Sunday, February 26, 2012

2011 AGA International Aquascaping Contest Entries

2011 AGA International Aquascaping Contest Entries

The Great Indian Aquascaping Contest 2012

The Great Indian Aquascaping Contest 2012 is on.

ADA (Aqua Design Amano) equipment worth INR 3.5 lakhs to be won.
All the details regarding the contest is available at this website:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, May 11, 2008

'Secret Shore' - A Step-by-step Documentation

Creative Aquascape BY Samit Roy

The above image shows one of my creative aquascape project "Secret Shore". This is one of my favourites among the Creative Aquascapes, I have done in recent past. Unlike, Nature Aquascapes, my Creative Aquascapes are much short-lived and being prepared for the final photo session, from the first day.

Please rate this tank here at RateMyFishTank

Below are few photographs taken to document the set up process:

1. Rounded riverbed rocks goes in the form the base of the layout

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup001

2. Card board goes in, creating the boundary of the planting area

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup002

3. Substrate goes in, forming the base of planting area

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup003

4. Fertilizers goes in forming the nutirient layer

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup004

5. Planting area ready

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup005

6. Fine white river sand goes in, for non-planting area (for decorative purpose)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup006

7. Ready for planting

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup007

8. Dry planting started with Ferns and Anubias

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup008

9. Dry planting finished and ready for wet planting

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 setup009

10. Planting completed

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

11. Few hours after planting (right part)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

12. Few hours after planting (left part)

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after planting

13. Full shot after set up is done

Secret Shore / 072607 wk00 after set up

14. Two days after set up

Secret Shore / 072807 wk00 front

14. Close up of the right corner after eight days

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Cabomba

15. Close up of Hygro after a week

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Hygro

16. Another close up of Hygro in 2nd week

Secret Shore / 080207 wk01 Hygro

17. 'Secret Shore' after 12 days

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 front

18. Full front after 2 weeks

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 front

19. Close up of Hygro after 2 weeks [Notice the change in color]

Secret Shore / 080607 wk02 Hygro

20. Bacopa close up after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081407 wk03 Bacopa

21. Full front after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081407 wk03 front

22. Close up of middle are after 3 weeks

Secret Shore / 081507 wk03 middle

23. Cabomba Close up - 4th week

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 Cabomba

24. Hygro Close up - 4th week

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 Hygro

25. Mid area close up

Secret Shore / 081707 wk03 middle

Planted Tank Tips

Nature Tank

I was looking at this archived image of one of my initial planted set ups. I thought it would be great to share the mistakes I made in my first attempts, with fellow aquarists, especially the ones who are new into this amazing world of planted aquascapes!

1. Choosing the plants: In those initial attempts, I have done a major mistake by picking up plants almost randomly, sometimes depending on the availability and off course by their look. I have never considered their compatibility with each other or their requirements. Choose the plants wisely. Know them before you plant them (or even before you get them). Identify the plants and know their requirements, habitats and nature.

2. Examining the specimens thoroughly: Examine all the specimens you get, very VERY carefully. Algae, snails and other pests and infections can travel smoothly to your tank, using these plants as carrier. Algae and snails are easy to find. Remove the Algae-infected leaves and pick snails with your fingers. But finding snail eggs are difficult, and off course much important, too. A tiny leaf covered by snail eggs can set hundreds snails loose in your tank. And most of the snails are vegetarian and have huge appetites. I'd suggest keep the newly sourced plants (must if the source is unknown or not so reliable) in a quarantine tank for few days and watch them closely, before you introduce them to your main tank.

