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Hardscape Finished - Critique Please

2018 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  annyann
I have the hardscape finished in my 75 gallon planted tank. (well almost planted tank

I used Great Stuff to build hills and outline the stream that is in the forest. I put bread crate pieces under all the rocks so they didn't sit on the glass. The rocks are pink granite. Man was that rock hard to break. I used the hammer drill and put holes all around the rock and used a sledge hammer and still couldn't break even a small piece off. I had to get DS to break it for me and it took everything he had.

The trees are Manzanita branches that I mounted on pieces of slate. They will have plants on the branches.

I grated a bird cuttle bone and sprinkled it across the bottom, added clay to the mineralized the dirt and put it in the tank then capped it with Black Diamond blasting sand.

I had to order blue sand to fill in the stream bed so I'm waiting on that to fill the tank.

As usual, the pics are not great but there is so much glare coming from the doors, I can't get a clear pic. Any criticism is appreciated. This is my first attempt at this.

I added (2) 306 Fluval filters with an inline Hydor 300 watt heater.

Now I have to find plants. The foreground will have a ground cover for grass, mid level plants and tall plants to the back.

I'm waiting to order the light until the controller comes in but I'm losing my patience.
BuildMyLed is in the process of launching their new controller and it has been put back for at least 2 months now. I just got another email a few minutes ago saying it's pushed back another 10 days. I'm seriously thinking about changing the brand.
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this is actually pretty cool. Reminds me of something out of Dante's Inferno right now until it's up and running. What plants are you going with? Pics when completed please. :)
Looks pretty cool. What specifically do you need from the light controller? I have 3 BMLs with the controllers and have no issues. Haven't heard what the new controller is supposed to do. Guess I'm pretty simple when it comes to that stuff.
Too many rocks for my taste, but I like it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk

After looking at it in pics, I'm going to move and probably remove some of the rocks. It doesn't look natural.

I don't know about plants so I could use some help. I'd like a carpet in the front and down the sides of the stream with maybe something a little higher in the middle and taller plants to the back. Hopefully, a few red plants but it's low tech.

I want to have sunrise/sunset/moonlights. I can get the Apex controller but it's more expensive than the BML controller is going to be.
I like crypt parva in low to medium light for carpet like. I have it mine and need to add more.
The red rocks bothered me all night so this morning I tried taking a few out and still didn't like it. I imagined the green all around the red rocks. NOPE!

I broke up some rocks from my old pond and put them in. I like this much better.

I can't wait to get the blue sand to finish off the stream and fill it up.

Opinions please?
I strongly advise against blue sand. Water is not blue.
I get an odd feeling when looking at the stones along the it looks
"planned". The foam will get algae on it and also be covered by any plants along it
and soon will look more natural if left uncovered...IMO.
That stream will focus your attention on the filter up-take behind it especially if you intend to leave the back free of plants in that aria to further suggest a valley between two hills.
Mosses are too wild growing for me for the most part so I am trying to convert to Fissidens to take their places in my tank(s). But Fissidens grow much slower so be
prepared to have patience/w them if you do use them on the "trees" instead of mosses.
I've already ordered the blue sand. What color should it be?

I can move the uptake over to the corner. I put it there since it is mid tank.

I've been thinking the same thing about the rocks along the stream but didn't know how to hide the foam. Will plants root to the foam?
Yeah I agree against blue sand, it reminds me of a tank with plastic plants and colorful fake decor. Then again, whatever you think looks good, is what matters.
The sand could be regular playsand, tan to brownish in color. The goal is to give an impression of a river even if it doesn't look like water. (It's already underwater.)
More tweaking!

I don't usually change my mind when building things but this is difficult to get the look I want. I still need to make some little changes, just haven't figured out what yet.:red_mouth
I have been enjoying this tank SO MUCH!

Yeah, I changed it around again! I spent most of the day rearranging rocks, taking some out and adding others. DH finally made the comment, how many times are you going to play in that tank. LOL

Meganne brought me some dwarf sword grass that gets about 4" tall that I planted mid to rear of the tank. Eventually, it will fill in completely and hopefully, wave in the current. She also brought some Dwarf Anubais that I tied to the tops of the trees. They will look like leaves in a tree top.

I fixed the stream and added more capping sand.

I'm going to order some "Glosso" for a very short, thick carpet across the front of the tank and down the sides of the stream. I'm ordering KLEINER BAR SWORD that will be green on the top of a broad leaf and purple/red on the bottom, TEMPLE HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA V. N. STRICTA that is all green, a MARBLE QUEEN SWORD that is variegated white/green broad leaf and BOLBITUS HETEROCLITA FERN BROAD LEAF a dark green, thin leafed fern, and DWARF AQUARIUM LILY BULB NYMPHAEA STELLATA a red lotus.

I decided to try going lo tech as I originally planned. If it doesn't work, I'll add CO2 and switch to DBT.
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I think your tank is really coming together. It's looking better and better each time you change it.
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