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45cm Layout, First Aquascape in China-- (also pics of fish market!)

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Steven Chong, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    你好! (Ni Hao! Hello!)

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    Hi guys-- friends of old and aquarium enthusiasts I've yet to meet. My name is Steven Chong, and I'd like to share with you all my newest layout I've been working on since I got to China in September.

    First, I'll say that the fish market here in Guangzhou is incredible-- Hua Diwan Bird / Fish / Plant market. I thought the Hong Kong market was crazy when I visited there last year, but the GZ market is almost as big-- it's incredible. Well, actually, if you're looking for rare species and quality products, HK is probably better, but the prices here are unreal. And did I mention the market is gigantic?

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    ^aquarium plants anyone?

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    It just keeps going and going-- there must be a square kilometer of almost nothing but aquarium stores and stands. Salt water fish, corals, plants, rays, flowerhorns, arowanas, and tons and tons of goldfish and koi-- doesn't end! Of course, I'm sure many of the practices here would shock many western fish keepers-- I'll never see the sense in displaying a full-sized Koi in a bag waiting for someone to buy it, but there you go... I guess all I can say is that the Chinese invented the whole fishkeeping hobby, and I'm not about to tell them how to do it...


    But all of you came into this thread to see an aquarium journal, so here it is.

    It's a pretty modest set up, just a 45cm desk tank. However, I am just shocked at the prices of fairly high quality products!
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    ^Frame-less Glass Aquarium, 130 kuai ($16 USD)

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    ^Collection of rocks I've only ever seen sold before in China/HK-- 60 kuai ($10 USD)
    I also got myself a REALLY nice set of Seiryu stones (I'm talking primo stuff-- way better than anything I've seen sold in Japan or the US; if you want nice Seiryu, you got to go to the source and not let it pass through ADA's hands), and I paid 40 kuai (7 dollars) for the whole set. Maybe show you guys photos of those stones later.

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    I stocked the tank with plants for a dry set up about 2.5 weeks-- I'm actually not actually sure if it was all that worth it. My crypts and starogyne definitely took well to their spots, and put in good roots during that time (I got ZERO melting on filling the tank), but my HC didn't really attach itself (so I had to replant a lot of it), and I'm guessing the Singapore moss really doesn't have rhyzoids because it almost didn't attach at all. My mini pelia DID though, and that was a big save.
    I think I spent around 150 rmb on all my plants for this set up (~$20). A 3"x3" square of HC costs 10RMB, or $1.50 USD.

    BTW that LED light for 45cm tank-- 170 RMB (~$22)

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    I think I spent 300 RMB for the whole CO2 system ($45), and 150 RMB ($20) on the canister filter. The glass pipes were $1 each.

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    And here she is, 2.5 weeks after the tank was filled. :)

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    Plants
    -Hemianthus Callitrichoides
    -Mini Pellia
    -Starogyne repens
    -Starogyne sp. Bihir (love this plant so much-- and so cheap here)
    -Crypt Sp.
    -Rotala sp. (probably "Vietnam")
    -Pomatageton gayi (This plant is so great-- really needs more love in more layouts)

    I also have been using this weird foreground plant. It looks a lot like Hemianthus micranthemoides, but it is absolutely a creeper-- it actually digs downwards. It grows faster than my HC, and while it had almost perfectly spherical leaves at first, now they're becoming sharper. I can take some pictures, but if someone could give me a scientific name it would be great; a friend in Hawaii told me it's "the newest thing in foreground plants" but didn't give me a name.

    Fauna:
    -15 Ember tetras
    -2 Otocinclus
    -7 Corydorus pigmeas
    -20+ Red Cherry Shrimp

    The fish are doing fantastic by the way. For all the horrendous handling things you see at the fish mart, the fish get to your house super healthy-- that's for sure. Sometimes the condition in and around the store look terrible, but the fish inside the tanks are healthier than I ever see in the US. It's very strange.

