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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you think of my new setup?
I love it! Great work!1025.64%
Meh..... It's o.k.1641.03%
I don't really like it at all because... (pls explain)1333.33%
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well not really. But I changed the decor in my tank. It used to look like this:


Now it looks like this. I was going for the "fallen down brick wall" look.


What do you think?

Here is a video of the tank.
http://s271.photobucket.com/albums/jj158/Boomr99/?action=view&current=P1010763.jpg

It is a 55 gallon seamless bowfront with about 650 gph(rated) of filtration.
The inhabitants are:
1 male Red Fin Borleyi
1 male Red Empress
1 male Electric blue iceburg
1 male Ruby red peacock
1 male Red Top Lwanda
1 male yellow (Baenschi) peacock
1 male Prot. Stevani Taiwan reef
1 male Sunburst peacock
1 male Electric yellow
1 male unknown peacock
1 male albino red zebra
1 male Pseudo Sp. Elogatus
1 male O.B peacock
1 Juli. Transcriptus
Pair (male & female) Black Calvus
3 Syno. Lucipinnis
 

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Well it just isn't natural looking at all and on the other hand it doesn't look like youd find in any manmade site either. Fish list looks nice though.

The brick wall would actually work nicely if you could get your hands on some OLD (or old looking) red brick. Replace the white bricks with red ones and also beat the red ones with a hammer a bit. Just to get some cracks appear, some bricks to smaller uneven pieces etc.. Sorta going for a flooded-derelict-industrial-site-from-1895 or something. :) But that's just my view.

However if you're set on the white brickwork I'd suggest you add some to the pile on the right to off-balance the view (golden ratio is a good friend of aquarium decorator - just put anything off-balancing approximately 1/3 of the tank length from left or right) and to make more use of the depth.

EDIT: Actually most landscaping/gardening suppliers are likely to have red "bricks" of some description. Old bricks can have allsorts of nasty residues left in them from decades ago - better not try them after all.
 

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I like it, and it's very original.
 

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It doesn’t look natural, but your not going for a natural look so that works…

I really like the concept…

I agree the bricks look a little too new… if you have access to a way to sand blast them you could add some wear that way… maybe break a brick or two as well…

Personally… I think it is really cool…
 

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I love your fish, they are very nice.

But i like it when they are surrounded by as close to their natural habitat as possible, that would make your fish look even better.

The background is cool, i like that
 

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I think it very original and cool looking. Something about all those perfect circles is pleasing to the eye. Good job. IMO no tank is completely natural looking anyway, so to have one that is intentionally unnatural doesn't seem out of place to me.
I bet a big tank with even more of those "holey" bricks would make a perfect Mbuna tank!

One thing tough, and sorry if I'm dispensing more info than you want, but that seems like a LOT of somewhat large fish for a 55. Carry that same layout over to a 125 and you'd have an awesome tank.
 

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I think you have very unnatural shaped bricks (boviously) piled in a trying-to-look-natural sort of way.

If you want to embrace the non-naturalness, you could arrange them like a modern sculpture or something... in a very starkly geometric stack for example.

Long term, I think you will come to prefer a natrual look. a few large specimen rivver rocks would look great in there, surrounded by a pile of smaller ones.
 

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Great job! I make my tanks natural but I am a big fan of anything artistic. It's a great looking tank. I've often thought of similar things, like maybe a tank with half a tire in it to reproduce the look of a piece of lake that someone threw a tire in or similar ideas. I don't like garbage but fish often times live in it. (and like it sometimes) :) Kinda a weird thought that I'm sure alot of people don't like but my goal isn't to appeal to the crowd.
 

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Not a fan of the industrial pollution look, but if you like it that's all that counts. :wink:

I would agree with Mikesl and do some kind of a holey brick condo for the fish. Maybe a couple of rounded tall structures with each layer of brick offset from the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Aquanist said:
....The brick wall would actually work nicely if you could get your hands on some OLD (or old looking) red brick. Replace the white bricks with red ones and also beat the red ones with a hammer a bit. Just to get some cracks appear, some bricks to smaller uneven pieces etc.. Sorta going for a flooded-derelict-industrial-site-from-1895 or something. :) But that's just my view. ....
I found some OLD red bricks and they were very dirty, had some type of oil or something soaked into the. Not safe for the tank I felt. I looked at NEW red bricks and figured that would be way too much red in there as the background is already red/blue "brickwork". I went with plain bricks on the black sand as I want the fish to be the most colorful things in there.

