[Wet Thumb Forum]-Making a 30cm wide tank seem deeper - Aquascaping - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 04-02-2003, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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How can I make a tank like this seem deeper. Right now it has a 20cm high slope on the left side and a 5cm slope on the other side. I would prefer not to have to move too much subtrate but I am still open to any suggestions.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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How can I make a tank like this seem deeper. Right now it has a 20cm high slope on the left side and a 5cm slope on the other side. I would prefer not to have to move too much subtrate but I am still open to any suggestions.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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ned13b,

There are a lot of tricks that you might use to get a little more sense of depth in a tank with a shallow depth of field. Unfortunately, when the tank gives you only 30 cm to work with I'm not sure that anything is going to work very well. Perhaps some of the others can give their tips.

Instead of struggling with depth you might try to use a layout that doesn't depend on depth. There are two different variations I can think of that can work in tanks without a good depth of field.

1) A wall of plants. That is, a arrangement with little or no foreground but with a display of plants that are carefully pruned to start low near the front glass, reaching the water line at the back. In an open-top tank the plants can grow right out of the water in back. The back of the tank is not clearly visible. Use contrasting colors and textures to give interest to the scene. The most recent AGA contest results have some very good examples of tanks done in that style, including the best of show.

2) A cross section. In this case the back of the tank is clearly visible and usually painted a solid color -- often black. Conceptually, you might think of the layout as a slice across a stream channel or pool. The view is through the slice and into the distance beyond. The arrangement should sweep from end to end in the tank or possibly from both ends to the middle.

You can get a lot of ideas by studying the many examples in the AGA showcases.


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Old 04-04-2003, 10:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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wow, #2 sounds like I could make it happen without too much changes! thanks!
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Old 04-05-2003, 04:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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The trick with shallow tanks is to downplay the elements which give away the dimesions of the tank-- After all you're fighting with a crappy footprint.

The back corners are the biggest offenders. so it's quite important to bring the focus front and center and as FAR away as possible from the back corners. Generally the best way is to plant in a V shape which utilizes the golden section (if you need clarification on that just ask, and bring the viewers eye to rest at the point in the "V", which will be closer to the front glass than the back.

To further accentuate this focal point, simply allow an opening at the point of the "V" and allow the foreground to "escape" behind it. In other words, the foreground will fill in the space behind the V and dissapear.

To maximize this effect, your hard decor (ie: rocks and wood) must outline the shape of the V.

Another thing that I find helps immensely is to be sure that you keep your rear glass panel as clean and algae free as the you keep the front glass. The black background is an attempt to fool the eye as to where our other "offender's" dimensions lie. In other words, a dark background will make the rear dimension of the tank ambiguous, especially when you bring the "focal point" forward of it.

--if there is any kind of dirt or algae on the back glass, there is no chance of that dimensional ambiguity--

If you know anything about photography, it's a way of increasing the f-stop, there by decreasing the depth of field.

This kind of optical trickery is the only real way to create "depth" a in shallow tank designed for fish viewing.

The "wall of plants" works, but is difficult to make interesting. Luis Navarro did an admirable job for last years AGA contest, though. The other thing to keep in mind for this type of project is that you won't be able to use large plants like swords and Apons. They take up too much depth-- often filling up an entire side of a 4' tank. Also, hard decor is of utmost importance for this type of disply.

Good luck and post us some pics!

Best wishes,
John Wheeler
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