I need some input... *Now with substrate!* - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 05:09 AM Thread Starter
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I need some input... *Now with substrate!*

I'm *really* bad at aquascaping, and I need some help. I'm limited on funds and would like to be able to use what I have at hand. I *can* get some more items if need be...

This is for a mid-high tech 29g tank. I plan on using stems, crypts, some sort of carpeting plant (leaning towards DHG now), blyxa, and some kind of moss (probably xmas).

This is what I have so far. I used towels to try to achieve some sort of substrate volume, but it didn't work out all that great. I think it's missing some sort of height, maybe?



Any thoughts, input, or criticism is greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 06:43 AM
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driftwood setup looks fine. i would try to find rocks that match in color and composition if i can help it. i would also move the rocks forward since they're smaller than the driftwood--it wouldnt make sense to hide something smaller in front of something larger.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input! I was kinda using the one rock to more or less prop up the drift wood. I'll try to arrange them towards the front more when I get the substrate in. Or get different rocks, or toss them out. Something :p

My husband suggested I should tilt the "vertical" piece of driftwood to the other side, towards the center of the tank. It's actually resting on that small rock that's off-center. Not sure I like it. It's pretty parallel to the large piece of wood on the right. It looks neat, but I'm wondering if it's a bit too... deliberate.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 09:19 AM
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Not sure anything in my thread will help you, but worth a read and some good aquascapers gave some comments and suggestions, so always nice to read some stuff up on what others suggest.

First real "scape" attempt

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 03:10 PM
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in my opinion, you should add the substrate then place the hardscape. that is the only way to get a real sense of how it will look.



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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 03:20 PM
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I agree with adding the substrate. If it is a darker substrate , I would go with darker rocks.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
I agree with adding the substrate. If it is a darker substrate , I would go with darker rocks.
I have Flourite Dark and Flourite Black mixed together, so it's pretty dark. Now that you mentioned it, I don't know if the zebra stone will work well with it

I'll try to get the substrate going into the tank today, and maybe hit up my LFS for some rocks or other hardscape pieces...

GeToChKn- I've been following your post, and I really like what you ended up doing

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 06:31 PM
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I found having the substrate helped in my mine but don't flood it. lol. Too much work as I scaped 19 times over last night and drained the tank in the end to scape anyways. lol.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 07:14 PM
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I would use the rocks. Use them to support the wood, not as important pieces of hard scape. I keep posting this link but it isn't because it is the end all of good examples - look through and you can see how wood and rocks can complement one another rather than be separate elements in a scape.
http://en.iaplc.com/results12/top200vote/ Maybe use them like #149, 17, 33. Imagine there are better examples that look more like the wood you have but on a quick look through those popped out.

Play with the wood more. I would try to intertwine 2 of them together to make one larger piece so the structures weren't the same size. Since this is a relatively tall tank try for height.

Is the substrate in another tank right now? If so why not put a folded towel under the main towel to create more height to the rear?
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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A way you can make any rock or driftwood coloration perfect is adding some moss to it.

It is great for shrimp and looks just stunning.

Your driftwood is perfect, it'd be upsetting if you moved any of it.

For this tank, I would recommend different levels of substrate. That'd effectively give the tank a deeper feel and make the driftwood on one side seem taller.

To get the substrate on different levels, you can throw rocks or bio balls or ceramic stuff underneath a layer of substrate. It looks nice!




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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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My substrate needs to be rinsed out. I had let it dry in the tank and now it's full of dry dust.

I'm going to try rinsing it out and putting it in the tank, but I almost want to put pool filter sand in the front, something tan and pale. I've always used dark substrates, but I'm liking how the towel looks in there. I put up a black background on it, and the contrast is lovely.

Now... where do I find pool filter sand, in winter, in Michigan?

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 08:41 PM
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Is it your goal to have 2 focal points? The wide spread of drift wood seems to make it so. I have usually seen such set ups with more of a hill-and-valley effect. Make more of a mound toward both back corners of the tank. They should not be equal, though. One might be taller, the other wider or coming more forward.

Set it up again, but any rocks that are only used to prop up the driftwood get hidden, covered by the towel. Then that color will not distract from the rocks that will be visible.
Rocks that prop up the wood will end up pretty much buried under substrate or hidden by plants.
Visible rocks should be near the front of the tank, or at least in the front half. Any farther back and they will not be seen.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-31-2012, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Is it your goal to have 2 focal points? The wide spread of drift wood seems to make it so. I have usually seen such set ups with more of a hill-and-valley effect. Make more of a mound toward both back corners of the tank. They should not be equal, though. One might be taller, the other wider or coming more forward.

Set it up again, but any rocks that are only used to prop up the driftwood get hidden, covered by the towel. Then that color will not distract from the rocks that will be visible.
Rocks that prop up the wood will end up pretty much buried under substrate or hidden by plants.
Visible rocks should be near the front of the tank, or at least in the front half. Any farther back and they will not be seen.
I don't really have any goals, per se. Just something that looks nice. I think what I'll try doing is having the right side be built up higher than the left and obviously the back being built up higher than the front. I'm still flopping about the pool filter sand in the "valley". I think I'll clean out my substrate, throw it in the tank, and then play with everything. I can always move stuff around later, right?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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This is what I ended up with. I dropped the vertical stick down because it fell down and it looked cool. Not sure I want to keep it that way. I also buried the rocks because I just couldn't make them work.

I also ran out of substrate faster than I thought I would. I think it has enough, but I may end up getting some more tomorrow.



This hardscape is growing on me. I'm thinking of putting a crypt at the top of the "roots", and some taller stems or vals on each side. Blyxa and DHG will probably dominate the tank, as I want to leave the middle a little bit open. I also want to attach some moss and java fern on the wood. Trying for a ton of green with some red accents.

Any input or suggestions for improvements?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Rita Mae Brown

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 07:35 AM
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Both sides could be raised somehow. Perhaps more driftwood. I like to make good use of every inch of the tank.

it does look good though.

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