Advertisements
Aquatic Avenue Banner Tropica Shop Banner Fishy Business Banner
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Lets talk about aquascaping techniques

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
    Posts
    9,210
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    371
    Country
    Singapore

    Lets talk about aquascaping techniques

    Advertisements
    Fresh n Marine aQuarium Banner

    Advertise here

    Advertise here
    Just feel that we should talk about this topic, since there is a few competition ahead of us...

    as I have seen in amano's tank and other great looking ones.. there are severals parts or rather points which makes a tank look great

    1) tank layout (taken from Amano's and other principle of the arrangement of plants that creates a imaginary triangle)
    2) focus point (usually place off-center)
    3) depth of tank
    4) contrast of colors (red and diff shades of green)

    like many, I have a rather narrow tank, which makes scaping a mind boggling task.. trying to create visually a deeper tank than what its physically shown.. have seen tanks with the use of different plants, of different heights and merging them together, leaving open spaces, using natural looking stones/driftwood/root

    I do not approach a tank with one school of thght but rather what I really want to achieve. whether a Zen or dutch tank, though, I must also add that, We, Singaporean/malaysian alike have created a style of our own? unlike the Amanoish nor the Dutch style... So, how do you guys approach scaping of your own tanks, do any of you follow a certain style?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Serangoon
    Posts
    176
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    5
    Country
    Singapore
    simon, imo it's easier said than done
    eg you start with a particular concept ( south american or s.e.a ) and then stick to that particular concept then you will find that you either cannot get the right type of fish or the plants that go with your concept of that particular region
    then you start to compromise by substituting plants/fish which you think will enhance you overall result
    that would not really do justice to the concept you want
    from my observations of the displays we have ( public or private ) i believe very few have been able to stick to the particular concept for the region that they wanted duplicate in their tanks
    most aquarium set-ups that i've seen are just a fusion of different areas and a 'rojak' style
    with the exception of NA the rest are just a 'gasak buta' ( hit blindly ) style hoping to please the eye but not really trying to duplicate a particular region
    so far i find that it suits our taste as we have the best of both worlds
    some pple say that sitcking to a particular concept is boring after a while as they want to see more variety in terms of plants/fish in their tanks
    as for designs i believe that standards are quite high and quite a few of our guys have won prizes from competitions from as far away as the usa.
    keep up the good work guys of course we can always set our standards higher
    finally imo the end result of any design must be simple and pleasing to the eyes
    the plants and fish must blend with the set-up no matter what design was choosen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Duck pond
    Posts
    2,654
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    84
    Country
    Singapore
    lasy so will just repost from old thread....

    My own approach to plant layout is that the challenge is not so much to fill in space, but to CREATE SPACE. Space not meaning emptiness or a void, but a sense of depth, openness and perspective that will make the 4 cornered tank larger than life. Plants are the key point of a planted tank, but filling a tank with as many plants and varieties as it can take is like a picture with a thousand focal points (meaning none at all - chaos). Be selective in carving and framing the tank as a canvas, and resist the temptation to try everything. An arrangement that conjures the feeling of broad strokes (a well-placed wood or planted grove) or lines (a continuous arrangement of a single species like a plant stair) gives a tank layout strength (and at the same time flexibility when it comes to filling in the gaps in between). My own preference nowadays is to do away with the mid-ground altogether, using solid yet dynamic elements like mossy/fern-covered wood or rocks to inject a solidity within the fluid plants behind and in front.

    It's probably a truism, but to create a good planted tank, you have to begin with the end in mind. I doubt very much that the practice of choosing a variety of plants simply becos you like them, want to try try them and see how they develop will result in a layout that shows a sign of "intelligent design". It's fine when you are starting out and experimenting, but I think a winning aquascape would result largely through the ability to pre-plan one's layout, with clear knowledge of the available options and limitations (e.g. the maximum size of different plants, their compatibility, light/fert requirements, etc), as well as the mindset that can work on the "less is more" principle (in both plants and fish). Just look at hatchet's layout - simple (but not simplistic) concept, maximum impact. You don't see it and automatically find gaps that 'need' to be filled. Or Jacian's 2 ft Blyxa tank.

    Of course, this is my own intepretation of aquascaping methodology. A Dutch tanker would offer a vastly different approach. ditto the Taiwanese school (which seems to be more interested in re-creating "chinese painting style" scenes within tanks.

