ScapeFu014: Mike Senske talking Aquavas and 5 tips to incorporate an aquarium into any room

Art PennomAquascaping How To, Podcast4 Comments


Hey, welcome to ScapeFu Episode 14! Today, we’re discussing 5 Tips to Make an Aquarium a Beautiful Part of Any Room, a special co-host joins us and we have the first ever interview with Mike Senske about Aquarium Design Group’s new product line, Aquavas!

Jurijs mit JS

Jurijs mit JS

In episode 14, we welcomed Jurijs mit JS as a co-host! Jurijs (pronounced “Yuris”). JJ and I are delighted to be working with Jurijs on the show. He is a professional aquascaper from Germany who will be bringing us a wealth of information and experience on master-level aquascaping and news from the hobby in Europe!

Jurijs has been involved with the hobby for many years and made it his profession some time ago. While making aquascaping a profession may not be realistic (yet) in the States, it is certainly viable in other parts of the world.

Go see some of Jurijs’ awesome work via the link above to his Facebook page. I think you’ll agree that he’s fantastic.


  • Interzoo – we discussed the upcoming Interzoo, one of the world’s biggest pet trade fairs taking place in Nuremburg, Germany. We know ADG will be there and I’m sure they will show off their Aquavas goodies. Jurijs will be there and we’re hoping to record some details/interviews for the show.
  • Aquatic Gardeners Association Convention – we discussed how the AGA convention will be held next year in Reston, Virginia instead of this fall as previously anticipated. This is to avoid conflicts with the already heavy fall schedule of events that include the Aquatic Experience in Chicago Nov 7 – 9.  The AGA has yet to launch the convention website but you can already reserve your hotel room: Sheraton Reston Hotel call – Central Reservations at 1-800-561-9186 and ask for Aquatic Gardeners Association 2015 room block.
  • The AGA will be sanctioning the Aquatic Experience Live! Aquascaping Contest November 7 – 9 at the Aquatic Experience in Chicago! There will be an on-site nano aquascaping contest as well as a large aquarium group/club contest. We’re still working out the details with the organizers, but it will be the first event of its kind in North America! You can get a weekend pass for only $89 if purchased by June 30. At 30% off regular price ($129) this is the highest discount of the year:
  • We reminded everyone about this year’s International Aquatic Plant Layout Contest and the AGA Aquascaping Contest (that now has a Dutch category). Jurijs spoke about the German Aquatic Plant Layout Contest (GAPLC) that is now open to neighboring countries.
  • I alerted everyone to a wonderful article on the nitrogen and carbon cycle in our aquariums.

5 Tips to Make an Aquarium a Beautiful Part of Any Room

It’s too easy to focus on what’s inside the aquarium and forget that it needs to look good inside the room it’s in. What’s outside the aquarium is just as important as what’s in it!

Here are five tips to help you make sure that your aquarium looks it’s best where you place it:

1. Location basics

– Electrical outlet placement

– Water drain?

– Temperature

– Weight

– View from observer

2. The importance of the aquarium stand and it’s design

Take inspiration from Elos and see how they incorporate the aquarium stand into the overall room design. ADG also has a beautiful portfolio of how the aquarium can become a seamless part of any room.

Here is more inspiration.

3. The style of light

– Color

– Style – hanging or bracket or sitting on the aquarium

4. Design of filter and CO2 equipment

– Sump and hidden?

– Glass and in the aquarium – Of course, ADA’s line of Nature Aquarium products is a great example.

– Stainless steel?

5. Designing the aquarium background (e.g., painting, using film or lighting to create mood)

– Check out this awesome article on aquarium background in Aquascaping World.

–  The Creative Aquascaping Union also has a good tutorial on the backlighting the aquarium.

– The Green Machine Online has a good explanation on using film for a background.

Interview with Mike Senske on Aquavas product line

We are very thankful to Mike Senske of Aquarium Design Group (ADG) for coming on a giving us the first interview related to their new product line, Aquavas. In this interview, Mike tells us why they are no longer Aqua Design Amano distributors and how Aquavas came about.

Aquavas will be released as a system initially, similar to the Elos products. You can see what the products look like by going to the Natural Aquario website (operational at the time of posting). ADG purchased Natural Aquario and rebranded the products as Aquavas. You can also see Jeff Senske designing an aquascape with the Aquavas line via ADG’s Youtube channel:

It’s clear that ADG is a US company pushing the envelop and expanding the hobby in the US. They are not afraid to think out of the box and try new things. This benefits us, the hobbyists, tremendously. We need to support and encourage it.

I strongly encourage you to stay tuned to what’s happening with the Aquavas line (to be released over the coming months) and spread the word. I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on their stainless steel pipes!


On behalf of JJ, Jurijs and myself, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to listen and for supporting what we are doing here on the ScapeFu Podcast. We are doing this for you so please tell us how we’re doing and what you want us to discuss. It’s how we can keep bringing your these podcasts on a regular basis.

Just go to and tell us what you think. You can even leave us a voicemail that we can play on the air in an episode by clicking on the button located to right sidebar of the website.

An iTunes rating is very important for us as that is how we get ranked and noticed. We’d love to expand our audience to include more hobbyists so that we can all benefit. Please, take a few minutes and leave us a nice review. We REALLY appreciate it!

Lastly, the next time you’re on the forums, please mention that you listen to the ScapeFu Podcast. Spread the word and help us expand this hobby we all love.

Thank you!

Talk to you soon!

Art Pennom

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4 Comments on “ScapeFu014: Mike Senske talking Aquavas and 5 tips to incorporate an aquarium into any room”

  1. JoshScape

    Hi i thoroughly enjoyed episode 14 especially the interview with Jeff. in future pods I would like to hear more about new products and companies siiliar to ADA and interviews from other well known aquascapers. Good job boys.

  2. Hiep Hong

    I would love to hear this interview but I can’t find it anywhere on this page, am I missing a link somewhere?

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