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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I graduated from the 10 gallon scape, and proceeded to scape a 20 gallon.
I call it "Watercolor Memories" and approached it as I would a painting.
DarkCobra and I took a walk through the swamp and found a neat branch that matched the "tree" I had in my head. He mounted it on a piece of lava rock, after we "pruned" the branch and the rock. Tire and fencing from the hobby store. He also designed a LED adjustable sun.









When adding calcium, it creates a brief but beautiful misty morning:



The makings: Plants: carpet-dwarf hairgrass, micro swords (2 different species) blyxa japonica. Tree Leaves- hydrocotyle japan. Tree base- anubias petite nana, staurogyne (repens?)



I hand painted the background with acrylics on foam board:



"Sandbags" made from knee high stockings and substrate add slope:



Substrate added:



A bit of CO2, and hand picked mature male guppies complete it.
We had a slight battle with staghorn, (it liked the fence), but DarkCobra's One Two Punch solved that problem. VERY low maintenance, most of it keeping the hydrocotyle pruned.

-Stef*
 

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I'm not sure I would've done the hydrocotyle for the leafs, but I really like the scape as a whole.

Also, you painted that background yourself? That's sick man, it looks amazing! And I love how its not the standard black background but actually like, a custom background for the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, although I didn't follow any conventional rules of scaping, I did try for harmony and not try to force anything. The hydrocotyle was selected because I needed something with a broader type leaf because it is in the foreground, and could also grow out of the tank without looking ratty. (It grows fast, but it is versatile)

Mosses wouldn't work because I don't like the "Whoville" look.
There is CO2, and we haven't had much luck with mosses or subwassertang with CO2 in the past. The hydrocotyle shades under the tree-perfect for anubias, and the "grass" doesn't grow well under the tire-like a real tire swing. I gave the hydrocotyle a haircut before photos, so it needs to grow out a little, and not look so topiary.

The whole "putting thicker/taller/broader leaves in the background" theory was completely ignored. The "painting" way gives the illusion of more depth. (When painting landscapes, thicker is in da foreground)

Background is a cheap thick piece of foam display board, painted with my fingers, sponge paintbrush, and sea sponge. I added clear packing tape to the edges so water won't drip inside and rot it.

Guppies were chosen because they are "old fashioned" to me, and they like open space to peacock. At night (lights out), they all flock to the tree to roost like birds, lol.

No cory cats, loaches, mystery snails, or bottom dwellers, at least until the carpet grows in fully.

The substrate in the foreground is not "ruler straight", but hilly. Another rule broken, but to me looks more natural.

Still got some tweaking to do, but it has only been since late Feb, early March.

It may not be for everybody, but sometimes it's just fun to ignore the rules and do your own thang, using what you have laying around. Besides the lights (DarkCobra wanted to play and upgrade), the most expensive thing in the tank that had to be purchased purely for the scape was the tire-$5.99, for 2.

-Stef*
 

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I love it! The broad maple like leaves, the fence, and how the watercolors really accent those guppies. Its a refreshing original look that really captures that countryside charm. :D

Sent from my XT1049 using Tapatalk
 

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Truly a work or art! You definitely have a keen eye. Every element is on point, IMO. I really like it! Bookmarked!

You should take some professional pictures and enter it into the IAPLC (The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2014) just for the heck of it! If it's not too late. Who knows!?

The "misty morning" pic reminds me of what's going on in my hometown of San Diego 8'(
Not saying that the picture is bad, it just looks like a brush fire in a field. But I like your idea better! 8')
 

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Amazing! I've thought about doing some type of landscape ever since I saw Oliver Knott's "cow" aquascape. I was thinking along the lines of an old west image of wild horses on the plains. Yours is so much better - you've nailed it with that truly original scape!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The "misty morning" pic reminds me of what's going on in my hometown of San Diego 8'(
Not saying that the picture is bad, it just looks like a brush fire in a field. But I like your idea better! 8')
OMG, I am so sorry. You know, after I posted that pic, I turned to DarkCobra and said, "It's either a beautiful misty morning, or a bad morning in CA" jokingly.
(also a volcano erupting in the distance)
We took quite a few photos, and will try to post a gentler shot, and alternate angles. Wanted it peaceful, not a natural disaster. Although, I could put a toy boat or matchbox car in the tree, and it would look like "after the hurricane" ;)

-Stef*
 

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OMG, I am so sorry. You know, after I posted that pic, I turned to DarkCobra and said, "It's either a beautiful misty morning, or a bad morning in CA" jokingly.
(also a volcano erupting in the distance)
We took quite a few photos, and will try to post a gentler shot, and alternate angles. Wanted it peaceful, not a natural disaster. Although, I could put a toy boat or matchbox car in the tree, and it would look like "after the hurricane" ;)

-Stef*
Don't be sorry! Either way you look at it, it's still pleasing to the eye! ;)

You want to be careful of that tire, stagnant water in there will be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Seriously, nice tank.
:hihi: I see what you did there, that's funny!

The guppies'll take care o that!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Don't be sorry! Either way you look at it, it's still pleasing to the eye! ;)



:hihi: I see what you did there, that's funny!

The guppies'll take care o that!
That IS funny! Nope, no skeeters here, or spraying for skeeters.
I get in a panic whenever they come around with da skeeter trucks.
It can't be healthy for streams and waterways.
The only pollutant in this tank is the occasional cat/ferret/human hair.

:) Stef*
 
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