    Just briefly, one way i find which helps to create depth in small and narrow (2-3 ft tanks) is to dare to leave a gap all the way to the back glass and using only low plants along the perimeter of this gap (forming a kind of virtual path or tunnel that gives a visual perception of something deeper within). Again this is part of the "creation of space" that i was talking about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Pasir Ris
    Posts
    85
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    4
    Country
    Singapore
    ----------------
    On 1/7/2003 1:22:33 PM


    .................but I think a winning aquascape would result largely through the ability to pre-plan one's layout, with clear knowledge of the available options and limitations (e.g. the maximum size of different plants, their compatibility, light/fert requirements, etc), as well as the mindset that can work on the "less is more" principle (in both plants and fish).............

    ----------------

    Hi, I'm new in planted tank. I agree with Budak's view above. During my 2nd trial on my tank, I took the advice from many experts that drawing out the aquaspace that I had in mind on paper and visualised it in different views (ie. front, side and top)

    Pre-selecting the type of plants is also important because when I first setup my tank, I just simply buy plant that I think is nice and try them out in the tank. This eventually turn out like a "rojak" as mentioned by our AQists above. During the 2nd trial, I have all the plants available in front of me and I also know what is available at the LFS to create an effect that I wanted.

    The second trial turns out to be much better than the 1st one (especially commented by my wife [] ) although I still far far away from professional

    Choice of fish and light/fert vs plant type are something that I just started to learn. I would like to say thank you here because I have been reading many useful information from the forum and help from moderators and members.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    82
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    Yes I agree, my second tank looks very much better. I actually replanted my first tank 3 times! Yeah when I first started I just bought all kinds of plant I find them nice and later I threw them aside cause they dun fit into the concept.

    I was looking for some guides on how to plant a good tank but not available so far, only sample pictures of planted tanks. Its good to start this subject []

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Pasir Ris
    Posts
    85
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    4
    Country
    Singapore
    Dennerle website has some aquaspacing guide. Can take a look at the link.
    Dennerle

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    21
    Feedback Score
    0
    I aquascaped my first & current planted tank gradually and only with a certain image in mind.
    It turned out pretty average in my opinion but not terrible either.

    I figured my mistake was that I did not grasp the space of the tank too well in my head.
    My planned remodeling (with a new tank) is now done with a sketched blueprint with many
    views. I do not really follow Amano or Dutch but rather follow what I would really like
    to see in my tank. The sketch helped me out much as more ideas/improvements come in after
    seeing it in a sketch. Hopefully the implementation can match my design (I think it's
    rather good!!)

    Of course, the implementation can only come with cash [] and finding out the
    places where I can get what I want relatively cheap .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    85
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    Basically I think most professional aquascaper had alot of visual experience with colors and different types of leave plants.

    Another things is that, if u try scaping 100 times, thats experiences rite. U definatly will come out with a natural tank?

    Passion is the word.

    []
    Don't bother if its Black cats or White cats, so long as it can catch Rats. Its a Good Cat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Sterling Road, Queenstown
    Posts
    260
    Feedback Score
    0
    I aquascape for my fishes, i.e. rosette plants for my discus to hide and bushy stem plants for my smaller fishes to avoid predation at night.

    Also, I try to create boundaries with driftwoods, roots and plants where territorial fish can defend its own pocket of space while allowing less territorial fishes room to move about.

    Having said that, I would of course take into account aesthetic arrangements - paying particular attention to contrast and texture. I'm quite pleased with my selection of plants, i.e. they vary in colour, shades and shapes of their leafs. The only thing to improve upon, for now, is to add a splash of red. Sadly, I haven't found a red plant I like yet.

    In addition to contrast and texture, I did my best to create depth. That's accomplish by putting different plants in tiers. On the left side of my tank, I've two type of stem plants in tiers. On the right side of my tank, I've got three types of rosette plants in tiers.

    I also take into account the height and width of the plants. Plants with smaller footprints are planted closer together while wider plants are planted further apart. I'm also careful that the plants, when grown, will not overshadow light-loving plants.

    I don't strive for heavily planted tank. I make it a point to give more space for my fishes to move about. As such, I purposely left a small empty patch of gravel that's not planted.

    Finally, I apply the rule of 1/3. This is a rule most applied in photography. Centerpiece driftwood and plants are place on 1/3 and 2/3 respectively. Just one focal point would be great but I couldn't help it thus the 1/3 and 2/3.

