I need you're help for choosing my plants

Samuel97

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11 Jul 2019
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La Réunion
Hello guys,

I started a new tank recently this is the hardscape :

416-86696013-504116863623898-3976196786090934272-n.jpg


PS : Any tips/suggestion about the hardscape is welcome !

And so I'm beginning my research for my plants selection, I'm going for a "Nature style" and for the plants I will stay with easy and medium.

I draw this little thing to better understand :

1581690409-plants.jpg


So this is the first Idea for the moment : Bucephalandra Sp Red (Dark Green) I don't know If I can put them anywhere else ; Crypto Wendtii (Orange) ; Microso... Trident (Blue) I hope they will grow big ; And Nymphea Lotus (Red) to "catch the eyes" with his red, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea...

What do you think ? What can I add more in these empty space ? For example in the front of the aquarium I thought about Staurogyne Repens but I don't know... Maybe there is something more interesting ?
 
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The Microsorum is an epiphyte plant (like Buce) and cannot be planted in the soil as you have indicated. You might like to use a stem plant or something like crypt balansae would look awesome in my opinion.

I’m also not sure the lotus is a good fit for this tank and would replace with a crypt as per the other side.

S. Repens sounds like a good choice for the foreground. You might also like to consider Lilaeopsis
 

Kezzab

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Hi, personal taste,but ithink most of your plant suggestions are too big for a shallow tank with that kind of hardscape. The hardscape is a nice shape, big plants will just obsure it all. (Not sure about the grey rocks though).

Id be thinking about some Rotalas in the back corners, some s repens as mid grond plants and a mixed monte carlo and hair grass carpet. Use some small buces like katerina to provide highlights tucked in the rocks and maybe some very small crypts like parva or pygmea.

Using plants like that and trimming right willaccentuate the nice U shape of the hardscape.

K
 

Simon Cole

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Hi Samuel.

The red patch looks like it wants a bit of Ranunculus inundatus.
Hydrocotyle vulgaris would help to build layers on the left blue patch, especially if you leave some of the leaves tall, it can add dynamic energy and depth.
Hydrocotyle tripartita would be ideal on the right blue patch because it builds in height and has a sense of cuddliness.
All three of these plants act like focal points due to their distinctive leaf forms. This is not ideal if you want something more placid.
The orange patch is very difficult. I would certainly avoid planting this area. But I cannot be sure from just photographs - it is a very 3D area. I would probably make a ohcre clay mud with a few shells or fossils just poking out the surface. A ammonite cluster from Black Ven would look ideal, and the little rock there could be replaced by mammoth tooth, or even a modern herbivore tooth.
I wouldn't bother covering the wood in the green patches. A natural algae would be my preference.
Between the green patches you have a piece of wood that I would grow Anubias pangolino. This area is bang in front of the focal point and in my experience this plant has a very exciting form that attracts the eye and maintains that vertical line of perspective.

Overall I love this tank. Great job. I know you were looking to create lots of shade - but the design is so good that you can rely upon the darkness below leaf clusters to create enough contrast. I saw the Green Aqua video by Josh Sim and you tank proves at least that a lot of the golden rules are just conjecture. But colored spotlights (orange on the wood) and a shaded filter to make the foreground dark would probably elevate this tank to international photographic competition standards. If I was looking for a sand path - I would want brown umber or brown ochre sand and probably not that common bright stuff.
 

Samuel97

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11 Jul 2019
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Location
La Réunion
Thanks you guys for you're reply !

Hi, personal taste,but ithink most of your plant suggestions are too big for a shallow tank with that kind of hardscape. The hardscape is a nice shape, big plants will just obsure it all. (Not sure about the grey rocks though).

Id be thinking about some Rotalas in the back corners, some s repens as mid grond plants and a mixed monte carlo and hair grass carpet. Use some small buces like katerina to provide highlights tucked in the rocks and maybe some very small crypts like parva or pygmea.

Using plants like that and trimming right willaccentuate the nice U shape of the hardscape.

K
I think I agree with you, I didn't thought about that but yeah big plants will maybe not be a good idea, and what do you mean about the grey rocks ?

Hi Samuel.

The red patch looks like it wants a bit of Ranunculus inundatus.
Hydrocotyle vulgaris would help to build layers on the left blue patch, especially if you leave some of the leaves tall, it can add dynamic energy and depth.
Hydrocotyle tripartita would be ideal on the right blue patch because it builds in height and has a sense of cuddliness.
All three of these plants act like focal points due to their distinctive leaf forms. This is not ideal if you want something more placid.
The orange patch is very difficult. I would certainly avoid planting this area. But I cannot be sure from just photographs - it is a very 3D area. I would probably make a ohcre clay mud with a few shells or fossils just poking out the surface. A ammonite cluster from Black Ven would look ideal, and the little rock there could be replaced by mammoth tooth, or even a modern herbivore tooth.
I wouldn't bother covering the wood in the green patches. A natural algae would be my preference.
Between the green patches you have a piece of wood that I would grow Anubias pangolino. This area is bang in front of the focal point and in my experience this plant has a very exciting form that attracts the eye and maintains that vertical line of perspective.

