1. Welcome to AquaScaping World!

    Become a register member to get FULL SITE ACCESS AND BENEFITS.

    Join the ASW community now!

    Dismiss Notice

Newbie here, hi all! Lots of questions!!

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by BigAL777, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Wow, thanks. I appreciate the time it took you to do that. I know the general rule is not to place the focal point in the center, I almost couldn't avoid it with the placement of the other stones to keep it an odd number of stones. I actually have a HUGE amazon sword (I think it is) in my 29gal tall, it's about as old as my dwarf gourami (aprox. 3 years old) unfortunately it would not even come close to fitting in this tank. I might be able to take a single leaf from it and root it in, but I don't know if I have any single leafs that are short enough.
    Honestly before I add any other plants to the tank, I want the ones I have to grow. That way I get a feel for the final look of what the aquascape will look like and I can leave some grasses taller in the back and shorter in the front. But what plant would you recommend for my tank?
    AS far as the background goes, I have a cut piece of black background for this tank, I just haven't taped it on yet. I see you put a little rotate on the main rock (I'm a graphic design student, I notice the tiny changes lol) to give it a more angular look, I like that. I think before I move anything I want to examine all of my options. I also don't have anymore substrate that is this black and would fit into this tank, so I would have to buy a whole nother bag ($20+ and money is very very tight the rest of the month)
    Keith, what do you think of my new stones? Not black, but I think they are better than the yellow/brown ones!
    I have read that people get algae bursts quite often with newer tanks, and I haven't seen any in my tank since I've started it up. The only algae I have was from when my tank was set up a couple years ago (massive neglect to this tank since it was in a mostly unused room). It might have something to do with the fact that I always throw a couple of tiny snails into a new tank to keep the glass crystal clear.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    keithgh and greenfinger 2 like this.

    Sponsored link:


  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    4,650
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    BigAL
    I have never done graphic design but I did teach the old Graphic Communications in the very early years, most of my knowledge is in Furniture design/Cabinet making and teaching for 26 years, Interior design, Industrial Design, plus a few bits and pieces along the way.

    I am very lucky the one eye I have now can still pick up fine details.

    Yes I do like those rocks.

    I think 5 rocks is too much that is why I kept to three its the KIS rule plus you have a lot more room for planting.

    See if your LFS has any use Substrate all you have to do is wash it then boil it to kill any nasties then hose it clean again.

    Keith:):)
     
  3. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Unfortunately the only used substrate my LFS has is a terricata brown color. And I'd have to buy fish for them to give me some. What I can do is lower the angle on the back LH side and use that sub to raise the rear RH side to keep the hill look more uniform. Or I could slope both corners for a narrow look?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  4. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Likes Received:
    2,156
    Location:
    North Dakota, USA
    I think you should take a loot at Roy's slate rock work and try to emulate something like that with the stones you have. When placing stones a couple things are important: Making sure they look natural. Many beginners want to evenly space the stones and that does not work. Use an odd number. For your tank I think 5 as 3 is just too few. Be sure the directions they point flow together. In MANY aquascapes the stones of a stone only layout have the stones "pointing" towards the front corner(s). For example. If you use the right focal point around the right 3rd as the location of your stone grouping most stones to the left of that should point towards the front left corner. While stones to the right of it should be directed towards the right front corner. This helps build the perspective and gives guidance to creating flow. I think this is best used when creating a grouping of stones surrounded by more open space. You can use it for two groupings if you want an accessory grouping at the other focal region and just reverse the idea. Your tank is too small for this however.

    One thing to consider when creating a low tech or DIY stone layout where you want a lot of carpeting, is that it is difficult to find good low growers to build the depth and perspective. You can try HC and Roy is a good example of growing it very well with DIY or you should consider a sand only front with the microswords creating a grassy field behind and maybe some C. balansae behind the largest focal stone. Even mix in some hairgrass.
     
    greenfinger 2 and keithgh like this.
  5. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    I like the look of HC, there's a different type of plant that I think I would rather grow than HC. It's called Micranthemum Monte Carlo and I don't think it has a species type that they've identified it with. It's a little easier to take care of than HC and stays low like HC does. Not quite sure if I'm ready for that yet. I'd have to get another clamp light to take my tank to 4.1 Watts per gallon, I would also need ferts at that point, so it's definitely a possibility in the not too distant future.
    I would like to see some of his slate work but I searched around and couldn't find any pictures. Maybe Roy can post some in this thread?
    I'm leaving work early today so I'll move some of my stones around when I get home, I'll snap some pics of them and post em right away. I think I'm just going to try to angle the big stone towards the rear right of the tank, then take pics. If I'm not happy with the look, I'll rearrange them to point at the front corners then.
    One other concept that I could do is a gradient look, like half the tank is raised up higher and the stones are the barrier, not sure if I have enough substrate for that though, the linked picture is an example of what I mean. http://www.nogi.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/IMG_3088.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  6. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    I angled the big stone a little more
     

