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My First Stint in Aquascaping

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Mark Villaluna, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Location:
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    I am a newbie in aquascaping, a hobby that I engaged into last December 2014 after being inspired by a Youtube video from the Green Machine. I started reading forum threads on the basic setup, stocking, aquatic plants, fertilizers, and DIY carbon dioxide supply and was able to come up with something.

    I want to improve my current setup, which has the following details:

    Aquarium: Rectangular, 50 gallons
    Filter System: Box Type
    Lighting: Ordinary Energy-Saving Fluorescent Bulbs (Philipps, 4 bulbs at 18 watts) mounted on a rectangular DIY casing
    Fertilizer System: EI Method, CO2 Injected (DIY)
    Stocking: 9 Neon Tetras, 5 Swordtails (I plan to put 2 Zebra Nerite Snails as algae-eaters)
    Plants: Water Sprite/Wisteria, Moneywort, Christmas Moss, and some red-colored plants I bought in a shop (I forgot how it is called.)

    1st Aquascape 2014-12.jpg

    1st Aquascape 2014-2.jpg

    1st Aquascape 2014-3.jpg

    1st Aquascape 2014-7.jpg

    1st Aquascape 2014-10.jpg

    1st Aquascape 2014.jpg

    So far, everything is doing well except for the formation of some brown-colored algae on the walls of the tank.
    Please help me improve the setup. I would really appreciate some suggestions. Thanks!
     

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  2. Glomeridae

    Glomeridae Active Aquascaper

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    Hello and welcome here!

    The tank is nice! =) Just one question, is a plant floating?
     
  3. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Mark

    My first impression was an Aquascape with a well designed and constructed left hand side.

    The right hand side was not interesting at all.

    Over all the substrate was rather flat with a very large and uninteresting pathway.

    Then there were the neatly placed white river stones that stood out like a search lights.

    Here are a few ideas for you.

    Rebuild the RH side and give it a lot more height.

    This could narrow the pathway then you can give it more character and shape by scattering small pieces of the same stone as the LH side

    A few plants across the back could then link both of the sides together.

    Sorry if I seem rather harsh but my criticism has given you a few alternatives that I think you should consider,

    Keith:):)
     
  4. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thank you very much Glomeridae! Nope. No plants are floating. I think that's the reflection of the tallest water wisteria planted in the middle.
     
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  5. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks a lot Keith! I appreciate your suggestions. What plants would you recommend for that portion at the back? :)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  6. Glomeridae

    Glomeridae Active Aquascaper

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    Ok, thank for the informations! =)
     
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  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Mark

    If you use a tall plant it will close the pathway off and if you choose a low grower it will look as if there is more behind the path.

    Decide what you would prefer then see what is suitable and you can purchase locally.

    Keith:):)
     
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  8. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I quite like the original picture but I can see what Keith is saying. It does look a little 'forced' at the moment like a manmade 'landscaped' attempt to make a natural garden rather than looking natural.
     
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  9. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks for the insight. I guess I have to train my eye for more natural layouts/compositions and strive for simplicity.
     
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  10. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    i like the scape however you should take into consideration some of the suggestion posted in here.

    in my opinion, the choice of plants is not also appropriate. what did use for substrate?

    btw, welcome to ASW (y)
     
  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Mark

    Keeping Aquascapes like nature is usually the simplest you have to pay more attention to detail.

    Use Google and look for Images of the theme you are wanting to recreate.

    Keith:):)
     
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  12. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks. I used the ordinary black river sand that can be bought in Cartimar district and white sand for the pathway. I was thinking of buying the more high-end aquasoil brands but since I am just starting I realized it might be better to use the simpler and more ordinary kinds of substrate.
     
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  13. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Some updates of "The Hidden Sanctuary" as of February 7...
    I tried to close the passageway by planting taller plants at the rear part of the tank, but I still don't have time to bank up the RH side of the set up because I still don't have time to overhaul the entire tank. (I also removed the white river stones...)

    It kinda looks like a tropical rainforest now...

    I hope I can finish revising the layout soon... Thanks for the suggestions.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Mark

    To be honest I had to back track to see if it was the same tank I criticised previously.

    That is a massive improvement, you now have shape, texture and a little bit of perspective.

    My only suggestions are now I would be get a few rocks exactly the same and smash them up into different sized and scatter them around the substrate and with any larger pieces press about 1/3rd into the substrate to give it a more natural appeal.

    The other suggestion is take that hollow out at the front and have a level surface across the tank.

    Finally a regular trimming and keep the plants in that gap low as it gives you the impression there is something else in that area.

    Please keep us updated.

    Keith:):)
     
    greenfinger 2 likes this.
  15. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks a lot Keith! I will keep you posted.
     
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  16. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Mark, Very nice Scape (y) Great photos too ;)
     
  17. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The large plants at the front make all the difference. Gives it perspective. Just needs the plants at the bank in the gap to be sorted out and it's definitely a scape that would now benefit from a clear background.
     
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  18. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  19. Mark Villaluna

    Mark Villaluna New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
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  20. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    hi Mark,..your tank look much better than first time it was introduced here in ASW. good job (y)

    the additional plants which you have not mentioned in your top post are:
    bacopa monnieri[round leaf] and ludwigia repens [red one] plants readily availabe in our local shop :D
     
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