Aquascaping brainstorming techniques
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > Tank Journals


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #1
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Lightbulb

Aquascaping brainstorming techniques


My main question is pretty straight forward. What kind of technique people use for designing an aquascape? Pictures, drawings, sleepless nights, luck...? You name it!

The reason I ask this I see a lot of threads that people ask advice for their hardscapes and/or general aquascape. Most of the cases people take a few pictures of different scapes and ask for advice, that means they already have something in their minds.

My main struggle is to get a starting point. Hardscape wise and plant wise. What kind of plants to use and where to place them is my main problem. I do lot's of image research on good old google, but I hardly know what plants are used in each build, and mainly how to replicate their look in my builds. I've built quite a few tanks and I have enough knowledge to make an eye pleasing tank. However, I want to take it to the next level and build a "wow factor" tank, and I'm quite sure proper planning of the aquascape is my weak link.

So hereby my question: What kind of technique people use for designing an aquascape?

Any input is more than welcome. I'll try to upload some pics of my builds later.
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-08-2014, 04:18 PM   #2
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

So here's a few pictures of my old tanks.

Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of my very first aquascape. (it was a disaster anyways... but, it could good to see the progression). I'm also missing pictures of 4 more tanks I've built.

This was one of my first tanks. At the time I used lots of DIY, earthworms casting, bad quality sand and so on... I struggled a lot with algae, but that was a great learning experience.




This was a "test" tank I did in order to breed RCS and cultivate Microsorum and anubias (I love these plants). I do not have a picture of it when it was covered in moss. I had success breeding RCS, but failed miserably with the microsorums. Again lots of DIY and not so good substrate. However this tank was solely for breeding purposes,so aquascape was overlooked.




This was last year's scape. I opted to use plants I had previous experience with. One of my favourite builds, since I've never had any issue with this tank. Water parameters were solid stable and I've never had any algae. This tank had to be torn down because I had to move. I consider this tank one of my most successful builds.





After this aquascape I had 2 more but they are not documented. When I get home today I'll take a picture of my current build and post here.
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #3
vanish
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
vanish's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Longmont, CO
Posts: 463
Default

Shouldn't this be in the aquascaping forum?
__________________
150G Tall Planted, 75G Planted, 55G Goldfish, 55G Angelfish, 10G Riparium
vanish is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2014, 05:56 PM   #4
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanish View Post
Shouldn't this be in the aquascaping forum?
Yeah, it should! I was even looking for the topic there.
I was quite sure I posted in the right place, but apparently I did it wrong.
Damn too many tabs!
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #5
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

Current tank. Bad experience tho.
I don't like this substrate at all (JBL manado). The reason behind it is I'm just not getting good results. The HC is taking forever to grow, and not as healthy as it was in the old aquarium, I have constant problems related to poor substrate fixation, substrate tends to slide a lot, the color is horrible.... and so on. Overall, I hate it.
I built this tank in a rush. No planning or whatsoever, I just built this to keep my livestock live after I moved and torn down my old tank. The city I moved to didn't have too many options aquarium wise (well now I know all the stores, so I have more options). I had to stick with what I had (the substrate, the very large rock and the HC). The hardscape from my previous setup vanished with all the plants, old substrate, a few pumps and some other stuff. I have no freakin idea where it is. A dude that has an aquarium in his office gave me the anubias.





alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 03:50 AM   #6
mot
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
mot's Avatar
 
PTrader: (18/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Alpharetta, GA
Posts: 304
Default

Some tips:

Find your hardscape materials and get 2 to 3 times more than you will need if possible. I like to let the materials inspire me mostly.

Next I plan out the basic shape I want. Convex, Concave, Triangle, Linear, etc...Also the height of the hardscape is important at this point as this is more difficult to change later without making a mess.

Don't be afraid to modify your materials. Cut them, bind them together, smash rocks, you get the point

Set the initial hardscape. Let it sit overnight and revise. Take photos. Revise. Repeat...

After the aquascape starts to fill in look at it and don't be afraid to revise again. No aquascape I've done has ever been contest worthy until its tweaked over and over. My last one I made revisions every day for about 30 days up to submission.

Hope that helps.
__________________
-JP
mot is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
Xiaozhuang
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Xiaozhuang's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South east asia
Posts: 756
Send a message via MSN to Xiaozhuang
Default

I find the advice to leave your hardscape sit overnight very useful, if you have patience a week or so is good. Using substrate that allows you to move hardscape around with less fear(say artificial granulated substrates vs clay) also allow tweaks more easily.

Pruning and learning plant growth forms take awhile; some plants are good for bushes, some do well even in shade, others may look quite different after being well pruned.

