It is a well-known fact among aquarists that aquascaping and planted aquariums in general are relatively unpopular in the United States. This might not be strange to us, but to the rest of the world, it really is. Aquatic plants, although they have grown by leaps and bounds for us in the last couple of years, the plant hobby is still relatively small when compared to other countries.
This slowness in the aquascaping and aquatic plant trades can be attributed to many things: the economy, the American mind-set, our culture, etc. But through all the lack of interest, there has been one U.S. based company that has been making a difference: Aquarium Design Group.
Aquarium Design Group (or ADG) is a Houston based professional aquarium installation service. It was founded by two brothers, Jeff and Mike Senske. Ever since the company has been on the cutting edge and a source of inspiration for all hobbyists. They also are the main distributor of Aqua Design Amano goods in the States.
Their love for the hobby, especially aquascaping is apparent in all of their work. ADG’s newest push, has been ADG Vibe. ADG Vibe is Aquarium Design Group’s attempt to spread their information and passion for aquascaping and plants via online networking and social media. The ultimate goal of Vibe however is to expand the hobby.
I have one message for ADG: More biotopes, please! (Because we all know how much of a sucker I am for biotopes).
Probably one of the hardest things for me to grasp when it comes to aquaria, is that Aquascaping is a form of Art. I unfortunately think of an aquarium as a piece of a river, not a thing to be framed. I think “Piece of Nature!” when everybody else in the planted part of the hobby thinks “Art!” This is the reason I am not a total fan of iwagumi aquascapes and “All that Jazz.” You wouldn’t find a carpet of Hemianthus next to several rocks and a java fern in river, would you? But in a piece of art, you can. And do! Now all I have to do is convince myself that people’s 10g tanks with pink gravel, neon colored plants and Oscars is merely an abstract form of aquascaping!