Aquascaping layouts

Post your tank progress here from day 1.
bmukh
Experts
Experts
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:41 pm

Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby bmukh » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:05 am

Hi all,
Many of us have tried various aquascapes over the years or will be trying them. Should we try and put together a thread where we discuss what goes on in our minds when we are trying to visualize a scape and how do we go about it etc? I am not hinting at the 'golden ratio' etc, but simply what do we think the layout should be.. This will pehaps help many who will find the idea, process etc in a single thread



User avatar
parthapratim22
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5289
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:38 am
Location: KOLKATA>HYDERABAD>DELHI

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby parthapratim22 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:30 am

Search for a reference: That may be a nature photograph, other form of art, or an other tank.
Idea of Hardscape: What are the material can be used and a lengthy search of the same.
Selection of plants: Selecting the best possible plants as per experience, and hardy/easy.
Fixing: Fixing the them inside the tank.
Aquascaping Products and Designs viewforum.php?f=60
9599388127

User avatar
Kaushik
Panel Members
Panel Members
Posts: 917
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 12:49 pm
Location: Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby Kaushik » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:34 am

Superb Efforts .. Thanks bmukh..Indeed a novel idea....such a thread where we can appreciate/criticized each other tank. Give Suggestion to improved the looks because in some way all of us having some unique quality and if we meet our hand & minds together the out come will be great, I've no doubt ..
So from where we start... your...mine ....or any members tank where the Aquascaping is under-way ?
Last edited by Kaushik on Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If you salute your duty, you need not salute anybody. But if you pollute your duty,you have to salute everybody.“
We have a choice. Do what pleases us and then face the consequences or else abide by our duty and stand tall
-A P J Abdul Kalam

bmukh
Experts
Experts
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:41 pm

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby bmukh » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:46 am

Hi all,
Having proposed this thread, let me start penning down my thoughts.
The first post is called General Requirements:

I have so far tried to put some serious effort in only three types of scapes- (a) planted tank aquascapes, (b) natural biotope kind of scape and (c) attempted paludarium. I will talk about all the three in different posts. Although I have in the past maintained simultaneously over 10 tanks, I will try and share my thoughts about only those about which I was serious, implying I wanted the scape to stay for more than 2 years. Most of us will agree, we might create a scape, but deep inside we do not believe we will continue with it beyond a few months. These documentation is only about my ‘serious scapes’
General: (a) versus (b) versus (c)
Placement: The first thing I consider is where will be the tank placed. Planted tanks look best if the surrounding does not have too many focal points. For example, I would personally not place the tank against a wall which has too many attractions (pictures, paintings etc). I would prefer the tank is the focal point. For biotopes ( I have only tried some serious biotope experiments) with blackwater (6x2x2). With blackwater, it has a different attraction (mostly to the hobbyists and not too eye catching for others). Therefore, compared to planted, it will be far less colourful. So will it be allowed in the drawing room? For Paludarium, I often consider “do we need indirect sunlight? Can I afford to have a 3-4 feet clearing from the base of the tank so that plants etc cam grow out?”
Gadgets/Table/Stand/Cabinet: It is important that I place the tank in a place where the table/cabinets/electricity connections are convenient. “Hanging out wires” is s strict no no in my house for good reason…we have a blind dog! It should be a strict no even otherwise. Any serious tank would require atleast one or two canister filters. Therefore a cabinet to hide them is a concern to me. My house (like most) has two types of power connections-one which supports AC etc (the power line) and the other which can run on inverters. I try and place the tank in such places so that it can have access to both (atleast the later one). To run Chiller/Heater it is must that we have access to ‘power connection’ because I do not want my inverter to run out by running a few 150/300watts chiller/heater/MH etc. In my opinion the investment in the gadget is perhaps more crucial than the tank. The tanks have a lifespan of 2-3 years but these must go on. What I can do in the future is largely constrained by these tables/stands. The reason is simple, once I get a space for a tank, usually over time, other household stuff start occupying the adjoining empty spaces, and soon they become essential to stay there. So even if I want to have a bigger or different stand/table inplace of the current one, I am unable to do so.
Ambient lighting, temperature etc: Something that is very important to me…”if I switch of the lights in the room and stare at the tank, how will it feel? Can I do that atleast half an hour a day?” This is important especially for my planted tank. Therefore, I can never place a planted tank in a room which can never be fully dark given the ambient lighting. Similarly, there are rooms in my house that do not have A.Cs and can get extremely hot during summers. I avoid planted scape there….a blackwater ot biotope would be fine. A planted tank in a room with AC, would mean no requirement of chiller!


