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Aquascape of the Month July 2012: "The Only Way"

Discussion in 'Aquascape of the Month (AOTM)' started by John N., May 31, 2012.

  1. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    July 2012 Aquascape of the Month
    ______________________________________________
    The Only Way
    by Mikolaj Weterle
    Aquascape Only Way.png


    INTRODUCTION

    [float_left] 1Me and my tank.jpg [/float_left] My name is Mikołaj Weterle. I live in Bydgoszcz, in Poland. I’m 30 years old and I’m biologist. Few years ago I decide to make an aquarium in my home. I had enough place so I wanted something big (about 600L). I almost bought that huge tank (it was set with only 160W of light). I don’t know what happend that day, but I got back home without it (thanks God J). I turned on my computer and decided to watch some pictures of aquariums on internet. And than I found photos of nature style. I opened my mouth and I couldn’t close it for a long time.

    I said “I want that kind of aquarium”. I found a lot of information and I knew it gonna take a long time before I’m gonna learn it. So I start immediately. I spent 8 months for reading, studying different aquascapes and analyzing techiniques. After that was a time to start practice. I bought my first aquarium. This time I knew what I’m looking for. It was 325L [130x50x50], with correct light for plants (216W), CO2, strong filtration and substrate ADA Amazonia. From there, I began to practice my first aquascaping design.

    After year I bought another tank, this time it was nano – 30L. And last year one more – cube 31L. Since the beginning I made 8 layouts (two of them started moth ago) so I’m a beginner. My inspiration are layouts of Cliff Hui, his style is most perfect to me. I love those detalis and comlicated views.


    AQUASCAPING STYLE AND METHOD FOR "THE ONLY WAY"

    [float_right] 2Hardscape - The only way.jpg [/float_right]There wasn’t any special view or a particular picture which inspired this layout. When I started preparation for “The Only Way” I wasn’t exactly sure of the finish effect. I had some wood, and stones and just wanted to fill an empty tank. I tried to make something simple, with only a few species of plants. But when I started to design and plant each aquatic plant, I could not stop myself from creating more complicated visions and designs. I decided to add more elements such as the white sand, more rocks and small segments of driftwood, carefully arranged into the aquascape.


    HARDSCAPE ARRANGEMENT

    I used Red Moor Wood and small basalt stones. First I put the combinations of the big parts of wood. After that I added some small stones around white sand and than more substrate. At the end the rest of stones and small wood. The back side is higher than front side about 12-15cm (the tank high is 25cm).


    AQUATIC PLANT MAINTENANCE

    [float_right] The only way 3.jpg [/float_right]In this layout, I used a lot of slow growing plants, so I did not have to trim them or prune them often. I actually prefer the wild effect in my aquariums, so I let the plants grow and develop as they naturally do. However, I did prune and trim the Hemianthus callitrichoides every so often to ensure that this low growing plant did not overtake the stone and other aquatic plants in the layout.


    GREATEST CHALLENGE

    After five months the layout looked wild enough to me. I held that effect in the layout with only small minor changes over about four months. That was the biggest challenge for me. Controlling the need to adjust and change the aquascape.

    I should mention, in the second month, I did have a problem with black algae. The black beard algae grew all over the wood and stones. But fortunately I won this battle over the course of three weeks by improving the water conditions. After that time, I had no further problems with algae ever since.

    [float_right] The only way 4.jpg [/float_right]
    FINAL THOUGHTS

    There is an interesting element to the final photos you see here in this article. My aquascape is located on a windowsill. The blinds are closed all the time, but for the photo session I opened them to allow the light in from the sunny day. This provided a great backlight for the aquascape as it contrasted well with the fish and aquarium plants.

    This was my first complicated layout and it has taken my aquascaping skills to a new level.






    Other Aquascapes by Mikolaj Weterle[float_right] The only way 2.jpg [/float_right]

    My first layout ever.JPG Cube on the ZooExpo 2011.JPG Masters of the mountans.jpg New layout.jpg
     

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  2. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    aquascapetankspecs.jpg aquariumplantlist.jpg

    Larger images thumbnails

    The only way 1.jpg The only way 2.jpg Hardscape - The only way.JPG The only way 3.jpg The only way 4.jpg The only way 5.jpg

    -John N.
     
  3. stevo

    stevo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    So natural! Definitely an eyecatching scape! Congrats for the title! (y)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  4. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Congrats on your accomplishment Mikołaj! IMO, I think the woodwork coming all the way up to the glass, especially on the right side of the tank creates so much depth and perspective, and in turn pushes this scape over the top.
     
    keithgh and John N. like this.
  5. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Really nice, truly deserved!!


    ___________________________
    Luis
    @ghostsword
     
  6. Flo

    Flo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    very nice, congratulations! :)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  7. WabiKasuH20Fall

    WabiKasuH20Fall Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Great tank, very nice layout and placement of the branch wood. Congrats on your accomplishment :)


    From the mud grows a Lotus~
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk.
     
    keithgh likes this.
  8. michael_bjl

    michael_bjl New Member

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    cool, it's clean, bright and make me relax!
     
    keithgh and pacz like this.
  9. Garuf

    Garuf Moderator Staff Member

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    One of my favourite scapes I've seen on here recently, no gimmicks, no over the topness, a humble, well balanced and extremely well observed slice of nature.
     
    nick.scott likes this.
  10. astralis82

    astralis82 New Member

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    first time seen, tought was, " Just like the picture from my dreams".., and after finding out that measures are that small, got even more in love. Outstanding job sir, if I may say. (y)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  11. geoffrey16

    geoffrey16 New Member

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    Very beautiful landscape and very good story. thank you :)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  12. MikolajW

    MikolajW Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I'm glad my work has been appreciate and it's really edifying. Thank you for all words!
     
    keithgh and Ram Pascua like this.
  13. Ram Pascua

    Ram Pascua New Member

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    Aloha Mikolaj,

    I am in the process of learning about aquascaping and continue to be captivated by the beauty and serenity I feel when admiring others' work. I have a 55 gallon tank, more vertical than horizontal, 3 feet tall. Slowly collecting driftwood that I find on the beach/rivers here in Hawaii - and soon to be collecting rocks. Thank you for sharing your story. And "The Only Way" is simply amazing! Keep up the great work!
     
    keithgh likes this.
  14. hrishi007

    hrishi007 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I love it too :)
     
    keithgh and Ram Pascua like this.
  15. Cecska

    Cecska New Member

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    I love the little tanks!
    It is very natural, congratulations!(y)
     
    keithgh likes this.
  16. pisces

    pisces New Member

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    I like your tank. Congratulations!
     
    keithgh likes this.
  17. kemal

    kemal New Member

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    It is required..Respect:sneaky:
     
    keithgh likes this.
  18. tim.cincotta

    tim.cincotta New Member

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    Beautiful tank. Congratulations!
     
  19. Father Fish

    Father Fish New Member

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    There is an artistry to keeping fish and maintaining beautiful aquariums. Your work exhibits the soul of an artist.
     
  20. Ericadesign

    Ericadesign Aspiring Aquascaper

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    very nice~ good combo of plants
     
    keithgh likes this.

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