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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this awesome gnarly driftwood that I'm working with for a new 40 breeder tank.

It makes a perfect tree and I'm torn between using moss or java fern for the "leaves." I was leaning toward needle leaf java fern. The branches will be close to water level, would the java fern be the right plant? Maybe a peacock moss or Xmas moss would be better? I plan on keeping the tank simple with the tree as a focal point with the HC and DHG providing a meadow underneath. In the back left, I'd like to do something tall. I have a bunch of Amazon Sword, but I don't think it's right. Maybe some Jungle Val or Giant Sag? I'm open to suggestions and scaping ideas. The tank sits in a window in our kitchen, and is viewable from both sides.
 

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I think I would like it more to the right... It seems a little centered to me right now.. And personally I like mosses for trees... I think this one would look nice with some willow moss...
Possibly put the tree up on a slope to create some depth, and add some smaller rocks near the base. To make it looks bigger, give them the impression of boulders.. And possibly add another species of carpeting plant. To give it the feeling of mixed grasses and such... Or pile it with java fern and go!! lol.. That would probably make a pretty sweet tree as well
 

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Have you considered turning it upside down from the way you have it, giving the impression a tree stump with roots going into the substrate? This would create some interesting spaces between 'the roots' and the substrate. The top 'trunk' could then be covered with moss.

Just a thought to consider .............
 

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Have you considered turning it upside down from the way you have it, giving the impression a tree stump with roots going into the substrate? This would create some interesting spaces between 'the roots' and the substrate. The top 'trunk' could then be covered with moss.

Just a thought to consider .............
I actually like this idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Originally I was planning on a stump, but it didn't really fit, plus weighting it on the back left, which works well for the tank's viewing angle, you miss out on a really interesting knot in the wood. Once I flipped it over, the tree idea came to life and it fit really well in the tank.
 

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I REALLY like that driftwood!
My only suggestion would be to put the tree on a hill of some sort, and maybe add some rocks around the tree for a more dramatic hardscape.

Cover that thing in moss and get it filled! :proud:
 

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I like where it is, it looks like it's leaning away from the center drastically, really cool. You can mix both moss and java, might look kinda interesting and more natural. Or maybe pick w/e you have most of, put it on the tree and then get rocks and cover in moss. So like it's surrounded by bushes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The driftwood was a crazy good find while spending some time at the local lake here in TN. The pic really doesn't do it justice, I'll try to post some close ups of the really cool knot once it's done sinking. The substrate is MTS capped with pool filter sand. I kinda ran out of sand and need to get some more to really add some slopes to help with depth. I like all of your suggestions, rocks were definitely in the plan, I just haven't decided on some really smooth river stones or more natural looking ones.

So I guess my original question should have been phrased, would the Needle Leaf Java Fern drape down off the branches or grow up? I'm guessing the leaves get pretty long, which might make a cool willow tree look, but is there a way to keep the leaves smaller? Do I just constantly trim them off as they mature and only keep the newer leaves? Most of my experience with java fern is the let it grow nuts kinda approach.

If I do go with moss, would there be any advantage to Peacock, XMAS or another for the effect I want to achieve? I thought about weaving some line between the branches to help create a canopy. Maybe these are questions for the plant forum?
 

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I think it's a crypt of some kind. Then again, I'm not so good at identification, lol.
Love your hardscape. Can't wait to see how it looks in a few months from now.
 
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