Exploring Gender Identity

Bon Appetit Aquascaping

on March 20, 2016

Aquascape whisper of pinesHave you ever considered that the Aquarium hobby is much like cooking and aquascaping is analogous to being a Chef? Think about this. Cooking is combing ingredients in order to have a desirable outcome using a recipe. Putting a successful aquarium together is much the same. Taking this to the next level a Chef combines ingredients in unique ways without a recipe to create new dining experiences. An Aquascaper does much the same. Of course Takashi Amano was a master of this and could be considered the first Iron Chef of Aquascaping! <G>

Are you a Chef or a cook? Nothing wrong with either, it is however helpful to your hobby (the results you and others enjoy) to know which you desire to be. For me having a goal is wonderful and rewarding because when I am clear, this goal is often achieved. Upon success I enjoy this for a while until the urge to create something more rewarding takes over and the whole process repeats. So let’s look closer at this process.

Start with an idea and work with this in your mind. Imagine all the possibilities one by one and feel which of these makes you the most excited. What inspires you? Listen carefully in silence. Relax, feel the peace your “creation” bring you. When the time is right and you feel about to burst! Pick up some paper and draw out your plans. Include each aspect of the project. What is the goal of this project? What are the ingredients to be used? How best to combine these to obtain the desired outcome? If this this the first time you are attempting this there will be trail and error. Learn from this. Listening to other’s trails and errors can be helpful but it can also be detrimental as you are accepting their limits. Think outside the box! Be inspired.

Once you have your goal and this vision has been mapped out on paper it is time to gather the ingredients. The order in which this occurs is obvious. The non-living aspects are collected first and should be assembled before adding any living components. The tank needs to be “cycled” first of course but even before this the hardscape needs to planned out exactly using the actual pieces so the artistic components are vetted to your satisfaction. Beauty is something you feel not just observe, so always keep this in mind. Does this project feel right? It is OK to change course along the way, although do not do so at a whim. Think on it a day or two. Take your time. Cycling will take a few weeks even if you use established materials. This is not a race, this is perfection!

Implementation at this point is easy. Simply combine the parts as you planned and let the nitrogen cycle complete. The substrate goes in first, then the hardscape, then the plants, and then either fish or ammonia to finish the cycle. What kind of filtration are you using? What about lighting? Is strong or light water circulation necessary? Live plants or plastic? Or None? This depends on the goal and type of live organisms desired. Certain fish and plants go together or not and this is very important. Perhaps you desire to test the limits of these ideas. Have this all thought out in advance! Once the project is going it probably will need to be tweaked. Just as in cooking the perfect dish is not arrived at the first try. Also just as in cooking, working from a recipe yields a result closer to what is desired. Doing research is part of the fun both in cooking and in Aquascaping, or any project really and planning makes the whole experience enjoyable! Of course throwing things together over and over til something works is also an option, LOL. Just not one that I enjoy.

Bon Appetit!

Sequoia Elisabeth &


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