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First Serious Attempt at Aquascaping

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hello fish people, I'm recently working on this 20g high aquarium. Id love to see what you guys think! Id also like to know if the Glosso on the bottom is growing too high or if that's normal. I'm using a relatively cheap LED from Aquarium Masters, bought it for $84 CAD.

Also, does Glosso take time to acclimate or do they just start growing right away?

Lights:
Aquarium Masters LED 24"
Fluval Aquasky 2.0

Plants in the Tank:
Rotala Nanjanshan
Cyperus Helferi
Alternanthera Reineckii
Hygrophila
Glossostigma

Edit: Tried rotating some of the pictures here, but it still uploaded like that, you can tilt your head now :grin2:

Water Plant Pet supply Organism Marine biology

Water Drinkware Liquid Fluid Bottle

Flower Plant Petal Grass Terrestrial plant

Water World Terrestrial plant Bedrock Grass


UPDATE 4/18/20:

Just to let everyone know that the Glossostigma are a success. Added some Rotala Hra to the right, its not a permanent location nor do I think that it will look good for a while since I can only get a few from Craigslist. A thick bush of Rotala Hra at the back is what I'm seeing. So far the CO2 has paid off, I'm using a ready to go, disposable CO2 system by ISTA and it has worked like a charm despite some bad reviews from other people. Its pricey but If you're looking to make plants grow, this is a decent system to go for.

Here are the latest pictures.


Water Plant Plant community Green Vertebrate


Plant Water Green Organism Vegetation


Water Plant Plant community Vertebrate Terrestrial plant


Water Plant community Plant Underwater Organism


Water Plant Green Underwater Fin


UPDATE 4/26/20:

Did a rescape on the 20 Gallon. Planning on adding Blyxa to the left-hand side of the tank. Also, I feel like the scape is split in uneven halves. Im hoping to ease the transition between the Hygro side and the rest with some driftwood and moss above the pathway. What do you guys think?

I wonder what style of aquascaping I'm closest to since I'm not too familiar with the established styles. I'm just doing what I think will look good. I know this one will look better in a longer tank, wish I had a 20 long instead! Here is a picture, hope you like it!

Water Plant Vertebrate Pet supply Organism
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Hello and welcome!

Your plants look nice and having co2 will help them a lot. You asked for feedback so I will throw in my 2 cents. Keep in mind the most important thing is if you are happy with it.

The part that most sticks out to me is that how flat your substrate appears. Hills and valleys are super important if you have the room for them. So down the road if/when you rescape you should consider adding those in. This can be pricey if you decide to build your hills out of aquasoil, so instead I recommend building your hills out of something cheaper (bags of cheap stone like pea gravel or lava rock, other types of inert and cheap substrate etc, then dump aquasoil ontop. Smaller detail rocks (usually broken up from larger pieces) also help a great deal around the base or one side of your larger rocks.

One oddity in your scape is that you have taken bits of decorative gravel and mixed it into your aquasoil while you also appear to be aiming at growing a carpet. The gravel will interfere with this where it is dense and otherwise will be lost from view where the carpet wins out. I would skip using decorative gravel whenever doing a carpet. Sometimes folks will have a specific spot or spots in a tank where they will have decorative sand or small rocks to create a path. That's fine but randomly throwing in gravel is not as helpful.

The other thing that sticks out is the mixing of rock species. In nature rocks tend to be similar colored because they get covered in dust, mud, grit, whatever and all end up looking like similar shades of pastels. In our tanks our rocks are all pretty well washed and clean by comparison. So having dark rocks right next to light colored rocks is pretty jarring. I would use similar colored rocks, preferably the same type of rock going forward.

These are just my personal opinion and I will be the first to admit I have no special expertise with aquascaping, its just something I like to do. If you are happy with the scape that is all that matters and you should just ignore anything I say :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No seriously, thank you for such a well thought out comment. When the tank was dry I had arranged the aquasoil completely on top of the gravel I arranged hills on the left side of the and the middle right of the tank but it flattened out as time went by. Originally my plan was to put a path of gravel on the just about left side of the tank, just before the the portion where the drift wood is. I might now remove the gravel with a comb to filter out the gravel where it doesn't belong for a better carpeting effect. Thanks for telling me that. I'll get to it. Cheers man!
 

