Your first design challenge will be to bury the thick end of that wood. You have to hide that saw mark. You could have it sticking out of an embankment of substrate held up buy rocks. I always like tanks that work with elevation. Plant some large rooted plants in that higher plateau, then plant the lower flats with grassy foreground plants.
I didnt think about the saw mark. My plan is to have a dim light shining through the hole in the back through colored tissue. The floating plants will help with the moonlight affect from the top. Im going to work on hiding the saw mark tonight.
Rock and sand/gravel should hide the sawed base of that wood.
I'd definitely agree with anubias on the wood, as well as maybe some java fern.
Swordplant planted in the rock/substrate mix that hides the wood base, vals in a clump on the other side, clump of crypts on the open area at the left.
I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules by posting on an almost 1 year old thread. I figured since it was mine that it would be the same as starting a new thread with the same topic.
But anyway, here's an update. So the tank I started last year was just filled with water in December. I have added some Harlies and they are doing good. I had some "do the do" yesterday. It was interesting to watch. I know for the ease of things I probably should have planted before I filled the tank and added fish but my driftwood stayed afloat for almost a month and I was still unsure about what plants I wanted.
I still am going to keep it low light/ low tech. Right now I have a shop light with two, 48", 32 watt, 6500k bulbs in it about 3 inches from the surface. (Didn't measure the distance from the substrate.) I'm considering swapping one bulb for a 10,000k for viewing purposes. Maybe somebody can weigh in on that.
My thoughts on the plants; Skip Java ferns because I really don't want to remove the driftwood in order to tie the plants to it. The crossbar at the top makes it a real pain. I'm thinking Jungle Vals in the left and right rear corners then some ludwigia in there and some crypts in the foreground. I really don't want more than 4 types of plants ad I don't want it to get too crowded looking. Some tanks look really good like that but because my background is so detailed, I don't want to cover it up too much.
If anybody has any suggestions, ideas, dos or don't see please feel free to chime in. My goal is to be planted by this time next week. Not sure where to order from either. I checked some listings on Aquabid but their "packages" come with 10 different types of plants. That may be realistic in comparison to nature but I want to keep it a bit simple.
Ok enough for one post I guess. Below are a few pics.
You don't have to tie fern, moss and Anubias on although moss would look better treated that way. Gel super glue works on wood underwater. You can also tie plants to small rocks or glue substrate to the bottom to weigh them down if there is a pretty good spot that will hold the plant until it grabs the wood. Mr. Amano also uses wire to tie plants to rocks, no reason you couldn't just use something like that.
Plan where you want the dark plants to grow to accent your powerful hardscape, don't do patches or plant every single line between 'rocks'.
"That may be realistic in comparison to nature but I want to keep it a bit simple."
Nature actually likes to keep it fairly simple as well. The Dutch are the ones that decided to plant tanks like gardens with dozens of different species growing together. As I was saying in the MS forum I collect plants, in nature at most you MAY find five-six different species together in a given "moment".
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Here's an update: I've added Java moss, a Java fern, bacopa, Stauro Repens, crypts green and red, and a sword. There is also another plant I got but can't remem the name of it. It's all growing nicely with only root tabs and flourish. I am currently fighting green spot algae though. Thanks for stopping by!