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Lonely tree in a summer meadow

Discussion in 'Aquarium & Aquascaping Journals' started by aibcarpentry, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    Here's my latest attempt at a planted aquarium; started to plant on 28/11/18

    Tank:
    Aquascaper 900

    Lighting:
    Twinstar 900S

    Filtration:
    2x Oase biomaster thermo 600

    Co2:
    Fire extinguisher to an inline diffuser

    Fertiliser:
    All in one EI

    Hardscape:
    Manzanita fixed to a piece of slate

    Substrate:
    JBL Volcano mineral
    JBL Volcano powder
    ADA Amazonia

    Planting:
    Hemianthus Callitrichoides Cuba
    Eleocharis mini
    Bucephalandra

    The idea is to try a dry start with just the HC and Eleocharis, see firstly how it looks and how the 2 plants grow together. Hopefully the HC will take over most of the tank and I can just have a bit of Eleocharis appearing here and there with certain areas having more than others and end up with an almost 'one chop' carpet. Depending on how this goes will help me decide what, if anything else will be added into the carpet.
    Just before flooding I plan to add some Buces to the tree.

    How it looks as of 28/11/18 just after planting, undecided whether to add anymore Eleocharis or not.
    20181128_144248. 20181128_144303.
     
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  2. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Andrew

    You certainly have improved on your Aquascaping. What you have done is very basic yet it when its fully established it will look very interesting especially with the plants on the tree.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a fully planted one tree it might give you an idea what can be done, remembering your tree is far more open and would look different any way

    There might be one suggestion but only when its established I can rethink about it then.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  3. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    it couldn't have got much worse!

    Always interested to hear feedback and suggestions as you know.
    I've lots of questions over what I may or may not do and think when it has grown in this will help me decide what I want to do.
     
  4. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Andrew

    Aquascaping is my speciality these days.

    As far as I am concerned ask away I will always try my best to help you.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  5. Paraguay

    Paraguay Member

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    Going off the aquascapes name ,more hairgrass behind the tree?
     
  6. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    As always I'm just interested to hear your suggestions.

    After hearing about people having Eleocharis overtaking their HC I though I would just add a little to start with and see how it fills in.
    The title wasn't too thought out! :whistle:
     
  7. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Andrew

    I can edit the name easy but I cannot change it on the UK plant site ask Tim he should be able to change it there.
    Its always pays to be on the safe side.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
  8. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    Quick update; now 1 month since planting.

    28/11/18
    20181128_134148.
    28/12/18
    20181229_062116.
     
  9. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    All your plants are looking healthy, what ever you are doing do not change a thing.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  10. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    Thanks @Keith
    I haven't been getting as many water changes done as I'd like but that's life.
    We will see how things carry on............................
     
  11. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Hi Andrew,

    it is a pleasure to see, how healthy everything grows ! :clap:
    Curious waiting for mini anubias or buces now... :sneaky:
     
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  12. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    update:
    There are a few questions in here that hopefully people will give me their opinions on, please be honest.

    The Oase filters in my opinion are awful, the flow is not there (amongst other things) and as a result I decided to change back over to a Fluval G6 - big mistake as it threw the soil all over the place in the front left corner to the point of no repair.
    After a bit of messing around with a few things I emptied the aquarium and dried everything out, took a step back and am now looking to start things up again.

    I had quite some time to think about things as I'm in no rush and I could just see something else despite the carpet never got a chance to fully grow in it gave me a good idea of how it would look.
    I also started to enjoy the look of the tree unplanted with an almost dead tree appearance.
    Wanting to avoid adding larger stones left me wondering about ideas................

    I had a think over things and after a quite probable silly suggestion from elsewhere about adding a wall it's something I liked the idea of, initially I was looking to take the wall through the tree but after a little trial this wasn't realistic. I instead decided to try running the wall in front of the wall following the mound at the back right. I experimented with a few different types of construction but decided to roughly shape some slate pieces with the same footprint and then piece them together on a piece of plastic. It does have quite a manufactured look to it I know but I don't think this will be too evident once I have the coping stones on, caused some damage to it and of course the plants have grown in a little. The top course has been flattened just to make applying the coping stones that much easier. The smoothed out pieces will be removed where there is damage to add.

    I'm well aware there's a very fine line between this looking good or awful and I do have the fear of it ending up looking like a model railway village - something I want to avoid.

    First off I'm interested to hear other peoples honest opinions on the overall look and position, I have the soil levels to change along with quite probably the wall height.
    The coping stones have just been started to give an idea but I will work on the damage around the fallen branch and quite probably a section damage by the tree trunk.

    IF the wall is to go ahead I know there are things to change and something else I need to add, quite what depends on the wall in the photos.
    I had ideas about running a path tapering in a random pattern from the front left(ish) and meeting up with the wall, maybe add a smaller section of wall at some point along the path or back left mound.

    Here's another one; how about swapping the black vinyl for some dramatic looking clouds using a photo printed onto vinyl? - a frosted/backlit backing isn't possible as there are pipes and sensors running up the back for ATO, temp controller, doser etc.

    I know this is not a conventional look but does that make it wrong?
    Honest feedback most definitely welcome (apart from the quality of my photography)
    (I've updated it now @Keith :clap:)

    Andrew

    20190506_071544. 20190506_164305. 20190506_164320. 20190506_211617. 20190506_211637. 20190507_100117. 20190507_100122. 20190507_100144.
     
