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This is my 6 month old low tech 30gal. No matter what I do it's still hideous in my eyes. Do you think it looks decent? How do I improve it? I'm planning to add more driftwood and plants. I think it lacks some kind of hardscape. It's silly I've been in the hobby for 3 years and still behind many people.
 

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It looks okay to me. I think it depends on what you're going for. It's a bit too sparse for a jungle tank, and too disorganized for a dutch tank. I think it could have benefited from having more plants of the same type either more closely together, or just more plant species in general.

The crypt in the front and slightly to the right is a perfect example of the rule of thirds/golden ratio, so you did a great job there. It could do with a little bit of contrast just so you could see how big it is (or small).

I once did a small aquascape where I "terraced" the plants and put down little pebble pathways separating the different plants I had planted. You could try doing something similar, as a way to sort of signify "this area is for X plant, this area for Y plant".
 

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More plants? More driftwood? A bigger tank? All thoughts. I don't mean to sound like the fish police either, but Bosemani Rainbows are a tad too big for a 29 gallon as well IMO. They need more like a 4 foot tank.

I would upgrade to a 40 breeder or larger tank. Or at least a tank with a larger footprint. Or if you want a REALLY big tank, go with a 75. Rainbows would love that! I have a 33 long and it serves me well. I have a tank with a big footprint, being 4 feet long, but smaller volume/size to make it easy for maintenance/care on myself. Those are my favorite tanks currently. I like to think of them as little big tanks. 33L, 40L, 40 breeder etc.

If you have any issues with tank cleanliness or water parameters, water changes, water changes, water changes! They are really helpful.
 

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I would be quite happy looking at that tank every day.

I've been in the hobby close to 20 years and realized long ago that I just do not have the creative eye, talent or patience to create the wonderful looks others have. So my focus has always been a thriving fish tank accented with plants/hardscape that I am able to maintain and that I find pleasing. Others may concentrate first on creating quite beautiful aquascapes accented with fish that they enjoy keeping. These, I continue to admire and be amazed at how someone can just see that picture in their head and transfer it to that box. And there are many varying degrees of "success" along the way depending on one's personal vision.

That's not to say that you won't get where you want to go. If you've got the time and desire, there is certainly no end to the examples you can research (and copy) that are pleasing to you and beneficial for your fish.
 

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To my eye …I can’t tell if there are any major problems. I do think I see cyanobacteria or algae issues on the substrate and, perhaps, climbing the glass on the lower regions. Do you also have algae on the leaves? The basic layout - from a distance - looks fine (it’s always personal taste). If you have what you think are specific problems, try to get a close-up image and describe the problem(s).

Are you asking for thoughts on correcting specific problems or just opinions on tank layout? If you have problems, please provide, in addition to close-ups and descriptions, as much of the following as possible:

- Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading/estimate at the substrate and photoperiod?
- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings and which test kits/devices are used for each?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity), in terms of ppm, and how often?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
 

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I am by no means even close to most of those on this site and can't really zoom in very well, soooo with that said. Your plants look great, healthy and growing! I would put a nice rock group or piece of wood in the front left center where those other small ??? 3 items are.
 

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First of all it doesn't look bad. It just looks like you're basing your design off of tanks from the 80s and 90s.

Yes, design. Have you watched YouTube videos on how to design your scapes yet? You won't have ideas unless you do that or at least look at say, winners of aquascapong competitions.

It's kind of like a musician wondering why their songs aren't good but where they also don't research a little music theory or check out the top 50 tracks.
 

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Don't think of yourself as being "behind" other people though - unless you are literally entering aquascaping competitions, there's no reason to compare yourself to others. Like everyone is saying, there's nothing wrong with your tank the way it is, but if you want to change things up for the better then that's great.

I'd spend a lot of time looking at other tanks and figure out what elements go into the tanks that you really like. Don't feel like you need to reinvent the wheel and have a tank that is completely original - feel free to take design ideas and apply them to your own tank. I find that nice hardscape can really make a difference because it can add a focal point and different levels. Of course you can have a beautiful plant-only tank, but well chosen stone or driftwood is practically a cheat code. Maybe it's just that *I* find the plant design more difficult because it's so dynamic - you really have to know the plants well to be able to predict how they are going to grow in.
 
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