Interview with Oliver Knott
by Óscar Pereiro
Before anything, I would like to thank you for the time you dedicate to answer this interview.
If I am not wrong you earn your life with a company that has your name (Oliver Knott – Aqua Design Consulting Company). Can you please explain briefly what kind of services this company offers?
My company specialist in set up and maintain planted freshwater aquariums for retailers, companies and private customers. Also a very important business segment was the cooperating with one of the biggest retailer company for professional pet store in Europe the Kolle-Zoo company:
In their stores I made the layouts for all the fish selling tanks and the plant selling installation. Also we are take care Japanese koi ponds especially in the summer time.
Recently you launch to the market a new substrate, Nature soil… Can you explain us the special properties of this substrate? (Ph lowering? Stability? Composition?)
NatureSoil have a similar influence to the water parameter like AquaSoil or ElosTerra. It is a natural earth burned twice time and is available in 2 different colours and sizes. More information you can found HERE.
It is very usable especially when you have very hard water and you wish to have a planted aquarium. My intention was to bring an antithesis to the normal neutral gravel on the European market.
Your aquariums are well known, and we can see them HERE.. Can you please tell us which is your favourite and why?
One of my favourite are this layout:
This tank was a lucky chance from beginning. First time I use the Cuba Hemianthus and the Cuba Ludwigia in a layout. And I never have any algae in this aquarium. The grow of the plants was amazing and the colours so fantastic.
Not a special layout but also one favourite this small tank:
The reason I also keeping the Utricularia the first time with a fantastic result…I fall in love in this plant.
Regarding the aquariums with skulls, football players, giraffes… are aquariums that some criticize. Can you please explain us the inspiration or motivation for to setup such aquariums? Are these aquariums made on request?
Especially on public tradeshows I choose some of the “Fantasy” layouts…to get the attention of the childs and show something different. Sometimes I enjoy this to see how are opinions of the different customers…hate or love it…but they talk about it, thats good for the whole business.
Now, if you don’t mind, a few technical questions:
Can you please briefly explain how you setup an aquarium from zero?
– choose the tank
– the right plants for the existing light
– choose the decoration
– create the layout in my mind
– set up the tank
– every 3 days 25% water change the first 4 week
– after them every week 25% water change
– after 1 week put in the first snails and Otocinclus
– after 2 weeks put in some Amano shrimps or Siamensis
– after 3-4 weeks the normal fishes
– the first 1-2 weeks the lightning period was about 6-7 hour
– after them increasing the lightning to maximum 10 hours
What kind of fertilizer do you use?
It is very different every kind which is available. Very often I choose the AquaCare from Tropica, easy to handle and uncomplicated.
Regarding your aquascaping vision:
In your opinion, in which country you see a bigger interest in the aquascaping?
Poland is very strong, also Portugal and Italy. Overall in Europe the chances are very good in the future.
Can you tell us a couple of aquascapers you like the most?
Jeff Senske, the guys of CAU Hong-Kong, Filipe Oliveira, Trisno from Indonesia (he set up planted aquarium up 20.000 Liter and more, unbelievable)…the one and only T.Amano…and all the people who love this fascinated hobby.
which is the aquarium style you prefer?
I love the Iwagumi, but the mix between stones and nice roots are one of my favourites…and all style which are real different.
Lately we’ve seen you involved in the organization of an aquascaping contest, in particular the Aquatic Scapers Europe. Is a contest that seems will be a great success in participation and a high scaping level… Can you please tell us how this idea was born?
We only want create a bigger contest coming from Europe, organized in Europe and born in Europe, to make the aquascaping in Europe more popular. But surely we are looking forward to receive entry from the whole world. Next year we want to organize our first aquarium party in Europe to create a possibility to bring all the interested aquascapers together.
How was the reaction from the hobbyists? (In Spain almost all blogs announced this contest).
Very good and we hope we get a couple of entries at the first issue of this contest.
Now, if you don’t mind, I would like to ask you a few more personal questions?
How many aquariums you have at home?
Only some few small tanks testing some new plants and products.
Apart of aquariums, do you have any other hobby?
My family at first, swimming, soccer, the Asian culture, relaxing
Now I will tell you a list of words and you tell the first think that comes to your mind:
Hemianthus callitrichoides: Tropica
Lily pipes: Design
Filipe Oliveira: Tree
Takashi Amano: Samurai
Photo camera: Canon
That’s all Mr. Knott.
Thanks again and best regards,
Interview: Óscar Pereiro
Translation spanish-english: Oriol Pascual
Translation english-portuguese: José Cruz Silva
Translation english-spanish: Óscar Pereiro