My 4ft tank. Need comment to improve. (Updated 11-05-06)
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Old 05-09-2005, 01:17 PM   #1
ching4ever
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My 4ft tank. Need comment to improve. (Updated 11-05-06)


My tank info:

Tank : 4ftx 1.5ft x 1.5ft
CO2 : 2.5L CO2 cylinder, 1-3 bps, reactor 24H open
Light : 3 x Philips 865 FL 36W , 1 X Azoo Super Light 40W
Filter : DIY RO Filter 3600H/L

Any comment also welcome. Still need a lot of improvement.


Last edited by ching4ever; 05-10-2006 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 05-09-2005, 02:06 PM   #2
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Nice tank. How old is it? Interesting plant set up, I'm guessing on Java Moss on the bottom right as well as a moss wall?
The only recomendation that comes to mind at this time is a dark background, it would help showing off the fauna & flora. Keep the tread updated with pics.
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Old 05-09-2005, 03:40 PM   #3
ching4ever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyg
Nice tank. How old is it? Interesting plant set up, I'm guessing on Java Moss on the bottom right as well as a moss wall?
The only recomendation that comes to mind at this time is a dark background, it would help showing off the fauna & flora. Keep the tread updated with pics.
Andy
Thanks!!
It is a around 4 months old tank. Start at new year eve till now.
Yup. It is Java Moss on the bottom right as foreground plant and java moss wall and mountain at behind.
I also wish to add a dark background but cannot unless i rescape the tank again because the tank is stick to the wall, not able to move it around to add the background.
I'll keep on update the tread!
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:52 PM   #4
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Nice growth.

As for design comments,

first of all, I don't like moss walls, at least not when they are flat like most. The goal of most aquariums is to try to evoke the sense of greater space than the tank actually holds-- to make it a BIG looking place. That cannot happen when a moss wall draws attention to the wall of the tank, making the viewer look there and be stuck in the reality that what he sees before him is just a box with plants in it. This retraction from the beauty of the tanks happens especially in your case since the moss wall only reaches halfway up the wall, looking even more artificial. The "square" shape of the mesh it is attached to becomes blatantly obvious with it's artificial 90-degree angles.

Similarly, foreground plants should probably not be arranged in a perfect square like the moss (riccia?) you have on the right. Either have no foreground plants, completely cover the foreground with plants, or make the lines of the foreground plants tactfully and naturally end and start when it reaches a place you want bare foreground.

Last of all, it looks very strange when some plants are found in a huge group in only one part of the tank. It looks more natural if the same plant is found in different places in the tank that balance each other out, creating harmony. The idea is use plants throughout the tank, but make the proportions of their presence vary a lot so that different areas have MORE of one type of plant. This looks natural while breaking up uniformity in the display. A good way is to make red plants have greater presence on one side than the other. Red plants in the middle are generally considered a bad (or at least risky) idea.
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:41 PM   #5
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Designing is a lot of personal taste, so what looks good to one might not go along the lines what some great mind decided should look good.

My suggestions for improvement would be to pull out or hide equipment (again, some aren't bothered by looking at stuff, I am) and add a background to the tank where, again, personal preferences play a big role. You should be able to slide a piece of black cardboard behind the tank?

Can you describe your <<Filter : DIY RO Filter 3600H/L>> ?
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmiddlefinger
Nice growth.

As for design comments,

first of all, I don't like moss walls, at least not when they are flat like most. The goal of most aquariums is to try to evoke the sense of greater space than the tank actually holds-- to make it a BIG looking place. That cannot happen when a moss wall draws attention to the wall of the tank, making the viewer look there and be stuck in the reality that what he sees before him is just a box with plants in it. This retraction from the beauty of the tanks happens especially in your case since the moss wall only reaches halfway up the wall, looking even more artificial. The "square" shape of the mesh it is attached to becomes blatantly obvious with it's artificial 90-degree angles.

Similarly, foreground plants should probably not be arranged in a perfect square like the moss (riccia?) you have on the right. Either have no foreground plants, completely cover the foreground with plants, or make the lines of the foreground plants tactfully and naturally end and start when it reaches a place you want bare foreground.

Last of all, it looks very strange when some plants are found in a huge group in only one part of the tank. It looks more natural if the same plant is found in different places in the tank that balance each other out, creating harmony. The idea is use plants throughout the tank, but make the proportions of their presence vary a lot so that different areas have MORE of one type of plant. This looks natural while breaking up uniformity in the display. A good way is to make red plants have greater presence on one side than the other. Red plants in the middle are generally considered a bad (or at least risky) idea.
Thanks a lot for your comment. I'll try my best to make it better.

