Category Archives: aquascaping

How to hardscape a tank you can stand in

Everyone is always impressed by large tanks and for good reason too. The sheer size, the amount of water in the tanks, the fish and hopefully the quality of the hardscape. ADG always (always) nail their tanks and for me they are global leaders. Ever since I knew them back in the day they have always nailed it and I LOVE sharing their tanks. They inspire me, even after all these years and I’ve seen a lot of tanks.

For some reason the hardscape only tanks really float my boat. I think it’s just the calmness of them which does it. Much as I love plants, there’s just something about these sort of tanks that is hard to ignore. Sit back and watch true pros in action.

Ever seen microsorium grown on Lava Rock?

It looks great. Super fresh, super healthy and (the best bit) super easy to grow! You can position these rocks anywhere and that is part of their charm. The plant itself has been growing for a good 6 months and you will see when it arrives with you that all the roots are embedded onto the rock itself (in fact this is what makes lava rock so good for plants).

microsorium-on-wood-small

microsorium on lava rock

You can literally place these wherever you want. Use them to cover up filters or maybe fill in a gap. Which ever place you decide, I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.

Currently available in 2 sizes – click on the pictures to take you right to the product :)

120cm tank aquascaping video

Here’s another cracking YouTube clip that I just have to share. I say this time and time again but ADG are just the best at these vids and their aquascaping is A1.

If you’re looking for inspiration then these guys should be your mentor. And don’t forget you can use any wood and rock combo to get the same effect. Be creative.

notice the 50% water change too. Take note peeps. Are you doing your 50% water change weekly?

2 More Aquascaping Rocks

We’ve managed to source some more aquascaping rocks which are perfect for planted aquariums and wanted to introduce them to your immediately. Like all the rocks that we sell, they look great, easy to work with and you can create a great looking set up in no time.

Canyon Rock is fantastic looking and will create immediate impact and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work with these rocks. Take a look at it below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see by the colour that the red and white flecs look amazing and under water there’s a slight glimmer to them. The contrast with green plants makes them look even more enticing and if you look at them up close you see this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the detail is superb as I am sure you will agree. Imagine it in your aquarium and at only £3.50 per kg, you don’t have to spend much either. But we’ve got another rock we want to share with you which is equally as nice…it’s called Maple Leaf Rock. A lot lighter in comparison to Canyon Rock – when you pick a piece up it feels a little like Lava Rock (i.e. porous). Here’s a picture of 5kgs below:

The texture is as detailed as some other rock we have, but the resemblance to its name is what makes it so special. Here’s a close up:

I’ve never seen anything quite like it before either. Just imagine this in your planted aquarium with the green leaves swaying behind it in the CO2 enriched current. Pretty special heh? At £3.50 per kg, you get a lot of rock for your money…

The Planted Aquarium Market Today…

I thought I would write a post from a different angle in order to stimulate more responses from hobbyists. I used to be an avid aquascaper, producing aquascapes regularly in order to improve my skills. Today I have a lot less time to be aquascaping even though that is what my business revolves around (kind of ironic isn’t it?!). Most of my time is taken up dealing with the everyday running of the business, providing advice and assistance to customers and ordering goods, sourcing new products etc. But I’m trying to make a bit more time in my day so I can dip my arm back into the water and start scaping. I’ve even got a brand new ADA tank and cabinet which sits empty and looks very sad at the moment…

But the point of this post is to reach out to you guys and find out what you think of the planted aquarium market today. Recently the International Aquascaping Contest took place where hobbyists from around the world were invited to send in pictures of their planted aquariums in order for them to be judged and compared to other competitors. Now this is always a great competition and the standard continues to rise every year. I rarely agree with the winners and often think many of the lower ranked scapes are much better but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder (something for another blog post…). But what really got me about the results was the number of British scapers who submitted their aquascapes and were listed in the top 1000 – I could count them on one hand and found that actually quite sad (in a melancholic way). So I’ve been racking my brains thinking about and wondering why more UK scapers don’t actually scape. Perhaps it’s one of the below:

  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of skill
  • Lack of inclination
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of money

Is it any of these or is it something else? What I do know is that aquascaping skills are not sufficient and photography skills need to be right at the top too if you’re going to win any decent prize. Have a look at top UK Scaper Mark Evans – some of this tanks are truly incredible and he won the top British award. Check this out:

A truly incredible position and rightly deserved too. Mark’s photography skill is as impressive as his aquasapes and this helps to enhance his scapes. If his photography skills were not where they were today (and lets say he had a poor quality camera), I wonder how this would have effected his aquascaping? Maybe he would have been forced to discover the art of photography in order to pursue his passion of planted aquarium and maybe that’s what more people need to do in the UK…?  Camera technology improves all the time and the price comes down but sometimes if you see the lights and camera equipment involved that Mark uses, it can look rather daunting.

So I asked this same question on Twitter and @pfkeditor tweeted back – Brits like to critise and not get involved. I think there’s a lot of truth in that and wondered if that would ever change. In order for us to improve as a nation we have to be more encouraging and less critical. Yes it’s easy to criticise particularly sat on your sofa with the laptop next to you. But this isn’t helping our unique hobby and we need to be more encouraging to everyone, let people make mistakes and we can all learn together. Lets face it you don’t even need that much money to get you going either. You can buy a small tank and maybe 6-7 pots of aquarium plants, lighting, filtration and a CO2 set and you’re away. What you do need is drive and determination because if you’re going to make a go of it, you’ll need lots of drive, you’ll have to be able to take criticism and move on.

I would really love to hear what you guys think about this subject. What is is that holds you back. What would make you consider entering competitions and why do you think other hobbyists are a little camera shy?