About a month ago The Master School of Aquarium Design 2018 took place and we promised to give you full details of the aquariums created by the 5 teams, each consisting of a master and two apprentices. This post deals with Team 3’s aquarium, made by the master Thorsten Peetz and his two apprentices Sebastian Hopf and Thomas Gassmann.
Since the aquariums they had were fairly shallow a triangular shaped layout seemed the best option. Thorsten, the team master, still had two China driftwood roots “left over” at home in his cellar, which he hadn’t found a use for. In view of the aquarium shape it was easiest to use both in combination – a simple idea, which led to the perfect solution.
There now follows some important facts and background information about Team 3’s layout.
What does the layout show?
Unlike with the previous layouts which are oriented towards a natural model, this layout consists of nothing but a beautiful, very unusual piece of wood which has been carefully positioned in the aquarium along the principles of the golden ratio. To keep the wood in the foreground, it is elevated and aligned by a few “mini landscape” stones. Additionally only a few, simple plant species were used. The large sand area emphasises the minimalism in this layout.
Which materials were used?
For the hardscape „China driftwood“ and „mini landscape“ were used. As substrate the JBL ProScape Volcano Mineral as bottom layer, covered by JBL ProScape PlantSoil BROWN were used. JBL Sansibar WHITE covered the base area to create free swimming space.
What special features does the layout involve?
Minimalism dominates along with some slight, but expressive hardscape, unpretentious planting and limited species diversity.
Visually this layout attracted attention from the beginning. The team aroused our interest by creating the design of the golden ratio by attaching twines to the aquarium pane.
Which difficulties did the team face?
None, said team boss Thorsten. It was important to fix the hardscape from the start in a position that would enable it to remain undamaged in transport. The team used modelling plastic for this JBL ProHaru Universal 200 ml and JBL ProHaru Rapid . Sebastian und Thomas weren’t exactly beginners, so no great explanations were needed and no problems occurred. Their basic skills were sufficient to enable the master to use the time to go more into detail.
The masters’ maintenance tips
At the end we asked Thorsten, the master of the team, which maintenance he would recommend for the initial phase and later during operation. These are his tips:
At the beginning it is very important for this layout to work with a lot of CO2 ( JBL ProFlora u504 ) and economically with liquid fertilisers ( JBL ProScape Fe +Microelements and JBL ProScape NPK Macroelements , because relatively little plant mass was inserted. Generally it is advisable to change 50 % of the water several times a week in the first weeks. Later weekly water changes of 50 % are sufficient.