    Attached Files:

  7. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Here's a shot of my tank at a different angle
     

    Attached Files:

  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    4,650
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    BigAL

    Looks like you have a lot of thinking to do re your Aquascaping.
    Shawn has given you some excellent advice personally I think you should go back to step one and make a mock up in the sand box and post photos of each of your ideas then and only then start on your new Aquascape after we have given you opinions on each of your Aquascapes.

    At the moment sorry to say it looks like you want it "now" and that is far from the best way to go.'''

    Keith:):)
     
  9. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    OK, I read your post a minute or so after you posted. At first I thought it was a little rude, but then again I would be rude (or more foolish) not to take your advice. I'm the newbie here, I'm trying as hard as I can to absorb your knowledge. I'm more than willing to go back to step one if it will make me a better scaper. So I've spent the last couple of hours busting up almost all the rest of the big rock outside. Then I used an old tote and put a bunch of old (and ugly) gravel inside. I'm going to start over, and I won't settle for anything less than perfect. While doing research, before I decided to do an aquascape, I fell in love with the look of iwagumi scapes. Before reading more than just an introduction to the other forms of scapes I decided if I was to do an aquascape, it had to be iwagumi. Tough, stubborn, hard, that describes me, it also describes a rock and that's how I found the connection to iwagumi scapes.
    The main stone has to be carefully chosen, moved in all manner of direction until it is in it's resting place. I have several large stone close by. Step 1: finding my Oyaishi.
     
    ShadowMac likes this.
  10. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Apart from the stone already in my tank, these are the biggest ones I have. I like the shark fin looking one, but I'm worried it's not bulky enough. The trouble with a lot of these is that they aren't very tall...
     

    Attached Files:

  11. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    I had to prop it up, but I like the look of this one so far:
     

    Attached Files:

  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2011
    Likes Received:
    4,650
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    BigALL

    Finally we are getting there, I am still learning after close to 50 years with aquariums (certainly not Aquascaping) I have just applied my practical knowledge of design basics.

    I am very pleased that you are starting of with the basics.
    My only suggestion do as much research as you can on your chosen style there are plenty of good photos on the WWW plus videos of How To Etc.

    This is just a starter Copy and paste it, then print it out so you can keep referring back to your hard copy with your own notes.

    I should have it done for you in a few days time

    I have no idea where all this information came from its certainly not my work.

    Iwagumi

    It can complicated as the name its self or as simple as selecting the rocks and placing them in an Aquascape.

    The Japanese term “Iwagumi” literally means “rock formation, these become the skeleton of the design.

    The rocks are placed in odd numbers of different sizes with each rock having its own name.

    There are the special rules of Iwagumi, the way its substrate is laid and the order of rock placement.

    The Japanese term “Iwagumi” literally means “rock formation.” In a Japanese rock garden, the rocks are the “bones” of the layout and usually consist of three or five rocks; one main or large rock flanked by two smaller rocks, but not of equal size. When the rock formation is placed properly, the rest of the layout will simply fall into place.

    Each rock used in Iwagumi has its own name. There are special rules of Iwagumi, such as the way its substrate is laid and the order of rock placement.

    A golden rule in an Iwagumi aquascape you should always use an odd number of rocks of various sizes (three, five etc).


    In Aquascaping one of the most important points is to draw the viewer’s gaze. This is what the aquascape is all about. The aim of an aquascape is to be pleasing, relaxing, and interesting to look at for the viewer. In order to do so a focal point is created. It is the point that draws the gaze of the viewer first, from which they can explore the rest of the tank. A focal point can consist of almost anything, the only thing it must do is draw attention. Here are a few simple points to remember about a focal point.

    First, there should only be one, more than one focal point makes the viewer look back and forth from focal point to focal point.

    In extremely large tanks, you may have two focal points comfortably.

    Second, you should have some type of focal point in every aquascape, not having any does the same as having too many: the viewer’s eyes are left wandering back and forth and don’t know where to look next.