I find that photoshop's clone tool is actually useful for trying to predict how large swabs of plants will contrast with each other. You can use it to fill in or replace plants.
i.e. using it on one of my older scapes


Allows me to see how is it like after the foreground fills in, and if I switched the background up ( 5mins work)
__________________
Regards, Dennis
Xiaozhuang is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 07:38 PM   #8
Xzavier247
Algae Grower
 
Xzavier247's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 109
Default

I usually will bring my wife into the mix. We're both artistic and have attention to detail. She has ideas and so do I. Our tank always come out amazing. We have a starting point. Its usually a drawing. We also draw the future when the plants actually do grow out.
Xzavier247 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 09:46 PM   #9
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

Great advices. Really appreciated.

mot-> I really appreciate all your builds, you're very talented

Xiaozhuang -> I'm a noob when it comes to photoshop, do you know any tutorial I could learn how to use this tool you use?


I'm planning a new tank, but it will take a while until I start to set it up. I still need to build a DIY light fixture and the cabinet. Considering the LEDs come from overseas, we are looking in at least two months before I set it up. However, I already got the aquarium itself, substrate (aqua soil), and tons of rocks for the hardscape (I'll try to post pictures on what I got so far). I'm struggling to find good wood, but I'll try to go scavenge some in the forest near here. I also ordered some substrate additives since I wanted to test them for a long time, they also come from overseas, so it might take a while as well.
To put in a nutshell, I have more than enough time for me to buy all the equipment and get proper planning this time.
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-09-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

I probably have more than 250 pounds of rock here, I can easily get a ton if I want to but then I'll probably have to sleep outside..... The rocks have very unique color patterns. I really like that, as they're not plain black.
The big ones.


Small ones.


I also found this bad boy from my very first tank. It is covered with some sort of mold. I don't think I will use it tho, because it never sinks. I had to bolt it to a rock once and that was a huge PITA.
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2014, 03:10 AM   #11
Hilde
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hilde's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Mableton, GA
Posts: 4,584
Default

I like it!!

I don't see any mention of the size of tank this is. What is it? What is your light? What are your ferts?
Hilde is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2014, 03:34 AM   #12
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I like it!!

I don't see any mention of the size of tank this is. What is it? What is your light? What are your ferts?
10G tank I found in my grandpa's basement. All the glue looks fine, I did a leak test and it was approved. I like it because the glass is quite thick for an aquarium this size (6mm).
For light I'll have a DIY fixture. I have built 3 fixtures and I'm having great results so far. Here in Brazil LED fixtures are waaay overpriced. A crappy china one retails for over $350. I'm not spending that much since I can build my own with less than $100. I should be ordering the LEDs by the end of the month. I'll be aiming something around 65 PAR in the substrate; if my calculations are right. Unfortunately I have no way to measure it. The price to import a PAR meter is astronomical and I have no clue where to borrow one. For now I'll have to trust my good old brain.

- For substrate I'll be using ADA Aqua Soil + ADA additives, no Power Sand tho.
- EI fertilisation.
- Filter I'm going with a SunSun HW-402A. I might toss a UV filter in the mix.
I'm already cycling some media in a bucket, so I'll have plenty bacteria when I fill the tank (probably 2 months from now)
- Inline heater.
- Pressurized CO2 cylinder controlled by a solenoid.
- I have no idea what fauna I'll have, I'm probably going to decide it after the tank is filled.

When I have more stuff ready I'll probably start a journal. There is no point to start one now. Stay tuned!
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2014, 08:59 AM   #13
Xiaozhuang
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Xiaozhuang's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: South east asia
Posts: 756
Send a message via MSN to Xiaozhuang
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by alemao420 View Post

Xiaozhuang -> I'm a noob when it comes to photoshop, do you know any tutorial I could learn how to use this tool you use?
You can search youtube for photoshop clone stamp tutorial. Its really quite easy and you can use it without knowing how to use the other functions in photoshop~ looking forward to seeing your journal too
__________________
Regards, Dennis
Xiaozhuang is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
roadmaster
Planted Tank Guru
 
roadmaster's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Missouri united states
Posts: 2,340
Default

For hardscape, I cut a piece of cardboard the same dimensions of the bottom of the tank and set the template on a table at eye level.
I then arrange and rearrange the rocks /wood on the template until I am pleased with it.
For plant placement, I research the plant to determine how large it can grow which helps me decide where to place them.(taller plant's in the back,shorter ones in the front.)
I pretty much suck at aquascaping ,and the afore mentioned helps me keep from moving and shuffling things around once the water is in the tank.
roadmaster is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-10-2014, 06:18 PM   #15
alemao420
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Brasil
Posts: 27
Default

Quick post!
This weekend I set up an emerse growing station for some plants. They are growing surprisingly fast. So far I got some glossos and HC. I'll add a few more species once I can put my hands on them.
alemao420 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Tags
aquascaping, hardscape, technique

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012