This is a discussion on Thoughts on hardscape within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; -->
Here is the layout I think I am going with. Any thoughts/criticisms? The slate ledge to the right will be covered with a moss....
Grain of salt here because I think aquascaping is a bit like painting and like 'artists' (sometimes poor ones - lol) we all have a different vision...
I think I'd put some more sand in the left rear so the left rear of the wood is a bit higher. Then I might move the right side of the wood (leaving the left side in the corner) closer to the front of the aquarium (for a bit more angle. I like the idea of the moss covered slate ledge, but is it painted black? (points off if so)
and just not sure the other rocks fit well.
I think I might opt for a chunkier rock (same kind as the slate ledge) just off center left (just to the left of the rock currently in the center).
Will this be a planted tank? If so, perhaps more sand.
Speaking of sand, did you wash it well? (it amazes me how much dust like particles [fines] comes off unwashed sand).
I tend to go for the more natural look and I think this just looks forced. The two river rocks just kinda plopped in the sand doesn't really work. For me...it needs some large rocks that rise from the sand. Also, the cave is really unnatural. If you are planting the work plants around the cave to blend it, then it might work. Here is what I did with my tank (this is when I first set it up)...while far from the best or even good, it does illustrate what I am talking about with the large rocks coming up from the floor of the tank....
Thanks! Yeah I am planning on vals in the back, some moss on the slate and at least one of the branches, and some java fern or anubias on the wood as well. Want some pygmy chain sword in the front and a couple crypts too. Maybe a sword somewhere and I really want some pennywort. May use that as a floater as well, but if not I want some frogbit.
Yes, this is playsand, and yes I washed it for what seemed like forever. I was worried about having too much depth. RIght now it is around an inch to an inch and a half so I could probably do more. I could put a rock under the left side of the wood to add height. I cannot move the right side of the wood any further forward as the two spots circled in this pic already touch the glass.
That slate ledge is not painted black. It is wet, as I pulled it out of my 10 gallon.
This is a 30 gallon (36x12x16) BTW dont think I mentioned that earlier.
I wonder what this would look like if you flipped the wood upside down. So that the large piece of wood that the branches are stemming from is up in the air, with the branches going IN TO the sand. It might give it a rooty effect. Youd probably have to lean it towards the back to get it to hold, but Im curious what it would look like.
Nubster, thanks for the input. I am just not too into the large rock look (tho yours is done very well) I prefer driftwood. I agree the stones will either grouped an put somewhere else or removed alltogether. The slate will be covered in moss and surrounded by plants, my plan is to make it so that you really can't tell that it is slate at all really.
There have been some very good ideas expressed in this thread. Before I get to what popped into my head when I first looked at the photos (before reading the other posts), the idea of turning the wood upside down intrigues me; I would fiddle with that concept a bit if it were me. The chunkier end could go in a rear corner, so the wood seems to be coming from somewhere outside.
Aside from the above, if that doesn't work, my suggestion would be to move the slate rocks over to the left rear so the wood then appears to start there. You could still have a "cave" but perhaps over the chunky end of the wood in some way. A very natural approach, chunks of wood often get caught under rocks. I like the rounded pebbles (river rock), but there needs to be more of them so it again is more natural. I find working with river rock to be about the most challenging aspect of aquascaping, trying to get the group of rocks looking natural. And groups are much better than one or two.
I know that you are wanting ideas for hardscaping, but I have planted tanks, so my imagination always runs to how plants would look. Fish love having places to hide and swim in and out of, so the cave idea and your driftwood is going to give them of things to swim around. If you turn the driftwood upside down as suggested earlier, as it ages, I can picture moss hanging downward and on something similar to the spanish moss that grows on trees with the fish swimming through. I personally like a softened look.
I am interested to see how you have it set when it is done.
Okay I have redone it...Took a nice stroll along the river today and found some good rocks I think. Took the slate out and am gonna go with all river rocks. Looks like a driftwood branch caught in the rocks.
Planning on some vals across the back. Some anubias in the rock crevices to the left. Some moss on part of the wood and maybe the caves. And maybe some pygmy chain sword in the foreground.