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Članci Početna » Intervjui na engleskom » Interview with Dave Chow
Interview with Dave Chow

Could you please introduce yourself in a couple of sentences, who is Dave Chow?

Hello, my name is Dave Chow and I am 45 yrs old. I am a Chinese who lives in Hong Kong, my occupation is an aquascape designer and I am also running an aqua shop in Mongkok, Hong Kong.

When did you first get involved in aquaristics, did anybody interest you in the hobby or was it by chance?

I remember that in 1997, my wife and I moved to a new home and wanted to have a decoration in our dinning room.
My wife suggested to buy a full set aquarium for keeping some tropical fish, first we searched in our local fish street, where we learned how to keep fish. After that we turned to growing aquatic plants and step by step, from hobby it turned out to be a professional job.

There is an obvious difference between a ''regular'' aquarist and an aquascaper, so what brought you into the aquascaping world?

There was a brand at the beginning, called ADA! I have already been familiar with this brand 10 years ago, when I saw a local aquatic store displaying the glass inlet, outlet and the glass softenizer, also the aquatic plants grew densely and full of bubbles on the leafs, I was shocked and felt amazing.

From that moment, I wanted the same happening in my home, so I joined this hobby and learned more about the ADA's philosophy. I was inspired by Mr Takashi Amano's work and also tried doing aquascaping. From 2003 until now, I have been displaying my work on IAPLC.

When you look back at some of your work, which would you specially mention?

As first, without any doubt that would be Ashy Range. This work changed my life and also changed people to value an aquascape - it turn people to valuate aquascape more than just plant growth.

Second, I wanted to mention "Lofty Spirit" (2010) - this work is based on Chinese Bonsai concept integrating into an aquascape . In that way I wanted to intoduce something new in the field of aquascape.

We especially liked Ashy Range. Where did you get the inspiration for it?

Thank you for your appreciation! The concept is taken from nature and also from basic graphic sense. I will always remember that moment, when I was drawing a new layout for an aquascape. I thought that driftwood is supposed to be placed looking upwards, and than I realized, why shouldn't I place the driftwood towards the ground! After a couple of drawings I created Ashy Range.

How does it feel when your tank wins all the major prizes in the aquascaping world? Does it motivate you to move forward with more exciting and challenging set ups?

It's amazing! I feel and know that many people appreciate my work and it is, as you say, a motivation to create even more different concepts and challenging set-up methods. I will put my full gear of creativity to explore a new depth of aquascaping!

How many tanks do you have at the moment? Are you working on something new?

Including my client's tanks, I think it is over 50 tanks. Sure something new is going on, the most important one is for IAPLC!

What is your opinion on lighting? It is often mentioned lately that there needn't be too much light over the tank, even Takashi Amano uses a low-light system.

I can only say that I suggest a medium to high level of light. With low level of light it is easier to keep plants, but if you want to express some plants you need strong light, especially for foreground plants, so they can grow into a right form. So I suggest using T8, T5HO and PL for growing plants.

What kind of substrate do you use and why?

I always use ADA power sand for the base and ADA new amazonia for substrate. The reason is easy handle and cost is affortable (in Hong Kong).

How do you fertilise your plants, do you use diy macro and microelements or do you do it with ready-made products?

I mainly use ADA products such as Lights for densely planted tanks, Shades for ferns and moss tanks, Bright K, ECA, Seachem Excel, Trace, Iron etc.

What kind of water do you use, pipe water or R/O? Do you think that with R/O water (with low Gh and Kh), we can grow plants more easily and have less problems with other things at the same time?

I am just using pipe water for water change and add the de-chlorinator. I think it is perfect to use R/O water but the cost would be significantly higher.

What kind of filtration do you use? Are you for increased water flow in the tank?

I like to use the canister filter for the tanks. I mainly put ceramic rings as filtration media and then put some active carbon when starting up the tank.

Photos of your tanks are fenomenal, what equipment do you use?

It's embarrassing but I am a photographic idiot. The photos of my work are mainly shot by my CAU mate- Gary Wu.

Besides aquascaping, we also saw on TV that you are an excellent drawer, so do you think that these two things are connected?

Absolutely, I always create my work on paper first and then I try to think about and plan how to make my aquascape. In this stage I can correct and reconstruct the scale and proportion of the hardscape, so it could help me to asemble the aquascape in the tank smoothly. I also noticed that some aquascaper's occupation such as hair stylist, architect, designer, etc. are welcomed when dealing with aquascape hobby.

In your opinion, which countries are leading in aquascape?

In my opinion, no doubt that are Japan and then Hong Kong, Taiwan and also Vietnam. In Europe I think that Poland and Germany are upcoming, but I feel that more and more different countries in that region join the aquascape hobby. They combine their local cultivation and mother nature to create a new sense of life. I also think that different countries will create a lot of different trends. The leading country is our planet Earth!

Looking at aquascape as a branch of art, and everything should be allowed in art, some new works look very futuristic. What do you think about that, do you think that there will be changes and new standards in aquascaping, or will the works continue to be related to nature motifs?

That is the point! In my opinion, most of people accept and feel that aquascape is a kind of art form so the development of aquascape will lead to different trends such as Futurism, Surrealism, Impressionism, etc. But the basic skeleton related to nature is a must have because we can't make aquascape without aquatic plants!

Before the end, Mister Chow, could you share with us your life philosophy or your guiding life thought?

As I believe, the bigger your ideal is, the more achievement you gain. Life is amazing, please enjoy your life and respect lives of others.

What is your message for hraquascape members?

I suggest aquascapers should have a trail walk, seeing and feeling the atmosphere of nature. Try to digest your feelings and combine them with your ideas to express them in the layout you want to make. I think this could help the newcommers easily make an original layout.

Thank you and looking forward to see you soon.

Thank you so much for your time! We wish you all the best in aquascaping and in your future life!

Author: Dario Horvat

Objavio lp u 29.04.2012 15:29
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