What do you prefer? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 61
What do you prefer?

We all have different ways of doing things, as well as differing tastes. So in your opinion what looks best in a tank? Not substrate but for aquascaping. Do you like driftwood only, rock only, or a mix of both? Would be nice to get some follow up pictures. I will post some once I am home of my own. I personally can not seem to get a mix of both to look good and I am wanting to set up a tank that is mixed for a more natural look. So some pictures for inspiration would be cool.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:23 AM
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I started scaping with just wood and since reading and looking and watching lots of tanks finally dared to wash off and put some cobbles dug from my garden into the tank. Both the fish and I were instantly fans and I think the plants look great above and among them too. I like wood for its height, color and shape. My cobbles are water worn with some texture and odd shapes and the colors blend very nicely with the colors of my substrate so they look like they belong. They don't look like mountains or hills or even an eroded stream bank but they do look like they belong with the wood and the substrate.

If you check out my journal you can see how it looked just planted with wood through the first experimenting with rock and the current set up just planted then the last page is how the tank looked recently. You may not like your rocks today but maybe after the plants have had a chance to do their thing it will work better. The rock line on the right of my tank wasn't very well done but today it looks just about right with half the rocks hidden behind plant growth.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 04:42 AM
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I've been slowly refining my riparium set up, nothing formal, just letting the bits and pieces that come into my hands find their way into the tank.

Waiting on some more wood that's coming in this week, but I'm finally liking the combination of rounded river rock and manzanita branches. Substrate is fluorite with a scattering of light colored polished aquarium gravel on one side; the smaller rounded gravel softens the affect of the larger rocks.

But what's really pulled it together is the plant selection that's slowly evolved. This tank gets whatever is left over/not working from my others--and the plants I have now are strongly reminiscent of some of the forest clearing marshes I remember from back east. Main plants are pennywort and a native variant with the same light colored rounded leaves that echo the shapes and lighter colors of the river rock/pebbles; then there's mermaid weed--high contrast with heavily serrated edges. Some swords, a bit of java fern, some hygro bold and a few others bits provide some texture but their dark colors don't stand out and the shapes read as realistically "weedy" without being too messy. Letting the tannins stain for a moderate blackwater affect helps too.

I've another tank with one eye catching piece of mopani set up at a strong angle in the tank--around it and under it to prop it up are jagged chunks of a pinkish granite. Off to one side is a thin slab of the same granite that serves as my shrimp feeding platform. Reminds me a bit of a creek bank with rocks tumbling in over a caught branch.

There's no magic rule; just a matter of developing your eye for design.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
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@Kathyy: just saw your tank and the changes you have done. I think they all look great. Thank you for showing me that

@knotyoureality: thanks for the advice, I have always done only wood never rock or a combo and I wanted to try it out a bit but didn't water to set up using my forty and then hating it having to take it down
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 12:04 PM
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When I set up a Scape I spend some time here looking for ideas on perspective:

I try to stay opened minded and pick wood and/or stone for the hard scape based on what looks natural for the scape. Some combinations make sense some don't.

While all the entrant's tanks on that site have design merit, not all appeal to my visions.

Last edited by DogFish; 10-15-2012 at 02:12 PM. Reason: sp.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 02:04 PM
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
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I look at all the years and sizes of tanks. Every tank has something good to take away. I look and attempt to figure out what appeals and what I don't care for and why.

Also look through
http://acuariorosa.com/2010/08/10/th...-contest-2010/ and http://en.iaplc.com/results12/top200vote/

Reading through the posts on this blog may help you develop a critical eye and even better figure out how to change something that displeases you into something you like!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Texas
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Wow all these aquascapes are truthfully stunning. I want to do some sort of wood and rock combo with a sand path. My question is, how do they keep they sand from mixing with the substrate? And do the place dividers in between sand and the substrate? As far as flow would a spray bar be preferred pointing slighting to the top to prevent sand from swirling around?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 61
I know most of these tanks are set up for contests so I think that at home im going to stick with a more flat aquascape because I want to be able to see on the back side. Might go with a slope coming from the back down. not sure yet. really like entry #251 on the AGA aquatic gardeners page.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2012, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 61
I think I got it I want to achieve a look from the combination of the following.
I like the slopes on this one
The wood work catches my eye on this one.
and the way the path way on this is done really well.
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