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PLEASE critique my scape before I upgrade to a 60-p!

Discussion in 'Critique My Aquascape' started by Clintonsparsons, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    I just ordered a 60-p. Please help me by making suggestions on the placement of the rocks in my aquarium and my plant selections. I am wanting toe replace the blyxa because it is so messy!

    I am not the kind that rearranges with the hardscape, so during the move I need to get it right because I won't alter it later.


    I am transferring to aquasoil. I have an eheim 2215, pressurized co2, and for lighting I am using an ADA Solar I

    I am willing to move and take away rocks, but not replace them with other rocks. I found these at a lake in the north Georgia mountains,


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Could someone suggest another plant to replace the above Rotala rotundifolia behind the rock with? It refuses to grow vertically and wants to stay low and creep. I want to replace this with a taller, erect plant and move the Rotala rotundifolia to the left side of the tank, in front of the Pogostemon erectum.


    This is my first scape.not too bad for my first time, I think. I am happy with the hardscPe where it is, but id love and be very thankful for you all to help me improve it and make it wen better by telling me where e rocks should be better placed or if I should take away stones.
     

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  2. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    70 views and not a single reply?

    Either my very first aquascape is so fantastic that my rock choice and placement can not get better, and there is no room for improvement on the hardscape..

    Or...

    No one cares : (
     
  3. Dabrits

    Dabrits New Member

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    Or...like me, I just don't know enough about aquascaping that I can't intelligibly critique. It looks 10x better than mine!
     
  4. gavinsons

    gavinsons New Member

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    looks great, what are those little lilly pads growing in the right corner?
     
  5. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    Amazon frog bit that I am getting rid of.. They float around too much,

    Do you guys think my aquascape is too linear? I tried to make it look like two rocky outcropping on each side of the tank, with the left one being larger.

    With a tank that is only two feet long and twelve inches wide, it is hard for me to provide a sense of depth and its hard to not make things symmetrical.

    Another problem is that the three largest rocks are very similar in size. The two smaller rocks are meant to be "sacrificial stones".

    I tried very hard to use an uneven amount of rocks.. But I'm just not sure this hardscape is right. It just seems too two-dimensional.
     
  6. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I may sound a little negative here and I am not the best for hardscapes but to me it looks a little low.

    By that I mean with the large rock being so far into the right corner it makse the scape almost look like a let down on the middle to left. It also makes the rest of the hardscape disppear almost.

    I think that large rock would've been better a little further into the tank to provide some interest for the eye and maybe the substrate given more shape to 'raise' the rest of the rocks a little.

    The actual section from centre to right looks quite good but there it breaks down from centre to left. Almost like you couldn't decide between 2 ideas.

    If the the whole of the centre to right had pulled to the centre (meaning the large rock was about 2 thirds from left) then I think it would've 'married a little better.

    Sorry to sound negative but its just what I see :)

    p.s. I don't do rocks so some may be reading my post thinking 'what is he on about' ;)

    As for the plants. I think they are fine for the 'idea' of the scape. Its just the rocks are too small that they are a little lost in the plants. A little more height in the hardscape and they would've fitted much better.

    AC
     
  7. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    No, you are not negative. Negative would be if you insulted me mother and said I wasn't brought up properly enough to select good rocks, or the rocks in my head are better than the ones in my tank lol. I was looking for that kind of input!

    I was trying to have two separate "islands" Or outcroppings of rock but i see what you mean... It does look like I couldn't decide between two ideas. Almostt like I shoved two separate tanks together. I am looking at the tank and having a hard time deciding where to move the tallest wrock... I agree with you that it must be moved, but only having 60 cm to work with is challenging for me.

    I love these rocks, but how can I raise them? Put em on top of other rocks then bury the rocks they sit on?

    For what it's work, the tank isn't filled in and the plants have more to grow. I don't want to give e impression that e rocks are supposed to be the main focus. There seem to be two main types of scapes. One type is plant based and the other is rock based. After the plants fill in, my intention was to have this ge a plant based scape. The rocks were only added to help unite the foreground, mid ground and background, my intention is to have all of the rocks sort of blend in among the plant growth and be more like accent pieces, with the plants being the focus.

    I also feel as if I have too many plant species going on, perhaps. Maybe it looks too busy because of all the different plant types.

    I'm not going after any particular school of aquascaping, I just want something that looks presentable to guests and that makes me happy.
     
  8. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    To gain height for the 'rocks you can 'shape' your substrate. i.e. if you want a rock higher then have a 'mound of substrate under it and then once plants are grown they will hide the mound. You may have to continually recreate these mounds as they level out. That is until the plant roots start to bind your shape together and hold it there :)

    AC
     
  9. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    I am a college student so the tank will be moved home and back for winter break, summer break, and maybe even thanksgiving break.

