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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I saw this as a category on UKAPS and thought it would be a nice add here to show how an aquascape progresses from start to finish. This is my nano AGA entry this year.

Tank volume is <27liters
18"x11"x7.5"

June 27, 2015
Initial hardscape from concept. I wanted a dramatic mountainscape with sharp peaks. I arranged the rocks in a crisscross pattern to develop the peaks and valleys.


June 29, 2015
I cut in the paths and planted the tank with very low growing carpet plants. Predominantly UG and HC. The UG can be trimmed to give a nice downward cascading effect. The small HC leaves will break up the UG and provide better scale and perspective.


July 28, 2015

Plants have grown in quickly and are ready for first big cut back. Rework the paths to improve the perspective and flow of the mountainscape. Reduced the soil level in front left dramtically to open up the front for future detail work. This was done by using a tube small enough to insert to the bottom and siphon the aquasoil from beneath allowing removal without disturbing the roots or aquascape. Started to add detail to the background rock work.

Notice the rocks are discolored from algae.


August 11, 2015
Added the far left path to balance the mountainscape. Plants are recovered from aggressive trimming and new growth is thick and spreading more horizontally.

Rocks were spot cleaned with a toothbrush and excel one time. The light was raised 6" to reduce the strength which has reduced algae growth on rocks. Additional details added especially in foreground.


September 4, 2015
Tank has matured fully at this point. Final touches are made with the hardscape. I broke up a reddish ohko stone and added the smalller fragments in the background increasing the perspective and feel of light versus darker areas.

Final manicuring of the plants and sand path was made. The addition of very small details was completed like adding ohko stone dust to improve the natural feeling of the rocks into the paths.

Took the final photo using a dslr camera, wide angle lens and off camera flash which enhances the color, details and adds a dynamic feel with the light coming through the top of the rippled water mimicking rays of sunlight.
 

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wow... really impressive )) i like your tank... very beautiful
more pictures? and what kind of stones they are?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wow... really impressive )) i like your tank... very beautiful
more pictures? and what kind of stones they are?
Thanks. yea as i have time ill post more of my aquascapes here.


They are Ohko stone aka dragonstone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Such an amazing scape. Blown away man, props!
Thanks. Wish the judges had been too. Added progression commentary to inspire folks and share insight on some of the technique and thought process I used in its making.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very inspiring tank. What kind of plants are in the tank?
Hemianthus callitrichoides


Utricularia graminifolia


Riccia fluitans


Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' in the very back left


Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping'


Taxiphyllum 'Flame'



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Here is another aquascape progression series. This is an ADA 45p

Tank volume is 34 liters
18"x10.6 "x12"

6/15/2014
I had purchased a couple of these bonsai trees thinking they were real. Although disappointed and feeling a bit foolish I decided to try one out anyway. I decided to use slate chips for the hardscape to support the tree. They are easy to work with to get great shape and texture. The plants were already grown out from a previous scape and I just reused them. The plants are dwarf hair grass, downoi and hc.



7/26/2014
I attached mini pellia by pressing it into the branches of the tree. No glue or thread was needed as mini pellia is pretty stiff. I also added sand on top of the slate to lighten things up as the scape was looking quite dark. Also added flame moss to the back right. Had fissidens in the back left pop up as a hitchhiker.




8/16/2014
This scape was pretty low maintenance. The mini pellia required no trimming at all. The downoi was outgrowing the area and had to be trimmed back aggressively.




9/16/2014
To finish the scape I added hygrophillia pinnatifida in the back to add some textural difference and interest. The biggest improvement was to tip the tree to give it a much more natural feel as the branches now overhang and reach for the path.



Some things I would do differently in this scape:
1. Removed the downoi and replace it with the HC/dwarf hair grass to match the right side.
2. Have the sand path continue around and disappear on the horizon to add perspective.
3. Clean up the left side so that the tree was more distinct.
4. Sand was messy and needed to be cleaned up. Smaller slate chips/dust need to be used to naturalize the look.

Some things I really liked:
1. The tree looks great to me. The mini pellia leaves were just as I had envisioned.
2. The black slate chips had nice color and scale.
3. The overall feel felt natural to me
4. The final photo turned out well imo. Nice reflections in the side glass. The water ripples and reflection at the surface look gentle and give the feeling of motion.
 

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0_0 Holy crap!!! You do some amazing work!! I wish I had the skills to be able to the things you have accomplished in these tanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What is that intake strainer you are using? I'm pondering about getting one but heard that they rust a lot.
It is a stainless steel mesh that i bought from a forum member. Check there and you probably can find one.
 

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From this to this - Aquascape progression - Scape 2 added

You should also remove the hygro in the back. It makes the whole scence not proportional .


-Alan
 
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