December 25th, 2014
I posted a picture of my latest aquascape in the Aquavas aquarium recently. I want to walk through how the scape came together.
The hardscape consists of two large pieces of spiderwood and several locally collected rocks made up of quartz and slate. The substrate is from Mr. Aqua and pool filter sand in front.
I used a selection of Aqvainnova plants that I got in Chicago at Aquatic Experience. These are beautiful plants, some still in tissue culture and others were already transitioned to nursery growth.
I used some beautiful Elatine hydropiper in the front areas under the spiderwood overhang. Otherwise, several different Cryptocoryne species were planted.
I also used a super glue gel to attach Anubias barterii ‘nana’ directly to the wood.
After everything was planted, I filled it up, but did have to place some temporary rocks on top of the wood to keep it from floating up.
Later I tied some weeping moss to the wood to soften it a bit more.
Finally, you can see what the scape looks like several weeks later. It’ll still be several more weeks before it’s grown in. I’m also not settled on keeping the Hygrophila corymbosa angustifolia long term.
Comments / thoughts welcome!
December 24th, 2014
After weeks (months) of neglect, the farm tank is finally looking good again. This isn’t meant to be aquascaped, but there’s something about a collectoritis farm tank that keeps me glued to it.
December 23rd, 2014
I want to introduce a new aquarium that I brought back with me from the Chicago Aquatic Experience show. It’s an Aquavas system with mostly plants from Aqvainnova, who hopefully will soon be selling in the USA.
The scape is made up of spiderwood and some local quartz rocks. I’ve got cardinal tetras and Corydoras melini in there currently. There is still some new tank algae that I’m combating, but overall it’s growing in nicely.
November 13th, 2014
Last weekend, I attended the Aquatic Experience show in Chicago as a participant in the Aquascaping Live contest. My local aquatic plant club, GWAPA, sent two teams totaling seven people to participate in the 75G large tank competition. We were extremely fortunate to take the first and second place positions in the contest.
The first place went to a GWAPA team led by Jen Williams, a rising aquascaping talent in the hobby. She also won 1st place in the small tank contest. Jen and her team mates, Arlene Wagner, Nick Kinser, and Cristy Keister did an excellent job putting together a very nice rockscape. Jen pioneered a technique using the Great Stuff foam used for filling drafty doorframes to fuse the rocks in this scape together so that they could be transported in three distinct blocks. I’m happy and humbled by their scape.
My team won second place with the scape above. Aaron Talbot, Cavan Allen, and I worked together on this aquascape about 3 months prior to the contest. The rocks are a quartz-based rock that we sourced locally. I would have liked more small form Bolbitus so that the tall one wasn’t necessary, but overall we’re very happy with the scape.
Next, a team from Texas put together this beautiul aquascape using manzanita. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture following the completion of their scape, as they had several issues with plants and materials not arriving on time to the hotel, but the finished scape was about the same but with white sand on the right side. Had they not suffered this setback, I’m sure they would have assembled an even nicer result. What they put together was pretty nice!
Finally, a local Chicago team put together this last aquascape. They did a nice job and prominently used one of my favorite plants, Blyxa japonica.
This was the first year the AGA conducted this competition in conjunction with the Aquatic Experience show. I hope that more teams will compete in next year’s contest so that we can continue to grow the aquascaping hobby in the U.S.
July 28th, 2014
I previously posted pictures of my 33G and 50G aquascapes. Both are growing in pretty nicely. The 50G started to get some BBA on the wood, but a combination of peroxide treatment and adding additional algae eaters seems to have eliminated most of that problem. It did, however, harm some of the foreground Monte Carlo plant, slowing it’s growth. I’m sure that it will rebound.
I’m still figuring out the exact amounts to dose this aquarium, slowly increasing the dosage as the plants have been growing in. The LED lights are quite bright and are actually dialed back slightly to slow things down.
Two weeks in, the 33G cube (above) is doing okay as well. I have been getting some algae on the Blyxa japonica especially, but I think that it’s just a matter of all of the bacterial colonies stabilizing to help me with some of the organics. The foreground is starting to grow, but definitely has a ways to go. The most prolific plant thus far is the North American native, Heteranthera dubia, which is growing up behind the peak of the hill. Comments/critiques welcome!