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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll also be taking ADA/Amano/AGA layout suggestions to post here. Just PM me on which tank you would like to see here.

Aquarium:


Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 14 in (60 x 30 x 35 cm)
Fish: Megalamphodus sweglesi

Questions an ADA judge would ask (taken from contest booklet...they judge on creativity, composition, fish choice, creation of natural atmosphere, aquarium condition, and viability):

1) Does the aquascape make an original creative impression to the viewers?

2) Is the aquascape composed well (is there compositional balance within the aquascape)?

3) Are the aquatic plants appropriately positioned within the aquascape? Does the balance exist in the colors and shapes of the plants used?

4) Do you feel harmony between the fish and the aquarium layout?

5) Is the aquascape laid out well making a natural looking atmosphere?

Some questions of my own:

1) What compositional rules does this layout follow? Which compositional rules does it break?

2) What are the main elements in this layout? How do they work together harmoniously (or unharmoniously)?

3) What type of atmosphere/impression does this layout seem to create for the viewer?

Just questions to help aid discussion. However, discussion can head in directions that have nothing to do with the above questions (but still relate to the above aquascape).

Carlos
 

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Is this the example of bonsai gardening? The java moss on the wood definetly has that feel to it, but the unruly foreground and other plants around the wood have a more chaotic look that detracts from the strict order, balance, and serenity of a bonsai garden. When you look at a bonsai tree or garden, it has a very stark, isolated look to it. I would think a more accurate representation of a bonsai would be the wood with the moss and very little else. More negative space emphasises the order of the bonsai.
 

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tsunami said:
1) Does the aquascape make an original creative impression to the viewers?
Not especially. I don't see a lot of wood with blobs of moss tied to the branches, but that is probably a good thing.

2) Is the aquascape composed well (is there compositional balance within the aquascape)?
Yes the overall composition works for me. It seems balanced but I think I would prefer a different choice of matierials.

3) Are the aquatic plants appropriately positioned within the aquascape? Does the balance exist in the colors and shapes of the plants used?
Except for the mound in the center foreground the plants are appropriately positioned, but I think too many varieties of plants have been used. The number of different plants filling similar roles in the aquascape give a cluttered impression. Probably at least two species could be removed from this tank without altering the composition.

4) Do you feel harmony between the fish and the aquarium layout?
Naturally, the fish are hiding. They are visible in the window under the arching branch despite themselves, and that little glimpse of them is a positive feature of the aquascape.

5) Is the aquascape laid out well making a natural looking atmosphere?
I don't think so. The wood with the tufts of moss on the ends of the branches looks a bit like a weather-beaten tree. That semblance is damaged a bit by the softness of the moss, but if this isn't meant to look like a tree, then it just looks very contrived. If it is meant to look like a weather-beaten tree then it should probably be in weather-beaten surroundings. The stand of stem plants in the corner are incongruous. Perhaps some tall rocks would lend more to a weather-beaten appearance.

Roger Miller
 

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I think this is a very unique scape. I do feel that the moss looks a little weird and too lobed. I dont really know how to explain it other than its just weird looking.
 

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Very cool...this aquascape does not remind me of anything I have seen before. The Chinese are quite a force right now. This scape shows great artistry and focus; definitely not an "accidental" compsition.
 

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I like this aquascape a lot, the branchey look gives it a natural and calm effect. The only thing I don't like is the group of Rotala macrandra 'green', maybe Rotala rotundifolia 'green' would've made this aquascape much better.
 

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I really like this scape. To me, it exhudes "old". While it has a "wild" look to it, I think this really adds to the scene.

This is the story it paints for me:
Some "gardener" had a very well manicured garden. The for some reason, the garden couldn't be tended to for a while and it started to get over grown and went a bit wild
 

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In China there is a long tradition of landscape painting: shan shui 山水 (mountain water), gardens, mountains... One such type of Chinese landscape painting depicts old pines on windy mountain sides. This aquascape reminds me of that style. It is 'natural' in that it is inspired by nature in the wild. Chinese painting (in China, Hong, Kong and Taiwan) has much to offer in the way of inspiration for aquascapes. Same can be said for Japan too - though I am not so familiar with art history therein.

Andrew Cribb
 
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