Aquascaping focal point

Discussion in 'The Planted Tank' started by Lady J, Sep 14, 2012.

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  1. Lady J

    Lady J Peppermint Shrimp

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    Creating an aquascaped planted tank that's visually appealing isn't as easy as it seems.

    So, a few questions.

    1. Generally, what is the focal point: parts of the hardscape, or plants. In all of the pictures I've seen it appears it' the plants and the rocks and/or driftwood are the accents.

    2. How do you make a part of the tank slope? If you're using an area of deep sand isn't that going to create a deep sand bed issue? And, how do you keep the sand in place without it slowing sliding down? Do you keep it in place with rock holding it back? And, if you have an area that's sloped, is that part of the focal point?

    3. I wanted to add a red lotus but I can't see it being anything but the focal point due to its eventual size and color. However, I keep reading that red plants should only be accents. If I'm correct in this assumption, I shouldn't add a red lotus.

    4. If you do a convex scape, should the tall areas (left and right) be created with the same plants? That seems so symmetrical.

    That's it for now and thanks for any advice you might have.
     
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  3. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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    I have a planted 2ft tank, that I can post some photos for you tomorrow.

    I have the plants as my focal point, with a variety of large and small plants all through the tank. I have half a sunken ship and a peice of drink wood to give some depth.

    I havent used a sloping bed, but it could possibly be done later down the track when the bed matures. I use gravel instead of sand for mine and I think I could slope it easily with enough of it. If you did it I would consider the raised area the focal point.

    I had a beautiful purple plant, that I had no idea of its name, but I had it at the back, giving accents like you say. I would have no trouble adding a red lotus as a focal point, as long as its positioned right.

    Mine could basically be called a convex scape, see for yourself tomorrow, I have large plants on either side, with tall plants at the back with some small - med plants and floating topiary balls in the middle. I dont think you need the same plant to look symmetrical.

    I like a good over grown look on my planted tank, I have 20 fish in it, varied tetras, rasboras, danios and gouramis and I like to see them squeeze in and out of the plants whilst having a communal area in the middle.
     
  4. ska d

    ska d Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    From what ive seen sloping the two back corners works.well. brings focus towrds.centre. also try different sizes front to back. Its kind of like a painting. Using smaller plants at the back and medium to latgernear the front will create depth. I dont know any links but google Iwagami ( not sure of spelling) but this technique is for rocj work.
     
  5. Lady J

    Lady J Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thank you both for your responses. Sheesh this is tough!

    I've googled so many pictures my head is spinning. lol I've read the hints and tips for making the tank look great and also things not to do (ie: have symmetry). I've looked at tanks that have won renowned awards---obviously they're quite amazing. I'm just trying to create something simple that doesn't look horrible. :D

    I've also never seen an awesome tank with a banana plant but I have one and it's staying. Ryan, I like your idea of your purple accent plant. That sounds gorgeous. Ska d, I too read about how to give the tank depth by putting some smaller (do they mean shorter) plants towards the back. So the obvious question is, how do you see them if taller plants are in the middle ground? Are the shorter ones placed to the left or right of the tall ones but simply towards the back. I've also read that large-leave plants should go in the front (ie: anubias). Well really, I've read all kinds of stuff.

    2n10 did tell me that to make red plants pop, you place green ones behind them. I think I can handle that one!

    If you guys want to show your tanks and kind of explain why you put stuff in the way you did, wow, that would be awesome.

    IDK, I'm just staring at my tank, not sure what to do. It's a mess right now. :)
     
  6. ska d

    ska d Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    sorry i guess i could have been clearer. You wont be using just small (short, small leaf) in the back and large in the front. Mix it up a bit. I havent been into my fw tank so much lately but one time i found a pic that i liked and basically tried to copy it. Granted i didnt have all the same plants but i generalized. I used smaller leaf plants on the sloped areas with one or two larger in front of that. Or i would make a pathway with shorter(sword grass,sorry its been awhile. Not up on the plant names)and pkaced lager leafed plants along the path. Sort of like a forest shot. I also found that right after looking at my new layout, things didnt look very natural. But after a couple of days with the flow and fish the plants took on a more natural look. And after a couple of months when the plants have grown abit the tank really came to life. I still cant post pics ( using a smartphone) but i can post to my gallery. It may take a day or so. Right now the tank looks like a jungle but i think i have sone older pics i can put up.
     
  7. ska d

    ska d Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    K. So i managed to upload a pic to my gallery. Its a very simple little setup and im sure there are much better examples. Hope it helps.
     
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  9. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    See the red responses.
     
  10. Lady J

    Lady J Peppermint Shrimp

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    Great explanations, thanks. :) I understand more of what you're trying to say regarding placement. No need to worry about the names of plants as I know very few of them anyway. And, I think I need more plants. 8)

    I clicked on your gallery and it says no pictures are available. Maybe the pics are there and for some reason I'm not seeing them? IDK I'll check again later and I appreciate your doing this to help me.
     
  11. ska d

    ska d Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Ya thats weird. I thought i was actually figuring this site out. I had uploaded some photos of my sw tank about a week ago ( to "My Gallery") and at first nothing showed up. 24hrs later there they were, in my gallery. I figured maybe they had to be screened or something. Now theres nothing in my gallery again. Maybe my cameramanship ( i dont think thats an actual word) isnt up to par. I dont know im stumped.
     
  12. Lady J

    Lady J Peppermint Shrimp

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    Hi John, thanks for your responses. I understand the golden ratio and am attempting to do that. I may use the red lotus as a focal point but not sure yet. When visualizing this, I'm wondering if the lotus and banana plant will work well together in the same tank due to their similarities. IKD.

    For now I'm going to simplify this. I'll learn more as I get experience and then may change things up at a later date.

    My fertilizers finally arrived from Green Leaf so I'm going to buy a scale this weekend and get started. The first order was lost so I had to wait an additional week for the second shipment.

    I'm going to keep trying. :)