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  13. Paraguay

    Paraguay Member

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    I think Paulo Soares did something with walls in his journal SUSSOA on ukaps ,but the walling eventually got hidden with the sucess of the plants so that might be something to think about. A lot of nature aquascapes are based on landscape so why not see how it develops. Glad to see your using the tree.Nice character wood
     
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  14. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    My major concern is the wall it looks too smooth and perfect making it uninteresting and only requires a quick glance to see all of it.
    The mound RH side is rather smooth and looking rather unnatural.

    The rock wall follows all the unevenness of the lower levels of the mound.
    Note the mound it can be done very easily with what you have done

    [​IMG]

    With a little extra work you could have a very interesting Aquascape and, something to be very proud of.

    Keith:cathug::cathug:
     
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  15. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    I got pointed in the direction of SUSSOA and I do think it is completely different to what I want to achieve, thanks or the pointer though.

    When you say 'the mound it can be done very easily with what you have done' do you mean the mound behind the wall? - I do still have the soil levels to play around with both in front and behind the walls and planting will cover a lot of the wall leaving me not a lot more visible than the coping detail which is where I plan to show some destruction from the fallen branch and the tree trunk.
    I can see what you mean about the wall in the photo and agree it would look better, I just don't have the energy for building such a detailed wall.
    I'm considering adding a tapering yet random pathway of some kind from the front left and meeting up with the wall at the back, possibly adding a length of ruined wall along the way.
    The backing is something I am also considering changing; a dramatic sky scene with dark clouds I think could work.
    It's all about trying to make something look enough like I want without it looking too 'model railway'

    I'm very open to hear in more detail what you mean if you can explain Keith.

    This will never be an aquarium that fits within 'the norm' but hopefully it is something I can make work and enjoy.
    I'm still open to suggestions though.

    Andrew
     
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  16. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Wow - I like the idea of the wall Andrew(y) I even can imgine two walls to build british or also mediterranean looking landscape terraces.

    I would build it outside - use careful transparent silicone to fix it - than you can use then the wall very easy like a piece of furniture in the tank.
    Later you can remove away too large plants without destroying the wall and the wall will keep your soil hill together.

    If you see a bit of silicone between the stones, just press a bit of sand on it, it should look good.
     
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  17. aibcarpentry

    aibcarpentry Member

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    Thank you for your kind words. :)
    I built the main structure on a piece of a piece of a plastic floor protection sheet (Proplex) which is quite often sold as aquarium substrate support for silly money, I stuck the slate using black silicone and did try adding some slate dust but it didn't make a lot of difference to the appearance. I have questioned how the coping stones (top layer) will look when wet with the silicone and under light which is on my list of things to try before going any further.
    The way it will sit in the soil and probably be slightly heaped behind will mean it would be quite hard to remove so I will probably silicone either end to the tank as it will come off easily enough with careful work with a razor blade in the future.

    Do you have any thoughts on adding anything else aside from the existing wall and detail to it?
    How about changing the backing for a dramatic photo cloudscape? - tactful or tactless?

    Andrew
     
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  18. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Great done Andrew (y),

    and why not dramatic sky.

    I like the idea of a wall that shows that it is about to be built... So the scape tells a little story...

    Maybe add some "rocks" laying around in the landscape.
    Every here and there some very tiny anubia bushes on the ground (just bent on a stone, they do not like to be planted in the ground)

    I would only use extremely flat ground cover plants or trim them a lot. At the moment I experimentate with flat stones and the very fine stringy moss to get a very plain, flat impression. It works, but it needs time. To cut the moss on the stones (also tiles are ok for a bigger area, to cover it complete ) I take them out of the tank all a few months - less mess in the water....:cool:

    This one I made two days ago with 5 cm long cuttings:

    IMG_20190510_100756[1].

    Here the stringy moss (left on the ground) before I cut it the stone is pressed in the sand...

    20190405.JPG
     
    #18 moss-maniac, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  19. Keith

    Keith Administrator
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    Evelyn has give you some excellent ideas for you to think about that will lift your Aquascape

    I am referring to the green lines are the shape on the hillside. sorry if I confused you by calling it a mound in the aquascape.

    Here lies the major concern. Your dead tree is a very powerful statement it has everything going for it whereas the wall is simple (looks only) and does nothing to the Aquascape

    [​IMG]
    It looks like your wall is there to stay so lets try improving it.
    Green line at base of rock wall is up and down all over the place that is easy by just adding more substrate this will naturally form the little valley arrow down

    To give shape to the hill add more substrate 1 and 2

    If that is OK shaping the top of the wall will be the next concern. If you intend to alter the substrate do not touch the wall yet if you intend to.
     
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  20. moss-maniac

    moss-maniac Custom Text
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    Hi Andrew,
    Very short cutted plants also bent on stones also work well and can be placed where they look best at the moment. I cut them also outside the tank.
    Red rotala could bring the impression of flowering heather or so...
    This little Stone is about 4 cm wide.

    In direct light this rotala becomes pink. :love:
    Just lay short parts of the plant on the stone and bind a netting over it ( f. e. from potaoes from the supermarket) They start to grow through the net the next day...

    With a crochet hook you can draw plants also later unter the net....
    Also mixed planted stones are nice.

    IMG_20190510_115223[1].
     
    #20 moss-maniac, May 10, 2019
    Last edited: May 10, 2019

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