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Discussion Starter #1
Just took some pics of my 10 gallon. I am trying to concentrate on the scape more. Plants are healthy although I feel like some more Fe is needed to bring out the colors more. Also running the N and P heavy to lick the last of the algae:)

New pic 4.1.04



Pic from 3.14.04



I do welcome and and all criticisms. Thanks.
 

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Nothing more than a beginner myself, but here's my opinion :)

Try to add one or two smaller rocks on the left side.
Left side looks just a tad boring, try to break in something with a bit more contrast. Maybe some E. Tenellus for the forgroung?
 

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The first thing I see wrong is the straight line across between the plants and the light color gravel. I makes it too unnatural and flat. You need a nice foreground to correct the problem.
I would use Hrdrocotyle leucocephala to form a concave foreground.
Hanzo is correct, adding a 3rd rock on the left side will help with connect the layout better.
The watersprite and the small pebbles needs to be removed, it's not helping much with the layout.
The watersprite is too light green. You are better off cutting some of the plants from the right front side and replanting it to the left side.
The pebbles doesn't match the 2 large rocks, which looks out of place.
The tall plants in the back right needs to cut and replanted in the middle back which will soften the vertical lines with the help of the left side.
So the only thing you need is a foreground plant and the rest will grow in from replanting.
Hope that helps
Ken
 

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I agree with putting a 3rd rock on the left side to connect the layout.
As the current bigger piece of rock, I think you shouldn't place it parallel to the gravel-line. When view with the upright stemmed plants behind, the whole layout is stiff as it's too perpenticular, same goes for the smaller rock, though it's effect is weaker. Rocks placed at angles will look more natural and prevent too many straight lines of perception.

2ndly, the very clear contrast of 2 totally different types of leaf shapes on both sides is upsetting. Try putting some broad leaf type like those on the right among the left to cohesively blend the layout together.

The gravel is almost white and does not match the blue backdrop, looks artificial. Plant in some foreground plants. Glossostigma is the best as it can balance both sides of the background visually.

Try to shift the red plant more to the left/off-center. When it's redder, it'll look really good.

The right side needs some midground plants.

2 cents!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the great input. I really do need to step back more and critike myself.. Everyhting you all said I realized once you said it. Thats why I love these forums. Second opinions are usually better than first:) As for the watersprite, I guess I should have pulled it for hte pic because I got it in the mail reciently and its only there temporarily until it takes off. I have some marsilea coming for the foreground but your right, I really need to tie th eleft and right sides together. Right now hte y sem like seperatet tanks to me. I definately need one more rock on the left nad to play wiht the placement of the other two a bit. Thnaks for hte critique. Keep em coming:)
 

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Keep pruning! It makes a group of stems look more aged and bushy. The plants on the right could use a massive trim.

You might want to try to use branchy driftwood to tie the left and right sides together. Imagine a branch stuck right in between the H. difformis and Rotala about left center anglied diagonally toawrd the upper right corner. It is this kind of hardscape that can give dynamic structure to a layout. Amano often employs this technique achieving two things:
one, it creates vectors in which the viewers eye is lead around the tank and
two, it allows the plants to interact with solid objects. What I mean by this is that plants must react and grow under, around and above which changes a straight stem plant into a leaning stem plant and a horizontal creeping plant into a cascading creeping plant. The one great image in a planted tank IMO is when a plant is in the process of crawling over a rock or peeking out from under a branch. These temporal vignettes make the plants in the tank alive... the main reason why I find dutch setups and tanks with little hardscape so BORING.

Lastly, don't be afraid to bring the background forward. You will find you can increase the illusion of depth when you when you do this, epecially on the sides. Think of an amphitheatre or opera house.

Scaping 10gs are great fun, I just started one last week...

--aaron
 

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Pinch off the apical buds and trim often, that'll make the stem plants put out lots of side shoots and grow real dense. :)
 

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dennis what is the plant on the right side in front of the ludwigia?

both sides seem disconnected...it's like you could put a divider in the middle and you'll have two completely different scapes...make a plant come together and join them two together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hubba, that plant is Lysimachia nummularia.. It is nice actually. I find it to be a good mid ground plant. IT branches alot when trimmed at the closest node to the cut but I find it looks best topped and replanted. It can get lanky if you let it get real tall so if used as a background plant, make sure to put midground plants in front of it.

THe whole right side does need a trima n I think when I trim the nummularia I will also but some on the left on front of the rotala. I have tried the other plants, the L. repens and the Bacopa, mixed wiht the rotala indica on the left side but there is to much difference betwen the the leaf types. I do like the idea of some wood to tie the two sides together but I have not been ablao to find anything suitable yet. Thanks for all the great input folks:)
 

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:idea: perhaps if you had trouble with the 3 species coexisting next to each other, you could cut it down to 2...that way you get a thicker bunch of each.
 

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Dennis, I agree with what was said about your tank and the best advise I can give is to be daring! Take some chances with some strong shapes. Try using some driftwood and or large rocks for impact and then soften it with plants.Take a look at the "what do you use as a focal point" post.
Aaron said:
The one great image in a planted tank IMO is when a plant is in the process of crawling over a rock or peeking out from under a branch. These temporal vignettes make the plants in the tank alive... the main reason why I find dutch setups and tanks with little hardscape so BORING.
I agree with this 100%. This is also true with regards to plants interacting with each other.
One of the beauties of this hobby is that the aquascape is never finished as long as the plants are growing. There is a constant flow of design and you should take advantage of it. One of the reasons that we get so obsessed with our tanks is because the strive toward perfection is never ending. Enjoy the process and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, after taking everyone's advise and a bit of my own this is what I came up with. Please, keep up the wonderful advise:)

Maybe the L. repens could be trimmed a little shorter? Kind of looks ratty to me but this was right after replanting so maybe it will perk up a bit. And that is the last of the Lysomachia nummularia so don't go there:)

4.04.2004



*EDIT* Sorry the pic wont load. Anyone know what I am doing wrong? I tried removing the space after the img tags but this way at least it shows as a link. New software or stupid user?
 

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Good job, Dennis. Something about it looks a lot better than before...definitely an improvement.

As for the Ludwigia, let it grow out. In time, it will be a nice bush.

Cheers!
 

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Dennis that looks great! I really like what you did. Congrats and keep up the good work. It's very inspiring. Post another picture when it fills in. Where are you getting your rocks from? I need some for my twenty and I have a feeling the dog and I are going for few long walks to look for some this week.
 

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Hi Mike, finding rocks in the wild is the best! You can get rocks at the beach. You can get rocks at local rivers. Or you can even try campsites, hiking in their trails (although some camps don't allow dogs :? ) ... The possibilities are endless.
Your dog will thank you too!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The same way. I live in central Mass where about 5 mountain ranges come together, many of them were formed quite violently too. THere are tons of granite and other metamorophic rock scattered about. I have always picked up rock ever since I was big enough. The big rock came from MT Tom last fall, the one on the left is from the coast of Maine near Bar Harbor and the one on the right is either from Mt Tom or Ohio. THe sticks were imported from Ohio too:)

Thanks for the words of encouragement:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The same way. I live in central Mass where about 5 mountain ranges come together, many of them were formed quite violently too. THere are tons of granite and other metamorophic rock scattered about. I have always picked up rock ever since I was big enough. The big rock came from MT Tom last fall, the one on the left is from the coast of Maine near Bar Harbor and the one on the right is either from Mt Tom or Ohio. THe sticks were imported from Ohio too:)

Thanks for the words of encouragement:)
 
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