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Critique my hardscape Setting up 55L scaper's tank

jsiegmund

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15 Nov 2014
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Hi all! It's been a while since I last browsed this forum. Back then I owned a 240 liters Eheim tank. I moved to a new house, spent quite a while working on the house itself and thus sold my tank. But lately the itch came back and I had just too much goodies lying around from back when I did have a tank. I really couldn't get myself to sell it all, so I bought a new tank instead, ha! But because I know I won't have the time to maintain a bigger one, I decided to tune it down a bit and go with a 55L Dennerle Scaper's tank instead.

I've made a cardboard try-out box for setting what I could do with the hardscape. Most of these I still had lying around. I'm really curious to find out what you guys think and what might be points to improve. I watched a lot of tutorial videos to get myself back in the game and to be honest I'm quite pleased with what I came up with, at least for now.

Here's some pics:

IMG_20181210_193726.jpg
IMG_20181210_193720.jpg
IMG_20181210_193714.jpg
IMG_20181210_193710.jpg


The soil is my old Akadama soil, I've got Tropica plant soil lined up for the actual tank. I'm not completely pleased with the smaller rocks, but I don't have any other right now so that requires a trip to a supplier in the weekend to get fixed. Btw I tried smashing up another mini landscape rock I have lying around, but I don't think I have the tools for the job, haha.

Another option I have, rock wise, is to switch to dragon stone. I still have a few of those as well. But I think I like the mini landscape better at this point. Also considered going with a small 'beach', but came to the conclusion there isn't that much room. Probably will end up planting the lower right corner with some carpeting plank like eleocharis.

Ok, enough talk. What do you think?!
 

Zeus.

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The centre big rock looks too big and too centre IMO its dominating the scape and right in your face.

Good to see you using a 'mock' tank :thumbup: is the back top boarder the top of the tank as the taller left side of cardboard is throwing the scape needs a little trim to height of tank
 

Siege

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Is it possible to put the largest stone on the left? Gradually grade stone down in size left to right?

Think about the angle that you view the tank from of course, adjust accordingly.
 
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Looks pretty good already, but the middle stone is too large. I think some finer textures like small rocks and branches would help with the sense of scale in a small tank like that.
 

jsiegmund

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Thanks everyone! The center stone indeed had me busy for a while. I don't have that much options to replace it, so that's going to be a trip to my LFS I guess :). I can try swapping it, but it'll probably won't improve. It's fairly large so I can push it under the soil some more but that might mean the plants have no where to root. I'll post some new pics once tried.

About the height: the actual tank is about 10cm higher than my cardboard box so I'm not too worried about that.

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jsiegmund

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Yeah you're probably right, this was just the length of the cardboard. And the actual tank is right next to it so it's quite easy to check the two thirds ratio :) But I'll see if I can stick on some more cardboard for the complete picture.:thumbup:
 

jsiegmund

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Ok. Attempt number two. I swapped things around a little bit, actually flipping over the wood so it's now upside down. Gives an interesting effect imho and I also like the way the stones now fit a bit better. The big one is still in, but it seems less dramatic to me at the moment, curious what you guys think though.

IMG_20181211_220033.jpg
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IMG_20181211_215957.jpg


Don't mind the foreground stones, I know they're off. Need to get better ones first to fix that, just don't have any that really work well. Sorry @Zeus. I didn't raise the back cardboard yet, but at least you can now see the tank on the left hand. With a little bit more bottom soil the main stone should be at 2/3 of the tank both vertical and horizontal.
 

Keith GH

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Melbourne Australia
jsiegmund

0A%20A%20Box%20Aquascape%20mock%20Tank%20_edited-1.jpg


I would increase the height of the box so it matches the height of the tank. Then you can apply the rule of two thirds to the tank. It will help to get a better perspective with the mock tank IME

Yeah you're probably right, this was just the length of the cardboard. And the actual tank is right next to it so it's quite easy to check the two thirds ratio :) But I'll see if I can stick on some more cardboard for the complete picture.:thumbup:

Many make the same mistake when starting an Aquascape make a Mock tank to the actual size of the tank. The front as long as it's a little higher than the Substrate. It's extremely difficult to write an accurate Critique when you can not see it in a Mock Tank which is the exact size of your tank.

