Staying with it..."Pressing Pause."

For a whole lot of reasons, I'll NVER be one of those aquascaping guys who you see on Facebook and Instagram, churning out amazing scape after amazing scape, seemingly at a breakneck pace. Like, I have no idea how these guys do it. I mean, I know a lot of these designs take time, but it seems like some of them can go from idea to world-class finished product in just a few weeks.

This simply doesn't comport with me. (the pacing...and ESPECIALLY., the "world class" part!)

Maybe it's something that just goes on in my world:

When I conceive an aquarium, like everyone else, I have that "ideation phase", where the initial idea hits and you sort of "flesh it out"- a time when you really visualize the "end game", right? And then, you begin executing...patiently assemblying the tank and its aquascape. 

And that's when it gets sort of "interesting" with me...

Like, my tank usually starts with a flourish, and lots of big ideas...and then it sort of..."plateaus." Like, I go into this sort of "holding pattern" for a while. I mean, the tank looks good- it's just not yet completely at the level I imagined it...

Maybe it's a sort of subconscious thing, where I mentally will "press pause" and evaluate, experience the tank for a while. You know, seeing how it looks, operates, reacts to maintenance, fish additions, etc. It's almost like a little hiatus where I just let the tank run in.

And inevitably, I'll look at the tank one day, and my mind tells me, "Now." And I'll start on "V2.0", when I add the finishing touches and take the design to where I imagined it would be. It's almost like a sort of "tank makeover", even though it's really the evolution  of the tank into what it was supposed to be. Like, a big push to the finish, or whatever (Is a tank ever "finished?" Not really...)

I suppose it's a good sort of evolve the tank slowly and "half-finished" for a while, evaluating it along the way.

Particularly with a blackwater, botanical-style aquarium, where nature is doing a lot of the work by breaking down your botanicals, tinting the water, recruiting biofilms and various algal growths...just making the tank more "established" in multiple ways.

Yeah, I believe it's is simply part of my personal "process" in building a tank. I have a very specific aesthetic I like, and a feel I want out of my tanks...and I suppose it can't happen overnight. Rather, I need the "gravity assist" from nature...that tinted water, decomposition and such, which you just can't get in a couple of weeks. 

Maybe I am an unwitting adherent to the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, as proffered by the late Takashi Amano. You know- the mind set which embraces the transient and ephemeral nature of things, particularly in the living world, and takes joy in the process. Like, the way undergrowth slowly encroaches a fallen tree in a forest, or the way weeds gradually take over a garden...The whole "Life After Humans" kind of vibe, right?

It's oddly satisfying, and completely within my personal mindset. I've learned to sort of "get out of my own way" and let the process happen at it's own space...

And to love it all.

Maybe the mindset that tells me to "press pause" and work at my pace with a "nature assist" isn't such a bad way to go for me!

Perhaps it is for you, too?

Stay patient. Stay engaged. Stay inspired...

And Stay Wet.

Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics 

Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman


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