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View Full Version : Densly planted or lightly planted?



Brhino
12-08-2011, 02:35 AM
When I first set up my planted tank it looked like this:
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c376/starmike82/DSC_0074-2.jpg

Since then the plants have really grown in. I've done some pruning but not really a lot. Now it looks like this.
http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c376/starmike82/DSC_0026-2.jpg

I'm very pleased with how well all the plants have grown in, but at the same time it looked very clean and open with fewer plants too. So, I figured I'd get some additional opinions.

Ellen4God
12-08-2011, 02:44 AM
I was torn because I naturally light tons of plants. However, I think you should rescape it some. The tall plants in the front kind of overpower the look of the tank. I'd love those to the back, and put some shorter plants in the front - to add some dimension to the tank. Just my $0.02 though!! :)

Akakaburito
12-08-2011, 02:52 AM
Hm.. I really like the way the plants have grown in on your cave- which I also love, by the way- but maybe you could trim up/remove some of the tall ones in the middle? (Sorry, not good with names. Are they vals?) And maybe give the ones on the cave a bit of a trim, too. Other than that, I think it looks wonderful!

Dave66
12-08-2011, 02:53 AM
More plants the more resistant to fluctuations in levels of dissolved organics. Tank like the second, I'd doubt you'd see over a couple PPM of Nitrate if that. Second tank looks like a rock solid stable one. Wish more people invested in planting their tanks.

Dave

AmyLynn
12-08-2011, 03:01 AM
I am somewhat jealous of your vals. I love the look of a densely planted tank. I think you would like it more if you did a rescape like some others suggested and move your vals to the back more.

DylanisHawttt
12-08-2011, 03:10 AM
I personally love a densely planted tank and if your tank was mine, not saying you have to do this, but I would split the Jungle Val 50/50 on the left back corner and on the left side of the Java Fern Mountain. I would probably go with some Crypts like Crypt Parva (because it stays small) or some Dwarf Sag. But then again, just my :02cents:

Rhaethe
12-08-2011, 03:53 AM
Hm. Its not the number of plants that seem off to your eye in the second pic, BRhino. Its the placement of them.

Shift the vals all the way to the back and a scatter a few to one side.

The hardscape may need to be shifted / altered as well. You have two strong focal points and the eye tries to go to both at the same time.

genocidex
12-08-2011, 04:01 AM
the only thing i would thin out would be those tall corkscrews (?) in the middle

Lady Hobbs
12-08-2011, 04:06 AM
I'd move the vals to the back wall or back corners as well and open up some swimming/viewing space in the middle. Not sure you need that pile of rocks since that isn't a mbuna tank.

I can't say as I like dense either. Click on my photo in my avatar and you'll see a dense tank and their isn't a thing attractive about it. It's a mess with too many plants and not even room for the fish. I should say "used to be" until I ripped half of them out.

Trillianne
12-08-2011, 04:38 AM
I'm with the moving of the vals crowd. I do like it lush but its almost at the point now where you have a wall of plants in the front center.

Aeonflame
12-08-2011, 12:28 PM
Vals almost never look good as front/centerpiece plants. They would look best at the ends or back of the tank.

Cliff
12-08-2011, 12:40 PM
+1 to the above

But I do like the look of both pics. Good job with the plants and the tank

Goes to 11!
12-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Hm. Its not the number of plants that seem off to your eye in the second pic, BRhino. Its the placement of them.
Agreed 100% & everything looks to be growing & healthy :19:

I love the look of densely planted/natural looking tank, & Dutch style tanks also many of which do not look very natural at all.

This however looks engineered as opposed to natural to my eye and Excel isn't good for everything :-P :14: :hmm3grin2orange: .

It really doesn't draw ones attention to flow around the aquarium if you know what I mean.

I get a bit of blunt force trauma from the wall of vals right up front as they visually outweigh everything else for me.

