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Old 06-12-2012, 12:45 AM   #16
theblondskeleton
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The 120-P Reader - Pictures Included (56KWarning)


I think I have it down to three possible layout choices. Now, when I get substrate in there things will look different. The rocks will be buried somewhat, the angles might be skewed a touch as I'll be better able to refine them to my liking, and there will be a slope visible which will have an effect on the depth of field.

And then, of course, there are plants to consider. I'll have some of those, too.

So, when I say "final" I have to throw in the caveat, same as before: organic process, etc. Right now, these are the three contenders.

1. "Crane and Turtle"

I think I figured out what was sitting wrong with this one. There are eight stones. The small one at the foot of the main stone (on the right side) is extraneous. I would also elevate the main structure more, and try to angle the entire composition from back to front a little so it is less linear.



2. "Two Spires"

I think I have the height I'm looking for in this latest version of this one. I want to play with lowering (or increasing, depending on your perspective) the angle of the main stone, opening it up more. it is less cramped than previous versions, and I like that it feels less tense. Lowering the angle of the main stone will also help that. I used fewer stones to avoid clutter, and I could even use less, but I'd like to maintain a certain amount of detail.



3. "5 Stone"

"5 Stone" is the one that I believe most closely fits the Iwagumi style. The long flat stone on the left would be able to support a layer of substrate on top so that it could have HC on top of it. This would really bring out the aged feel. The more I look at this, the more I want to see it with the main stone reversed, pointing left. In one way, I think it would create some tension, going against the established pattern, but in others... maybe I'll just try it and see.

It's not like it's set in stone.

Yeah, I just went there. try to suppress that groan/chuckle.



Thoughts are welcome, as I have plenty of time to waste before I can do anything permanent about it, haha...
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:51 AM   #17
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I like them in the same order you listed, 1 is my favorite, 2 is 2nd, 3 is 3rd. However, I like 1 and 2 quite a bit better than three.

It's hard to say my opinion because I assume you may angle things a bit differently once you have substrate.

I love #1 as it really shows off the character of the largest stone. However, with #2, you get the character of the large stone left of the main stone (don't know the Japanese terminology). Have you considered turning the two left rocks around on the left side. It may look more "tranquil", maybe not lol.

I think the first 2 will look great, just kind of nit picking.
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:22 AM   #18
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Thanks for the input, talontsiawd Yeah, it's tough to make any calls right now, really. However, if I can narrow it down to one or two possible layouts it'll make it easier when I get the tank. To be honest, I don't even know if the stones will support themselves the way I'd like. I'll just have to see.

I don't know the terminology either, really, haha... just what I have read in a few articles. I've read it referred to as a "lord" or "master" but only in quotations. However, it seems to be a literal reference. The only ones I'm sure of are the Crane and Turtle. That's present in the first and last layouts. The crane would be a tall stone, and the turtle would be a low, flat stone.

I tried turning those rocks on the left in (#2, I'm assuming?) as it's currently set up in this layout. It does bring the eye back to the center more. It's still very energetic, though. The trouble is, I have two distinct focal points in that layout and I think that's whats giving it so much energy. I'd just have to be ok with that. The others really only have one, so they feel more relaxed - especially with the long low sloping lines.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:24 AM   #19
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Tank is on the truck looks like Saturday I might be setting this beauty up. I'm pretty much giddy with excitement. I have wanted this setup since I first started in planted tanks.

My dad was always a big hobbyist. He builds military models, mostly tanks and artillery. I got into it because he was into it. First it was cars, then planes, WWII bombers and biplanes, scifi models (sweet Shuttle Tydirium and Millennium Falcon), then WWII ships. Finally I got into model sailing ships. That was great. But I always felt like I was doing my fathers hobby (...come to the Dark Side, Luke...). I never felt like I owned it.

An old friend got me a goldfish after my brother was killed in Iraq. I was a mess, of course, and the routine of it was therapeutic. I found plants and totally fell in love with the "zen" of the maintenance routine. I cant say anything like "it saved me" or any ridiculous claim like that, but it was as much a part of what helped me cope as anything else.

Like the sand mandalas the monks created once a year at my alma mater:

Focus on creation. Foster life. Experience virtue in labor. Wipe it clean and begin anew.

Art is an exorcism, sometimes. Even if the only sweet agony is in looking at an algae infested mess, haha...

Anyway, the point of the story is that I own this hobby. It became mine not because of an inheritance, but because a need presented itself in my life and I was fortunate enough to have access to sites like this, and an interest. This is one of the places where I choose to find meaning and a measure of peace.