    Specs:
    Since all the equipment is from a bunch of Chinese makers, I'm not sure how useful it would be to talk about... The tank is 45 x 30 x 30. I'm using aquasoil, pressurized CO2, an LED light, and a canister filter. So far, the tank looks fantastic. I'm getting some algae, but its pretty minor. Water is CLEAR. Doing water changes 2-3 times a week though. I am also dosing ADA Step 2, and man-- I felt that stuff was EXPENSIVE (150 RMB). It really screws with your head when a bottle of Step 2 costs as much as an attractive LED Light stand, and more than a nice frameless aquarium!

    Not to mention that bottle of Step 2 costs as much as my new VIV scissors:

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    lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice Steven! A beautiful little setup and a nice thing to work next to, I'm sure.

    Those prices are making my head spin o_O I feel so....used....:cry: lol!
     
  3. Williams Favourite

    Williams Favourite Aspiring Aquascaper

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    You lucky man..... Really good scape
     
  4. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    @Shadow-- don't they just?

     
    ShadowMac, Shadow, stevo and 2 others like this.
  5. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Steven, Wow Wow :cool: And your Aquscape is Superb :love:
     
  6. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Steven.

    Every thing is FANTASTIC you are certainly no new comer to the art of Aquascaping.

    That market to many of us is just in Dream Land.

    Keith:):)
     
  7. Yoda

    Yoda Moderator Staff Member

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    nice rocks...nice scape (y)(y)
     
  8. cmathews95

    cmathews95 New Member

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    great scape. I'd like to see a pic of the canister filter, co2 setup, and lily pipes if you don't mind.
     
  9. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Did you get China copy of ADA super jet? :LOL:
     
  10. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hey guys!

    Thanks for the feedback. I too can't believe things when I see the prices here... flips my mind. I will be getting my visa soon, so hopefully I'll get another chance to parooze HK's even more insane market again.

    Sorry I didn't take any photos of my "down stairs" equipment, but I'll be sure to add some later.

    Did manage to get some more pics from the market here, so will share them later!

    As for now, here are some pics from the 40 cm tank I just set up a couple days ago:

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    Sitting on my washing machine outside for 3 weeks, waiting for its chance...

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    My trusty spray bottle, and the wrap removed for the last time!

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    Tank's looking nice in its final resting spot in my sitting area. I love a hanging light as much as the next guy, but I just can't justify setting
    one up in my rented apartment on this little aquariums.

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    Finally got the tank filled and the equipment set up! Overall, 24 watt Florescent light system, small canister filter, CO2 canister and regulator, lily pipes and miscellaneous equipment, spent 900 RMB, or about $150 USD

    Had an episode with the Regulator not screwed on the canister tight enough, but things went smoothly over all. I couldn't believe the clarity of the water with the Aqua Soil knock-off made here in Guang Zhou. Hopefully it doesn't do anything weird to the water, but only time will tell!

    No floaters really, but I actually had to do a bunch of trimming, which made some clean up-- really messed up the sand to trim and cut off stems with over 1 cm long roots in the white areas!

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    A close up of that mountain face... as I mentioned, I have never seen Seiryu as nice in person until I came to the source-- here in China. Just absolutely beautiful rocks in the market; nothing like this anywhere in Japan. Maybe we westerners should also call them Shenlong rocks instead! (Chinese pronunciation of the Japnanese word "Seiryu")

    There are 17 rocks in total, many smaler ones used to make the impression of bigger ones, or just to support the slope. I have about 5 more rocks in this collection that weren't used, and plan on increasing the Seiryu collection before leaving GZ. As mentioned, all these rocks cost me 40 RMB, or about $7 USD.
    And finally, that all-so-important candid front shot:

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    Next time, I'll post some of the more mature shots of the 45, and add some more photos from the market (as well as some equipment shots?)

    later~
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2013
  11. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Steven , Looking forward to your update;) Wow that was Quick :D Thank you
    Love Your little Scape :cool:(y)
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Steven

    That small winding and uneven path with a few pebbles scattered around makes that path look so real.

    Those rocks I think every one has some form of character.

    Am I wrong in saying there is only one species of plant if so a fantastic choice.