3. Choosing the fishes: Choosing the right fish for a planted tank is also very important. Avoid compulsive plant-eaters and root-diggers, like gold fishes, Koi carps, Gouramis, African lake Cichlids. Also DO NOT keep large fishes, as the turbulance created by their body movements (also consider the filter flow rate that you need to have if you want to keep a large fish) will tear apart the delicate plants.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Taiwan Moss

Taiwan Moss
Taiwan Moss

Taiwan Moss [Taxiphyllum alternans]

I was trying out Taiwan moss in my nanoscapes and I am quite satisfied with the outcome. Here are my few initial findings about this beautiful aquatic moss:

1. Taiwan moss or Taxiphyllum alternans grows and spread faster than Java Moss.
2. They do extremely well if dosed with CO2. I have seen the entire group coming up with numerous brighter tip buds once I started adding CO2
3. Being more fragile and thinner than the common Java moss, Taiwan moss tends to be torn away quite often. Even if your filter creates little turbulance, you will find tiny pieces of taiwan moss all over your tank, tangled with other plants and happily growing!

Taiwan Moss
Taiwan Moss

Friday, January 25, 2008

Taboo in twilight

Aquscape of Samit Roy
Temporary light arrangement is one of the key elements of an aquascape. It creates the right ambiance. Pictures taken in actual lightings are usually flat, Though, they are good for technical documentation, but they often fail to create the right impact. When I take photographs of my aquascapes, I switch off the tank lights, room lights and all other sources of lights in the room and then set up the temporary light arrangement.

Aquarium and aquascapes of Samit Roy

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bacopa monnieri

Bacopa monnieri or Brahmi is very common through out India, as a medicinal herb. It increases memory and reported to improve intellect. It is also used to treat asthma, hoarseness, insanity and epilepsy. It is a potent nerve tonic and anti-anxiety agent.

According to Pankaj Oudhia, Society for Parthenium Management (SOPAM), " (Bacopa monnieri) is bitter, pungent, heating, emetic, laxative and useful in bad ulcers, tumours, ascites, enlargement of spleen, indigestion, inflammations, leprosy, anaemia, biliousness etc. According to Unani system of medicine, it is bitter, aphrodisiac, good in scabies, leucoderma, syphilis etc. It is promising blood purifier and useful in diarrhea and fevers."


Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)

Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) can be grown very easily on a driftwood. This is one of the least demanding plants used in a planted aquarium. This is a low-light plant. Under intense light, the leaves tend to "burn" and develop large black areas around the edges.

If you have Java ferns in your tank, put a net around the inlet of your filter and it check regularly. You will find tiny Java ferns are stuck on the net. Keep them in a bowl or a jar beside your mail tank. Change the water as needed. Drop a dose once in while or when dosing your main tank. Within few weeks you will have enough to exchange or even sale.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Creative Aquascape

After these dedicated years of Nature Aquariums and Natural Aquascapes, I decided to explore a comparatively new area of this fascinating hobby - Creative Aquascaping!

[Check out one of my previous Natural Aquascapes here]

Apparently, there are not too many differences between Natural Aquascaping and Creative Aquascaping.

In Natural Aquascapes we try to simulate an underwater scenario, sometimes specific to a particular biotope, sometimes a fancy combination of various species! But, every bit of the process is aimed to make the tank look like a natural underwater environment. But Creative Aquascapes are rarely aimed to simulate an underwater scenario. It's like creating any landscape with a glass tank filled with water, live aquatic plants, fishes and props like stones & driftwoods!

Another thing I noticed is, in Creative Aquascaping photographing your tank is also very important. Thematic light settings, translucent backgrounds with vignette, placement of props are also very critical issues, in Creative Aquascaping. It's not only about growing healthy plants or make your tank look like natural river bed! It's a search beyond that! It's about creating an ambiance, a mood or a moment.

The most interesting thing, I noticed, in most cases, Creative Aquascapes are made for much shorter period than Natural Aquascapes.

I decided to go for Nano aquascape, for initial experimentation. Nanos might be difficult but I can keep quite a few to try out different layouts with different plant species.

Click here for few selected images of my Creative Aquascapes

[Re-posted from]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Taboo Island - More images

Few more images of another planted nano set up of mine - the "Taboo Island"!