For the point you said, "It looks more natural if the same plant is found in different places in the tank", I not very understand and get it quite confused. Because normally I heard from other forum, they always said that group the same plant together instead of spread it at different places? Even the magazine i bought also saying the same thing, actually which one would be better for the nicer look?

I still not dare to try red plant because of my lighting and fertilizer problem. Since i didn't put in any base fertilizer and just use the root fertilizer to cover it and use only PMDD for the liquid fert. For the lighting, FL really not enough for 18" high tank, change to HQI or PL maybe better for red plant growing.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Designing is a lot of personal taste, so what looks good to one might not go along the lines what some great mind decided should look good.

My suggestions for improvement would be to pull out or hide equipment (again, some aren't bothered by looking at stuff, I am) and add a background to the tank where, again, personal preferences play a big role. You should be able to slide a piece of black cardboard behind the tank?

Can you describe your <<Filter : DIY RO Filter 3600H/L>> ?
If i got the money, i'll change to canister filter to hide the equipment instead of showing it out so clearly and make the look ugly. Maybe next time when i take the photo, i'll try to pull out the equipment first.

Yeah~ How come i didn't think of the black cardboard to put behind the tank, i always thinking those background paper to stick on the glass tank only....

For the diy filter, you can see the from the picture, a big normal top filter in front of the tank is the power head to suck the water from the tank. Then it will push the water from the tank to the ro filter box below the tank and push it back to the tank. See the ro filter box picture below:

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Old 05-10-2005, 08:49 AM   #8
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Like wasserpest said, there is a lot of personal taste involved. A lot of aquascapers in South East Asia really like walls of moss or liverworts-- though it is a trade off like I mentioned above. Amano has never used a moss wall, and I'm pretty sure it's for the reason I mentioned. Once again though, such a wall is an eye-catcher.

About the issue of groups v. spread out, I'm suggesting compromise. There are some aquaria, especially "garden style" tanks. Organized groups are put together throughout. If you like European flower gardens, that style may be attractive. Nature aquarists, including myself though, will tell you that this type of scape feels life-less, and lacking in harmony. It looks artificial-- because it is.

In any given enviroment in nature, be it a meadow or a jungle, it is rare to find spots in the same environment where a plant can grow in one spot, but cannot grow in a spot within two feet of it (unless lighitng interferes, and there is no interference in your tank). In otherwords if the environment is suited to the moss where it is, than it is also suited where the vals are, and visa-versa. Therefore, it makes sense for plants to be growing in more than one place in the tank.

On one side, the danger is putting all the plants all over, which will make the display look monotonous, and un-exciting.

On the other side, making the plants appear in only one place, and giving each plant a specific section, will look artificial.

The compromise is to group plants, but to group them in multiple groups that can range in size. 3 groups is popular, especially with support plants such as bolbitis and anubias. With foreground and mid-ground plants, mixing can also be effective-- or planting slightly taller plants to highlight shorter ones in the foreground.

Background plants, especially red stem plants are a bit trickier, because they often draw a lot of attention, and may weaken each other in multiple groups. Tall grassy plants like vals, sagitteria natans, giant hair grass and taller crypts can be grown in single groups that are very impressive, or be used as high-lights spread amongst various stem plant groups.

Ultimately, the "rules" of all styles are guidlines only-- they're made to be broken, or compromised between. You go with a few, and do what you can to make it look good. Man do I talk too much when I get going. Shutting up now-- later.

Edit: PS-- I didn't really comment on your middle background, because I like it! It's pretty strong!
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:13 AM   #9
ching4ever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmiddlefinger
Like wasserpest said, there is a lot of personal taste involved. A lot of aquascapers in South East Asia really like walls of moss or liverworts-- though it is a trade off like I mentioned above. Amano has never used a moss wall, and I'm pretty sure it's for the reason I mentioned. Once again though, such a wall is an eye-catcher.

About the issue of groups v. spread out, I'm suggesting compromise. There are some aquaria, especially "garden style" tanks. Organized groups are put together throughout. If you like European flower gardens, that style may be attractive. Nature aquarists, including myself though, will tell you that this type of scape feels life-less, and lacking in harmony. It looks artificial-- because it is.

In any given enviroment in nature, be it a meadow or a jungle, it is rare to find spots in the same environment where a plant can grow in one spot, but cannot grow in a spot within two feet of it (unless lighitng interferes, and there is no interference in your tank). In otherwords if the environment is suited to the moss where it is, than it is also suited where the vals are, and visa-versa. Therefore, it makes sense for plants to be growing in more than one place in the tank.

On one side, the danger is putting all the plants all over, which will make the display look monotonous, and un-exciting.

