It's Time to Start Thinking About Aquascaping & Theming Our 60 Gallon Goldie Tank...
I realize it's not the customary thing to do -- that is, adding decor, foliage and doing aquascaping -- once fish are in a tank and comfortable, but because our budget was simply wiped out after the last tank crash we sustained, we had to scrape up enough just to get it up and running again (before it cracked). What we ended up buying was natural-colored pebble substrate (we had shades of blue in the last tank, which was "pirate ship" themed) that looks like this:
And because my INITIAL intention was to make this a natural-themed habitat (which my wife doesn't like for some reason) even with plastic flora, we bought one of these:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo (not this one exactly, but one that looks like a real "tree trunk" sitting upright)
We put the tree trunk ornament in the left corner and added THIS to the right corner when we started to think we would go with an ASIAN theme because of the goldfish we're keeping:
My wife did some aquascaping, and created a little "swirling garden" leading from the gazebo pictured above, cutting out pieces of this:
Now -- behind the tree trunk ornament in the left corner, we placed one tall green plant like this:
As well as in the right corner behind the Asian gazebo, and also in the right corner, we placed this, to bring in some of the red from the gazebo:
Aside from these pieces, we added some small, "spiky" kinds of plants that peek out of the holes in the tree stump, such as:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...AvailInUS%2FNo (the ones with red and green)
Aside from the two 18" bubble bars going across the back of the tank, side by side so they create a near wall-to-wall curtain of bubbles, that's it for decor right now. Just last night, my wife picked this up:
As we saw this bridge being used in one of Petsmart's demo tanks they staged online for a goldfish/Asian setup; I haven't put it in the tank yet, and I was thinking of placing it kind of over the "winding garden" that kind of snakes into the middle of the tank, leading from the Asian gazebo. So, the bridge would kind of go over the garden right in the center of the tank...
Here's my problem: We are completely unsure what kind of "theme" we're going with here, and we definitely know we need better lighting to show the fish and the decor off (the fluorescent lamps included in the hoods of the new Marineland 60 gallon we just set up are AWFUL, casting a sickly kind of greenish, cold hue to the water) as well as some kind of background on the tank to add dramatics and illusion of depth. I would like some assistance with aquascaping ideas based on what we have in there now, and what we should presumably go with...any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
First of all: HERE is the tank I was talking about that we noticed on Petsmart's site, and which caught our attention for design inspiration:
You can see where they staged/placed the bridge we just recently acquired towards the right corner of that tank -- not sure how I like that, but they are suggesting this bridge CAN be used in an Asian-type design. In the center, they have that kind of "Buddha" statue and then off to the left is a dragon bubbler (we decided against this decoration because my wife wanted to go more "Zen" and relaxing with the Asian decor). I do like how they have an injection of red throughout the aquarium in terms of plants, and I believe they have a black background on the tank. Further, the gravel they're using in this picture is exactly the kind of natural pebble substrate we have in ours, so that would be a fit, I suppose...
Here are my thoughts/questions: First of all, does it make sense to use this kind of bridge pictured in the tank images above and which we just purchased in an ASIAN THEMED setup? To me, it kind of looks like a bridge you'd see connecting, perhaps, two castles together if you were going with the castle theme; speaking of that, THESE pieces really intrigued me if we were going to tear the setup we have in there now down and just start over, but they're RIDICULOUSLY expensive:
My thought was that, as I said, we could place two of these pieces in the middle of the tank with the bridge we have now "connecting" them, and the remainder of the tank would be all plastic plants...I just don't know if I want to go with the expense of doing the castle theme or if it's too "childish." Your thoughts?
Okay, so my next question involves the little red Asian gazebo piece I cited above and if that "meshes" with the tree stump ornament that's in the left corner of the tank right now; is the tree stump piece something that could "go" with an Asian theme? Perhaps we could move the tree stump off the extreme left of the tank, a bit more to the right and more "off-center" and use that as more of a focal point (not using the bridge then) with lots of plants then in the tank and the gazebo still off on the right, but something doesn't "flow" to me when I think of that...
Ideally, I wanted to do (fake) driftwood pieces, logs, rock caves, etc. which are also sold at these chain stores for the more "natural" setup, but my wife doesn't want it, and would rather go with either the Zen/Asian design or MAYBE consider the expense of beginning again and buying the castles...the thought of the "Asian" habitat intrigued me, as that's where the goldfish call their native habitat, but of course you wouldn't see Asian gazebos under the water in the rivers and lakes they inhabit...
