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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not going for Iwagumi specifically, or any particular style, but I pulled some of the guidelines from Iwagumi. Center stone, odd number of stones, initial focal point that draws your eye across the tank.

Tried a few configurations and this is what I ended up with. What do you guys think?

Are the stones too large?

Does the wood work? (The wood is indirectly from Tom Barr, gorgeous piece) The wood sort of becomes the initial focal point instead of the stone which I'm okay with.

Stones: After the initial investment of the tank/equipment I couldn't bring myself to drop the money on the ADA stones so I went to a local contractor supply shop and picked up ~120LB of basalt boulders for $22.

Flora: Still uncertain but there will be carpet.

Thanks!
 

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I think I would probably try to move the center rock behind the two on the left and angle it up to give some depth opposite the "tree". If you move the left two stones toward the front to accommodate, you'll end up with three layers of depth, also: near (front L), mid (wood / stones)' and far (back left).

Then again, it might look like kaka when this is actually tried ;)

Good luck!
 

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It actually looks like you could try a mountain scape with tree as in #89 and 156 here.
http://en.iaplc.com/results12/top200vote/ Place the largest rock where it belongs and the secondary stone then place the tree. The other stones will support the three main elements and might need to be partly buried to reduce bulk or consider breaking one up so you have more variety.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I played around with the 2 stones on the left a bit, pic attached.

Maybe too symmetrical. Either take out the tree or a rock from the left
I'm thinking the tree might need to go.. it creates two focal points at equal distances from the center like you said. It also throws the proportions all off unless I were to try the "mountainscape" look like Kathyy suggested.


I think I would probably try to move the center rock behind the two on the left and angle it up to give some depth opposite the "tree". If you move the left two stones toward the front to accommodate, you'll end up with three layers of depth, also: near (front L), mid (wood / stones)' and far (back left).

Then again, it might look like kaka when this is actually tried ;)

Good luck!
The center rock is as far back as it will go unfortunately. The 2nd from the left, the massive one, I may be able to bring that forward however.


It actually looks like you could try a mountain scape with tree as in #89 and 156 here.
http://en.iaplc.com/results12/top200vote/ Place the largest rock where it belongs and the secondary stone then place the tree. The other stones will support the three main elements and might need to be partly buried to reduce bulk or consider breaking one up so you have more variety.
For referrence,



Hmmm yeah, burying the rocks deeper would make it more natural, good thinking. I'm in a condo so breaking one up is going to be tough.. unless I drop it off the balcony. ;)

Going to try a few more changes. Thanks everyone for the feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Tried moving the 2 stones on the left forward, rotating #1 back to how it was earlier. There are huge shadows in the forward position as the stone is so big. Also, dug the stones on the right in a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Here I've removed the wood and moved the lighting forward ~75% towards the front.

Hmmm... I think I might take it all apart and try moving the large stone (#2) a few inches to the right.. Right now it's at 1/4 the tank and I'm thinking it should really be at the 1/3rd mark. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds) That will bring the focal point inwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Definitely better, try moving the two leftmost stones all the way into the left corner? Unless you're set on having one mass.
I just took it down again but I'll keep that in mind. I'm not set on one mass, but I'm finding that my "center stone" is a bit narrow so I've been trying to "prop" it up a bit with other stones.

Just tried a few 3 stone configurations.. Not really liking it.. that damn center stone is just too awkward.

I think I'll give it a rest for now and then go back to 5 stones, 2 + 3 like you suggested. Thx!
 

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Personally I love that tree. I keep getting a picture in my mind of one of those twisted and windswept scrub pines clinging somehow to a craggy hillside.
 

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The first rock grouping looked promising, but the tree moved the focus away from that main rock with the deep crevice.

I don't think you can have the wood on the right and then the most prominent rock on the left that just doesn't work. From the first setup if you just remove the wood I think you can have a nice layout. If you want to keep the tree than you need to incorporate the tree in and around the dominant rock grouping and then have other rocks support that, but not compete with the main focal area. That's pretty much what's going on in the pics you attached. The main grouping with the trees are slightly off-center and inside the main focal area.
 

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I like the way the tree fits over the rock in the first scape but it fights with the largest stone. Wonder how it would look on the other side of the tank near the largest stone.

Whatever you come up with is going to be nice. Your stones have multiple interesting faces, each arrangement you have come up with has been interesting. I like the mystery when there is a concave face to the stone especially.

120 pounds of rock? Might want to do this in a cardboard mockup so the glass isn't in danger and you don't have to reach in to move things around. I have no idea how many pounds of rock are in my tank but once a big one was placed I sure didn't want to move it again! Lucky for me the stones were never intended to be very visible once the tank was grown in.
 

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This is fun. I'll join.

I would tackle it this way: First, cut out a piece of cardboard the size of the tank's footprint. Play with the stones there until you come up with an arrangement you like enough to keep overnight, look at again the next day, and so on. There is no real benefit to doing this in the tank; it only slows down the changes and risks the glass.

First, decide on the best position for the biggest rock; I personally think it is close to the original way it sat. Given the size of the pieces, I agree that the tree and biggest rock need to be part of the same focal point, much like the second contest tank shown. So work the next rock and the wood into the picture once the big rock is set. The rest should just be a matter of experimenting until you get one worthy of getting wet.
 
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