Either way you go from there it feels like too much negative space to me [Jarringly so on the left & comparatively so on the right] and there's no way back past the 'Great Val of Bhrino' that leads the eye naturally to the opposite side of the tank.

Lady Hobbs
12-08-2011, 04:06 PM
Good explanation right there. Your fish should be the focal point, not the vals.

Brhino
12-08-2011, 05:13 PM
I put the vals in there to cover up the fact that the center rear of the tank is occupied by a giant blue box... the tank there has a depth of only 12" rather than 18" at the corners.

With that said, though, I certainly don't need a 12" deep bed of vals. I could easily clear out the front 6-9", and then either plant something short there (any suggestions?) or leave it open.

I guess I've been sort of hesitant to remove plants because I'm glad that they grew in, and I hate to "waste" that.

Lady Hobbs
12-08-2011, 05:37 PM
hummmm.....how about the two front corners and running down the sides then?

Goes to 11!
12-08-2011, 05:39 PM
Just move them to the two back corners and that should eliminate the box thing.+1

IMO This is your winning move right here, The box will be less of a distraction than what's going on now as it will be nestled into the plants as opposed to having a 40 acre field coming at you right up front.

The blue is painted on the inside eh?... Bummer.

DylanisHawttt
12-08-2011, 05:40 PM
I could easily clear out the front 6-9", and then either plant something short there (any suggestions?) or leave it open.


You could go with some Crypts or Dwarf Sag? Both can be grown in your tank with your lighting and substrate. Personally I'd plant a mix of Crypt Parva and Dwarf Sag in the front where the "wall" was.

Rhaethe
12-08-2011, 05:54 PM
Don't try to cover the blue box. Accentuate it. What you have is a tank with changing depth. No biggie, and no different then the wave tanks. Treat that side as a "rock wall" that is blue. Cause that is what it is. It is a large enough feature of the tank that attempting to hide it will result in what you have right now ... an oddity in the mind's eye that you are left displeased with.


Don't thin the vals, just move them to the back (wherever the back is) and choose one side to scatter them on.

Ellen4God
12-08-2011, 05:54 PM
If you'd like to take some out but don't want to throw then out, you could sell them!!

Rhaethe
12-08-2011, 05:56 PM
If you'd like to take some out but don't want to throw then out, you could sell them!!

And there is that.

Tall healthy vals go for a nice price. I've been keeping my beady eye on "adult val" prices ... as I'll be placing them in the new tank. When I get the new tank.

Brhino
12-08-2011, 05:59 PM
Thanks for all the feedback, everyone. So many good responses!


The blue is painted on the inside eh?... Bummer.

well it's not actually PAINTED blue... it's blue acrylic. Here's what it looked like empty, with the driftwood approximately (but not exactly) in the same place is it now.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c376/starmike82/DSC_0480.jpg

unfortunately the limited openings in the top make working around the sides and edges pretty difficult.


You could go with some Crypts or Dwarf Sag? Both can be grown in your tank with your lighting and substrate. Personally I'd plant a mix of Crypt Parva and Dwarf Sag in the front where the "wall" was.

You know in hindsight this is sort of what I did at first. Looking at the first picture again I realize that I planted my tall vals in the back and the short ones in the front, which looked nice at the time... but then after a while everything became tall vals. Derp.


Don't thin the vals, just move them to the back (wherever the back is) and choose one side to scatter them on.

Do you mean back center, or back sides? The back sides are pretty inaccessible, one's got the rock pile and the other is dominated by java moss even after I removed about two thirds of it.


If you'd like to take some out but don't want to throw then out, you could sell them!!

I don't know, they've got a fair bit of algae on them. Not sure if anyone would want them.

Rhaethe
12-08-2011, 06:09 PM
Do you mean back center, or back sides? The back sides are pretty inaccessible, one's got the rock pile and the other is dominated by java moss even after I removed about two thirds of it.


Wherever you have bare wall in the back. I'd also move around the hardscape ... but that's me.

Brhino
12-08-2011, 06:43 PM
not ma hardscapes! :cry: