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Golden ration - thirds - open space

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Gerryd, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    So as usual, I am confused about a few things....

    I am trying to understand how to scape using some simple guidelines:

    1). Golden ratio

    2). Thirds

    3). Open space

    Tank dimensions are 72x24x24 in inches. So, the golden ratio on the length is 44" to 28" and the height/depth is approx 15" to 9". Is that accurate?

    Using thirds I would have three 24x8" sections looking at the front of the tank if I drew vertical and horizontal lines on the tank. Which I am thinking of doing :)

    I have 3-4 really nice manzy pieces to use but will most likely use 3. I would use 2 of them in the 44" section and one in the 28" section. I will post pics of them later.. I also have plenty of nice smaller branches as well. The 'skull' piece is still leaching so is in a big rubbermaid...

    I have some decent rock that matches the wood well, but most are about the same size but different shapes at least.

    I want to have basically the following look:

    Substrate would be sloped from the back and sides to the center. I want to place the wood higher than the rest of the substrate and want to use my rocks to shore up these higher mounds. A space running between them filled with either stauro or blyxa maybe....

    Anubias petite and mosses would touch up the rocks holding the slopes up...

    Bolbitus and java fern var would be used to dress up the wood and cyperus helferi will be used as a background/fill plant...

    Need to go get 4-6 bags of black flourite to create the sloping effect and the mounds and valley...

    I have all the plants I need a few coming in the mail today or tomorrow but those are just extras...

    Here is a picture of it now...Don't laugh, but this helps me to see what I have, how it may look, and what plant inventory I have to work with lol

    I forget how big the tank actually is when not stuffed to the gills with hardscape and plants, if you pardon the expression....

    View attachment 1955

    This contains two of the main wood branches...just playing with placement now..will look much different I hope in a few days...

    Thoughts and comments are always appreciated...
     
    #1 Gerryd, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  2. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    :)Hi, I feel the tank is too balance, making the open space
    happen in dead center. It's not in line with the rule of thirds and the golden ratio.
    From your picture, the main focus is the open space. If it was an Amano tank,
    I think he would add more wood to either side.

    The main focus can be an object or open space.
    For planted tank, mostly it's open space. (I mean the space you can look through).

    Both of these tanks, the plant group at the right is bigger, the open spaces are a bit on the left.
    Let's imagin they were at the dead center, the tanks would look less beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #2 nipat, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  3. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    This Oliver Knott's tank use a group of plant in the front left as main focus.
    It's very good example of using the rule of thirds.

    Even if there weren't other backgroung plants, just it and the carpeting plant.
    The tank would still look good.
    [​IMG]
     
    #3 nipat, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  4. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Yes, and it pretty matches the rule of thirds (the golden ratio is the dashed line).
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Nipat,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I realize my scape does not fit ANY rules at the moment...

    I understand the rules, but cannot see them, if they don't exist yet. As in my case. I can see it in OTHER scapes... Btw, thanks much for using such beautiful tanks to make your point....As if I don't already feel inadequate lol

    I have decent material, I think the main issue is I have NO artistic sytle or sense of design :)

    And it shows.....I know you all would have something awesome in 30 minutes...

    Apparently I can grow healthy plants and fish, but can't make the tank look even half decent....

    I will keep trying, but feel that a photo contest is NOT in my near future...
     
  6. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I'm no artist either but my eye seems to follow the main branch on the left to the far left side not to the 1/3 point. This may set up the perception that the whole left side is too far to the left. Now don't ask me what to do to fix it (if in fact that is the issue you're looking for) I just thought I'd throw in my $.02.

    Pat
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Pat,

    All opinions are welcome....

    Here is another attempt :)

    View attachment 1956

    Remember this is not final. Just playing around. I don't think I will get the third main branch in there. Just not enough room.

    I am using some smaller pieces to attach some of the java var..
     
  8. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I like this a lot more. The piece on the left carries the eye across the center to the right. Keeps the gaze moving back and forth across the tank instead of pulling it into the corner. It seems to have more of the balance that nipat was speaking of.

    As to the third piece ... less can be more.

    Pat
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    So,

    I got the java trident today from Roy and boy is it nice!

    Packing was fantastic as was the labeling.....