    I don't think the mounds will last with the moving. I can clue Mexican beach pebbles under the rocks to lift them higher up and to give a stable base. Aquasoil would cover the pebbles so you wouldn't be able to see them.

    How many inches higher should the rocks be, and which rocks specifically should be raised? The two rocks closest to middle ( the larger rock on the left side, and the slanted rock on the right side) are actually buried halfway.

    Do you guys like the angles the rocks are placed at? Should I remove any rocks completely? Add more rocks? I have a few more small rocks of the same type that are more angular. They are a little smaller than the two smallest rocks in the tank now, but not much smaller.
     
  10. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    Sorry to double post, but could a mod please move this to the please critique my aquascape sub forum? I didn't realize tier was a sub forum when I made this thread and I think I would get more responses there.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    My 2 cents:

    Normally biggest rock will act as the focus point. Thus I would put it at the golden section (golden ration tinggy). On your scape, my eyes always drawn to your right side because that the biggest rock is.

    Another thing is you can try to slope higher at the back, that will give a depth impression of your tank. You might also want to put smaller leaf plant at the place where you want it to be the furthest point.
     
  12. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    Maybe it's because it's past 3 AM, but I don't understand what you mean when you say to place a smaller leaf plant where you want it to be the furthest point. Where is that? I don't understand where that means.

    As for the tallest rock, where exactly should I put it? If you could please instruct me as to where to put it, sort of like "put it X inches from the left (or right I guess) and then push it forward X inches. After that, put X rock at X position) you know? I really need specific instructions because I am trying really hard, but need help... sometimes I just need people to tell me what to do when it comes to stuff like aquascaping.

    I have no artistic talent. I'm sorry. I'm a Bio major ;P I can explain how every living thing in the aquarium works and inter reacts with each other, but I don't know where to properly place plants or stones.
     
  13. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    What I mean is it is just like drawing. An object closer to you will look bigger than the object further away.

    If you want to create this kind of perception, you need to choose bigger leaf plant at the front and smaller leaf plant at the back.

    For example you can put glosso at the front and HC at the back. Do take note that this is not always true because bigger leaf might end up blocking smaller leaf behind. :p
     
  14. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    Great idea! I've never even thought of that before. Any ideas how to keep them from overtaking each other? Wil they grow together where they meet to make a nice transition?

    I still need more help with where to more the rocks. I'm sorry but this is my frost time aquascaping, and I am trying, but i am so new I feel like I need someone to tell me what to do... Like "put x rock three inches from where it is now. Move this rock here, get rid of this rock" or something similar.

    What do you think about replacing all that blyxa with Crypt parva? I've got the right conditions for it, and it is smaller than the blyxa so it would make my tank look larger, but overall would give the same effect if i planted a ton of them there. Or maybe that is a bad idea, any thoughts?


    I'm sorry guys, I am trying. I want to eventually be as good as you guys.
     
  15. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Hope you don't mind me playing with your tank ;)

    I've only moved 2 rocks just to show you a difference.

    The original on the left:
    [​IMG]

    In essence it is now similar to mine, except I have my formation further towards the front (different styles for different effects etc.):

    [​IMG]

    AC
     
  16. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    Dude, that is really cool how you did that! So that is all i have to do? Does this fit the golden ratio?

    The third rock from the right, the one that is slanted to the left, don't you feel like it is being dominated by the taller rock in the new picture? It looks like it's being over powered, don't you think?

    But I do not have the aquascapers eye yet. I like what you did, and I will do that I think, but now I think the plants need to be different. If the larger rock is going to be where it is in the new picture now, is it ok for the pogostemon erectus (the tall plant) to be where it is currently? I would like to add some limnophila aromatica for color, but do you think a 60-p is too small for that plant? Would the bulk be over powering?


    Would it be wise to put any tall plants behind or next to the tallest stone? I'm not sure how situations like these are typically handled. I have a 150 watt ADA solar I so finding tall, erect plants that won't creep that stay small leaved is hard for me since all of the species always turn over on their side in such strong light,
    I really like the new scape you made for me and will duplicate that rock placement, but the blyxa has to be moved or eliminated with the new rock placement. I can't describe it but it just looks wrong to me... Like it's disproportional to the rocks. I am dealing with smaller rocks which means I'm restricted to small leaved plants. What should I replace the blyxa with besides letting the downoi fill that space in? I have been considering crypt parva. Any thoughts?

    I also want to get rid of the dwarf lobelia in the middle. I'm thinking maybe I should leave the middle open and let it be covered by glosso or HC carpet. Maybe utricularia graminifolia could fill it in, but I'm not sure about how tall exactly U.G gets


    The more I look at the new picture the more i love it!
     
  17. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Lol thats not all you have to do. I was just showing how different it would look with a couple of simple changes. For me in the right hand picture the tank looks bigger.

