sure if you're going for an actual river or a river bed, but my initial thoughts would be:

    When the tank is filled the hardscape probably wont have enough height

    A lot of the rocks seem carefully placed, unless the path in the middle represents the river. If the path in the middle represents a river you can raise the substrate on both sides to get more height for the hardscape. These are the rocks
    wFEngMB_d.jpg

    If its a river themed tank it might look good with pebble/gravel sized rocks of the same type mixed with the rocks you have to make the hardscape seem larger

    The background will likely clash with what youre trying to accomplish
     
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  3. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    More like a river bed look than an actual river itself. So not enough height, should I add some larger rocks that would accompany some height? I can stack them too if needed. How is the driftwood placement?

    The middle is not supposed to be a river so I should scatter more stones across the middle? I could add some larger ones on the left side and move the smaller ones to the middle?
     
  4. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You should probably wait for more opinions, but I would start off by choosing a direction that you want the water in your river to flow. The hardscape should look as if its flowing in the direction of the water. To accomplish that look I think you would have to place the majority of your rocks /wood on one side then raise the height of the substrate on that side / slope it to gain some height. If you tried these changes I would keep the right side and try to build off of it. I would also include a photo of the other driftwood piece you have.

    You can also look at some biotope or george farmer aquascapes it might give some ideas on wood placements.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
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  5. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    Oh my gosh, I love that idea! Thanks! I will give that a shot here tonight, before I saw your post I tried to rearrange some of the rocks/wood again. Here is what I came up with, although I like your idea of having the river "flow" one way and everything designed like that. I will give that a try and post what I come up with.

    Anywho, here is what I came up with in the meantime. As you can tell, I am not very good at this yet and I want a really good hardscape before I flood my tank so it may be sometime.

    It might be a little chaotic, I'm still trying to get some of the techniques down, thank you for your help by the way.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Padres

    Welcome to ASW
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Each of the above a River bed Aquascapes and look extremely natural. There several differences in comparison to your tank.

    No backing your backing is very distracting and is not required.

    You are lacking height. you can pile the rocks up yet still look natural.
    Your rocks look like every one has been very carefully positioned it does not look very natural at all.
    You are lacking a focal area/point either end or central

    One point in your favour is your rocks plenty to choose from.

    Are you intending to have plants?

    Your substrate what is it and is it suitable for plants?

    Finally sorry to tell you yours lacks interest in comparison to the other Aquascapes I have posted to give you a guide.

    One suggestion do a lot of research on river bed Aquascapes.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  7. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply! By the way I have more DW and river rocks to choose from, especially more large river rocks.

    [​IMG]

    1.) Do you think I should pile some rocks on one side to create some height and gradually lower it to the other side of the tank? If so, should I just stack the rocks or boost the substrate to achieve the height?

    2.) How do I achieve a more natural look? Every time I try to make it look natural I am told it looks intentionally placed and unnatural. I am definitely struggling with that area and have tried to read up on it but to no avail :/

    3.) I have read up on the 3/4 rule and I feel like I can stack the rocks higher and combined with some DW to create a focal point?

    4.) I want to have plants yes, any plants that will accentuate my hardscape. I have no specific plants in mind. I do have osmocote+ root tabs, pressurized CO2, Finnex Planted+ light, EI dry dosing ferts, a power head for circulation and a GLA diffuser.

    5.) I am using pool filter sand as many have said how well it works for such a cheap price.

    6.) I expect mine to lack interest haha. I am no expert but I do hope to get better and create something visually attractive. Hopefully in time mine is good! I do not want to move onto flooding until my hardscape is excellent.
     
  8. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    Will do! I'll come up with a few different layouts and show you them tomorrow!
     
  9. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    I had to remove my post

    1.) Do you think I should pile some rocks on one side to create some height and gradually lower it to the other side of the tank? If so, should I just stack the rocks or boost the substrate to achieve the height?
    As I said try every thing and post photos

    2.) How do I achieve a more natural look? Every time I try to make it look natural I am told it looks intentionally placed and unnatural. I am definitely struggling with that area and have tried to read up on it but to no avail :/
    Make a cardboard box the size of your tank and work in that to do this. Put some sand on the bottom, fill a bucket with some rocks and drop them in this is natural.
    upload_2017-5-17_18-30-0.jpeg
    Note the rock pile top of photo.