Expenses: To be honest, I have a rough idea about how much it would cost to start and maintain either of the tanks, but I always lie to myself, get delusional and over spend. So I really do not think about expenses to decide what.

Maintenance schedule/commitment/difficulty: This is an important factor for me. I often have to travel (short durations- 2-3 times a month for 2-3 days for 5-6 months), often 7-8 times amonth for 2-3 days 1-2 months and once a year for about 2 months away from home. This means, the maintenance schedule is not only my headache but also my family members. This makes me often decide what is the best they can do in my absence. In this ordering, blackwater is the easiest. Weekly water change, drop some dried IAL and there you go. Planted is more elaborate-water change, photoperiod, CO2, algae etc. paludarium is probably not too difficult but requires irritatingly frequent interventions- (misting 2-3 times a day). So I must admit, difficulty in maintenance is the most important factor.

Nature inspired versus What is available: Many of us like a particular picture, piece of nature and start thinking “how do I replicate inside the glass tank”, I don’t try to do that. Instead, once I have decided what must be done (a or b or c), then I try and figure out the role of nature. To give a small example, I always wanted to do a ‘sunderbans mangrove biotope”, but could never go ahead because of the above points


In the second post, I will describe what I consider while doing planted scapes.
In the third post, I will describe what I consider while doing biotopes scapes.
In the fourth post, I will describe what I consider while doing paludariums.

User avatar
parthapratim22
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5289
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:38 am
Location: KOLKATA>HYDERABAD>DELHI

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby parthapratim22 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:44 pm

Nice details...I am trying to sum up mine as per your points. But not that much details kept in mind.
Aquascaping Products and Designs viewforum.php?f=60
9599388127

User avatar
Somen
Panel Members
Panel Members
Posts: 1274
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 3:59 pm
Location: Faridabad Haryana

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby Somen » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:54 pm

bmukh wrote:Hi all,
Having proposed this thread, let me start penning down my thoughts.
The first post is called General Requirements:

I have so far tried to put some serious effort in only three types of scapes- (a) planted tank aquascapes, (b) natural biotope kind of scape and (c) attempted paludarium. I will talk about all the three in different posts. Although I have in the past maintained simultaneously over 10 tanks, I will try and share my thoughts about only those about which I was serious, implying I wanted the scape to stay for more than 2 years. Most of us will agree, we might create a scape, but deep inside we do not believe we will continue with it beyond a few months. These documentation is only about my ‘serious scapes’
General: (a) versus (b) versus (c)
Placement: The first thing I consider is where will be the tank placed. Planted tanks look best if the surrounding does not have too many focal points. For example, I would personally not place the tank against a wall which has too many attractions (pictures, paintings etc). I would prefer the tank is the focal point. For biotopes ( I have only tried some serious biotope experiments) with blackwater (6x2x2). With blackwater, it has a different attraction (mostly to the hobbyists and not too eye catching for others). Therefore, compared to planted, it will be far less colourful. So will it be allowed in the drawing room? For Paludarium, I often consider “do we need indirect sunlight? Can I afford to have a 3-4 feet clearing from the base of the tank so that plants etc cam grow out?”
Gadgets/Table/Stand/Cabinet: It is important that I place the tank in a place where the table/cabinets/electricity connections are convenient. “Hanging out wires” is s strict no no in my house for good reason…we have a blind dog! It should be a strict no even otherwise. Any serious tank would require atleast one or two canister filters. Therefore a cabinet to hide them is a concern to me. My house (like most) has two types of power connections-one which supports AC etc (the power line) and the other which can run on inverters. I try and place the tank in such places so that it can have access to both (atleast the later one). To run Chiller/Heater it is must that we have access to ‘power connection’ because I do not want my inverter to run out by running a few 150/300watts chiller/heater/MH etc. In my opinion the investment in the gadget is perhaps more crucial than the tank. The tanks have a lifespan of 2-3 years but these must go on. What I can do in the future is largely constrained by these tables/stands. The reason is simple, once I get a space for a tank, usually over time, other household stuff start occupying the adjoining empty spaces, and soon they become essential to stay there. So even if I want to have a bigger or different stand/table inplace of the current one, I am unable to do so.
Ambient lighting, temperature etc: Something that is very important to me…”if I switch of the lights in the room and stare at the tank, how will it feel? Can I do that atleast half an hour a day?” This is important especially for my planted tank. Therefore, I can never place a planted tank in a room which can never be fully dark given the ambient lighting. Similarly, there are rooms in my house that do not have A.Cs and can get extremely hot during summers. I avoid planted scape there….a blackwater ot biotope would be fine. A planted tank in a room with AC, would mean no requirement of chiller!


