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Re: Aquascaping with rock

> Ever tried to arrange stones so they look natural and as if
> they had been there for ages?

> As a huge fan of Amanos Zen-style stone arrangement
> I have tried this on the floor at home. It looks redicoulus:
> A grown man sitting arranging stones on a 120 by 50 cm
> rectangle as if it was a puzzle.

That's a good way to do it.
> To see the inner purpose of every stone and the way it is
> supposed to be arranged in conjunction with other stones
> is by far the most intriguing and difficult task when it comes
> to naturalistic looking aquascapes.

I think folks find this part less complicated if they just have some
_patience_ and try many different arrangements until they arrive at a combo
that "feels good" to them.
> Maybe science can help?
> http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/09/26/zen.garden.reut/index.html

Try nature instead. Much better for this.
Go out somewhere you like, look around for some rocks etc. Look at the
woods, forest etc, look at the outline of the hills etc.
I've seem many similar views that Amano has done in his own tanks from
examples while walking around out in nature.

Recently a single rock with an interesting shape appealed to me.
It was covered in moss and had a few ferns growing on it and a few sprigs of
grass as well.
It was set in a field of short grass.

Placing that into a tank would look very nice and have that "feel".

Sometimes going to a LFS and playing with the rocks can help. Substituting
some pieces for a look can be fun and effective also.
I may use a specific piece of petrified wood instead of a Bald Cypress knee
for example. Many of the knees have moss attached, so adding that will make
it fit the bill even if it's not an exact image of what I had in mind.
Perhaps I cannot find a fern like on the rock etc but I could use Bolbitus
Point is there are close approximations that will look very good even if you
cannot be true to the exact plant and/or rock your after.

One thing I like and like to encourage is the use of rock but try slanting a
tall piece out at a 20-45 degree angle rather than simply straight up.
Adding others at different angles can give some very nice effects.

But straight up in groups also gives very nice effects with the right

Some important features of rocks:
All the same type for the group, don't mix different types.
Stick with all the same type of smoothness or roughness of texture.
Try to stay with the same color and type as best you can.
One or two tall pieces are often very desirable.
Deep gravel or many small pieces to shore the rock groups up.
Don't worry about not having enough room for plants and the rocks taking up
too much space. The plants will fill and you can add plants in the cracks
Think about what color of rock you want, that's pretty important to overall
Think about the roundness or the columnar shapes. I tend not to mix these
two types.
Don't thumb your nose at any rock, even boring looking rocks can have a
great deal of use and character when added with other rocks. You are after
the whole picture, not just individual rocks.

Another is the flat tank syndrome. Try to make your gravel slope and have
some 3D dimensionality. This makes for a much better look and use for the
rocks. It'll often take some work every few months to shore the gravel back
up etc but often the rocks will hold things in place pretty good IME.

Hope this gives some ideas.
Tom Barr 



> // Daniel Larsson,