    I used it to provide 'eyebrows' and 'hair' for the scary 'face' on the left side of the tank. Can you see it? Is why I wanted this branch from Tom...I gave a close up in pic #3. I love this feature honestly....

    I also used some on the right side to cover a bit of the overflow wall...

    I have to say I am totally digging on the T8..I don't miss the MH at all..with the two banks, I can run just one set, so I use this when I want to view later at night. Nice not to have to light the entire apt with the MH spill being so high lol

    I run both banks for about 6 hours and a single for 1.5 hrs on either side of this..

    I don't think the pics do it justice, just in terms of the plant colors. Water is very clear, cardinals LOOK GREAT!. I think I am just going to buy 500 more and be done with it. If they don't make it, I will give up and get an alligator gar to eat whatever remains...:)

    The MH seemed to wash things out a bit..

    So, I like the left side a lot and the middle. I think I may need to remove a branch from the other centerpiece to position it more attractively..I don't really like it the way it is. I think it needs to flow in the same direction as the other piece does. Right now it is going against it IMO.

    I DO like the way the green of the plants pick up the wood and rocks. I also like the black background and how it blends in with the wier walls...

    I like it a lot, actually the more I look at it :) But it needs time to mature. It looks newly setup and I don't like that look at all..

    But, this is still a tryout. I will most likely keep this for a few weeks while growth settles in, and I can think about the right side some more. The branch I want to cut is the one in the back of the tank, so will not lose any of the really nice branches nor the burl.

    The rocks will be moved as well, but are needed now for buoyancy issues lol I want to get a few more, and one or two much larger ones of the same type. Just in case :)

    View attachment 1958 View attachment 1957 View attachment 1959

    Appreciate any and all comments and suggestions.
     
    #9 Gerryd, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2010
  10. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Nope I can't, but talking about others' tanks is always easy. ;)

    That wood reminds me of Jivaro shrunken heads, cool.
     
    #10 nipat, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2010
  11. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Gerry,

    I like the left corner. For the right corner, maybe something that makes a repeating line with the branch on the left would be nice. Also think about a nice red plant that does well in low light, like Alternathera.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Dutchy, yes it needs a touch of color....maybe some of that nice P.stellata you use in the right corner of your tank...

    I worked a bit on this over the last day or two and feel that this is a big improvement.

    When the plants grow in more it would look better:

    View attachment 1966

    View attachment 1967 View attachment 1968
     
    #12 Gerryd, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2010
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Quick update.

    I have 4 bags of black flourite and think I will grab 2 more to be safe. I will rinse this tomorrow if I feel up to it and add it to the tank and slope/mound as I want.

    I have my 3 main manzy pieces in. I have placement of 2 and am working out the third. Currently coming in from the surface orientation for this one I think. It may not win any contests but I think I will enjoy it :) The three may be too much, but I knew the other two work well together...I don't want it to be TOO busy, but it is very nice wood indeed....

    I also want to see if I can get a few more rocks to match what I have. A nice big one would be really nice...I have a nice number, but too many similar sized ones...Nice forms though..

    I have tons of nice moss and other plants. Way too many actually.....I have been playing around and can see how easy it is to overwhelm wood with plants, so less is more here I think.

    Well a little at a time. The fish seem to like the new scapes and the plants are doing well.

    I may lower the light one notch (1" approx) and see how much more PAR that gets. The stauro I think needs a tiny bit more for the lower leaves and to spread a bit more quickly, then tune it back..

    All other plants are doing very well. Fish are healthy and only the 50+ cards in the tank atm.

    Hope to get a nice school of cories soon, and perhaps some types of cool plecos for the wood.

    Will post pics when I have something to show :)
     
    #13 Gerryd, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2010
  14. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    So,

    I rinsed and 'installed' 60 lbs of black flourite earlier and sloped it as I wanted.

    I also set the 3 branches of wood as I want it. I am pretty happy with the wood placement but we'll see. I have plenty of smaller pieces tp round it out if need be.

    A bit cloudy now from all the new substrate and sloping it up. I will wait a bit for the dust from the new flourite to settle. You can see it easily. I will then gently gravel vac it out and then do a large water change.

    A pic or two of just the wood and substrate (and fish) and then on to setting the rocks. I have some nice ones and hope to show them a bit. No new ones, but the ones I have I like and go well with the wood.

