UKAPS @ RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Discussion in 'Events' started by Dan Crawford, 28 May 2010.

  1. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

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    Hello folks,

    A few weeks ago UKAPS was contacted by Aquarium Architecture (www.aquariumarchitecture.co.uk) about setting up a planted tank at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

    Obviously we jumped at the chance after tirelessly trying to get The RHS to allow us to put a display in for the last few years. We had very little time to arrange things once it was confirmed; just 7 days.

    We contacted a few London-based members and fellow UKAPS star, James Starr-Marshall stepped up to the plate and did the majority of the organising with help from George who organised hardscape and plants.

    The tank was originally going to be 80 x 45 x 45, a lovely size but at the last minute it was change to 80 x 20 x 45! This presented us with a real problem; we'd already discussed and decided on an Iwagumi style layout and the people who owned the stand - Vitra had approved it. So how do we do an iwagumi in such an thin tank?

    We chose the most suitable rocks from Unipac's base in Northampton and a load of sand and gravel with the hope that we could do something with it to add some height to the layout.

    The next challenge was the plants to suit an Iwagumi, give height, and also work for an "instant" aquascape.

    We contacted PlantedBox.com and they offered to supply the plants on the short deadline which by this time was a matter of days!

    We went for Cyperus, Vallis, Staurogyne, HC and Eleocharis Acicularis and it worked a treat, the HC pots were real big and Vallis and Cyperus were the perfect size for what we wanted to achieve.

    So with everything on board I rocked down to London Village on Wednesday 19th to stay at James's for the evening to make travel easier in the morning.

    7 in the AM saw us all packed and ready to hit the road to Aquarium Architecture's base at London Bridge. After introductions and a risk assessment we set off, Roland and Jeremy from Aquarium Architecture jumped on their Vespas and swiftly left James and I for dust in the rush hour London traffic!

    After around ten 3 point turns we rocked up at the flower show, somewhat stressed! Draped in a hi-vis vest (which covered up my UKAPS logo!) we got to work.

    After some hammer and chisel action we had our hardscape ready and in position and got to planting. In around two hours the tank was planted and filled. We popped in a Fluval U filter filled with JBL filter floss and Purigen which cleared the water really quickly and our job was done. Roland and Jeremy added some Danios and have been maintaining the tank during the week, using TPN+ and Flourish Excel to great effect.

    Yesterday's lunchtime BBC coverage saw the tank on display! You can see the episode on the iPlayer around 7 minutes in. It's a short clip but it's coverage none-the-less! The stand that we were on earned a Silver medal, hopefully our help went some of the way to them gaining such an accolade.

    Here's a link to the iPlayer video and some photos, i hope you like it, we were really pleased with it!

    http://bbc.co.uk/i/sl6gs/

    Stand-1.jpg

    Front2.jpg

    Front1.jpg

    Thanks to everyone who helped put this together and thanks to Aquarium Architecture for allowing us to show off this hobby to a global audience.
     
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Very nice. I got permission to attend Chelsea through my university course... Came to nothing because I'm lazy but it's pretty easy if you know the right people.
    The tank looks nice and I'm sure it will help no end in getting "the brand" out there.
     
  3. Stu Worrall

    Stu Worrall Global Moderator Staff Member

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    well done dan and james. the tank looks really good, from both sides too which is very hard to get right. Good exposure to get on the BBC too. Ill watch it later as no bbc in work :(
     
  4. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Well done, guys! Doing UKAPS proud! Just think, HM The Queen will have seen this aquarium! :D

    As mentioned there was also a lot of 'stress' behind the scenes trying to organise plants and hardscape in time, as we had very short notice for this event, all leading up to Dan and I going to the Interzoo.

    As well as Dan and James, I'd like to personally thank Roy from Unipac for supplying the silica sand, graded gravels and Petrified wood. And also a huge thanks to Plantedbox.com for supplying the great quality plants at such short notice.

    I spoke with James yesterday evening and the aquarium has received a lot of attention from the public, and also from RHS members who had exclusive access to the event earlier this week. James has passed on the UKAPS name to many and who knows, it may spark the interest of some 'proper' gardeners!

