The Master School of Aquarium Design 2018 at the Tierwelt Magdeburg exhibition attracted a large number of spectators. They came to watch five teams, each consisting of a master and two apprentices, create their own aquariums.
We promised you detailed information about all five aquariums and this post tells you all you need to know about Team 4’s aquarium. It was created by Master Jurijs Jutjajevs and his two apprentices Erandhi Piyadigamage and Antonia Meißner.
It was particularly important for Jurijs to show his apprentices how quickly and easily an attractive aquarium could be created, without recourse to any complicated set-up methods or decorative elements. For this they largely used planted stones and wood which not only had an appealing appearance but also brought in vigorous, embedded plants. This made the aquarium setup very easy and gave the impression of an aquarium set up many weeks ago. For longer set-up times this method had the benefit of not needing you to keep the plants moist or to spray them. You just remove the protective package/bags from the pre-planted root.
There now follows some important facts and background information about Team 4’s layout.
What does the layout show?
The basic layout is that of a classic nature aquarium. The roots protrude upwards out of a plant island. In the foreground there is a “sandbank”, made of JBL Sansibar ORANGE .
Which materials were used?
Talawa wood, red lava rocks, planted roots and stones with Tropica plants. This all forms the basic layout. For the sand they used JBL Sansibar ORANGE which has a bright, warm hue. To give the plants the best possible growth JBL ProScape Plant Soil BROWN was added because it has sufficient nutrients.
What special features does the layout involve?
Usually bundled and potted plants are used, and recently invitro plants too. For this layout pre-cultivated root and stone decors were almost exclusively used, as these came supplied with healthy plants. This promised an easy start and a stable plant mass.
Which difficulties did the team face?
Integrating plants which have not been watered beforehand into a layout harbours the danger that they’ll rise to the surface of the water and float. To prevent this they were attached with suction pads and cable binders, as well as with adhesive ( JBL PROHARU UNIVERSAL ) on the aquarium’s glass pane.
The masters’ maintenance tips
At the end we asked Jurijs, the master of the team, which maintenance he would recommend for the initial phase and later during its operation. These are his tips:
As soil is being used as substrate for the set-up you need to carry out large water changes of 50 % three times a week during the first few weeks.
This prevents early nutrient surpluses from occurring and enables the plants to adapt to the underwater world.
In the later stages 50 % once a week is sufficient. You need to set the lighting duration to 6 hours during the first weeks. Afterwards you can increase it up to 8 hours. Because of the plants selected you don’t need much fertiliser.