Thank you very much for the opinions. They are appreciated.
AquaBarren, that's some VERY interesting pieces of wood to play with! That looks GREAT!
I do agree that "no one can answer this for you." I realize that, ultimately, *I* need to be happy with it. Still, hearing the opinions of others will help me to sort things out.
kimcadmus, it was my dream to have a planted aquarium dedicated to Corydoras catfish. The fish are of primary concern for me. So, I'm slowly purchasing bags of Estes "Marine Sand." I've used it before, and it is FW safe. I want to have the depth no more than 1/2", and a color mix that is representative of the below theme (which I've done before). The use of coated sand at a shallow depth should be ideal for their well being -- especially their barbels.
I'm originally from Washington State. I also wanted this aquarium to have elements of an estuary in the Washington rain forest: moss covered trees, river rocks in sand, some sea weed.
This will be a shallow and long tank. Right now, my thoughts are: 90" X 18" X 14". The stand was built at 40" high so I can look straight into it when I'm seated in my office...right at my eye level.
With that in mind, I'd like a or the focal point to be "right there" for me when I look at the tank from my desk. The tape measure in the pics show the focal point of "The Golden Triangle" that Amano loves to use. I like that idea. It's something that I'm playing with.
Now, which way to place the wood is what I'm pondering. I like both ideas. I currently have one huge branch, on the right, and two smaller branches combined on the left to give a fuller and more complete look. There are also five or six minor "twigs" in there, but those three are what I'm working with right now. That may be sufficient.
I will revisit the landscape supply company to hand select additional river rocks. I'm going to try and get some larger ones as well.
I'm toying with the idea of having lighter sand at the focal point and no rock there.
I've got months to work this out. I can't afford the actual aquarium until late in the year. Knowing my personality, I think I will enjoy just playing around with ideas in the meantime.
Anything you can contribute is appreciated. I may end up in a different place at the end of the year with all of this -- good to have fun with it.