Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-12-2007, 06:59 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 901
aquascaping q

How do you decide on placement other than height? I am going to be overhauling my 55 when i move, and I am putting more thought into how I want to scape it when I redo it.


Do you group like plants together? Like all rotala in one spot, all cabomba together, all crypt parva in front, so on....


Do you sit down and draw up a plant plan?

I'd love to hear advice from the aquascapers on this.
__________________

__________________
Watch our thread! A MyCatsDrool and Travis Simonson Joint Production....55 Tanganyikan Tank. It is hidden in the photography showcase. It is really my tank, but Trav is helping and we live next door from each other...so....

CCTV Has shut its doors. Off the air.
5.5 gal ADA rimless cube, fully planted, killifish breeder. coming soon to a forum near you.
It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
MyCatsDrool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 07:42 AM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
JDogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 2,294
i just start sticking plants into the substrate

i try to think "what would mother nature do" she does not put all the same plant together, plants grow where they grow in nature. the tall ones in back and the sides and short ones in front, is artificial, but it lets me see my fish

i have tried to plan it out on paper but it neve looks as good to me as when i just start putting plants in the substrate in a more or less random fashion.

HTH
__________________

__________________
Just because I am working at Petco does not mean I am a sell out, they are still an evil empire, that I am trying to make better.
75 Gallon: New World Cichlids|26 Gallon Bowfront: Planted Angelfish/Swordtail Tank|20 Gallon Long: "Nano" non-reef|10 Gallon: frog and mosquito fish
JDogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 10:13 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
I don't plan it out on paper either, but have learned a few things in recent times:

- Planting stems of same plant together is much nicer then scattering and mixing them among other stems.
- Try for a good mid-ground. Focusing there should help you create some depth and limit your options (in a good way) for background and foreground.
- Anticipate growth in with the placement of your plants. For instance anubias, java fern and crypts do fine in more shady areas, and thus make good plants under your taller stems when they grow out a bit. They also grow lower and will help you hide the ugly parts of the lower stems and also help create layers
- Think more small plants... One of my biggest mistakes (to this day) is maintaining too many large stem plants.

I stare at the tank (sometimes for hours) trying to think through where I should move things, etc... I have found that you just have to try different things until you like something. Then you have to carefully identify what you like about whatever it is you stumbled on, and move on to fixing other things that you are less content with.

I think you best bet is to just give it your best go, and expect to change and adapt whatever you end up with... I think that is a lot of the fun of the whole thing....
dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 10:37 AM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
I generally start with the hardscape, usually driftwood. Make sure that whether you are using rocks or wood you have good sizes to work with. You want to have some that will reach above halfway up the height of the tank. Smaller pieces while helpful in creating structure, tend to just get swallowed up by the plants. I work with it until I find an arrangement that I like. Some things that help with this are creating angles and making sure that you don't divide the tank evenly in half.

Next you want to make sure that you select plants appropriately sized for the tank. Amazon Swords don't belong in 10 gallon tanks. Try to get some variety in the leaf shape, size, and color. I then plant these around the hardscape as appropriate for background, midground, and foreground. Always make sure to plant enough of a single plant together that it feels like it's supposed to be there. Generally most plants will only get planted in one spot, maybe two. I try to put contrasting leaf shape, size, color next to eachother. I also make an effort to emphsize the hardscape in some areas and play it down in others with the planting.

I really don't do a lot of planning ahead, although I might have an overall look that I'm aiming for on occasion. As a trained artist, I rely on my eyes to tell me what is working and what I need to adjust. I find that I'm pretty good at putting together an initial scape, but still need more practice planning for the growth of the plants I'm dealing with.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
newfound77951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 2,114
I think dapellegrini and Purrbox gave some great advice. I especially learned the hard way about not putting in plants that get too big (there are a lot of them, even in a 55) and also focusing on the midground. In a 55, with it so narrow from front to back, it's difficult to get the illusion of depth, and getting a good midground goes a long way towards helping. I also look a lot at the pictures of tanks that I like on AA and other places and try to pick out parts of these tanks that I like and then replicate (more usually just do something similar) them in my tank.

I'm good at sketching and thinking in 3D but I've never found that drawing a plan out works that well. I do find that taking my time to plant, taking breaks to get your arm out of the tank, going across the room, sitting on the couch and looking at the tank for a while helps a lot.
__________________
newfound77951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 07:56 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Georgia
Posts: 703
Send a message via AIM to Mosaic
I've tried to draw up a plan. I'm an artist, and I couldn't do it. I have to get in there and start working with the plants, and they dictate where they go. I don't start out with all the plants I need (not by choice, heh). I acquire them slowly as I can get clippings. That gives me time to look at what I've got going on and think about placement. There's a few rules of composition (thirds, etc) but a lot of it is intuition and doing what looks right. Getting honest criticism helps too, but it's hard to get the people here to stop being so nice.

Thanks for the tip about the midground. I've never thought of it that way. Any help for developing it?
__________________
I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
Mosaic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:06 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
travis simonson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 2,073
First off, I'm red-green colorblind, so I tend to choose plants that contrast sharply with each other so that I can tell them apart. This may not always be a good idea though. I also like to mix leaf textures (i.e. large-leaved plants next to fine-leaved plants) so that there is a dramatic distinction between adjacent plantings. Plant in groups that match the scale of your tank. In a larger tank the groups will necessarily be larger so that they may stand out. Also match the leaf size of your plants to the size of your tank. Finer-leaved plants lose some of their delicacy in a large tank so consider scaling up the leaf size a bit so that plants are not lost in the background.

