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Discussion Starter #1
I have been into plantet tanks over a year now. I'm really getting the hang on the chemistry and the technical part of my tank. The plants grow like crazy, no algea, fish trive and all is well. But as fare as designing a aquascape, sadly i suck... One of the things I have noticed reading up on the web, is that my tank often start of as good as many of the great aquascapes, but somewhere along the line I lose controll of it, and soon it's just another green jungel in there. No complains really, it looks OK, and most of the people swinging by goes crazy over it. But I want that feeling of tranquility when I sitt down infront of my tank.

But, I have yet to find good inspiration outside this and other plantet tanks forum. I just startet subcribing to Aqua Journal, but besides this, is there anywhere else I can go for good information? Books, other magazines, websites???

I guess the only thing you really learn from is from trying and failing... But since I'm such's a slow learned, is there any other advice :roll:
 

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To me the biggest mistake that I still make is to try to force the plants to grow the way I want them without respect to the natural growth patern of the plant.
An example would be to try to have a group of Rotala rotundifolia with leaves that are perfect from bottom to top - something that never happens :D

I think that if you carefully select the plants that you use and let Nature take it's course you will create beautiful aquascapes. Luis told me that a long time ago.
A good example for that would be the tank that Luis has that has an Anubias group growing on a piece of wood. The wild looking roots of the Anubias do not take from but add to the natural look of the tank: Click here

Another important thing is to use less plant species and to try to make them count 100% in the final aquascape.
I can't think of an example :D . But all of us have seen tanks that will benefit from taking away some plants.

Other then what I said above I'd suggest you look at as many tanks as you can. Don't try to follow rules and calculations. It took me a long time to stop denying that aquascaping is an art and as such it requires inspiration and freedom of the mind.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of your for your advice!


Guppy: I have visited this site, and read his books. But they don't really get into the fact's. I guess I'm looking for more of a how-to book, not just pictures of mature tanks.

Niko: Good advice :D Guess I'm quilty on chucking in just about every spieces of plant I can get my hand on. I'm now working on making o more clean desing, and have realised that my fish stock is on of the things that causes the chaoes in my tank. So I'm working on removing some of them now. But catching fish in a plantet tank is not done in a flash :shock:
 

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Another tip.

Read up and study subjects like Ikebana (flower arrangement), Iwagumi (rock arrangement), Nature Photography, visual arts, composition, perspective, etc... What I believe is that 90% of Aquascaping knowledge have nothing to do with aquariums.

By studying subjects that share the same fundamentals with aquarium layout, you can learn more by not restricting yourself in a glass tank and apply various art, design, psychological and philosophical principles to aquascaping, or anything. In this way you develope skills which create layouts that feel good, not only look good. Learn how different forms of visual representations can evoke different emotions and moods.

If you want to get into Japanese styled aquascaping, do not just follow the appearances. Go deeper into the cultures, religions, ideas and histroy behind it. Grow a deeper understanding of Zen, listen to Zen meditation music, learn to speak Japanese, it all helps to understand the essence of Japanese aquascaping.

2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have been into the art of bonsai, and indeed, much of the basic design layout are the same. I have also been into Zen, did my meditation and all that. Visited Japan last summer, speak some of the language and have been studiying martial arts for the last ten years or so.

I have some books on Japanes gardens as well, and this to helps. Guess the only thing to to is to keep reading up on this forum, and try to post my aquascapes here to get some valueable insight from you guys
 

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Take some pictures and get them posted here. There are so many great aquascapers on this forum to get ideas from! Follow their advice and learn as you go.
 

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Hanzo, my advice is to practice. The people that do aquascaping well on this forum have had a lot of practice. The Jeff Senske's have got to that level by doing a lot of tanks. If you want to learn, tear down your tank every 3 months and try to better your previous aquascape. Take pictures, so you can see were you are improving, and what things you like. Do tanks for other people. I've been thinking about doing tanks for the LFS to gain some experience, I wonder if they would go for it. I also recommend you get Amano's Suikei, I think it is more of what you are looking for regarding step by step setup. I've also got a lot of inspiration from my peers. Join a local plant club. Not only do you get some really neat plants out of trades, you also get to see in person how people are doing the aquascaping. Aquoi, really good advice.
 

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Hanzo said:
I also recommend you get Amano's Suikei
What is this? Is it a book or a magasine?
It's a magazine. It's newer than Aqua Journal and I'm not sure if it's available outside of Japan. It deals with Aquascaping, step by step guides, etc...

Suikei: Water Scenery in Japanese
 

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go to park or anywhere with those nature plants/rocks etc. sit there and try to figure out how the nature rocks/plants arrangement. also read those aquascaping magazines/online...etc. get more ideas how professional aquascapers design variety size tanks. i don't mean COPY... :lol:

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My home computer freak out when I visited this site, so I waitet until easter was over and visited today using my work computer. I was abel to find a e-mail adress after surfing true tons of pages with confusing letters. I have no idee who got my e-mail, for all I know it could be the janitor og webdesigner :lol:

But, hopefully the email finds it's way to the right person, and I will be rewarded with a copy of the magazine.
 

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You might also like this article on Zen aquascaping by Ryan Stover
[edited http://www.suiso.com/v2/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5]

He has his own forum now for japanese aquascaping. Ryan lives in Japan.
http://www.suiso.com/v2/

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Edited.

Robert, please summarize the information on this site rather than linking directly to other forums. Thank you.

Carlos
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