Aqua/hardscape Critisism

Bradley Moles
  • #1
Attached are some pictures of my aquarium. What do you guys think about my aqua/hardscape? Should I add any plants and/or take out some decorations?

I have concerns about the fish being satisfied with their own “territory” and feel safe in their home.

The larger rainbow shark chases the smaller one but I’m not sure I can fix that. The blood parrot shoves anyone that tries to get in his log(larger log on the right) and the Raphael catfish stays in the castle.

Are the discus happy or do they need something more?

125 gallon:
1 blood parrot
1 electric blue acara
2 electric blue ram
2 common pleco
3 kuhlI loaches
4 cory cats
1 striped raphael cat
1 zebra loach
2 rainbow shark
4 discus
2 angel
3 clown loach
 

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ValerieAdams
  • #2
Personally, I think it would look nicer with some plants. Plants might add some hiding places for some of the fish. Not really sure about those kinds of fish though
 
appcontrol
  • #3
Remove those plastic/unnatural things.
Second add some real wood and stone and plants it isn't that expensive.
 
flyingbirdie
  • #4
You have all from favourite species of fish in one tank , I never knew they can get along easily ..... Set up looks lovely just needs bit more of hiding spots , please keep on sharing more of your tanks pics
 
Dawn Michele
  • #5
More driftwood, rocks and plants would look nice.
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #6
It's all personal opinion!! See people like neon gravel and castles.. others like a mix others like all natural!! I personally prefer all natural.. real plants rocks driftwood ECT but.... What it comes down to is... Do YOU like it?? You are the one look at it every day!! Does it make you happy to see it?? PS.. fish really prefer natural also!!!!!
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Remove those plastic/unnatural things.
Second add some real wood and stone and plants it isn't that expensive.

It has a large piece of real driftwood on the left side behind the large real rock. Also real cholla wood and natural rock/gravel on the left side. Have a couple of live plants (maybe anubus?) that came with the tank.

May get a tall tree root like driftwood piece for the center of the tank(something that won’t take up much room but the discus can swim around) but those can get pricey and putting native wood in an aquarium is risky.

About to start a thread about possible plant options that can live in pool filter sand, 80+ degree water and not need co2 or many ferts(if such a thing exists)
 
appcontrol
  • #8
It has a large piece of real driftwood on the left side behind the large real rock. Also real cholla wood and natural rock/gravel on the left side. Have a couple of live plants (maybe anubus?) that came with the tank.

May get a tall tree root like driftwood piece for the center of the tank(something that won’t take up much room but the discus can swim around) but those can get pricey and putting native wood in an aquarium is risky.

About to start a thread about possible plant options that can live in pool filter sand, 80+ degree water and not need co2 or many ferts(if such a thing exists)

With enough light and with root tabs you could grow a lot of plants in that.
And for ornaments they are just ugly to me and they know to release toxins from paint etc. over time. You could do bamboo forest there just keep upper portion out of water
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
You have all from favourite species of fish in one tank , I never knew they can get along easily ..... Set up looks lovely just needs bit more of hiding spots , please keep on sharing more of your tanks pics

Thank you! Finally some appreciation, most people tend to be negative and hate to see something in an aquarium that might not work, but why be boring?

Just buy them as juveniles, try to get most, if not all, in the tank at the same time(or rearrange decorations when introducing new fish) and give them plent of hiding spots for their own territory.

The only aggression whatsoever is between the two rainbow sharks, I will likely remove the smaller one if the chasing doesn’t end soon.

With enough light and with root tabs you could grow a lot of plants in that.
And for ornaments they are just ugly to me and they know to release toxins from paint etc. over time. You could do bamboo forest there just keep upper portion out of water

Yes I think the volcano and castle may be a bit too much, my catfish would be devastated without the castle though and not sure how else to hide an airstone and make it look good. Thought about bamboo but it tends to get a bit tall and with a glass top(part of it permanent) it would be a pain to try to trim bamboo. Also, a forest style does not give my fish the hiding spot they need.
 
appcontrol
  • #10
Yes I think the volcano and castle may be a bit too much, my catfish would be devastated without the castle though and not sure how else to hide an airstone and make it look good. Thought about bamboo but it tends to get a bit tall and with a glass top(part of it permanent) it would be a pain to try to trim bamboo. Also, a forest style does not give my fish the hiding spot they need.
You could do lava rock cave by yourself or any other rock, I did put half of coconut and covered it with lava stone, if its bigger unstable stone you can fix it with silicon. And you could make hole in some type of rock that isn't that hard like lava and put air stone in it or just cover it with bunch of smaller rocks and you can tie some moss to them if you want
 
JoeCamaro
  • #11
Beautiful fish!!!
 
