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Članci Početna » Intervjui na engleskom » Interview with Grégoire Wolinski
Interview with Grégoire Wolinski

Who is Grégoire Wolinski? Short biography?

I was born in Poland 34 years ago, where I have lived until I was 12. Then I came to Paris. Aquascaping is a big part of my life because I’ve recently founded a company for designing Nature aquariums. I made my passion into a profession.

Could you tell us something about your beginnings in the aquarium hobby? What did your first tank look like? How did you got involved in aquascaping at all?

During my childhood I lived in the countryside surrounded by fields, ponds, rivers. I spent my days playing, fishing at the water's edge, observe nature, making records on animals. I still remember when I climbed trees to watch the moorhens. Fascinated by this animal that could disappear under water, I timed the time, I noted all. I also had a small aquarium when I was trying to keep fish that I caught or small animals living in water. Later, when I have moved to Paris, all this has disappeared, but still remained in my heart.

A few years ago I achieved my dream to have a large aquarium. I wanted to carry a small piece of nature at home, try to reproduce river and that's how I started my first aquarium. It forced me to seek and research aquariums and than I discovered the Aquascaping and infinity of creation. As I draw and paint from time to time, I found the perfect combination of what I like: nature, water and art.

Where do you get inspirations for your layouts? Do you follow any norm of standard proportion when you create you hardscape?

I get my inspiration from everywhere. My surroundings, my memories, hundreds of photos founded on the Internet. There is no better artist than nature itself, and the infinity of its imagination, we have to just learn and use it. I do not care about any proportions and I do it unconsciously. Every time I start new aquascape, it's like I am painting a picture. I always want something that tells a story, and that helps me a lot in its design. As long as it is not what I want or if I am missing elements, I don’t fill water, even if it last for weeks or months. I also try to create something new each time. That's why, it can be said, that I have my own style.

Your favorite aquascapers?

I do not really have favorite aquascaper. I like the work of those who take risks and who bring something new in creation. I do not like the copies seen or even if it's well done.

What substrate do you prefer for your setups, and why?

My preferred substrate is Aquasoil Amazonia for quality in all areas. I often create elevations and Aquasoil is substrate that I can put in a net and place it where I wish.

About water: do you use r/o or tap water? What are the water parameters in your aquariums? Is it hard or soft water?

I use tap water which unfortunately, in the region where I live, is very hard. But I'm trying to use it anyway.

And lighting, what kind of lights you use? How do you decide how much light to use?

On my big tank 250L (100cmx50cmx50cm) I use a 150 watt HQI and 10000K. On my small aquariums I use commercial 6500K bulbs. For power, I always look at the size of the aquarium and try to get closer to 75% compared to the volume of water.

Filtration? How do you choose filters?

For me, the filter has only one function: filtering water. I've never been a follower of powerful filtration. It must filter three times, the volume of water from a tank, in one hour. Of course I always choose a good brand because of durability and convenience in maintenance.

What about water column ferts? Do you have any favorite brand or you use DIY ferts? Do you add them right from beginning?

I always use DIY fertilizers…by feeling. In my aquarium there are not many stem plants and I'm not trying to change their colors. I work with plants rather easy, so I add only what is really needed and when it is necessary. No, I do not fertilize from the start. Only when there is no problems with algae, and when plants have fully adapted, then I begin fertilizing.

How much time do you spend on tank maintenance daily, weekly? Water changes, how often?

The maintenance of an aquarium depends on its size. On my 250L aquarium I spend weekly one hour and I try to do water changes every two weeks. On my small aquariums I spend less time. I am not “a scissor fanatic” so I cut the plants very rarely. I'm not trying to give them a special form but only the lead. I rather let nature to take its course. When I build a hardscape, I always imagine the final result. That's why I think a lot about the choice and location of plants, without much action on it later.

Do you ever have algae in your tank? How do you fight them?

Until now I never had big problems with algae. I always start my aquariums very gently: not with too much light and no fertilization at the beginning. If ever I see a small start-up of algae in a specific location, I don’t hesitate to cut the infected plants. If there are not too dangerous algae (brush algae and similar) I just let them. I also use shrimps and fish such as Epalzeorhynchus siamensis, which help in removing algae.

Your photos are well known to be excellent. What is your procedure when you photograph the tank? How much does it take to setup your gear, background, lights?

The Photos are important if you want to save aquascape at present time or if you want to participate in some contest. I photograph the aquarium at early stage because I can correct the hardscape and see what everyone will see later. The camera does not see the aquarium in the same way we see. It is a photo that will be judged by everyone. For the final photo I play with multiple light sources. With overexposed or underexposed parts you can give another dimension to aquarium.

I don’t have any professional equipment except canon 550D. For the rest I do with what I have on hand. For the background I usually use something white. The preparation can take a while, but to get a good picture on all points, it may take me a whole day. But don’t forget that it’s not the camera that takes the photo, but the photographer. Even with a basic gear one can have good results.

Do you use photoshop a lot?

I don’t have Photoshop. I use only a small program to crop, resize, and sharpen my photos. Extreme retouching is not my style.

What gear do you use for your photography?

I started with a small basic Sony. Now, as I wrote before, I have a Canon 550D with a Tamron 17-50 mm f / 2.8 XR Di II VC.

Have you ever participated in aquascaping competitions?

Yes, I participated in many competitions where I had more or less success. Here is my web page where you can see the results:

Your latest layout, "Slow death of the roots" is so original? Could you tell us little bit more about hardscape, inspiration, maintenance?

For this work I was inspired by many pictures of rivers and streams. Often, at the edges of streams are large stones covered with moss and roots that sometimes grows on a large plant (represented here by the "Bolbitis" between the stones, and through which passes the flow of river). This is what I wanted to represent. For hardscape, I used two main stones, one of 27kg and the other 17kg. With the smallest stones I tried to reconstruct a path that would give the impression of having been shaped by the current of the river. I filled bags with Aquasoil Amazonia and then I passed them on the stones. After that I tied the plants. The maintenance was pretty easy, because plants that do not require special care.

Message for our members?

Nothing special, greetings to all Aquascaping fans…and thank you for interviewing me.

Author: Leonard Popović

Objavio lp u 01.12.2011 10:49
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