Oh, I could go on and on, but I'll stop here :P
__________________
“There is something in the quality of a good translation that can never be captured in the original.”
-William Gibson
travis simonson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:17 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
Well, I don't really have any advice on midground, except maybe to do it something like this:

dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:22 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 901
Travis, will you come scape my tank? =)
__________________
Watch our thread! A MyCatsDrool and Travis Simonson Joint Production....55 Tanganyikan Tank. It is hidden in the photography showcase. It is really my tank, but Trav is helping and we live next door from each other...so....

CCTV Has shut its doors. Off the air.
5.5 gal ADA rimless cube, fully planted, killifish breeder. coming soon to a forum near you.
It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
MyCatsDrool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:23 PM   #10
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
THat tank is awesome. Can I have it?
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:34 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
travis simonson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 2,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyCatsDrool
Travis, will you come scape my tank? =)
As long as it's warm where you are I have no problems with doing that :P It won't quit snowing here in CO.
__________________
“There is something in the quality of a good translation that can never be captured in the original.”
-William Gibson
travis simonson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:41 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 901
I;m in florida. is that warm enough? =)
__________________
Watch our thread! A MyCatsDrool and Travis Simonson Joint Production....55 Tanganyikan Tank. It is hidden in the photography showcase. It is really my tank, but Trav is helping and we live next door from each other...so....

CCTV Has shut its doors. Off the air.
5.5 gal ADA rimless cube, fully planted, killifish breeder. coming soon to a forum near you.
It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
MyCatsDrool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:46 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
travis simonson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 2,073
Quote:
Originally Posted by dapellegrini
Well, I don't really have any advice on midground, except maybe to do it something like this:

The sense of depth that is created in that pic is unreal. That's one of the ADA top ten tanks from this year's contest isn't it?

Oh, and yes, Florida is just fine
__________________
“There is something in the quality of a good translation that can never be captured in the original.”
-William Gibson
travis simonson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:48 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Georgia
Posts: 703
Send a message via AIM to Mosaic
Quote:
Originally Posted by dapellegrini
Well, I don't really have any advice on midground, except maybe to do it something like this:
Lol, you say that like it's easy!


Travis, go on! I want to hear more!
__________________
I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
Mosaic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 08:51 PM   #15
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
Ya, I think it is one of the top 3 actually... By far my favorite... I would love to see this thing de-constructed... It boggles my mind in so many ways... If you look at the left-side glass, it does not appear to be a deep aquarium... Or no more so than say a 75gallon... Amazing.
dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 09:06 PM   #16
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
travis simonson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 2,073
Note the way the tank is off-center: the focal point is located roughly 3/5ths of the way across the length of the tank. This 3/5ths to 2/5ths ratio is one of the mantras of Nature Aquariums. It prevents a symmetrical, unnatural look. The ratio that Amano specifies is not exactly 3/5ths to 2/5ths, but that will do in a pinch. Asymmetry is much more natural than a tank that has its focus directly in the center.
__________________
“There is something in the quality of a good translation that can never be captured in the original.”
-William Gibson
travis simonson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 09:08 PM   #17
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 901
The 3rd, 4th and 5th are better than the first 2 if you ask me.
__________________
Watch our thread! A MyCatsDrool and Travis Simonson Joint Production....55 Tanganyikan Tank. It is hidden in the photography showcase. It is really my tank, but Trav is helping and we live next door from each other...so....

CCTV Has shut its doors. Off the air.
5.5 gal ADA rimless cube, fully planted, killifish breeder. coming soon to a forum near you.
It's called Sex Panther, by Odeon. Illegal in 9 countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good.
MyCatsDrool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 09:12 PM   #18
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
Ya, I kinda see it as 2/3 then 1/3.... It's those grassy like hills that I would like to understand... Are those rocks? and what plant is she using there? Also the taller grasses in front of the midground is pure genius... As well as the background the does an L around the tank and runs straight into the front-right corner.
dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #19
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Georgia
Posts: 703
Send a message via AIM to Mosaic
Note the way your (well, mine) eye travels too.
(roughly):


Your eye moves around the tank without anything (i.e. hardscape) drawing it out of the tank, so once your eye travels around intially, it stays in the tank to take in the details. I think creating that eye movement with shapes and visually interesting plants/groupings is a pretty big key.

The more your eye moves, the longer you look. The longer you look at something, the more your brain assumes what you're looking at is something out of the ordinary.

Hey, I like this critiquing thing. We should do more.
__________________
I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
Mosaic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2007, 10:02 PM   #20
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
travis simonson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 2,073
Very good point Mosaic. Like you say, the eye needs to travel around the tank rather than just focusing on a single interesting point. I completely agree with you that the eye should be drawn first to a focal point, then to another secondary point and so on. I must go think on this . . . :P
__________________

__________________
“There is something in the quality of a good translation that can never be captured in the original.”
-William Gibson
travis simonson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
api, aquascaping, cap

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Your first try at aquascaping fastfly48 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 19 01-05-2009 10:54 PM
new aquascaping, what do you think? vsnsofadrgn Saltwater Reef Aquaria 18 09-08-2006 09:11 PM
aquascaping vsnsofadrgn Saltwater Reef Aquaria 16 05-07-2006 09:40 PM
What is Aquascaping? BrianNY Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 04-18-2006 03:10 PM
Help with aquascaping.... Heineken Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 10 11-01-2004 09:01 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.