• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

First Aquascape Idea - ID and Direction Please


New Member
2 Jan 2020
Hi all,

Long time lurker here but only getting around to posting now.

As mentioned in my Introduction thread, I have a tank around two years, zero scaping skills with some plants and ornaments plonked in. Over this time I have seen many outstanding aquascapes and I've been drawn to one particular type of design that resonates with me in that a) I really like and b) I think it is something that is achievable given my inexperienced hands :)

Attached a several pictures I have come across google and forums etc. which embody the key principles.Full credit to all the creators. I am not looking to recreate any one in particular but they give a good flavour of what I have in mind
  • Front third and right third of tank is sand
  • A layer of stones creates a boundary between the sand and
  • The back corner which is a built up of substrate
  • Wood perched on the mound of substrate
  • Area around the wood is planted
Some of my details:
  • Tank is 54l - 2ft by 1ft by 1ft
  • Tank has lid with Aqual Leddy 10w plant light
  • Ideally low tech for plant maintenance
  • Water is soft
  • Fish Stock to be determined but something like corys, neon tetras and maybe apisto/rams/dwarf goruami
As I haven't a clue about the materials, plant names etc, I am looking for some strong direction and feedback on
1) the design
2) what I need to buy in order to achieve


  • Screenshot_20200103_091212.jpg
    209.2 KB · Views: 203
  • image.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 73
  • Screenshot_20200103_091340.jpg
    314.8 KB · Views: 79
  • Screenshot_20200103_091357.jpg
    322.5 KB · Views: 84
  • Screenshot_20200103_091443.jpg
    175.9 KB · Views: 69
25 Dec 2018
United Kingdom
The design is your classic triangle, which is probably the most tried and tested of all the designs, which is good because you’re not trying to reinvent the wheel.

I would start by going to all your LFS and cherry picking the hardscape. Once you’ve got your rock and wood, you can then decide which substrate/sand/gravel matches it best. Then you need your aqua soil. There’s loads, but you can’t go wrong with tropica. A lot of people prefer planting in the powder version which has finer granules.

This should keep you busy for a while, as it’s the most important part (IMO), as it’s the backbone of your tank (As George would say). Play around with the rocks and wood in a sandpit if you have one. I used a cardboard box and rags to mock up my design. It’s in my journal if you’re interested.

Then you have to think about all the equipment. I would recommend the Oase 250 thermo filter. Co2Art fit the regulator and a twin star light. You can find cheaper alternatives, but I’ve recently realised it’s not worth cutting corners on certain bits of equipment.

I’m fairly inexperienced, so some of the experts can give you some more detailed advise. My main advise would be to have fun and play with the wood and rock for weeks before deciding the final composition.

good luck snd welcome!


13 Nov 2013
Look at the tutorials on here and try and work out what you want to start with low tech high tech. Tropica website have full explanation of plants and level beginner easy plants or difficult for experienced aquascapers. George Farmer has a few in series of videos discussing rocks wood substrate plants etc One thing I have learned get good quality plants from sponsors on here Aquarium Gardens or aqua essentials to give yourself a good start Maybe try and copy a scape you like and nearly forgot journals on ukaps were members share the journey Welcome to ukaps

Similar threads