Project Description

Entry #12 Mr. Jirawong Laopiyasakul

Mr. Jirawong Laopiyasakul a.k.a “Yoda”

The Thai version can be found here.

“Layers” by Yoda…….the 4th ACTAC competition under the theme “Rotala Revolution”.  We chose  Landscape Layout to display our work and used ordinary rocks commonly found in stores.

Each rock was placed without a blueprint….we just started with the rocks that we have and had detailed discussions to make sure the layout both of us visualized, as well as plant choices are along the same line. 

We took approximately 3 hours in dicussing and proposing our ideas…until we arrived at a rough layout that both of us had envisioned. 

Once we arrived with a similar layout plan, the fun begins….this is very important for those who want to get into the planted aquarium hobby.  If you start with happiness and fun, all the problems will not feel like problems but rather are challenges to overcome.

The technique that we used is to pick rocks one by one based on their size, edges, and angles, and place them to achieve a good balance before securing them with silicone.

Before laying down the base substrate and soil, give the layout a couple days.  You need to be patient with this step.  Once you are finished placing your layout, go do something else for a while before coming back to it.  If you find something wrong with the layout, make necessary adjustments. Do this repeatedly until the layout is well refined.  Spend this time wisely and make sure you are satisfied because once you start planting, sometimes we can’t go back and correct anything.

We are honored to be a part of this competition.  Thank you to all the sponsors that make great events like this happen…..14 contestants with 12 aquariums… come join us.  We promise it will be fun.  

We decided to use Rotala wallichii for the background because the of the small leaves and color goes well with the rocks in the tank.

We decided to use Rotala wallichii for the background because the of the small leaves and color goes well with the rocks in the tank.

We chose to use Rotala mexicana “Goiás” for our bushy midground plant.  We think that the pinkish-orange colors should help bridge the rocks in front with the background plants together into one seamless transition.

We use pearl grass for ground cover because they are hardy and fast growers.  Also they creep beautifully tight against the ground.  Naturally it is the first choice for most aquascapers around the world for ground cover.


Intense lighting (7 hrs/day).  Plants begin to grow (2 weeks) and liquid fertilizers are added according to the recommended dose (3ml every day)

Added Cherry shrimps to take care of the algae on the rocks.  Cheap shrimps/ cheap rocks / cheap plants. 

Made some changes in the plant choice for thinness and visual appearance in the front of the tank. 


The look.

Eating some algae.

Creeping like a spider.

Grow quickly.


Dwarf ….


Food for the puffers.