75 Gallon Aquascape Ideas - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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75 Gallon Aquascape Ideas

Ok folks, I am getting ready to setup my high tech 75 gallon as the focal point of our newly renovated living room. I am looking for ideas from plant selection to rock or wood selections. I am really open to whatever ideas are out there. Not sure if I want a carpet or not, but I want a lot of plants, with colours, so feel free to give me some ideas. I am from a small community, so please post the names of the plants you would use and how you would lay it out, I will be getting most of my stuff from the Toronto area. I have provided my equipment below.

Tank- 48" x 18" x 21"
Filter- Eheim 2217 (thinking about adding a 2nd)
Pressurized CO2 (20 lb tank with CO2 regulator from GLA, inline diffuser)
Lights- Hagen 48" T5HO Double Strip Lifeglo 6700k (not sure if I will need another strip or not) **Open to ideas on a better light fixture that has the option to mount or hang**
Substrate- Flourite Black Sand
EI Dosing Regime

I am also considering adding powerhead to the tank if I notice there are areas of reduced water flow

feel free to critque and shoot out ideas
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:15 PM
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For the carpet you could do Pygmy chain sword, I think it looks so cool!
Is there a theme you want to do?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2012, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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No real theme yet, obviously a natural look, leaning towards putting in a nice piece of malaysian wood.....but not really familiar with many "themes"...any ideas?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 04:46 AM
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Will this tank be viewed from just the front? Maybe the sides a bit?
Or is it more visible, perhaps a room divider?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 11:36 AM
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btw, I would add the second filter and the pump, because I noticed on my setup that my flow was less than stellar without some help.

As far as aquascaping, are you going after a particular style or do you have something in mind? It'd probably be easier to say something if you gave us some information about perhaps what kind of fish you wanted to stock or how you want to think about doing your hardscape.

Something I feel happens in a 75 as well is that you need to decide if you want a perfectly manicured aquascape or if you want to sneak in some less than perfectly scapeable plants such as your sword plants and madagascar lace plants.

My 75 gallon High Tech Tank:http://tinyurl.com/n7zp47m
My 10 gallon High Tech Tank:http://tinyurl.com/qyf7s5o
My 5.5 gallon nano College Dorm Tank:http://tinyurl.com/p54uupj
Mom's Spec V:http://tinyurl.com/qjt3rw2
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2012, 08:39 PM
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Biotope tank of some sort...

"One day...one day, this path will lead us to the White City, and the tower guard will take up the call: the Lords of Gondor have returned!"

Boromir, The Lord Of The Rings
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well i don't want too neat of a tank....i was thinking of going with a piece of wood either center right or center left that hangs over a bit like a ledge....was thinking of having some type of moss to attach to the branch areas of the wood.....and from there im open to ideas....more wood? Im thinking of staying away from rocks.....to start prolly some cardinal tetras but im flexible
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2012, 05:31 PM
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OK, so we have a start:
Driftwood with moss, perhaps leaning, a moss tree sort of idea.
Cardinal Tetras.
Not perfectly manicured.

Driftwood is nice. Having it start off center, then leaning toward the center is a nice idea. Do you have the wood? Start positioning it and decide how you will hold it in place. If it is too top heavy you may need to anchor the wood to some sort of base that is hidden under the substrate. The one piece might be plenty, or think about a smaller piece echoing the major piece, perhaps lower, certainly smaller.

Cardinal Tetras are not great in a high light tank, so plants that provide shade are good. Large clumps of stems, or arching leaves like Swords, or floaters and near-floaters. Stems that grow tall enough to arch across the water. Cabomba, Myrio, the tallest Hairgrass, tall Vals...
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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I dont have the driftwood yet, but thats the style I want, so I am on the hunt for some....I guess Im torn on what plants I should go with along the sides and back of the aquarium....do I keep the colours (reds and browns) to the centre or sides of the acquarium? Should I wrap the background plants around the sides of the aquarium? Is symmetry on both sides good or bad?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 04:58 AM
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Absolute symmetry is not good.
Balance is good.

Easiest example is with rocks. Quicker to write, but when I write the word 'rock' I am including all the design elements of the tank: Driftwood, plants, ceramic mer-people.
1) Divide the tank into fifths.
2) Put the largest rock off center at either the 2/5 or the 3/5 mark. Turn it around until it looks right, place it left and right of center, see where it looks best. Lets say it ends up at the 2/5 mark.
3) Out the next largest 2-3 rocks off center the other way, in this case, the 3/5 mark.
4) Add more rocks near each of these focal points, away from the center or toward the center.
The two foci may not end up exactly on the marks. They can't. They are too big, and spill over left and right. This is where you step back and look. Does one side look to heavy? Move these closer to the center, or use fewer or lay them down so they look smaller. Does one side look too light? Move the rocks a bit farther away from the center, or stand them up more, or add more rocks.

The way balance works is a sort of gut feeling, but think of it like children on a teeter-totter. If you have one large child, place that child closer to the center. If you have several medium sized children place enough of them on the other side to balance the largest child. Then place the rest of the children on both sides until they are all on the ride. Some may be farther from the center, and some closer.

Plants add this complexity:
If the leaves are larger the plant looks like it is closer to you. Place these plants mid tank or more forward.
If the leaves are smaller or darker the plant looks like it is farther away. Place these plants near the back and sides of the tank.
The overall effect is to add depth to the tank, the same way you see it in nature. A grove of trees will have depth because your mind is correlating the size of the leaf with the distance of the tree. In an aquarium, where the actual distance is usually not more than a foot, if you used all the same plant it would just all look the same.

Pair up the reds or other color variations, then use them both left and right, but NOT symmetrically arranged. On the left maybe the red plant has very fine leaves so you use it more to the side and back. On the right maybe the red plant has larger leaves, so use it closer to the center and closer to the front, perhaps mid tank.

Think about these ideas, and go look at some of the award winning aquariums over the years. See if you can see where they applied these ideas, and where they did something else that worked.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 06:20 AM
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Here are a few links to contest tanks. Please don't think this is about buying this expensive rock, that exact shape of wood or that particular plant. look at the way the elements are placed rather.

I had to post. #132 in the first link has rounded pebbles with sand, neither are hard to find materials and a very easy to grow plant, narrow leaved java fern used to great effect and seems to me might be the look you have in mind. Do look at how the various sized pebbles are placed, it looks random but I bet the scaper had a great time getting them just so. The tank size is even close to yours, 120cm~48" and this tank is just 105cm, 50cm~20" and your tank is 18" deep, 45cm~18" and your tank is 20" tall.

This is the current IAPLC top 200 this year, the judging is very interesting this year. The applicants are voting on these tanks and in a few days the general public gets to vote and the final decision will be up to the panel of judges. See #132, 169 in particular for the overhanging bank look but 26 is one of my top 10. Utter simplicity, just moss, wood and Madagascar lace plants. It is all about using the elements to best effect.

Here are results from another year, links to other years at the bottom of the page.

Here is one year of the AGA contest. It is organized by tank size, easier to see what something might look like in your particular tank.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-05-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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this is great Kathy, thanks so much, good ideas to look into. I really like a few of them #82, #92, # 109, # 125, # 143 are my favourites so far
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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anyone have experience with the starfire tanks? are they really worth that much more for the bit of clarity you get? Is it worth it for a planted tank?
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