The Nature Aquarium Festival 2020

The Nature Aquarium Festival 2020

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
“The best as always is that this event acts as a meeting point for the old hobbyists, we get to meet and network over the course of the event” – A participant of NAF 2020.

“The Nature Aquarium Festival is quite a big platform for aquascapers or hobbyists. It’s an awesome fest in the world for nature aquarium hobbyists and every year the festival is coming up with bigger and better workshops . Happy Aquascaping” – A participant of NAF 2020.

Text and Photos by Still Water Aquatics (ADA India) Mr. Adip Sajjan Raj 

The second edition of NAF took place on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of February 2020. The Nature Aquarium Festival will spanned over three days, where participants both national and international will be a part of. The entire event encompassed talks by eminent personalities, contests, workshops, aquatic plant markets, tours, walks, unique socializing opportunities, awards etc. The event concluded by presenting the awards for The Great Indian Aquascaping Contest 2019. This festival gave hobbyists a platform to meet fellow hobbyists and to help draw inspiration from the awards. Still Water Aquatics put this festival together to help improve the hobby and create lasting experiences for people through many activities over the three days. At this NAF many overlapping interests and hobbies like Orchid Keeping, Terrarium, Paludarium Setups were introduced.
Day 1:
Starting with the registration, participants were taken on a guided tour of the Nature Aquarium Gallery at Still Water Aquatics, Bangalore. Many enthusiastic participants from all over the country were awe inspired by the gallery and had many questions and comments regarding the beautiful gallery created by the team.
Since there is a growing trend in the orchid keeping hobby and its amalgamation with the latest DOOA lineup, we had a session on orchid keeping by Dr.Jade Gowda, who is a renowned orchid expert in India. He spoke about the interesting world of orchids and took the participants on a journey into his life as a tribal and how orchids changed his life. The participants were mesmerised by his talk. Also they attended another talk by Prof.Nagendra Saraf, who is an expert aquarist in India. He showcased the beauty of Indian ornamental fish in his talk “The Native Colours of India”. He touched upon various aspects of the hobby and spoke of rich biodiversity we have in India when it comes to aquatic life.
After two back to back talks the participants were eager to do some practical activities involving their hands. The participants were paired up and were asked to create a hardscape while one of their hands were tied to their partner. This resulted in a fun activity where teams made hardscapes with branch wood and stones and competed against other teams. They were evaluated, and the award was to be given as a surprise by the special guest.
Day 2:
At the aquatic plants farm we planned many activities. Dr.Natraj Jagannath and his team at the aquatic plant farm took the participants on a guided tour of the many green houses and tissue culture labs where aquatic plants are propagated and grown. The participants also got a glimpse of the world’s largest freshwater fish, the Arapaima gigas at the farm. On a tractor they were taken on a tour of the farm where they tasted locally grown fruits and understood about the farm and its operations.
After the farm tour, the participants were taken to a fun food festival in Bangalore where they concluded the day with some great food, drinks and danced to the latest mix of songs by India’s top DJ’s and artists. It was a new experience for most hobbyists and they were happy and tired after a long productive day.
Day 3:
The day started off with the Terra Base and the Terra 30 workshop with the special guest Mr. Adam Paszczela.(ADA Poland) and me, Adip. The participants saw a new dimension to the hobby, and the possibilities with the new product lineup of DOOA.
This was followed by the most awaited workshop, the Iwagumi Masterclass by Mr.Adam Paszczela. This workshop saw participants sitting at the edge of their seats trying to learn and understand how top iwagumi aquascapes were made. They had a lot of questions and loved to interact with Mr.Paszczela as he showed them the techniques of aquascaping which he has mastered over many years.
The festival concluded with the awards ceremony of The Great Indian Aquascaping Contest. The awards were presented by Mr.Paszczela and other chief guests.
Also, the ADA School of Aquascaping, was launched at the event. This school encompases the entire education vertical of Still Water Aquatics and will become an education and knowledge sharing platform for existing and upcoming hobbyists.
The festival saw a healthy participation from all the hobbyists and was a memorable event with everyone leaving with a wide smile on their face. We hope to make it bigger and better in the coming years.