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Lindsay's first real planted tank.

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Linds, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, so here are some photos of the new rocks etc. Let me know if you like them or if I should go back to the layout I had and improve it. I don't have a set style I want to go with. The only exceptions are I don't wand Iwagumi style with just grass. They remind me of a garden or lawn that needs weeding :D. Not that they aren't beautiful, weeds can be beautiful, but it's just not my style. I like lots of plants. But not all the same.

    2013-02-03 22.10.36.jpg

    Ok, so I don't mind these rocks at all. Maybe they need to come away from that LH edge but I think they give a fairly good flow from right to left.

    2013-02-03 22.06.35.jpg

    I like this wood but I don't think it works crossing that middle section and going right through the tank.


    2013-02-03 22.08.45.jpg

    Hmmm, I was trying to get that triangle thing going but I don't know if I like it.

    2013-02-03 21.51.02.jpg

    Too angular? It seems adding wood ruins what I like about the rocks, but I just love wood.

    I'm not at home at the moment so I can't change things for a day or two.

    Linds
     

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  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Linds

    I see you are at FF now.

    Re hard scape Re size of rocks 3 large rocks with character well positioned are far better than a pile of small rocks that will be over grown with plants.

    Its the case of "Less is Best"
    Instead of playing in a tank get a cardboard box and make it up so that it has both ends a back and a low front

    Use a Garden Soil or Sand for the substrate and have fun in that.

    I think I have found someone in Sydney that can collect large character rocks.

    As soon as I find out I will let you know.

    Keith:):)
     
  3. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok, I'll give it a go.

    I can't post pics on FF yet. I'll have to make time to post more so I can.

    I'm a bit allover the place atm I've been I've been travelling working etc for a few days. Back home now for a bit though.

    BTW I'm not in Sydney or really near Sydney. I don't know what I put down at FF (I can't remember being asked) I'll have a look and update. I'm just south of Mt Kosciusko. In the hills lol.

    I shall be going hunting for rocks on the weekend I hope.

    Linds
     
  4. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also Keith, when you say a few big rocks, how big are you talking? I mean, I call the one's above big. Are you talking about one or two rocks to my 4 rocks on the LHS?

    I have got rocks bigger than the tank, so it shouldn't be a problem. I use big ones outside to border our gardens.

    I found a few awesome rocks. They have a layers of red, I mean fire engine sort of red. But this would look weird I suppose.

    Linds
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Linds what I was referring to was what you have done by selecting a few large rocks it has changed your Aquascape completely and it looks great.
    I will PM you from FF re photos.

    Keith:):)
     
  6. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Cool. Thanks. I look forward to it.
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, the new rocks are much better. Again, try to stay away from scaping in the corners and along the edges of the tank especially with parts of your hardscape you want to stand out. If you plan on covering it with plants and it won't be visible then it simply becomes scaffolding for your plants, but if it will be a focal point of your hardscape try to keep it around the left and/or right thirds. Open space also works as a focal point drawing the eye, colorful plants tend to do the same.
     
  8. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    He he. The trouble is I don't know what to do with plants at all. I'm wanting to set up a box to do this in rather than the aquarium. I also found some more cool rocks, but there are not that many so I'll have to see if I can find more first.

    Linds
     
  9. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Wow, have I done some scaping in the last few days.

    I have gathered lots more rocks and had a session rescaping. I thought I could do better with my rockwork. With consultation with Keith and advise from others on my existing scapes (thanks guys) I have come up with this...

    12.jpg

    So... thoughts?

    Next I need to get a plant list going I think. I have had these suggested...

    Anubias Nana or Bateri, regular or narrow leaf Java fern, some wisteria, amazon sword and peacock moss and/or subwassertang.

    What do you guys think?

    I have also narrowed my fish choice down. I like Harlequin Rasboras and or Rummy Nose Tetras. I also like the idea of the blue rams, but I don't know about both sizes of fish.

    I am away from home for a week and was keen to not have this be a down time. So I filled the tank this morning and hooked up my filter. I want to get this cycling into gear. Hopefully there is only minor changes to the hardscape that I can do while wet.

    I can't wait to get back.

    Linds
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Linds, it is always best to have lots of hardscape options available when working with things. I pull out tons of stuff and usually only use half of it.

