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Hey guys, I just got back from ChongGyeChon Street South Korea (Aquarium street) in Seoul today. There were about 25 or 30 shops with aquariums and all kinds of aquatic plants in them. The exact address is on the corner of Chonggyechon 7th street and Chongro 54th in Seoul. One particular shop I visited was called NamGook Fish Store, and their website (for direction purposes) was www.namgoog.co.kr

All of the plant displays had ADA Aquasoil or the Chinese knockoff brand (not sure what the name was). The price was still $38 USD for 1 bag so no discounts in Korea! Some of the tanks (about 10%) had a ceramic diffuser with CO2, but surprisingly most of the tanks didn't have any CO2 or much filtration at all. The lighting was power compact fluorescent lighting and looked to be about 2 watts per gallon.

All the tanks were algae free and the plants looked amazing! See for yourself I've listed a whole lot of pics for you.

I also found 2 plants that I think we don't have in the US... yet :) See them at the bottom of the page :D





































New plants:

Looks like REAL Marselia quadrifolia


Some type of pellia?
 

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Whoa! This is very nice, can we have our next club meeting there? =)

Thanks for sharing.
 

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So amazing! Wish we had something like that in the US. We don't even have a conference like that. I guess I'm gonna have to go abroad and travel to see it. Problem is that I wouldn't be able to bring anything back. That would probably kill me. ;D
 

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Hahaha! Yea it was actually quite cool to see. I was surprised though that most of the plants they have are commonly available to us at home. I sort of expected to see more weird plants that nobody has in the US.

doubleott05 you are a lucky guy. I'd love to have access to all these shops on a daily basis. I didn't really ask what the prices on everything were. I found out that the pellia-like plant in the last picture was $30 and the marselia one above it was $15, aquasoil $38/bag. So the prices seem a bit expensive based on just those 3 things.
 

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Hahaha! Yea it was actually quite cool to see. I was surprised though that most of the plants they have are commonly available to us at home. I sort of expected to see more weird plants that nobody has in the US.

doubleott05 you are a lucky guy. I'd love to have access to all these shops on a daily basis. I didn't really ask what the prices on everything were. I found out that the pellia-like plant in the last picture was $30 and the marselia one above it was $15, aquasoil $38/bag. So the prices seem a bit expensive based on just those 3 things.
I wouldn't be surprised if the prices are high just because the street is famous for aquatics. Kind of like how you pay a premium for a diamond in the diamond district in NYC, at least if you're there as a tourist and not as a wholesale buyer.

That said I'm totally still jealous like whoa.

As for the plant selection, if they had tons of things that we didn't, somebody would certainly bring them over here ASAP and make them available so they could turn a profit on it :D So I'm not that surprised...
 

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If aquarium stores in South Korea can display planted tanks like that with no CO2 and only power compacts, why can't aquarium stores in the USA do it?
 

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Hi Zapins,

When traveling abroad the key word to remember "barter". The prices on the signs are just the asking price; the purchase price depends upon my negotiation skills; especially in the markets.
 

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seattle.. you are right on i did that in germany, iraq, and hawaii ... all these prices i woudl be willing to bet are extremly flexible. i went to a bazaar selling hats and they wanted like 50$ for hats and luis vitton hats/wallets . it was all authentic i got one for half that price. took it in to a real store to verify and it was real. this was in iraq.
 

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Oh man trust me I bargained for about 30 minutes. I even pulled the whole never mind then and walked out the shop. But I eventually returned about an hour after that and just bought the plants for $15. I don't think they would have come down in price on the Marselia. But ultimately I think I did get a decent bargain since the Marselia looks like something we don't have in the US. I did get a bargain on the liverwort though :D

I think the shops in the US don't make plant tanks like this because culturally people here don't appreciate fish tanks as much. People here view fish as a disposable pet in general and something you don't have to invest a lot of time into. In Asia people seem to revere nature and spend a lot of time tending to gardens, plants and natural things. They have a lot more experience designing gardens and growing plants, so I think its an easier learning curve to grow aquatic plants for them then people in America.

One thing is for sure though, I think I will be trying Aquasoil out soon... It seems amazingly straight forwards and every single plant tank there had perfect plants and no algae. Even the more difficult plants like Rotala macrandra and Nesea were growing perfectly.
 

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i will be the first on this thread to say ..... aqua soil is not a miracle substrate.

does it work in one word.....yes

but so does plain sand and other substrates.

i wont get into ti but read some of the threads on there about aquasoil. then make your accessment.

i use aquasoil and i like some of its qualities and hate some of its others

Thanks
Elliot
 

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hi,
I'm actually not into the planted tanks but i am into nano reef tanks and i have been to these shops you posted a hundred time's in the last year. LOL! I live in seoul, actually i live a mile away from those stores. I've bought a lot of stuff from some of the stores out there and they are usually good about equipment prices but livestock is another thing. They are usually about 15-20 dollars more expensive than the stand alone shops that i go to buy my livestock. I know of another area like this that has planted tank shops that's not that far from these shops. It's probably another 3 or 4 miles down the road, if that. (In seoul traffic it seems like 100 miles). I cant tell you how to get there without looking at a map with you, but i do know a website that has directions on how to get there or if you'd like you can tag along with me the next time i go over there. (www.aquaseoul.com) If you're ever interested in nano reef's let me know because i know of a couple of great places that have awesome coral and fish.
 

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i went .... it was awsome. im going again on saturday. and again next week and the week after that and after that and after that....
 
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