I am very excited to announce that I have a new monthly column in the most respected aquarium magazine in the world, Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine called Adventures in Aquascaping; A Growing Experience.
In this unique new column, I will be setting up an aquascape or biotope and docuementing it from its very begining to maturity over a period of 4 to six months, showing every aspect of its creation and every challenge and problem. Each month I will summarize the progress of the previous four weeks. There will also be a blog on the TFH web site showing weekly updates of the progress and giving you the opportunity to post questions, comments and share your own advice on the project or even post photos of your own version of the project. We will take this path to a new experience together!
It goes to print in the January 2010 issue which will be mailed out in october/November, and the blog should be up by then.
Here is a little preview:
Adventures in Aquascaping: A Growing Experience
By Robert Paul Hudson
Welcome to the premier of Adventures in Aquascaping- A Growing Experience; a unique chronology of a newly designed and created planted aquascape or biotope from the ground level to maturity. Share the journey as together we experience all the issues and problems of a newly set up aquarium and how they are resolved. The experience will be documented weekly on the Adventures blog located on the TFH web site giving you the opportunity to interact with the project by offering your own advice, experiences, or questions. It will be an interactive consortium of ideas unlike anything that has been attempted before. I will be interviewing experts within the field that will relate to and offer a unique perspective to various stages of the project. You are invited to share on the blog pictures and descriptions of your own planted aquarium or your own version of the Adventure project.
The first adventure we are embarking on is a 15 gallon aquarium for freshwater shrimp and a planted aquascape using the following plants: Subwassertang, Flame moss, Fissidens sp., Java moss, Riccia, Anubias nana narrow leaf and Blyxa japonica. The goal is to provide a balanced environment for the shrimp and a challenging aquascape design using primarily mosses and liverworts.
Shrimp are intriguing creatures. Most freshwater species are small delicate looking foragers that feed on algae and particulates without the big menacing looking claws of the carnivorous species. Several species and color morphs are now available giving the hobbyist many choices. When it comes time to introduce the shrimp to this aquarium, I will introduce you to an expert who will explain to us the special care requirements of various shrimp species and what species will be appropriate to keep together in our set up.
In this column we will discuss the set up of C02, lighting, substrate, aquascape design, methods of attaching moss and liverworts, fertilization of the plants, choosing shrimp species, care requirements of the shrimp, pruning of the plants, maintenance issues and more. Watch how this aquarium evolves and learn from our mistakes, trials, and tribulations! Adventures in Aquascaping- a growing experience!
When it goes to print in the magazine, i will post some updates here showing a preview of the second installment. In real time, over the next week from now i am attaching all the mosses and getting the C02 set up. I am using a form of netting to attach the moss that a friend of mine on in another forum came up with. I have already done a couple Riccia rocks this way, and the Riccia is already starting to grow thru the netting, and I don't even have the C02 going yet!
A few things I will mention here because i can not say it in the magazine, I can't talk about specific brands in print...
The 15 gallon tank is from Petsmart, a Top Fin combo. The Top Fin HOB
filter is actually amazing! It is ultra quiet and works real well. I would buy the tank again just to get the filter! The light is Aquatic life dual lamp T5, two 24 watt HO
t5s. The fixture sits on legs and seems pretty well made. For the C02 system i am using a JBJ regulator, the Red Sea reactor 500, which is a mini vortex reactor with a built in pump. It has a very small footprint. I am also using the Red Sea Co2
indicator. The substrate is Schultz clay conditioner otherwise known as Turface. The wood i am using is one malaysian driftwood which has the nana narrow leaf and subwasertang on it, and two Tambora wood branches, which is a wood from Indonesia.
The shrimp will be introduced in about a month after the tank has been fully planted and growing. The shrimp are coming from theshrimptank.com
More info to come as the publication date gets closer! When the blog is up, I hope people here will post comments.