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I myself am by no means an expert aquascaper, just starting up my first tank again after a long break and trying to achieve a nice scape myself. My input will therefore be from another point of view, namely as a photographer. Looking at the first image it strikes me that I'm not sure where to look. Typically the betta is the centerpiece fish, awarded by it's beauty, and with your limited footprint the alternathea reinickii steals attraction from it. Instead of having a clear focal point the contrasts are dampened and it becomes a figurative grey mass. I have AR mini myself, it's gorgeous, but I think it's hard to make it fully work in a smaller enclosure and especially if you have a similarily coloured fish. In reality this may not be the case but it's how I perceive it through your photos. Perhaps try and move them around, center them, move them to be partially covered or just try and remove them temporary to see what you think.

In many ways when starting a new hobby/ taking on a new project, I find I have a clear vision, goal and enthusiasm, but rather often end up disappointed when I don't reach it on the first attempt. Usually it's quite hard to pinpoint what's wrong, there's just something that's off. Maybe this is not true for yourself, but I hope the above pointer can be helpful as a step towards identifying what can be improved upon, perhaps something that's not discussed as frequent as other areas within aquascaping.
 

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Everything to smashed to back wall in cornrow effect. Take rock on left end move it 1.5” to right and 1.5-2” forward and set it on other rocks. Then bring all those plants out of left corner in same fashion, try to get hygro stems 4” away from walls so plant has room to spread out those beautiful long leaves in every direction, it’s a wonderful looking plant when you give it room for the leaves to spread out.

I’d actually move those AR clumps closer together in mid area and bring hygro around left end so those leaves are only 3-4” from front glass on that end. Will build a sense of depth depth in tank.

Then move that right clump of AR to left a bit and move a few of the Cyprus plants around to left end of big wood piece and more forward. Avoid planting stuff in straight lines like that.

I’d also take a few of those short Rotala stems and bring them slightly in front of wood on right end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey I've sold my Betta as I've just got some Black Skirt Tetras in the tank and they started picking on the Betta. I'm planning on getting one Dwarf Gourami (Neon Blue).
I feel like my plant selection was a bit off since some of these plants do grow big. I don't know much about plants yet and I only pick ones that I think looks good.

I am quite happy with it though with the exception of the hardscape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I've decided to follow some of these suggestions without really compromising on what I think looks good so here's the latest pictures of the tank. I've added some black skirt Tetras and sold the Red Betta. Planning on getting an Apisto or 1 Dwarf Gourami as a centrepiece fish. I've also upgraded the lighting, now the Glossos are starting to carpet nicely. Thank you all for your input!

https://i.imgur.com/wHacFsR.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/O7f0XFa.jpg
 

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I've decided to follow some of these suggestions without really compromising on what I think looks good so here's the latest pictures of the tank. I've added some black skirt Tetras and sold the Red Betta. Planning on getting an Apisto or 1 Dwarf Gourami as a centrepiece fish. I've also upgraded the lighting, now the Glossos are starting to carpet nicely. Thank you all for your input!

https://imgur.com/gallery/eFqT6cf
Seems link is not working?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
One thing I dont like right now is that the Cyperus Helferi at the back looks scraggly. I made the mistake of cutting the tips of some leaves that grew too long so I cut those leaves down to the base to allow for more (slow :crying:) growth Perhaps I should get some more Cyperus H. or switch to/add Rotala R. for more texture at the back.

My LFS aren't getting stocked for the time being due to Covid-19 lockdowns and its trying my patience. Fingers crossed this whole thing will be over soon.
 

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Things are certainly moving in the right way and can see it all improving. Good that you're trying your own interpretation of the most common styles, seemingly a mix of classic nature and iwagumi oriented layouts. Mixing carpeting with a more nature inspired interior is something I'm trying out myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lets rescape even more!

Did a rescape on the 20 Gallon. Planning on adding Blyxa to the left-hand side of the tank. Also, I feel like the scape is split in uneven halves. Im hoping to ease the transition between the Hygro side and the rest with some driftwood and moss above the pathway. any suggestions are welcome!

I wonder what style of aquascaping I'm closest to since I'm not too familiar with the established styles. I'm just doing what I think will look good. I know this one will look better in a longer tank, wish I had a 20 long instead! Here is a picture, hope you like it!

Water Plant Vertebrate Pet supply Organism
 
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