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MEETING SATURDAY JULY 22: Alexander Williamson - Creating Natural Looking Aquascapes

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  • MEETING SATURDAY JULY 22: Alexander Williamson - Creating Natural Looking Aquascapes

    SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2023 AT 12:30 PM Meeting:
    Alexander Williamson - Creating Natural Looking Aquascapes


    6201 E Willow St, Long Beach, CA 90815​

    "For the July meeting, we have a special guest all the way from Seattle. Alexander runs the Youtube channel Fishtory! (youtube.com/@Fishtory) and will be sharing information about Creating Natural Looking Aquascapes.

    We will have our usual auction and raffle to help raise funds for the club. If you have things you can donate to the raffle, we greatly appreciate it. Doing so will also get you some free raffle tickets.
    Please plan to arrive between 12:30-1pm, especially if you have auction items to drop off. If you arrive before 12:30, please do not enter the building as the folks using the room before us have complained to the landlord that we're pushing them out prematurely.
    Viewing of the auction items will be open until we start club business. We will start the club announcements and presentation promptly at 1:30pm and close off the auction area at that time to reduce noise.

    There is no cost to participate and our meetings are open to the public. We will likely offer Zoom for the announcements and presentation for folks that cannot make it in-person.

    If you plan to participate in the auction (to buy or sell) you MUST be registered on that site:
    https://scape-club.org/auction

    Also, we have some exciting news to share about our October meeting! The folks at the July meeting will be the first to know what that's about!
    More details to come.

    Thank you!​" -John Kim, President.

    RSVP HERE. (Facebook Account Needed)

  • #2
    I really enjoyed Alexander's talk about how there are different cultural approaches to creating natural looking aquascapes. For those of you who missed the talk, I summarized some of my takeaways below:

    There are patterns in nature such as the Fibonacci sequence and fractals that occur in biology and geography that can be used to create natural looking aquascapes.
    - The Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc) can be found in spiral mollusk shells, galaxies, flowers, and pinecones. It's a space-optimizing pattern for packing things like seeds.
    - Fractals can be found in geological processes such as erosion of land by rivers, and in nature such as the branches of a tree. For example if you're using wood for a scape, you might want to buy one large piece, 20-30 medium pieces, and 120 twigs.

    Patterns in geology should be mimicked
    - Stratification of layers in the substrate will naturally happen over time, especially with creatures that dig through the sand like Malaysian trumpet snails
    - Rocks have texture or bands that should generally face one direction. If you do have a rock face opposite of the prevailing direction, make sure it's a different kind of rock
    - Placing small stones around the bottom of a large rock mimics erosion
    - Plants accumulate mulm around their stems. This doesn't need to be cleaned because it mimics nature and helps the plant stay fertilized

    Natural patterns somewhat overlap but are different from Eastern and Western concepts of ratios such as the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, and Iwagumi concepts like "tension". There is a marked contrast to "Dutch style" aquascaping which mimics patterns found in agriculture and gardens.

    Use plants and microfauna to minimize maintenance and establish a ecosystem
    - copepods, ostracods, worms, etc. co-habit the plants, clean detritus, and provide food for fish
    - a thick "jungle" of aquatic plants and dense roots of water rooted terrestrial plants provide shelter for fry
    - water changes are not necessary in a balanced tank, only water top-offs for evaporation

    Other tidbits
    - Aquascaping contests based on photography have a strong emphasis on capturing a perfect snapshot in time. The scape is "manipulated" by tricks such as colored lights and carbonated soda water for nice pearling on the plants. Contestants will sometimes grow out a tank for a year to capture one perfect moment to submit to the contest
    - All of Alexander's tanks several species of fish constantly breeding in them, usually a bottom dweller, a mid-dweller, and a centerpiece fish. There are always fry and the parents "raise" the fry in the ecosystem. Alexander's prefers to keep biotope tanks that are largely "self-sustaining" during his frequent travels
    - Genetic studies have shown that ornamental fish have been kept for millennia. Examples include Bettas, medaka, and carp species.

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    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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      Presentation photo of Alexander Williamson at SCAPE 7/22/2023

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