    Cheers,
    Roy

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    15
    Feedback Score
    0
    Hi, Guys, i dun have a planted tank yet, but planning to have 1 in june after i graduate. I would like to share with u guys regrading wat my sch lecturer have always stress in term of art form. I guess most of us here would agree tat aquatic landscape is indeed a art form.

    My lectuer have always share with us student tat in order to called a subject an art peice, the intention of the creator must always be there, which means u cant jus hit it blindly and call it art. In order for the intention to be there, strong and bold for the viewer or audience, the "Concept" of theme of the art peice have to be strong.

    In term of Concept developmanet, the approach would be mostly done thur research where involve mostly visual images tat can inspire u, since plant tank is a form more closly relate to visual arts, therefore visual images would most likely to be the Key refernces. However, i would suggest visual images not jus involes pics of planted tank done by others in differents styles ex. takashi Amaro, but also paintings as well which u may find it relevant.

    I personally feels tat Amaro have great style in his planting approach and layout, however, i am would not agree tat all his planted tank r realli impressive, keke.. but most of them are. basically, As of wat Vinz have mention, Amaro do uses the triangle arragnment style as of wat most photographer would also frame their pics this way to have strong focal attraction.

    I would feels tat "Concept" is the most important part in doing a good planted tank in art form, via intensive reseach of images as inspiration , or u may go to the extends of other various insirpation, like musics, extra,

    In terms of compostion , layout and contrast, is mostly a guideline in framing ur subjects, such as the 1/3 rules where subject should be offcenter. But i still feel tat this is very subjective to indivual, cos once u know the rulez, u can break it.

    Becos Amaro have been such a great impact in planted tank with his frequent use of reciia plant, he leads by inspiring most of us in trying out planted tank. But let's not be carried away by his style, cos no matter how we try to mimick , its still amaro style not ours.

    Therefore, again "concept" come in early and handy as in approach in developing ur own way or style of planting. I do often make the same mistake in sch, in following too closly to my visual refence which ended up almost like cloning machince. 1 tips which my lectuer always share with us is to stay forcus on ur concept, and dun get off track and "DUN BE ON THE SAFE SIDE, BE BOLD AND CREATIVE". The is the sentence tat my lecturer always said. I love my sch and i respect my sch lectuers alots, cos they do have vast experience in art field.

    Last but no least, my many purpose in tiring my fingers typing all this is to share and learn from all the experts out here, and not to " Hao Lian" of anything like tat, dun get me wrong. i would like to see all brudders out there who already have greater planted tank to develope their own style, be it singapore style or malysia boleh style, after all we now do have a Esplande ready for all the AQ member to exibits in times to come. Who knows, maybe Vinz will be the 1st "Singapore" make Vinz amaro.

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Malaysia/Singapore
    Posts
    319
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    1
    Country
    Malaysia
    I am still working toward my own style so rescaping is a weekly routine to me. IMO,rescaping is one of the best way for me to improve the layout as i must confess i do lack of artistic sense.Therefore i would strongly encourage planted tank beginners to adopt concept of Dupla creative (Cultivate your plants in shallow plastic containers with base-fert and bury them in gravel)or using "no base-fert needed" type substrates such as Nisso Volcanic soil, ADA aquasoil etc to make rescaping a breeze.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Aquatic plants and LEGO collector.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Clementi
    Posts
    7,066
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    789
    Country
    Singapore
    When I work on my 3 month old tank, my wife wonders why I cut the plants and re plant plant them. I tell her that it's aquascaping but she says my tank looks like a glass tank full of weeds, and the more I work on it, the worse it seems to get. Then she suggest that I do something like "those in the (armano) books", which she thinks is quite acceptable. ARRGGHH!!!

    I think basically, it's a personal thing. If your creation pleases you and the livestocks are happy, that's it. One man's meat is another man's poison. Now, I just try to enjoy the hobby instead of trying to copy a style that I see in the book.
    I have dwarf cichlids in my tanks! Do you?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    85
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    BUT one thing i notice is that the so called "Singapore rojak" consist mainly of Rosette plants and less of stem plants.

    I think it's due to our lifestyle, busy working adults with very little time?

    Actually, the effort of scaping, rescaping and re-rescaping...haha.. Our main purpose is to let our eyes, heart and mind to hv a resting place from a hard day work.