Seasoldier
  • #12
Don't think any of us have the right to criticise or judge others, each to their own I say. I prefer a more natural set up with natural rock, wood & live plants, but as long as you like & enjoy what you have that's all that really counts. Those are beautiful discus by the way.
 
appcontrol
  • #13
Don't think any of us have the right to criticise or judge others, each to their own I say. I prefer a more natural set up with natural rock, wood & live plants, but as long as you like & enjoy what you have that's all that really counts. Those are beautiful discus by the way.

Btw. just for the record I don't want to judge or anything just giving some of my opinions. Everyone can have they're tanks looking as they want.
 
JoeCamaro
  • #14
I agree with Smalltownfishfriend. It's a matter of preference. That's one of the great things about this hobby.
How do you feel when you sit down and stare at your tank?
I guarantee it will evolve with time, though. It's part of the hobby. There will always be something to do, changes to make. It keeps it interesting.
I started with a fantasy theme and slowly moved to an all-natural tank, but that's me.
Enjoy your tank
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
You could do lava rock cave by yourself or any other rock, I did put half of coconut and covered it with lava stone, if its bigger unstable stone you can fix it with silicon. And you could make hole in some type of rock that isn't that hard like lava and put air stone in it or just cover it with bunch of smaller rocks and you can tie some moss to them if you want

Good feedback. I’d like to see some pictures if you have any, any way to direct message on here?
 
appcontrol
  • #16
Good feedback. I’d like to see some pictures if you have any, any way to direct message on here?
Yes you can send conversations but unfortunately I am at trip until monday I can send you then. Just send me a message so I don't forget. And keep in mind that I have 22 gallon so you can do in bigger scale same thing.
 
bertie2k
  • #17
Personally I would move/remove the rock on the left in picture 5 and add an arched rock or driftwood, from an asthetics point of view I it is weighted towards the right with your higher plants, adding an arch on the left would even it out, it looks beautiful already but the stone looks out of place
 
Jocelyn Adelman
  • #18
Real or fake doesn’t particularly matter, all a matter of taste.
However, overall arrangement does matter. I would get a few pieces with height (as close to top as possible) to add interest. Also arrange objects for a sense of depth (foreground, mid, and back).
Overall things place slightly off center, as well as grouped in odd numbers tends to be more pleasing to the human eye.
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Real or fake doesn’t particularly matter, all a matter of taste.
However, overall arrangement does matter. I would get a few pieces with height (as close to top as possible) to add interest. Also arrange objects for a sense of depth (foreground, mid, and back).
Overall things place slightly off center, as well as grouped in odd numbers tends to be more pleasing to the human eye.

I definitely think it needs some height, especially to keep everyone off the bottom of the tank. Only problem is that it’s hard to find decorations that are tall and skinny. They’re also kind’ve expensive. I’m wanting to do some type of caves 12”-18” off the bottom of the aquarium. This would make the blood parrot, electric blue acara, and rams wanr to stay more towards the top and would give the bottom feeders more room.
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #20
If you're concerned about territory, get some tall and floating plants. If you stand on the side of the tank and look through it long-ways, you should not be able to see out the other side. If you can see out the other side, add more plants.
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
If you're concerned about territory, get some tall and floating plants. If you stand on the side of the tank and look through it long-ways, you should not be able to see out the other side. If you can see out the other side, add more plants.

Suggestions on where to get good cheap fake plants?
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #22
Michaels

EDIT: Or Hobby Lobby, or HomeGoods, or anywhere that sells fake plants. Just make sure they aren't sharp. Pet stores overcharge for fake plants. I answered pretty fast with Michaels because that's where I got my tall fake plants.
 
bertie2k
  • #23
Suggestions on where to get good cheap fake plants?

