Saturday, September 20, 2008

Aquascaping focal point

Before we start our aquascaping, we need to consider placing our focal point at the area where it will draw the viewer's attention. The focal point is the 1st thing to grab the view's attention before he or she look at other things in the aquarium. The aquascpaing focal point might be a rock, wood or even a plant. The focal point placement could follow the "golden ratio" or the "Nine square rule".

The main focal point for "Sunnygrassland" is the largest Okho rock (main stone) located on 1/3 of the aquarium. As the length of my aquarium is 45cm, 1/3 of the aquarium is about 15cm.

I have sub-divide my aquarium into 3 segments in the horizontal and vertical axis forming a total of 9 boxes. One can place their focal object on any of the 4 intersection points which I indicated in blue circles. In my case, I have placed my main stone on 1 of the stated location.

More details can be found in the following links:

1) Golden ratio
2) Nine square rule

Monday, September 8, 2008

Getting nice rocks in Singapore

I always have the impression that getting nice rocks for Iwagumi in Singapore is a pain as there are not enough nice rocks around. I am one of those who keep blaming lousy and insufficient rocks supply.

After talking to a few aquascapers, I realized a lot of people are facing the same problem. Some of my friends in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia or even Croatia told me about their difficulties. The following are some ways to acquire nice rocks in Singapore: -

1) Buy a lot of rocks (20-30kg) and choose the best from the batch.

2) Buy nice rocks or rocks with great features as soon as you see it. Keep it and when you have enough or those, bring them out to do your Iwagumi

3) Pick from river banks or hills

4) Shipped from overseas. Maybe in countries where there are surplus rocks

5) Buy from nurseries. One of my friend told me people in landscapes use a lot of Seriyu stones. I cannot confirm this. Personally I have not seen them

Anyone have any good suggestions about acquiring nice rocks? Post your comments here

Friday, September 5, 2008

Results for the 2008 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest is out!!

The results for the 2008 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest is out! Hong Kong produces another "Grand Champion" this year. As usual, aquascapers from Hong Kong and Japan did very well.

This year is my 1st entry for the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. I am ranked #228 out of 1170. I am surprise, yet happy as there are a lot of good great work. I hope I can improve and do better next year.

I have learn a lot from fellow aquascapers (Barry, Justin, Maurice, Thio, Vincent, Stan, 503T, Koji and Antonio). It's a pity I can't attend the Nature aquarium party 2008 in Japan. Hope Thio and Vincent will bring some goodies back..

Thursday, September 4, 2008

ADA AP-1 fish food

According to ADA's website, FISH FOOD AP Series contains richer nutrients and suits the taste of fish. This avoids the deterioration of water condition caused by leftovers food and fish waste. With this advantage, one can feed without worrying about algae appearance.

I am pretty reluctant to try it at fish as I have been using Tetra Color Pro. My friend pass me some samples of this fish food thus I don't mind giving it a try. After trying for a week, I realized that this fish food does not create a layer of oil in my water surface like other fish food. In addition, since AP1 is available in a smaller package compared to Tetra Color Pro, it is pretty ideal for my tank as I have less than 20 small fishes.

Monday, September 1, 2008

ADA power sand special s

Power sand special comprises of porous volcanic stones to ensure proper water circulation and organic materials including fertile peat to provide rich nutrients to aquatic plant roots. It provides an ideal conditions for bacterial activity and development of plant roots.

This sand provides lots of nutrients to plants such as Echinodorus or Cryptocoryne specieswhich tends to absorb nutrients through root their systems and depends largely on the amount of nutrients within the substrate. Unlike regular Power Sand, the Power Sand SPECIAL provides more minerals and nutrients to the substrate and it also contains Bacter 100 and Clear Super.

I used ADA power sand special s under my ADA Amazonia II and I experience my E. Tenellus spreading and growing very fast. I tried to keep them low & small by supplying high lights but is unsuccessful. I wonder whether it could be due to my over fertile substrate.

Crystal red shrimps (CRS)

Mr. Hisayasu Suzuki of Japan discovered a red form of Caridina sp. among the usual black versions in 1996. He named this red mutation version of the bee shrimps as "crystal red shrimps". Breeders all around the world try to breed crystal red shrimps with a larger patch of white and more intense red.

These beautiful shrimps will grow up to 2.5cm in length and prefers to live in tank where the temperatures is not more than 27degC. My friend, Kent, is a breeder of crystal red shrimps and has a lot of knowledge in keeping them. He told me crystal red shrimps will breed if the water temperature is less than 25degC and the water condition is good.

A couple of months back, he gave me more than 10 crystal red shrimps and to my surprise, I found about 15 shrimplets in my tank last month. By chance, a pair of my crystal red shrimps manage to breed. It is fun to see such cute little crystal red shrimplets. They indirectly delay my plan to setup a new aquascape as I cannot tear down my tank now.