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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just updated to LED after bulb neglect and tank neglect. The wood on the left and right is unfortunately permanent.... Otherwise what would you do? Black paint on background and white PVC on right is in progress but otherwise please help....constructive criticism please! Thanks in advance!
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Excuse my lazy iPhone shots!!!
 

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Rearrange the wood in the center. It forms a square and doesnt look natural. Move your red plants. One to each end of the tanl. The color will bracket the tank. Move some of those mid ground plants further back and get some foreground/carpeting plants. I think i saw some cichlids. Grab some rocks, they love nooks and caves.
I look at show tanks and try to figure out how they achieved it. Amano also said plant things in odd numbers (3,5,7 ...) you rarely see just one plant. Its usually a group. I would try grouping same species closer together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Yeah I was thinking more rocks, and I screwed those three pieces together so I'll try it again. And yeah I have like 8 rams in the tank. Don't have good luck with low foreground plants but it might be do to lighting and neglect so I'll try again and shift one of the red tiger to the other side
 

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Also the three pieces of driftwood form 3 focal points. Your eyes are drawn to all three simultaneously. With larger tanks you have to consider how the eyes flow from one side to the other. Each piece of wood acts as a stopping point instead of a "eyes flowing across " point. When you look at other tanks ask why your eyes are drawn to certain points. Is it plant color that stops the eye? Do the big rocks all lean a specific angle?
Also i would try and find some driftwood that has more branches or at least some branches that lead your eyes toward or away a focal point ( unless the wood is the focal point).
You have alot of potential in the tank. I suppose it comes down how much time you want to put into it. My goofy butt stares at my tank every day wondering which individual rocks needs to move or how a plant needs to move forward a half inch. Yeah, im obsessed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
10-4, I like the "3 focal points" idea so I think I'll rearrange the driftwood in the middle and move the plants as you recommended and maybe add some rocks. Thanks again!
 

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Ideally, you don't divide the tank by focal points as if they each had equal weight; they shouldn't. It should be divided by weight: main, supporting, tertiary, etc. There should be one main focal point and another one to support/balance it. As it is, each one of the three parts of the tank have equal weight. It's very static.
 

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I like all these diffrent perspectives on the same tank. Gives me a headache...LOL...
No not actually making fun of, just trying to make it all seem clear just what they meant
when the descriptions were said.
I like a wild jungle type look in some aria of the tank at least. I'm lease locked to 10g tanks so I can't really devide my tank into aria's like I would like them to be.
But that 40L tank encourages that quite a bit...so...
I would take what you already have started in the left corner and would elaborate on it by using the center driftwood and even adding a bit more to it and using it all in that left corner as my jungle aia for the fish to have such a place they can explore at will.
Wouldn't ditch the idea of moving the red plants to opposit corners but rather like the idea of adding an Alternanthera reineckii...http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?h=alternantherareineckii in that corner(but just don't expect that bright red color on it/w lower light) in that corner to make it different from the plants in the other end and also allow all of those type to be planted together as a group in the right corner. Those red lilies.
And before I leave that corner I would move the center lily over to left behind the left peak of that wood on the left. I would also move the plant from the far right corner over into the left corner/w the other green plants and perhaps also the right Java Fern also. Trying to work mostly with what you havealready...but...
The plant that looks like a Sword(just don't know exactly what it is) between the left and second piece of wood I'd place in the now open hole in the center. kind of towards the front like it is now. Then I would get a Cryptocoryne balansae...http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?what=plant&cur_lang=2&id=48 For THE center piece.
Then I would get a Aponogeton madagascariensis...http://www.aqua-fish.net/show.php?what=plant&cur_lang=2&id=74 for the right hand corner in front of that white tube. Then you have some small/short light geen plant(s) jst under the
right most lily leaf. I would use that for around the base of th center piece as ground cover/carpet and spread it out or get more to do that/w.
If I said "just a thought" that wouldn't quite fit, but it's still your tank so...
I get the impression you put the right piece of wood in/w silicone by what you said about it so just change the moss to Fissidens for a different look about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Holy batman!! Thanks so much for your advice! I'm mind boggled. I'll try some shifting and repost photos along with my other update and water change
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well can't post photos at the moment, but did some of what you guys had suggested...I'll post updates when I can. Water was cloudy from uprooting and water change so Pardon that.
 

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Looking alot better sir. Tighter groupings of plants. The "flow" works better because you have created an upside down triangle across the tank. I have noticed show tanks can be assigned an overall geometric pattern. Convex, concave, imbedded. triangles etc.. i think i see a rock in there. My only other suggestion is dont be shy with the rocks. Find a local source and get a dart ton of them. You may only use a handfull, but its good to have a broad selection. Also only use one type of rock. Having multiple colors and types of rocks doesnt look natural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
And yes there is a rock in the right center. I was thinking that some rocks would help out the appearance. Probably this weekend I'll go shopping and see if I can find the same kind as what I have to take your advice of utilizing similar rocks
 

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Not sure how your wood is "permanent" but I lean with the folks above questioning your focal point positioning.

You appear to have gone with 1/4 & 3/4 placement horizontally. Your two remaining focal points have equal draw (same size & importance) and are placed equally from front to back in the tank. Unless you are a really good scaper this would be a very difficult arrangement to make look good.

If there is any way of removing those two pieces of wood then that is where I'd start. Replace them with something more interesting and avoid wood with saw-en surfaces as they just don't look natural.

Try to move to the rule of 3rd's positioning. If you really can't move those two pieces of wood then add to at least one of them and to only the one side, to draw it towards a 1/3 position. Make that one much more prominent than the other so it becomes the main focal point. Hide the saw-en ends somehow.

Add more rocks and wood and try to relate the two focal points, the primary and the secondary one with some kind of common theme to make them look like they belong with each other. Break up your positioning drawing some items close to the front on the tank and some towards the back.

By leaning some more wood against these existing pieces with more pieces laying around them to make a natural pile of tangle, you may be able to hide the saw-en ends, change their relative positions, build up one to be more prominent than the other. Some wood of smaller diameter branching off and the wood tangles interspersed with rocks may tie it all together in a more natural looking scene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not sure what your 3rd positioning and fractional references relate to as I'm very green in scaping practice. And the wood is permanent cause it's attached to a large weighted disc that is under all the substrate. I technically could move them but would prefer to leave them be. So from what your saying Steve I should add a lot more drift wood and rocks to the left side to make that a prominent focal point and hide the one cut end and then I should be good with scaping and then just add more plants?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Final photo before a week away for work. Hopefully the wife can just make sure the auto top off doesn't run dry and I'll be good. Added some low to low-mid plants from lfs today. Hope they blossom and fill out while I'm away.
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