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Re: criticism requested

Glen Williams wrote:

>   Ok the two tanks that I would like opinions on are
>  the Open Tank and the
>   Discus Tank.


You're a brave man, Glen :).

Open Tank...  You know that the tank is a jungle.  If you want to keep
it that way then aquascaping poses a problem.  Aquascapes usually need
to offer open visibility, otherwise the viewer really can't see an
aquascape.  However, I noticed among this year's AGA entries there were
some examples where people got good results (and good comments from the
judges) by building small, canyon-like clearings in otherwise overgrown
tanks.  Maybe that is an approach that will work for you. 
Unfortunately, that is probably going to be difficult to do with
medium-sized or large sword plants.  It's hard to work around two or
more of those plants unless you have them in a fairly large tank.

Discus Tank.  Mostly the tank needs a focus.  You can provide that with
a showy plant, a piece of driftwood, an arrangement of stones, or with
an open space.  The focus probably should be offset from the center in
something close to the "golden section".

If you want to keep a small number of plant species then maybe the ones
you have in the tank now aren't the best choice.  Vals, in particular
don't offer very much decorative value for the amount of maintenance it
takes to keep them where they're supposed to be.  Your foreground plants
are fairly large-leaved and you might get a better effect by using a
small-leafed plant.  Many of the small-leaved foreground plants (i.e.,
baby tears, riccia, glosso, marsilea) are fast-growing, high maintenance
and/or invasive when they're healthy.  Mosses -- take your pick of
several kinds -- might provide a lower-maintenance choice.   Most are a
relatively dark shade of green that does a good job of framing and
offsetting lighter-colored mid-ground or background plants.  Mosses do
require maintenance.  If you don't put some labor into keeping them
where you want them you probably will find them where you don't want
them.  Java moss in particular can be hard to get rid of.

Roger Miller