Toby_H said:
It doesn’t look natural, but your not going for a natural look so that works…

I really like the concept…

I agree the bricks look a little too new… if you have access to a way to sand blast them you could add some wear that way… maybe break a brick or two as well…

Personally… I think it is really cool…
Thanks Toby. I spent alot of time smoothing over the edges and the inside if the holes with a grinder and dremel tool. They were very sharp and hazardous to the fish. I thought broken bricks would be too sharp, and if I smoothed the broken parts out, that would look funny. But maybe I'll try it...

Gibbs said:
I love your fish, they are very nice.

But i like it when they are surrounded by as close to their natural habitat as possible, that would make your fish look even better.

The background is cool, i like that
Kinda contradictive here no? The background is VERY unnatural looking. Thanks for the compliment on the fish!

Cich of it all said:
I think it very original and cool looking. Something about all those perfect circles is pleasing to the eye. Good job. IMO no tank is completely natural looking anyway, so to have one that is intentionally unnatural doesn't seem out of place to me.
I bet a big tank with even more of those "holey" bricks would make a perfect Mbuna tank!

One thing tough, and sorry if I'm dispensing more info than you want, but that seems like a LOT of somewhat large fish for a 55. Carry that same layout over to a 125 and you'd have an awesome tank.
They will likely all be going into a 150 (soon?). Thanks for the compliment!

mikesl said:
...If you want to embrace the non-naturalness, you could arrange them like a modern sculpture or something... in a very starkly geometric stack for example. ....
I may try that. Like my sig says, the contents of my tanks are fluid (always changing). That includes how I pile the bricks. It'll probably change a bit every w/c.

And thanks to everyone on the coments so far. Much appreciated! I am cranking up the hours of light in this tank too to promote some algae growth on those bricks. I think they will look much better with some thick green algae on them.
I'll post more pics later as it changes.
Thanks for looking.
 

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hmm... strange, not in a bad way though.
It kinda grows on you. Fish don't care what they use for territory, in the wild they use any structure. Way to be outside of the box!
 

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I really like it. I'm pretty sure that there's no falling brick walls in Lake Malawi but, who cares. It's original, functional and pleasing to the eye (mine anyway). As someone else mentioned 'aging' the bricks and maybe breaking one or two would add to the effect but it's not bad the way it is either.
 

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I think if you're going to go that far away from a natural looking set up, you should go all the way and get rid of the plants. I'm trying to think of some kind of fabric or something you could use that would offer a similar type cover without it resembling a plant. I know I'm not explaining myself very well, sorry. I'll keep thinking about it though and maybe an idea will sprout.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the thoughts guys and gals.
My goal was to be different. Something that no one else has or has seen. And something that really appealed to me and was good for the fish (hiding places and such). I searched everywhere on the net trying to find pics of bricks in an aquarium and came up with nothing. So I think I achieved my goal.
The debate over "natural" vs. "unnatural" is certainly an old one. I wasn't trying to replicate the bottom of lake Malawi (EVERYONE tries to do that, often unsuccesfully, and it gets SOOO old IMO.) Let's be honest, it's pretty hard to make a relatively (compared to the lake) small aquarium, look anything remotely like the lake actually does. I've seen tons and tons of pics of people's tanks on this site and others, and very few people come close.
But at the same rate, it's not like I've got a plastic orange scuba diver and a treasure chest blowing bubbles in my tank either.
I would argue that mine is a "different kind of natural". Not meant to replicate any lake, but imagine 10000 years from now when half the world is under water because the polar ice caps have melted. I'd bet you'd see lots of decrepid brick walls under water then, with plants growing on them.
Anyway, I like it. My fish really seem to like it. And I wanted to share it and hope you like it too!
I sure appreciate your opinions either way. keep 'em coming!











 

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bentcountershaft said:
I think if you're going to go that far away from a natural looking set up, you should go all the way and get rid of the plants. I'm trying to think of some kind of fabric or something you could use that would offer a similar type cover without it resembling a plant. I know I'm not explaining myself very well, sorry. I'll keep thinking about it though and maybe an idea will sprout.
I have some CHROME looking plastic plants I bought from my LFS. They are bright silver and really stand out. Something like that might look cool.

BTW, I wouldn't worry about the edges of the bricks being harmful to the fish. I use a lot of lace rock myself, and that stuff is covered in jagged edges. Once in a while a fish may get a scrape or two, but they heal up quickly. I wouldn't alter the bricks at all. I think they look good they way they are. :thumb:
 

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Your setup actually reminds me of a "natural habitat" where I went scuba diving for me certification when I was in college. The site was on a lake in upstate New York where there had once been a brick factory on the shore that had been bulldozed into the water. We were diving amongst the piles of bricks underwater.
 
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