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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think this piece of wood I picked up today on store-credit is pretty awesome. Interestingly; I bought it based on just one angle and I ended up not even taking any pictures of it in that angle because every other set up just blew it out of the water for me.

I've included a picture of the rocks I am dealing with - I picked those up on the roadside, and unsure if they were there naturally or from a quarry somewhere. They don't appear to be affecting my water chemistry in my unplanted tank and tetras/cories have lived with them for several weeks now without any apparent issues. I can get a lot of sizes/shapes of these but think I got a representative sample.

I have 2 dual-bulb T5NO fixtures on top of the tank and I've commented when the wood does and doesn't seem to have a big impact on lighting. I will also have pressurized CO2.

Not asking for the forum to make my choice for me, but I would appreciate comments/suggestions/etc. I've included some of my thoughts on the various angles.

I haven't considered impacts on filter flow currents at this point in the process.

My rocks w/ can shown for size comparison - the biggest is shown in the middle of the tank in pic 4 on this post.



I don't know what plants are really available in the hobby yet. Also these ideas are for future, the first couple months I understand I will probably have a lot of fast growing stems in here and not so much concerned about my "final" scape ideas.





1
This may be my favorite. It has minimal impact on lighting reaching any areas not directly under the wood, which pretty much touches both the back left corner and front-center of the tank. I could cut off that one stub in the top left (the one pointing to one o'clock). In all of these scapes I am considering, undecided, adding a moss of some sort to the wood, so that would cover a cut mark. In this I could add moss to the upper left and then the lower out-shoots. Two of the smaller rocks in the front/mid left with low growing foreground (HC etc) plants and midground plant such as Blyxa Japonica. Another smaller rock on the front right and a fore/mid/back ground combo over there.




2
This could also be my favorite : )
It is more shaded in the back right but I could have low growing plants in front of that area and then a Crypt Wendtii or some such in the archway. Unsure how to incorporate rocks into this one but I would play around with them to see. I could see it being rockless actually although I've read it is good to use them to distinguish between fore/mid/back.





3
I could have a fore/mid/background setup all the way across the tank in this one. again I may or may not cut off the piece in the upper right corner sticking out, but it might be ok covered in moss. I do love watching the Amano shrimp crawl around on moss in out-cropping branches like that in the tank at my LFS...








4 and 5


This is the first angle I saw when I brought it home that was different than the one I bought it based off at the store, and said "Woah!" That outcropping stick gives its a pretty cool ability to stand in many angles. This is the same angle but at different tank locations. I imagine these setups with lots of low-growers in the final edition with stems and the like in the back but an emphasis more on "low fields" extending further back than a typical foreground and blyxa japonica type plants in the midground.







6
I really like this angle and there's not a lot of light blockage but I wonder if the majority of the wood is too far back in the tank and would possibly be hidden by plants once everything grows in. I could deal with that by keeping taller stems/etc to the back corners. Definitely need to add some hardscape (read: rocks) to the front left, somewhere, can't really figure out where... To me, this is a cool angle for the wood but the hardest for me to envision what plant and rock setups would look nice.



Looking forward to any comments and hoping the first one isn't, "Dude that kind of wood is toxic to aquariums!"
 

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Dude that kind of wood is toxic to aquariums!
looks like manzanita wood to me... Not toxic in the slightest. I have a good sized piece of it in a tank that has been running in various forms for years.
 

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Number 2 or 6 by far. Both will give you an awesome effect once flora is grown on them. They use the vertical space wisely without overbearing the tank unlike options 4 and 5 (stay away from those lol). They will also provide plenty of places for fish/shrimp to hide/make homes.

If you choose number 6 then I think you should move the driftwood to the far left cornor. Your tank is much longer than it is taller. Too much height throughout the tank won't look as pleasing to the eye (imo). Rather, you should have height that then flows down to a lower level - perhaps a carpet or very low flora.

Both 2 and 6 achieve this but 6 needs the driftwood on the left side to accomplish this. This will also leave you with open space for fish to swim in - a very nice effect with small schooling fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I do like 2 the best. I must consider the layout of the room for the "Display" tank of my small apartment, and even if I do a re-arrangement I have under consideration, the majority of "sitting on the couch glances" at the tank will be from the left side. Keeping the DW on the right side keeps the majority of the tank in view.

Additionally in person you can see how much this impacts the tank from the back all the way to the front, so with #6 I think it distracts by essentially becoming a "center" piece in the tank regardless of leaving the peak where it is or moving it all the way to the left as suggested by astrosag, because then the lower leg ends up smack in the middle on the front glass.

I foresee some challenges with this listed below, I may be overthinking again though : )








a) It's pretty dark in that back right corner. It actually significantly darkens about 25% of the substrate surface. I will definitely need to keep some lower-light requiring plants back there, there's really only usable light coming from the rearmost of the 2 fixtures and only from a small section of the length of that fixture.

b) Increases challenges of scraping / cleaning on 3 walls - though I imagine I could work this out.

c) Two wood mods: Once there's substrate this will be a few inches higher and the top is about to break the water surface as it is. I think I would cut it down so that it didn't stick out and I had a "cleaner" water surface. Second one is that I think that one bit in the center of the tank sticks out far enough to be distracting though it may be cool/ok w/ moss on it. I don't know if I would cut some or all of it off though.
 

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Don't forget that you do not necessairly have to leave the entire driftwood above the substrate. In fact digging parts of, like the part that you mention sticks out a bit much can be covered, mostly, by the substrate. There's nothing to say that your substrate has to be even.

I did prefer #2 and actually meant to say #2 and then #6 in terms of rank.

#2 gives your great vertical height and texture but also leaves a lot of open space both to the left and in front (unlike #6) - both of which are important for viewing - it'll be a spectacle for people to watch the fish and critters making that tank their home. A nice lush carpet in front of the driftwood with some pieces on the dw itself (baby tears work well) would look very natural.

I think you have yourself a winner here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again for all the comments and I will be going with the second option!!

That particular location doesn't quite meet "golden ratio" proportions but I don't know if its really required (would have to move it a few inches left, seems like it would subtract an awful lot of volume into the right side of the tank...)
 
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