Thursday, May 31, 2007

ADA International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2007 Closes Today!

Just another quick note of ADA news, the 2007 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest closes today! It's a chance to win one of several prizes: There will be one Grand prize of JPY1,000,000 (a little over $8,000!), one Gold prize of JPY300,000 (about $2,500), two Silver prizes of JPY100,000 (about $800), three Bronze prizes of JPY50,000 (about $400), twenty Honor prizes of JPY10,000 (about $80), and 100 Winning works which will receive a certificate. We should know the results in a few months and I'm really interested to see what new ideas and techniques spring up. In case you missed them, here are last year's Top 10 aquascapes.

ADA Nature Aquarium Gallery in Japan

Here's a link I stumbled across and saved to a photo gallery of the ADA Nature Aquarium Gallery in Japan. This is where all of Amano's greatest works and works in progress are on display, as well as acting as a showroom for his ADA aquarium equipment.

There are some extremely beautiful aquariums, but just the sweeping pictures of all the aquariums in one room is pretty enough. There are even a few salt water aquariums as well. If you are ever in Japan, give this gallery a visit, I hear it is worth the trip! For more information on ADA and the gallery, head over to ADA Japan.

Yikes! Look how full that one is!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Aquarium Time Lapse - Hemianthus Callitrichoides Over 6 Days

This is a fantastic time-lapse video of Hemianthus callitrichoides growing over a 6 day period. Just amazing to watch!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Aquascape Analysis #7: Sergio C.'s ADA 120P Aquarium

Well I know it's been a long wait, but I've finally found a strikingly beautiful aquascape made by a fellow hobbyist that is truly worthy of examination. This aquarium is the work of Sergio C., who goes by SuRje1976 on both Aquatic Plant Central and the Planted Tank forums. It is an ADA 120P tank, meaning it is 120 cm long. As you can see, he went all out on top of the line equipment. But aside from the fancy glasswork, this is a great aquascape.

The profile of this aquascape is an off-center V shape. This creates visually interesting height differences, and these sloping lines also help to guide the viewer's eyes. Even the hardscape seems to follow the profile, maintaining the relaxing lines of the aquascape.

The main focal point (in red) is done by the book. It is perhaps the easiest way to create a focal point and one of the most effective ways. The red plant is also positioned perfectly according to the Golden Rule of aquascaping. The secondary focal point (in yellow) is also a product of the profile, and is located where the two sides of the V intersect. This small scene is perhaps one of the most interesting in the aquascape and is very pleasing to the eye.

The flow follows the profile and hardscape of the tank as well, guiding the eyes from the main focal point to the secondary focal point. It is done in a way that is natural and relaxing and therefore gently guides the viewer's eyes.

Finally, the foreground (green), midground (yellow), and background (blue), show more starkly the effects of the V shaped profile and how Sergio has used it to his advantage. Note the division created by the V is not a straight line through the background and foreground, but a more natural wandering line (red). The foreground here is entirely sand, which is becoming more and more popular, as many foreground plants require constant maintenance. The sand also adds contrast to the aquascape, highlighting the plants behind.

Sergio's aquascape is a classic design with clear inspirations from Takashi Amano that blends all the tenets of the nature aquarium style. The result is a wonderful aquarium that is pleasing to look at and a work of art. For more information on Sergio's tank and his many DIY projects, check out his journal.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pregnant Red Cherry Shrimp

Here's an amazing video of a pregnant red cherry shrimp fanning her eggs. She holds on to them until they are ready to hatch into little shrimplets, usually about 20-30 days.

Practical Fishkeeping: George Farmer's nano tank

This is a great example from Practical Fishkeeping of a high tech nano tank. It's small, but absolutely beautiful! If you'd like to read more about the setup of this aquarium, check out George's Nano Aquarium Journal.

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