So far I can see several pieces of very low DW. A massive rock which is way to big for your Aquascape. I can only see two stone that lack any interest.

Over all it looks like a lot more research and plenty of practice getting the best Aquascape using the materials you have or can get.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

jsiegmund

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Yes, that point has been made :) I will raise the back of the cardboard box and post new photos accordingly, no worries. But plan on doing that when I also have new rocks, probably somewhere over the weekend.

What does "DW" stand for?
 

Keith GH

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03 - sometimes used for actinic lighting
AC - Activated carbon, chemical filtration media / alternating current
acro - Acropora, a type of SPS coral
AFAIK - As far as I know
AFM - Aquarium Fish Monthly, magazine
AISI - As I see it ALK - Alkalinity, measure of buffering capacity of water
ASAP - As soon as possible
BTW - By the way
Ca - Calcium
CaCl2 - Calcium chloride
CaCO3 - Calcium carbonate Ca(OH)2 - Calcium hydroxide
CC - Crushed Coral
Cl - Chlorine
CO2 - Carbon dioxide
CO3 - Carbonate
cuke - Sea cucumber, typically the sand sifting variety
Cu - Copper
CYANO - Cyanobacteria
DC - Direct current
DI - Deionisation, type of water purification
DIY - Do it yourself
dKH - Degrees of carbonate hardness, measure of alkalinity
DO - Dissolve oxygen
DOC - Dissolved organic carbon
FAQ - Frequently ask question
Fe - Iron
FO -Fish only, type of marine aquarium
FOWLR - Fish Only with Live Rock
frag(s) - Broken or cut pieces of coral which will eventually grow into a new animal
FW - Freshwater
FWIW - For what its worth
FYI - For your information
GAL - Gallon
GPH - Gallons per hour
HCO3 - Hydrogen carbonate
HD - Home Depot (home improvement store)
HO - High output fluorescent light
HOB - Hang on back
HOT - Hang On Tank
HSA - High speed aeration, type of proteins skimmer
HTH - Hope this helps
I - Iodide (or just plan I)
IIRC= if i recall correctly
I2 - Iodine
ID - Identify
IMO - In my opinion
IO3 - Iodate
JMO - just my opinion
K - kelvin (mechanism for measuring spectrum of lighting)
KALK - Kalkwasser, German for calcium hydroxide solution or limewater
KI - Potassium iodide
LFS - Local fish store
LHS - Local hardware store
LOL -Laughing out loud
LPS -Large polyped Scleractinian (stony) coral
LR -Live rock
LS - Live Sand
LT - Litre
macro - macroalgae
MEQ/L - Milli-equivalents per litre, measure of alkalinity
Mg - Magnesium
MG/L - Milligrams per litre
MH - Metal halide light
micro - microalgae
MO - Mail order
Na - Sodium
NaCO3 - Sodium carbonate
NaOH - Sodium hydroxide
NH3 - Ammonia
NH4 - Ammonium
NNR - Natural nitrate reduction, reef setup technique
NO - Normal output fluorescent light
NO2 - Nitrite
NO3 - Nitrate
NSW - Natural seawater
O2 - Oxygen
OP - original poster
PC - Power compact fluorescent light
pH - Measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions
PH - Powerhead, water pump
PO4 - Phosohate
pods - Non-specific types of copepods, amphipods and such.
PPM - Parts per million, equivalent to mg/l (milligrams per litre)
PM - private message
PVC - Poly vinyl chloride, used for piping / plumbing
PWC = partial water change
RO - Reverse osmosis, type of water purification
RO/DI - Reverse osmosis, followed by deionisation, type of water purification
ROFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
ROFLOL - Rolling on the floor laughing out loud
RTN - Rapid tissue necrosis
RUGF -Reverse flow undergravel filter
SG - Specific gravity
shrooms - Mushrooms
Si -Silicon
SiO2 - Silicon dioxide
SPS - Small polyped Scleractinian (stony) coral
Sr - Strontium
SW - Saltwater / seawater
TIA - Thanks in Advance
UGF - Under gravel filter
UV - Ultra violet, type of light of shorter wavelength than visible light
UVS - Ultra violet Sterilizer (a unit used by saltwater and freshwater hobbiests to 'zap' parasites and bacteria from the water)
VHO - Very high output fluorescent light
W - Watts
WC - water change
WPG - watts per gallon
WYSIWYG - What you see is what you get