    A couple critques. The direction of the branch and the direction of the rock work seem to oppose each other despite the correct line of low to high. I would flip the branch the other way so that the ends are stretching out towards the lower right rocks as well as move the large rock slightly to the left. With the 3 stones I recommend even maybe putting them all together to make a single hardscape focal point with the branch stretching out to the left to extend the high to low from left to right. The large rock is lonely and needs some other stones, IMO. I know what you are thinking, "c'mon guys I can't win!" As I look back my favorite is the one pic you posted before this, if you were to remove the branch and only use stones. The open gap between the two groups hits a good point and becomes the focal region by using negative space. Maybe even add a few more stones to the left group. Also if you were to pile up the substrate behind that left group in order to provide a high ground to plant it would look nice.

    It is hard to ever be truly happy with hardscape...I never am and often end up moving around things. Its rare (my 30c) where I don't move a thing. In fact take a look at my 30c, I think it is my best bit of rockwork.

    As far as your plants go, I've found through my own experience that ferns don't look quite right with a primarily stone hardscape. They are best left for scapes that use primarily wood. Do you plan to use CO2? With your plant selection you will not need to. In my 30c I tied subwaasertang to small lava rocks using cotton thread and filled in around the bases of the stone. This is something you could do with your anubias and mosses as well. Since you do not plan to use a carpeting plant you could use the rock formations as little oasis of small growth plants and mosses in that way (i'm thinking of the scape before this last one) In which case I wouldn't then recommend piling up substrate behind the stones and plant the wisteria behind the stones to grow up and around them. I think this could look nice!

    If you are interested in learning more about how to tie moss to stones and anubias to stones I can go into further detail. I would choose anubias nana petite.

    Best of luck, good planning is essential to success and avoiding headaches later.
     
  11. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    LOL. I think I could start a aquascape supply shop with the amount of rock and wood I have collected this month. But I know what you mean. I had rock that look amazing on their own but I can get them to work in the tank. some were just too big.

    I didn't try that direction. and in terms of direction I thought that the way I had them is from teh large rock to the samll. But I can have a go and see what happens. Yes, the large one does need to go further left I agree, only a few cm. I redid this scape from a pic I took and had to redo it when it was the one Keith said he liked best. It also has to be raised slightly too.

    Have a look at this, it's the way I had it when I first did it.

    [​IMG]

    and with the thirds focal points...

    [​IMG]

    It's a little different now.



    'C'mon guys I can't win!' Don't worry, I'm winning, just rearing to go and get this thing planted:) . I do agree about the last scape I had. I did just intend to get more substrate and go with it. But then I found more rocks and they were much more sexy. I just had to give them a go. I also liked it without the wood.

    As far as a single group I did try one, but it was smaller rocks (actually some of the same rocks)...

    DSCF1720.jpg DSCF1716.jpg



    I can see that would happen. The thing is imagining it planted. But I don't think it is possible, for me anyway. I have looked at your 30c. I love the rocks themselves, but tbh it's not my sort of scape. I said at the start I was not a fan of Iwagumi. There are exceptions to the rule of course. I love your jungle.

    Yep, I can see that.

    I am planning on CO2. I just see all these problems posted on forums that seem to have their root in not enough CO2. Although I have not tried a EI before as this is my first real planted tank. I do know that I will have algae coming out my ears with this light I have. So though the plants may not need CO2 is the fert regime going to be enough to foil the algae?

    The last scape didn't really have room behind the stones for much if anything, especially if it needed to be planted in the gravel. In the subsequent scapes I kept away from the walls like you suggested. and I like the results.

    I have 3 anubias. I'll post a photo of them and you can maybe identify them. I have no idea. Cotton thread I ave. I make costumes 'for a living'. That's a great idea because it would just rot/dissolve in time.

    Thanks
     

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  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    the 30c is nature style not iwagumi :p Wisteria you can actually attach to wood and rock and it will grow fine. I've grown it like a weed that way before. You just have to be gentle with the stem, roots grow fast and attach themselves quickly.

    What amount of light do you have? Since your plant selection can get away with less light I would definitely use less. Adding CO2 is always beneficial and since you have it I would. Like my jungle scape, most can grow without CO2, but since I have it I use it and it lets me grow a few things I wouldn't be able to otherwise. Hairgrass or glosso would be good options for a carpeting plant.

