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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not going to say much at this time as I want the most brutal and honest feedback that I can get. I will say my desired look is that of a amazon jungle or rainforest.

Here are the pics as of today.
 

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Here are the most obvious issues:
1. There's the gigantic letter "A" formed by the wood.
2. There is no central background planting.
3. The foreground selection is poor, better suited to the midground, which is non-existent.
4. Overall, it's very busy with no central focus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The DW is bolted down to a 48x12 piece of slate which is buried... So I can't really change that.

What would be some good mid ground plants for a low tec tank?? And where should they go specifically?


How can I add a focal point now?

Thanks for pointing things out but it would be even better to help me figure out some possible solutions to said issues.
 

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I would recommend a backing on the tank to make the fish and plants stand out more. I would also relocate the heater. I don't mind the hard scape letter A:) I think you could use it better though. In nature plants grow right next to wood so I would find some mid ground plants and nestle them in and around the wood. I agree that you need to fill in the back middle section as well.
 

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The problem with the hardscape can't be solved, it can only be hidden with carefully chosen plants. But I doubt this would be effective. The hardscape is like the skeleton of the tank; get it wrong and and everything else is wrong.
 

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The slate is the footprint of the tank almost? Are the two pieces of driftwood bolted down indepently? If so, could you just pivot the smaller piece around ~180 degrees so that both pieces were facing left? Or can you carefully slide the whole slate forward or backward on an angle to create interest? If not, I am not terribly bothered by the hardscape either personally. I wouldn't completely tear down your tank or anything.

As for a midground plant, I think Solsielo was saying you have it already, your dwarf sag/chain swords. Just move them a little further back and add a shorter foreground plant like maybe staurogyne, glosso, crypt parva, anubias nana or stargrass if you have low-light. I would probably plant the low capet plant in a slight half circle shape, even extending to the left side perhaps. I think it would be good to play with plant shape, against your dwarf sag or chain sword (not sure) so, imo, staurogyne would be awesome.

I like the idea of adding slightly taller growing (than the dwarf sag) mid-ground plants around the driftwood. Maybe something with colour, like bunched stems groomed short such as mini ludwigia, or a red sword of some type?

I think rotala magenta would look very good to replace the rotala on each side of your tank back. For some reason, I am envisioning some jungle val to fill the center back with flow going the same way as the driftwood.

I am by no means an expert at scaping, I don't follow any rules, I just think it would help create a focal point with colour or plant shape, and moving the hardscape could help create interest.

OR

I see the use of colour, say red, maybe red swords or crypts around the base of the left side driftwood, and the same colour growing as a stem, tall, in behind the right side of the letter "A", and try to make that your focal point?
 

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And the heater would look better placed lower, behind the background plants, or vertical in front of the output from the filter, hidden by some background plants.
 

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Everyone has different opinions, I like the crazy looking driftwood. Some background plants to fill in the gap in the middle would help. Pull the heater down so its hidden behind some plants. What really would make it is a black background. Very nice, if you like it that's all that really matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
its dwarf sag, I don't think with my low tech i could grow a nice LOW foreground plant. which is why I want with sag.

As for the DW I really can't move it at all :(

I like the idea of keeping my sag as the foreground too and getting something a little taller for a mid level.

I do have some jungle val in the far back right corner, its pretty hidden atm. I can pull from there as new growth is good and use it to fill in the mid. I think that would look cool.

I too was thinking about some kind of crypt for the base of the dw.

great ideas guys, thanks!

lets keep em coming :) the more ideas the more I get to play around in my tank and hopefully make some changes that will improve the overall appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Everyone has different opinions, I like the crazy looking driftwood. Some background plants to fill in the gap in the middle would help. Pull the heater down so its hidden behind some plants. What really would make it is a black background. Very nice, if you like it that's all that really matters.
I was planning on moving the heater too its an eyesore. Do I need to worry about it being away from the spray bar?

The open middle area is something I need to address, I will work on that.

Overall I like the look too, I need to keep growing moss to extend over most of the dw which will have a huge impact and I can groom it to change the shape of the "A" a bit too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
how about some rocks? could they fit into this scape? if so what kind and where would you put them? piles? single large rocks? covered with moss or plants?
 

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its dwarf sag, I don't think with my low tech i could grow a nice LOW foreground plant. which is why I want with sag.
You could still do anubias nana, it would just take forever to grow. But that's the beauty of low tech, low light--LOW maintenance. Kind of like this:
It's a really low light, low tech set up:
 

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I was planning on moving the heater too its an eyesore. Do I need to worry about it being away from the spray bar?

The open middle area is something I need to address, I will work on that.

Overall I like the look too, I need to keep growing moss to extend over most of the dw which will have a huge impact and I can groom it to change the shape of the "A" a bit too.
I don't think it would matter if you moved it away from the spray bar. I find that a decent heater can be put just about anywhere. If your worried just watch the temperature of the tank over the next couple of days. I'm a sucker for moss on driftwood. That moss should creep along nicely.
 

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Rocks always look good mixed in with some plants at the bases of the driftwood, imo. I wanted to stress, these are just ideas. Roundish rocks, placed in a 'mountain'?? Were you thinking along those lines?
 

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Oh and I see the jungle val now, but I do think it would look great with your dwarf sag, in the middle, one ot the front, the val at the back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah I was thinking the same about the rocks. My tank I'd not even 2 months old yet, so I got lots of time for things to fill in.
 

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I like your tank. The wood looks fine IMO, just work with it and allow the tank time to fully grow out.

My suggestions:

1) Lower heater as previously suggested
2) Black background would do miracles for this tank
3) Add a pop of color...Flame Sword/Kleiner Bar etc for the back behind the wood would really add a contrast of not only color but leaf shape. I would place one in the rear of the tank behind the wood. I would also think adding some Crypts which would add touches of brown/red throughout the midground will help to break up the look.
4) I wouldnt really add rock to this tank, you dont have a true foreground to enjoy viewing them as dwarf sag is IMO more of a midground plant. Keep it as it is and simply fill out that middle and add some color variation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Very good suggestions, thanks.

I like the idea of crypts, I have a bunch of babies in there but to small to notice ATM. Once they become.more establish I will move them into place.

I moved the heater and it makes a big difference.

For some reason I my rotala in the pics never sure its color, but they do have a orangish color to them towards the top.

I think I will hold off on rocks for now.
 

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Since it's bolted down, I would break off the vertical wood leaving a stump. You can then arrange the free piece in a more natural placement. That would solve the "A" issue.
 

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The wood does have an unusual placement. I find that while my gaze is drawn toward the heavier piece on the LH side the two thinner pieces forming the A tend to draw it up and off to the right.
 
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