Expenses: To be honest, I have a rough idea about how much it would cost to start and maintain either of the tanks, but I always lie to myself, get delusional and over spend. So I really do not think about expenses to decide what.

Maintenance schedule/commitment/difficulty: This is an important factor for me. I often have to travel (short durations- 2-3 times a month for 2-3 days for 5-6 months), often 7-8 times amonth for 2-3 days 1-2 months and once a year for about 2 months away from home. This means, the maintenance schedule is not only my headache but also my family members. This makes me often decide what is the best they can do in my absence. In this ordering, blackwater is the easiest. Weekly water change, drop some dried IAL and there you go. Planted is more elaborate-water change, photoperiod, CO2, algae etc. paludarium is probably not too difficult but requires irritatingly frequent interventions- (misting 2-3 times a day). So I must admit, difficulty in maintenance is the most important factor.

Nature inspired versus What is available: Many of us like a particular picture, piece of nature and start thinking “how do I replicate inside the glass tank”, I don’t try to do that. Instead, once I have decided what must be done (a or b or c), then I try and figure out the role of nature.

:1
To give a small example, I always wanted to do a ‘sunderbans mangrove biotope”, but could never go ahead because of the above points


In the second post, I will describe what I consider while doing planted scapes.
In the third post, I will describe what I consider while doing blackwater scapes.
In the fourth post, I will describe what I consider while doing paludariums.



Very nice and interesting.Small detailing is done.
Somen
Any dead fish can flow down the river but it takes a live one to swim back up stream.

syed.ali
Aspiring Star of AquapetZ!
Aspiring Star of AquapetZ!
Posts: 1154
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:27 pm
Location: New Delhi

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby syed.ali » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:08 pm

excellent thread

bmukh
Experts
Experts
Posts: 836
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:41 pm

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby bmukh » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:14 am

Part II: Planted Aquascapes

Having decided that I want planted aquascape, this is how I go about:
Tank size: I prefer a longer, wider and not so tall tanks. For example, the ideal size for me is 48(L), 24 (W) and 18-21 (H). There are some advantages of tanks roughly this dimension, but most importantly it looks best to me. One thing is for sure, bigger the tank, more likely it will be a serious scaping effort. This is because, I know how messy and difficult it is to do drastic changes in a bigger tank! So in a way, bigger tank acts as a self disciplining device. While the length 48 has some advantages (most light fixtures will come for tank lengths 48 rather than 42 or 54), the advantage of low height is purely light penetration and hoping some day plants will flower out of water. The advantage of higher width is purely visual, it gives depth!
Nature of tank:
This is where this thread would have the maximum bite!
Before I set a tank, I start evaluating these three possibilities:
(a) Planted tanks, fishes secondary
(b) Plants and fishes are both necessary
(c) Fish tank but supporting aquascape