    Third, the focal point should be placed in a very particular location; this is called the Golden Ratio/Rule of Aquascaping.

    The golden ratio is mathematical constant. It simply means, the golden ratio is about proportion and size

    This rule specifically deals with aesthetically pleasing proportions, it is certainly not new it dates back to the Ancient Greeks.



    Many people assume that placing the focal point in the middle is most pleasing, however, this will again keep your eyes wandering left and right. By placing it slightly off center, you are effectively gently guiding the viewer’s eyes. You’ll see this Golden Rule used in all forms of art, from paintings to architecture. But how do you use this Golden Rule in the aquarium?
    You need is a measuring tape (or ruler) and a calculator. Simply measure your tank lengthwise from one end to the other. Then divide that number by 2.618. Then divide the length of the tank by 2.618. This is where your focal point must be created (on the more left or more right side).


    Keith
     
  13. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    London
    Hi BigAL, HC Cuba can be tricky to grow and many give up .Monte carlo I have not grown yet but others have had great success with this plant :) As to ferts Can you get Seachem products ?? I use Flourish its a comprehensive plant food:) I add it in daily to my tanks.Work out the weekly dose and divide by 7 And do a weekly water change of 25-30 % With Co2 your plants will get what they need to flourish :rolleyes:
    Shawn gave you some great plant ideas to go with rock work (y)
    With slate it you cannot find the right bit you can always glue pieces together to get the shape or height you need :sneaky:

    One pic of Diego work & two pics of my slate work " Have a look at Diego rock work:rolleyes::rolleyes: His work inspires me" 001.jpg 002.JPG 04.JPG
     
    keithgh likes this.
  14. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for posting that, unfortunately I've read that exact same passage through multiple web sites, for instance: http://fish-etc.com/aquascaping-main/create-an-iwugami-aquascape
    I've read it over and over, the part they don't get into detail about is how to achieve flow with such an immovable object such as stone. And what type of plants compliment what type of stone the most. All these things would have aided me in early decisions, but I guess that's the experience part of the hobby
     
  15. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Yes seachem flourish is available to me, there's also a flourish excel but I haven't looked into the differences.
    I really like picture 2, it reminds me of a Keltic knot, only 3 dimensional. It has layers and they all seem to inter lock each other into place. It's easy to see the work and time that went into that.
     
  16. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    London
    Hi Big Al, Amano the master :love: l love his nature scapes :rolleyes:
    The way to get shape and flow is look at the way nature does it and copy it ;) Mind you she always does it better :D
    Flourish Excel is liquid Co2 " Helps combat algae too. Not meant for that but works " As you are doing Diy Co2 you wont need it ;)
    The little slate one on a tin lid took about a hour :D Diego's posted his little work .And i just had to give it a go ;) Doing little projects like this is great for honing your skills:cool:

    As to plants;) Get your hardscape in place then work on the planting :whistle: Have a look in Aquascaping showcase and see how the top aquascapers do there's then apply it to your work .
     
    keithgh likes this.
  17. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    My current issues are displaying flow with rocks, especially when some of the stones are facing the opposite directions in pro scapes. I can take all of the stones and have them slope in the exact same direction, but won't that look boring?
    Correct me if I'm wrong but aquascaping isn't about copying a scene of nature, isn't it about visually perfecting it?
    On a less philosophical point, what glue is cheap and aquarium safe? Would hot glue work? Or will it start to break down in water?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  18. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    London
    Hi Big Al, Some times in nature the rocks all face the same way not that often though
    I don't get into all the Philosophical points :DWhen out and about if i see something or even a photo and its pleasing to the eye:rolleyes: Then i try to recreate it :D
    As to glue I don't know about hot gun glue?? Others will know more . I use super glue or evo-stik epoxy resin rapid ;)
    A couple of great rock work scapes

    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/cypress-hills-everything-flows.8446/
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/serenity.9082/
    http://www.aquascapingworld.com/threads/den-of-wolves-3-5-liters.9129/
     
    keithgh likes this.
  19. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2014
    Likes Received:
    238
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    You use super glue? Won't the chemicals harm fish?
     
  20. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    London
    Hi Big Al, No:) Been using it for at over a year now gluing slate rocks even plants to wood & rock :sneaky: Fish & shrimp are fine (y) Other members use it to (y)
     
    keithgh likes this.

Share This Page

Sponsored link: