In the post “ The Master School of Aquarium Design 2019: A Workshop With Six Experts " 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 relevant pictures. Use the comments function for your questions about the aquariums or for any further information you need.
Let’s continue with the aquarium created by Team Sascha Hoyer with his apprentices Adrian Suslik and Tanja Pechhold.
About Master Sascha Hoyer
Since 2013, after a long period of abstinence, Sascha has reemerged as an active aquarium owner and aquascaper winning awards from various competitions. His reputation extends beyond the borders of Europe. As a specialist adviser for aquaristics in the pet shop sector and head of the Scapers Lounge, Sascha is not only experienced as a hobbyist, but also knows the business of the aquaristics industry very well and maintains close contacts to manufacturers and experts. Sascha is famous for his Wabi Kusas and the unusual layouts of his aquarium landscapes, with their great attention to detail.
What is the basic idea of the layout and what does it represent?
With this layout I wanted to display a Nature Style Aquarium featuring roots, which is both easy to implement and attractive.
Name of the layout
Looking at the layout, I have the picture in my mind’s eye of a fallen tree in a moor landscape, shining in the lush green after frequent rainfall. The tree uprooted by the storm stretches its roots into the air and lies softly in the green plant bed.
What material was used in the hardscape?
Driftwood was used as hardscape. We used the substrates JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO POWDER , JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO MINERAL as a foundation layer and covered it with JBL PROSCAPE PLANT SOIL BROWN . JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO MINERAL is left visible at the transition to JBL Sansibar ORANGE to enhance the natural look.
Which plants were used?
- Lilaeopsis mauritiana (potted)
- Limnophila aromatica (bunch)
- Mayaca fluviatilis (bunch)
- Bolbitis heudelotii (potted)
- Eleocharis montevidensis (potted)
- Hemianthus callitrichoides 'Cuba' (potted)
- Hemianthus micranthemoides (potted)
- Hygrophila costata (potted)
- Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (potted)
- Limnophila hippuridoides (potted)
- Lobelia cardinalis (potted)
- Micranthemum umbrosum (potted)
- Microsorum pteropus 'Trident' (potted)
- Murdannia keisak (potted)
- Pogostemon helferi (potted)
- Rotala 'Green' (potted)
- Rotala rotundifolia (potted)
- Vesicularia ferriei 'Weeping' (portion)
What are the special features of the layout?
The aquarium had an inbuilt filter fixed inside. This has many advantages, but didn’t suit the intended look for our layout. YET, that wasn’t a problem as we considered how the filter could be integrated into the layout to make it less dominant without having its function impaired. That's why we chose a "flow" from right to left, determined by the driftwood.
Which other products were used?
Besides the substrates already mentioned JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO POWDER , JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO MINERAL , JBL PROSCAPE PLANT SOIL BROWN and JBL Sansibar ORANGE we used JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL for gluing the roots. We stuck the plants with JBL PROHARU RAPID .
In order to position the filigree ground covers safely, we used plant pegs JBL PROSCAPE PLANTIS PINS . In addition we used the CO2 system JBL PROFLORA u504 as well as further tools from the ProScape range. Simple cigarette filters proved to be an ideal supplement, as they were a real help in connecting JBL PROHARU RAPID to the product to be stuck on.
What difficulties did you have with the creation?
The challenge was to consider everything beforehand and let the filter disappear into the layout. In addition, we had to make sure that the driftwood would not float up again after being flooded with water. So we glued the branches with JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL and weighted them down sufficiently.
What maintenance do you recommend for this layout in the start phase and as a routine afterwards? What needs to be considered?
As with many wood aquascapes, it is advisable to carry out lots of water changes during the first 2-3 weeks. It’s best to change at least 30% every 2 days. This not only prevents algae, but also ensures that the colouring agents inside the fresh wood are washed out.
After 3 weeks, the fertiliser needs to be actively started. For this I use in the first two weeks JBL PROSCAPE Fe +MICROELEMENTS and JBL PROSCAPE NPK MACROELEMENTS (after starting the fertilisation) only with half the dose and then increase to 100 %. With JBL PROAQUATEST LAB PROSCAPE the values Fe, NO3, PO4 can be monitored so you can further optimise the fertilisation.
You need CO2 to run from the beginning to supply the plants with sufficient carbon.
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?
The biggest challenge for me was to create a layout with the students from which they’d learn as much as possible and to create the optics I had in mind on a high level in a short time. A mix of trying out, showing and explaining not only led to a lot of fun, but also to a very good end result. It was a really cool day, as I learnt a lot too. It reminded me not to assume everything is obvious, but that I can explain and show a lot through my ideas and this will certainly help me in my future working life.