This tank is done by Luca galarraga (my favourite scaper?) at CARAC 2019 organized by Acuariofila Regiomontana A.C. It is a live setup (done within a short time) but demonstrates many high impact aquascaping touches. Here I note down some of my own observations
1. Rocks are half buried which allows them to flush naturally with the substrate line - this is a subtle touch than enhances the natural feel of the aquascape compared to rocks that are sitting flat or above the substrate line.
2. Natural rocks break and wear down with time - this natural progression is highlighted by the gradation of large to smaller rocks to pebbles and fine grains.
3. Point 2 means that you need quite a lot of smaller rock to surround the larger pieces. Many newer aquascapers budget for larger pieces but run out of smaller rocks. Smashing larger rocks to get small ones are an alternative
4. The tallest piece of hardscape reaches almost the top of the tank. Rocks seem larger in person until you actually use it in an aquarium photo. Hardscape shrinks after it is covered by plants. Taking this into account, for most tank designs, the highest hardscape needs to almost reach the water surface.
5. The ridges line up at an angle that accentuates the perspective. A sense of harmony and order comes when the angles are repeat in parallel ridges and the angles match on both sides of the tank.
6. Empty foreground space is given a lot of character with smaller rock bits.
7. Leaning the rocks forward makes them cast shadows visible from front view of the tank; enhancing their 3 dimensionality and textures.
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