What are your opinions on aquascaping/theming this tank? The aquarium is ridiculously narrow and more tall than long, so I can't fit much in terms of heavy, bulky pieces of decor. We barely got the tree stump ornament in there...but I am more concerned with continuing the Asian/Zen theme and incorporating the tree stump element somehow (or not), or scrapping the whole thing and going with the "connected castles" as I mentioned (though we really don't have a budget for this and would like to make what we already have work).
Then, the question becomes...how do you successfully aquascape with plants and such so that the design "flows" and looks "built up" with lush bushes and plants in back and smaller ones up front? I've just NEVER been good at this...
If anyone could assist with any of these elements, lending insight, opinion and/or perspective, please feel free to indulge with your thoughts in this thread!
Thank you, in advance...
Last edited by ClinicaTerraLTD; 02-21-2013 at 02:59 AM.
Edit. Will return to thread.
Okay, so in further thinking about our aquascaping/theming dilemma, here is what I kind of came up with...
For now, we're scrapping the idea of going with a brand-new "castle" or "pirate shipwreck" theme (I personally have always loved the pirate ship setup, which we had in the last tank before it cracked) as well as the "all-natural" kind of look (my wife, for some reason that's beyond me, just HATES that natural, "bottom of a river" look which I find appealing on many tanks and the reason I bought the big tree trunk decoration to begin with), and instead we're going to be concentrating on an ASIAN/ZEN theme to pay tribute to the goldfish's roots...
Okay, so with that in mind, what I had proposed was to REMOVE the Petsmart tree stump piece altogether (this: Google Image Result for http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VqOmrwxNxDk/TRlgGRIWN2I/AAAAAAAAADs/kB-XHN9B0_4/s1600/tank.png )
And move the three-arch bridge ornament we just purchased from the center of the tank, where it is now temporarily, to more OFF-CENTER towards the left of the tank (to kind of replace the tree stump) so it's the off-center focal point...the bridge looks like THIS:
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-3761582t300x300.jpg
Surrounding the bridge would be Bonsai plants and trees to give it a more Asian flair, such as:
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-9424991t300x300.jpg
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-8371162t300x300.jpg
Then, I was thinking the little "Zen garden" my wife created, which snakes away from the Asian gazebo on the right side of the tank through the gravel and ends up in the center, could be added to and could wind underneath the bridge; she made the "garden" out of cut up pieces of THIS:
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-9497834t300x300.jpg
The bridge, off to the left/off-center side of the tank, could be placed on an angle, with the "garden" running through the center arch...
Then, I was thinking we would leave the little red Asian gazebo piece that's on the right side of the tank for now because the fish like going in and out of it, and it kind of fits the theme anyway, but just build a lot of plants up behind and around it; the gazebo looks like THIS:
Google Image Result for http://www.petco.com/assets/product_images/8/800443112410c.jpg
Now -- my thought was not to go too overboard with decoration pieces even though my wife wanted to add a Buddha and maybe some kind of temple to match the Zen theme, so I was thinking just this gazebo off to the right and the bridge off to the left/off-center, and then building up the rest of the tank with red and green plants...MAYBE adding a small piece down the road in the middle/back like this:
Google Image Result for http://www.petsmart.com/graphics/product_images/pPETS-11587580t100.jpg
Or, maybe this:
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-3765527w75.gif
Overall, we are drawing inspiration from, and attempting to mimic some elements of, THIS tank that was staged for Petsmart's site:
Google Image Result for http://pet.imageg.net/graphics/product_images/pPETS-6704003t300x300.jpg
You can see where they used the same bridge we have now off to the right, sort of in the corner (which I don't really care for; my design proposal has the bridge off to the left but kind of off-center from the middle) plus the dragon bubbler (which we're not getting) and the little temple piece in the middle. We are also using the same natural-colored substrate/pebble rock as pictured here; I am assuming they're also using a black background to bring this theme together...
I would like to get some opinions on what I was proposing for this aquascaping/theme layout for our fancy goldfish tank; please feel free to share any thoughts, insight, direction or anything that comes to mind!
Last edited by ClinicaTerraLTD; 02-23-2013 at 12:35 AM.
I think that everyone has their own aesthetics that appeal to them when it comes to aqua scaping. some like all natural looking tanks, some like a mix, and some like themes. It sounds as though you have thought this out well and I'm certain that whatever you end up doing will be pleasing to you because you are the one who designed it and you are the one who will be enjoying it. That's what's important. And nothing is carved in stone. If you don't like the way it looks when you're finished, you can always rearrange.
I think this isn't what most people would consider aquascaping. If you like a bunch of asian themed ornaments in your tank then go for it. Your end goal should bne something you and your wife enjoy looking at.