BUILD A CONTEST AQUASCAPE – THE HARDSCAPE & GLUING ROCKS TOGETHEROn February 8, 2020 by Raul Dinwiddie
Welcome to the beautiful world of aquascaping! Welcome to Green Aqua! We’re here in front of Green Aqua, because we’re doing the second episode of the contest tank building series. And from the first episode, Évi Kedves. Hello everybody! Hey! She came up with the idea, of this beautiful tank and you guys can see the video about it, that we released last week. Today, we’re gonna reveal the rocks, and let’s see, what she has to say about that. I’ve got the props here. Okay. You know what that is? Let’s go! – Cover your eyes!
– Of course, of course! So, are you ready? I am! 3, 2, 1, reveal! Oh my god! So, what do you think? Well… well, no… Suddenly, I don’t know what to say. You just followed the lines and the shapes perfectly! Let me give a big shout-out to Aquadeco, for sponsoring this, for sending us these rocks. Aquadeco is not a company, that you guys can buy from. It’s a wholesale company. But if you go to your local fish shop, and you ask them, to have rocks from Aquadeco, they can contact them and then they can buy rocks from them as well. The stone right here is the Pagoda stone. There are two types of Pagoda stones. The light Pagoda stone and the dark Pagoda stone. This is one individual stone here. It’s a mid-sized stone. It’s not very high. And you know, I want to build high cliffs. Because as you can see on the picture, there are high cliffs in the structure. So I would have to build that. What I did ultimately, is I started putting these one on top of the other. I started working from the left side of the tank. First, I selected these two stones here. And I glued them together with the Impa glue. I’m gonna show that to you, if you wanna glue rocks. This is the water level. And it’s very important, to build your structure to the water level. It’s made of separate bigger pieces. This is the first rock, it’s tense in itself. And I was trying to select matching rocks. I was trying to make these lines connect to each other. Obviously, I couldn’t reproduce the rocks’ design, the cliffs’ by Évi completely, because this is a different type of rock. When you introduce the plants, the plants will wash the image a little bit more. And it will connect the rocks much better. The whole structure is composed of seven elements. I told you about the first element, moving it here. This is the line dividing the first element and the second element. And then the second element goes from this point, until this point. The third one is in the middle, on the left side. The fourth one is the big one, from here, until here. And the fifth one is the one from the right side, almost the corner. And then you have No. 6, and then you have No. 7. How I connect these elements is very important. I try to cover one stone with the other, so if you got two stones, I place one stone in front of the other. Was that clear enough? I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s really hot in here, and I was standing here, sniffing glue, and like sweating for four days. It was like crazy. And I was wearing coveralls. When I’m glueing actually the rock, I’m just putting these two rocks together, holding them by hand, letting the glue dry. I’m picking up small pieces and I’m just putting them into the glue. If you’re looking from the side, you can also see the glue, but if you put pebbles in it, the color of the glue will match the color of the rocks even better. I glued the first two rocks, two steps, to this really beautiful wood, which we also got from Aquadeco. This one here is like a sculpted Iron wood. You’ve got some glued Iron wood parts. And then we move on to the Red Moor wood, which is not a problem, when it’s underwater. The whole thing will be the same, dark brown color, after a couple of weeks, months. What we did here on the right side of the big tree, is that we added another Iron wood element to it. And we actually used Impa glue. You can see that there’s a hill at the center of the picture over there, the problem with the hill and the Amazonia soil is, that if you want to have a steeper slope, then you need to support it with rocks. So actually this is what I did here in the middle. The first support rock is glued right to the wood. The second support rock is actually two or three rocks glued together, to have the nice and flat support. And then I can raise up the substrate a lot, towards the back. If you’re looking from this point, under this tree here, you’re gonna see exactly this cave right there. Maybe it’s a little bit more to the right, because I needed to move this line. And why did I need place to move this line? Because this cliff has to cover the edge of the aquarium in the background. I don’t want the picture to show, that this is an aquarium. In the picture, the background is another cliff. I didn’t know how to add this. At this moment, whether I want to use graphics in the background, backlit graphics, or I just wanna glue another cliff to the back of this whole structure. And just put something in front of it, like a semi-transparent glass or something, like a frosted glass, so that it gives you the depth. What you have to take care of, is the height of the camera for the final picture. And as you can see this here, it’s the height of the final image, that you’re gonna make for the IAPLC contest. And for that, we’re gonna measure the total height of the cabinet, which is made by Aquasoil Amazonia boxes. 