Advice and Ideas

  1. No Fishing Member Member

    I'm hoping to get some advice on how to improve my aquascape. I didn't originally start the tank with aquascaping in mind but the more I got into it the more I want to redo the whole tank.

    Any advice on how to improve the scape or make it more natural? Any ideas on plants to add? Move driftwood? I know me liking it is all that matters but right now I don't like it that much and I can't figure out what to do to fix it.

    My plans are to trim the wisteria in front to be bushier and I think I will remove the val in the background and put Bacopa and red Ludwigia instead.

    Any thoughts, opinions or suggestions? I can take criticism. :)

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    The HOB filter and heater will be removed soon
     
  2. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    I think you need to go taller. Either get a big, bold piece of hardcape or driftwood that extends into the top third of the tank.

    Then add some floaters: hornwort, frogbit, water lettuce, whatever shape you like.

    Try grouping your existing driftwood; maybe build a bridge or teepee with it.

    More plants. Never a bad idea. I like the easy ones: anubias, swords, cyrpts.
     

  3. BellatheBetta Member Member

    I agree. Use lots of driftwood pieces and sory of stack them tall in the very center pf your tank and then plant around it. Short plants at the front and tallest ones in the back corners. It isn't a major problem but I would personally loose the blure gravel sprinkling at the back. It doesn't look terrible but it would be a more natrual look with the plants and driftwood.
     
  4. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    One other thought: those are plants, not soldiers. Use fewer straight lines, and more random groupings. One trick would be to get some bulbs from the lfs and just drop them in and let them scatter where they may. You may have to move one or two, but you may be surprised by the element of serendipity they add. Or toss a few moss balls in for the same effect.
     
  5. No Fishing Member Member

    I've been looking for a tall tree shape driftwood piece for a few weeks now and haven't found anything, but it is definitely something I want. What type of floating plaNT does best in 82degree water?

    I've been slowly changing out the gravel but the tank has fish so I don't really wanna stir everything up too much. But I agree that it definitely would look a lot better without it

    I never thought about bulbs! Awesome I will check my store tomorrow when I go to get the remaining 6 rummynose. I was hoping to get the dwarf hair grass to carpet which is why the lines are straight and organized.
    Also as the post says I'm hoping to trim the wisteria and replant to build a thick short bush structure in the mid ground with Bacopa in the back and moss or hair grass in front.

    Also will be adding a co2 setup in a week.
     
  6. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    I use duckweed, hornwort and anacharis as floats. All those plants don't seem to mind the water disturbance from my filters and take to both cool and warmer water. Plants like water lettuce, riccia and frogbit really seemed to resent being moved around so they didn't thrive for me.

    From my brief reading, the warmer the water, the more CO2 you need to add, so I think all other factors being equal, you could try what appeals and hope for the best.

    If no one else chimes in, searches for plants compatible with discus seems to bring up discussions on warm water plant culture.
     
  7. No Fishing Member Member

    I like the look of hornwort as a floater. I plan on filling in the back with Bacopa and Ludwigia. Here is a sketch of my goal. Still trying to figure out what to do with the middle section. [​IMG]

    I want a tree shaped driftwood piece with long "roots" on the left side of the tank. I can rearrange the driftwood on the right side angled to create more depth. It will create a spot under the driftwood for cory and the two behind it will add more depth. I can't decide if I want to continue the dhg carpet or go for a more bare look under the tree roots with a few moss balls? Thoughts on this idea?
     
  8. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    You do want some bare ground, and you can rarely go wrong with a mossball. If once it's planted and had a chance to settle in, if it still seems to empty, you can add an anubias with or without a driftwood anchor or a couple of rocks or something.

    I think you're going to find no matter how much pre-planning you do there will be a period of fine tuning. Either the fish will tell you they want something different, be caused of the way they act, or something just won't hit your eye right.
     
  9. No Fishing Member Member

    Yeah the more I look at it and think about it, it might be best to leave the middle blank to help with the perspective and depth.

    Thank you for all the suggestions, I'm excited to see the tank evolve into something more natural. I just need to find a piece of driftwood that would work well.

    How would you suggest going about making all these changes? Should I remove the fish or just do a 50% change then move everything around. I don't have my QT setup yet or I would just use that.
     
  10. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    Just grit your teeth and do it, and that includes swapping the substrate. Get all your primary components sorted out: driftwood sourced and soaked, plants bought (you can always float them in the tank until you need them.) Then get out your buckets and towels and have at.

    I'd take the fish out. Put them in a busket of tank water with the filter (if it's doable) or an airstone. At least the majority of them. If you can't catch them all in a reasonable amount of time, just work around the stragglers.
     
  11. No Fishing Member Member

    That's what I figured and have done in the past. The substrate use to be all blue gravel until recently I made the change to black sand. Would it be a bad idea to just dump black sand over the blur gravel to cover it?
     
  12. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    It won't stay entirely covered. Over time, as plants get uprooted and cleaning happen, it will get mixed. Then again, depending on the textures, you might like the effect. Try it in a container first and see. If not, just get a cup and scoop it out.
     
  13. No Fishing Member Member

    I feel like it might be an interesting look. I'll give it a shot on a smaller scale to test. I also don't wanna lose all the BB and plant nutrients in the gravel. I have root tabs that I just put in about a week and a half ago. Thanks again for the advice/suggestions. I'll post pics to update the progress.
     
  14. No Fishing Member Member

    Thought I would update, not sure if anyone is reading but here's what I've done so far. [​IMG]

    I still haven't found a piece of driftwood to fill up the left side yet but I'm liking the structure on the left.
     
  15. maggie thecat Well Known Member Member

    That's really coming along. The driftwood stack looks great!
     
  16. No Fishing Member Member

    Thanks, I think once the big driftwood piece is found it will add a lot of depth and make the back row of Bacopa and Ludwigia look more natural