In the post “ ADM Team Florian Junghans: The sky’s the limit with this aquarium " our outline showing all 6 aquariums has already given you the basics about this popular event. Now, by popular request from the myJBL community, we would like to go into more detail about each of the six masters’ aquariums. We asked each master the same set of questions and have summarised their answers in the post here, along with the corresponding pictures. Use the comments function for your questions about the aquariums or for any further information you need.
In the first post " ADM Team Florian Junghans: The sky’s the limit with this aquarium “ we’ve already written about Florian’s aquarium. Let’s move on to the aquarium created by Team Garvin Borschewski with his apprentices Eva Preußer-Hitzing and Marcel Lempert.
About Master Garvin Borschewski
Garvin's a real aquarium specialist. For over 10 years he’s been working as Head of Aquaristics in an outlet of DAS FUTTERHAUS. But he’s also made a name for himself as an aquascaper at numerous competitions. "European Nano Aquascaping Contest", "The Art of the Planted Aquarium" or the "HannoverScape" are examples for his mastery of the craft.
Scroll down to find an interview. We asked the master of each group a set of questions and received detailed insider information for you.
What is the basic idea of the layout and what does it represent?
The basic idea for this year's ADM was for the apprentices to try out the (currently very popular) technique of gluing wood and stones with superglue ( JBL ProHaru Rapid ) and cigarette filters. I had brought several roots with me to use as trees, around which "lianas" can entwine and have some roots protruding over stones. The exact layout was then developed in cooperation with the apprentices. The result was dead trees formed by the wind on a shore or a small cliff.
Name of the layout
We didn't give the layout a name, but since the trees are shaped accordingly and also material from the Baltic Sea was used, I would spontaneously call it "Eastwind"...
What material was used in the hardscape?
I chose "Waitomo Forest" roots, which are particularly suitable as "dead trees" due to their black colour. The "lianas" entwined around the trees are fine branches of "redmoor roots". We selected miniature landscapes for this purpose. The lighter colour of the stones makes the colours of the roots stand out well. There are some fine roots growing over a few stones. For this I brought some flotsam roots from the Baltic Sea beach.
Which plants were used?
In order not to obscure the view of the trees later, only groundcovers and small plants were used, as they can be easily cut back and kept compact. For the front, Glossostigma elatinoides, Cryptocoryne parva and Alternanthera reineckii Mini were used. Anubias nana Petite and Bucephalandra "Wavy Green" were planted as seedlings in the "shadier" places under the trees. Next to them is Pogostemon helferi, which is ideal for imitating ferns, Staurogyne repens and Rotala Bonsai. For the rear area, plants with finer leaves were chosen to achieve a good depth effect: Micranthemum Monte Carlo with Hemianthus callitrichoides Cuba behind and Eleocharis acicularis Mini in the middle. Hydrocotyle tripartita was used as the "climbing plant" winding around the trees. We used a variety of mosses to conceal any adhesive spots still visible at the end.
What are the special features of the layout?
I think the special thing about this layout was the challenge of combining and merging the different types of wood.
Which other products were used?
Als unterste Schicht wurde JBL ProScape Volcano Mineral was used as the lowest layer. The coarse and angular structure of the lava gives the hardscape a good hold and ensures a "good soil climate" later on. Since we used a lot of ground cover plants, the JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO POWDER was added for a long-term mineral supply, and above it then the JBL ProScape PlantSoil BROWN . JBL Sansibar RIVER was chosen for the unplanted area in the foreground. The fine grain and the light colour match the mini landscape very well.
What difficulties did you have with the creation?
Due to the shallow depth of the aquarium, we decided not to build too high, but to create a "lateral depth gradient" for our layout. Front right we positioned our biggest tree followed by three further trees, gradually decreasing in size, towards the back left. Since there wasn’t space in the aquarium for delicate crafting with six hands, we prepared the hardscape mostly outside the aquarium. First we selected suitable stones to anchor the "trees" to them. Then the "lianas" and roots were worked onto the trees. In between, the arrangement and exact positioning of the individual elements in the aquarium had to be checked time and time again.
What maintenance do you recommend for this layout in the start phase and as a routine afterwards? What needs to be considered?
Beside the CO2 supply (e.g. with the JBL ProFlora u504 ) for this scape too I recommend a combi-fertilisation of JBL PROSCAPE Fe +MICROELEMENTS and JBL PROSCAPE NPK MACROELEMENTS , since some of the plants we chose were higher-maintenance. In the first weeks the nutrient requirement of the plants will be a bit lower. With increasing plant growth, however, this will increase and the fertilisation will need to be adapted. The nutrient supply and the consumption by the plants therefore needs to be checked regularly by water analysis (e.g. with the JBL ProAquaTest Lab ProScape ). For this purpose each parameter can also be individually and optimally checked with the JBL ProAquaTest & Refill series. Regular water changes - I recommend 30-50% weekly - help to ensure a constant water quality and to avoid nutrient surpluses. In order not to let the stem plants like the Rotala Bonsi, Staurogyne repens and Alternathera reineckii Mini grow too high, they should be pruned back in time and regularly (here you can find suitable tools ).
Tell us some anecdotes about the event day with the apprentices - where did you see them making progress, how did you work together, and what was especially fun?
For the front part of our layout we chose a particularly striking stone. While we tweaked its position, assessing each new tweak, the aquascaping master Dave Chow, who was a special guest and jury member at the exhibition, approached us and gave us his advice on the exact alignment of the stone. He advised us to tilt the stone back a little more. On the one hand it would be better illuminated from above and on the other hand it would create a slight protrusion under the stone. Combining this with the small pieces of the mini landscape we had already positioned, we created the impression of an “eroded cliff". We followed his advice and were immediately thrilled by the effect.
Good teamwork was also important during the crafting process. Although the chosen gluing technique was quite fast and strong, this delicate handwork still involved a couple of spots that simply shouldn’t stick as well as we hoped. It was really useful to have six hands then.