Aquaristic Adventure

I noticed that i haven't put up a single post in this blog for a good +/-2 months. Well, I've been busy. With what one may ask. Well, quite recently I've discovered the joy of slow life. What? slow life? WTF mate?

OK, let me clear this up. By slow life I mean "Aquascaping". Keeping an aquarium with a twist. I know most of us at some point had or have an aquarium. Stocked with some fish, goldfish being the popular choice although I never had goldfish in my "childhood" aquarium days. Its either Bettas (ikan laga) or ikan puyu (sorry, don't know the English name). Topped of with some white gravel, plastic plants and a puny filter. Water change each week by papa and overfeeding by the kids.

Well, those were the days. Growing up means learning new things right? Now here's something to learn. A LOT of learning really.

Aquascaping is an art form enjoyed by aquarium enthusiasts around the world. It entails arranging aquatic plants in an aesthetically-pleasing manner within an aquarium.

How I got hooked? Well, do a search on Takashi Amano, founder of Aqua Design Amano. Before you say WTF is this... checkout the gallery section at Malaysia's ADA website. I need not say more.

Only after buying all the stuff I realized that this hobby is, well, expensive. Not to mention ULTRA hard to master. It takes dedication, patience, knowledge and a shitload of reading to give you the least chance of obtaining zen in aquascaping. Take that for a challenge haha. So, after some deep thought, I decided to accept the challenge in a few phases. Namely, Growing, Problem Solving and Scaping. Here's a breakdown.

Growing: Here's the phase where I try to get a grip at growing aquatic plants. I don't have a green thumb so this phase will take some time.

Problem Solving: In this phase, solving common (and uncommon) problems in the planted aquarium. Plants health, water quality, algae, dying fish (gasps) and the sorts

Scaping: Now this is the fun part. Doing an aquascape. I haven't reach this part yet as I am still in the first 2 phases.

That being said, I grabbed my dad's full of gunk aquarium (algae, fish poop...nasty) and cleaned it up good. Procured a filter, substrate, proper lights, some plants and broad spectrum fertilizer. DIYed a CO2 reactor (fermentation method) and started planting. After a week, on 25 Mar 2008, voila...

Pathetic...haha. I got Vallisneria spiralis, Eleocharis sp. (not sure which variant of hairgrass) and Java Moss. No livestock yet at this point. Realizing that I had quite a low volume of plants, I added more...this is after 2 and a half weeks (10 Apr 2008)

Not much of an aquascape eh? Remember, I plan to take thigs in phases. Added in the tanks are Anubias nana, Hydrocotyle sp (found in longkang LOL) and a stem plant that I can't seem to ID from the databases on the net. Looks like a keladi type plant. Most of the hairgrass has sprouted submersed leaves and Vallis are growing wild. Since I got a bad case of brown diatom outbreak on the hairgrass and moss, I took out the moss and cleaned the hairgrass. I also added an algae crew - 1 Otocinlus, & 2 Caridina japonica (Yamato Shrimp). A week later 1 otto and 1 yamato died...I have no idea why. So, I added 1 more otto and decided to add 5 Neocaridina denticulata sinensis (Red cheery shrimps). This time acclimatized both species over 1 hour.

As of now, Algae outbreak!!! got a serious case of Green Dust Algae (GDA), spotted some Black Brush Algae (BBA) and Thread Algae. Time for Problem Solving phase... Good thing is, my RCS, Yamato and Ottos are active and happy.."Ottobots...mobilize!!" LOL

1 comment:

  1. Have you planted or introduced new Cryptocoryne into your tank before yamato died?