Noob needs ideas/comments - 35G. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Noob needs ideas/comments - 35G.

Hi, this is my first attempt at a planted and here's a progression of it. I could use some aquascaping ideas/comments.









Updated 24 March 05:







Last edited by Cruise Control; 03-24-2005 at 04:02 AM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 10:32 AM
 
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Not too shabby for a first planted tank! Whats the time frame in the above pictures?
Looks like the plants are doing great.

The right side... feels... lonely. Except for the big ugly filter going down the back.
Cover that thing up with some tall plant. I'd use the visually dense plant just left
of center.

I guess I'd basically repeat the left side on the right, but way smaller. 1/4th the size.
(Is that grass in front of the driftwood the same as the background right?)

Lookin' good though - nice job!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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That would work if he wanted to change it to a u-shaped, but I think the "island on the left" is a find lay out. My suggestions are going to be based on this lay out, but can be applied to a u-shape as well.

There are 2 things that immediately come to mind when looking at this tank:

--The naked wood takes too much attention

--The mid-ground is weak.


The first problem is the more blatant one-- without any plants on it, the wood's warm color completely takes attention away from the plants. Planting ferns and anubias on the wood will fix this problem; especially anubias, whose dark green will help to integrate the wood with the rest of the piece, and make the viewer draw more attention to the more brightly colored plants. Leave some of the wood bear-- your goals are to reach integration, while creating more contrasting elements. Right now the wood seems completely out of place.

note: When people talk about plants to tie to wood, they normally say, anubias, ferns, and moss. However, it's been my experience that moss and riccia usually do not look good together in the same tank. Not sure why-- maybe it's because they look too similar with different colors, but for whatever the reason it doesn't work for most tanks.


The second problem hurts the depth of the tank. With a sheer change from tiny glosso to tall stem plants, we get th impression of looking inside a box. Yes it is a box but that's not the feel we want to portray. It makes us feel like the aquarium is tiny, and is flat. Some thick mid-ground growth is needed to add depth and flow, creating a "large picture in a small space." Anubias would also make a good mid-ground plant in this tank, planted in front of the wood, especially if it is also planted on the wood. Make sure rhizomes are not buried. I recommend anubias nana for both purposes. You could go with crypts, but a brown crypt will create the exact same problem as the naked wood. Try to find an olive-green crypt if you are going to use one. Hemianthus micranthemoides is another popular mid-ground plant, and a personal favorite of mine. This plant would create a lighter feel, and its similar color to glosso makes the two compliment each other well. However, make sure you have enough dark green. You don't want every part of the tank screaming for attention-- you want enough dark colored plants to support the bright fore and backgrounds.


Other things:

The microswords planted on the right side behind the glosso make the tank look flat since they're planted in a neat line up against the glass. Looks very unnatural- like a picket fence. I would start by taking out the two bunches of the microswords furthest to the right. Re-plant most of them in front of the others, so the swords look thicker and can help support the mid-ground to the right of the island.

Now, why did I say "replant most?" I wanted you to save some to use as highlight plants. High light plants are slightly taller plants scattered amongst the foreground. This gives the foreground greater variety, making it look more natural, and makes it look like it has greater depth. A beautiful field has a primary type of grass, and then weeds scattered amongst it. That's what we're doing here. You can create this by carefully planting individual grass plantlets in different places amongst the glosso.

Or you could make all the grass plantlets high-lights in the glosso, and then plant some other mid-ground plant back there, like hemianthus micranthemoides-- which would be good there as it would finish the slope of brightly colored stem plants.

Those are my suggestions for now, good luck!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2005, 04:37 PM
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Excellent progression! I love seeing progress pics! One thing I agree with right off - is the microswords look too neat, planted in a row like that - but the tank is obviously a work in progress so as long as they microswords are growing, I'd leave them and let them fill in a bit.
The wood is magnificent, but it does draw quite a bit of attention. Maye rotate it a bit so one branch reaches back behind a few tall stem plants?
One thing I would definitely not change - is the open space on the right. I love it. Too many people (including myself!) can't resist the urge to just plant every square inch of the tank with tall plants. It's refreshing to see a combination of lush forest and open plains. Just work on the transition between the two and you'll have a real winner!

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-02-2005, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your comments! I'll be printing this page out to keep as reference! Greenmiddlefinger, I absolutely LOVE that Glosso+Micrsword idea! Brilliant! Thanks for taking the time with that long post.

I agree with the neat row of microswords. I was waiting for them to fill in and not look so 'straight'.

Great ideas, guys. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

It's about 3 months from the first to the last pic. I'm currently battling brush algae with this tank so I've trimmed quite a bit. This brush alage has me so frustrated! I almost feel like tearing down the tank and starting over! But I suppose the fight with algae is normal, right? I'm still coming to terms with so much info on ferts. I'm currently dosing 1ml of PMDD a day after lights out. My params are below if you guys can help me make sense of it:

31 Jan '05:
PH : 6.8
KH : 2
FE : 0
NH4/NH3: 0
N02: <0.1
N03: 0

It would help if I knew what NH4, NH3, N02 & N03 mean in the first place! Sigh...
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 05:38 AM
 
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Quote:
The first problem is the more blatant one-- without any plants on it, the wood's warm color completely takes attention away from the plants. Planting ferns and anubias on the wood will fix this problem; especially anubias, whose dark green will help to integrate the wood with the rest of the piece, and make the viewer draw more attention to the more brightly colored plants. Leave some of the wood bear-- your goals are to reach integration, while creating more contrasting elements. Right now the wood seems completely out of place.
Or you can just simply send it to me! I will pay!!! Nice piece of wood ya got there..Also a nice start to what I am sure will be a great lookin tank. Lotta good ideas you have to ponder over so far. Cant wait to see what ya come up with minus the wood.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Wow. BBA got the better of my glosso. I had to remove the 'almost-carpet' that I had and start over. And when I did start over with some moss, green water decided to pay a visit! Brilliant! All in all, I've had 5 different algae outbreaks so far. Oh well, you live and learn I guess...

I beat GW by... get this, not doing anything! Tried quite a number of water changes but it came back. So I told myself to I'd let the plants settle in and fight GW on its own. And it did. Water's back to being crystal now. I also took the advice on the layout and the wood. I still need to get my hands on some Anubias for the midground. Can't seem to find them here. The bushy plant smack in the middle is being chucked. I got it for nothing so I decided what the hell.

I've started on my glosso carpet again. I'll die trying for my glosso carpet. A glosso carpet is why I fell in love with this hobby in the first place!
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