On the other side, making the plants appear in only one place, and giving each plant a specific section, will look artificial.

The compromise is to group plants, but to group them in multiple groups that can range in size. 3 groups is popular, especially with support plants such as bolbitis and anubias. With foreground and mid-ground plants, mixing can also be effective-- or planting slightly taller plants to highlight shorter ones in the foreground.

Background plants, especially red stem plants are a bit trickier, because they often draw a lot of attention, and may weaken each other in multiple groups. Tall grassy plants like vals, sagitteria natans, giant hair grass and taller crypts can be grown in single groups that are very impressive, or be used as high-lights spread amongst various stem plant groups.

Ultimately, the "rules" of all styles are guidlines only-- they're made to be broken, or compromised between. You go with a few, and do what you can to make it look good. Man do I talk too much when I get going. Shutting up now-- later.

Edit: PS-- I didn't really comment on your middle background, because I like it! It's pretty strong!
Wow. U really give a good leason for me. I didn't think of that before as I just follow blindly to what I learn from those forum and magazine.

What you said really true, different places did got different types of taste for the aquascapping. Like moss wall, i seldom see it from any of you guys but saw it from asia forum a lot of people like it. I also learn from there.

greenmiddlefinger, can I see your tank picture? I hope can try different kind of method instead of follow what i learn before.
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:52 PM   #10
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I find the moss walls really interesting. I'm intrigued by the possibility of trying one someday, although greenmiddlefinger's comments are interesting and make a lot of sense. I'm wondering if a moss wall were incorporated in a way that it looked more natural how that would be? What I'm thinking is that it starts on one end of the tank at near to full height, or maybe about 2/3s height, then using some nice curves you gradually slope it down until it disappears part way down the tank? I was thinking this combined with a nice dark background outside the tank could make a really striking backdrop. Thoughts?

Anyway, I'm a beginner at this myself, ching4ever, so I can't offer you much wisdom, but I do agree with others that the equipment detracts from the appearance of your tank and if you could hide it with a background it would help a lot. I think you're off to a nice start with all your plants and they all seem to be growing nicely. Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2005, 09:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joan
I find the moss walls really interesting. I'm intrigued by the possibility of trying one someday, although greenmiddlefinger's comments are interesting and make a lot of sense. I'm wondering if a moss wall were incorporated in a way that it looked more natural how that would be? What I'm thinking is that it starts on one end of the tank at near to full height, or maybe about 2/3s height, then using some nice curves you gradually slope it down until it disappears part way down the tank? I was thinking this combined with a nice dark background outside the tank could make a really striking backdrop. Thoughts?

Anyway, I'm a beginner at this myself, ching4ever, so I can't offer you much wisdom, but I do agree with others that the equipment detracts from the appearance of your tank and if you could hide it with a background it would help a lot. I think you're off to a nice start with all your plants and they all seem to be growing nicely. Good luck!
Actually my moss wall was not good enough. The moss wall i saw from others friend in another forum, was really pretty. Their moss wall is cover up the whole background instead of what i having right now. Because i just buy some only and thinking to let it grow it self to to make it more and more to cover the background.

Yeah~ Seem all comments is adding a black background, i'll try to make it fast.

Don't say like that, i'm also a beginner, that's why i need your guys comments to improve. The equipment problem will solve it as fast as i could by changing to external canister or take out when taking photo.

Thanks~~
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joan
I'm wondering if a moss wall were incorporated in a way that it looked more natural how that would be?
There is one way I know.

It is an old concept to vivarium builders, but less tried in aquariums because of issues with weight on the back wall. That way is to create depth on the wall, by constructing a wall of rocks or wood attached to the back wall of the aquarium, and then attaching the plants mosses to all of these. Because the stones and wood create depth and different contours than a flat wall, the moss wall in the back would seem real, natural, and would not at all make the viewer feel that the tank is small-looking because of it.

The tough part is constructing a wall that does not put too much weight on the glass wall in back when the tank is filled, and also keeping the plants moist while the silicone used to attach the stone/wood dries. Cork bark is popular in vivariums and is water safe, but it floats. However, if siliconed tightly to the back wall, it might work . . .
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Old 05-15-2005, 02:52 AM   #13
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Added background, what you guys think?

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Old 05-15-2005, 03:34 AM   #14
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It looks a lot better, plants and fish are more visible. Is that all java moss on the right?
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Old 05-15-2005, 05:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdinh04
It looks a lot better, plants and fish are more visible. Is that all java moss on the right?
Thanks. I just testing for it only. don't whether black color will better then blue color anot? Next time i'll try it with black color background and take out all the equipment as well.

Yes. It is all java moss, can't find another type of moss. anyone can post me some?
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