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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
60 gallon setup. 2 T5HO lamps, no C02, dirt capped with STS. Plants in for about 2 weeks. Still doing fishless cycle. Any criticism or suggestions greatly accecpted. Crappy cellphone picture, but its the best I got right now.
 

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I like the driftwood pieces you have, however i might try and find a way to group the wood together on one side and build some plants up around the base.



Sent from a dark corner in my happy place
 

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I would recommend spending a little time on this site looking for inspiration. http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/

Find a few tanks that appeal to you. Break down the elements of the composition, think about why it looks good to you. Then use those thoughts in your tank.

When I look at you tank the large drift wood on the left directs my eye to the left and out of the tank. The rocks you used seem to have striped layers? In nature those "stripes" would all be laying horizontal as the water washed the substrate away.

When you look at those contest winning tanks you may notice the top tanks don't have more than 3-4 sp. of plants. If you look at pictures of ponds&steams in nature you notice that also. Try to control the impulse to put too many different plants in there.
 

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I personally like lots of green, so my initial impression was favorable. But on a closer look, the center piece of driftwood seems out of place; the other two pieces are nice and sculptural and dramatic but the branchy one does not match them. The rocks and their placement also seems random. A focal point or theme tying the elements into a cohesive visual is what's missing.

Having said all that, obviously lots of people get by with the jumble jungle look and are perfectly happy since we see it often. But you have nice elements and I'll bet you could move things around before the fish and sculpt a unified environment.
 

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Just lacks a little composition. Try grouping the plants a little more, moving that large piece of wood towards the back more along with that large stone up front.

Do not bury the rhizome of java ferns, they will die. Attach them to that piece of wood or rock for the best results. I believe the anubias is ok in the substrate but they would probably grow and look better attach to some wood.

Like dogfish said look around for a little inspiration and try to draw from other tanks until you develope your style. Generally perspective is what makes an aquascape work, so big things in the back small things in the front. It isnt so black and white as all that but I hope you get my meaning.

Your plants are growing well and you have some nice pieces for hardscape. Lots of potential so good luck.
 

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I like it how it is.
Maybe grow the tall/stem plants along the back and/or side walls to block off being able to see through and keep the smaller plants in the center.
Still lots of swimming room how you have it. =D
Getting any Plecos? They'll love the wood!

I don't like it when people try and copy other people's or most common styles. It looks very nice how it is and when it fills in/matures, it'll look even better.
 

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I actually like it.

I would try some taller 'color' stems in the left back corner (like Ludwidgia); some 'spiky' plant(s) inside the 2 driftwood pieces (like Blyxa or Sag) to break up the 'soft leaved' plants in the back; several E. tenellus here and there up front; Java moss on top of the driftwood on the left; and maybe a broader-leaf plant behind the stone in the front right corner (Hygro Corymbosa 'Siamensis'/Kompact, or lily/lotus, Anubias barteri, or even some C. Wendtii variety).

Basically, mix up some different leaf shapes and plant heights to give a more 3-D look with a touch of color.

I'd add 5-10ml of Excel 2-3 weekly to keep things clean.

Good job.
 

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this resembled what I would imagine the ideal, new to planted tanks, tank to look like
which is a good thing, and it will look even better as it fills in

I say get some water sprite though, I feel like it fits the theme
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all for comments and suggestions. I will review all of these and see what chages I can make. Keep them coming. Most of the design was influenced by my 12 year old twin sons. They got me into this planted tank thing in the 1st place.
 

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Blah blah blah. If you like it and it makes you happy, and you enjoy the amount of maintenance required, then mission accomplished. The tank looks good (better than most of the pictures people post in "your tanks"). Can it be better, sure. Even the best can always be done better, if you have unlimited time, money, and patience. Take out the center piece with the moss on the top and that's the only change I would suggest other than redoing the tank 3x/day compulsively (which I have done and no one thinks any of them look bad except for people who don't understand this is a hobby meant for enjoyment) until every reply here says the tank is perfect (impossible lol). Any girl/guy you have over will love the tank and you will get what you were looking for ;). Takashi Amano was an award winning photographer long before he was an aquascaper. If he were an ordinary citizen as our Freud, golden ratio and triangles wouldn't be all the rage, biotopes and difficulty of the tank (like a planted cichlid tank with mostly soft stems etc). Just as museums have a lot of art that most would agree is important for the period but looks retarded, your only question on how a tank looks should be to yourself. If you have a lot of time and don't mind tinkering and extra maintenance (mind you tinkering makes certain plants melt repeatedly), then know you can always improve. If you have a larger budget or work hard, then going with a larger tank progressively usually follows. Low tech with stunning visual color variations is personally more impressive than most of what high tech churns out however either affording or finding certain rare plants/mosses/wood/rocks throws that theory out the window. The further along you get, the more you will either bang your head against the wall or simply look at the tank and fall into that amazing trance we are all so addicted to, realizing nothing complicated is necessary. Looking one more time you could contour your substrate more effectively but since you picked a perfect size and color you tank still looks great, I wish one of my first few looked as good.
 

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i like it !! think the way the DW on left and right kinda look like one piece but just half buried , not so crazy bout the piece in middle but i like the rocks u got in there ! think it is gonna look awesome once everythin fills in ^^
 
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