Fishtank Frolics
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Fishtank Frolics: Telling A Story Through Multimedia Objects

Fishtank Frolics: Telling A Story Through Multimedia Objects

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  • Fishkeeping is a popular hobby concerned with keeping fish in a home aquarium or garden pond. There is also a fishkeeping industry, as a branch of agriculture.
  • Fishkeepers are often known as "aquarists", since many of them are not solely interested in keeping fish. The hobby can be broadly divided into three specific disciplines according to the type of water the fish tolerate: freshwater, brackish, and marine (also called saltwater) fishkeeping. Freshwater fishkeeping is by far the most popular branch of the hobby, with even small pet stores often selling a variety of freshwater fish, such as goldfish, guppies, and angelfish. While most freshwater aquaria are community tanks containing a variety of compatible species, single-species breeding aquaria are also popular. Livebearing fish such as mollies and guppies are among those most easily raised in captivity, but aquarists also regularly breed many types of cichlid, catfish, characin, and killifish. Garden ponds are in some ways similar to freshwater aquaria, but are usually much larger and exposed to ambient weather. In the tropics, tropical fish can be kept in garden ponds, but in the temperate zone species such as goldfish, koi, and orfe work better.
  • Freshwater fishkeeping is by far the most popular branch of the hobby, with even small pet stores often selling a variety of freshwater fish, such as goldfish, guppies, and angelfish. While most freshwater aquaria are community tanks containing a variety of compatible species, single-species breeding aquaria are also popular. Livebearing fish such as mollies and guppies are among those most easily raised in captivity, but aquarists also regularly breed many types of cichlid, catfish, characin, and killifish. Many fishkeepers create freshwater aquascapes where the focus is on aquatic plants as well as fish. These aquaria include "Dutch Aquaria", named for European aquarists who designed them. In recent years, one of the most active advocates of the heavily planted aquarium is the Japanese aquarist Takashi Amano. Garden ponds are in some ways similar to freshwater aquaria, but are usually much larger and exposed to ambient weather. In the tropics, tropical fish can be kept in garden ponds, but in the temperate zone species such as goldfish, koi, and orfe work better.
  • Marine aquaria are generally more difficult to maintain and the livestock is significantly more expensive. As a result this branch tends to attract more experienced fishkeepers. Marine aquaria can be exceedingly beautiful, due to the attractive colors and shapes of the corals and the coral reef fish they host. Temperate zone marine fish are not as commonly kept in home aquaria, primarily because they do not thrive at room temperature. Coldwater aquaria must provide cooler temperature via a cool room (such as an unheated basement) or a refrigeration device known as a 'chiller'. Marine aquarists often attempt to recreate a coral reef in their aquaria using large quantities of living rock, porous calcareous rocks encrusted with coralline algae, sponges, worms, and other small marine organisms. Larger corals as well as shrimps, crabs, echinoderms, and mollusks are added later on, once the aquarium has matured, as well as a variety of small fish. Such aquaria are sometimes called reef tanks.
  • Although the primary aim of aquascaping is to create an artful underwater landscape, the technical aspects of aquatic plant maintenance must also be taken into consideration. Many factors must be balanced in the closed system of an aquarium tank to ensure the success of an aquascape. These factors include filtration, maintaining carbon dioxide at levels sufficient to support photosynthesis underwater, substrate and fertilization, lighting, and algae control.
  • The Dutch aquarium employs a lush arrangement in which multiple types of plants having diverse leaf colors, sizes, and textures are displayed much as terrestrial plants are shown in a flower garden. This style was developed in the Netherlands starting in the 1930s, as freshwater aquarium equipment became commercially available. It emphasizes plants located on terraces of different heights, and frequently omits rocks and driftwood. Linear rows of plants running left-to-right are referred to as "Dutch streets". Although many plant types are used, one typically sees neatly trimmed groupings of plants with fine, feathery foliage, such as Limnophila aquatica and various types of Hygrophila, along with the use of red-leaved Alternanthera reineckii, Ammania gracilis, and assorted Rotala for color highlights. More than 80% of the aquarium floor is covered with plants, and little or no substrate is left visible. Tall growing plants that cover the back glass originally served the purpose of hiding bulky equipment behind the tank.
  • This style was developed in the Netherlands starting in the 1930s, as freshwater aquarium equipment became commercially available. It emphasizes plants located on terraces of different heights, and frequently omits rocks and driftwood. Linear rows of plants running left-to-right are referred to as "Dutch streets". Although many plant types are used, one typically sees neatly trimmed groupings of plants with fine, feathery foliage, such as Limnophila aquatica and various types of Hygrophila, along with the use of red-leaved Alternanthera reineckii, Ammania gracilis, and assorted Rotala for color highlights. More than 80% of the aquarium floor is covered with plants, and little or no substrate is left visible. Tall growing plants that cover the back glass originally served the purpose of hiding bulky equipment behind the tank.