    I like the first single grouping of rocks. If you plant that thick and leave the rest open it would look nice. Amazon swords get VERY big, so you have to be prepared for that. Pygmy chain sword is in my jungle scape and that one stays on the smaller side. Hygrophilia pinnatifida, hygrophilia corymbosa compact both would be good choices. H. corymbosa compact gives you a thick bushy leafy plant without getting huge.
     
  13. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Oops, sorry. What's the difference? To me nature style is so broad it would include Iwagumi. But I don't really know what I'm talking about.

    TBH I'm not a fan of it. MAybe because I haven't seem it used in a way I like or haven't noticed it in a scape I like.

    A single 24W T8.

    Ok, that's good. I haven't made a plant selection at all yet. That was just a list I was recommended for a low light tank with gravel substrate. I'm quite open to suggestion regarding plant selection. I have little to no experience in aquatic plants and their growth habits.

    I'm not totally against carpet plants, just I don't tend to like a scape to look like a lawn with weeds in it if you know what I mean. This is one reason I don't tend to like Iwagumi.

    Ok. I'm going to have to look all these up and start narrowing down some sort of list of plants I like.

    I actually like that scape too. I do think looking at it again it needs another bigger rock in teh group, but ti think I tried and couldn't get anything to work for me. I did that scape because of a comment ED made a while back. I went with the scape I did because it was what Keith chose out of the pics I sent. ooooo this is so hard, decisions are not one of my strengths, I can be very indecisive. I love the large rock in my current scape. I did try putting some more rocks with it and I thought it looked too odd. To me it made the scape seem too symmetrical and it filled in the space to the left which I think the scape benefits from. But I didn't have any small rocks of the same type to work with. LOL I was so determined to get nice looking big rocks I left the small ones out.

    I'll see what I can do virtually here while I am away.

    Thanks for your input. I don't want you to think I am ignoring your thoughts on the tankand putting you on the backburner because I have been dealing with Keith. It's just he is here (in Australia) and I can work with him real time. It's a case of sometimes too many cooks spoil the broth. There are so many differing views on what looks good. I think I'm at the stage where I need to stick with an idea and improve it as much as I can. Like you say, I could keep changing the hardscape forever and still not have it right in my mind and still not be right in other people's mind.

    Linds
     
  14. ADAndrew

    ADAndrew New Member

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    I like the first arrangement of hardscape, cant wait to see it planted!
    Good luck linds
     
  15. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks

    The very first? I did too lol.

    How are you going with your ferts?

    Linds
     
  16. dtang21

    dtang21 New Member

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    I say pick the one you like best and plant it! When I start a new tank, I always go through a period of trial and error. I'm always tinkering, moving things around, and trying new plants. Eventually the tank evolves into something I'm happy with :)
     
  17. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Yeah. I want to. I need to get plants tho. Thanks for your advice

    Linds
     
  18. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hello peeps. Time for an update.

    The tank has been cycling for a few weeks now and I have not had time to do anything except dose some ammonia. It is 'eating' it at a really nice rate, even at one week it was chewing through >0.5ppm in a few hours.

    So I moved the RHS to see what it was like making one group of rocks. I didn't like it. Or at least I couldn't make it look good enough. So I put them back and added another rock and a couple more small pieces of wood.

    TBH I didn't like this scape at all over these few weeks, but now with a couple of plants and a bit more wood It's growing on me. I'm yet to try some smaller rocks around the big one but I don't have any good enough atm.

    This was it before...

    2013-03-07 12.29.01.jpg


    And now...

    2013-03-07 15.14.23.jpg

    I think the substrate could be a tad higher at the back and I think a couple of smaller rocks would improve the LHS. I did a little in a photo editor. What do you think?

    6.jpg

    Lindsay
     
  19. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Lindsay

    [​IMG]

    A few more suggestions for you

    I would certainly lift the Substrate in the back LH corner and taper it down to the back RH corner.

    If you do it skilfully enough you will not have to move that big rock, and we both know you can do that.

    I have added another Anubias to the front corner (not shifted) this "might/should" give the pathway a more natural appeal.

    Keith:):)
     
  20. Linds

    Linds Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Nice! That makes the large rock more proportionate. HTat's kind of what I was trying to do adding more rocks.


    Sure, I'll have to divide these up. or get some more from my brother in law. I got them from him in the first place and he has heaps apparently. Instant results, I like that, he he.

    Linds
     
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