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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

When I first decided a couple of months ago to dive into the world of planted aquariums, my first priority was to do what I had to do to make sure my plants lived and get some experience under my belt. Now that it's been a couple of months and I see that my plants are growing (already made some cuttings of Wisteria which are also growing nicely!), I think it's time to try my hand at aquascaping. I've seen some of the tanks members post here and they're all breathtaking, but I haven't the slightest idea (or talent for knowing what looks good and where) of how to aquascape. So I turn to you, the gurus of plantedtank.net :) I ask for your advice on how to make my tank not look so unkempt.

Front shot 1


Front shot 2


Left side


Right side


Tank specs:
46 gal (open top, no cover. took it off about a week ago hoping to get more light into the tank)
96w coral life fixture 6700k
pressurized co2
100% Flourite
EI dosing (have been moving away from standard doses to tailor my tank)

Plants:
In the back are a bunch of Wisteria
On the sides are Ambulia or Cabomba, I forget which. Also Golden Lloydelia and Cardemine(sp?)
Amazon Compacta
Foreground has Microswords which are dying (not enought light I suspect) and dwarf sag which at first looked pretty bad but are now growing pretty nicely.

There's also that huge piece of driftwood with anubias on it. I like the piece, I just don't know how to orient it in the tank, it takes up so much room! Also a clay pot for the heck of it.

So if anyone has any comments or suggestions, please I want to hear them! I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to scaping the tank, so any advice is appreciated. Thanks for reading my rediculously long post!
 

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You're doing great so far :)

Some aquascaping basics:

Slope your substrate so that it is lower in the front and rises toward the back of your tank. This provides a better view of all of your plants and gives a better sense of depth to the aquascape.

Taller, faster-growing plants in back so that they don't hide the shorter plants in front of them.

Use short plants in front of stem plants to hide the lower bare parts of the stems.

Place plants in groups of the same species to accentuate their effect to the viewer.

Vary the leaf shape and color of plant groupings placed next to each other so that the various groups stand out rather than blend into a homogenous whole.

Use small, low-growing plants like grass, Glosso, etc. to create a low foreground in the front of the tank.

Unbalance the aquascape: i.e. don't design your focus on the exact center of the tank, but rather to the left or right of center. This gives the tank a more natural appearance.

Please don't take these suggestions as gospel, they are simply what has worked for me. Good luck with your tank and keep the pics coming :)
 

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De-clump your lilaeopsis...(micro swords). They get algae issues when clumped together. Seems like your aquarium is kind of cloudy? Move the driftwood so that it isn't pointing right in the direct centre like travis said. Rule of thirds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Travis - Thank you! All good advice, I'd like to slope the substrate, but I shudder to think of adding more flourite to this tank. It's so messy. I'm waiting for the Wisteria to grow out some more, those will be the tall plants in the back. I'll move all the like plants together like you said and see how it comes out.

Narhay - Thanks for the advice about the microswords. Maybe that's why they aren't doing well, I'll separate them next WC and hopefully they'll start growing instead of slowly wilting. The cloudiness in the tank is recent, like 2 or 3 days ago, I'm not sure why. I have a Whisper 60 HOB and a xP2 with purigen in one of the baskets. As far as the driftwood, I see it already as "off to the right", but you seem to see it as being in the center? Could you please explain?
 
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