Bored...Need Advice/Critiquing - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-29-2018, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Bored...Need Advice/Critiquing

Hey there guys! After reading countless threads on this forum, I've finally decided to make an account. I don't consider myself to be a newbie, having owned aquariums for almost ten years now, but I'm always trying to tweak things here and there to make my tanks look better. Some people on here have some ridiculous tanks and insight on the world of planted aquariums, so I figured there's no better place to ask for critiquing.

My 5 gallon tank is pretty low tech, with just some DIY LED lights and Ecocomplete with no additional ferts sustaining:
-Java fern
-Crypt wendtii
-Anubias nano
-Chain leaf sword

Everything has grown in fairly well, but I just feel as though something is missing. Everyone has their own artistic aquascaping personality, but what would you tweak/add?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 03:37 AM
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It's your plant placement and hardscape. Read up upon the golden rule of thirds. The hardscape should be your focal point. The largest should be about 1/3 of the tank and then you can have accents. This draws the eye of the viewer to that point. And then accent stones would ease the view. Plants should be constructed similar but only to accent your hard scape. You also need depth. You can increase the look by having more soil in the back than the front.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Alright good call, so move the driftwood left a touch, and add some more substrate for a slope. I was thinking about some long stem plants in the back that grow up and over the tank, as I've always loved that look and it won't be hard for them to reach growth over this tank. However, I've never had much luck with stem plants for whatever reason. Any plant suggestions/placement suggestions?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2018, 04:55 PM
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Plants look great, rocks are cool. The composition is the ‘trouble’ item.
A rearrangement of your existing stuff could look awesome.

Here’s my thinking ‘out loud.’ I’m no expert (though I’ve found any ways to do things wrong).
What visually snaggs me is that you have an arc of med-tall plants around a central patch of shorties, but then a rock stack in the back corner. The rock height is great, if you can preserve that while pulling it out a few inches. If not, see about getting a smaller stack as a counterpoint to it, just left of center.
Perhaps also split up your short stuff into two patches -one about 5/8 of the total, one about 3/8, and put those off-center - have to play a bit with where. The talls can go adjacent to the rock and in the back. I wouldn’t leave them directly next to the short plants, without some rocks inbetween.

Check out George Farmer for composition examples. He tends to stick with the fairly typical layouts, with amazing results. That makes his ‘scapes easier to pull out as a reference than some other very talented scapers.

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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-31-2018, 02:08 PM
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I'd also consider feeding the plants. Ecocomplete provides nothing for them.
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