# Aquascaping Layout & The Golden Ratio

Some of you may have heard of this and some of you may have not and its called ‘The Golden Ratio’ which is widely used in planning the layout and perspective of an aquascape.  We have put together a simple ‘Aquascaping Layout  & The Golden Ratio’ guide on how to create a scape that is pleasing on the eye and has the right composition and design in mind.

## The Golden Ratio

Firstly we will look at the The Golden Ratio which will guide you in creating perspective in your aquarium. This ‘Aquascaping Layout  & The Golden Ratio’ guide is used when wanting to acheive the perfect balance when placing objects in a space.  So let’s begin and these 3 steps explain what the Golden Ratio is.

1. Stand back and look at the front of your tank. Imagine there are four lines going across the front of the glass, two vertical and two horizontal, giving you now nine sections.

2. Where the lines cross are the Golden points where you should consider placing your key features to the tank i.e. rock, wood or prominant plants such as reds or plants that stand out.

3. You can use the Golden Ratio to plan the height layout of your plants too.

### Symmetry

Basically symmetry does not work in a planted aquarium. It is too formal, structured and unnatural. Think about it would you see symmetry in the wild? No, so lets not make it neat and symetrical in the aquarium.  The focal point (as we mentioned earlier your key feature so wood, rock, red plant etc) should be slightly off to the center. 1 : 1.62 was calculated long ago as the point which is the most pleasing on the eye.  This is where you could consider having a slope on one side too, like a riverbed.

#### Shape

Please don’t have all your ‘tall’ plants lined up along the back and try and create a ‘hedge’ or ‘wall’ of plants to cover up the background! It is not needed and only looks dated. Try replicating a mountain look by trimming your plants to be taller on the sides and slightly shorter in the center.  You could also add some rocks either side (not symetrical remember to add to your mountain look).

##### Positioning of the plants

Depending on the scape you are looking to achieve, I like to keep my rocks or wood positioned amongst the midground plants as the stems can easily be hidden amongst the rocks plus you can carpet foreground plants around the base of the rocks to create a really natural look.

###### Creating depth

Creating depth is not the easiest task however keeping the golden ration in mind it can be done.  The first thing to remember is to avoid positioning the rocks from left to right across the middle in a straight line which just looks two-dimentional and very unnatural looking.  So I recommend planting and positioning in layers starting from the front to the back leaving a small gap in between and from low to high. With time and experience you will become more bold and challenging with your aquascaping and start creating some amazing looking scapes.

Another element to consider when planting your scape is to take note of the estimated growth guides that come with the plants or you can use the guide we use on our plant product page. Obviously you dont want to have to be trimming your plant all the time as it grows quicker than the one behind it so it really plays off to carefully plan your scape and even put pencil to paper first and sketch it out.

With all the above considered when putting a scape together, you should be impressed with the results. If however you need further advice we are only a phone call away on 01363 774787.

# Cryptocoryne albida ‘Brown’ – the rough diamond

What is it like?

What is so appealing about this captivating little beauty the Cryptocoryne Albida Brown all the way from Thailand, is that despite its delicate look and grace it is a real little toughy or a ‘rough diamond’. It can grow in pretty much ANY condition needing very little light, CO2 and care, making it perfect for beginners. Please note however in these conditions it will grow slower.

What does Albida Brown look like?

Its leaves are narrow and whilst it is a small plant, they are narrow too. The colour is red and brown with transparent dark markings leading to a crimpled edge. The leaves grow to about 2-3cm wide and maybe up to 15cm long, making cryptocoryne albida brown truly beautiful.

Where shall I plant it?

As a foreground plant, try positioning in the flow of the filter so the leaves can sway and lap in the current creating a natural and organic look as if it were in a stream in the wild. The Albida Brown also does well if nestled amongst larger plants. The contrast in colours amongst lush green plants creates a ‘natural’ theme to the plant display.

To find this aquarium plant on our shop, click on this link.

# Cryptocoryne wendtii

## Cryptocoryne wendtii

You have probably heard of Cryptocoryne wendtii before and for good reason too – it’s one of the most well known cryptocorynes because it was introduced into the hobby in the early days..

History: Originating from Sri Lanka, Cryptocoryne wendtii is a bit of a generic name for cryptocorynes in general. Although there are several different species with lots of different colours such as green and brown (as these are the most common). You might also find them in reds, but these are probably more brown – we actually sell 4 different varieties and you can find them by clicking here. Cryptocoryne wendtii will have a variety of different shaped leaves and some being surprising lengthy at 30cm. Another positive is how easy Cryptocoryne wendtii are to grow. Perfect for beginners as you can grow them in low to high light which makes them unchallenging. In some tanks you don’t even need to fertilise as they are heavy root feeders (but I don’t personally recommend this).

Where to position: Generally Cryptocoryne wendtii should be placed in the foreground of your tank because of the height they grow to. In general most are quite small but there’s the odd taller one that would suit a midground location. Once they have settled in, I recommend that you leave them where you planted them – moving them can cause issues.

Cryptocoryne wendtii melt: Yes crypotocorynes definitely can and do melt and some are more susceptible than others. Melting is when the plant is placed into an aquarium and then over the period of a few days, the Cryptocoryne wendtii will literally appear to rot away and look terrible. If this happens, the cryptocoryne is simply readapting to its new environment. Simply cut off all the leaves leaving about 2cm from the base and then within a week you will see new growth.

How to stop Cryptocoryne wendtii melting: Lots of CO2 and fertilisers. If you give this plant what it really wants then its unlikely that you will see this problem – add some root tabs to into the base. Crypotocryne’s such as Mi Oya are less likely to melt.

# Cryptocoryne petchii grown on lava rock

You’ve gotta love this little Cryptocoryne on lava rock – perfect in every way. It’s dainty at only 7cm square so ideal for smaller tanks. The great thing about plants on decor from Tropica is that they’re well established which means they have cared for then for months so when you receive it, it looks perfect. Roots attached to the rock naturally.

The other benefit to this plant is very simple to grow (suitable for beginners and up) and you can move it about if you decide where you place it first isn’t quite right.

You can find our other plants grown on wood or rock by clicking here.

# the smallest crypt in the world

This cracking plant, Cryptocoryne parva can now be seen on our YouTube channel along with all of our other plants we are gradually getting on there. Really great for nano aquariums and super easy to grow.

# Cryptocoryne petchii now in high definition

This cracking plant can now be seen on our YouTube channel along with all of our other plants we are gradually getting on there. Check it out below/

Here’s another YouTube clip for you guys, detailing this special plant

http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/cryptocoryne-bullosa-p-4953.html

# Cryptocoryne beckettii – a cracking plant suitable for non CO2 tanks

Here’s another YouTube clip for you guys, detailing this special plant

to buy this plant you can find it here

# Cryptocoryne nevelli: Why Your Planted Tank Needs this Aquarium Plant!

Here’s another YouTube clip for you guys, detailing this special plant

You can find this plant here http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/cryptocoryne-nevellii-p-5343.html