    Then the planting but that final planting may come later as I am tired already :)

    Will set a lot of it though so growth continues but some of the carpeting may be redone later...

    More to come........
     
  15. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Well, here it is. Could use some work (of course) but I am reasonably happy with it. Fish seem to like it a lot...

    The first pic shows just the wood w/o rocks and plants to show them a bit. I planted it about an hour after this pic was taken.

    View attachment 1974

    The second pic is planted and rocked lol. Taken about 24 hrs later to let the water clear and any dust to settle...

    View attachment 1975

    I had to leave the center open as for some reason no matter the scape, that is where the cards spend most of their resting time. So this way I see them all the time :) Every pic the fish are in the same place lol

    Here is a pic showing some of the sloping. Much more visible in person...note the position of the cards lol

    View attachment 1976

    Plants used:

    Cyperus helferi
    Pogostemon helferi
    Cryptocoryne parva
    Java trident
    Java windelov
    Stauro repens 049
    Blyxa Japonica
    Anubias nana petite
    Peacock moss - still needs to be placed strategically on some brances
    Fissidens fontanus (on pad in front for more growth)

    I may get some glosso to try as a carpet as well. Take the one I like the best of the stauro, glosso, a. nana, and P. helferi. I also have an order from aquatic magic for some different mosses, flame, xmas, etc. If they come in decently, I will try and use some..If it does well, I can send as gifts to all of those that have helped me over my time on the forum :)

    I do want to dress some of the branches with moss to soften it up a bit. Maybe some of the new mosses will work. Just a bit to green them up..

    I did not use any Bolbitus as I can't find a good spot for it. I do want a brown or reddish plant for some contrast. A little too much green.

    I can't take a decent pic to save my life, so some imagination is in order.

    Also needs some maturation/growth time.

    Appreciate all comments, thoughts, suggestions, advice, etc.
     
    #15 Gerryd, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2010
  16. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Nice developments Gerry, I'm sure it's going to be a beautiful tank when everything has grown in. Maybe your changes have motivated me to change as well, my tank will also look very different in some time.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Dutchy,

    Thanks much. Any thoughts on golden ratio/thirds, repeating lines, open space? I thought I got some of this right.

    I love your tank as is, but can't wait to see the new version.. any hints on what you are thinking/planning? Still NBAT type?
     
  18. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Thoughts....yes, but don't hate me for it ;) The center piece of wood looks like a puppet balancing on the left and right piece. I'd definately remove that. I'd add a repeating line with an extra branch from the left part sticking out to the center, lower or higher than the one that's already there.

    I'd move the right piece forward a bit so fish can swim around it, together with the piece on the left back this will give you more effect of depth.
    I like the sloping and the plants, add a nice stem somewhere.

    Remember, it's YOUR tank.

    My tank is still going to be a heavily planted one, I already planted a strip of Stauro over the entire length of the tank. I'm even going to add some hardscape. I will post some pics of the development soon.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  19. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Dutchy,

    I don't hate you, but OUCH! lol

    That hurt quite a bit...I wasn't sure whether to include the middle piece but didn't think it was THAT bad...

    I will remember it is MY tank though, so I have final say :)

    I asked for comments and would rather have honest feedback then bull anyday. So I do appreciate your honesty...

    Thanks...
     
  20. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey dutchy, all

    So after taking some time to think about this......ya know us tempermental artist types lol

    I am actually quite torn about this piece. I was trying to get the feel of this branch with the roots in the water, but guess I did not pull it off :) I totally see what you are saying here. When I look at it, I kinda like it, but also think it is too much.

    Not sure if you can see it, but there is another similar branch back there. Plus the line of the substrate on that side I thought helped. I have plenty of branches and will think about this, assuming I dump Pinocchio....

    I agree, but will have to remove more of the branch closest to the front. I had to remove 4-6" just to get it where it is now..there is actually 6" behind it, plenty of room for the fish, but will think about this..I like it

    Thanks. I want some sort of red/brownish stem for contrast.

    Still looking for comments. Is it that bad and only dutchy could tell me? :)

    I DO want to learn and understand a bit about scaping, as it does not come easily to me, apparently lol

    So, comments and such will only help me in the long run. I have mentally toughened myself for the critique to come and will do my best to not be so thin skinned as I was above :)
     
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