Critique my hardscape Forest hardscape

Nick.c

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22 Dec 2019
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Hi guys, I'm new to this forum and new to aquascaping, so firstly a big hello from me.

After countless hours of research and watching youtube clips from you George as well as the other world renowned aquascapers.. and after a lot of mess and black stained fingers, I have finally finished my hardscape. I bought all of my hardscape from Aquarium Gardens, Dave and Arian were fantastic and spent loads of time with me to talk me through my ideas. I would seriously recommend going to see these guys if you are a newbie like me. My inspiration was a scene from Epping forest that I pass everyday on the way to work. The main focal point is a natural moss pathway which is elevated from tree roots, which I have attempted to recreate. I have included some photos of what I have tried to achieve.

The next stage is obviously planting, thinking of a DSM? Any suggestion on moss or plants?

Cheers
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Keith GH

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Melbourne Australia
Nick

First congratulations for using a Mock Tank and recreating nature. At the moment I can only suggest one small move. The thin piece laying across the front is like adding a wall it blocks the eye flow completely. My suggestion would be re position it starting in front of the trunk on the LH side of your Aquascape when positioned correctly it will lead your eye up to the vanishing point at the rear of the tank.

Keith:wave::greenfinger:
 

Nick.c

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Thanks Keith, I will give that a go. Thanks for your input. What do you mean by mock tank? A new term for me

Also if anyone has any suggestion for types of moss for different regions of the tank im all ears.
 
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I think that mock tank is at Aquarium Gardens.

The moss will look better if you do the DSM. Glueing on big clumps makes it bushy and prone to lifting (as I have recently discovered).
Another thing I've realised is you can't have too many supports for keeping the substrate banked up.
 
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The top photo is very impressive, great depth. Don't forget the depth of your plants. you might find some of the smaller sticks need lifting or they will be buried by the planting.
There is a great video by Josh sims here...


PS you've done a great job at glueing the wood together without it showing
 

Nick.c

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Thanks Accidental Aquascaper and Barbara. Yes, I did watch this lecture and found it an invaluble source of information. But we all know that putting theory in to practise is a different story!

I will try the DSM and try to create perspective with the plants. Will probably try the blending with yogurt and painting them on, seen George Farmer's video on this. Anyone else tried this?
 

Kalum

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Love this @Nick.c very nice work and really detailed!

I think you've got a lot of it spot on but a bit more of a valley (slightly higher banked sides) towards the back middle would give a bit more depth and tension

The front left is great how you have the stones and wood draped over it, works well, the right 2 pieces of wood at the front do a great job at being the focal point and drawing your eye in and across to the left but they do seem a slight bit out of place with the rest of it, maybe it's just the lighting

I get what Keith is saying about the piece of wood on the gravel just I kinda like it, with a few smaller pieces or rocks I think it would look really natural and gives a bit more interest rather than just rock
 

Nick.c

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Thanks kalum, I see what you're saying about the 2 pieces on the right. I may add a few pieces of hanging vines to add a bit more texture and to make a feature out of them.

Great feedback guys. Thanks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Anyone else tried this?
It works, but you don't want too much yoghurt, you need to mix it with quite a lot of water.
George as well
We have this thread, <"Lots of dry start...">, that is worth a read. There is also <"Georges TMC....">.
The next stage is obviously planting, thinking of a DSM? Any suggestion on moss or plants?
I don't usually pass comment on hardscapes, mainly because I've never had an aesthetically pleasing tank, and know nothing about aquascaping, but I really like this one.

I'm a <"structural leaf litter fan">, and I'd replicate the Beech leaves on the photo with Beech leaves in the tank. If you were really <"bothered about scale"> you could trim the leaves smaller with scissors.

For moss I'd definitely go with Fissidens, it should give you a sense of scale and a moss carpet. Paulo (@LondonDragon) has/used to have a shrimp tank with <"a Fissidens carpet"> (below), and @Filip Krupa may have some for sale.

pict0181i-jpg.jpg


Other mosses would be ones with smaller "leaves" or compact growth. Have a look at <"Tips for growing">.

cheers Darrel
 

Nick.c

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22 Dec 2019
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@Darrel I am a fan of the Biotope aquariums and did think about having some leaf litter a the front but was worried about tannins leaching. I will have to give it a try otherwise I'll never know. Good idea.

@dw1305 thanks for the links
 

Filip Krupa

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13 Oct 2016
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Liverpool
Mockup looks absolutely amazing! Well in.

If youre considering carpetting with fissidens, Darrel is right, Ive enough to carpet a small bungalow!
Its all on stainless steel, and madly grown in. Instant results with little fuss.

PM me for more details if interested, happy to heavily discount if you take a bunch.

Fil
 

Nick.c

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22 Dec 2019
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London
Thanks guys, hopefully I get the planting stage correct.

Sorry for stating the obvious, but this is in a glass tank the mock version is the photo below at Aquarium Gardens. There's a slight difference but you have to account for the fact that you can't just bury the large pieces in the substrate, so I had to attach them to rocks to weigh them down and rocks take up space, so there needs to be a bit of rearranging.
 

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