Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pinoy Aquatics!

Before I created this blog, I used to be the moderator of a yahoogroups about the planted tank hobby called pinoyaquatics. Its members were hobbyists keeping planted aquariums. I personally kept planted tanks for almost 10 years till exactly about two years ago, when my mom passed away. My old aquaria are now dried up and collecting dust in one corner of our bodega. But remnants of my old aquatic garden are now planted in pots and tubs in our roofdeck.

Yes, an aquarium garden is tangible. These are real live plants kept garden-style inside an aquarium, submerged under water with live fish. It is possible and it has evolved from a mere hobby to a science of keeping balance within the system. People keeping one are transformed into water gardeners, maintaining the plants green, trimming them and fertilizing them. Just keeping the different plant and fish species healthy is a real challenge.

Today I passed by SM-Annex and chanced upon a fish show (sorry I forgot to confirm which group it was that mounted the fish exhibit). I was not anymore magnetized by the different fishes. But what was hard ignoring were the different planted aquaria aligned on a very long table. I was not the only person attracted by the calm serene water landscapes contained in each glass tank. I could see there were more people viewing the plantscapes than the pure fish displays.

Two years later, The hobby science has already elevated into an artform. The plant-scaping have gone a long way, very far from what I could remember were done by most hobbyists a couple of years ago. The iwagumi style promoted by Takashi Amano is still evident in some but somehow the Dutch-chopsuey style which most Pinoy hobbyists were used to are now very much muted. And in some tanks, the native plants we experimented on were now included into the species mix (Ronald, your Eleocharis spp. are in some tanks]).

Kudos to the new breed of aquatic 'hardineros'! May you nurture the hobby and make it richer for years to come!

3 comments:

Plant Chaser said...

This is cool. I used to see aquatic plants but none as great looking as these ones.

metscaper said...

There are a lot of aquatic plants. I compiled a number when I was still a freshman in MTLA.

Andrea said...

wow they are all very beautiful. I remember the very big aquarium at the Heart Center before, however it was gone for a few years now. I hope they will revive it and encorporate the techniques of aquarium landscaping using your knowledge.