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For this month's weekly topic, I've chosen one of the members of , Wayne Sham! Enjoy!

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

Wayne: When I was seven years old, my dad gave me my very first tank. Since then, the aquarium hobby became part of my life. My first planted aquarium was set up about four years ago. The shops loaded with all sorts of different plants really attracted me. I've been addicted to aquascaping since then, and the winner of Taiwan's 2002 Aquascaping contest made me daft about aquariums.

Carlos: In your photos on , you seem to use ADA products almost exclusively. Could you tell us about how the ADA substrate system and ADA liquid fertilizer line work? If you have Seachem, Kent, and Tropica products in Hong Kong, how do they compare to the ADA line in quality and ability to grow healthy plants?

Wayne: ADA and Tropica are the two brand products here in Hong Kong. Those substrate system and liquid fertilizer are qualification guaranteed. For example, ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia is relatively good compared to other brands in terms of growth of plants, formation of roots, as well as pH controls. However, it compacts easily, and replacement is needed about every 18 months.

Carlos: Your larger aquariums seem to show quite an array of species in arrangements that have hints of European flower bed scaping techniques, while your smaller aquariums seem very minimalistic with greater Zen influence. From where do you draw your inspiration? Do you follow any particular aquascaping style or use any particular techniques frequently in your layouts?

Wayne: Taiwan Aquascaping Style affected me the most when I was first starting in the aquarium hobby. Elaborate decoration but not very natural. But I love natural and heavy planted Dutch styles for my large aquariums. They are much more colourful and copious. I had also been affected by Takashi Amano's works that implements lots of wood elements, which provides vital picture and feeling. I was applying these two tank styles, natural and heavy planted Dutch style, to my aquarium last year which ranked 46th in the ADA contest.

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

Wayne: I hope I can break through my old constructs, design new layouts, and try more different ideas that I've never tried before.

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?

Wayne: There is a lack of rock material here, therefore, I always use woods instead. I would prefer to choose wood that is thin, branched and shaped. I would place 7 to 8 pieces of woods for a 90cm tank. Plants should be colourful and contrasts with each other. Besides green colour, red and yellows are widely used. I won't choose fishes that are too colourful and schooling fishes are preferred.

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

Wayne: Consulting other's aquascaping ideas and designs, searching for materials, producing the layout, finishing as well as finalizing the layout with photography sessions. Every single one of these steps is enjoyable. Frankly, the admiration from others, such as judges, is very delighting. Moreover, obtaining experiences on designing and creating aquariums that improve my future layouts is also important. Because of this, I enjoy entering as many competitions as I can (ADA, AGA, TAPC, etc.).

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?

Wayne: In future arrangements, I shall keep trying different types of planted aquariums including both natural aquascapes and non-natural aquascapes.

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

Wayne: Learn the characteristics of the plants you are using. Look at more photos of aquascapes and study them. Try adding elements you like from multiple tanks into your layouts --practice. Slowly, you will create your own style.

Carlos: Is there anything else you would like to say that wasn't asked in the questions stated above?

Wayne: I deeply hope that there is a Hong Kong Aquascaping Style one day in the future.

Title: Chrismas
Volume : 67L
Dimensions :W60cm X D28cm X H40cm
Lighting : T5 13W X 5, 6400K
Substrate : ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia

Plants :
1. Didiplis diandra,
2. Willow Moss
3. Dwarf Rotala
4. Heminanthus micranthemoides
5. Glossostigma elatinoides
6. Blyxa japonica
7. Anubias barterinana

Fish/Shrimp :
1. Otocinclus affinis
2. Thayeria boehlkei
3. Siamese Algae Eater
4. Neocardina sp.

Title: Happy Valley
Volume : 182L
Dimensions :W90cm X D45cm X H45cm
Lighting : 30w X 5, 8000K
Substrate :
1. ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia
2. Bright Sand
3. Penac W

Plants :
1. Riccia fluitans
2. Blyxa japonica
3. Heminanthus micranthemoides
4. Willow Moss
5. Java Fern
6. Dwarf Rotala
7. Anubias barterinana
8. Bolbitis heudelotii
9. Hydrocotyle vulgaris
10. Red Pinetree
11. Ludwigia arcuata
12. Microsorium pteropus ssp.
13. Red Pinetree

Fish/Shrimp :
1. Otocinclus affinis
2. Siamese Algae Eater
3. Paracheirodon axelrodi
4. Neocardina sp.
5. Neocaridina denticulata

Layout Title: Natural Buffalo
Volume : 360L
Dimensions :W120cm X D50cm X H60cm
Lighting : 150w X 2 HQI, 5200K
Substrate :
1. ADA Power Sand Special (S)
2. ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia
3. Penac W

Plants :
1. Blyxa japonica
2. Green Ammannia (Rotala so, "Green")
3. Willow Moss
4. Java Fern
5. Junior sword plant
6. Sagittaria lancifolia
7. Dwarf Rotala
8. Nymphaea lotus rubra
9. Bolbitis heudelotii
10. Ludwigia arcuata
11. Sunset Hygro
12. Dwarf Anubias
13. Red Pinetree
14. Hygrophila polysperma var. "Rosanervig"
15. Eleocharis parvula
16. Microsorium pteropus ssp.
17. Rotala wallichii

Fish/Shrimp :
1. Otocinclus affinis
2. Lemon Algae Eater
3. Siamese Algae Eater
4. Red Phantom Tetra
5. Melanotaenia boesemani
6. Pterophyllum altum
7. Thayeria boehlkei

Layout: Breezy Hill
Volume: 20L (5g)
Dimensions: 35x21x26cm (14x8x10in)
Lighting: T5 8W X 5 (8 hours per day)
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia
1. Glossostigma elatinoides
2. Echinodorus tenellus "micro"

1. Boraras maculata

Layout: Rainbow Garden
Volume: 182L (48g)
Dimensions: 90x45x45cm (35x18x18in)
Lighting: 32W X 3
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia, ADA Bright Sand
1. Microsorum pteropus
2. Fontinalis sp.
3. Echinodorus tenellus "micro"
4. Nymphaea lotus
5. Sagittaria lancifolia
6. Anubias barteri var. nana
7. Microsorum pteropus "Windelov"
8. Hydrocotyle vulgaris
9. Cyperus helferi
10. Cryptocoryne wendtii "brown"

1. Melanotaenia besemani
2. Nematobrycon palmeri
3. Siamese Algae Eater


For more of Wayne's inspirational works, please visit:

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