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It has been about 2 years since I have attempt an actual aquascape on my aquariums. I believe the last one I did was with 50g aquarium but didn't turn out like I expected. But thats why this aspect of planted aquariums make the hobby challenging! Anyhow, it has been about a little less than a month since the AGA convention. After the convention, I told myself that I would like to focus more on aquascaping aspect of this hobby and apply the skills I have learned from others and from my own natural instinct.

After locating a growout tank for my plants, I've dedicated my 20g as my "aquascaping" aquarium. When deciding on how I wanted to aquascape this aquarium, I knew for sure that I wanted to give rocks a try since in the past I've only used driftwood in my aquariums, but with no intentions of creating a "Iwagumi" type layout. While thinking for a few minutes of how I wanted my scape to appeal, I finally came up with something that I actually like.

The next part was trying to think of a crazy name, since most aquascapes these days come with a "catchy" or "unique name". So I decided to do a google search on "Grassy Rocks" to see if there would be any other name associated with it, unofrunately there wasn't any that I liked. However, while looking through a guy's photography web site, I came across this photo and for some reason, it somewhat actually resembles my aquascape! I'd never though that I'd attempt an aquascape and actually be able to find a photo online that somehow looks like my original scape. You can see the photo below. Moreover, I decided to come up with the name "Grass by the Rocks" and hopefully you will like that name too! :thumbsup:

Here is the photo that I found:
http://outside.danmitchell.org/images/QuicksilverRocks20040418.jpg

Here are several photos of the initial hardscape and planting.







During the progress of this aquascape, I hope to bring out the bronze/reddish colors from the Blyxa sp. 'japonica' to stand out against the Eleocharis parvula.

I am also thinking about adding another plant that will fillin the left corner of the aquarium, possibly Stargrass?

Anyhow, this will be first actual aquascape that I will be attempting. This will be an on going journal and learning experience and I hope that I am able to learn as much as my aquascape progress and matures. In terms of the look of the aquascape, I believe I will be finished after making a few modifications.

I am opened to hear what you have to say!

Any questions? don't hesitate to ask! I'm nice! :)
 

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I'm in the same boat as you John. I really can't imagine the scape as other people do. I have to grow and make tweaks as I go along.

Looking good so far. My only gripe is the left grouping of rocks. It feels too much to the left and is very overpowered by the right. I think moving it a bit to the right will bring it back into focus without destroying the depth you're trying to create.
 

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Hey John, I like what you're trying to do. :thumbsup: I don't usually comment much on 'scapes, because frankly, I stink at them, so take the following with a grain of salt. :) A couple of points: The little rock in front of the left one will be completely covered once the Blyxa grows in. For that matter, you probably won't see much of the rock on the left once it's grown in. With this type of scape, you will have a lot of 'negative space', in the sense that upper half of the tank will not have any focal point, it will just be water.

I like the idea of a slight path in between the two rocks leading your eye on through the scape. I can also see a little petite nana on the central indentation of the rocks on the right.

As I said, take the above with a grain of salt, and I am interested to see how this develops. :)
 

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Hey John. I think this has a lot of potential. In my experience you will want to tweak a few things.

Bert makes a really good point about the size of the rocks. They will be quickly overpowered by the size of Blyxa japonica and you'll hardly notice them when things grow in.

It also seems a bit too symmetrical. Try working in odd numbers for a more natural feel and have one side have a taller larger rock than the other. This will be the focal point of the scape.

Try moving both groups of rocks forward one or two inches. If you look at Amano's work from above the rocks are never in the back 1/3 of the floor of the tank.

And just one more suggestion...try having the substrate slope up higher on the back sides. It will add a lot of dimension to the final scape.

Here's a great link in which you can see where Amano "fixed" Iwagumi layouts using the same stones as the original scaper.
http://www.adana.co.jp/training2008/en/iwagumi_challenge/index.html

Take all of these suggestion with a grain of salt of course. :D
 

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from what aaron is saying, and by seeing how amano "fixed" the scapes at the iwagumi challenge, the rule of thirds (odd, non symmetrical) layout technique dominates the visual 'arena' we try to create. I know, john, you aren't trying to create an iwagumi per se, but I think i just learned something here...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm in the same boat as you John. I really can't imagine the scape as other people do. I have to grow and make tweaks as I go along.

Looking good so far. My only gripe is the left grouping of rocks. It feels too much to the left and is very overpowered by the right. I think moving it a bit to the right will bring it back into focus without destroying the depth you're trying to create.
Yea its hard to plant your tank and hope that it grows out how you want it. So as the tank matures, eventually I will need to do some tweaking.

Hey John, I like what you're trying to do. :thumbsup: I don't usually comment much on 'scapes, because frankly, I stink at them, so take the following with a grain of salt. :) A couple of points: The little rock in front of the left one will be completely covered once the Blyxa grows in. For that matter, you probably won't see much of the rock on the left once it's grown in. With this type of scape, you will have a lot of 'negative space', in the sense that upper half of the tank will not have any focal point, it will just be water.

I like the idea of a slight path in between the two rocks leading your eye on through the scape. I can also see a little petite nana on the central indentation of the rocks on the right.

As I said, take the above with a grain of salt, and I am interested to see how this develops. :)
Bert! Thanks for your comments. I would agree that the Blyxa might cover up the rocks. I will try to avoid that by trimming off the plants that do so hopefully that wouldn't be a problem.

You see a nana petite?! I swear I didn't put one in there lol.

Hey John. I think this has a lot of potential. In my experience you will want to tweak a few things.

Bert makes a really good point about the size of the rocks. They will be quickly overpowered by the size of Blyxa japonica and you'll hardly notice them when things grow in.

It also seems a bit too symmetrical. Try working in odd numbers for a more natural feel and have one side have a taller larger rock than the other. This will be the focal point of the scape.

Try moving both groups of rocks forward one or two inches. If you look at Amano's work from above the rocks are never in the back 1/3 of the floor of the tank.

And just one more suggestion...try having the substrate slope up higher on the back sides. It will add a lot of dimension to the final scape.

Here's a great link in which you can see where Amano "fixed" Iwagumi layouts using the same stones as the original scaper.
http://www.adana.co.jp/training2008/en/iwagumi_challenge/index.html
Aaron,

Thanks for the suggestions. I will probably end up making some changes and probably add more substrate in the back like you said. Hopefully this all turns out well for the ADA or AGA contest.
 

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I like this tank. I can already tell its going to shape up really well. The rocks are just beautiful. Good job!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Chef, the dwarf hairgrass is taking a while to kick up though and I think that is because I had the tank running without CO2 for about a week. The CO2 is hooked on now so hopefully things will start to bounce back.
 
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