Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape

This is going to to be a 29 gal shrimp tank, with black substrate.

My rocks from DaveFish just arrive (thanks!), so I've stuck them in the tank with a root my son found.

I'm planning on using lots of java fern, java moss, and anubias plants.

Any ideas of how I should do my layout? Need a few more rocks? Maybe some terraces? I'd like this to be a very 3d landscape. The pictures are just to show what I have to work with so far, they aren't set up in a final configuration.






Last edited by Aplomado; 05-15-2013 at 09:04 PM. Reason: clarification
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:17 PM
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Looks good.
What you could do is flip the scape around and get some more height with the rocks.
Or leave it alone, it does look good.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:32 PM
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Re: Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape

I would lose driftwood, that piece just does not work in that layout to me

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 08:38 PM
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If you are going for a natural feel, you've nailed it. Otherwise TBH, it looks like you just threw stuff in a tank. I apologize for being mean but this is just what I think.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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I did just throw them in the tank!

How should the pieces be arranged? That's what I want to know.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 09:03 PM
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You can often give the impression of much more space buy using less. You don't need a lot of rock to make it look like a rocky cliff for example and if you push the substrate around the rock you can plant more. It's hard to plant with not a lot of substrate. But if you wanted a "rock garden" look then it works. Tying the plants to the rocks also works but you would then hide the rocks and therefore it seems silly to have so many.

My suggestion would be to think of what kind of space you're going for. Do you want a "futuristic space age garden" for example? A "moon rock" theme? Or maybe a more earthy look like a Hawaiian volcanic beach? The lava rock could look great for both. Maybe google some volcanic scenic pics and see what you think? You don't have to copy, just get inspiration.

Personally I think you have too many too-large items for the tank. Try choosing a centerpiece that's large and go smaller with the rest.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 09:29 PM
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Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape

I would toss the stick as well...

A rubble scape would look great. Put the main stone at 2/3 with cascading rocks around it.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 10:13 PM
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It wouldn't quite be a natural look, but you could make a pile of the rocks ~1/3 of the way along the tank, and then invert the piece of wood and have it attached/coming out of the rock pile, almost like a tree growing off of an outcropping. I've seen some really nice setups done that way.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:03 PM
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I like the look where rocks are fitted together to make a bank/cliff. It looks amazing when done well and it is possible to use these rocks to make such a structure, they are really nice.

Anubias 'Petit' and/or moss can fill the cracks between rocks. Then use the wood on top perhaps with narrow leaf java fern on it. Or make two rock structures, one larger than the other and use the twigs as a bridge.

Sure you cannot plant most stems or rosette plants where there is rock or wood but you can use moss, java fern, Bolbitis and Anubias.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-15-2013, 11:31 PM
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I'd remove the stick. Try scaping with the soil in, then you can do a whole lot more with the rocks.

40 Breeder in progress...
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 01:57 AM
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You can use your least favorite stone as a base to get more height out of the other stones. If you do a hill side coming down from either corner or cliffs you will need to buy a good amount of substrate. Aquasoil or eco complete or something similar. There are a lot of brands that are similar to Aquasoil and cost a lot less. A rocky hill side would be nice. The big dome piece I gave you with the really neat nooks and crannies at the bottom edge would look cool as the top of the hill or cliff face as to leave all that character on the bottom half of the rock exposed and create depth and shadow. I know some people mix rocks with sticks, I usually do one or the other, unless you are going for the island convex root look surrounded by sand like some pros do in IAPLC.

Keep your sleeves wet!

Last edited by DaveFish; 05-16-2013 at 01:58 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 03:29 AM
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DaveFish reminded me of a trick you could use also which is nice for plants with roots. If you want more substrate and less rock burried you can take a clean fishnet stocking or plastic/poly net and fill it with your substrate or sand and place that as a "rock" to raise your actual rocks. Won't scratch your tank and is a nice filler.

I do like the branch btw. Didn't mention that earlier.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the imput.

Okay, fooling around last night, this is what I came up with some variations:

#1


or

#2


or

#3


or

#4


or #5


or #6


or #7



Any of these can be with or without the wood...

Thoughts?

Last edited by Aplomado; 05-20-2013 at 09:22 PM. Reason: another pic
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 02:16 PM
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Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape

#1 --
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-16-2013, 03:04 PM
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Re: Need some ideas with my lava rock aquascape

I like #2

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