Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Apr 2004
||LinkBack||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
experienceI think there are three basic groups of aquascapers: the hopeful, the informed, and the experts. And whether their aquaqscape is planned or evolved seems to change with each group, with the first group having results that are just shy of random, and the last being completely planned.
The hopeful group. I am in this group, struggling to get out. I originally called this group "the clueless", but that's not quite giving them enough credit. When I started my current tank I had done just enough reading to know:
Rudimentary concepts - "Big in back, little in front, and try to figure out how to deal with the mysterious mid-ground".
Focus - Neither aquascaping nor aquaculture.
Aquascaping strategy - Primarily to have plants that grow in a tank that's reasonably free of algae. All other aquascaping priorities are secondary.
The informed group knows a number of things the hopeful tend to initially ignore:
Water parameters - And how it works with the plants they are considering. This includes temp, pH, KG, and GH. They are also aware of the nutrient requirements of their plants, and where these nutrients are going to be satisfied, from the tap, built in the substrate, added to the water column, or added to the substrate.
Light - They know what kind of light requirements each of their plants have and plan for it. This include not only intensity, but shade and sometimes color or light "temp".
Growth patterns - They know how big something will get, how much maintenance a plant will require, and how its growth will affect both the look of the tank over time, and also how it will affect the growth of adjacent plants.
Success likelihood - They have enough experience to know if they should be able to be successful with a certain type of plant. Or at least can plan around those areas where they don't have experience.
Focus - These are experienced aquaculturists. They can make a tank work. But aquascaping, the art of creating an esthetically pleasing layout, runs the gamut in this group from rudimentary to inspired. So when planning a new tank, they all have enough knowledge to create a healthy tank, and all have enough aquascaping knowledge to create a nice looking tank. Some have the talent or knowledge to take a tank into the "breathtaking" space.
Aquascaping strategy - Create a tank that has a general layout in mind from the onset, with plans to modify as desired or required as the tank matures.
The expert group - they just plain know. They've been there, they've done it. They know what a tank is going to look like at maturity as soon as they finish laying out the tank. Not every stem and leaf certainly, but enough so that in their "mind's eye", they are seeing what will develop. These people are rare. But I think they are there. IMO we have some of them on this forum, but naming names could get me in trouble with those I don't name.
Focus - These people can focus where they want. Some will engage in learning exercises in aquaculture, where what it looks like is little concern. Those who focus on the quality of their aquascape, have enough talent, or enough knowledge, to have a high success rate in creating tanks in the "breathtaking" space.
Aquascaping strategy - create the endpoint, or at least the first point of full tank maturation, as the tank is initially planted.