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Aquascaper Oliver Knott shares his art
and expertise with SuperZoo attendees.
Sea of Dreams
The aquatics hobby has come a long way since the days when a sole goldfish and plastic treasure chest housed in an otherwise featureless bowl was the extent to which many engaged in the hobby. In fact, the latest technology in the aquatics trade is making it easier—and sometimes, more affordable—to create aquariums of increasing beauty and
sophistication. Still, others have elevated the pursuit of creating underwater landscapes into an art form. Renowned and award-winning
professional aquascaper Oliver Knott is among them.
Knott’s aquatic masterpieces, with their thoughtful arrangements
of plants, rocks and other elements, often re-create the splendor of
sights normally only enjoyed by the water-dwelling inhabitants of
the earth’s seas. Other creations bring to life scenes of pure fantasy,
intertwining nature, art and a healthful dose of his own imagination.
Pet Product News caught up with Knott to find out more about
his work, his inspiration and how the field has evolved.
Aquascaping has really found a place in the aquatic world thanks to you
and people such as the late Takashi Amano, the world famous aquascaper
under which you trained in the early 2000s. Tell us a little bit about your
experience in the field.
Oliver Knott: I was lucky enough early on in my career to spend a year
working alongside Takashi Amano in Japan. He was a great influence and inspired me to continue to pursue a career in aquascaping.
Aquascaping is an art form that allows you to push boundaries and
try new things. As an art, it is relatively new, so there are no strict
traditions or rules that you have to adhere to. You can be free to be
as creative as you can be.
I have been working in the aquatic world since 1988 and working
as an aquascaper since 1994, so I have been able to watch the development of aquascaping, and I hope in some small way through my
work to also have influenced it.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Knott: My children are a source of joy and inspiration to me every day.
I travel a lot, and every new culture I experience and people whom
I meet also inspire me.
I love to try new things and push the boundaries. I don’t like to be
limited by rules, and aquascaping allows me to do this.
What advice would you give to the curious budding aquascaper who might
be considering making it their new hobby?
Knott: I would advise anyone starting out to keep it simple and to stay
away from very complicated plants or technologies to begin with.
Many make the mistake of looking at professional aquariums and
trying to re-create this at home. It is important to start slowly and
build up some experience before moving on to more complicated
Do you see the popularity of aquascaping continuing to grow in the near
future? Why or why not?
Knott: I believe that aquascaping is going through an important phase
at the moment. I see growth in a lot of new markets and a lot of new
faces coming on the scene. It will be important to continue to inspire
the next generation who are connecting to the hobby through social
media to make the move to creating their own aquascape.