Originally Posted by Cento
I too am contemplating entering some sort of international or national contest... Though, I will be representing Canada, eh?
As far as stones are concerned however, although most substrate more or less look the same and are easily attainable, as well as most pieces of driftwood or even plants, that is not the case when it comes to rocks. At least here in Toronto Canada.
The rocks that Amano uses have incredible micro-detail and are FAR FAR different from the Utah ice or granite slabs you find at your LFS. Sometimes you find nice petrified wood, or even that black rock with the whitish-grey veins, but it seems the kubu basa, wiki tiki, or akriro kirusawa stones are like a $100,000,00 per pound (number may be slightly exaggerated) and available only online shipped to you for a price exceeding e amount of the stone....
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I think stones are a very big problem unless you happen to live in Japan or right near a fantastic source. Exquisite stones do make a night/day difference, but they are prohibitively expensive. I actually have a very cheap source for seiryu stone, which is nice, but since I tend to focus on inverts, I can't use them very often. Otherwise, just like you, I am very jealous of the stones I sometimes being employed in aquascapes.
Originally Posted by Gplus
Credit where credit is due! Huge time and thought went into this and you can tell for sure! A write up like this deserves to be a sticky.
Thanks. I just wrote this up in an hour, but certainly I have invested a lot of thought into aquascaping over the last many years.