Aquascape of the Month

Aquascape of the Month
"Ancient Tree" by Yoyo Prayogi. Winner of IAPLC 2021. Courtesy of Aquarium Design Amano.

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

The true nature of Nature Aquarium and Diorama Aquarium

In recent times, one of the most striking questions I found myself making is related to the actual differences between Nature Aquarium and Diorama Aquarium. Yes, I am doing explicitly this splitting between the two because they differ in the very roots of aquascaping, which are utterly ignored when considering both types of works. You may ask many hobbyists around, even professionals, and you will find rarely a coherent or clear answer about what separates both branches.

The reason why this happens is because, historically speaking, the Diorama Aquarium has emerged as a splint of Nature Aquarium, which has grown up to overpass in popularity to his former discipline. This splint has evolved so much in the basics of the Nature Aquarium that they are no longer connected.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

A new IAPLC: what has really changed?

Another year has passed by, and as traditionally, this August we had got the chance to see the aquascaping works that made it to the IAPLC top 100 of this edition.

For those who did not, you can watch the entire streaming event in YouTube in the following link.

In this occasion, the community was paying more attention than ever to the contest. But not much for the excitement of the new works -which each year triggers lot of hype-, rather than closely monitoring the behaviour of the organisation. There are a few reasons for it, but mainly linked to the following aspects: (a) a change of the general rules of the contest; (b) a change in the selection of judges; (c) a need to reconsider the evaluation criteria.

In this article, we review a few of those aspects, starting from why such changes were required, and then reviewing how this has impacted the results of this year.

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

The Spirit of Amano

As probably many of you already know, last days have been times of turmoil for the international community in Aquascaping. Unfortunately, apparently there have been a number of cases of breach of rules of various contests, with the subsequent disqualifications of those participants in some of them. I am sure those disqualifications will continue for the remaining of this 2020 season of contests, as result of those events.

However, I do not want to linger in this article in what happened or not, nor mention individuals or organisations involved into that. Instead, I prefer to discuss about the context and what this means for Aquascaping.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Blog - Slow Scaping: Recovering the true love for Nature Aquarium

It has been awhile since my last entry in this page. However, I have been far from idle in this period, busy developing a large project I am working on, but also putting lot of thinking about Aquascaping in general. This has been an important period of maturation, which has brought me some new thoughts and understanding. I am a strong follower of the principles set by Takashi Amano, and probably as many others, I have done lot of search in his words and works, always trying to disentangle his mastery of Aquascaping. Amano has been inspiration for many, but he has always been cryptic about his philosophy. Probably, this was intentional, so to allow others open their own paths, him being just a portal to access to this new world of understanding about Nature.

But regardless this desire of Amano for making Nature Aquarium grow in the community and spread, opening new ways, I have been feeling that the message was, somewhat, distorted. And that, it was a matter of worrisome for me. As the master passed away, it is now up to us, as community, as lovers of this hobby (or form of art), to preserve the message for the future. But seeing the dominant forms of Aquascaping since his death, I really feel is being lost. Still present, as many use his lessons about Nature to make their works, but at the same time, evolved into something entirely new but missing authenticity.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Article - CO2 Q&A - The science behind

Fig 1.: CO2 diffuser.
During my time on internet, I have noticed many questions about the use of CO2 and its interactions inside the ecosystem of the aquarium. They are not only related to its role into the photosynthesis and how to dose it, but also about some of its chemical and physical properties, or effect in livestock. As usual, many of the answers I have read are quite misleading and lacking of scientific basis.

One of the goals of The Living Tank is to provide solid and scientific-based information, and make it accessible to all the hobbyist of the Aquascaping and Planted Aquarium. Because of that, and considering the confusion about this nutrient into the aquarium, I have decided to prepare a "not so short" article about it.