Kristina's 20g Long Journal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Kristina's 20g Long Journal

I've had an old 20 gallon long in the shed for a long time. It was the former home of my pet mouse (RIP Coleslaw). I got it out and cleaned it up, hoping to have a comfy home for my danios while I learn to regulate the CO2 I want to add to my Spec V. Of course I couldn't just leave it at that. While on vacation I found some really neat rocks which I resisted at first but then found myself going back for a couple of days later. The lady at the LFS claimed they were a super-hard kind of petrified wood when I returned, which made me smile. I think it's gneiss, but whatevs, I like the shape/striations. I cut out a template of the tank footprint and have been messing around with the rocks. I have black sand for the substrate. When I got the rocks originally I had a sort of Stonehenge thing in mind, but now I'm not sure the pieces I have work, perspective wise. It looked like this:


I dunno, seems like it will overpower the tank. This will be low tech and I plan on lightly planting some shorter plants and maybe a little clump of Java ferns I have that don't like the high light in my Spec V.

I messed around some more and got this:

Which I think seems too small, even given that the tank is not very tall.

So then I tried this:


Still tinkering with this layout, so I'm happy for suggestions.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 07:01 PM
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I like varied levels myself, so I would stack maybe 3 on one side higher and then one or two small maybe laying flat on the other, you might not even need all the rock you have there.

120G mixed reef, 17G planted


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 07:29 PM
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If you use something like sand as a substrate you can put some of the rocks mostly submerged in the sand. It will give it a pretty cool look. I would focus a majority of the rocks on one side though to give it a focal point.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 08:11 PM
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I'd put the tallest rock ~ 1/3 of the way from one end, position the next two tallest around it somehow, and then fade out with what's left going from tallest to shortest. You may get some useful insight google imaging "golden ratio+aquascaping"

Very cool rocks btw
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-25-2015, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure what you call it but I'd like to put the tall ones askew into the sand, so it looks a little like crust upheaval if that makes sense. Its really hard for me to visualize it in the vertical dimension with no substrate. I guess I'll have to get the tank up there and dump in the sand and play in the sandbox. And for once it's legit!

Great suggestions, thanks everyone.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-26-2015, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm no artist

It becomes crystal clear to my how lacking in artistic skills I am whenever I try to decide on a layout. Taking some of the helpful suggestions I tried some new things between bouts of washing and rinsing the tank.

You'll have to imagine the sloping substrate in all these!

I tried most on one 1/3 but didn't like it:


Then I tried grouping them closer and moving more toward the left 1/3:


I put in part of the black sand I'll be using as it was getting hard to visualize without it, then tried the stones partially buried.

Not sure though, the back columns have to be in the back corner for perspective, but I think they are a little close. I dunno.

So then I tried a longer slope and put everything on the left third, making a little slope the front/right using the flat rocks.


That might work, and give me a second focal point on the right for a slim, tall plant. I wish I was better at this. Suggestions and comments appreciated, as always!

Last edited by KristinaP; 04-26-2015 at 08:27 PM. Reason: forgot last pic
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 02:11 PM
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I use to have a pic of an aquarium which used the stones to make the impression that you were walking down a hill. It was similar to the pic below.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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That's really, really gorgeous!!!

Suddenly I wish I had more rock.

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Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I use to have a pic of an aquarium which used the stones to make the impression that you were walking down a hill. It was similar to the pic below.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 03:13 PM
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If you know someone whom has a wet saw you could get them cut into smaller pieces. The pic I saw used smaller pieces.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-27-2015, 03:48 PM
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I like your 2nd to last pic, and I think w/ more substrate and plants it will look cool.
The tank Hilde posted is cool, but I actually prefer some open space, but to each their own.
Start looking through tank images in your tanks, or google planted or iwagumi images and see what appeals to you and works w/ what you have.

120G mixed reef, 17G planted


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 05:37 AM
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Here is a scape that would work with the few rocks you have.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 11:04 AM
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What about stacking the rocks and packing in sand and having your largest rock sort of jet out at and angle into the tank? Stacking and packing with sand should hold for visual confirmation.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 08:17 AM
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A lot of your pictures everything looks too neat, everything the same space apart, straight lines etc. Hope you figure it out, petrified wood looks great!

Richard - Happy Fish Keeping
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-29-2015, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudger View Post
A lot of your pictures everything looks too neat, everything the same space apart, straight lines etc. Hope you figure it out, petrified wood looks great!

Richard - Happy Fish Keeping
agree, too neat. get some smaller rocks or break one of your rock into smaller pieces. that's what i did for my aquascaping.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Next step - background

I finally finished painting a black background for this tank. My least favorite thing about tanks is seeing all crap hanging down in the back (which is why I was so drawn to the Spec V...and got one for my first planted tank). This tank is also in a room with black furniture and a ton of ambient light and sunlight, so I think it won't be too dark even with the dark back.



After reading a lot of old posts I went with a can of cheap flat latex paint and a $2 sponge roller. I taped off the sides which worked perfectly. Taping the rim was less useful as I found it was difficult to remove the tape without tearing away some of the paint, so I had to do a little touch-up at the top and bottom after removing the rim tape. Next time I'll just use a tissue to wipe away any paint that gets on the rim - it is on the back so it is hidden anyway.

The paint is super-easy to remove (as I found out with the tape) which is why I went this way - if I hate it later I can take it off without breaking down the tank but to me it looks a lot better than a plastic film background and was cheaper too.

I went to find lava rock (great suggestion) but had no luck. The LFS did have a large bag of plain black gravel that was marked down because the stock guys ripped the bag and had to tape it back up (who would even care?). I snagged that and tomorrow I hope to pull out the sand, put in the gravel and cap it with the sand, and get a better visual on how high I can make the side hills stable. Then back to my constant fiddling with the hardscape. Maybe some day I'll get to put water in the thing, lol. I really kinda need to get going on it, as I have a CO2 setup waiting to go into my Spec V but I don't want to experiment with it until my fish are safely in a different tank. I may move some or all back eventually, but I won't be able to sleep until I get the hang of the CO2 Art regulator if I think my fish might suffer because of my inexperience or the quality of the gear (to be fair, the gear looks great, just quite inexpensive so I worry about reliability and delivery consistency).
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