Help With Driftwood Placement and Substrate - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-06-2010, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Help With Driftwood Placement and Substrate

So im to the point of driftwood placement and doing the substrate and need some pointers.
What do you recommend for driftwood placement? i dont need to use all 3 pieces.
How is my substrate layout? It seems boring to me with it all just slanded upwards torwards the back of the tank. But i dont know what to do with it.

The Tank:




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post #2 of 17 Old 03-06-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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These are some layouts that i have done:





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post #3 of 17 Old 03-06-2010, 12:19 PM
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The last picture is nice. You're using all 3 pieces and it looks nice. There's a lot to plant around and attach to in that last lay out. Other than that, the second picture from the top in the second post is not bad either. The First one is pretty goo too. The 3rd 4th and 5th are sparse/lonely looking. I vote #6 first then #2

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post #4 of 17 Old 03-06-2010, 12:28 PM
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I kind of like #4. It looks kind of tree like and I think would look real cool with some java moss tied to the branches. I like #6 also and would also do the moss covered branch thing there.

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post #5 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 04:15 AM
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The last one is my favorite, also. Then again, I'm a big fan of driftwood generally so the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.

4 8 15 16 23 42
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 09:32 AM
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I'm with E and Batman....#6 looks great!
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyD44 View Post
I'm with E and Batman....#6 looks great!
Me too! If you're going with a planted tank you might want to add more substrate.

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 10:38 AM
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Also the last for me. Aside from previous comments on this one, it also makes the area look larger. When you space out wood and/or rock in a tank, so long as nothing is "centre" or in "pairs", it always gives the impression of more horizontal space, and that is a plus. Variable distances between objects creates a more natural and spacious look.

On the substrate, yes, more depth for plants. I often recommend 4-6 inches, with less at the front (2-3 inches) and the depth towards the back, either sloped or in terraces with rock (provided it is not calcareous, the "lace rock" sold in fish stores is OK). Just happened to be reading an article on substrate in the current AFI last evening and the author Mike Hellwig mentioned 5-6 inches depth for a planted tank. More depth works in planted aquaria because the plant roots keep the bacteria and nutrient/gas exchanges active in the substrate, whereas in a non-planted tank less substrate is better because the added depth with no plant roots provides more chance of compaction and related problems.

And once you have the wood with plants around them, you will not notice the substrate and it will not be so "boringly" obvious as you put it. But if you want to add something to that, some flat but variable;e rock works. Flat slate is less effective, but chunks of rock that have shape (non-flat surfaces) but a re somewhat flattish in general can be laid on the substrate or slightly buried to create a nice effect, and then plants around them, moss growing over them...lots of ideas. If you check the photos, esp the close-ups, under my "former" 70g and 90g, I had this sort of layout with flattish rock that matched the gravel colouration, so it is not really noticed but yet you sense something is there because it breaks up the gravel. It should never be "obvious" but subtle, if that makes any sense.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 11:23 AM
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I like 4.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-07-2010, 11:32 AM
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I like 4 as well as six, but with 6 yould take the right bit of wood and place it near the otheres but so it curvers around the back like a pile spreading off but dont put the wood to far or close from the left clump, Gravel wise its good for that set up!
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