Keith:wave::wave:

Info
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/faq.php?faq=acronyms#faq_acronyms_list
 

jsiegmund

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Haha cool, but the acronyms list doesn't actually list DW, room for improvement :)

After a visit to LFS I picked up some more rock and wood to work with. And after a pretty long session I ended up with this:

IMG_20181214_203209.jpg IMG_20181214_203217.jpg IMG_20181214_203225.jpg IMG_20181214_204453.jpg

Since one piece of wood is used and the other is not, there's obvious color difference. I can only hope it'll even out quickly and I'll attach some moss to the wood any way. I raised the back of the box to match the height of the tank, the one branch that sticks out will be just a bit higher than the tank is. I kept some more room in the back, after some branch cutting I'll have about the height of a credit card space behind the scape. The last pic is full frontal, as you hopefully can see I tried to get the focal point to 2/3 both in width (ok, a bit too much to the right maybe) and height. Disclaimer: the big rock is still in there, but it's definitely not that obvious any more :) Shoot!
 

Keith GH

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Melbourne Australia
Jaspers

First question what is the height of the tank, the back black plastic or the cardboard side?

I would go ahead and assemble it in your tank. The thin twiggy pieces on the substrate will be covered if you are going to have foreground plants.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

jsiegmund

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Hi Keith, the back plastic is the height of the thank. I've filled the tank today to check the entire set-up for leaks. Hooked up the filter and stuff, all running nicely. Found out the new piece of spiderwood floats, probably need to tie that down (I have some moss cotton I might be able to use for that. Might scape it in the tank itself tomorrow, not sure yet. Otherwise it'll be another week probably before I can get the time needed.
 
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How are you getting on with this?

I like the hardscape shot! I too worry that the DW branches near the substrate won't be seen in the long term. I also think that if they were snipped off you could use them to have more wood eminating from the stump and branching off towards the top middle. I think that would look fab ;)
 

jsiegmund

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Here's a quick phone photo, I don't have a proper one yet. Had to weigh down the top wood cause it still floated. Pleased with the scape for now but I'll probably tweak the wood a bit indeed. I'll post a more extensive update after Christmas :)
a0cbaba65e50f0cc5b5ff6bac9afc670.jpg


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Keith GH

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jsiegmund,

Jsie%20Rocks%20and%20DW%201%2012.18%20_edited-1.jpg


Over all it is coming along nicely a few simple moves could improve it up another level.

The Red Dot. Snake like piece of HW looks completely out of place and is placing a heavy boarder between the rocks. My sugestion and make it look more natural would be up and behind the DW at the top of the Rocks and DW.

The Blue Dot. Make it look like its growing out of the knotty base of the DW.

Over all those tow simple moves will certainly help your aquascape

Keith:wave::wave:
 

jsiegmund

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15 Nov 2014
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Ok, here's an update pic I took after todays maintenance. Note that I've done nothing to the wood yet, been busy around house too much. I'm gonna let the plants settle in and get some algae crew in after two more weeks. But for now I still like it :) Looks better in real life than on pictures btw, I don't really care as I'm not scaping for contests or anything.

DSC01157.JPG
 
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