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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Turns out, I'm not very good at aquascaping. :ROFLMAO:
I've had a few planted tanks before, all low light, all randomly planted with no purpose other than to make the fish happy. Now I'm trying to have a planned and pretty planted tank. Last night my husband and I JB Waterweld the dragon stone together to create a cave/tunnel system for my Peacock Gudgeons. Having had Mbuna in the past, making hardscapes isn't too hard. But then I had to replant the tank, and I tried to be strategic, but it looks a mess.

I'm not sure what the tank needs to look...nice. I think it needs some height and some short plants too. Everything looks the same size, maybe that's the problem. And advice welcome.

And yes, there's an open jar with Guppy grass in the tank and I still haven't finished painting the back of the tank. 馃槀
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Honestly, overall nothing is wrong, looks pretty good. One thing you can think about in the future is trying to elevate the back portions of substrate, it creates more depth in the tank. Sand is more difficult to accomplish this, but there are ways. Look some up, or reply here and I'll add a bit on that.

With the amount of rock you do have, I would have personally created two islands, one larger than the other instead of one dead center. it will give a more artistic touch in that the eye will float from one to the other and be more intrigued in the space. Versus, "oh a rock, and some plants in the back." Not that this exactly what I thought, but the dead center rock mass does lend it self to a less natural feel. Adding a little wood of some kind would be good too. Manzanita and Oak are my preferred as I can get them readily and for free where I live. Look up local trees, but most hard woods will do that have been thoroughly dried or boiled. Look into this as well.

Other than these thoughts, You have a great start. Good plants that will propagate readily in their own ways. Looks like maybe a 20g or a 30g tank, that sword plant and the stem plants will grow nice and big, so be prepared to trim and you can replant those stem trimming to have a nice thick area in the back that can help to one day hide some of the fixtures required in our tanks (filter intake and such).

Personally, I like the black paint in the back, my favorite way to put a back on a tank. Though looks like you need more paint. And again, props on the planting placements, all good spots and in ways that will promote natural growth!

PS. "Short plants" dwarf sag. is a good one that will take its time to carpet. Very easy as far as carpeting plants if you want to go that way. But as far as the plants you have... I forgot the Guppy Grass in the initial post, you are going to have a wonderfully full tank background a couple months with the Swords, Guppy Grass and the stems all in the back. With that much plant life going on I think that the sandy bottom looks pretty good. Just need a little wood and time to grow in in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly, overall nothing is wrong, looks pretty good. One thing you can think about in the future is trying to elevate the back portions of substrate, it creates more depth in the tank. Sand is more difficult to accomplish this, but there are ways. Look some up, or reply here and I'll add a bit on that.

With the amount of rock you do have, I would have personally created two islands, one larger than the other instead of one dead center. it will give a more artistic touch in that the eye will float from one to the other and be more intrigued in the space. Versus, "oh a rock, and some plants in the back." Not that this exactly what I thought, but the dead center rock mass does lend it self to a less natural feel. Adding a little wood of some kind would be good too. Manzanita and Oak are my preferred as I can get them readily and for free where I live. Look up local trees, but most hard woods will do that have been thoroughly dried or boiled. Look into this as well.

Other than these thoughts, You have a great start. Good plants that will propagate readily in their own ways. Looks like maybe a 20g or a 30g tank, that sword plant and the stem plants will grow nice and big, so be prepared to trim and you can replant those stem trimming to have a nice thick area in the back that can help to one day hide some of the fixtures required in our tanks (filter intake and such).

Personally, I like the black paint in the back, my favorite way to put a back on a tank. Though looks like you need more paint. And again, props on the planting placements, all good spots and in ways that will promote natural growth!

PS. "Short plants" dwarf sag. is a good one that will take its time to carpet. Very easy as far as carpeting plants if you want to go that way. But as far as the plants you have... I forgot the Guppy Grass in the initial post, you are going to have a wonderfully full tank background a couple months with the Swords, Guppy Grass and the stems all in the back. With that much plant life going on I think that the sandy bottom looks pretty good. Just need a little wood and time to grow in in my opinion.

Thank you so much for your advice! 鈽 I went ahead and quickly split the island, and pulled the driftwood out from under it. It's not a very tall piece, just long and stout, so it's currently kind of creating a cove of sorts.

And yeah, I keep forgetting to finish painting the back of the tank. I only did 2/3rds then ran out of paint. 馃槀

I will probably get a few more thin and tall pieces of dragon stone to add height to the mounds and to hide the clay pots underneath better.

The substrate is a bit sloped, about two inches higher at the back than the front, but I have more I can add during my next water change.

The tank is approached from the left, so I included a front shot and an approaching shot.
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ah yeah, those stems and sword plant will make some nice back plants, nice little canopy even from the sword. And building up that second (right) rock formation I think would look really nice. Like I said, it was nice to begin with and I didn't even know there was wood in there before! There is just more of a pull with it not so clumped up in the middle. Can't wait to see more!
 

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Your best bet with aquascaping is to find a style/specific tank you like, and then figure out how to emulate it. Videos on youtube are really good for this. Channels like Green Aqua and George Farmer are good gotos. MD Fish Tanks is another one to watch. He does a LOT of tanks and his style is more haphazard, but the effects are often nice.

The best way to really learn though is by doing. I tore apart and redid one of my tanks about once every 1 to 3 months for a couple of years.

Height is one of those things that nearly everyone wants in their hardscape but few are willing to actually pursue. To get about 16 inches of height in a hardscape I recently put in 70 lbs of sand and about 60 lbs of rock. All this in a 24 inch long tank. In other words, getting a dramatic hardscape is frequently resource intensive. BUT the results are in my opinion, irreplicable.

Just some thoughts.
 

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Your best bet with aquascaping is to find a style/specific tank you like, and then figure out how to emulate it. Videos on youtube are really good for this. Channels like Green Aqua and George Farmer are good gotos. MD Fish Tanks is another one to watch. He does a LOT of tanks and his style is more haphazard, but the effects are often nice.

The best way to really learn though is by doing. I tore apart and redid one of my tanks about once every 1 to 3 months for a couple of years.

Height is one of those things that nearly everyone wants in their hardscape but few are willing to actually pursue. To get about 16 inches of height in a hardscape I recently put in 70 lbs of sand and about 60 lbs of rock. All this in a 24 inch long tank. In other words, getting a dramatic hardscape is frequently resource intensive. BUT the results are in my opinion, irreplicable.

Just some thoughts.
yeah pretty much this , I would also say draw the aquascape with hand first to see if you like it or not then build it instead of building first. One thing I learned is depending on the fish you have, you might want to build the aquascape based on the fish behaviour. So fish that likes to hide you want hiding places and fish that like terrotories you might want to break eye-sight between the tank space.

One thing I would like to add is that i believe that a tank should have more water than hardscape because then there will be little water for the fish to live in as most of the tank is occupied.

@minorhero what you mean that people want height in their hardscape?
 

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what you mean that people want height in their hardscape?
Most tanks that people use for inspiration or admire or even just flat win contests have hardscape that goes from the bottom of the tank all the way to the waterline or very close to the waterline. I'm referring to this as height. Unless you have one big monster piece of hardscape, it often requires LOTS of rock/wood to achieve.
 

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Most tanks that people use for inspiration or admire or even just flat win contests have hardscape that goes from the bottom of the tank all the way to the waterline or very close to the waterline. I'm referring to this as height. Unless you have one big monster piece of hardscape, it often requires LOTS of rock/wood to achieve.
ok I see thanks... I
 
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