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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys.

I've been playing with aquariums for about 4 years now; plants for about a year. I started by rescuing a goldfish from a film shoot. Quickly realized that he didnt belong in a bowl, and my hobby suddenly blossomed.

So now, I found myself buying my own Christmas present this year - a 72 gallon bowfront. And I'm excited to start scaping!

However, I'm inundated by inspiration. I want to try something truly unique. I've seen plenty of 'natural environments' - I love attempts at creating a particular scene from scene from nature in the aquarium. I'm a fan of most aquascaping from the most minimal Igwami (sp?) designs, right up the those most luxuriant Dutch designs.

But I have a secret passion, friends. You know when a family member or friends figures out you're 'into aquariums', and you get a tacky little castle, or a purple scuba guy with 'real diving action' - we all roll our eyes at most of that stuff. But sometimes, well, sometimes I love the campy stuff. I'm a huge fan of model miniatures, fantasy landscapes, and post-apocalyptic imagery. I'm really interested in ruins, archeological oddities, traces of mankind being re-absorbed by nature.

It begs the question - and you may find it silly, especially when an aquarium is such a personal thing (Do whatever you want, right?) - do such things have a place in the art of aquascaping?

A crashed fighter plane, lying on the ocean bed. Sunken African ruins, grown over with creeping mosses and giant swordplants. The hanging gardens of Babylon - complete with multi-tiered substrate.

Is it simply too corny to merit a serious look? Or are there aquarists out there experimenting with these sort of things?
 

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Plantella

Oliver Knott does these for specific displays but some of them might be kinda cool to have at home.

I had a crashed WW2 fighter plane in my kids tank all filled up with java fern and moss. Then swapped it out for a dinosaur made of legos. Now they have 2 5 gallon betta tanks with a Tyrannosaurus in one and a Triceratops in the other.

One of the plans was to make a Battle of Endor scene with lego figures which may still happen.

Plastic doesn't necessarily have to look bad. Aquascaping doesn't always have to be serious.

-Charlie
 

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Funny! Years ago I had a 70gal full of cichlids and most of the cast of the Empire Strikes Back complete with Millennium Falcon. It was humorous to watch my oscar carry Luke Skywalker around in her mouth chewing on him.
I no longer keep such things in my tank, but still have a strange appreciation when I see this type of setup.
 

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I have a cannon in my tank. It is just for fun, half the time it is covered in HM and unseen. I also have thought about using the acient looking pillers you can get at petco.

I don't think I would ever want these things to be a large part of my scape though. In a big tank, you could have something barely noticeable.

I think my cannon for me is just to remind me to not take it so seriously. I often sit infront of my tank for an hour thinking about what I should change. Like anything, it really doesn't come overnight, you just learn as you go and make better tanks/scapes, etc.
 

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Kitsch? Am I thinking of the same one you are, or it's meaning, per-se?
 

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For those wondering, Kitsch means:

Kitsch [Ki ch] Noun, art, object or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.
 

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I don't think it has yet become law that you have to use wood, stone, and plants only. There's nothing wrong with decorating your tank using toys, miniatures, fake plants... Wait, no fake plants. We have to draw a line somewhere.

One of my first planted tanks was complete with Roman pillars. They looked especially nice with Java fern and moss attached to them. I'll probably use these ornaments again one of these days. Knowing what I know now about plants and aquascaping, I could probably create a pretty unique display out of typical, generic crap from the LFS.

Do whatever you want, right?
Absolutely:thumbsup:

I say toss whatever you want in there.

do such things have a place in the art of aquascaping?
They do to me at least.
 

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If one person can take a branch and call it a "tree" and make a meadow, I don't see how it is any different than to take a figure and set it under the tree enjoying the meadow. It is your tank, and at the end of the day, you are the one to look at it. I say go for it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yep, Searun, that's the ticket. Nice to meet a fellow Vancouverite (ish) by the way!

Great discussion, guys. I love the idea of playing around with alternate themes. Anupam, that Urban tank sounds awesome, in a mildly depressing sort of way. ;)

Another thing I've got to deal with now is a massive upgrade in space - My previous attempt at real scaping was confined to a 5.5 gallon. My 25 Gallon shortly followed, but it's less 'scaped' than just heavily planted with everything that'll grow in there.

So when I look at this big empty tank beside me, I'm picturing so many different little diarama I could stuff in there... Like I said, inspiration overload!
 

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I have a couple of ornaments in my tank - a Walrus and a Puffer that burb bubbles. When I first posted pics looking for advice on my aquascaping, a couple of posters advised removing them, but then I got other posters in defense of keeping them. "Not taking it too seriously" was one reason given for keeping them. I was also referred to some Oliver Knott work, which convinced me to keep them.

Here are some pics:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=11133&stc=1&d=1230050818

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15590&stc=1&d=1254953314
 

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Not to hijack, but how do you know of Kitsch, and its meaning? I always considered it to be sorta 'secret' in a way.
 

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Not to hijack, but how do you know of Kitsch, and its meaning? I always considered it to be sorta 'secret' in a way.
Nothing secretive about the word kitsch. It has been around quite a long time. Perhaps it is something new to you and some of the people in your circle, but be assured, it has been used for a long, long time.

I always kept a little ceramic mermaid in any of my grow outs.
 

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A crashed fighter plane, lying on the ocean bed. Sunken African ruins, grown over with creeping mosses and giant swordplants. The hanging gardens of Babylon - complete with multi-tiered substrate.

Is it simply too corny to merit a serious look? Or are there aquarists out there experimenting with these sort of things?
I think you should go for it!

You don't like it- easy enough to change... :icon_mrgr
 

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I am not a fan of the scuba divers and such, but I love the idea of a ruin.
 

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Nothing secretive about the word kitsch. It has been around quite a long time. Perhaps it is something new to you and some of the people in your circle, but be assured, it has been used for a long, long time.

I always kept a little ceramic mermaid in any of my grow outs.
Ah, okay. I just had never heard of it before until my friend started a company board company out of an area called Kitsilano, and called it Kitsch. And the definition, I thought was just something he made up, haha. Never knew it was around before.

I think if you had a building or city scape, if you attached moss and the sort, it could eventually look like an abandoned city over grown with ivy, like, out of that movie with Will Smith where he's like the only guy left, or any other zombie movie for that fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Thanks guys! Rather excited to get started, now.

I am not a fan of the scuba divers and such, but I love the idea of a ruin.
Yup, I think that's where my interests lie. I'm currently on the hunt for miniature bricks.

I figure if I build some aquaducts and ziggurats with miniature bricks, then I can actually have different levels of substrate, and not worry so much about waterflow evening it out before everything grows in.

Here're a few pictures I've found for inspiration. What do you guys think?





Lots to think about!

Searun - I learned the term way back in art school. It's one of those words you'll find a lot in the world of fashion, design, etc. Never been to your buddy's shop, but I have heard of it. :thumbsup:
 
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