I need some advice on how to make a more dramatic tank
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I need some advice on how to make a more dramatic tank

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I need some advice on how to make a more dramatic tank
Old 11-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
 
I need some advice on how to make a more dramatic tank

My tanks are nice for a beginner. I do well with plants and my fish seem to be fairly happy. However, I would like to create a more beautiful environment like the ones below...

Any pointers on creating a tank like these....other than time and patience.lol

As A side note all of these tanks are current entries for the 2010 international aquascaping contest In the Large tank category. You can view all the contestants at the following link:

2010 AGA Aquascaping Contest
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:02 PM   #2
 
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It's more than difficult to acheive that type of look without the addition of high lighting and CO2. Do you have some pics of your set up so that we can offer some input??
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:48 PM   #3
 
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It's more than difficult to achieve that type of look without the addition of high lighting and CO2. Do you have some pics of your set up so that we can offer some input??

I don't have a camera good enough to take a photo of my tanks...but, I think what I need advice on most is how to sculpt my substrate into a a more interesting canvas for the plants. I have sand as a substrate in most of my tanks and I think I have a lot of issues with getting the sand to form any kind of change in height.

I don't know if that makes sense...
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:44 AM   #4
 
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I don't have a camera good enough to take a photo of my tanks...but, I think what I need advice on most is how to sculpt my substrate into a a more interesting canvas for the plants. I have sand as a substrate in most of my tanks and I think I have a lot of issues with getting the sand to form any kind of change in height.

I don't know if that makes sense...
you can use rocks to create terraces in the sand to bring it up to a higher level (though it will eventually want to level out again). Rocks and driftwood are good for creating a more levels in the tank where plants can grow
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Old 11-15-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
 
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you can use rocks to create terraces in the sand to bring it up to a higher level (though it will eventually want to level out again). Rocks and driftwood are good for creating a more levels in the tank where plants can grow
Wow! That is such a simple solution that I don't know why I didn't think of.

So, just stack the rocks/driftwood into the tank and then add the sand over top. I feel like an idiot...but thanks!
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Old 11-15-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
 
lots of plants will grow on rocks and wood - anubias, mosses, java fern - these can give the illusion of banks of plants once you get them covered. Have patience it can take months.

This is my tank - The bank of plants (java fern and anubias) low to the right of the big sword are all growing on rocks and bits of wood. There's another low pile of rocks on the left with java fern and moss growing on it

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Old 11-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
 
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A word on terraces made with rocks. Sand being very fine will shift easily and tend to level out. Gravel does the same, but the larger grain size means it is a bit easier to build terraces with rocks. The rocks have to be basically tight together with no openings. Silicone can help achieve this. Unless of course you find a long piece of rock sufficient on its own. But then there are the edges where it touches the tank walls.

The type of aquascapes you pictured are based on designs promoted by Takashi Amano. They are very high maintenance tanks; mega light, CO2, nutrient fertilizers every day, etc. Expensive to set up and expensive to run. If you want to read about this method, Mr. Amano has a monthly column in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in which he discusses individual components. I believe he wrote a book (or several) on his method, you can probably track it down, or info on the method, online. He also markets a range of products.

These are fine displays, works of art in their own right, but I am on the "natural" end of things, so I much prefer sik80's tank--which is very lovely by the way.

Byron.
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Old 11-15-2010, 09:56 PM   #8
 
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A word on terraces made with rocks. Sand being very fine will shift easily and tend to level out. Gravel does the same, but the larger grain size means it is a bit easier to build terraces with rocks. The rocks have to be basically tight together with no openings. Silicone can help achieve this. Unless of course you find a long piece of rock sufficient on its own. But then there are the edges where it touches the tank walls.

The type of aquascapes you pictured are based on designs promoted by Takashi Amano. They are very high maintenance tanks; mega light, CO2, nutrient fertilizers every day, etc. Expensive to set up and expensive to run. If you want to read about this method, Mr. Amano has a monthly column in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in which he discusses individual components. I believe he wrote a book (or several) on his method, you can probably track it down, or info on the method, online. He also markets a range of products.

These are fine displays, works of art in their own right, but I am on the "natural" end of things, so I much prefer sik80's tank--which is very lovely by the way.

Byron.

Thank you so much for this information. I have found about three of his books and will be reading them this week.
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