80 centimeters. And you have to add the total height of the tank, divided by two, which is 25 plus. So 80 + 25 is 105. The middle of the aquarium will be here. I also marked the middle of the aquarium with a small tape. This branch here will indicate you the middle of the tank. Obviously, the contest photo will be made one, or two centimeters below that level, because I want to see a lot more surface and a little bit less from the raised substrate. The monumental look of the whole scape will be accentuated by having the camera just a couple of centimeters lower, than the middle of the aquarium. There is one more thing here. If you’re looking through the wood itself, you can see that there is a rock right behind it. That rock is a very light rock, which is on purpose and it’s also bent like this. so the light will reflect down from it, towards you. This is heavy. This is the background one. It’s nice to be in the sun! In 30°C in this coveralls. You ready? You guys can see the background of it. Uh yes! Good, that I work out! I’m taking the last piece now and I’m kinda sad, because I spent a really creative and nice one week here, glueing in the rocks and planning, etc, etc. But I’m also glad, because it was really hot in here and sniffing the glue wasn’t as fun, as it sounds. Didn’t expect this, did you? Yeah! Okay, I’m ready with the stones! So let’s bring everything in! Clumsy! First piece. Twenty one kilos. Okay, so 192 kilos, almost 200 kilos of rocks, included 7.2 kilograms for the wood. Can we finally have lunch? So what we’re doing Daniel, is we’re gonna take these rock in one by one and we have only one go, not to break anything. Very slowly! We have time, no rush! Is it completely in there? I don’t see any problems. These coveralls are not for working. There we’ve got that quite the opposite way. Much better! It was very heavy, very difficult. I’ve got scratches on my hands everywhere. The rocks are in place. I broke a couple of small rocks and they fell down, which is not a problem, I’m just gonna glue them back together. Okay, so we took a break, I took a shower. And I’m here, fresh and new in the afternoon, for the second session of the hardscaping video. From now on, I’m not gonna be very popular here at Green Aqua, because this glue is stinky. This glue will fasten really quickly, so you got only maybe maximum 3 minutes, depending on how much catalyzer you add. And then, you gotta stay like this for like two minutes. And do nothing. Just snip the glue. Yeah! This is the main angle, my eye… Not like this! Cause this is something else. This is my eye level, exactly from this point here. This is the main point. So I gotta put all the angle, to be fine from this point. We moved the whole wood 4 centimeters to the left, because I want this visible in this little opening there. Trim everything here, which is obstructing the view. Yeah, perfect. My very original idea was to put Riccardia tight on the small pebbles. The whole first line would be Riccardia. What do you think about that? It’s a great idea, I like it! I don’t know if it’s gonna work, if it’s gonna get enough light, right in the front of the legs. Or if it’s gonna turn brown. Maybe if you put some soil. right behind, one centimeter from the glass And put in the pebbles tilted. We’re gonna start with the Advance soil L from ADA. We don’t increase the substrate towards the background too much. We don’t want an elevated substrate, maybe in the middle. This soil should not be in contact with the water, because it will make the water cloudy. Viki is watching us. I forgot to place in one cliff . We have two bags of Amazonia in total until now. and one bag of PowerSand advanced. Please keep in mind, that the plants will grow two, maybe three, maybe five centimeters, so you need to have the substrate lower and you need to take that into consideration, when building the substrate. Third bag of Amazonia! So what I’m doing now I’m making the terraces in the middle of the tank. And I would like to do the nice and green hill. Obviously I cannot do it, to be continuous, because I cannot elevate the substrate that much. And the green tea! Oh yeah! Okay, so after much work, we finally concluded the hardscape and we have all the soil inside a 450L contest tank. I hope that you guys like this layout! Stay tuned for next week, because we’re gonna show you, how this whole thing looks planted, full, ready. Stay tuned! If you like the Green Aqua YouTube channel, please do not forget to subscribe if you didn’t do so yet, and hit that like button , smash that like button, if you like our videos and if you like this tank. Comment below, let us know what you think. We’re gonna read all the comments. I’m gonna read all the comments, I’m gonna answer you. Until next week, bye!