#167: 20L Aquatic Garden: Ficus on the Hill
Joey L. Gatus, Cebu Cebu Philippines | E-mail: joeygatus at yahoo.com | Aquascaper Website
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Awards and Judge Comments

Very interesting design idea using Bonsai techniques with fast growing stem plants! The overall composition is good but the main rock looks a little too distracting from the front view. Some more rock work in the midground between the hairgrass and downoi would improve things, I feel.

George Farmer

Pretty, mature looking tank. Good trimming technique.

Karen Randall

Your thoughts on a "bonsai technique" in aquascaping are interesting but you might look to Zen for help in the other elements of your 'scape. Zen offers very specific guidelines for the placement of hardscape and the relationship of stones to each other. This layout would have benefitted greatly if the hardscape had been better placed and had played a more prominent role. Also, consider the power of "negative (empty) space" as a definer of planting areas and as a provider of a focal point.

Bob Vivian

Aquascape Details

Tank Size
36 x 25 x 25 cm (14 x 9.8 x 9.8 in)
20L (5 gallons)
Black tint
2 x 18 watts OSRAM Daylight (6500K) compact flourescent lamps
DIY canister filter
Additional Information
I fertilize with CO2 (2-3bps) and sera florennete with iron (5ml) every other day. This aquascape attempts to create a Ficus forest on top of the hill with gentle slopes. In this layout i attempted to apply bonsai technique using H. corymbosa (Thai stricta)resulting to the production of buttress roots on the nodes and with smaller leaf size (regular trimming like bonsai art). I believe that Bonsai technique can be applied to aquatic plants and will add new dimension in enjoying this hobby as well.
Ficus on the Hill
Background - Hygrophila corymbosa "Thai stricta", Mid-ground - Pogostemon helferi "Downoi", Eriocaulon sp., Foreground - Eleocharis acicularis mix with Glossostigma sp.
20 Rasboras, 5 Cardinals and 50+ red cherry shrimps
I used clay substrate with sand toppings for my substrate and three rocks for my hardscape.