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What is aquascaping like in your country?

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by John N., Sep 8, 2010.

  1. lljdma06

    lljdma06 New Member

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    Sep 11, 2010
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    Location:
    Miami, FL USA
    It is easier to get the feet wet with a non-CO2 setup, low-maintenance setup, and IMO, a better way for a newbie to start. Where I normally am, we get a lot less threads titled "my algae disaster" since Newbies learned to start with a simpler setup. You can always upgrade later.

    It does cost less! Lasts longer too. It is also great for busy people who cannot always play with their tanks.

    In the two US centers mentioned, FL and CA, I am rather isolated in Miami, where SW and predatory species setups are far more common. That being said, AGA is in Ft. lauderdale this year, so that will give South FL an aquascaping boost.

    Most of my stuff is purchased online, and I make due. I get stuff from UK and Singapore.
     

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  2. Eauvive

    Eauvive New Member

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    Aug 28, 2010
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    Location:
    Germany
    One more voice from Germany with a scene, witnessed today inside one of the largest pet shops over here:

    There was this man, about 40 of age with his ~12 yo son. He obviously found and succesfully caught one of the pet shop staff and draged him into the shop section where the stones and wood for aquarium and terrarium is sold. He got this styrofoam thing in his hand, placed it on the floor, pointed on it and handed a paper to the staff member, saying:

    "I am going to do an Iwagumi. On this picture you can see, what it has to look like. This styroporfoam ist sized my tanks base and i´ve painted in where the stones have to be and also got the Dennerle order code for the plants on it. Can you pick out the fitting stones for me please?"

    Thats german mindship meeting aquascaping in its best :)))

    Actually the guy was quite likable, so i kind of ended up doing a hardscape.. HIS hardscape..

    He was happy, i was kind of .. well.. confused, my boyfriend was pissed of (35min...), the staff member was kind of embarrassed, repeating something like "asking me what stones would fit is like asking me how to do a painting!" and i felt very creativ for about half an hour.


    cheers
    Sonja
     
  3. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    However there are an increasing number o fus that are actually producing scapes whilst following the basic 'Walstad' principles.

    In the UK we have been gaining some exposure. Her is one example of George Farmer on British TV. You may also recognise Huey from the 'Fun lovin criminals' co-hosting. If you listen George purposefully keeps using the term 'aquascape'. The word gets in people's minds and then if they go searching they type in.....'aquascape':

    [ame=http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vti-8wVFq4]YouTube - Aquascaping on Sky TV[/ame]

    So the exposure is there it is gaining. I think its more a case of Humans getting more and more impatient. An ever increasing number prefer to watch others doing things on TV or simulate things on their games consoles rather than do it themselves.

    A high percentage of first timers are going to have algae farms, even if they buy the best equipment and the majority give up. They want it now, they want it quickly. They do not have the patience to learn and take months, years to get there.

    This is where the forums helped just like Stan said. It increased the numbers that were succesful first time (in keeping plants alive) and therefore reduced the number of people walking away.

    However like Xavier says. On my site although it's main focus is Aquascaping and planted tanks most of my trafffic is on the LED lighting pages. The mojority of that traffic is coming from links on Reef forums.

    I guess all we can do is to keep pushing ever increasing numbers of vibrant greenery onto the net and let people see them, after all that is what turned me from thinking of an aquarium as an ugly dingy object with weird lighting to seeing that it could be a beautiful thing. An attractive living space feature even.

    We will get there eventually, maybe via introducing the lower cost or easier to maintain setups. After all from some acorns grow large Oak trees. Those who learn the planting gain interest in further developing their hobby :)

    AC
     
  4. Xavier

    Xavier ASW Sponsor

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    Apr 11, 2009
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    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Most of my comments were directed specifically to the American/N. American market, for the record. I know close to nothing except through third parties what the european and asian markets are like, where there is no/very limited exposure of Aquascaping in our market, there is better coverage in others.

    50 years of no evolution in the american market outside of a few hyper niches is proof of one thing - the current method does not and has not, worked, and expansion of the hobby is purely from the advent of the internet - that boom is over. Now, that is precisely why steps are being taken to change that - this isn't a forlorn situation, just one where the extreme majority is not willing to take the risk in being pioneers, which is okay.

    The best way to think of it is - every investment in quality equipment, is a direct investment towards promoting business incentive to develop better products targeted specifically for the Planted Aquarium.

    Where as an investment of $20 into a hampton bay light, for example - does absolutely nothing for the Planted Aquarium hobby.

    However, inspiration and corresponding content is the only method that will expand the hobby. It requires this, for reasons mentioned before - we don't have the luxury of using half-dead organisms to inspire our neighbors. We all have to do everything we can to increase our skill and ability to produce inspirational works en masse. Less time should be spent questioning proven methods and more time should be spent refining skill.
     
  5. Mellonman

    Mellonman New Member

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    Location:
    France
    Aquascaping hobby is still confidential in France (although France is the second largest aquaristic market in Europe).

