An aquascaping event organised by an aquatics retailer sold out months in advance, and reaction was so good that he will host another event next year.
Duncan Jones, owner of FishCove Aquatics in Dorset, invited two internationally renowned aquascapers, Filipe Oliveira from Portugal, who works for Aquaflora, and Balbi Vaquero, who works for Beta Acuarios.
Duncan said: “As a forever-growing independent family business, it was amazing to welcome some of our aquascaping community to another well-supported and interesting workshop. With customers coming from even further away to embrace the hobby of aquascaping, we were able to capture everyone sharing their experiences and views on not only techniques but the vast product knowledge.
“It was a proud moment to walk in the door the next morning and see two additional scapes added to our display range. It was a pleasure to host and we are so grateful for our sponsors and customers for their loyal support.”
The event was sponsored by Prodibio, Aquaflora and Beta Acuarios.
Filipe said: “Most people don’t have an idea in how we prepare an aquarium. They think we spend hours and hours to place just one rock and we take care of aquatic plants as if it was something very fragile, when it is not!”
He described an aquascape as a blank canvas, in which as elements are added until it ‘starts to make sense and the lines, colours and textures, transport us to a beautiful natural environment’.
He said he hoped the aquascaped tank, now in display in the shop, would inspire other customers to have a go. He said: “My job was done! I have sold the dream and inspired so many others to attempt to do something out of their comfort zone, and that was visible when before they left, they were carrying similar products to improve or rescape their tanks.”
MORE WOMEN, PLEASE
Balbi praised the organisation of the event but, pointing to the low turn-out of women, encouraged more to get involved. She said: “It is a pity but I work on it and realise that in the many workshops I am invited, there are more and more women involved in that industry, which is a good trend and I am happy about that.”
She said such events enable hobbyists to meet and discuss new ideas, and that such events go a long way to promote aquascaping.
Prodibio export sales manager Romain Lentremy said Prodibio has organised aquascaping events in stores and its ambassadors are available for demonstrations.
He said such events show that aquascaping is for all skill levels, from people who want to recreate a favourite landscape in home aquariums to those with ‘high end and technical skills’.
He said: “It only needs a little bit of imagination and good biological filtration to optimise water quality, which Prodibio is here for!”