The practice of setting up an aquarium is more than just a preliminary task on an aquarist’s “to-do” list: it’s an art.aquascaping Chicago This is the view of aquarium artist Oliver Knott, who will be giving both a live demo on aquarium design and a presentation about the work of his favorite aquarium artist, Takashi Amano, at this year’s Aquatic Experience.

Knott became interested in aquaria at the age of 16, when he got a job at a small pet store that sold parrots, rabbits, fish, and snakes. He spent several years in retail before launching his own company, Aquascaper, which specializes in the creation of aquarium tanks for private customers, small businesses, and pet stores. Knott believes that his knowledge of aquarium design was cultivated by his close experiences with aquatic-industry companies.

During Knott’s demonstration on aquarium plant design and installation, his focus will be on the use of natural-looking aquarium backgrounds, which have recently been growing in popularity among aquarists. Knott believes that these backgrounds make for happier, more comfortable fish. Additionally, he will walk his audience through the process of installing filter systems into their tanks. He hopes that his demonstration will show attendees that, with the right products and design tricks, aquarists of all levels can effectively enhance their aquaria.

Knott’s presentation on Takashi Amano will be a tribute to the life and work of the recently deceased aquarium artist and founder of aquarium-design companies Nature Aquariums and Aquascaping. Amano’s photography, plant layout designs, and created ecosystems will be showcased. Knott, who spent two weeks working for Amano in Japan and considers the artist to be his “shining example,” will demonstrate what he learned from Amano and explain the importance of Amano’s art to the aquarist’s hobby. He encourages anyone interested in aquatic plants to attend.

Knott is excited to exhibit his skills, share some of his tips and tricks of aquarium design with other aquarists, and interact with attendees via Q&A. Attend Knott’s sessions to get a look into his creative processes and sources of inspiration.

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Aquatic Eperience Chicago | November 7-9, 2014 | Schaumburg Convention Center