Not sure if you are in the uk or not, but I got 6 for 6 quid at maidenhead aquatics
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Michaels

EDIT: Or Hobby Lobby, or HomeGoods, or anywhere that sells fake plants. Just make sure they aren't sharp. Pet stores overcharge for fake plants. I answered pretty fast with Michaels because that's where I got my tall fake plants.

Thank you, how did you ancor the plants?
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #25
Fishing line. Tie them to some driftwood or rocks or some other weighted ornament.
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #26
Michaels

EDIT: Or Hobby Lobby, or HomeGoods, or anywhere that sells fake plants. Just make sure they aren't sharp. Pet stores overcharge for fake plants. I answered pretty fast with Michaels because that's where I got my tall fake plants.

Have any photos of your tank with the fake plants?
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #27
Yes! This is a mix of real and fake plants. The foreground plants are real, the background plants are fake, the floating plants are mostly real with some fake for filler. I used to have more fake plants, but over time, as the real ones grow, I've been removing them. Eventually, once enough of those stemmy floating plants propagate, I will replace the background plants by planting a bunch of those in the substrate.
 

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Lynn78too
  • #28
This is a piece of furniture and remember that! You're going to be looking at that couch for a long time, you're going to be looking at that tank for a long time. The nice thing about fake stuff is you can take it out and wash it with water if there's algae. Conversely, there is less of a chance of algae if a tank is heavily planted. Though no tank is immune to algae. That said, something is lacking. You need some kind of height right in the middle or rearrange them a bit so it has a mountain effect instead of a valley look. You don't have to have the peak of the mountain in the middle, off center is generally more aesthetically appealing but a valley looks like something is missing. Think of if you (or a professional) were to paint a picture of a mountain, the mountain would be off center with a few trees or the sun or some other focal point on the other side. I will say, I do not know the exact needs of your particular fish.
Your fish are beautiful.
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
This is a piece of furniture and remember that! You're going to be looking at that couch for a long time, you're going to be looking at that tank for a long time. The nice thing about fake stuff is you can take it out and wash it with water if there's algae. Conversely, there is less of a chance of algae if a tank is heavily planted. Though no tank is immune to algae. That said, something is lacking. You need some kind of height right in the middle or rearrange them a bit so it has a mountain effect instead of a valley look. You don't have to have the peak of the mountain in the middle, off center is generally more aesthetically appealing but a valley looks like something is missing. Think of if you (or a professional) were to paint a picture of a mountain, the mountain would be off center with a few trees or the sun or some other focal point on the other side. I will say, I do not know the exact needs of your particular fish.
Your fish are beautiful.

Good advice, do you have photos of your tank?
 
Bradley Moles
  • Thread Starter
  • #30
Yes! This is a mix of real and fake plants. The foreground plants are real, the background plants are fake, the floating plants are mostly real with some fake for filler. I used to have more fake plants, but over time, as the real ones grow, I've been removing them. Eventually, once enough of those stemmy floating plants propagate, I will replace the background plants by planting a bunch of those in the substrate.

Looks great!! The fake ones in the background look a little too light in my opinion.
 
IHaveADogToo
  • #31
I know I’m not a great aquascaper but I’m slowly getting better. This tank has been constantly changing, it looks nothing like when I first set it up, but I’ve been trying to accommodate for the fact that it’s a betta sorority, so lots of territories and plants in the top of the water column. I agree something is missing in the middle of the tank. Honestly I think this tank is going to get a complete rescape soon and the bettas are going to move to a 20 long. I’m considering that. I learned a lot from this tank and I think I can execute a sorority aquascape better in a 20 long I think. I’ll repurpose this tank as just a community and keep my existing tetras and kuhlI loaches and whatnot in here, so it’ll get a new scape too. I want to move the sorority out of the community tank for feeding reasons.
 
JoeCamaro
  • #32
This tank has been constantly changing, it looks nothing like when I first set it up.
That's the beauty of thos hobby. It allows for change and improvement. It's constantly evolving as we, as fishkeepers, learn new things.
 

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