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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me know what y'all think. I imagine I'll play around a bit more with arrangements.

Plants will be:
Xmas moss on driftwood
S repens carpet
Ar mini in the background (back left and right for sure)
Downoi inbetween the ar mini and s repens
 

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Let me know what y'all think. I imagine I'll play around a bit more with arrangements.

Plants will be:
Xmas moss on driftwood
S repens carpet
Ar mini in the background (back left and right for sure)
Downoi inbetween the ar mini and s repens
Hi there! great start. I feel that you need to create more depth with your rocks. They are all pushed around the borders which makes them seems a little stagnant. Also Use the golden ratio and the rule of thirds to establish a focal point because right now my eyes are wandering in your tank looking for a focal point. I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback. This was another one I did (both were arranged within about 5min). I get what your saying regarding the rule. It looks a little different in person (the slope is very steep). I like the idea of the driftwood but I almost think it doesn't go or just maybe not this particular driftwood.
 

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One of the things that helped my hardscape put is to study what the masters are doing. There are a lot of really good aquascapers on this site so dont be afraid to clink on the links in their sognatures to get inspiration. Having a vision and a plan are easily the most important steps when it comes to this. Take your time and dont rush this since when you flood and have fish and plants, it gets really hard to redo it. If it were me i would Draw a couple ideas out of what i am hoping for, set the hardscape, leave it for 48 hours and if i am still in love with it then proceed.
 

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One of the things that helped my hardscape put is to study what the masters are doing. There are a lot of really good aquascapers on this site so dont be afraid to clink on the links in their sognatures to get inspiration. Having a vision and a plan are easily the most important steps when it comes to this. Take your time and dont rush this since when you flood and have fish and plants, it gets really hard to redo it. If it were me i would Draw a couple ideas out of what i am hoping for, set the hardscape, leave it for 48 hours and if i am still in love with it then proceed.
Thank you for your feedback. I plan on messing with this and trying probably 100 different variations lol. How do you find the signature when using the mobile version? I never have been able to figure that out. All I can ever see is what people participate in.

More playing around. I'm liking the last one. S repens in the front, ar mini in the back, downoi inbetween. Possibly xmas moss on rocks
 

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Pic 1, post 1:
As noted, no focal point. Eye wanders without lingering.

Pic 1 post 3:
Much better, bringing the elements together somewhere close to the golden mean, but each rock points out, away from the center. This is also unsettling to look at.

Think of what you see in nature.
The bedrock is tilted, lifted, cracked, somewhat eroded, then lower areas around the rocks partially filled with soil.
The main grain of the rock will still be aligned. The several high points where erosion has not taken effect yet will generally point the same way, or close to it.

In post 6:
Pic 1- This has the rocks better aligned, but too equally spread apart. They look too small, too. The starburst of sticks does not work. Too spread out to represent one plant, and going all directions does not look like more than one plant.
Pic 2- Removing the sticks is OK, they would have gotten hidden in plants, anyway. Much larger wood if you want any at all, and use the same idea as above, about the rocks. Think of how it originally grew.
Pic 3- Rocks lying too flat. Need some vertical element. Grouping is better, reasonably close, irregular gaps between the rocks.
Pic 4- Too uniform spacing, and too much spread out.

Ditto Centromochlus and the other comments above:
Get at least one larger stone as the centerpiece. Set it about 1/3 of the way from one side or the other. Use the current rock as supporting pieces, not the main display.
 

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If it is about 50% bigger in the visible area that is good. Larger so it is more stable, deeper in the substrate is important, so your idea of about double sounds good.
 

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Thank you for your feedback. I plan on messing with this and trying probably 100 different variations lol. How do you find the signature when using the mobile version? I never have been able to figure that out. All I can ever see is what people participate in.

More playing around. I'm liking the last one. S repens in the front, ar mini in the back, downoi inbetween. Possibly xmas moss on rocks
I am not sure where to find that on the mobile version sorry there are no obvious places from what I can tell. I usually use the mobile version for replying to people and do my research on laptop. The last one is the closest you have gotten. You really need a bigger rock in there for a focal point and it would look really nice with s repens in between the rocks! Keep an odd number of stone also. I think that and a nicer carpeting plant and you would be onto something! AR mini is a great idea for the back left of the tank btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you saying something other than s repens as the carpet?
just me but..
I think S repens would be the wrong scale for that scape...just my 2 cents.
Ok. My plan was s repens in the front going up the hill and wrapping around the rock formation to the right (however that may look) forming kind of a trail of sorts (trying to create depth) with pogostemon Helferi in the rocks and ar mini in the background letting the left corner get the highest. I'm also considering tying some Monte Carlo onto a choice rock or putting xmas moss on a couple of rocks (what I have on hand in my emersed setup). With that idea of a scape being said what plant do you like in that situation?

