I haven't actually done the rescaping yet, as I am still waiting on a few more plants to arrive. My moss order from aquabotanic, which will play a very important role in the foreground will be coming in next week
I thought I'd start the journal by tossing a few ideas at you guys to see what you think.
I'll try to draw out what I'm planning in case communicating it purely by text becomes too confusing.
The hardscape will consist of one leggy branch of driftwood, which has four long, thin branches. It will be placed on the left half of the tank, with the branches stretching toward the right. The base of this "tree" will be various sized pieces of petrified wood.
My substrate for this tank is Flourite, which is sort of perfect because it matches petrified wood perfectly. My lowest foreground will be purely an HC carpet, but this actually won't take up most of the tank. In fact, I am using the petrified wood as moss-covered stepping stones to my centerpiece - my driftwood. I will have 6-7 petrified wood stones, with the tops covered in moss placed as artistically as I can on the foreground as the base of my "plant mountain". From there, I'll have elevated my substrate and will grow some thin moss nets between the stones sloping downward for a waterfall effect. The weeping moss curves downward, so this should work out nicely if I can pull off the placement correctly. I am also debating placing a big of moss at certain points at the front of the stones as well for a smooth transition from the stones to the HC. Anubias Nanas will be placed between the stones as well.
Directly behind these rocks will be a midground of HM bushes. I don't want them to get very tall, so I'll be training them to grow moderately short, so I can have medium-sized bushes, building up the elevation of the "mountain". Behind these HM bushes, I will have a line of E. Vesivius stretching from one edge of the mountain and curving around to the other. These will come around the background plants like a belt. On each edge of the mountain, I will have a towering bunch of Blyxa sticking outwards, emerging from behind the HM. At the right side of the driftwood (though I havent completely worked this out yet) I will be maintaining my favorite portion of my current scape. My Cardamine Lyrata bush will rise to a medium-height from the back of the Blyxa bush, and my lovely Tiger Lotus will once again be a focal point, situated directly in front of the Cardamine, and pruned to retain its short growth.
Behind the line of Vesuvius, I will have two even bushes of Rotala sp. Green. I realize it will take time and effort to shape these how I want them. All I have envisioned for now is two large bushes. Making a third "hump" between those bushes, I want a bunch of Rotala Indica, to add new color to the scape. Behind these three bushes will be the rest of my reds, likely Ludwigias and perhaps my Rotala Macranda, with the Macrandra taking the center and the Ludwigias on either side. On the very outskirts of the background, to the far right and left sides, I will finish with a final touch of green - tall stems of Limnophilia Sessiflora (Asian Ambulia).
I realize I'll have to prune several times before I get the shapes I am looking for, but I am VERY excited to get going. If i can pull off what I am imagining, this will be the best scape I have ever done (not that I'd done many. ~_~).
In order to accomplish all of this, I need a few questions answered, if you guys would be so kind:
- Is weeping moss a fast or slow grower? Does it do well when anchored to the substrate to form bushes, or should I work with the moss mesh/wire to make what I want?
- Will German Blue Rams interfere with my HC very much? Mine nibble on plants from time to time, but a little nibble on freshly-planted HC will uproot it. :P I just want to be prepared or come up with ways to keep it in the substrate so that it will root as quickly as possible.
- How does one train HM to grow in small bushes? My HM did so in my last tank, but I'm not sure what I did right.
I will post a rough sketch when I get time to finish it. :P
Any comments and critiques are very welcome!