I am very excited about this layout. This tank has gone through a few different iterations but I believe this will be the final, most natural and ultimately the scape that I transfer to the large rimless aquarim that will centerpiece my collection when I am able do it.
As I type I am in the midst of speaking with Rod Salyers who is the owner/operator/harbinger of hardscape for thedriftwoodstore.com. We have spoken about this scape on a few different occasions because both he and I are very particular about setting things up correctly from the start with the design goal, rock shape/size/texture/feel and ensuring that I (the customer) am going to get exactly the right rock/wood for the job. This includes verbal and photo sharing through our phones. I will post up some pics of this efforts below. Its quite refreshing in this day and age of "pay me then we can talk mentality"! Wonderful service and I suggest ANYONE who is thinking about hardscaping their tank give them a shot.
The landscape from which the hardscape was born.
Currently the tank has 3 discus and 4 or so Ottocinclus. The plants are Syngonanthus madiera, Ludwigia Pantanal, Echinodorus Aflame, Eriocaulon Austraila II and Polygonum Sao Paulo.
The hardscape will entail North Fork Stones and Appalachian Root Wood which has a contorted shape due to the rocky terrain and a dark reddish brown color given from the high Iron content of the soils, neither of which I have ever seen implemented in a tank before. They were harvested in their entirety, legally and with all proper permits from the watersheds in the higher elevations of the Southern Appalachian mountains and from the streams/rivers of Eastern Tennessee with Rod's own hands. I wish I could have been there!
Everything should be arriving mid week but here are some shots he sent of a very nice mock up of the tank that were done with the dimensions I sent him.
A few sample pics of the materials/