This setup is a part of the image I always had in my mind when I envisioned my scapes. Yeah, it's just a bit of dirt and some glass.

But not for long
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:34 AM   #20
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There's something about that first ADA/Rimless tank, they just have that elegance and simplicity to them that tickles your visual cortex in just the right way

Read through all of the set up posts, didn't go much passed that though; it's 4:30am and I've had a beer or two. You've definitely got everything down, I'm expecting a top notch scape. On a side note, I really like your writing style. I took an East Asian art course last semester at TCNJ and it was nice to see someone actively incorporating Wabi-Sabi aesthetics... fleeting beauty, transient imperfection, that feeling of slight melancholy because you know nothing lasts forever... it's also why I prefer Iwagumi.

It seems like you really know how to grow whatever you want, and based on the seiryu arrangements, you have the essentials of hardscaping down as well. I really like how you have the patience to set up hardscapes and then completely tear them down to accommodate new ideas and a fresh set of rested eyes.

I was surprised by your preferences in tank dimensions though. I really have a great preference towards tanks that are 1/2 as high as they are long. Thus the 90P and 120H are my favorite tanks, closely followed by the 180P, my dream tank. I'm constantly wishing my 75P was a 90P... I got it when I was 14 and didn't have the spare cash for the extra 6" length.

Will be following this tank's progression for sure, you better make me appreciate the fleeting beauty of nature with this one
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:54 AM   #21
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Woowwww, all the scapes look amazing. But I would vote for number 2 with the adjustment of the big rock on the left might be too center. Other than that, it look fantastic
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CmLaracy View Post
There's something about that first ADA/Rimless tank, they just have that elegance and simplicity to them that tickles your visual cortex in just the right way

Read through all of the set up posts, didn't go much passed that though; it's 4:30am and I've had a beer or two. You've definitely got everything down, I'm expecting a top notch scape. On a side note, I really like your writing style. I took an East Asian art course last semester at TCNJ and it was nice to see someone actively incorporating Wabi-Sabi aesthetics... fleeting beauty, transient imperfection, that feeling of slight melancholy because you know nothing lasts forever... it's also why I prefer Iwagumi.

It seems like you really know how to grow whatever you want, and based on the seiryu arrangements, you have the essentials of hardscaping down as well. I really like how you have the patience to set up hardscapes and then completely tear them down to accommodate new ideas and a fresh set of rested eyes.

I was surprised by your preferences in tank dimensions though. I really have a great preference towards tanks that are 1/2 as high as they are long. Thus the 90P and 120H are my favorite tanks, closely followed by the 180P, my dream tank. I'm constantly wishing my 75P was a 90P... I got it when I was 14 and didn't have the spare cash for the extra 6" length.

Will be following this tank's progression for sure, you better make me appreciate the fleeting beauty of nature with this one
Thanks on all fronts I'll do my best at achieving at sense of Wabi-Sabi: it is what I'm striving for. It's nice to see that others are attracted to something other than our western ideal. I've been practicing a lot of arrangements, but of course everything will change when I get the dirt in there.

I like the 120-H of course, the dimensions are ideal proportionally. It is the same dimensions as my 90 gallon was, so my major issue is my comfort level with the height. I suppose I could get around it eventually, but was that worth another few hundred bucks? Maybe next time, haha...

My process for creating scapes is pretty much the same as for my designs in the theatre. John Cleese has some pretty great things to say about creativity and developing that process here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VShmt...e_gdata_player

Good stuff.

Oh, also - huge NIN fan here.

Tank arrives Friday. I've chewed my nails to the quick. Need a distraction. Skyrim? Yes, please.

Last edited by theblondskeleton; 06-23-2012 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_valley View Post
Woowwww, all the scapes look amazing. But I would vote for number 2 with the adjustment of the big rock on the left might be too center. Other than that, it look fantastic
Thanks green_valley! I think the rocks make it easy. They have a ton of character. There are a lot of fine adjustments I won't be able to make until I get some power sand under there. I might mix the power sand a bit with small lava rock just to give it more mass. Tom Barr suggested this in another thread. I did that with my 120 after having some substrate issues in the 90 (the clown car scape resulted in anaerobic substrate) and it worked really well to fill out the hills. It will also help hold the rocks in place as the AS is super light and just slips about under the rocks when I angle them steeply.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:37 PM   #24
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I give a really strong urging towards one. That's a sick layout. IMO, the second two don't even touch the first.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:23 PM   #25
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I give a really strong urging towards one. That's a sick layout. IMO, the second two don't even touch the first.
I second that notion
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:33 AM   #26
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...they're heeeeeere...
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:11 AM   #27
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Photobucket is doing site maintenance right now and I'm tired, so no pics tonight. Hard scape is installed, substrate is as well. All I need is water and plants.

