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Your substrate is pretty flat and the rocks are pretty small and far apart. If you look at streams in nature they never look like this. Rocks tend to be in groups and the substrate of the stream is never flat. If you want a high end look to the tank then you need about 10 times as much rock (probably more) and a few more bits of wood. If you want to make what you have work then I'd group it all together to create a little spot of hardscape about 2/3rds along the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your substrate is pretty flat and the rocks are pretty small and far apart. If you look at streams in nature they never look like this. Rocks tend to be in groups and the substrate of the stream is never flat. If you want a high end look to the tank then you need about 10 times as much rock (probably more) and a few more bits of wood. If you want to make what you have work then I'd group it all together to create a little spot of hardscape about 2/3rds along the tank.
Ya I agree. I have a few more pieces of wood and a couple more rocks. I’ll try added them and grouping together. I tried making slopes in the back corners but they seem to have flattened out.
 

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Ya I agree. I have a few more pieces of wood and a couple more rocks. I’ll try added them and grouping together. I tried making slopes in the back corners but they seem to have flattened out.
Yeah substrate will always seek its angle of repose which for our tanks basically is closed to flat. That said, you can cheat by putting down filler rocks to create terraces. In my next tank I will be using mesh bags filled with lava rock to build up a lot of height in at least one back corner.

Its expensive to buy rocks from aquarium stores to make this happen in a large tank. This is why all of my rocks these days come from the wild.
 

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On top of more rocks, I would also group the stones with your driftwood almost like they were there the whole time and one day the driftwood came floating along and lodged itself into the rocks, and then plants found themselves nice spots to settle in around it. For your slopes, you can maintain them by either using small pieces of rock and terracing it down to the lower levels, or you can get media bags and fill them with a bunch of chemical free crushed lava stone from a hardware store, and use them like sand bags under your substrate. The substrate will have a much easier time staying in a slope and it’s cheaper than adding more soil. I’ve even seen people use clay bricks under hard scape and substrate to help raise it. Plants themselves will also help maintain the slope if you think about it like erosion.
 

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I think it looks good. (In the original picture) My eyes immediately go to the moss right in the middle then my eyes go to the moss on the right, then the stem plants on the left.

So it does make the eye wander the tank which is good. If I had ANY critique, I would say that although my eyes are moving about the tank with different focal points. The focal points are all the same level.
 
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