Christian E.Velez

Posted by Dustin Wunderlich on

NAME: Christian E. Velez

AGE : 23

Location: Queens, NY 

When did you first start working on aquariums?

I started working on aquariums about two years ago as a way to get my mind off of my architecture studies. Although I've always been interested in Aquariums since I was a child. 

What are some of your sources for inspiration when you design an aquascape?

I derive my inspiration from nature. I also study those like Amano and aquariums from the green machine for fresh innovative inspiration. Ultimately my inspiration can come from anywhere even from the composition and rhythm of a paining that I want to mimic within a scape.

How is your personality reflected in the design?

 I'm a very calm and collected person and I think it reflects well in my designs. I try to create aquariums that reflect those calm clean and serene qualities. 

What are your favorite aquascaping materials?

My favorite aquascaping materials are seiryu stone for its color and mountain-esque appearance and types of slim wood like redmoore root and manzanita wood. 

What are your thoughts on the state of the planted aquarium hobby in the US today?

I just started the planted aquarium hobby just two years ago, but in that time I've seen a lot of progress in the US. From what I've seen it’s not as popular as it is overseas although I thinker are gaining traction day by day. As more access to products become more readily available in the US I see the hobby having potential to really take off here.

What would it mean to be recognized as a leader and innovator in aquarium design?

It would be amazing and humbling to be recognized. I would love whatever I could to spread the love of the hobby around to those interested in the hobby and to those that love design and nature.

What do you love most about the hobby?

I've always love planting in my backyard and have having aquariums. When I found out about aquascaping I thought it was the perfect marriage between the two. I love the energy a planted aquarium gives off in a room. When done right a planted aquarium can create that feeling of a brief escape from your mind as you get lost in the vibrancy and movement of the scape.

What can people expect from you during the contest?

You can expect me to step out of my comfort zone. Everyone's going to be bringing their best game for this one. I’m going to be giving it my all and breaking some of my own rules for aquascaping. I think you can surprise yourself and create something amazing when you start breaking out of the usual conventions.

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