Note: I would keep s repens at probably no more that 3 leaves high. Try to keep it as short as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all! I'll go pick up a larger piece in the next couple of days. Double the largest current size? If it is too big I can bury it some I'm thinking
Maybe an example would help? I think this is a successful hardscape-- the rocks are appropriately scaled for the size of the tank and there is a clear focal point.

http://www.theaquariumguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/iwagumi-style-tank.jpg
Thanks for the share. I have been staring at examples all day via google images. It seems most people who use lava rock really muck it up but there are some really nice ones done. I picked up a slightly larger piece today and was almost tempted to completely scrap the lava rock idea when I saw some nice rocks at my lfs. They had the seyrou (spelled wrong I know) look to them which was nice but they want way to much for the rock. It's hard to find lava rock here it seems. The local yard supplier only had small pieces and I could only find slightly larger pieces than my current biggest piece. I'll play around with the new addition and post some pics soon.

Update: here's the first one. The new rock is the biggest on the left.
 

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I would go even bigger than that. Like double your largest rock, don't be intimated by the size. I feel the rock is still too similarly sized to the supporting rock, you need a main rock to really take over the scape, and then you can build around it.
The rocks at your LFS are probably Ryuoh or someother limestone rocks, Seiryu rocks are no longer sold really (they've been banned from getting more). I think stones like the Ryuoh stones are best for Iwagumis as they have more character in my opinion, but you could still do something great with lava rock.
Keep trucking along! I'm sure you'll get there! Nothing great comes from no effort.
EDIT: Just saw you had trouble getting larger stones, maybe have a look online? Don't live in the US, so can't guide you on that aspect.
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Thanks for the share. I have been staring at examples all day via google images. It seems most people who use lava rock really muck it up but there are some really nice ones done. I picked up a slightly larger piece today and was almost tempted to completely scrap the lava rock idea when I saw some nice rocks at my lfs. They had the seyrou (spelled wrong I know) look to them which was nice but they want way to much for the rock. It's hard to find lava rock here it seems. The local yard supplier only had small pieces and I could only find slightly larger pieces than my current biggest piece. I'll play around with the new addition and post some pics soon.

Update: here's the first one. The new rock is the biggest on the left.

Bravo sir. This is looking better. I agree with the previous user; a very large stone really makes the small tank pop! You are onto something here. Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks all. Where I live the gap is these sizes from lfs' , then small yard rock and then gigantic pieces that amanos nature aquarium could have used lol. Maybe I'll try putting a smaller rock underneath the "big rock" cover that with sand and then position the larger rock on top of that? Not sure how well that would hold though. The biggest rock I just got was about 33% bigger than my formerly biggest rock. Doesn't look like as I review the pic though. I'll keep playing around.

Oh and I did decide to change from s repens (I'm sure I'll hear a grin from someone lol) to hairgrass for the forground. I'll use Cardinal plant in the rocks instead of or maybe in addition to pogostemon Helferi (nice leaf shape change and I think a good transition to ar mini which I think I'm getting from burr740).

Update: added 6 new options. I'm worried that on some of these ones I have done that this scape is all about the rocks, which is not what I want. I want the rocks to compliment the plants


Another update: added another option that I'm liking. I switched the larger rock to the right side going up the hill. I feel like it offers more visual space for the plants.
 

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Get a one of those massive rocks and smash it. Lava rock is pretty easy to break if I am not mistaken.
The rocks are still a guiding point for you planting and let the flow of your plants be shaped, so I think its still worth investing the effort in getting a good hardscape. A lot of the rocks here will probably be overgrown eventually anyway, so don't worry the plants will be the focus!


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Get a one of those massive rocks and smash it. Lava rock is pretty easy to break if I am not mistaken.
The rocks are still a guiding point for you planting and let the flow of your plants be shaped, so I think its still worth investing the effort in getting a good hardscape. A lot of the rocks here will probably be overgrown eventually anyway, so don't worry the plants will be the focus!


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Lol. Those massive rocks were huge. Hundreds of pounds.

I decided on a hard scape I like and planted. I'm still waiting on ar mini for the back left corner and am trying to figure a rock to attach some Monte Carlo to. Any suggestions? If none at all, I'll consider that as well. Let me know what y'all think.
 

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