    I was planning to visit tomorrow, but due to family committments cannot attend. James is attending all day and has his UKAPS flyers ready to give out!

    Last but not least thanks to Aquarium Architecture for giving us this great opportunity. I have worked a lot with them recently and they have some very exciting projects lined up, including a 20,000 litre planted tank. They are really top of their game and if they can do the same for planted tanks what they've done for marine and non-planted FW then there will be some impressive tanks springing up in the UK!

    Groundbreaking stuff.
     
  5. Piemonster

    Piemonster Member

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    20,000l?? :wideyed:
     
  6. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, but please let's not distract from the original topic too much. I'll post more details about this big tank when I can.

    Apparently HM The Queen wants James and Dan to set her up a planted tank for her husband, HRH Prince Charles.

    Then he can talk to them instead of using CO2 to make them grow (that's a joke for the older members who may remember in the 80s with Prince Charles saying he likes to talk to his plants...) :lol:
     
  7. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

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    he he. I remember that :shh:

    Nice one on the exposure at RHS guys :clap:
     
  8. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

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    Good job! Looks great despite the difficult size - and good to get a foot (or should that be lily pipe?) in the RHS door.

    I always thought the Royals were a bit in-bred, but this is ridiculous! :lol:
     
  9. James Marshall

    James Marshall Member

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    Yep i'm plenty old enough to remember, he was quite outspoken at the time as he also refered to London's modern architecture as a Carbunkle ?????

    Anyway here are a couple more photos from wednesday

    4647363603_88fbddbdff_b.jpg
    I particularly like this shot as there is a medal certificate leaning against the tank :lol:

    4647975990_c162f21070_b.jpg
    This shows how ridiculously thin the tank was, it required some crazy long reach tweezer work


    It was great to be so heavily involved, it was, as Dan said, a short notice project with a constantly changing brief.
    In fact it was only on arrival that we found out the tank had to be viewed from both sides, this meant that the already optimistic sketch I had made, would have to be squeezed into the 20cm twice over.
    4647977578_218820293e_o.jpg

    A massive thank you to Planted Box without whom the project would not have happened, and to Dan and George who must have worked round the clock to organise all that they did, and Aquarium Architecture for considering UKaps best for the job.

    Cheers,
    James
     
  10. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    Great work guys, going away tomorrow for the weekend so not going to the Flower Show this year, its a great day out indeed and a great opportunity for some amazing photos. Guess next year they have to invite UKAPS again and have our own stand there, count me in to help hehe ;)

    FOF?? what is that?? No wonder you guys won't bother this year!
     
  11. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

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    it was a pleasure to help out guys :thumbup:
     
  12. zig

    zig Member

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    Well done lads, no pressure eh! Fair play Plantedbox as well for the plant donations :clap:

    The tank works well as a display tank, the Cyperus helferi worked nicely given the problematic tank dimensions.

    A UKaps stand at the show that would be something alright, might even beat the lofty heights of Interzoo! :crazy: :D
     
  13. Gill

    Gill Member

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    Tank Looks amazing Guys, Well Done
     
  14. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

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    Wow well done guys! What day/episode is it on?

    Haha I'm too young to remember that George.
     
  15. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    http://bbc.co.uk/i/sl6gs/

    Click on the link to view in BBC iplayer, there's a clip of the tank in the intro and a short feature at 7min 20 sec.

    I have heard from the organisers that the Queen said the tank looked, "nice" during her visit. :D
     
  16. James Marshall

    James Marshall Member

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    I was looking through the "Evening Standard" newspaper last night and I noticed a whole page was designated to the living office display, there were even a couple of pics of the tank. All good publicity for the hobby, I feel.

    Cheers,
    James
     
  17. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Cant believe I missed this, excellent work guys!

    Well done, all concerned.

    Sam
     
  18. Arana

    Arana Member

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    I always thought UKAPS should have ther own stand at Chelsea...would be Awsome :thumbup:
     
  19. wearsbunnyslippers

    wearsbunnyslippers Member

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    that is great exposure for ukaps!

    why did vitra decide to change the tank size, aesthetics?
     
  20. toadass

    toadass Member

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    Well done peoples. excellent work thru 7 days :)
     

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