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Mexi's Bonsai

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by mexicat, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    20161231_123200.jpg My tank has gone through several different scapes as I learned and this is where I ended up. I bought a bonsai tree about two years ago and was trying to find a good way to use it. I was always trying to think of a complex way to use it, but usually fell short. These are the previous versions from about 4 months ago : https://imgur.com/a/8BMnC


    Since then I discovered scapes created by Filipe Oliveira and started to understand how he uses trees by keeping everything in proportion (fish, rocks, open space). This is what my tank looks like today with shots from different angles: https://imgur.com/a/XiHwS Photos have some glare because of my phone.

    I was going for a simple tree on a hill scene with the bonsai on the golden rule line. This tank was just redone about a month ago and I'm looking for opinions on my rock layout and attempt at a hill using lava rubble.

    Other than that my next steps are:

    Adding more sand behind the bonsai
    Choosing whether to carpet with marsilea minuta or monte carlo with accent plants like crypt parva or hydro. japan.
    Removing the placeholder bucephalandra
    Possibly removing the fissidens from the tree and using bucephalandra because the tree is hard to maintain a nice shape.

    Let my know what you think in regard to the rock layout/scape and carpeting choice. Thanks
     

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  2. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Definitely a neat scape but im not sure what's happening in the back right corner
     
  3. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Those were just plants I had left over from before that I tried placing randomly. There's 2 anubias nana petite behind them rocks and the bucephalandra to the left wasn't going to be in the tank. Do you think I should move those anubias from behind the rocks?
     
  4. lucasgg

    lucasgg Active Aquascaper

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    Yes, move them near the tree would be visually supportive
     
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  5. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    alright. do you have any opinion on whether I should go with monte carlo or marsilea minuta?
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    mexicat
    "I was going for a simple tree on a hill scene" To start off with its not a simple tree it looks big and heavy. as far as a hill your substrate is rather flat.
    "bonsai on the golden rule line." The rule of thirds is divided vertically and horizontally your tree appears to be one third in from the left but horizontally I cannot work it out.

    "I'm looking for opinions on my rock layout and attempt at a hill using lava rubble." The small rocks look as if they have been very carefully positioned at different positions. When you do the planting I think all those small stones will be covered in other words far too small, as I stated previously your substrate is rather flat no distinct rise.

    Your substrate is very glary plus being white its going to be very difficult to keep clean. Plants in sand it can be done but using a quality plant growing substrate you will get a far better looking aquascape and plant growth.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  7. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    At this point, what would you suggest my next steps be to improve what I have? would it be to:

    Raise the substrate higher to create a bigger hill

    and

    Find larger rocks to replace the smaller ones on the left





    For reference this is what I was trying to work with https://imgur.com/a/NRCTv

    When I referred to the golden rule I was thinking of when the length of the tank is divided by 2.618 and the focal point is placed on that line. I'm not sure if I'm applying it correctly if it involves a horizontal line.
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    mexicat

    https://imgur.com/a/NRCTv
    My security does not like your photo links at all my suggestion would be to use PhotoBucket its safe and FREE.

    Here is some very interesting information for you.
    http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main/how-to-hardscape-your-aquarium

    To start off with I would use sand myself and if that is all you have its practically impossible to do.

    All of your rocks are small and lack character.

    This is possibly not the reply you are looking for other than the tree you do not have the hardscape materials.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. Gwendelion

    Gwendelion New Member

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    I don't know how flat your rocks are, but if they have at least some dimension to them, it looks like you could be able to group them in ways that would make them look like larger rocks. They're too spread out and flat now.
     
  10. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I uploaded some of the images from that album to photo bucket and included new photos of the rocks lifted out of the sand. I can still add rocks underneath some of them to raise them higher. I might break the stone in the front right and place it on the front left if these rocks are now usable

    http://s1376.photobucket.com/user/mexicatz/library/
     
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  11. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I uploaded some new photos with them pulled out of the substrate http://s1376.photobucket.com/user/mexicatz/library/
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    mexicat
    Thank you for using Photobucket.

    With the help of PhotoShop I have made several major suggestions for you.
    1 Move the hill and tree to 1/3rd from the RH end as at the moment its a central tree and not pleasing to the eye.
    2 One of the rocks I have rotated it 180 and moved it closer to the tree.
    3 Substrate I have made it the same depth across the front also more appealing to the eye.

    There are possibly a few minor moves with the rocks but that can be easily done later.

    Keith:cat::cat:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Thanks for the suggestions. You've been really helpful. I'm going to make the adjustments tomorrow and I'll update with another photo. Seems like I'll be deciding on the foreground planting soon.

    I looked at my original photos and the rocks were definitely too small and wouldnt have been visible.
     
  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    In one way or another your Aquascape is a challenge and that is what I like.

    I have been involved and teaching design (mainly furniture) now Aquascaping for about 64 years now.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Mexacat

    Here is another little move for you to add another feature.

    The has a slight yet noticeable lean to the right making it even more natural.

    Keith:cat::cat:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I tried to do some of the changes you recommended. Let me know what you think. I took several different photos including:

    one with the right rock rotated and in different positions
    the tree rotated at different degrees with different rock layouts

    The positioning in some of them aren't perfect, but I didn't want to go overboard. Some of my thoughts:

    I think the rock on the right loses the interesting textures when it's rotated at 180.

    The tree at a slight rotation probably looks better than it sitting flat.

    I didn't finish the hill yet because I would have to move a lot of sand with each rock movement.

    http://s1376.photobucket.com/user/mexicatz/library/new versions?sort=3&page=1
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    The best advice I can give you now is:-
    1 Adjust the tree it's still vertical.
    2 Adjust the rocks to give it a more natural appeal not as if very carefully positioned.
    3 The rocks do not all have to be flat give them a lift even if you have to bury the low end.
    4 Only you can see what is best, after you have made the adjustments take and post one good front on photo please.
    5 Once that is done then and only then can the final minor tweaking can be done even if it's one rock at a time.

    Once all that is done a planting plan can be worked out.

    Keith:cat::cat:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you made the final decision on what you would like to plant?

    Before you buy any plants post the list then a plant expert will check it for you.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  19. mexicat

    mexicat Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I spent a few hours today working on the tank trying to do some of the changes, adding sand, and trying rock placements. I'm not able to get the full tilt you recommended because the back end of the tree roots stick so high up that I couldn't create a slope that looked good.

    For the foreground I was looking to do monte carlo with hydro. japan as an accent or marsilea minuta with something like crypt parva. I was also thinking of including anubias nana petite and bucephalandra somewhere.

    These are some of the current photos (I forgot about the right rock being under the tree). May have buried some of the stones too much. I think the only way to get the tilt and maintain a hill would be to rest the back roots on the stone to the left of it, but the front end may appear really close to the ground. image1.png image.png
     
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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Posting your photos like that is far easier to look at thank you.

    In nature that often happens you could place a rock for support and cover it over as if the soil has been pushed up on the LH side, the mound does not have to be a perfect rounded shape if so it will not look natural.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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