    After all there no such things as perfection, but its depend on how that person view things as perfect.

    [:]
    Don't bother if its Black cats or White cats, so long as it can catch Rats. Its a Good Cat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Duck pond
    Posts
    2,654
    Feedback Score
    0
    Images
    84
    Country
    Singapore
    The other element that I look for as well is practical sustainability (which is why i avoid riccia rich setups). Stem plant formations will of course require periodic trimming and uprooting for replanting of strong shoots, which is why I favour choosing just one or two species of stem plants amidst other plants of other habit (short grassy types, long grassy types, ferny/mossy types, swordplant types, show types like lotus) and planting the stem plant thickly. The massed effect is more the spectacular than having a few measly strands of many different species next to each other.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Redhill
    Posts
    2,086
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    [quote]
    Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 19:23:21 -0500
    From: Thomas Barr <[email protected]>
    Subject: Some Stages of the Aquascaper

    Differentiating from the plant _gardener_, the plant aquascaper has a much
    longer, and less frustrating path in development.

    "Gardening" involves the growing aspects of aquatic horticulture. This
    includes the physiology, ecology, pruning, aquarium maintenance and
    mastering the ability to use the "colors"... the plants themselves.
    I started off aquascaping with rock, next came coral and marine tanks, then
    driftwood and finally to plants both Marine and Freshwater.

    The "Aquascaper" uses the colors(the plants) to paint their design.
    Aqauscaping involves all aspects of design and layout. This extends beyond
    the confines of the tank itself as a well placed tank in a home, office or
    or other dwelling will greatly enhance the over look and impact.

    One can be a great aquascaper yet a poor gardener, but most are good
    gardeners first then later develop their artistic abilities with more focus
    on the design.

    Some wish to dissect the elements of the aquascape, immerse themselves in
    the artistic elements of space, design and layout. Some wish to focus on
    techniques such as attaching moss to wood for a natural effect. Some, like
    perhaps the majority of folks, wish simply to have a tank full of plants
    without algae and to have their choice of plants to grow.
    Most discussions about aquarium plants revolve around how to keep plants
    rather than design.

    Many people start off choosing plants that are not easy to grow for the
    beginner and change their design plans. Later, after a period of algae woes,
    they simply want to keep the tank free of algae.
    Many folks feel they need to work more on algae control and growing the
    plants than the aquascape. Some folks stay true to their original design.
    Other folks let the tank evolve on it's own.

    These stages are not in any sort of _definite order_ since many folks may
    jump from one area to another unlike many aspects of the
    mechanical/biological "gardening/hoticulture". Nor is this all inclusive nor
    exhaustive listing.

    Stage one:
    "Hey!, It's growing, I saw a new leaf today! I see pearling! It's
    Alive!(with a Dr. Frankenstein tone)". This stage is fun, but often the only
    goal is growing the plants but adding any plants to an aquarium is a design
    choice. Often, it's just what will grow in their tank and added anywhere.
    Many folks start off like this and later develop design interest.

    Stage two:
    How much of the tank do I want to use for plants? Many folks start off with
    the goal to plant only a part of the tank or sparingly. This is not
    surprising since most folks are comfortable with rock and/or wood already.
    Seldom do folks jump right into a planted without other aquarium experiences
    so this allows them to "stick their big toe into the water" without fully
    committing to a full blown planted tank which might seem a bit too
    intimidating initially.
    These tanks can look very nice depending on the layout and the aquarist
    design and ideas and is perhaps a sub area of design versus a fully planted
    tank. Many aquarist want the fish to be the main focus and the plants to be
    a secondary consideration. Floating plants only can be added to most all
    freshwater aquariums and can be included in this stage. These tanks can be
    done to a very level of design and impact.

    Stage three:
    the psychological disease known as "Collectoritus".
    This person wants every new plant that comes along (which includes most of
    us). This is a good exercise, though not at first glance. Since plants are
    the colors, learning how to grow each one of them is very helpful to execute
    later designs. You need the "colors" to "paint". It also helps the aquarist
    to get to know and understand each plant on a personal level and realize
    it's long term potential for placement in the tank design. Many plants may
    grow too fast for placement in a design

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    82
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    I still not very clear about the 1/3 or 2/3 theory leh....care to explain?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    15
    Feedback Score
    0
    ----------------
    On 1/9/2003 2:33:26 PM

    I still not very clear about the 1/3 or 2/3 theory leh....care to explain?
    ----------------
    I am sorrie tat i dun realli know how to attach an image to this forum, anyway, the below link is the image tat i found which may apply to ur question on the 1/3 rulz in framing.