    In conclusion every part of your Aquascape blends in with each other.

    Keith:):)
     
  13. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Actually 2 species keith, HC, and a moss (probably Singapore, based on shape and the fact it has no rhizoids-- I have to be very careful not to mess with it...
     
  14. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    ご無沙汰しております。大変お世話になっております。(Japanese: My humble apologies for long absence - I am in your care)

    Huh, so kind of awkward coming back after leaving this thread unattended for a year and a half, but a lot has happened since and I thought the best way to get back into posting was to tie up this old thread.

    What happened?
    A lot happened! I moved 2 times, re-united with my wife and daughter who were living in Japan, finished up my MBA and settled down (at least for a few years!).

    When I made this aquascape, I was studying abroad in China for the 2nd half of my degree. But, in order to complete my degree, I needed an internship-- I didn't find it in Guangzhou, I had to move to Shanghai in Jan 2014 for the best offer I got. In short, I finished the 45cm layout, but never got to finish the 2nd 40cm one. However, I still have those Seiryuu stones, so it's a layout I would like to revisit someday.

    When living in Shanghai, there was a lot of the big city to enjoy, and my living conditions were such that I couldn't jump back into scaping-- not enough time either. April 2014 I graduated, and left China behind to job hunt. Ultimately, I found a job with IBM Japan in brand management (a type of marketing function), and am now living in Tokyo.

    It was definitely reverse-culture-shock to return to Japanese prices (which seem to have risen since I last left JPN in 2012??), but of naturally I couldn't keep my fingers dry (much to my wife's dismay!). It took some time to settle into life in Tokyo, but I have recently started a new all-ADA 45cm aquarium, which I will share soon! Features the same type of rock as this layout, while also using some pieces I bought in Hong Kong several years back.

    If anyone plans to participate in the Nature Aquarium Party 2015, right now-- I plan to be there, so see you there! It will be my first time to participate in several years so very nervous. :giggle:

    In closing this journal, I'd like to share a filtered picture of this layout, which I plan to enter as a modest contribution to this year's IAPLC.

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    Thanks for all your feedback on this thread, and please look forward to the next! (or stalk me on Facebook~ already have some posts about it there)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome back Steven! You have had a busy couple years. Congratulations on finishing your MBA, balancing graduate school with the everyday demands of life can be a challenge. Good to also find a job after such an investment; congratulations and best of luck in your new position.

    Glad to see you are still getting your elbows wet. The tank looks very nice and is a reminder that we don't need to overcomplicate things to get a nice layout. A lesson I constantly forget :oops: Good luck with your entry.

    I wish I could attend the Nature Aquarium Party, it would be an exciting event. Maybe, one day I'll be so lucky. I passed on the AGA convention this year despite my plans to attend. Life sometimes gets in the way even when you aren't in school. Please, take the time to fill us in on your experience and thoughts about this year's event.

    Thanks for updating the thread and I look forward to hearing more from you. (y)
     
  16. greenfinger 2

    greenfinger 2 Active Aquascaper

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    Hi Steven,

    Congratulations On your MBA and new job in Japan :cool:

    Love the scape and planting. Fab photo too crisp and clean (y)
     
  17. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Steven welcome back to ASW

    Congratulations on getting your MBA and your new career in Japan.

    Keith:):)
     
  18. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Congratulation on your MBA and new job (y)

    Unfortunately ADA announced during NA party 2014 that it will be the last NA party as we know it. It could turn into different kind of party or not at all, but at this point no one know.
     
  19. Steven Chong

    Steven Chong Aspiring Aquascaper

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    wow, that is unfortunate! Also shows that I have not been following them as close as I should have. The last one I went to was in... 2011? Hopefully some big even still happens in Japan; even if Amano can't put together the rip-roaring parties of the old days, there are a lot of hobbyists here, and an occasion to pull in people from around the country again would be great.
     
    keithgh likes this.
  20. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    What I heard TAU and CAJ thinking of organize something if ADA did not organize party but that only rumor :)
     

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