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ADA at The Green Machine – Nature Aquarium Aquascaping Demonstration

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The above image shows the aquascape approximately three and a half months after planting- a testament to the excellent quality of ADA products.

ADA contacted The Green Machine, a specialist planted tank and aquascaping retailer based in Wrexham and offered the shop UK distribution rights of ADA products. The owners, Jim and Mark, were understandably flattered by the invite; a reflection of the shop’s enthusiasm and dedication towards the aquatic plant and aquascaping hobby that ADA recognise. This was followed by an organised visit from Italian ADA Europe Co. representatives on December 12th 2008 to give an aquascaping demonstration to regular customers of The Green Machine. The onlookers took their seats and listened intently to Francesco Nardelli as he set up the aquarium from scratch – Nature Aquarium style. Assisted by Davide Chiacchio, the Italian pair worked together, commentating, installing equipment and answering questions from the audience.

Setup Specifications

Step by Step

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph

ADA Bacter 100, Clear Super and Tourmaline BC added to base of aquarium. Bacter 100 contains many forms of bacteria. Clear Super contains activated carbon. Tourmaline BC contains several micronutrients and magnesium. The ingredients are all in powder form and are sprinkled evenly across the aquarium base.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

Three bags of ADA Power Sand M are added being careful to leave an open space around the edge of the aquarium for aesthetic purposes. Power Sand is composed of porous volcanic stones and peat rich in nutrients.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

Three 9 litre bags of ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia are added sloping to the rear. Aqua Soil is very rich in nutrients and lowers the pH and hardness of the water. It produces ammonia and nitrite in the first 3 weeks of installation so livestock should not be added until these are undetectable.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The Main Stone is positioned. This is the most important part of the aquascape as it forms the backbone of the layout with the Supporting stones added in relation to the Main Stone. It is positioned off-centre using the rule of thirds or golden ratio for the best balance. The stone is known as Seiryu Stone and is very popular in Nature Aquarium aquascapes. This rock-based layout is known as Iwagumi.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

Supporting Stones are added with consideration to the Main Stone. Great care and attention are paid to ensure the composition is well balanced with a natural appearance in accordance with the Nature Aquarium philosophy. Stones of the same type, colour and texture must be used, as mixing types looks unnatural.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The aquarium is partially filled with water ready for planting. Filling is done using re-mineralised RO water via a hose pipe and floating bag to ensure the substrate is not disturbed.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The plants were pre-prepared by volunteers from the crowd. All pots were removed and mineral wool teased apart to reveal individual plantlets. Any unhealthy parts are removed. The plants are inserted carefully into the Aqua Soil. Echinodorus tenellus and Eleocharis parvula make up the foreground and midground. Vallisneria nana and Cyperus helferi form the background.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The aquarium is topped up with water and all the equipment is fitted. The Super Jet ES-1200 filter is pre-packed with Bio Rio and NA Carbon media. Glass lily pipes are used for inflow and outflow. Their design ensures minimum visual impact on the display and the outflow is hydrodynamically designed to ensure effective water circulation. ADA recommends using filtration with a media capacity of around 10% of the total aquarium volume i.e. a 200 litre tank would have 20 litres of filter volume. The CO2 kit is fitted using a pressurised system with full glassware – Cabochon Ruby (non-return valve), Beetle Counter (bubble counter) and Pollen Glass (diffuser). Brighty K liquid fertiliser is added that supplies potassium and acts as a water conditioner and buffer. Green Bacter liquid is added to help with nitrifying bacteria production. No other fertilisers are added, as the substrate is rich enough in nutrients for a long period. After several weeks the other fertilisers in the ADA range are added i.e. the Green Brighty Step Series, Green Gain and ECA.

George Farmer supplied the above images and text.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

The above image shows the aquascape approximately three and a half months after planting- a testament to the excellent quality of ADA products.

Below are some photographs of the day taken by Stu Worrall.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographThe start of the day.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographThe setup is ready to go.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photograph 

Franscesco Nardelli talks about rock placement.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographFranscesco Nardelli and Davide Chiacchio observe the rock placement.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographPlanting is in progress.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographA view of some of the audience.

Aqua Design Amano (ADA) at The Green Machine - Nature Aquarium aquascape demonstration photographFranscesco Nardelli and Davide Chiacchio add some finishing touches.

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