Aquascaping ideas?

AmyKieran

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I have attached a picture of my rift lake cichlid tank below. Ide like some ideas on how to improve. I’ve tried basically all floating plants (hornwort, duckweed, frogbit) I’ve also tried a few plants that just got demolished (valisneria, crypts, Ludwigia, Nomaphila stricta) but I’ve also had some success with Java fern and Anubias. Ide love a nice bulky piece of wood in the middle. I have a plec so that would benefit him too. Any recommendations on aquascaping?

Oh I also have a parlour palm riparian planted into the top :)
 

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Wills

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Can you get a picture of the tank from a bit lower and square on, that way we can get a better idea of how it really looks. Try and block out reflections too which will help us work out what you are working with.

From what you have here I'd try and create more height and maybe break up the wall of the rocks, maybe do a two island effect? So you have one tall tower/pile of rocks on the left of the filter block and then a smaller one to the front right corner. I'm not sure I'd add wood to this, its not very natural for these fish and I'd lean more into the rocks to build it up.

Have you ever seen people building DIY rocks out of expandable foam etc? I'm not sure which brand it is but there are a few that are totally safe and you can attach them to the glass with silicone again you can get some that are safe underwater or you can lower the levels while you attach it - could probably use super glue too? That might melt the foam though? Could be a fun DIY project if you fancied it.

Wills
 
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AmyKieran

AmyKieran

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Can you get a picture of the tank from a bit lower and square on, that way we can get a better idea of how it really looks. Try and block out reflections too which will help us work out what you are working with.

From what you have here I'd try and create more height and maybe break up the wall of the rocks, maybe do a two island effect? So you have one tall tower/pile of rocks on the left of the filter block and then a smaller one to the front right corner. I'm not sure I'd add wood to this, its not very natural for these fish and I'd lean more into the rocks to build it up.

Have you ever seen people building DIY rocks out of expandable foam etc? I'm not sure which brand it is but there are a few that are totally safe and you can attach them to the glass with silicone again you can get some that are safe underwater or you can lower the levels while you attach it - could probably use super glue too? That might melt the foam though? Could be a fun DIY project if you fancied it.

Wills
There’s a more square in version. Building a pillar almost would be difficult because the rocks are very weird shapes. Do you have an example?
 

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wasmewasntit

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Something like this might add impact...placed in the center/back with the rocks coming off both sides


(I have had a smaller version in the past and not only do the BN/Pleco types love both hiding and chewing it, the fish will also potentially go inside as an alternative to occupying the rocks)
 

GaryE

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You would be surprised at how breaking up that arc of stone would work. You want to create "channels" to draw the eye in. Looking into a ^ is better than looking into an ___. You can create illusions of depth by running lines of rock wide to narrow at the back, and by varying height. I would not use wood with rift lake Cichlids unless the wood was old and well used, so the tannins were gone.
I think that's why artifical options are suggested.
 
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AmyKieran

AmyKieran

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You would be surprised at how breaking up that arc of stone would work. You want to create "channels" to draw the eye in. Looking into a ^ is better than looking into an ___. You can create illusions of depth by running lines of rock wide to narrow at the back, and by varying height. I would not use wood with rift lake Cichlids unless the wood was old and well used, so the tannins were gone.
I think that's why artifical options are suggested.
I’m trying hard to envision what a ^ shape would look like in channels of rock. Could u draw a little basic diagram?
 

Colin_T

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You could check out some of the reef forums and see what they have. A lot of people have a reef on one side of the tank and open water on the other side. The fish swim out in the open but can retreat back into the rocks when threatened.

Other people have a wall of rock on both sides and open water in the middle. I resembles a gutter and the fish swim in the middle but can retreat into either side for shelter.

I wouldn't add too much driftwood because it looks out of place in a Rift Lake tank. If you find a tree root, you could put it among some rocks so it looks like I was growing through the rocks. Otherwise get a small bit for the suckermouth catfish.

Most suckermouth catfish come from soft water and don't do that well in hard water.
 

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