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August's aquascaper in focus is... Eric Cheng!

Name: Eric Cheng
Location: Hong Kong, China
Carlos: How did you become interested in the planted aquarium hobby? How long have you been in the hobby?

Eric: I have been interested in this hobby since two years ago. Before that, I had discus in my tank. One day, I shopped at an aquarium store, and there were some attractive planted tanks. My wife and I both wanted to have something different in our living room, not only the discus. And she decided to buy me a new tank as a present, so I planned to learn and do something new to challenge myself.

Carlos: Could you please describe your the fertilization and maintenance routines you use on your various aquaria? What liquid and base fertilizer brands gives you the best results? How often are water changes performed, and how much?

Eric: I usually perform water changing once a week, just 1/3 of the tank volume. I mostly add some ADA products afterwards, such as Brighty K, Green Brighty Special Lights, Step 2, ECA and Tropica TMG. Those products are really good supplements for growing healthy plants. I also like to use ADA Aqua Soil Amazoma as base fertilizer because it is compatible to many kinds of aqua plants.

Carlos: Most of the layouts you present seem to have a lot of Japanese influence, conveying an atmosphere reminescent of a lot of Japanese entries in the ADA contest. Do you tend to use these as a source of inspiration?

Eric: I totally agree that my layout creation is influenced by Japanese style, especially, Takashi Amano. He is fantastic; the conveying of his presentation is natural, smooth and non-artificial, just like real scenery in front of me. I hope that I could learn more from that, and then inspire me to have new ideas for my layouts in the future.

Carlos: What are you usually trying to recreate in your aquascapes? A natural or idealized landscape like a mountain range? A biotopic underwater scene like from a lake? Do you incorporate any particular aquascaping techniques frequently in your layouts to achieve the emotion or idea you are trying to convey?

Eric: My dream aquascape is a natural one, and I always believe that keeping it simple is best. All of my layouts are not complicated. It is easier for me to handle and design, which makes me achieve what I want more easily. For me, I think that the most important technique is pruning. Because I am a hair stylist, I am more sensible about pruning and layering. I always apply these skills to aquascaping.

Carlos: How do you manage to get the tetras and other characins in your layouts to school so tightly for a photo? Any tips or is it mostly patience?

Eric: Firstly, let those little tetras get used to their living environment. When shooting photos, spending time to wait is a must. Or you can try to control them by using turning on and off the light, making them swim in the same direction.

Carlos: What are your main goals when setting up a new tank?

Eric: My main goal is that I am a fish and aqua plant lover; I like to bring them home and create a moving picture that I can put it in my living room. Actually, setting up a new tank motivates me spend time on practicing my skills. I am so happy to see that I am improving.

Carlos: Are there any tactics or techniques you use to make arrangement decisions in your designs? Do you use any guidelines or rules for wood or rock placement? How about the use of colored plants? Do you place any special consideration on choosing the right fish for your layout?

Eric: Actually, I don't have any specific techniques. But I would like to share some of my experience. For the driftwood, choosing the right size is very important. It has to fit and match with the size and style of your tank. Rock placement is done according to the shape and the surface area of the tank you are working on. For the plants, do not put similar colored plants together --creating more contrast makes the whole layout more outstanding. At last, choosing the right kind of fish is necessary, but it depends on the atmosphere of your tank.

Carlos: What do you enjoy most about designing and creating aquariums in this hobby?

Eric: The most enjoyable part of the hobby is the process. I learn many different things from different processes. And I see my skill is improving. Because of this hobby, I have met some new friends that I can share my experiences with, give comments, and support.

Carlos: What is in the horizon for you in terms of aquascaping? Are there any particular ideas you look forward to implementing in future arrangements? Do you feel that you have anything left to learn?

Eric: For me, aquascaping is the combination of inspiration, creation, and thoughts. Whenever I plan to set up a new tank, I observe everything around me to inspire myself to create a new layout for my tank --so I don't have any particular aquascaping layout ideas at the moment.

Carlos: Finally, is there any particular advice you would give to a hobbyist creating his first planted aquarium layout?

Eric: Analyzing other people's layouts, listening to other's comments, and asking when you are in doubt. Get lots of information before going out and buying all the materials you need for a planted aquarium. Getting well prepared is very important to a successful aquascape.
Dimensions: 25cmx25cmx25cm (10inx10inx10in)
Volume: 15.6L (4.1g)
Fish: Nannostomus sp., Otocinclus sp.
Plants: Eleocharis parvulus, Glossostigma elatinoides

Dimensions: 45cmx24cmx30cm (18inx9inx12in)
Volume: 32.4L (8.6g)
Fish: Trigonostoma heteromorpha
Plants: Vallisneria sp., Blyxa japonica, Microsorium pteropus 'Narrow', Anubias barteri var. nana, Java moss

Dimensions: 60cmx30cmx36cm (24inx12inx14in)
Volume: 65L (17g)
Fish: Hyphessobrycon sp.
Plants: Glossostigma elatinoides, Hygrophila polysperma 'Sunset', Heteranthera zosterifolia, Anubias barteri var. nana, Ludwigia arcuata, Eleocharis vivipara

Dimensions: 90cmx40cmx40cm (36inx16inx16in)
Volume: 144L (38g)
Fish: Black Neon Tetras (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)



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2,253 Posts'll have to show me where in the Library. I even did a search for "eric" and it came up with a couple of articles, but not this one.

Where are the pics? ;)

· Registered
2,253 Posts
Sorry...but there's no interview for Eric. I've checked every topic on the left. And...when I do what Tony did and check by Author, it lists what appears to be ALL authors and ALL of their articles.


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2,639 Posts
tsunami said:
Perhaps it would help if you looked under the name of the interviewer, Gomer, not the interviewee. :)

Look under articles on the left hand side. Eric Cheng's, other interviews, and aquascaping articles can all be found there (WITH PHOTOS!).

That is what I did carlos ;) THe Author is the one who submitted and that was what I linked.

Eric is no where to be found.
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