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Old 01-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #1
Eli
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Any aquarium decorating gurus here?

I have already asked this briefly in the introduction thread, but I thought I would probably get more luck here!

Here is a picture of one of my aquariums:



As you can see it's looking pretty sad and bare, and I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas how i could make it look better? I really like the piece of wood I have in there, but I am stuck for what else I can fit in there because the wood takes up most of the space.

I have sand as a substrate and my lighting isn't very good (normal household energy saving light bulb) so most live plants are probably not going to work? Although if anyone has any plant ideas that I could maybe find an artificial substitute for I'd be really interested in hearing them.

P.S. It's going to be a shrimp tank once everything gets sorted out, and there are 3 harlequin rasboras hiding in there at the moment.

Thanks!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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To be honest I'm sooooo anal about aqua scaping. And I like it. Maybe paint the background black? I really like the driftwood and the total look!
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #3
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The wood is really good, you can't see from this picture but the back of it forms two little 'caves' which I'm sure the shrimps will appreciate as well as giving them something to climb on and use more of the vertical space. I was really lucky to find it, just a pity my tank isn't bigger! Maybe it just looks a little strange to me compared with my other tank which as you've seen is a lot greener...
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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This is just my opinion but I have DW in my tank and I love how much space it takes up. To me the more natural looking the better.

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I really like your piece, it's really cool looking. My only thought would be to add more greenery but it's off to a wonderful start
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #5
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Maybe attach the moss to the wood (if u know how) and get some rocks (aquarium safe) and lay them to the back of the aquarium. Black to rocky looking background. Also if u can try to get better lights go bright white or something sharper in color.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Love the dw! It's a fantastic piece. I personally painted the back of my tank white and love the way it makes the tank seem brighter. I'm terrible with any kind of plants, so I have fake. I like to stick my plants in areas where I think they would grow naturally, so in some of the spaces where the dw branches. Check out mine. This is an old photo. I added lots more dw, but it will give you the white background. PS what kind of shrimp are you going to do? I'm totally in love with the yellow cherry!

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Maybe attach the moss to the wood (if u know how) and get some rocks (aquarium safe) and lay them to the back of the aquarium. Black to rocky looking background. Also if u can try to get better lights go bright white or something sharper in color.
Lay the rocks at the corners too and add some moss to them as well. This is just my opionion and how I would do it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Wow! I like the white!
Upgrade lighting and add some val's in the back moss on the driftwood and it would look awesome!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:12 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your ideas! I think I'll have to see what I can find tomorrow and make good use of my day off work I'm definitely thinking more plants but I guess they will have to be quite delicate so they don't overpower the tank. And as for rocks, there is lots of slate around where I live so maybe if I can find some small pieces they would compliment the sand - slate is safe for use in aquariums right?

Kdklovesfish - I am thinking of getting red cherry shrimps. I know this sounds pretty bad but i have never had shrimps before so I want to make sure I'm not going to kill them all before I waste my money on anything too expensive!
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:57 PM   #10
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Yes slate is perfectly safe for aquarium use. Just rinse it off real well before introducing it to the setting.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:53 PM   #11
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Great gnarled dw. I would add to your harlequin Rasboras, get the school up to 6-7. As for easy plants get some java fern.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:08 PM   #12
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I was originally planning on getting some more (started off slowly not to upset the filter) but I've been having second thoughts because of the shrimps I plan on getting. Do you think that 6 rasboras and shrimps would be ok in this size tank or would I be overcrowded?
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #13
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I'd try something like this. You have an amazing piece of wood to do it. Of coarse your tank is different but you get the idea.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:35 AM   #14
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Your piece of driftwood is very nice, but right now you pretty much have it sitting in the center of the aquarium, which violates the law of thirds. Try moving it over to the right or the left to create a bit more eye appeal, then add the additional rocks and things as suggested.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #15
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I'm curious, does the driftwood discolor the water in anyway?
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:02 AM   #16
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You should buy a light bulb from almost any store that is rated as 6500k daylight. Only like 7 bucks. Grows all my plants like crazy. Then add a couple plants (low light). I have been able to grow dwarf lotus, banana plant, a couple crypts, dwarf sag, swords, and java moss. All would look good.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm curious, does the driftwood discolor the water in anyway?
Yup!

A most amazing DW piece! It can last for months. It not a bad thing.

Dark substrate and dark background will make the shrimp feel safer and allow them to brighten their color.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:06 AM   #18
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The pic in my previous post are all plants that are growing from that grocery store bought light bulb. Fits on any standard fixture. My bulb is in a lamp desk.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:00 AM   #19
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CorallineAlgae - that tank looks amazing! Unfortunately I would definitely need a bigger tank to attempt anything like that but when I do get my next one I would really love to try something similar.

Wy Renegade - I do agree that it would look better moved over but unfortunately there are branches touching all 4 sides of my aquarium as it is so there is very little room for manoeuvre and I don't really want to go lopping bits off it because I think it would spoil the shape

Mcass - it's a real pain, I don't mind the colour it gives off but its dreadful for this white fungus stuff which I have to scrub off every week or so. I read somewhere to leave it but it just falls off and rots and goes all slimy and brown and clogs the filter up

I'm a bit confused by everyone's lighting suggestions, maybe if I give you a bit more info you can help me out? As it is such a small tank I can't find a hood for it, so the best I could do was to attach a ceiling light fitting to the underside of the shelf my top tank sits on. I don't know if anyone not from UK will know what I mean by this, but it is a bayonet fitting (not sure if they call I something else in other places, ask me for a picture if you need it!). It's really close to the top of the tank so it can't give out much heat, which is why I went for the energy saving bulb. Are there any better bulbs I can use, or can anyone else suggest a better solution than the ceiling-light-stuck-to-a-shelf method I came up with? It doesn't look brilliant so if there is something better I'd be really interested in hearing
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:21 AM   #20
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+1 on the natural look. Like Owen said get a Daylight cfl at Home Depot and add some plants!
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