The first one is where I concentrate only on the scape and then look for fishes that will go well. I try and think should I have a carpet, moss on woods, red plants at back, dense bush….. I don’t really care whether I get to see the fishes all the time, may be they are hiding, but I love the scape. The second one typically goes like “ a planted Neon tetra/cardinal tank”. In this case I am thinking of a scape that will make a shoal of Neons look wonderful against the backdrop. The third one, is I want a nice looking tank to support a particular fish. For example, I have been thinking how do I set up a nice planted aquascape where I have the lovely dark bands of Angels and Discus melt against the background! What I want, decides hardcape materials.
Necessities assumed: CO2, canister filters, appropriate lights at this stage are all arranged. Normally, the canisters I want to use already starts running for more than a month in existing tanks before I will introduce them to the new setup.
Hardscape: This is usually a choice I make at two levels- Driftwoods versus Stones and at the next level, types of driftwoods or types of stones. I must admit I have never found attractive stones so far (till about last month when I picked up some ADA stuff) so I have primarily focused on driftwoods. Within driftwoods, Althouch I prefer nice branchy ones, but I do not like the ones that have too many thin roots. In my personal opinion, most of these thin roots break over time.

And now the scape: Honestly I follow “What pleases my eye”. Once the substrate is poured I try various combinations with the driftwoods. Everytime I make an arrangement, I step 10 feet back. Decide, redo, step back, decide….. Some pointers I keep in mind are:

1. blink a few times and stare at the tank- is there anything prominent that strikes out, or everything looks more or less the same prominent
2. have I created too many dark unreachable spaces
3. how would I hide all the filter, pipes etc
.


Things I consider when I plan driftwood based scapes

Is the tank looking cluttered, too sparred, too disjoint, unnatural?
Are the driftwoods too unsimilar in look, texture, thickness, colour?
Do I want a left dominated tank, a right dominated tank, a centre dominated tank, a center gap or evenly spread? Perhaps the terms are self explanatory, however this is what I mean
Left dominated: the prominent driftwood structures are on the left and so on.
I must admit, at this stage taking pictures and seeing them gives me little idea about which one is a better scape. Instead closing my eyes and imagining gives a better feel. This is the most important stage, I imagine branches with fully/partially covered moss and those without. I try and visualize the carpet, the backdrop as well as the base of the driftwoods. What types of plants must cover them.
I also try and imagine a snap shot- do I want the scape to be a portion of the underwater almost true to its original size or is it a vast open scenery mapped into a small tank? Both are attractive. The first one is more like a colourful bright jungle look, the second one is serene calm but far less natural. I have never tried the second one so far.
Choice of plants: carpets are the most important part for me. For a jungle type of scape, Lileopsis or E. tenellus are preferable over HC. Although I love HC, their carpets are too nice to give a jungle type of look. For plants in or around the driftwoods, it is pure trial and error, considering the ease and finally how likely is algae attack on them.

Things I consider when I plan rocks/stones based scapes:

Lately, I am trying a rockscape. While choosing rocks, I have either of two options-sharp pointed ones. I think sharp pointed ones gives a ‘local scape’…a portion under water, while round ish rocks are best for mountain/hill scape. With my current roundish rocks I am trying to create a simple rocks on plains type of scape. I do not want too many variety of plants, something to cover the lawn, some tall grass like plants and perhaps if these do not suffice, add some red plants.

User avatar
SCORPIO
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10354
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:01 am
Location: Delhi, India
Contact:

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby SCORPIO » Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:48 am

Very nice information Dada.
“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. This is the way to success.”

...................Swami Vivekananda

User avatar
parthapratim22
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5289
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:38 am
Location: KOLKATA>HYDERABAD>DELHI

Re: Aquascaping layouts

Unread postby parthapratim22 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:04 am

Wow genuine write up.
Aquascaping Products and Designs viewforum.php?f=60
9599388127