Setting up the contest aquarium "Change of seasons"

Silver prize winner of Planted Aquarium Design Contest of Eastern Europe 2013 Gregory Polishchuk from Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, wrote a short report about setting up his contest aquarium.

Hi everyone!

I would like to share with you a little story of setting up my contest aquarium "Change of seasons".

This time, as in most of my works for contests, I used one of my home aquaria.

During one of my trips to the Carpathian mountains I have collected an interesting set of stones. Their colour and texture just hit me with their miniature natural look.

Given the weight of the stones (the heaviest ones in the layout are about 50-60 kg), I could not start setting up a new aquarium for a long time. But the desire to grow and create something new overcame my laziness.

The first layout with a new set of stones was "Flowering gorge":

I was infinitely happy when I learned that it was in the best thousand of works in IAPLC 2013 and won an honorable 724th place.

My friend from Kharkiv Sergei Svetlichny was able to see the layout from a distance of 20 cm. I am always happy when my friends visit me, and the Mohican was the first skaper critic of my work, I am very grateful to him for this! The thread about creating this layout with all the details and sketches can be read on the web site of my friend Alexander Tarasenko aquajournal.ru.

The layout "Change of seasons" was also being prepared for the Japanese contest IAPLC, but already 2014. But this summer I learned from my colleague Oleg Labutov about new contest of UNITEX group of companies and realized that I can not wait till 2014.

I prepared like I always do: idea, sketch, setting up the layout in an aquarium.

The idea was to create a transition of summertime into scarlet autumn, where the tops of the trees were already dressed for the season, and the undergrowth had stubbornly refused to give up and was bright green. I planned to use a little of plant species of different shades and colors for the layout.

Sketch of the future layout:

Despite the fact that I really liked a set of stones, from he very beginning of setting up "Change of seasons" I was planning to put the emphasis on plants. In my clients aquaria there was the required amount of moss for my layout. I am sure many of you do the same. I learned to build up stem plants very quickly to the desired volume (2-3 trimmings).

Looking at the work "Morning touch" by Vladimir Uzhik once again, you realize how difficult it is to create perspective with stem plants. You need not only skills in making plants grow, but also knowing when and in what areas of the aquarium trimming should be done to make everything look balanced on the final picture.

I used Rasbora espei as fishes for my layout. In my opinion they fit both in size and color, and, that is most important for contest aquaria, in ability to form a school.

My wife as usual helped me to make photos. By the way, it was she who made ​​a final shot. At the same moment with a white towel in my hands I went around the aquarium to make fishes group in the right place.

Final photo of the aquarium "Change of seasons":

Volume of the aquarium: 275 l
Aquarium age: 5 months
Animals: Rasbora espei, Crossocheilus siamensis, Caridina japonica
Plants: Rotala rotundifolia, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Christmas moss, Taxiphyllum sp., Singapore moss

As a result, the work has received 2nd place, the silver prize at the Planted Aquarium Design Contest of Eastern Europe 2013.

I really hope that many people liked my work with all its advantages and disadvantages, because each work of art wants to be liked by fans and get honest critics!

Once again I woulf like to thank our colleagues from UNITEX group of companies: Kirill Markevich, Dmitry Novikov, Oleg Labutov and many others for organizing the great contests, holding the awarding ceremony and for unforgettable memories that fill our lives.