When you are doing the design for the hardscape do you tend to stick to a single media? Or do you join or blend say two media's like in the pic? Maybe it is that I have mine vary separate of each and not a blend. I don't have a bio-type I am aiming for so my tank will be a miss match of plants. I like a mixture of textures.
I'm not sure what is meant by "media"?
The sediment is all dolomite in this tank, there's just wood, sediment and plants.
It's an African theme.
I have noticed that the wood most of you use is stick-like instead of thicker pieces like I used. What is the thought for this?
All big blocky pieces of wood do is take up valuable space
Don't use it.
No character either.
The pointy parts stick out through the attached plants in the above, same for other pieces I chose. These are both aesthetically much more p[leasing, but they also serve to create more hiding places for fish, better current, better sites for planting plants both on the wood and in the sediment behind.
This tank is a vertical planting, only a few vals are in the sediment, the rest is on that single piece of wood.
In a smaller tank like mine would a flat twisted piece (like a slice with wholes) covering most of the back be to over powering. I thought this might show the wood off and allow my fish to swim behind it. I could then plant various height plants in front. I would keep this wood bare.
Consider adding moss to it, say Xmas moss.
Very easy to care for, will make the wood look aged much more.
I almost never cover the wood entirely, always leave some wood showing in most all cases unless it's a small planted piece with a single species for plant display of moss, fern etc.
I like things growing out of small chunks of wood or rock.
Then this general design is likely to your goal and liking.
I use the Anubias and just allow the Fissedens to get entangled in their roots.
No planting really required.
CO2 is key, and manging the light will help more there.
Less light = easier to hit a good CO2 level. The other issue is that most of the species you like, are lower light tolerant plants.
I know Discus are not your thing but I wonder if they feel safe in a heavily planted tank.
They breed/grow just fine in a bare bottom tank with nothing else in it, seems they would be a lot more happy with lots of cover and wood. They are not my thing now, but I did raise and breed blue Diamonds about 15 years ago.
Some one mess up, they said I "could not grow Discus in my planted 90 Gallon"....
I think the biggest problem I have is that I have never seen in person planted tanks with good designs or very nice plantings. I do notice that most choose more plants then fish. I would like a balance. I know that designing a tank is a real personal thing. You have tried different ideas and can suggest what works and doesn't. When all you have seen is pictures with no prospective of the growth pattern or lay out it is hard to choose.
I have far far more fish in here than perhaps most anyone's planted tank.
This is a 60 gallon tank.
I have 24 Congos, full size and they are voracious eaters, far more than say 7-9 full sized discus. There are 9 good sized Synodontis species(multi, petricola, Albverti, birchardi, angelicus etc), 5 Nanochromis, 5 rubber nose plecos, 5 otto cats, 2 True bird beak elephant nose.
That is a lot for a 60 gal tank.
I make sure to leave a nice open space for swimming in most designs, not just a solid jungle wall.
That requires a little forethought and trimming perhaps.
Such a design in the 60 applied to the 140 would make the fish swim out front and offer a better darker background to view the fish.
The sand foreground, easy to care for and allows them to grub and eat easily.
Also, good circulation, but if they want, the fish can move and get out of the current.
We are pretty much house bound. This tank keeps me sane. I have to get my idea's here and in books. Do you know if UCD Library has planted tank books to check out (like Walstead or others). I have been reading about varies styles (nature vs dutch). The problem is that some of the nicest books are two expensive for me to get and not everything is online.
Is there a time when any close clubs have their tanks set-up for display so I could get a look at different styles? Wish I had been at your open house. Would have been nice to see a variety of set-ups, even your vacation tank melt down.
No library books to speak of there
You can borrow some of mine, I do not read them much anyway, but I do need them back. SAPS and SFBAAPS have open houses often.
SFBAAPS has a nice meeting planned for Sunday, 10-12 am in SF at Aqua Forest, they will detail their trip to Japan and the training they did at ADA.
Might be worthwhile.
I'll say this, you learn by doing.
But you can learn far far more in person, faster, easier etc.
I try to do a different design for each tank.
Many folks do that have more than one.