Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal

One shot material arranging challenge

Special rules for this challenge
1. A composition must be arranged by choose from driftwood within the time limit of 30 minutes.
2. The SUIKEI creators are allowed to use 3 of in total each Horn Wood S, M and L size that the editorial team prepared.
3. It does not matter how many pieces of driftwood each SUIKEI creator uses.
4. The SUIKEI creators are not allowed to see the driftwood until the start of the composition arranging match.
5. The SUIKEI creators may use one wooden box (20kg) worth of Yamaya Stones as materials to fix the driftwood pieces.
6. The aquarium tank size is W90×D45×H45cm.

Combining driftwood pieces to resemble a big tree

Even though it’s an improvisational challenge, having a theme is important when creating a composition. I envisioned a big tree with exposed roots for this challenge. One of the key points is that I combined driftwood pieces of various sizes to resemble a big tree. By placing even driftwood pieces that seem difficult to use at first glance along the flow that the framework has, I was able to make them look like a single piece of driftwood.
Creation: Naru Uchida
Driftwood sizes used L, M, and S
6 out of 9 Horn Wood pieces were used. The frameworks was built with L size driftwood.

AJ’s comment
The way of taking the center of gravity based on the golden ratio 1 : 1.618, is faithful to the basics, and you can even feel a sense of stability. How the roots grow is expressed with a reasonable way of arranging driftwood, and their flows (directions) are appropriately organized too.
Planting image
Since I’m hoping to add sharpness to the shadow that is created in the middle, I want to plant festive stem plants in the background including Rotala.


Powerful composition taking advantage of the momentum of branches

Although you might think it is difficult to use driftwood pieces with straight parts, the tricky parts can be hidden by utilizing epiphytic aquatic plants. I try to carefully observe expressions of the driftwood first, then show good parts and hide parts that are not so easy. I radially arranged the driftwood pieces for this layout. In the meantime, I arranged the driftwood pieces and had them extend outward so that aquatic plants don’t hide the driftwood tips without losing momentum and power.
Creation: Yusuke Homma
Driftwood sizes used L, M, and S
I used 5 out of 9 pieces of the Horn Wood. Simple is best!

AJ’s comment
The wild look is nicely placed on the front by carefully examining the expressions of the driftwood pieces one by one. Although driftwood pieces that extend straight are hard to use, he is taking advantage of the shape as an expression of power and momentum.
Planting image
I think aquatic plants that look refreshing like Hygrophila angustifolia and Eleocharis acicularis go well with this layout. I also want to add a refined look by attaching quite a lot of moss to the driftwood.


Triangular composition considering a wide swimming space for fish

One of the conditions for this challenge was that it doesn’t matter how many driftwood pieces we use. Therefore, I intentionally used all the driftwood pieces to arrange my composition. I fixed the base by combining small pieces of driftwood and Yamaya Stones and made the biggest driftwood piece protruded above the water. I recommend triangular compositions like this one to Nature Aquarium beginners because how to create space is clear, and it’s also easy to create a swimming space and a hideout for fish.
Creation: Daichi Araki
Driftwood sizes used L, M, and S
All the 9 Horn Wood pieces were actually used. Is it because Daichi got AJ team’s intentions….?

AJ’s comment
3 minutes after he started working, he was almost done with arranging the composition. His quickness proves that he has no hesitation. Momentum is also important. Hypotenuse lines are tricky in a triangular composition, but he was able to give some interesting variations. We just wish that he would have kept everything in the aquarium if possible.
Planting image
It would be interesting if Nymphaea family is placed in the water as well as Philodendron family and Wabi-Kusa Stem Plant Mix above water.