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Inspirational wood-dominated aquascapes

KirstyF

Member
Joined
25 Jul 2021
Messages
72
Location
Kidderminster
I get your point @Stan510, and can’t disagree that buying wood is expensive, however, I would gain no pleasure from trying to cobble something together from miscellaneous scrap and zip ties, and nor do I believe it would offer me the results that I’m looking for.

I personally do not have the time or the inclination to go scavenging in the wilds for natural pieces, though I have huge respect for those that do….more power to them!

What I therefore choose to do is purchase commercially available beautiful pieces of wood and rock and then use them to build a ‘scape that gives me pleasure, which right now involves using moss and epiphytes, which, to some extent will inevitably obscure at least some of their natural features.

Will my ‘scape be beautiful? well I certainly hope so.
Will it make me happy? Yes it will.
Will it be expensive? Yep, and I’m totally ok with that.
Does it make ‘no sense’ to use this approach? Maybe to you it does…but to me, it makes all the sense in the world.

Each to their own, and I’ve no doubt that myself and others would look forward to being inspired by your own creations (however they are built) should you chose to post them.
 

Angus

Member
Joined
29 Aug 2008
Messages
620
Location
Vauxhall, London.
In natural environments, beautiful feature pieces of drift and bog wood get covered by mosses stan, it depends more on where the piece of wood falls in than what it looks like, i do get your point about price and making value, but it is the individuals right to choose, after all it is their tank and they are going to be the main viewer.

In all forms of art there are artists that build their art on top of a beautiful base and partly cover it up in the process, i see nothing wrong with it.
 

Karmicnull

Member
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
505
Location
Cambridge
I also think that scapes are dynamic. There are several I've seen here on UKAPS that started off with the hardscape skeleton very visible, and the scape looked fantastic. Over the course of a year, the plants grow in until the wood is completely obscured. And the scape looks very different, but still superb! So there is I suspect an element of enjoying all aspects of the journey for many people.
 

Stan510

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2021
Messages
117
Location
Hayward ca
I have Manzanita and some pieces of African wood I bought myself. It's why I post about this. Right now,they look no different then the Sycamore branches I collected in a dry stream years ago ( Sycamore wood is very nicely grained for those who take nature walks) and why I see that if you buy for the wood being able to use RIGHT NOW..I get that. No bark on what's sold and most are free of live tissue. But there are so many places to find wood..especially when you have in mind..it's just the blank canvas not the finished painting.
I post from many years of trying just about everything.
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
691
Location
London
I think the use of wood has different purposes for different tanks, and all are valid. For some it is the featured sculptural element in and of itself, in others it's the structure that allows the plants to grow into their own sculpture, others again it's a mix. It can be a place explicitly for fish to enjoy and live amongst, or purely for the aesthetic. Maybe it is to make something naturalistic, or something fantastical. It can be simple or complex, large or small scale. Bought or found. You can show as much or as little as you'd like...it's all interesting, and all evolving as the tank develops. And if course these can all be mixed together too!

For me this is what is good in the hobby, everyone has their own particular point of view and their own ideas about the aesthetics and requirements of a tank, and sets about making it reality. It's a great way to create - to have a theory and try it out, and to work on the tanks to make them exactly for you and what you love. Then along the way end up learning so much and discovering things that are even better than what you set out to do.

It's not about what other people do with their tanks, but about what you do with yours. Slagging off people's work that isn't your taste to your friends is always great fun though no matter the subject 😂 It's also an important part of working out your own style, realising what you don't like as much as what you do like. When I was an art/design student it wasn't until I realised what I was against that I realised what I was for to counteract it and argue my own case.

In my aquariums I like massive wood that fills the tank and creatures sculptural drama, light and shadow contrast, and means that I can add plants at every height and depth, creating great habitats for my animals to live in. I like it with a good amount of plants growing on it, though still like to see some bare wood too to enhance the form. I also really love to see parts of the wood come out of the water creating this emergent zone, have that in all my tanks.

