I'd tilt the wood left, but just see what looks good. You might try have the pieces of driftwood cross visually at the golden ratio point on the right side of the tank.
I wouldn't remove the submersed plants, but blackwater + T5NO lights means they probably won't get enough light, just like in nature.
My understanding is that Farlowella are in shallower fast-flowing water, in the middle of twiggy driftwood and overhanging branches. Royals and their close relatives are sort of unique in that they prefer hanging out in big driftwood snags to eat the bacteria growing on and in the wood. Your big pieces of driftwood suggest a deeper, siltier area of the river, so I think a royal would be more appropriate, but again, it's a question of how far to take the biotope, and how close is "good enough".
I'm probably going to keep the submersed plants (until they melt). I'll do the Salvinia on the left side, and maybe move it to the right side if the other plants die.
I'm worried about the potential size of a royal pleco. I want to do a strict biotope. Mongabay has Farlowella as a Rio Negro species.
I like the idea of crossing the driftwoods at the 'golden ratio'. I'll try that for my next few pics. Thanks Kuni!
I have nothing to add, as I am too new at this myself - I just wanted to say that that is the most magnificent piece of driftwood I've ever seen in a tank!
Thanks driftwood hunter! It took me two days of paddling around the river to find the right stump. BTW, you ought to have nice driftwood in the New River. My folks live in Floyd, and all my cousins seem to go to Tech. Cheers!
Added 7 Otos and 20 Pygmy Corys last weekend. So far everyone's doing fine. However, now I'm faced with another problem. My Rio Negro biotope has become a Rio Madeira biotope! Does anyone have any experience with Kerri Blue tetras? My LFS has some, and they're from the right area.
They're slightly larger than tetras like Cardinals, etc. They can be nippy if not kept in large enough schools and with other fish with flowing fins. But otherwise are really lovely and usually hardy once established.