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What is your favorite hardscaping material?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a certain amount of practice and experience, each aquascaper tends to develop a taste or specialization in a certain type of hardscaping material for their aquascapes may it be rock, wood, or something else. Some people chose not to use any hardscaping at all.

What is your preferred material? What do you find yourself using most and why?

Carlos
 

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While I used to think plastic rocks were the best thing since sliced bread, I have since become a wood scape convert ;)


Part of the reason might be availability. It is far easier imo, to get nice wood then it is to get nice rocks. Having attempted both rock and wood scapes, I find wood to be easier for me to work with.

I think what I like most about the wood is the complexity of the limbs. Rocks and wood share many features (in abstract terms), except this. It isn't often you can find a rock that "forks" ;)
 

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I love rocks in the hardscape, but have had a lot of trouble finding nice looking rocks. Havent found any suitable yet.
 

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Should have been a multible choice poll...
I love both rocks and driftwood.
Those two combined gives the natural look that i like.



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I prefer wood because I like the texture of weathered wood! But, if available, I (like Roy) would vote for a combo wood/rock.
 

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Ornamentation is the crutch of impatient and ineffective gardeners...
Although I have some idea of what you are implying, can you please elaborate on this a bit more?

Thanks.
 

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Well, now, I never said I was patient, and if you looked at my yard, you'd know I'm not a gardener. :)
 

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Cavan, I've seen your tanks, and if you must have a bubble powered scuba dog, then go ahead and have a bubble powered scuba dog. But, really, don't you think 22 of em in one tank is a tad much. :wink:
 

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I love driftwood, there's just so many great pieces out there. I have been gathering pieces with natural hollows and stuff to make good breeding groounds for my apitso's for some time now. Just but in a HUGH picese, gonna post some pics soon :)
 

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Hanzo, I share your sentiments re driftwood. However, let me offer some advice on large wood pieces based on my own very unfortunate experience.

I had two gorgeous pieces that I'd been saving for years to install in my 135 gal. They were gnarled and pocked and twisted. Very interesting...but very large. They looked great in the tank.

The pieces served very much like a coral reef in that the fish, including Apistos, stacked out territories around them and community activities centered around the open area in front.

Over time, though, I became more and more frustrated with the fact that the wood really limited my planting space. I had too few options of the types of plants I could use and the aquascaping changes I could make. Since my prime interest is in growing and 'scaping live plants, things became intoleratable.

Just this past week, Cavan helped me rip the driftwood out. I can't overstate my relief. I'm ready to start again.

The moral, I think, is that, though stone and driftwood add interest and are critical to a high end aquascape (ever notice how unimportant some aquascapes seem without them?) , their presence should be subtle and understated.

Hardscape should not be the star of the tank. It should be only hinted at. Its purpose, as in outside ornamental gardening, is to provide the "bones" of your 'scape. Oh! And it should not be too large.

This is the lesson I learned the hard way. I hope it's helpful to all.
 

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Using rocks to create or recreate a scene under water is an art in itself. Individual rocks can be plonked down here and there - but a real rockscape is a work which requires much patience and a lot of rock in order to get it right and natural looking (and deceivingly simple):


(Credit: Amano)

Andrew Cribb
 

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I live in Florida. I cannot find any rocks for the life of me. I do have a pile of granite at my moms but it looks weird if you break it up. Too sharp i think. Wood is easy to get and offers more individuality. But i would like to combine if i could. Does anyone sell nice rock? I know shipping would be expensive.
 
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