Acuario Rosa

Todo lo que rodea a la acuariofilia

Interview with Norbert Sabat

Interview with Norbert Sabat
by Óscar Pereiro


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Dear Mr. Sabat,
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Thanks for dedicating us part of your time…

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Acuario rosa:

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Can you please explain us a little bit how is your daily life? (what do you do for work, do you have a family, etc…)
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Norbert Sabat:

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I’m civil engineer – I calculate building structure with FEM (Finite Element Method) and made it “possible to build”😉. I also work a lot in CAD programs. I’m not married and don’t have kids.

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Acuario rosa:

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When you got introduced in the aquarium hobby?
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Norbert Sabat:

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Honestly, I never really treated the planted aquarium hobby very seriously but there was something that always pulled me towards it. I had my first aquarium in my childhood that my father took care of. Later on I took a break from fishkeeping for 12-13 years up until 2002 when my sister received a goldfish in a fish bowl from her friends on her 18th birthday. For some reason, I started to take care of that fish by changing the water every 2-3 months, feeding it, etc. It wasn’t a large responsibility but for many aquarists (although nobody will admit to it) it all started with just a goldfish or a Siamese fighting fish in a small cup.In the summer of 2003 something pushed me to buy the poor goldfish a regular rectangular aquarium. Unfortunately, the goldfish was not too happy in its new home so it was soon moved back to the fish bowl but new fish went into the aquarium (Neons, Rams and Corydoras). It was a classic beginner tank as it was overstocked, under filtered, low light, and very poorly planted. At that point I was not even thinking of a planted fish tank, to tell you the truth. I never even knew that planted aquariums even existed!
Everything changed in the Fall of 2003 when I got hooked up to the internet and started to learn about this hobby. One day I surfed to a site that had pictures of planted tanks (Amano style and Dutch style) and it left a deep impact on me. At that point, I thought that in order to create a fish tank of that magnitude you needed an unbelievable amount of determination and knowledge (plus I thought that people that created these tanks were from another world).
My passion grew larger and in January 2004 I started a 100x40x45 cm tank. Over the next few months my fascination with Japanese planted tanks grew very rapidly. As a result, in April 2004 I changed my fish tank over to a planted tank (I installed more lights, Co2, started to fertilize etc). This is how it basically started for me.

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Acuario rosa:

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Where do you get the inspiration from when creating your aquariums?

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Norbert Sabat:

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From nature🙂 -yes, this is probably going to sound too general. Right now i’m not get inspiration or i don’t make philosophy for that. Usual when i wanted change aquascape i just do it and my only goal is: “wood or stones?”

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Acuario rosa:

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Do you follow any norm of standard proporcion when you create your hardscape?

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Norbert Sabat:

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Like I wrote in first words I am civil engineer, I also painting or drawing a lot when I was young so I know some basic rules in ART. Usual I keep in mind golden ratio and this is mayor rule to me. I also love big roots, stones and sands in foreground.

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Acuario rosa:

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Which kind of substrate do you use to use?

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Do you consider filtration as an important part?

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What else do you consider a must when seting up an aquarium?

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Norbert Sabat:

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From 2.5year I use ADA substrat system – I don’t removed all substrat from 2006 (when I setup new layout I usual remove part of substrat when is to much or add substrat when I need more). Filtration IMO is very important – I like clean looking tank – bigger is better J . Very important is CO2 and NPK…lot of people forget about it.

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Acuario rosa:

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What kind of fishes and plants are your favourite for your creations?

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Norbert Sabat:

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Plants – mosses, rotala sp. Green, tenellus

Fishes – well, I don’t have any favourites fishes, they aren’t important to me. Maybe Iriatherina werneri is my number one right now.

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Acuario rosa:

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In all you aquariums the background has an important role, giving the effect of an horizon… How can you do this?

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Norbert Sabat:

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Usually I use a white piece of cardboard positioned 10cm behind my 90cm tank where I shine a light from the top. This type of setup lets me take pictures where the surface of the water (in rear) is not noticeable. Additionally, this type of background along with lighting from the top creates a shadowing effect on the lower part of the background so it makes the tank seem deeper. Generally, I think that adding a great amount of light for the background gives better photos.
From about 1.5 year i use external photo lamps with softbox so i can create almost pure, clean white background. White background is my favorite because is very neutral. Black is also neutral but in some cases with photolamps can work like mirrow and taken pictures are bad.
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Acuario rosa:

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Which is the aquarium you feel more proud?

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Norbert Sabat:

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Maybe my first 180l tank from 2004 and root-layout from ADA 2008

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Acuario rosa:

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What other projets do you have in mind?

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Norbert Sabat:

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In aquascaping? Nothing special – spring is coming so there will be better things to do. I will not enter ADA contest this year and propably never again in future (but I don’t say definitely “NO” ). I don’t thinking much about aquascaping and about my home tank – this is only nice part of my room and sometimes I enjoy the hobby.
I more thinking about photography – I really love this hobby.

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Acuario rosa:

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Do you know anything about the aquascaping reality in Spain?

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Norbert Sabat:

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I guess not. Don’t be ungry but Spain and Portugal are very similar to me so I don’t really know which aquascaper is from Spain and which from Portugal.
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Acuario rosa:

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I’m going to give you a list of words and you coment what comes to your mind:

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Takashi Amano – Master and Teacher

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Diana Walstad – “dirt and ugly”

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Tanines – Apisto

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ADA – prize

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Photography – art and beauty

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Forums – “boring”

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Acuario rosa:

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Do you have any other hobby?

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Norbert Sabat:

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I enjoy walking with my camera in the mountains or other natural lands but Latelly i enjoy taking pictures of birds. Love silence in nature – i hate noisy city.

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Thanks so much, Mr Norbert… Is a pleasure for us to count on your participation for our blog…

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Regards,

Óscar Pereiro

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Interview: Óscar Pereiro

Cooperation: Manuel Recarey

Translation: Oriol Pascual
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More questions HERE

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