    Basically, the idea of framing apply to painting, photography and even lanscapeing the planted tank. The below pics which u see, the forground of the land is base on 1/3 of the enitre pics horizontally, while the background of the land- the sky cosist of 2/3 of the enitre picture horizontally. The reseve can be done also, depending on the artist, intending to forcus on the sky or the land. Here we see, the photographer play a contrast on the lighting as well, as the land is being purposly darken as in *sisslutte* -spelling very poor, pardon me for tat, while hightling the sky, thus creating a deapth of field- distant. Vertically, the subject- the tree is being place as the center, by blancing out with the man on the left. Usually in terms of framing, subject may be place along the green lines as well as on the 4 blue points as shown. However these r jus key refereces to the idea of composing or framing ur subject. Sometimes, subject can also be place directly at the center of forcus and may jus work greatly. These is no definate to tis. i hope this might help. Cheers.


    [img]http://www.fujifilm.com.sg/storage/photos/johnny_cold/HOME/test..jpg[img]

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Western Singapore
    Posts
    728
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    ----------------
    On 1/9/2003 2:33:26 PM

    I still not very clear about the 1/3 or 2/3 theory leh....care to explain?
    ----------------
    You can try this link for more information.
    My Apisto Keeping Diary
    Apistogramma agassizii, Apistogramma bitaeniata "Careiro", Apistogramma brevis, Apistogramma elizabethae, Apistogramma eremnopyge, Apistogramma sp. "Miua", Dicrossus filamentosus

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Western Singapore
    Posts
    728
    Feedback Score
    0
    Country
    Singapore
    My approach would be:

    Step 1. Learn how to grow the plants.

    Step 2. Know the various techniques and principles. Eg.
    a. the various tank layout - concave, convex, valley, island.
    b. the golden ratio
    c. the placing of the plants.
    d. the use of foreground, midground, background plants. etc
    Master them if you can.

    Step 3. Create your own style..
    My Apisto Keeping Diary
    Apistogramma agassizii, Apistogramma bitaeniata "Careiro", Apistogramma brevis, Apistogramma elizabethae, Apistogramma eremnopyge, Apistogramma sp. "Miua", Dicrossus filamentosus

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
    Posts
    8,941
    Feedback Score
    1 (100%)
    Images
    104
    Country
    Singapore
    I should have disputed this earlier... I don't think I ever mentioned the 1/3 - 2/3 rule in the forum ever. At most I mentioned "off-center" placing of focus. But I do have an idea of the concept of the 1/3 - 2/3 rule and vaguely practice it. And if anyone is going to be Sg made Amano, I think Jacian has a better chance then me.

    For me, I try to layout the tank on paper first. Sometimes, I don't name a specific plant, but have in mind specific characteristics of the plant I want. E.g. a large leaf rosette with some reds. Or small, bushy, light green plant.

    Take into consideration:
    - Creating a primary focus, usually a large plant or a large stand of a smaller plant. Sometimes, but seldom a rock(s) or driftwood(s).
    - Optionally a secondary focus that will lead to or bring out the primary focus. Never more then that.
    - Use contrasting colours, shades of colours, leaf shapes, plant shapes, leaf sizes to bring plants.
    - Use rocks or wood to draw lines in the tank, segregate plant groups, draw attention to plants, bring out plants.
    - Wood and rock grains are a factor too.
    - Don't be afraid to put a tall plant near the front, especially at the sides.
    - You don't have to put plants side by side. A large plant or a stand of smaller plants peeping out behind another plant or group of plants can create depth.
    - Avoid symetrical layouts. There is little symmetry in natural landscapes. Even the dutch style avoids that.
    - Take your time. Amano wasn't made in a day. Try different plants. Get the hang of controlling your tank parameters to create a healthy tank. Trim plants, and observe how they grow back (i.e. sped of growth, shape, etc). Eventually, you'll start to see how the different factors affect your scaping... things like, leaf shapes, sizes, colours, plant shapes, rocks, wood, etc.
    - Browse lots of plant tank pics, in books and web. See what plant grows which way and how they affect the scape.
    - Rules are made to be broken. No need to follow particular styles. Go with what works.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •