Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping! Guys, today I present you the biggest master, that I know alive, and he’s an IAPLC-winner. He’s the closest thing to the Nature Aquarium spirit, that I know. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dave Chow! I am Dave Chow from Hong Kong. This is my first time in Hungary, at Green Aqua. [Balazs] Alright, so what are you gonna do today? I’ll be using stones, to make a stone scape. In Japanese, they are called Iwagumi. [Balazs] Where is your inspiration coming from? I think that it’s most probably from the past works of ADA – Amano San. So this time I will implement an Eastern dragon style into this stone scape. This is the story behind the aquascape itself. [Balazs] How many sketches did you make? It’s easy for me, I made only one or two sketches. [laughter] [Audience] Do you always do the sketches first, or does it happen sometimes, that the stone gives you the inspiration? Basically I’m just searching around and I just remember what I see. [Balazs] This is a special tank, which is drilled in three places. You have two suction sides and you have one outlet. We basically have one external filter underneath it. Mr. Adam, could you help me? [Balazs] Ladies and gentlemen, Adam Paszczela from Poland! Basically I think that in Europe, this guy is one of the most experienced people in stone-arrangement. I think that he will be able to help me very much! Today’s hardscape material is from Adam. The nickname is Poland Manten stone It is the famous Frodo stone. We are adding some ADA Power Sand at the bottom. This part will make the sandbed mostly. [Balazs] So you can actually add further height to the tank by having a very thin layer!
– Yes! [Balazs] Do you always add these additives? For client tanks yes, but for my shop, no. There’s a technique to make the soil healthier. [Balazs] And what is that technique? Always change water and use the suction pipe, to suck out the dirt from the soil. PowerSand Special comes with a lot of these already. Is it helpful to add more on top of the PowerSand Special, or are we okay with just PowerSand Special? If you have a big house, you need more servants, to help you. So you see, the more people you have, the cleaner the place will be. So this is the… Not the money. Don’t think about the money! [Balazs] Is Filipe here? What we wanted to show you Filipe is that the biggest Master in aquascaping that I know is putting in the sand first. I was not expecting this from you. Placing the sand should be the last thing. Look! They’re mixing up! This is my personal style! I prefer adding the sand at the very end. [Dave] Haven’t you seen my works before? I have some techniques over there. [Laugher] [Applause] Go back to your kitchen! [Filipe] If you need something, just ring! The idea is coming from the inside. So my experience is that wherever you walk, whenever you travel, just look around. Because the tank is not so high, we are just adjusting the angle of the stone placement. I saved you some money, because Frodo Stone is very… [Balazs] Is it expensive, Adam? No, it’s really cheap. [Laughter] [Knock on glass] [Laugter] [Balazs] The last workshop at Green Aqua. [Laugter] [Balazs] In the meantime you can see, that Dave has introduced the second rock in the background. I think most people would put in big rocks, for support, but then they would lose the size of the big rock, By just using another big rock, right next to it. Which is really genius about this scape is that he’s trying to support it with rocks as small as possible. Are you going to use some epiphyte plants, mosses? Or leave the rock sort of naked? Mostly foreground plants. Some moss will be put on the rock surface. The right corner will have some high-growing stem plants. I’m just testing the stability of the stone. Do you like to test the layout with the actual equipment? When you put in the water, the soil gets wet and then they will slightly tilt. So you must make the soil wet at the beginning. and then make no other movement, After that, you can fill it up with water. [Balazs] That is supporting it! Also there are some Seiryu stones hidden there supporting it. I want to make a triangle layout, So these should be much more higher. [Audience] Did you make the sketch after you’ve seen the stones, or before? Adam sent me some photos of his selection. On a palette. So I just referred to the photo. I had some ideas, and basically I know the stone a lot. So then I just create the sketches. Then I believed that I will be able to recreate it right here. This is a square, so it’s a very good opportunity to make a more multi-layered layout. [Balazs] One layer there, second layer is the big rock, third layer is that and the fourth layer is down there. The fifth layer will be something else. [Balazs] When you enter the Gallery, you will see the tank from this corner. What Dave have explained to us is that you want that side of the tank to be nicely visible from the entrance. This is designed to be the front, so that the plant size will be much bigger. So I will use the Monte Carlo and then after that, we will use some Cuba, because their leaf size is much smaller. When you will observe the tank, it should have a much bigger depth. [Balazs] The depth of this tank is really amazing. Absolutely! So many angles and so many details already! So do you change the water more often, to have stabile, soft-water then, with these rocks? Or it’s not a problem? They will be… The algae will cover the he stones, so that the… Whatever… The Calcium and other water hardening elements will not be leaching out so regularly. For example, in this kind of space we must be putting some small pebbles. We’ll be just using the small pebbles and then we will tighten some Riccia on this… Riccardia or Riccia? We hate Riccia. I see that you haven’t… [Balazs] Do you use Riccia? No. [laughter] Now basically the hardscape is finished. I’ll just finish the foreground and then will do the background of the layout. [Balazs] Can you tell us the name of the scape? You can ask the people what would be the appropriate name for it. [Balazs] Okay, so what do you guys think? You can shout out any names. [Audience] Name of the Dragon! [Audience] Dragon Valley, Mordor. [Balazs] Our American friend from Seachem just said Mordor right there. We are all afraid to name it, Dave! You have to give the name. I give the name Great Wall. [Audience] What about maintenance? So when you do the maintenance, how do you feel? Urge! Quick! [George] What’s your favorite part of aquascaping? Is it the planning? Planting? Watching it grow, photography? When we are doing the scape, we take a photo with the phone. And then every change is just based on the phone. So I have many friends, who after aquascaping have become photographers. Yeah. [Balazs] What kind of GH do you have in your aquarium water? Basically I will try to keep it around TDS 120 (GH 3). [Balazs] Yeah, we have the same. Because in my experience if the tank gets worse, it will come up to TDS 200. Then the algae will appear. [Jurijs] So I think this is a good edition for the Green Aqua Gallery, because most of the layouts are very peaceful and this one has a very strong dynamic. [Balazs] What colors do you want to have? In Chinese, there’s a colloquial saying: When you’re drawing a dragon, the last thing is adding the eyeball. [Balazs] I can see that you left the base layer fertilizing substrate, basically the PowerSand, visible. It is easier to explain your client, that I have used PowerSand. OK, so you forgot. No! I forgot to tell you! But this is for commercial reasons. I need some help with planting. [Adam] Maybe we can ask Filipe? [Balazs] No, don’t ask Filipe! [Laughter] What did I miss? [Balazs] We’re just planting, don’t worry about it! [Audience] Do you have any favorite materials for making new hardscapes? I only focus on the idea I have created. Then I will decide if I want to use stone or driftwood, or to combine them together. [Balazs] We started planting Monte Carlo. I have a lot of experience with using different kinds of tools. But mostly… The ADA is the best one. [Balazs] Do you want to plant the stem plants later? Yes, with the water filled up, it is easier to plant the stem plants. [Balazs] The dedication and patience you have towards stuff is absolutely something we need to learn. I think this is not something to be learnt, this is suffering. [Balazs] Yeah?! For me, it’s also a suffering. [Balazs] Yeah?! I’m not doing the planting job. As you can see I’m in the cabinet now. We have an Eheim 2080. There’s the light and there’s the Master right next to it. I’m also a light. [Balazs] To determine whether everything is going according to the plans… This is the plan and this is the hardscape. Do you think it’s the same? Microsorum Trident. So it looks like it’s some kind of… [Balazs] Hair. Hair of this dragon. When you put the water inside, The water level is rising and also, the soil particles will be rolling down. If they don’t get wet enough, then the soil will be moving. This is going to be hazardous to the placement of the rock. [Audience] Can you do anything, if during the filling procedure the rocks start moving? It must be a trial-and-error thing. I have made so many errors before, so you have to make yours. And then, after that, you can come up with your own solutions. [Balazs] We’re selecting the plant now. Dave has just told Viktor which plants he likes. Ceratopteris and Rotala Green. Aqua conditioner. So what do you use this for? Within an hour, it will make the tank crystal clear. [laugter] Thank you so much Master, for being here with us and teaching us a lot of things! Actually I really admire this one. I hope that it was useful for you! Absolutely, it is! It’s the best tank in the gallery so far! Where’s Filipe? [Laughter] Can I have it? [Dave] Sure! It’s for you! First of all, please subscribe, if you didn’t do so set, please hit the bell button, to get notified, this is very important! Or hit the like button if you like this video and Dave Chow’s work. We’re gonna show you how it looks in a couple of days, so you’re gonna be able to see some progress by the end of this video. Until next week, goodbye! Bye! [applause]