The brief and incomplete future of aquascaping

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
In order not to hijack the thread, I suggest the moderator to split this thread. I agree this is the most friendly forum with mature and educated members, and gracefully no flame.

I am in several local aquarium clubs and the male/female hobbyists split I observed is about 70/30. Male hobbyists interest is diverse, from plants, peaceful fish to aggressive tank busters only macho men love. Female hobbyists I know, on the other hand, are disproportionally into plants and peaceful fish.

For instance, a major aquatic garden club president in US capital is a woman. My two reference aquatic plant books are written by women: Diane Walstad (Ecology of the Planted Aquarium) and Karren Randall (Sunken Gardens). Many of you know Rachel O'Leary who is a big Youtuber in plants, shrimp and nano fish.

Women are big in planted tank hobby, just not big in aquascaping competition or entrepreneurship. The same can be said about women in cooking. They cook more at home than men, but not many become chef or get a name out of it.
 

Onoma1

Member
Joined
12 Aug 2018
Messages
442
Location
Rochdale
One of the interesting (and particularly positive) aspects of the forum (in contrast with Facebook or Youtube) is the anonymity. There isn’t any identity check on the forum and we all have the choice of being anonymous. I am not defined by others according to my role as a father/ mother, male/female/ non-binary, rich/ poor, black/ white, financially successful/ poor, etc but by my ideas and by the value and nature of my interaction with others.


We can (if we wish) let all of the societal baggage behind and this can be purely a place of discussion, debate and a source of information about aquascaping. We can leave unconscious and conscious bais held by others about gender, race, religion, nationality, political views, expertise or power created by our real world personas behind. It can be truly a virtual 'polis'. I can be anyone I want to on this forum.


I would contrast with Youtube of Facebook which are commercialised spaces where the aquascaping personalities are constantly seeking acceptance, approval and engagement. Please don’t misunderstand I enjoy many of these and often find them useful and interesting, however, this doesn’t detract from the fact that in these hyperreal spaces gender and power are used and amplified.

This could answer the question of where is the future of aquascaping …perhaps the where should be here (or in places like this) where we can all contribute without fear or favour.
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,473
Location
Netherlands
Women are big in planted tank hobby



She's a Botanicus and authority in aquatic plants. :) Since 1976 :thumbup:
About any description you can find about an aquarium plant has references to on of her books.
 

Tim Harrison

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
5 Nov 2011
Messages
7,965
Location
UK
the fact that there are already some who are happy to reveal ourselves without flack shows that the forum is already doing well.
Thank you, that's really good to know. I've said this before but I think UKAPS friendly and polite atmosphere is one of the reasons it's still going strong when many other forums have gone to the wall :)
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
I’m surprised I haven’t come across any flame in this forum. I think Euro forums have polite people.. American forums have rude and Trumpian people.
 

Tim Harrison

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
5 Nov 2011
Messages
7,965
Location
UK

LondonDragon

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
21 Feb 2008
Messages
11,010
Location
London
Wow, nice read so far and some great input into the hobby and where we might lead to! Maybe one day we will go back to another very popular lady in the fish keeping scene Diana Walstad, no filter, no co2, low light and a nicely balanced ecosystems! To be honest I do have a preference for low techs, so much easier to maintain and long term get the same satisfaction.

We have seen more and more ladies taking up the hobby and the aquagirls movement in social media also assisting and some major brands also have women to support their products.

Think what sets UKAPS apart is how the forum is moderated, and we take our rules seriously, but we are not the police, we have to be totally unbiased which is not an easy thing to do, I have diffused a few situations on the forum over the years even though sometimes I have a personal relationship with one of the members I cannot take sides and have to evaluate the point of view of both and always try to come to an amicable resolution, and that has been the message to all moderators, once you are a moderator there are no groups and there are no friends, every one must be treated the same as a community, which I think it's fair.

But I have also been told sometimes that there is no freedom of expression, this is not true at all as it's been expressed here already, which I think is more narrow-minded people that just want to be rude and do what they want because this is social media and you can say what you want and insult whomever you want, well if you want that go on Twitter ;) Respect is a very nice thing, and since I am writing this be careful when you use the tongue out emoji, that could be considered offensive to some ;) (so I have been told).

Forum pretty much moderates itself, friendly bunch here and since 2007 we have actually only ever banned one person!

Thanks everyone for making this community one of the best if not the best in this hobby.

Cheers
Paulo
 

zozo

Member
Joined
16 Apr 2015
Messages
7,473
Location
Netherlands
I think Euro forums have polite people..

