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iter 10-13-2012 02:20 PM

「R.I.P」My First Planted Tank
It has met its end.....

The rescape however is here:

Also, I must have accidentally deleted the last pic before tear down.......oops

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Hi everyone!!

This is indeed my first planted tank, and just to say, I already mastered fish-only tanks, time to move on!!!

The main goal of this first tank is not to immediately try to figure out everything, but to slowly develop a feeling for a planted tank.

This means that this would be a planted focused tank, not so much focused on the aquascaping part.

But just to say, I have been practicing hardscaping recently with my tank, so at least there would be some art :).

Will be beginning to get the final hardscape soon and planning the planted would be next.

So far the only picture I have now is a empty tank with aquasoil (its blurry i know, to lazy to get out my Nikon):

This is my first picture that I posted, so bear with me if it looks awkward.

I will list my supplies soon, I thought it would be a boring way to start a journal with a list.

I hope everyone can help!!

oscarsx 10-13-2012 02:34 PM

Looking good already! :)

Any plans for a background?

- oz

mitchfish9 10-13-2012 03:47 PM

Your in the right place to start your first planted tank! What plants and fish are you thinking about?

iter 10-13-2012 04:04 PM


Looking good already!

Any plans for a background?

- oz
Haven't got that far :).

As for the fish, I am just going to put the fish I had in the fish-only tank into there. Remember, I am focusing more on plants and getting the hang of all this, so the fish would basically just be there to contribute to the nitrogen cycle.

Just a side note, I am really good at keeping fish alive until they are too old to live, like my 5 year old tiger barbs (but sadly one of them died 3 days ago :().

For the plants, I will reveal my plan when I finish hardscaping. :icon_roll

oscarsx 10-13-2012 04:11 PM

You tease!!!!

- oz

iter 10-13-2012 04:38 PM

Okay, hardscape ready. What do you think? Feedback wanted!!!

I am using the Popsicle sticks as a way to determine the balance of the scape, since it is hard to picture plants in that!

This scape wouldn't much variety in plants because I want to keep this simple so that I would understand each plant individually. In general for the plants, I want to have stems in the two areas in the back, probably some rotalas or ludwigias. Main ground cover would be glosso, and the midground with crypts, because i think they would do well in there with the wood and the darker rocks.

As for tiny accents, probably some sparse eleocharis near the rocks.

What do you think?

iter 10-13-2012 06:00 PM

Just a side note, this is all the material for layout I have!!! What I did now optimizes space for plants and tried to make it look as good as possible. My tank dimension is weird, 90*30*36cm, plus all my objects are small. Just some extra input to know.

iter 10-14-2012 07:29 PM

Ok guys, don't make me talk to myself here. I NEED FEEDBACK!!!! THIS IS A CALL FOR HELP!!!

Mike1239 10-14-2012 07:36 PM

It looks ok but I would want the wood to be placed so its as tall as it can be and place another rock on the left of the wood and maybe move the the wood and rock to the right of it a little closer to the center

Curt_914 10-14-2012 07:43 PM

I would definitly replace the wood with another rock, and I would do a grouping of 3 rocks on the left 2-3 smaller on the right.


Inkedsphynx 10-14-2012 08:46 PM

I think it looks pretty good, but one nitpick I would have is that the two features are too well balanced. That'll confuse the eyes and make it hard to define the actual focal point. I'd move the rocks around and try to make sure that the general size characteristics of the left feature is about 33% larger than the right feature. Another good way to do this without altering your scape too much is to try to make the left feature taller, as that will give the illusion that it takes up more of the tank, even if by overall volume it's roughly the same as the right feature.

Of course, you could also flip this to make the right side the main focal point instead, but try to avoid having two features of basically the same size characteristic, as that is tougher for the brain to process.

iter 10-14-2012 08:58 PM

Thanks guys!

The main problem I have is that this is all the stuff I have for layout(don't ask)!!!

I knew the proportions of the areas are too even, just wasn't sure, so I'll definitely take your advice.

I already moved the wood higher, but I also wanted it at least a bit slanted because it would give the feeling of being emerged from the stem plants that I am planning to plant. The main point of this layout is to give as much planting space as possible, so I can learn how to grow the plants without too many physical obstacles.

Will update the picture as soon as I'm done fixing it!!!

Inkedsphynx 10-14-2012 09:32 PM

If you don't have other scaping materials handy, there's ways you can help modify them a bit with a small mount of cash.

For instance, you could buy some small PVC pipes (1/4" or 1/2") and attach the wood to it, creating legs. This would allow you to raise the wood up higher in the tank, while still having solid support underneath so it won't fall over. This way you don't have to stick it so deeply into the substrate.

Another trick that can help is to slope the substrate more. Create a larger mound and then place a rock or the wood on top of that and it'll appear higher. As a side benefit, it looks more natural in my opinion to have a substrate that rolls and has divots and hills, rather than just flat. Not sure how well that'd work with your substrate, but it's an idea.

If you want to pick up more rock for super cheap, but don't have someplace nearby where you can forage for rocks, you can hit up a larger landscaping place. They usually have a pretty good selection of rocks. Some online digging can turn up multiple sources for rocks. I got 80lbs of Granite (hardly ended up using any of it) for something like 3$. Cost me more in gas to drive there and back!

I'm sure there's plenty of other creative ways to add to a scape. Just walk around Home Depot or Lowe's and you'll probably find a few ideas!

iter 10-14-2012 09:54 PM

I too really think that I don't have enough things to work with, but I am making up for that by really thinking about the plants. For example, I would probably use glosso as the foreground because its lowness won't block to much.

This is only going to be the only time I will use this little materials, planning to go to Taiwan when I get my greencard to rock hunt the REALLY SPECIAL rocks that are present in the mountains (Florida is either limestone or sand....). The problem with getting more rocks is that my current rocks have strata, so the rocks must come from one place, which these three rocks do.

Right now I am more focusing on the planting, since I am already fixing the hardscape.

@Inkedsphynx: I am finding inert materials to raise the base of the aquasoil, since even though the plants would fill in the emptiness in the upper portion of the tank, raising some rocks would help a lot with the general depth. Thanks.

Inkedsphynx 10-14-2012 10:49 PM

As far as plants go, I think another way to help the size balance would be to do as you said and go with something low growing not only in the extreme foreground, but right around the base of all the rocks. It would probably require some pretty diligent trimming and maintenance, but having a low growing plant around the front of the base of the rocks in particular will give them a larger sense of scale. I'd place the taller plants around the back of the rocks, and on the outside edges (relative to the sides of the tank). That would also achieve a nice little stony-grotto type affect I think :)

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