Overall I love this tank. Great job. I know you were looking to create lots of shade - but the design is so good that you can rely upon the darkness below leaf clusters to create enough contrast. I saw the Green Aqua video by Josh Sim and you tank proves at least that a lot of the golden rules are just conjecture. But colored spotlights (orange on the wood) and a shaded filter to make the foreground dark would probably elevate this tank to international photographic competition standards. If I was looking for a sand path - I would want brown umber or brown ochre sand and probably not that common bright stuff.
I will take note ! Anubias Pangolino are beautiful I think I will go for that, and for the sand path do you have a brands in mind ? My local store got this one from the JBL brands :
ada-la-plata-sand.jpg


But I think It's the "common bright stuff" that you are talking about...

Thanks again guys, so I will go for some smaller plants then and try to find these plants you said :)

PS : What do you guys think about the rotala bonsai ?
 
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Kezzab

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Hi, i thought your wood was actally dragon stone. Looks similar on a small phone screen. Two different stone types was a bit odd. But seeing as its not dragon stone...
 

Simon Cole

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@Samuel97 I actually edited my post when I found out that you were on an island in the Indian ocean. My original suggestion would have been that you could go to Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of White to source your sand from the cliffs, and possibly some neat fossil clusters. I didn't mean to call it common bright stuff - but yes that is what I was thinking. I don't know what brand to choose, but I was thinking that you might go out into the wild. I found a bit of inspiration from the tank in the photograph below. It appears to use cracked muddy-looking layers to really give you a sense that you are in the wild. Certainly, when I go on river surveys I find some beautiful patches of mud and silt. People tend to go to a lot of trouble creating layers using moss and hardscapes, and then they just pour a load of sand around the front. So they all look the same. Whereas your tank looks like it could go in a very unique direction. See what you think (but ignore the bright sand):

upload_2020-2-15_15-48-30.png
 

Samuel97

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Location
La Réunion
@Samuel97 I actually edited my post when I found out that you were on an island in the Indian ocean. My original suggestion would have been that you could go to Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of White to source your sand from the cliffs, and possibly some neat fossil clusters. I didn't mean to call it common bright stuff - but yes that is what I was thinking. I don't know what brand to choose, but I was thinking that you might go out into the wild. I found a bit of inspiration from the tank in the photograph below. It appears to use cracked muddy-looking layers to really give you a sense that you are in the wild. Certainly, when I go on river surveys I find some beautiful patches of mud and silt. People tend to go to a lot of trouble creating layers using moss and hardscapes, and then they just pour a load of sand around the front. So they all look the same. Whereas your tank looks like it could go in a very unique direction. See what you think (but ignore the bright sand):

View attachment 131598
That's very interesting ! but you mean using these all over the amazonia soils ? Then I fill the rest with sand ?
 

Simon Cole

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I started the idea thinking about that one orange patch and how I would approach it if it was left unplanted. This got me thinking about how many potential horizontal layers you could create (front-middle-back). Plants will of course be able to cover the aquasoil {answer to your question}, but how will this integrate with the sand. Many aquascapers use ADA gravels to give integration, but to me this loses a potential horizontal layer and looks artificial. Another technique is to use low roots or rocks covered with moss, between the sand and aquasoil. But your tank is quite low. So I would put a stratified layer in your tank (cracked mud etc. - a bit like the effect above) as the second layer just behind a sympathetic sand. This could then integrate into the orange patch - which would be similar but with some details (fossils, bone, tooth etc.) . It is just food for thought. But I think that this could give you that vital fourth horizontal layer. Beyond that your design is pretty excellent. My suggestion is a curve ball - so sorry about that, but I really like your tank.

In my opinion Ana Paula Cinato of Brazil is one of the best aquascapers at using stratified layers. (Her) 12th place ranking in the 2015 IAPLC contest was quite inspirational and can be found here. It's a huge scape - but simply illustrates what stratification can achieve in terms of impact. Doing something low just above the sand would really push the dimensions of your tank sideways, and I was thinking that it would pull the colour of the wood right through your tank if it was brownish.
 
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Samuel97

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11 Jul 2019
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La Réunion
Thanks you ! I think it could be really cool, so If I understood correclty in the foreground I add some sand then a bit of stratified layers and some elements to create the transition between these two, and then maybe like the tank of Ana Paula Cinato I can add some plants in the background to create a another transition ?

Do you have any videos or an article on stratified layers ? On youtube I saw some people using land moss but I don't think It's the same thing...
 

Simon Cole

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You've got my idea exactly.
You could use Eleocharis montevidensis on either side of the main focal point, and a floating plant like Pistia stratiotes in the middle. I think this would maintain just enough interest and continuity of depth to give the idea of a final layer. The plants you put in the blue areas will probably mark the final transition in a far more profound way. It's a tough one. Eleocharis certainly has a texture that you have to be happy with and it can run quite a bit. On the other hand, if you had back-lighting or a white background, then this effect would give your tank some real fullness, definition and form - bringing the picture together. Crucially this texture of grass would not interfere with the complex arrangement of rocks and wood below. If you did want this complexity to integrate down into the wood however, then I think Matt's suggestion of Cryptocoryne balansae could be on the cards.
I have never seen an article on stratified layers and few examples exist - it's a bit of a challenge.
 

Samuel97

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La Réunion
Alright, but I just wanted to know how to actually put it correctly into the tanks.
Does it not gonna float or break if I push into the aquasoil ?

Oh and actually on the Ana Paula Cinato tank it look like some carpet and bushy plants and not stratified layers isn't it ?
 
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