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Old 09-14-2013, 01:17 AM   #1
ConfidentBlue
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Constructive Criticism on my hardscape


Hello Everyone,

1st post here but been cruising the forum for a while ever sense I got interested in doing a planted tank.

I had a spare 36Gal bow front I decided to start off with thats currently in the bedroom.

Substrate is Eco-Complete Fine Black

I've got a Finnex 30"w RayII and a Marinelane C-220 canister filter.

Currently aquiring my parts for a CO2 system and should have everything in short order (Victor Reg, 10lb CO2 tank, Ideal needle valve, Atomic CO2 inline diffusor) and gonna get some glass lily pipes.

The plan as far as stocking is still kind of open but I'm looking into some south american cichlids, maybe a pair of Blue Rams but not sure just yet.

Heres my hardscape, still trying things out till I find what I like but I'm happy with it but would like some constructive criticism.









I'm not sure if I went overboard on the driftwood, but I do have a cave built underneath for the Rams

Still deciding on plants but the goal is to have a solid carpet.

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:02 AM   #2
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I like the big rock a lot! can you take a pic without driftwood?
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:24 AM   #3
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I'm no pro in aquascaping, and new to planted tanks, but I do have a degree in Art. So I understand balance/composition. Right now you have a symmetrical balance, meaning both sides are pretty even in terms of movement/weight. (They attract the eye evenly- or close enough) In a tank that small, I would try for a more assymetrical ballance, Meaning one side is heavier than the other. You could have the big rock and big piece of wood on the left side adn only a small piece of rock or wood on the right, but have it angled to where it pops out more. Of course, this evening of the space can be accomplished later with plants and use of color, so It's never definite. Either way, move stuff around group things more. Have fun. Also, in photography there is a general rule of thirds as we call it. Basically, the human mind finds this layout attractive. If you split a rectangle in three slices vertically and horizontally where the corners of the new shapes meet is where you're point of interest should be. The human mind just finds this more visually appealing. This can be seen in nature with the "fibonacci spiral" or "golden ratio. Ive seen people say "dont center your centerpiece" Its kind of the same thing.

There's my rant! good luck.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:01 AM   #4
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Honestly it is not very good. Study up on aquascaping, look at all the contest tanks. You want it to look somewhat natural.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:14 AM   #5
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As requested without driftwood.

I think it would be easier without having to make a cave for the SA's but oh well. I've got some times.





just tryin stuff
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
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Hardscape is looking pretty good. It'd be nice to see some non-traditional methods being implemented.

I like the DW on the cave like you have it in the one pic, throw some moss on it and when you get a solid jungle growing in there it will look good!

Keep it up!
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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more slope up the back will change everything
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Old 09-14-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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ConfidentBlue, I would probably add in a medium sized rock and put the cave in front of one of the two larger ones. You can maybe scatter some more small stones in there as well. I don't know how you would best work in the particular wood you have, so maybe a branch would work? Otherwise the Iwagumi (rock only) would probably suit this best.

Agree, sloping the back higher does make a huge difference!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-26-2013 at 09:02 AM.. Reason: Removed referenced post
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
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I love that big rock. Can you find more like it. If you put a smaller rock of similar shape behind, and to the right, of the bigger rock it would soften that right edge. Then get smaller stones of the same type and place them here and there in the back right corner. Maybe angle them inward to the left. Slope the substrate up to the back. Use bushy plants and maybe some stem plants in the back left corner. Once the plants kick in it will look great. Don't use the wood.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:28 AM   #10
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Maybe a medium size rock on the right side behind the two smaller rocks for a littl balance. I personally don't like the driftwood with the rocks. The rocks so far are nice.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:33 AM   #11
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I vote no wood. More slope. Move the big rock to the right rear corner and the small rocks closer to the front and more left of the big rock.If you have to have a cave put it behind the big rock and hide it with plants.
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:05 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies! I truly appreciate the CONSTRUCTIVE criticisms and ideas

Ill toy around with em and post some up.

I think the majority of you are right about the driftwood. It's just too busy for this small of a tank. If it was wider I think I could work with it.
I wanted to attach some moss to it but I'm sure I can work it out with the rocks.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:10 AM   #13
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I like the last picture you posted, you can do alot in terms of plant placement with it. Ie hydro Japan on the left piece of wood with cobamba in the back right corner and a cave with pheonix moss on the top. Some sort of grass in the front and in the back left mix in some jungle Val's. crypts around the cave entrance to make it "exotic" and like a hidden cave entrance to a temple or something. I think hard scape seven has the mot potential. Very well done
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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any updates?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:56 PM   #15
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I agree with DaveFish. that big rock is really cool. I too say that you should get a few more like it and ditch the DW. Just my opinion.

And if you do, use an ODD number stones, i read that that scaping technique is more pleasing to the simple human brain!

good luck
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