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Your comment about the gravel being some sort of hardscape (or something like that) had me thinking for a while. I can't help but apply that idea to this tank coupled with your comment about it looking like a cave. I think scapes that have very little or no vertical growth reply on the gradient of the substrate to keep the design dynamic. Usually this is accomplished in the form of a hill or mound, This design uses this "trick with the fern clump.

What if this design employed a deeply concave substrate, one that gave the impression of a bowl, ...a meniscus of Marsilea?... I think it would put the design into scale, relative to the size of the tank.
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