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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

Ok. Here are my two cents worth. =D

Open Tank:
You need a focal point for this tank. You can either use a red plant, a rock 
or a piece of driftwood. Check out one of Amano's aquascape at 
Notice how this tank has a crowded look but it has a focal point to the tank.

Some things you might want to try-

1)get a good sized rock and put it off center in the tank (just like the 
above aquascape). 
2)or you can get a red plant that does not mind being shaded by your enormous 
swords like Cryptocoryne 'Mi Oya' and put this also off center
3)have your foreground gently slope up towards your centerpiece. Notice in 
the aquascape I mentioned how the Glossostigma gently slopes up towards the 
focal point of the tank - the piece of rock place slightly off center. 
4)you need a much more visually powerful foreground. Try Cryptocoryne 
willisii or something that can grow in low light and have it take over the 
foreground. Plant your foreground plants according to number 3 above. Put 
your Anubias on a small piece of driftwood on the foreground and then have 
this driftwood point towards your centerpiece.
5)Put the biggest plants in the back or corner and then put smaller plants in 
front. See how the Hemianthus in the aquascape above gently slopes down 
towards the front. The smaller stem plants are put in front of the bigger 
stem plants.

I agree w/ Roger Miller's response in that this tank is hard to aquascape w/ 
a plant as big as those swords in that small of a tank. I'm not sure how you 
can incorporate your red lotus into the background. This plant always wants 
to reach up towards the light and it will be hard pressed to get enough light 
w/ that many large swords in your tank. This plant will probably only try to 
throw out floating leaves since it's light deprived otherwise. If you decide 
to take away some of your large swords you can beautifully use your red lotus 
as a centerpiece for the tank.

Discus Tank:
This tank can be VERY hypnotic if you placed the plants correctly and get 
yourself a Powersweep powerhead or a powerhead that has an output that 
rotates back and forth. Can you imagine how hypnotic it would be if you 
placed the Powersweep behind the Vals and pointing towards the front of the 
tank? Now watch the vals wave back and forth... back and forth... back and 
forth... you're getting sleepy... very, very sleepy...


For this tank you need to balance out the vertical aspect of your tank w/ 
some horizontal aspects. See one of Amano's aquascapes at 

With that aquascape notice how the vertical aspect of the Cryptocoryne is 
nicely balanced w/ the horizontal aspect of the mounds of rock. Add a bit 
more texture and color to your Vals by incorporating some Cryptocoryne 
retrospiralis and/or balansae in w/ your aquascape. I would personally scrap 
the idea of having the Hygrophila difformis as a foreground plant. It will 
get too big and grow too fast to effectively be a foreground plant. Maybe you 
can try to grow the H. difformis into mounds instead of using rocks to 
balance out the Vals vertical nature. The Red Lotus can be a very beautiful 
centerpiece if you grow it out and put it off center somewhere. For 
foreground plants try Echinodorus tenellus to blend in w/ your Vals while at 
the same time providing a more horizontal feel to the aquascape. DEFINITELY 
try the hypnotic effect that I mentioned... =D I would try that effect if I 
had another tank to set-up. Just make sure your plants are firmly rooted 
before trying it though. Otherwise you'll be cursing at your plants.

Just my two cents worth. I would LOVE to go next in having people try to 
critique my aquascape but I would need someone to photograph my tank. It 
looks more put together and less overgrown than the picture I entered into 
the AGA Showcase & Contest. I don't want to ask my friend again to borrow her 

Contestant #28
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