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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:


Plants: Vesicularia dubyana, Blyxa japonica, Ottelia sp., Eleocharis sp., Potamogeton sp.

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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This looks like a well-photographed hodgepodge. The focus is weak and the decor looks like a nearly random jumble. Can anyone explain how they think this is supposed to work?


Roger Miller
 

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I'm not really that big on this one either. As Roger said, there isn't really a clear focus and it looks somewhat jumbled.

The whole aquascape feels kind of raw to me, if that makes any sense. I think I can best explain it by saying that a lot of the textures and colors in this tank just don't work for me. The Blyxa right next to that sharp, angular rock? I dunno....

Where are the fish? I can only see on or two, and that contributes to the sterile look I see here. It's not a bad tank, but as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't match up to his other works.
 

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In my opinion, this is designed around the concept of space (void): the shapes of empty space as sculpted by nature, rocks, plants, natural textures which harmonize and conflict depending on their positions. The viewer's eye (unless repulsed) is drawn into looking around corners, exploring the space. It is a labrynth, not an oil painting.

Andrew Cribb
 

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I think the tank would be best if the plants in the corners were totally erased. I think the hardscape is very nice but the plants in the back just look weird and newly planted. Whether they are or not it still gives that impression.
 

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I don't think the forground and background really mix, it's like there's two different aquascapes that been morped to one (badly at that). But lookin at the two parts seperately, I like them both. But as fare as combining them, I would say that the background could do with a better contrast from the forground, to much green maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow, tough crowd to please.

I'll play devil's advocate and go out and say that this aquarium is actually pretty predictable. There are three main triangles in this design. Triangle #1 slopes from the upper right hand corner and down to the little bridge. Triangle#2 starts from the bridge, rises up to the tall spike of hairgrass, and down again to the tuft of moss on the lower left hand side. The final triangle is formed by the fork of the driftwood on the extreme right, containing the Eleocharis sp. and the Potamogeton sp.

The main focals of this aquarium can be placed on the tall spike of hairgrass at the peak of triangle #2. Good use of positive space. The second focal lies in the black background just to the right of the spike of hairgrass. Negative space.

The layout is further accentuated with some interesting, careful attention to detail. The java moss adds warmth to this layout, which otherwise would seem too stark and rigid to be Amano's work. The little bridge, with the fish fortuitously swimming under it, is a nice little detail as well.

The use of the interesting plant Ottelia sp. on the right adds some interest as well. At least for me, it is always interesting to see how aquascapers incorporate new plants into their designs.

Finally, even the two groupings of Potamogeton on both sides of the aquarium are spilling over the surface at carefully controlled amounts. I believe the right side covers about 1/3rd more area than the grouping on the left side.

The entire layout has a very simplistic, Zen feel to it. I definitely see a lot of cultural influence in this particular tank.

I'm not going to go out and say this is my favorite aquarium. No, by any means, am I going to say that. However, I do feel that this aquarium, technically, is very good. Every detail --plant, rock, or wood --has been thoughtfully placed and pruned. If he had just tossed everything randomly into this aquarium, then I don't feel that he would have been satisfied wiith it enough to take this photograph. Just not typical of him.

Carlos
 

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Personally, I like this scape. Its designed to be low maintenance, yet
isnt boring. Quite the contrary actually. That little 'path' to the back
with the white sand creates interest, leads the eye back there.

Its the type of aquascape that wants me to be 2" tall and walk around
in there, exlporing all the nooks and crannies.

Any idea what that fish is in there?
 

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Does anyone have ottelia here in the US? I like the look of the plant a whole bunch.
 

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Too linear, IMHO.... The design idea is nice, with lots of planning, but it gives the feeling of being too rigid.

BUT... seeing as how I couldn't create something like that -- no time or $$ more than anything -- I'll go with: I like it! :lol: :wink: Seriously, though, to a novice it is nice...
 

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jsenske said:
This tank is awesome. Totally unique impression. So much so, I wouldn't expect many to get it.
Oh come on Jeff, you really can't make such a comment without further elaboration. :wink: You're usually more verbose with the other critiques so please enlighten the dissenters to the "unique impression" you got out of this particular aquascape.
 
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