    3.) I have read up on the 3/4 rule and I feel like I can stack the rocks higher and combined with some DW to create a focal point?
    Good thinking. Now you have started.

    4.) I want to have plants yes, any plants that will accentuate my hardscape. I have no specific plants in mind. I do have osmocote+ root tabs, pressurized CO2, Finnex Planted+ light, EI dry dosing ferts, a power head for circulation and a GLA diffuser.
    Opening another subject now Are you going to do a High or Low Tech tank as this will decide your plants.

    5.) I am using pool filter sand as many have said how well it works for such a cheap price.
    Sand can be used most suitable for your fish. Plants that is debatable its a 50/50 Y/N personally I would use the ADA substrate where the plants are, this will be decided by your rocky river bed.

    6.) I expect mine to lack interest haha. I am no expert but I do hope to get better and create something visually attractive. Hopefully in time mine is good! I do not want to move onto flooding until my hardscape is excellent.
    You have just started the planning stage and are on track already. It will surprise you what you can achieve.
    Another excellent point "What is the hurry?" once established it will last for many years.

    That photo can guide you towards three great Aquascapes think out of the square. When you have a block walk away and come back a few days later even if it's only to move one rock.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Padres
    Here are the three ideas from the one photo
    I suppose you could say four using the full photo

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  11. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    Hey Keith,

    I have been trying the advice you gave me and slowly working towards some layouts I like. In the meantime I had some lava rock sitting around and decided to give it a shot. Thoughts? I think I prefer the river style but the lava rock could be easier. I'm gonna keep working on a good river rock layout as well. I'm in no rush.

    Here is a link to a few more pics from different angles. http://imgur.com/a/Ost6H


    [​IMG]
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    First the backing is extremely distracting I have covered it over to give you an idea what it would look like using a dark Marine Blue vinyl backing.

    Its still rather flat I suggest you lift the RH back by at least 10-15cm and bury the base of the rocks about 2-3cm.

    The rocks at the front are a straight line.

    I have added a few rocks to remove that look.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  13. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    I forgot to take the background off before I took this picture :( I tried to replicate your changes as best I could. Thoughts? Hopefully this is at least a small improvement haha. Thanks Keith!

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    This is a huge improvement its starting to look good. I think you could be very close to have hit the four focal points.

    Rock 1 position OK its at the back centre there could be a massive slippage with nasty results especially if those two big rocks fell. My suggestion is use a rock of a similar shape as 1 and press it deep into that spot it should solve the slippage and add a little more interest to that area.
    Rock 2 could you remove it please as it does not look OK in that spot.

    Thinking, I can still see two minor adjustments but I would like to do a little at a time nothing major.

    Can you post a photo of a mix of (same rocks) medium to small what you have please?

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    I have very few small ones atm, I do have some larger ones I can bang up with a hammer to make into small ones (which I eventually planned on doing anyways).

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking very good now.

    Any of those larger ones will do as they all look very good.

    Next step the same for in front of the largest rock to stop any slippage.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  17. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    So I took your advice and set up a little box with some sand and tried to make a hardscape with it. After looking at the lava rock scape and the river one I created I felt like the river scape was going to be better suited for my Cory Cat tank.

    I tried to take all your advice of making the stones appear to be in natural positions, raising one side and creating a focal point etc. I know its not perfect but I hope to get some feedback from you! Excuse the mess and dirty windows, sand everywhere haha.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    I like what you have so far.

    The improvement to be done are all minor.

    Remove all small stones for the moment. Stones OK its the positioning.

    The rock in the front left of centre (flat surface) position OK shape OK its just the flat surface can you replace it please.

    You are trying to create a river/creek bed. The DW top RH is sloping upstream > / in reality it would be facing down stream\<.

    At the moment the re-positioning a few rocks is very minor.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  19. Padres1234

    Padres1234 New Member

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    I made some changes based off what you suggested and removed the tiny stones on the left side (which I assume is what you mentioned). Thoughts? Thanks!

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Getting very close to finishing every thing will depend on the next moves.
    [​IMG]

    It looks like a numbers mess.
    No1 & 2 wrong colour stand out and a distraction position and size OK just replace these rocks
    No 3s and circled area, I would like to see all these rocks very close together as a small pile.
    Nos 4& 5 plus small rock RH end move to about the arrow point.

    The DW looks very natural now.

    Next step go away for about an hr then come back refreshed and see how it looks.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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