This tank is gorgeous. No pictures can do it justice. Even my wife was impressed with the clarity. I sat and stared at it empty for about an hour. Then I got thirsty. Then stared at it some more. Now, under the lights, I'm just happy that it's here.

You know what? Even the funky blue stand doesn't look so bad with this tank on top, haha...
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:42 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theblondskeleton View Post
Thanks green_valley! I think the rocks make it easy. They have a ton of character. There are a lot of fine adjustments I won't be able to make until I get some power sand under there. I might mix the power sand a bit with small lava rock just to give it more mass. Tom Barr suggested this in another thread. I did that with my 120 after having some substrate issues in the 90 (the clown car scape resulted in anaerobic substrate) and it worked really well to fill out the hills. It will also help hold the rocks in place as the AS is super light and just slips about under the rocks when I angle them steeply.
I love those rocks. Yeah, to me powersand is overprice. All of my scape with high hills/mountain use lava rocks and so far have been perfectly fine. Yup, they will hold pretty good. Can't wait to see more pictures.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #29
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Thanks, Green_valley, me too! The wait is over!

Here is the setup.



The stone with Power Sand and lava rock. The layout is a combination of what I thought were the best elements of Crane and Turtle and 5-Stone, with some modifications. The choice was the approval of my wife (the real commander around here) and my own preference of layout. I really liked the flow and triangular composition of Crane and Turtle, so I tried to emulate that with this one. I separated the layout into two groups of stones, and added some small accent stones to balance it out more. I'm still considering adding two more very small pieces.

I built up the back to about 8” to create a nice slope. The depth it has created is pretty incredible. I always thought that too steep would look funky, but now that I see it, I’m hooked. I thought it would look like a wall of substrate, but from my viewing throne on the couch, it looks fantastic, and I'm able to see all the way to the back of the tank. I could go steeper with a different layout. Perhaps in the future…

Trivia: I'm a theatre director, designer, practitioner, teacher, etc. So, historically stages were built with a rake or "slope". This was so that the audience could see the actors and scenery all the way to the back of the stage. Nowadays, they rake the audience instead - too many actors literally "breaking a leg" as they crossed DOWN stage, I suppose. It seems to me with this knowledge, I would have recognized the benefit of a steeply raked substrate sooner.

Moving on...



And the final hard scape with substrate in place.



I had more pics from the process, but other threads have done this better, so I’ll just describe it briefly.

Base: Lava rock for large stone stability, Power Sand Special M. Set lava rocks with some AS, and then placed the stone. When stones were set, I filled around it with Power Sand, focusing on the back of the slope.

Middle layer: ADA New Aquasoil Amazonia. Much redder than the old stuff when it’s dry. Pretty. I filled in the planting areas with AS, making sure to not completely bury the stones, as I still needed to cap this with Powder.

Top Layer: ADA Aquasoil Powder Type. For this, I focused mostly on installing it in the foreground areas where there will be large quantities of HC, but the whole tank got at least 1/4" of it. The stems in the back do not need the fine textured substrate so much, but HC really benefits from a finer substrate. I layered it about 1- inches deep in the front.

The next thing I did before I moistened the substrate for the evening was to sculpt the rolling hills the way I’d like them to be. I used my sand scraper for this. One could just as easily use a paint scraper or spackling knife or anything thin and flat. I think this step is important in a larger Iwagumi, especially with HC as the foreground, as the lines of the rolling hills greatly contribute to the composition. It also lends more detail to a large-scale scape that would otherwise be flat, less dynamic, and thus less interesting to look at. It also creates the illusion of sedimentary buildup when you taper the substrate up to a rock. Use the lines of the rock to help suggest the flow of the water around it by building up the sediment as ridges and valleys.

That said, you can’t really see it in the pics, haha… it will be more evident when it grows in.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #30
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Tank looks sick. I think that scape combines the best elements of your trial scapes (IMO) while presenting great texture in the stone (some of your scapes had stones turned around that looked like the other side had less texture).

Love it.

Side note...I wish I thought about the lava rock on my last scape.
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