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New Decade, New Decadence...

Looking good. The wood is so structural it could easily look good on its own as a ryuboku scape. But maybe adding rocks will help create more layers and perhaps add more tension.




Few subtle changes to the foreground, but it’s getting a bit gratuitous at this point @Tim Harrison . Any further layering would have to be achieved by rock as you say or through planting.

In the last hour had a neighbour knock round for a parcel that turned into a thirty minute chat, then was alerted to a blocked toilet… think someone up there 👆🏼 wants this game to stop for today.

Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping… 😂
Slept on it and quick review over a morning coffee.

Happy with the planting zones and potential flow and distribution errors, they’re manageable:






Also looks good from kid height which is important in this house, keep them engaged:


Not a clue whether we’ll tackle all the issues this scape would have with sand foreground, or maybe just go all soil. Rock? Who knows 🤷🏻‍♂️ Cross that bridge when we get to it.

Will glue everything down and together with JBL Pro Haru first:


Give it a good four days to adhere. Sort everything else thereafter.

If you haven’t used this stuff it’s really useful albeit messy. Just need to be gentle squeezing the tube

You can attach hardscape directly to the glass with just a dab the size of a pound coin (let it dry for 72 hours properly). No floating hardscape.

When it comes to rescape time, twist and it comes straight off. Easily picked off your wood and rock too.
Looks fantastic; multi-layered, hugely impactful and photogenic. Could we be seeing the beginnings of a competition scape?

Thought about this and competing doesn’t personally mean anything for myself Tim. The hobby is self satisfying in this house, it has no ulterior purpose.

Did several scapes yesterday, one that was a banger from a single viewpoint. Problem is it looked naff from every other angle. Couldn’t live with that so tore it down immediately.

The next one was the one you see, it looks pretty sweet from every angle but the front 🤷🏻‍♂️

As far as we’re aware, not a 3ft 8inch tall man who stares directly at the tank from the front very often so we’re all gravy 😂
Rinsey rinse…


Wouldn’t normally rinse hardscape, but there’s a ton of stuff inside all those hollows that is better off out before we start:


Few dead bugs and feathers too…

Most importantly, all glued down appropriately. No floaters:


Gone with @Tim Harrison ‘s suggestion and keeping this a wood only/ryoboku scape. Rock doesn’t add anything.

Drained the water and crud out. Soil in next and will see how it spills from the back corners before considering sand for the foreground.
That is some depth of perspective you've managed to create, even allowing for the visual compression caused by water.
Looking forward to seeing it grounded with substrate, and all those layers defined with planting.
That is some depth of perspective you've managed to create, even allowing for the visual compression caused by water.

Aye, it’s all set to work out and could easily be lost in the planting. Still confused as to how much credence to give depth over plant variety and abundance.

Looking to capping each line of the wood with maybe UG or MC or Riccardia to keep clean lines with the detail and shadow on the underside of the wood available. Beginning to think less variety will have more impact.

Got plenty of light pouring down and distribution is going to be challenging. Access for trimming is actually alright despite the way things look, always a plus.
Beginning to think less variety will have more impact
I was thinking along similar lines too. Also, if you'd be happy with the way the hardscape sits in the substrate when it's added.
I was thinking along similar lines too. Also, if you'd be happy with the way the hardscape sits in the substrate when it's added.

This is it, all must obey gravity. There’s so many holes in the wood that usual tricks don’t work. Rock, gone. Floss, visible. Work with what we get within the confines, sure there’s something clever to be had out of it.

Going heavy planting with carpeting could hold it together though. Just have to be gentle with water changes initially. Planting on top of wood negates algal issues locally mostly.

There’s plenty of inspiration from the IAPLC this year. Lots of flowing carpeting plants over ledges executed well. Also capping soil up to the front glass with sand, leaving several inches at the front of just sand in the foreground. They let the plants spread to the front with soil access just a wee bit back and you see no soil from a front view.

Struggle with high banked soil against the front glass on the left and right side, but again there were some entries that shadowed it so well with healthy growth that it was only noticeable as an after thought.
Fantastic looking woodwork there @Geoffrey Rea - it's almost a shame to plant it and potentially loose some of those stark angular shapes of the wood. I'll be interested to see what you do with the substrate at the front and through the centre - will you be going with light coloured sand/gravel substrate for contrast?
Looking for some stretch this time @Wookii so willing to try new and different techniques that are unfamiliar.

The foreground to centre back could be capped with sand on top of soil once the soil has settled.


Will have to be gentle planting to avoid mixing it up and avoid species that need frequently tearing up.

Mixed planting with single plants dotted through to the back, graded by leaf size; repens, patches of various carpeting species, bits of Riccardia on pebbles etc, Pavol’s trick of eleocharis at the very back centre to give distance and scale. The tough bit personally will be leaving empty patches of sand where you know you could grow a plant 😂 It is very difficult to break the ‘farm’ mentality to spare growing space.

Going to try and aim for ‘see no soil’ from the front view. Sand to the glass and even capping soil with pebbles higher up so there’s no soil visible. Have found seeing any soil takes you away from the scape.

The wood has been soaking for a while now so confident nothing will float:


Full ADA substrate in today, fill and leave dark with the filters running. Tomorrow have an empty house so can plant up in relative peace without the distractions. See how we go…
It’s looking epic mate.
The wood has such definition and detail you are right to leave the stones out. I feel they would be fighting one another for attention 🤣
Looking forward to seeing the substrate in as that ties everything together…..then the plants of course.

This is the end of this journal. Hope you have all enjoyed the banter, laughs and tank talk. It’s been fun 😎

However, the tank carries on forward, forever destroying our finances. The Decade of Decadence continues on in this journal, The Original.