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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm a complete noob when it comes to planted tanks and scaping anything. I'm trying a dry start method to get a carpet going but I may have put a little too much water in to start - I'm probably doing a million things wrong here haha. So here's what I've set up the past couple of days:
http://i.imgur.com/UXfFvqr.jpg

A couple of things -

1. I know some people don't like backgrounds and this one in particular doens't exactly match the look I was going for. I'll probably take it down.

2. I really like the idea of having an arch. I want to keep it and I think I've got it in a spot that I like

3. I don't think that it's "perfect" with the rule of thirds and such but I wanted to make sure the tank wouldn't be empty looking.

4. I wanted to have sort of a "path" going through the arch.

5. Last night I added some substrate to help bury the wood and add some depth by sloping towards the back

I guess what I'd like to know is, is there anything else I could do to make it look better? I suppose it's entirely up to me what I like or don't like, I just feel like something is "missing".
 

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IMHO, it needs a bit more slope at the back edges. And of course, that background is a bit... out of place. To say the least.

I think once it fills it it will look great. Small crypt species such as wendtii green or green gecko, parva, willisii, petchii, and others would look great in the corners or coming out from around the wood, and the wood would be accented really well by small anubias like nana 'petite' on their bottom halves.
 

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"1. I know some people don't like backgrounds and this one in particular doens't exactly match the look I was going for. I'll probably take it down."

I agree not a fan of this background. Its disjointed with your aquascape.

"2. I really like the idea of having an arch. I want to keep it and I think I've got it in a spot that I like"

Im not sure I would call this an arch. It looks to me like a piece of wood leaning on another piece of wood unnaturally. Maybe try using your other piece of wood as it has a better bend in it. I don't think I could make a natural eye pleasing arch out of those three pieces of wood.

"3. I don't think that it's "perfect" with the rule of thirds and such but I wanted to make sure the tank wouldn't be empty looking."

I wouldn't worry to much about rules at this point and just play with the pieces you have. Just a first attempt at using those pieces, I would combine them so they were radiating out from each other. Keeping the right arch piece about where it is. Moving the left arch piece to the right side of your right arch piece and your smaller front piece move to the front of the grouping. I would also raise them up with rocks and substrate so the tops of the wood were about 2 inches from the surface. And then the overall substrate sloping from right down to the left. Then you can put epiphytic plants in the center area created by the three pieces of wood. Stems along the back and a specimen or two in your midground. And finishing in the front with your HC carpet.

4. I wanted to have sort of a "path" going through the arch.

Were you thinking sand for the path? I would advise against a path in this scape.

"5. Last night I added some substrate to help bury the wood and add some depth by sloping towards the back"

Use the substrate to raise those pieces up and not bury them. You have very little wood to use to begin with and burying it gives you even less.

Also your substrate line and water level would make a dsm difficult. Some of your HC is submerged and will not do well. I don't see any benefit of a dsm on this scape. Especially if that HC was coming from submersed. I would also break your HC clumps gently with a pinsettes and evenly plant them.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm going to respond out of order here lol

I wasn't planning on adding sand for the "path". I just wanted a different level of substrate going through the arch.

I should clarify that by "burying" the wood I did it so that it was more stable and grounded instead of just sitting on top of the substrate.

You mention adding rocks and more substrate to help raise the wood. I like the idea of having the wood closer to the top, but I worry about adding too much hardscape. Being a 29g, the room I have to work with is actually kinda small. Space gets taken up very quickly. If I add rocks and such, I feel like it would get too crowded. Perhaps I'm overthinking it and not finding the right shape and sizes of rocks or not placing things where they'd fit the best.

Also, I know that ideally you'd have your substrate sloping form the back to the front, but it seems like it takes up quite a bit of the tank. For example the back right corner is about 3 inches up the glass, should it go higher?

Oh, and if I were to move things around at this point, what can I do with the plants? They were only placed there last night, but I suppose I'd just take them out of where I placed them and then replant them? I'll try breaking them up a bit more and spread them out evenly. I was just told and from my research that a dsm would help get a carpeting plant planted as there's more CO2 and the roots won't get washed up when you flood, so that's why I tried it.
 

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The first consideration is if it pleases you or not. But since you asked I will say the background has to go. Just put in a black one or paint the back. I also think you may not like the look of the arch especially once its grown in. It will just take careful execution.
 

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I'm going to respond out of order here lol

I wasn't planning on adding sand for the "path". I just wanted a different level of substrate going through the arch.

I should clarify that by "burying" the wood I did it so that it was more stable and grounded instead of just sitting on top of the substrate.

You mention adding rocks and more substrate to help raise the wood. I like the idea of having the wood closer to the top, but I worry about adding too much hardscape. Being a 29g, the room I have to work with is actually kinda small. Space gets taken up very quickly. If I add rocks and such, I feel like it would get too crowded. Perhaps I'm overthinking it and not finding the right shape and sizes of rocks or not placing things where they'd fit the best.

Also, I know that ideally you'd have your substrate sloping form the back to the front, but it seems like it takes up quite a bit of the tank. For example the back right corner is about 3 inches up the glass, should it go higher?

Oh, and if I were to move things around at this point, what can I do with the plants? They were only placed there last night, but I suppose I'd just take them out of where I placed them and then replant them? I'll try breaking them up a bit more and spread them out evenly. I was just told and from my research that a dsm would help get a carpeting plant planted as there's more CO2 and the roots won't get washed up when you flood, so that's why I tried it.
Here is the slope on my nano tank right now. This has been set up for 1 week. I used crushed lava rock from the local home improvement store. Cost about $5 and used about 2/3 of the bag. Then topped it with around 3 to 4 inches of Aquasoil normal size and topped off with 1/2 inch of Aquasoil powder. See how small my wood is in this tank...but it is near the surface right where I want it. Please ignore the rock on top of the wood its just there because I didn't waterlog it.




Just take the plants out and put them in a plastic bag and seal it with a touch of tank water. They will be fine for a day or two that way.

You will have no issue with carpeting HC. You will get a few floaters at first. When you pull apart the HC you will find that it is actually a bunch of small stems. I usually take 1 to maybe 3 stems at a time and plant them so they are about 1/2 pressed into the substrate. By having smaller pieces they will be less likely to float. Also I like to have enough HC to be able to plant every 1/2 inch so the carpet fills in within a few weeks. In my experience HC grows much faster submerged. And you don't have to go through the stress of flooding and waiting to see if all the HC will melt or not.

Hope that helps.
 
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