  • A contrasting approach is the "nature aquarium" or Japanese style, introduced in the 1990s by Takashi Amano. Amano's three-volume series, Nature Aquarium World, sparked a wave of interest in aquarium gardening, and he has been cited as having "set a new standard in aquarium management". Amano's compositions draw on Japanese gardening techniques that attempt to mimic natural landscapes by the asymmetrical arrangement of masses of relatively few species of plants, and carefully selected stones or driftwood. The objective is to evoke a landscape in miniature, rather than a colorful garden. This style draws particularly from the Japanese aesthetic concepts of Wabi-sabi which focuses on transience and minimalism as sources of beauty, and Iwagumi which sets rules governing rock placement. In the Iwagumi system, the Oyaish or main stone, is placed slightly off-center in the tank, and Soeishi or accompanying stones, are grouped near it, while Fukuseki or secondary stones, are arranged in subordinate positions. The location of the focal point of the display, determined largely by the asymmetric placement of the Oyaishi, is considered important, and follows ratios that reflect Pythagorean tuning. Plants with small leaves, such as Eleocharis acicularis, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Riccia fluitans, small aquatic ferns, and Java moss (Versicularia dubyana or Taxiphyllum barbieri) are usually emphasized, with more limited colors than in the Dutch style, and the hardscape is not completely covered. Fish, or freshwater shrimp such as Caridina multidentata and Neocaridina heteropoda, are usually selected to complement the plants and control algae.
  • Hardscape for Discus fish
  • Some hobbyists also refer to a "jungle" (or "wild jungle") style, separate from either the Dutch or nature styles, and incorporating some of the features of them both. Bold, coarser leaf shapes, such as Echinodorus bleheri, are used to provide a wild, untamed appearance.
  • The styles above often combine plant and animal species based on the desired visual impact, without regard to geographic origin. Biotope aquascapes are designed instead to replicate exactly a particular aquatic habitat at a particular geographic location, and not necessarily to provide a gardenlike display. Plants and fish need not be present at all, but if they are, they must match what would be found in nature in the habitat being represented, as must any gravel and hardscape, and even the chemical composition of the water.
  • The styles above often combine plant and animal species based on the desired visual impact, without regard to geographic origin. Biotope aquascapes are designed instead to replicate exactly a particular aquatic habitat at a particular geographic location, and not necessarily to provide a gardenlike display. Plants and fish need not be present at all, but if they are, they must match what would be found in nature in the habitat being represented, as must any gravel and hardscape, and even the chemical composition of the water.
  • In a paludarium, part of the aquarium is underwater, and part is above water. Substrate is built up so that some "land" regions are raised above the waterline, and the tank is only partially filled with water. This allows plants, such as Cyperus alternifolius and Spathiphyllum wallisii, as well as various Anubias and some bromeliads, to grow emersed, with their roots underwater but their tops in the air, as well as completely submersed. In some configurations, plants that float on the surface of the water, such as Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia stratiotes, can be displayed to full advantage. Unlike other aquarium setups, paludariums are particularly well-suited to keeping amphibians
  • Dutch and nature style aquascapes are traditionally freshwater systems. In contrast, relatively few ornamental plants can be grown in a saltwater aquarium. Saltwater aquascaping typically centers, instead, on mimicking a reef. An arrangement of live rock forms the main structure of this aquascape, and it is populated by corals and other marine invertebrates as well as coralline algae, which together serve much the same aesthetic role as freshwater plants. Lighting plays a particularly significant role in the reef aquascape. Many corals, as well as tridacnid clams, contain symbiotic fluorescent algae-like protozoa called zooxanthellae. By providing intense lighting supplemented in the ultraviolet wavelengths, reef aquarists not only support the health of these invertebrates, but also elicit particularly bright colors emitted by the fluorescent microorganisms
  • Dutch and nature style aquascapes are traditionally freshwater systems. In contrast, relatively few ornamental plants can be grown in a saltwater aquarium. Saltwater aquascaping typically centers, instead, on mimicking a reef. An arrangement of live rock forms the main structure of this aquascape, and it is populated by corals and other marine invertebrates as well as coralline algae, which together serve much the same aesthetic role as freshwater plants. Lighting plays a particularly significant role in the reef aquascape. Many corals, as well as tridacnid clams, contain symbiotic fluorescent algae-like protozoa called zooxanthellae. By providing intense lighting supplemented in the ultraviolet wavelengths, reef aquarists not only support the health of these invertebrates, but also elicit particularly bright colors emitted by the fluorescent microorganisms
  • Takashi Amano born July 18, 1954 is a photographer, designer and aquarist. His interest in aquaria led him to create the Japanese company Aqua Design Amano. Amano is the author of Nature Aquarium World (TFH Publications, 1994), a three-book series on aquascaping and freshwater aquarium plants and fish. He has also published the book "Aquarium Plant Paradise"(T.F.H. Publications, 1997). A species of freshwater shrimp is named the “Amano shrimp” or "Yamato shrimp" (Caridina multidentata; previously Caridina japonica) after him. After discovering this species' ability to eat large quantities of algae, Amano asked a local distributor to special order several thousand of them.[1] They have since become a staple in the freshwater planted aquarium hobby. He has also developed a line of aquarium components that are known as ADA, and his “Nature Aquarium” article series appears monthly in Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine in the U.S.