    It's growing but very very slowly... we still are far away behind many European countries like Italy, Germany, Portugal and most of all Poland (which is in my opinion the European country where aquascaping talents are the most numerous).

    One of our problem is that good aquascapers often switch to saltwater after a while... and that beginners try to aquascape before they are able to grow plants properly (and then get quickly discouraged)...

    But there's hope and we're working on it... ;)
     
  6. Enrico Serena

    Enrico Serena New Member

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    Location:
    Italy
    There is a growing interest on Aquascaping here in Italy, with a lot of people taking part in International Contests and some good Forums and communities for reference. Someone of this aquascapers have collected good results in that Contests and, watching statistics of IAPLC past editions, italians are often 2nd nation for numbers of partecipants after Polands. Sometimes they collected even winning prizes in AGA, IAPLC or AAC or ASE.
    Anyway when I talk to someone not involved in this hobby/art, of Nature Aquarium or Aquascapes, very few knows what I am talking about.
    Lot of people have an aquarium in their home, but I think salt water and fish breeding is more and more in front of aquascaping for now.

    Ciao
     
  7. littlefish

    littlefish New Member

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    Location:
    Bucharest
    In Romania aquascaping is expanding very fast, much more people are interest on aquariums and they try to create some gorgeous tanks, predominant is dutch style. We have a big aquatic comunity on "acvarist.ro".
     
  8. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Location:
    California
    I am sure you are aware...AquaBotanic and Robert Hudson is closing shop for good at the end of September 2010. That's a big thing in my opinion, especially since AquaBotanic was one of the very first aquatic plant importers in the US and a mainstay in the hobby during its fledgling years in the US. I think without him and his store, the hobby in the US wouldn't be where it is today. Is this a sign where the hobby is going? I don't know.

    I think the perception of aquariums in the US is simply dominated by two concepts: a Freshwater tank (full of fish) or a Saltwater Tank (the hallmark of the aquaria hobby). Until that changes drastically, I think Planted Aquariums will remain a minority in the aquaria field.

    -John N.
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    North Dakota, USA
    I agree, John. The idea of what a freshwater tank could be has been dominated by this idea of colored gravel with a bunch of fish and fake plants next to a sunken pirate ship. Most LFS in the US do not do a great job of promoting plants. I don't know if it isn't cost effective or if its just a lack of knowledge. Personally, I think a great show tank in a store could move more merchandise.

    I have shared aquascaping with as many people as I can around me and all have been amazed at the tanks. I think, if more knew then more may pursue a really great planted tank over a salt water setup. That is what happened to me. I thought saltwater was the "ultimate" setup until i found aquascaping, much more interesting, versatile, and artistic, IMO. That is not, however, the perception that is commonly found in the states.
     
  10. TequariumLerro

    TequariumLerro New Member

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    Location:
    China
    I'm from NYC, but have lived in other countries. Currently in China, Their interest in aquascaping is rather low based on the markets that I have been to in various cities. For one thing co2 and other equipment is hard to obtain. Aquatic plants, however, are easy to get. Even though, aquatic plants are many here, most people do not get into complex aquascaping or even lowtech. It is mainly just throw some plants it that they think are attractive with out going into layout planning.

    In S. Korea, aquariums are very popular, but not aquascapes. There is an interstest in photography, art and nature, which surprises me that aquascaping isn't popular. It might have something to due with stocking aquatic plants.

    This is a good thread btw.
     
  11. Najoh

    Najoh New Member

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    Oct 10, 2010
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    Location:
    Hua Hin
    Many people doing aquascaping in thailand, i didn't know until yesterday.
     
  12. tenshu

    tenshu New Member

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    Sep 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Paris, France
    Like someone said before; aquascaping is small in France.
    Mostly because skilled hobbist generaly move to saltwater.

    So aquascaping remains confidential even if the first owned pet here are fish (before dog & cat) but most of hobbist are throwing a few goldfishes in a tank with coloured gravels. Thos who get interesed in buys a few plants and maintain guppies or neons.

    We have the great aquascape-boutique online resseler for rocks, substrate etc.
    But with the crisis a lot of LFS just closed their doors in th elast decades. They've been replaced by big corporation like Jardiland, Animalia, Truffault and the least you can say is their services is not really great.
    Reglementation has changed for some specific articles, like shrimp were the seller must have a certificate to sell them. The idea was to avoid big supermarket to buy large quantity of animals and let die those who weren't sold quickly. But the result is well they just stop to sell them. Same for plants, they don't wan't to risk their potential profits with perishable goods.

    So my conclusion is, aquascaping in France won't grow if resseler are considering their immediate profits first. They should show demo tank in their supermarket, and think about the fact a aquascaped tank would cost so much more money than a simple family goldfsih tank and make client come regurarly for furnitures.
     
  13. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    Lincoln, UK
    The 'publish or perish' statement is quite true.

    Even on the web I find my website's throughput hits highs after an update. If I leave it a copule of months it can drop off to the point where the hits are 10% that of peak.

    I find I have to update fortnightly at least and also try to spread updates on different things apart rather than do a whole months updates on everything in one go.

    AC
     

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