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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is my first planted tank, and I would like a little help with driftwood selection/placement. First off, I know that this is a little different than many of the tanks that I have seen, so hopefully I don't get too many people saying how much they dislike it.

The goal of my aquascaping is to mimic exposed tree roots underwater. The tank is a 10g, and the substrate will be ADA aquasoil amazonia. The fish will either be a group of Rasboras (Chili or Phoenix) or CPDs with a group of small loaches (Yunnanilus spp.) and maybe a single Moth catfish.

My substrate hasn't yet arrived, but I wanted to start playing around with the driftwood pieces I have to see what works. I have three nice pieces of ghostwood (manzanita) that I am working with. I want a nice root effect, so in a couple of instances I have connected the wood with a zip tie just to see how it looks. Ultimately I will permanently connect the desired pieces if necessary, and cut off the top so that is only mildly extends above the water line. I also have some small pieces of stone that I will place in the substrate that are a nice alternating pattern of brick red and dark grey. Once the substrate arrives, I will put the full hardscape up for comments.

Anyway - here are the potential driftwood options as it stands. Any opinions/recommendations are welcome. Sorry for the poor cell phone pics. I am charging my DSL battery.

Option 1 (This is probably my favorite):



Option 2:



Option 3 (not a huge fan of this - too much for the tank I think):



Option 4 - just a single branch:



Option 5 - also a single:
 

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What happens when you put both pieces in the tank, one from each side?
I do not think the bound-together branches work for this, but the singles might not be quite enough.

I like the multiple arches of picture 4, without the complications of having both branches tangled together. The arches are directed down, where roots would grow. The other direction looks like roots, too (picture 3) but I think one of the arches gets lost against the main stem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are some better pics of a couple more options of bundled branches - as well as some individual branch pics from each side per Diana's request. I have three pieces - but the third piece (bundled with piece 1 in options 2, 6 and 7) doesn't have the right shape to stand alone.

Option 6 (Side and Top shots):



Option 7 - I would trim the length of the lateral branches with this option for slightly better positioning:



Option 8:



Option 9:



I can get better pics of the first few options now if that will help anyone.
 

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I think they look better separated.

Maybe try one in a more horizontal position (you might need to cut it to fit it in the tank) You can also just lay the pieces out in front of the tank if they won't fit in it, until you figure out what arrangement you like.


Or possibly try anchoring one to slate or something, so that the branchers are sticking upwards.

Whatever you decide to go with, it will probably work out fine, the fish will like it, and combined with some plants it should end up looking pretty nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the opinions so far.

I am still not incredibly happy with what I have so far. So still playing with ideas. Here are two more slight variations on a more spread-out horizontal theme. I think so far, I either like one of these two the best - or keeping the pieces separate.

I am going to give it a day or two now, go over pics and then see what I think. But additional opinions/critiques are welcomed!

Option 10:



Option 11:

 

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I love this idea and you have great material to work with!

I wouldn't be cutting the tops off the wood but plant it instead if the lights can be hung maybe 8" off the tank's top and your planned critters aren't jumpers. Perhaps the plants you intend to use would help decide which wood arrangement will work best? I can see Anubias looking natural in the bundled arrangements and moss looking great in the more open arrangements.
 

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Options 1 and 7 are my favorite, but I would take into account location of heater/filter to try to hide it behind the driftwood as much as possible. If your not gonna have tall plants in the tank, then more driftwood in the tank would be necessary. Food for thought :) .... Can't wait to see more pics soon
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the continued comments everyone.

StraightAddicted - I am trying to keep visual distractions to a minimum - so I am going to have lily pipes connected to a canister filter and the heater is inline - so it shouldn't detract much from the rest of the aquascape.

I am planning on tall plants in the background - with a mix of shorter plants in the mid and foreground
 

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Sounds great, that's what I was hoping you were going to do with the heater/filter. It's really going to compliment the tank well. You will figure it out dude, go with your gut and enjoy the growth. You can always adjust during water changes or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hardscape pics

I added the ADA PowerSand to the base and started to play with the wood and rocks. I still have the ADA Amazonia (powder) to go in - and I will work with that to make more of a slope in the rear of the tank to add some more depth.

But here are a few of the setups I tried.







Right now, I think I like the third one - but I think that the rear rock line will get lost with time as the background plants (Chain Swordplant, Hygrophila corymbosa 'angustifolia', Crypt retropiralis and balansae) grow in.

Also - with the aquasoil - I plan to fill in the spaces between some of the rocks and not have them lie directly on top - but like they are jutting out from the river bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here are some images of the finished rockscape with the Amazonia powder and the two last branch options being considered. I think that the single branch is still not strong enough to be alone, and that I like the extra piece joined that fills up the space to the mid right.

Critiques/recommendations are desired.

Rockscape


Branch option 1


Branch option 2
 

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For branching, I like 9, 10 and 11. When you bundle them it is too thick.

The rocks are not distinct enough. They all sort of blur together. I would think of all of these as secondary rocks, and get a couple of more that are much larger. Or else put the ones you have together in a pile, or make a wall that will hold the deeper substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah - Option 7 got the most votes here (and from asking a few friends not on the forum) - and that is what I used for the scaping - just took off the second piece to see if it was able to stand alone with the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Most recent incarnation using the advice from people so far.

Here is the most recent change using Kathyy's advice - and it makes sense as the area under the driftwood in the corner will get very little light. Here is what I came up with:





The back right corner seems empty - but that will be a focus of planting as it is a high light area. The pile of rocks in the back left is there because the light there will be so poor - but it does seem to make the tank a little uneven...
 
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