Oh no not really, UKAPS is absolutely an exception to the rule... I've been a member of quite some European forums and till now UKAPS is the only one that has proper and adequate moderators jumping on it as Tim says, they don't get a chance to escalate. Then posts are removed and instigators or pyromaniacs start behaving or move again to other forums.

And I've been at these forums, loads of vultures around waiting for the tiniest discrepancy in your posts whether it's technical or gramatical it doesn't matter and the bashing begins. 💪 Also seen moderators participating... :(
 
Last edited:

castle

Member
Joined
19 Dec 2015
Messages
507
Location
norfolk
Hi @Onoma1 & Everyone,

Excellent thought-provoking thread. May I toss into the melting pot a question over which I've pondered many times? I do believe my question is relevant to the thread title. Here it is:

Why is the world of aquascaping seemingly dominated by those of the male gender? Or, am I wrong in thinking this to be the case?

I'm male and I'm not much of an aquascaper so that's where I stand.

JPC


With fish keeping it's fairly obviously almost balanced in gender from my experience (40/60 F/M) - no famous aquascapers, but it's a fairly niche side of the hobby.

I've got a few female friends that are keeping tanks, all my age (20-30) - in fact, I don't have any male friends keeping fish =/ maybe it's a Norfolk/Suffolk thing, we're fishy.
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
With fish keeping it's fairly obviously almost balanced in gender from my experience (40/60 F/M) - no famous aquascapers, but it's a fairly niche side of the hobby.

I've got a few female friends that are keeping tanks, all my age (20-30) - in fact, I don't have any male friends keeping fish =/ maybe it's a Norfolk/Suffolk thing, we're fishy.
Only planted tank and peaceful community fish keeping portion is gender balance, not overall fish keeping which is male dominated. It is understandable as I used to visit gardening forums in which women post as much if not more than men.

Similarly, more women than men keep cats, more men keep dogs, and even the type of dog women keep are different from men.
 
Last edited:

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
990
Location
Nottingham
Wow, very interesting thread - I'm not sure how I missed it!

As the thread seems to have morphed into three aspects, I'll offer a comment on each one.

Excellent opening post @Onoma1 and I feel your somewhat conflicted thoughts, as I've had similar thoughts myself. I've grown up being inspired by Amano's tanks - I think because they've been held in such high esteem for so long, (my Nature Aquarium World books must be 20 years old) and because he was the one breaking new ground in terms of aquascaping techniques, I can understand why those scapes are considered by many as the gold standard. I do agree, it is something of a contradiction in terms calling them a Nature Aquarium, but then everything is relative, and when Amano's creations were first reaching public awareness, most peoples tanks looked nothing like his glorious plant filled creations.

The key takeaway for me really is that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", the power is with the owner to try and create an aquatic scene that they find beautiful - be that a lush algae free garden, a brooding leaf-littered mangrove biotope or a plastic skeleton sitting on a bubble treasure chest. Just as you get gardeners that like a manicured bowling green lawn and flowers in rows, you get gardeners that relish a random wild flower bed with a nature pond in the middle. Similarly with aquarists you get those that like their tanks as a manicured artistic 'interpretation' of a natural aquatic scene, those that want to create a realistic copy of a habitat, or even those that want to create something completely abstract. The aquariums I see images of seem to be as diverse as the people creating them, which is remarkable when you consider the limitations of the similar sized glass boxes they're created in. Ultimately there is no wrong answer, and to the question of where should the hobby be going, there is no right answer, there shouldn't be boundaries or limitations - there will always be trends and fashions that people grasp onto and follow but the scope of the aquarium, and more narrowly the planted tank should always be limitless.

As to the gender question, I think its good to see more women aquascaping and taking part in this forum - I can't for the life of me understand why there aren't more. I consider keeping a planted tank akin to keeping an indoor garden of sorts, and normal terrestrial gardening appears to be far more dominated by female participation than male from my own experience. I keep trying to encourage my own Mum into setting up a planted tank, and she's a superb and avid gardener and could surely utilise her green fingered skill on an indoor planted tank.

As to this forum, I have to say it is a fantastic place. I've participated in a quite a few forums over the last 10-15 years in other unrelated topics, and I don't think I've ever participated in one that is as friendly and helpful as the community here at UKAPS. Aggressive and unnecessary confrontational posting seems to be virtually non-existent here compared to many I've been on that seem to attract users venting their bad day by becoming a keyboard warrior at night. It's the reason that I pulled the plug on those others quite some time ago, and this is now the only forum I frequent.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Tankless Future Tank Dimension Plans Aquascaping 11

Similar threads

Top