Mr Sabat answer the questions left by readers of Acuario rosa in his interview comments.
(You can read the interview HERE)
Do you buy or you find in the nature the material for your hardscapes?
I buy material in shops – During the last 3 years I buy only stones from ADA Poland. Not often (if I remember well I bought stones two times) but I buy carefully and watch every stone several times. I have about 50-60kg of Mantens stones and with these stones I have build about 7different layouts. The same with roots – 2 years ago I bought to a friend 3 roots and I used them in different variation in 3 layouts. I don’t search materials in nature because I live in a big town, I don’t have car so I can’t simply drive 300-400km to the polish mountains and search stones for some days.
The tanks and the lighting system, you do them by yourself?
No. In my 90cm tank I use Arcadia Pentanal Series 3 with 150W HQI+2x 18W T8 bulbs. I like this lighting system very much as design. In the beggining I used DIY lighting on my smaller tanks because in 2004-2005 there wasn’t to many lighting systems with good value of light. In standard tank you have 0.8-1WPG – this is good for shadow plants layout but not for fast growing with carpet plants and red leaves plants. Also my small tanks was not standard so no lighting system was fitting…and of course my budget wasn’t big enough as now.
Which is the main source where you get your knowledge of this world from?
Internet of course – everything is there. I read few forums and since about 2 years I read AquaJournal – I don’t understand japanese but pictures are more important than 1000 words.
What do you think about terrestrial landscapes in aquariums?
If you ask about layouts like “waterfall”, “farm with trees and plastic animals” – I don’t like them.
If you ask about layout like “mountain scape” – I like them 🙂
You say that you build up your layouts with stones or wood, ¿don’t you use both of them at the same time?
I used wood and stones in the same layout 3 times. I like this kind of combination but for me the main problem is to find good wood for 90cm tank. I like big branchy driftwood but its hard to find good ones because most of them are too small or too big. Stones you can use in several combinations – you can use 2-3 stones to build one BIG….but wood should be in perfect shape – I had to search for my 3 roots about 1 year. Of course there is lot of different driftwood in shops but 95% doesn’t “speak to me”.
You talk about the golden rule, Can you explain it to the newcomers?
My english is not good enough to explain what is all about. Let’s simply say that almost all beautiful pieces of art have perfect proportion in all elements. If you read “Da Vinci Code” (hahaha) you propably heard about number Fi. This number is about 1.618 and this is “mathematical meaning” of line partition.
If you watch all famous layouts with stones or with wood lots of them have a focal point like a big stone, central point of wood, river beach, big bunch of plants (i.e. group of microsorum) etc.
If you look closer you can find that this focal point is in golden ratio – from one side of the tank to the focal point a virtual distance have a value of “1” and from focal point to the other side of the tank the distance have a value of “1.618”. Nature dont like symetry.
Of course no one use ruler to build an aquascape but all focal points are moved from center to the left/right. Same thing with perspective – we put virtual horizon in the backround and focus almost all line from foreground to background to create 3D vision.
Again take a look to the famous work from ADA contest or from Amano and compare with the less good. In these cases in same tanks (for example 90x45x45) bad layout looks flat, while good ones looks like 3D. I can’t explain it better– search info about perspective, golden ratio and see layouts tutorials from Takashi Amano and others good ones.
You are not a fan of forums. You say that they bore you. What is what bored you exactly?
I am in aquascaping and planted tanks hobby over 5years now.
At the beggining my knowledge was “zero” and I read lot of forums in Poland and from other international groups. I also contacted with several people like me so we exchange our knowledge and my experience growed.
After 2-3years I started losing interest on forums because there wasn’t much more to learn – I’m not a chemistry-freak so I was not interested about all chemistry stuff – if you don’t know something about ferts this doesn’t mean that you can’t create a nice and healty looking tank. Almost everyday on forums you can find thread like “Algae-help me”, “What should be ratio between NPK?”, “My plants daesnt grow”, “What filtration/light i should use?”, “Is CO2 important?” etc. You can answer that questions how many times? 3,5,10times? After a year you are “sick” about that and you start writing on forums less every month. I was bored about all the people speaking about ADA prizes – lots of people wrote that ADA is very expensive. So what?
You don’t need to use ADA to have beautiful tank . If you don’t want spend money don’t buy it – As simple as that. You don’t need to drive a Bugatti Veiron….Ford Fiesta is good enough – catch my point?
This is all boring me so I almost stoped writing in forums and don’t show my layouts there as well.
Thank you very much Mr. Sabat
We can read more about Mr. Norbert Sabat on his page AquaDesign.
Translation: Oriol Pascual