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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm still relative new here and I'm having problems getting answers I can realte to.

I've bred 100's of species of fish (my passion is bettas though) but the idea of planted tanks really interest me.

I'm having problems with aquascaping and plants for the midground. As my tank is a 20 High, I'm finding there really isn't much a a midground!

The tank has watersprite, wisteria, dwarf sag, one aponogeton, and a few struggling crypts. (I have to keep clipping the leaves due to BBA buts its finally subsiding.)

It seems all the plants I have grow really fast and large (which I don't mind) but my tank looks so unnatural, a watersprite here, a wisteria there as these are the most abundant plants in the tank. (I was told to start with easy ones and not much of a selection of plants where I live).

Any ideas on placement. I keep getting directed to different aquascaping resources but none have told why you plant this here or that there. I'm just not getting it! Its getting frustrating. I just want a nice planted tank with some symblance of form and shape. The readings without pictures and the "why" it gives balance and style isn't helping me much.

I'm trying to stay away from ordering online plants as I would like to make sure I can grow these and the algae is gone before I waste money throwing plants away because of algae.

Heres a pic (quality not great) but its the best I can do.
ANY hints or tips will be most appreaciated.
 

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I think the problem is the lines you create which feel very unatural.
You have a full line of sag in the front and what looks like a full line of wisteria in the back. A log laying parallel in the middle and two "pillers" plants onthe outside. Just on the most basic level, breaking the symetry will really do you a lot of good if you are trying for a more natural look.

The best place to get an idea of NOT having a symetrical tank is to look in either the Aquascaper in Focus, Tank of the month or Critique posts in the. You should also have a look at the winning tanks in the AGA, ADA, and AB contests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe a cpl of groupings staggered for the dwarf sag then? Its hard to stagger the backround as they are all tall plants and there isn't much room in the midground. I have moved the log to the right and angled it. Any ideas on more color? I'm trying to stay with easy plants as my lighting isn't the best right now.
 

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Try looking in the photo album. There are lots of midground and background plants listed. You might also get a few more plants of the same species you have in there to help fill up some of the empty spaces.
 

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For a mid-ground plant you can use a Tropical Sword, Tiger Lotus, Bannana Plant and even Crypts. Also Baby tears could be used for a mid-ground plant if you keep it pruned down.

I would try to group your like plants together instead of spreading them out so much. If you group the Wisteria together and the Water Sprite together you will have more room to add some more stem plants in the background. Also don't put the plants in a straight line, this looks unnatural.

You may also want to add a larger piece of driftwood or standing the piece of wood you have up may help. Also adding a couple of rocks could not hurt.

Don't get frustrated, it will take a while to get the hang of things and the tank looking the way you want. Some of my tanks have been aquascape up to 4 times before I got things looking the way I wanted. Just expeirment by moving plants, decor around and adding new ones.
 

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Aquascaping takes practice. Try some of the more basic designs. Say, concave.

Part your plantings about 1/3rd the way along the length of the tank. In this path area, plant foreground plants from the foreground area to the midground area. In the background of the funnel you will create, plant a midground plant. We can try using the small grassy plant as foreground plant and the small crypt as midground. This is just an example of creating depth and breaking the parallel lines you have created of foreground plants, the row of driftwood, and the row in the background.

Second, try to get some better aquascaping material and don't lay it across the substrate that way, unless you don't want any hardscaping at all which is okay, too.

Look at the tanks you like. Notice where they have each plant. Notice where they have driftwood and how it is placed. I think you will see a trend.

Plant more densely. Get smaller leaved plants that are in proportion to your 20gH and ditch the water sprite and Aponogeton. Then, you will be able to have a midground.

Try improving your lighting conditions and try getting plants more suitable to aquascaping --plants that grow bushy, trail, have interesting leaf texture and color.: Rotala rotundifolia, Bacopa caroliniana, Ludwigia repens, Hemianthus micranthemoides. The Plant Finder has information on all these plants, including blurbs on aquascaping.

Try reading the "weekly topic" archive for ideas, go over to the plant finder and see plants that you like, etc.

Keep asking, we're always glad to help out,

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
THanks all. Those suggestions sound good. I will try this (and see what 2 plants the lfs has this week) later today after I get some sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's an update on the 20 High. Still a work in progress as I have recently found out why I never went into interior decorating! lol



All positive comments welcome. I gave myself enough negative ones.
 

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Looking good. Now, get some more light and CO2 over that tank.

You'll probably want to remove the water sprite and the Aponogeton, as they will get too large for your tank.

Remember to continue adding and using smaller stem plants like the Bacopa caroliniana. You'll be much happier with the results. The extra lighting will make them more compact and lush.

Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Working on the lighting.............
Heh, The watersprite is helping keep the algae under control. lol
Co2 is DIy 2litre with a hagen ladder. Good diffusion rate as very few bubbles make it to the top and when they do they are very tiny. May need to adjust my mixture though. Thinking about adding a rock of some sort. Just have to remember what type to add without raising gh.
 

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It's looking good, I see that you have added some more plants and the others are starting to fill in. As mentioned by Tsunami and I agree that you will need to replace the Wisteria and Watersprite with more suitable stem plants. I would do this slowly by replacing them in stages; not all at once. Just be patient and in time you will have a great looking tank.
 
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