So, my tank no longer had it's original goal in mind. I don't even think it could be called an "ADA" tank, as the only correlation it has to it is the type of rock and soil used. Clearly it wouldn't be a dutch tank either, as I'm a fan of extensive use of rocks, and not as much a fan as the huge plant base typical there. I wanted a natural look as well, not just an artificial garden setup.
It was then that I read a thread here by Ugly Genius
While his tank wasn't a direct inspiration to either the aquascape I have in mind nor the inhabitants that may one day be placed in the tank, or even particularly the plants I'd use, it did provide me with a simple epiphany: This project needed a name. Crazy, right?
Well, think about it. A name for something becomes it's identifier. It's a focal point for what the thing is, it describes and creates and adds life to it. An apple without a name is simply another fruit, lost amongst the huge variety of fruits, while an odd person here or there could recognize it for it's potential and characteristics, if it's just another "fruit" it becomes lost, it exists, but is unrecognizable. It's potential is vastly downplayed. But with the simple addition of a name, you can now say apple and know what i'm talking about, and instantly correlate it with ideas (like: Newton, red fruit, johnny appleseed, etc). Thus, the second roadblock (more of a philosophical one, blah blah blaahhh), was soon overcome.
Project Ukiyo: The beginning.
Thanks to a run away history class, a professor of mine brought up Ukiyo-e paintings from the Tokugawa era of Japan. I was only haphazardly paying attention, but heard the words Ukiyo-e, and "floating world," and wrote it down to look into later. After some brief research on the buddhist philosophy behind the concept of "ukiyo" I found that it fit in perfectly with what I wanted. Nothing is permanent, and in fact, if you take it to it's existential extreme, pretty meaningless. But! this idea of a fluid and changing world really appealed to my idea of this tank, I could combine Serenity and turmoil, while creating a balance in this tiny ecosystem according to my own rules and philosophy. It is thus with the simple epiphany of creating a name I've come to write this long drawn out mini-novel, and come to what would seem as simple views towards approaching this construction. The tank, it's aquascape and future flora and fauna were now my artistic vision and creation, not a mimicry of anything else.
And really, isn't that how true art is created? Something bigger (or just something that became an obsession) ends up guiding the artist. The painter becomes guided by the brush, not the brush guided by the painter.
The Rules I'll follow so far:
1.) The fauna will have to bring out the best in the aquascape and create a brilliant contrast to the flora and hardscape, while using it to it's utmost utility.
2.) The flora has to pleasantly contrast within itself as well as blend in naturally and in a pleasing sense, to bring a focal view in on certain points.
3.) Algae cannot be controlled through non-natural means. No rock or glass scrubbing, algae is part of the eco-system balance and will have to be controlled through something like snails or fish. (I'm leary about herbivore fish, since I've seen them decimate plants quickly)
4.) There should be one schooling fish species and one predatory fish species to exemplify the predator/prey relation. While I'm not going to go out of my way to try and kill a fish, as that would be cruel, I would like something that does hunt (like a cichlid) to coexist with something more peaceful (like tetras). It's more the idea of predator prey relation and less the actual execution.
5.) These fish/other fauna cannot be typical, they can't be something that's found in any old fish tank seen over a dozen times by any typical person. This would take away from it's immediate appeal, they need to be captivating.
6.) While this is a personal project for self-satisfaction mainly, I want to draw upon the creative minds of fellow aquarists as much as possible and really see this project take on new and interesting turns. Maybe it'll one day be bigger than what it is now, who knows!
7.) More rules could/should be added at any time via criticisms and input of anyone willing to help out.