Aquascape help - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Aquascape help

Okay so I have my 54 gallon corner bowfront tank. I'm about sold on a sorority for this tank plus some cories and maybe 1 other school of something like rasboras.

I am sure I ordered too many plants, but I have 4 other tanks I can distribute the leftovers to. My plants should arrive today! I have:
  • 12 assorted anubias
  • 12 assorted java ferns
  • 6 medium sized (10 inch) ruffled swords
  • countless stalks of moneywort and some anacharis
  • 5 large bunches of water sprite
  • 5 large bunches of ludwigia
  • A ton of wisteria
  • 5 large bunches of aponogeton crispus
  • 5 large bunches of bacopa
  • a couple bunches of rotala
  • 5 large bunches of cabomba
  • a wad of some floating something which I can't remember what I ordered
  • several bunches of java moss
  • maybe some pennywort?
I'll put a picture below of the tank as it is now. Ignore the cloudy glass, as my daughter smeared the front with a healthy portion of hand lotion for whatever reason. I'm thinking of putting the large driftwood in the middle back in a different spot/configuration. Maybe rotate it 90 degrees counterclockwise so it's sitting more on that V and putting it slightly off center toward the left. The ledges with the pebbles in them will also have plants in them - probably anubias or maybe a couple of the plants that require a higher light. I know I'm going to drive myself insane planting and re-planting if I don't make a game plan first. I think this will give me enough density and cover for a sorority. I also put the little clay pots in the background as some hidey-holes, and they each have a small ledge in front to put a plant on to obscure the opening. I also might flip the background around to the black side, but I'll see how the blue against the green of the plants looks.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the swords didn't come, but I got everything else. I can't get a great picture yet because of all the microbubbles on the glass. I'm hoping the swords fill in the awkward gaps well enough that I won't have to replant a lot. I do have 5 bunches of various things that I didn't put in because it was feeling a little crowded when I was envisioning how things will grow in. The more I look at it, the more it feels too random, but I'll reasses once the swords are in and maybe move some stuff around.

I am really really pleased with the quality of the plants I ordered as well. I hope the swords come in as nice as everything else did.
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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:29 PM
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Wow <3 my dream tank. I'm not much help when it comes to aquascaping but I do love having tall plants in the middle and lining the back. But I'm also used to working with rectangular tanks..
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah this is my first nonstandard tank. It has been kind of tricky with the odd shape, but I'm loving it. I tried to arrange it so the anubias and other really low light plants are mostly toward the back corner where the light doesn't reach as well. The stem plants in the center as well as on the far left and right corners should all get 16+ inches, so I think it will give a nice look once everything grows up.
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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:09 PM
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That sounds like a good plan to me. I'm excited to see it when its all done! Corner tanks have always been a favorite, but tricky to aquascape/ decorate
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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:21 PM
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Okay, first off, I think it looks nice, maybe just a small tweak, but overall a very strong starting point. :)

There are some really basic composition principles when it comes to art, and they apply to just about everything, from room decorating to aquascaping. :)

1. focal point should NOT be in the middle. (which is going to be crazy hard with a corner tank)
2. your eye should flow from one side of the composition to the other, drawn along by lines created within the comp.
3. Typically you have one focal point, but in a larger tank you can have two, typically one on each side.
4. NO matchy-matchy. If everything looks too symmetrical it ends up looking weird and unnatural.
5. No straight lines across the top or bottom. The tank should go up, then down, then up again, or vice versa, low to high to low. This is one place where you can be symmetrical in the LINE, but not the overall look.
6. In the two focal points, you want variety. Do the driftwood as a focal on one side, then make a large beautiful plant the focal on the otherside. You can still use driftwood on both sides, but it should be the focus only on one.
7. Plant types, colors, décor should travel across the tank, don't put all rocks on one side and all driftwood on the other, make sure they are represented across both sides. They don't need to be equally represented (best case scenario is that they're NOT), but have some hints on both sides.

Those are the basic rules...and they can all be broken in the right ways, lol! But, for a beginner these are tried and true, and can help along the way. :) I had enough art classes through my education that these suckers have been drilled in! :)

Also, go on youtube and look up planted tanks. That's where I've always enjoyed looking, those huge professional deals that are *amazing*...On one hand I always feel hopeless because I'm never going to get there (lol!), but on the other side, it gives you a great feel for positioning and 'scaping. :)

I hope that helps! :)

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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 06:28 PM
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Oh, sorry, one other thing.

You have kind of an empty area on the left hand side, I'd leave it right now until the swords come in, and then since they're big, I'd put them in the back, creating a nice junglesque (not a word, lol!) background that gives depth to the composition.

Then, take some of those smaller, finer plants and put those up front, remember, even if they're supposed to get taller, they can be trimmed down as needed. :)

I'm not sure about anubias, but I know that java fern is rated for low light, but it has no problem with higher light as well. Anubias is great for foreground stuff because it's small and stays that way, so you don't have to worry about trimming. :) You might want to check that out. :) It's a beautiful plant, and I like to show it off. :)

I'd move the big driftwood more forward and to the left, so that it creates a focal spot about mid-ground in the tank. I LOVE the way plants look when they're growing up behind driftwood...something about the lines just makes me happy. :)

It's up to you, but I think I'd change the background from the blue. A darker color like a dark hunter green or even a medium green, or, my favorite, those printed photo backgrounds of plants; all of these will give you more depth of field and make the tank look more full and lush. :)

These are just suggestions, take them or leave them, there's no wrong way to do this. :) If it makes you happy, then go for it! The fish don't care, they're just happy to have the plants. :)

Oh, and where did you order from? I love knowing of good places to check out! :D

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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Blue Fish -

Thanks so much for the input. I came on here for help because I have absolutely no eye for composition, so that's exactly what I needed. Great idea about moving the large driftwood. I was trying to figure out where to put the swords since they get so large, but putting them behind is a perfect solution. I'm going to have to drain the tank down on Friday to put the swords in, so I'll do a little rearranging at the same time.

I got the anubias and crypts from http://www.bobstropicalplants.com/home/. Everything arrived in great shape.

And I took your advice and got everythig else but the swords from http://www.tricker.com. There was a TON of stuff and all in really great shape.

Got the swords on Ebay.
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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oh man I just realized I forgot to put my root tabs in. Geez, I was so excited. Good thing I still have some work to do anyway!
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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 08:52 PM
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I just want to note that if you are going to do a sorority you will need much more plant cover than that. I don't know how long you plan on waiting for it to all grow in? But if you want the sorority to work ideally you need an extremely heavily planted tank and many hiding spaces. Also getting sisters that have yet to be separated from the spawn will make for a MUCH more peaceful sorority than if you just add random girls you find. Granted I know that most sisters all look the same and that's usually not the point of a sorority but if you want a sorority to thrive, these are your best options.

Loving all the plant selections though!

RJ (H. Lifalili), Acara (EB)
Ghost, Trip (Angels)
Leopards: 2:3 Hawkeye, Cullen, Luna, Astrael, Dorian
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
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