    Maybe so but its a question of balance. Before the large rock was on the right, your eye is drawn away from the rest of the tank. Move it in and the focus is a little better. The balance is not just a case of 'rock' positioning and moving a rock will not complete the setup.

    I would say in my pic the large rock is still a little too far to the right. Maybe there are too few rocks in there or that the others are too small in comparison to the large one.

    I will get shot down for saying this but I don't think there is an 'aquascaper's' eye. There is a skill involved but many of us can scape. There are only a few that can produce the jaw droppers. Of course for each of us the jaw droppers are different scapes to someone elses.

    Its Art. what one person creates and people love, others will hate and vice versa.

    I'' alter the pic again later.

    For me the plant in the left rear is a last minute addition. It doesn't fit. I think the substrate could be slope much more effectively to give the appearance of a 'plateau at the front rising slowly to the cliffs/ mountains at the back.

    The plant around the right rear is too much. I like the plant and I like the appearance but there's too much of it. To the right of the rock would look better if it gradually sloped. The substrate can help you here. If the substrate slopes the plants slope (as long as you follow the slope when pruning.) etc.

    Do you have any pics of the hardscape before plants went in? Just so we can see the rocks.

    I think it would look better that the large stone is 'poking' out from the plants surrounding it. Not too sure what it would look like with tall plants behind it.

    i'm not sure if those ada lights are as strong as you think :) however i won't go into that at the moment. With lights you can always raise them up to gain spread and remove intensity. that can slow the growth a little. For example my 1.1WPG (LED) is 10" above the water surface and 23" above the substrate. The growth is pretty good even with 'slow growers'


    I'm not really the chap to ask about little leaved plants or anything stemwise. lol. I always use Crypts, ferns, anubias. If I like something else I just put it in but very rare I use anything other than these 3.

    If you are thinking of using Crypt Parva you need to plant a huge amount. Whilst most crypts are described as slow growers I would tend to say they aren't so slow. In Parva's case it most definately is :) If you plant light it will take years to get to the desired fullness. That is if it doesn't get swamped.

    Maybe something like Lileopsis Brasiliensis could give the transistion around the bottom of the rocks? No idea on planting I'm afraid. I just look for areas of green :lol:

    Oh and the picture was altered in......................MS paint- the program that comes fre with windows.. Have a play :)

    AC
     
  18. Clintonsparsons

    Clintonsparsons New Member

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    I don't have any pics with Jo plants and just rocks, but this is the closest think. Have:

    [​IMG]

    You said the plant in the left rear doesn't fit and looks like a last minute addition. Are you referring to the Pogostemon erectus? It was one of the first plants i got and i like it because it reminds me of conifers. I can move it but I don't want to get rid of it.

    You also said you liken the plant in the right rear but ere is too much of it, are you referring to the blyxa in front of the rock or the rotala indica behind it?

    I also have a few gold ball sized rocks of the same type as these if I need to use them.

    I should also probably mention that any slopes won't stay slopes for long because I'll be tanking it to and from college as I move back and forth with the holidays/ breaks. I'm also not trying to do an iwagumi setup... Just something that looks good. I thought it looked pretty god before but now I realize it's kind of crappy and can look a lot better.
     
  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    IMO, there is too much foreground. The tank seems to transition from foreground to background quickly as there is little middle ground. If you are using the large rock as a focal point I would place it more towards the midground and right of the vertical midline. By increasing the midground I think you will see an improvement in the depth your tank will present.
     
  20. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I see your online so hang around and I'll get onto 'playing' with your tank a little.

    First I'll answer the questions:

    I can now see the rocks are pretty low from that pic. If they are 'half' buried maybe you can retrieve a little from the substrate? Pull them up so only the bottom sections are buried.

    I meant that it 'appears' to be a last minute addition, in that it doesn't 'tie in' with the rest of the scape. however I will see if I can fit it in anywhere. You'll get 4 different piccies this time :)

    You are educating me here :) Rotala Indica ;) I think the Blyxia is fine. Will need to be trimmed though or it can get very lively. lol

    Use them around the base of the 'mounds'. Will give the appearance that the rocks start much lower down.

    Mmmm moving it around is a little bit of a problem. I would guess the gravel doesn't help with holding it together.

    I think it looks pretty good now too. There isn't much wrong there and much much better than my first few (or more ;) )efforts. Definately doesn't look crappy. Of course it could look better. Mine could look better. The No1 in IAPLC could look better. there is never a perfect :) But you are obviously on the road to geting there much quicker than most as you have a great start in front of your eyese there :)

    Take a look at this aquascaping video I just saw: Uses low rocks and yes it is Iwagumi low height style but is a good video to show how others do it:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJdMXgW0E2I]YouTube - Iwagumi Challenge yt.mp4[/ame]

    Be back with your photos in half an hour to an hour :)

    AC
     

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