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GWAPA: Hardscaping Workshop

April 6th, 2010

A couple weekends ago, GWAPA, our local aquatic plant club, held its first ever hardscaping workshop for its members. Twenty-ten is the year of the aquascape in GWAPA, as we are doing a whole series of meetings stepping thru the ins-and-outs of aquascaping, culminating in an aquascaping contest. The first meeting in this series was about setting up the hardscape (rocks/wood).

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

The club provided buckets of rocks and a large box of manzanita so that our members could get their hands dirty in several 10G aquariums we had setup. The idea was to provide the materials for folks to be creative, while having more experienced aquascapers in the room to assist and give pointers.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

I had the privilege of doing a short presentation at the beginning of the meeting, where I showcased a number of award-winning aquascapes and pointed out how the hardscape was the foundation for why they were successful.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

Our members produced a variety of different hardscapes. Some were rockscapes like the one above, using locally collected slate.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

Others decided to mix manzanita and slate in their tanks. It’s not hard to figure out where this member would have planted this hardscape, leaving a path down the middle.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

I was happy to see lots of collaboration among members when working on their hardscapes. Personally, I’ve found it very beneficial to aquascape by committee so because other folks can point out potential pitfalls that I would have otherwise missed.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

In addition to the slate, we also had some locally collected quartz-based rock, which looks very nice in an aquascape with a bright sand foreground.

GWAPA Hardscaping Workshop

In the end, we auctioned off all of the manzanita and aquariums at reasonable prices. The auction itself was pretty sizable, and overall, I think the workshop was a success. Has your club ever done anything like this? I’d love to hear other similar types of experiences in the comments…

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