  • Arthur Tress is a notable American photographer born on November 24, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. He is well known for his staged surrealism and exposition of the human body. First photograph at age 12. Arthur Tress' first subjects were circus freaks and dilapidated buildings around Coney Island where he grew up. The youngest of three children in a divorced family, Arthur spent time in his early life with both of his parents: his father who re-married and lived in an upper class neighbourhood, and his mother, who remained single after the divorce and whose life was not nearly so luxurious. In high school, he also studied the art of painting. Author Tress mainly took landscaped photos in his childhood. After graduating from Bard College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1962, Arthur moved to Paris, France to attend Film School. While living in France, Arthur traveled to many locations, including Japan, Africa, Mexico, and through most of Europe. While on these journeys, he observed many secluded tribes and cultures. He was fascinated by the roles played by the shaman of the different people groups he visited. The cultures he was introduced to would play a permanent role in his later work. Tress spent the Spring and Summer of 1964 in San Francisco, taking pictures in the city documenting the Republican Convention that nominated Barry Goldwater, civil rights demonstrations at segregated car dealerships on Van Ness Avenue, and the Beatles launching their 1964 tour. Tress took over 900 photographs that were put away and re-discovered in 2009. They were featured in a show at San Francisco's deYoung Museum.
  • Arthur Tress has said, is like fishing: They both involve hunting and capture. During the past four years, he lugged a 100-year-old aquarium from one U.S. coast to the other, filling it with assorted doodads and knickknacks from the '40s and '50s. At each stop, the artist-photographer would hunt down this "flea-market trash," assemble it in the aquarium and capture it in a picture. The resulting 120 slides make up a surreal allegory called "Fish Tank Sonata," in which a fisherman learns about life and environmental responsibility from a red snapper. Tress, 52, considers his underwater tableaux a form of folk art, slightly askew and often funny--a duck decoy wears antlers, a dog poses in front of a microphone. The idea started with 19th-Century Catskill painter Thomas Cole's allegorical series, "The Voyage of Life," and crystallized when Tress found a '50s-kitsch pink ceramic fisherman and, finally, the antique aquarium. Tress, who now lives in Cambria, grew up near New York's Coney Island amusement park and was fascinated by its feeling of "magic in decline." Some of his early black-and-white photographs, full of shadowy, dangerous figures, evoke a decaying fun house. In 1980, Tress put together "The Teapot Opera," photographs depicting a teapot's voyage of spiritual discovery on a Victorian toy theater stage. This was the first part of the trilogy that includes "Fish Tank Sonata." The final installment, "Requiem for a Paperweight," should be complete by next year, about the time a touring exhibition of "Fish Tank Sonata" is due to open at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
  • In 1980, Tress put together "The Teapot Opera," photographs depicting a teapot's voyage of spiritual discovery on a Victorian toy theater stage.
  • Arthur Tress has said, is like fishing: They both involve hunting and capture. During the past four years, he lugged a 100-year-old aquarium from one U.S. coast to the other, filling it with assorted doodads and knickknacks from the '40s and '50s. At each stop, the artist-photographer would hunt down this "flea-market trash," assemble it in the aquarium and capture it in a picture. The resulting 120 slides make up a surreal allegory called "Fish Tank Sonata," in which a fisherman learns about life and environmental responsibility from a red snapper.
  • Story of man, family, politics, destiny.
  • Fish Tank Sonata. Bulfinch Press, 2000.
  • Dip into these pages and join the hero, a little fisherman, as he sails off on a voyage of discovery. Fish Tank Sonata, like Griffen and Sabine, is a beguiling little book that quickly draws the reader into its special world. Each of the 69 scenes in the tale is a tableau created out of oddball flea-market finds and staged within an antique fish tank. Arthur Tress took the tank with him to locations all over the country -- from beaches to cow pastures. The story unfolds in the droll poems that accompany the images. We travel with the intrepid hero as he learns all about the pitfalls of humanity, how to be a better fisherman and, at last, how to live and fish in harmony with nature.The Sonata is a playful, yet compelling small treasure that begs to be read and reread. It will appeal to all fans of Tress (who've been waiting a long time for it) and to those who love to fish, those who are fascinated by miniature worlds within aquariums, and those who value ecology.

Fishtank Frolics Fishtank Frolics Presentation Transcript

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