@Stan510 you should look up more blackwater tanks that have few plants so the (usually wood-based) hardscape is really on show. Often very nice, definitely a good one to try.
 

Courtneybst

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Joined
5 Sep 2016
Messages
687
Location
London
I'm all for a mixture of styles and I think there's a versatility in using natural wood pieces that you wouldn't get from 2x4s. It allows you to make changes, for example if you decided that you want more of it exposed than you had planned. If you decide to rescape, you might choose to show off the bottom half of the wood that was previously hidden and vice versa. You might want to do use that wood later down the line in new scapes where you do want the wood exposed, it's almost like an investment. If you've used chair legs in that instance you're a bit restricted. Also from my understanding wood like that isn't really suitable for being in water anyway. Not to mention how strange it would look before getting covered.

I personally like to keep some of my wood hardscape exposed and some covered to give an aged appearance without losing it completely. At the end of the day, aesthetically pleasing or not it is an ecosystem and ecosystems are dynamic and ever-changing. Some enjoy seeing plants gradually take hold.

The price that one pays for said wood is only really relevant to the purchaser! It didn't come out of my wallet.
 

PARAGUAY

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Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,367
Location
Lancashire
I did go on a spending spree when Pets at Home had a 3 for2 on azalea wood a while ago most still in garage not used 😄 a couple of nice pieces from Aquarium Gardens and Scaped Nature. But plenty of locally sourced hawthorn ,oak , beech most lying about in garden. You dont get the gnarly look of manza but these woods look really natural.
 

Stan510

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Joined
20 Oct 2021
Messages
117
Location
Hayward ca
That's another point. I wood (joke) recommend that if you know your basic stream tree's..wood from them is great for aquariums. Sycamores,Maples,Willow,Alder ( said to be very long lasting)..riparian trees that popup next to any place water collects works well. Roots too.
What you DON'T want to do is use Pines or other needle leafed trees Avoid the forest trees for the most part.
 
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whimm

New Member
Joined
15 Feb 2021
Messages
8
Location
UK
I agree, what would be the point in spending lots of money for wood that you would only cover with moss, unless you liked the process of transition before and after. But also good "aqua scapers" know what parts of the wood they use will be showing and what will be covered by plants.
 

Stan510

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Joined
20 Oct 2021
Messages
117
Location
Hayward ca
Some understand and others are unclear on the concept. I would NEVER pay big bucks for wood..and then after the first few weeks never see it again. I get the "bro,lets gang up"..going on but when somebody says "Do not put Plecos in with that wood as they can rasp it down to nothing in a year"..and nobody claims they don't understand that.
Again- the Amano Lisbon aquarium? Could very well have been all lava rock for the Bolbitis and a couple of branches going straight up for much,much,less the cost of using all imported wood. I mean,its like reef and base rock. You use it to cover and mount the corals..you WANT to cover it from view with live things. I see lots of scaped tanks and if they only knew how much nicer it would have been to leave the wood or Dragon rock bare and plant around it. I think I have said that...;)
 

mort

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Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,798
I get what you mean Stan, it's like putting in a nice marble floor down and then a carpet on top. I'll also say I don't look at it with a "proper" aquascaper view, more a penny pinching "if I can't see it, it doesn't matter what it is".
I'm not sure if you mixed materials that you'd get a harmonious scape so it has to be all or nothing for most but from a lot of scaping videos I've seen there does seem to be so much that gets hidden and so much waste.
 

Aqua360

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Joined
15 Feb 2016
Messages
1,765
Location
paisley
Seen this in the cupboard earlier 😋
PXL_20211124_203013013.jpg
 

Stan510

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2021
Messages
117
Location
Hayward ca
Thanks Michael:)
I might..try creating a "peice" using old woods,whatever I have,tie them together and then put some silk plant on it..to bypass the Co2 and year and big$$$!
Not soon..but it's an idea for later.😉
 

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