Long: My Name is Tran Hoang Long. In Vietnam, they call me by the nickname: Long. My friends in aquascaping forums call me: Py. I am an architect by profession. I am living in Hochiminh City (Saigon) in the south of Vietnam with mother and wife.
Aquapetz: Could you share your professional background and when and how you were attracted to aquascaping?
Long: Aquarium hobby comes to me very naturally. My city lifestyle is stressful and to me, mother nature reduces it. I learnt about aquariums because of a restaurant in my city. I started my first aquarium after learning for a few months about aquascaping in aquascape forums in Vietnam. I found aquariums interesting and not as expensive as a garden, and they work better for me as a form of relaxation after work. Aquariums are a new hobby and they are a challenge for that reason also. That is how aquariums and aquascaping are my favourite hobby now. .I think after 6 years playing in hobby, it is my biggest stress relief and the challenge to complete in IAPLC pushed me to improve myself witth time. I regard architecture and art as my hobbies after aquascaping. I feel I better not show you my bad work in those other fields! I have covered my original ideas about art and architecture in my book.
Aquapetz: What is the view of your family members of your hobby and what would you describe as your favorite aquascaping style and your reasons for choosing it?
Long: My mom and my wife hate my hobby, because they have to clean up after I am done with my tanks!. However they love it after they are finished with this work! I think it helps them reduce stress too, I am grateful to them for their support in taking care of everything else for me.
My favourite aquascaping style is about balancing beauty and meaning in life.
With me, a beautiful aquarium is not enough. It must be express some idea or make some special statement for viewers. My dream aquarium seeks to emphasise the need to conserve nature, and our entire living environment in its natural glory.
I love it because I can ponder the meaning and nature of natural beauty in my aquapscapes.
Aquapetz: Where do you get inspiration to develop a new aquascape?
Long: I always find time to visit beautiful place to find ideas. When I have some ideas, I draw it in paper as the draft. When I start a new aquarium I review it and modify the drawing and then I process it.
Aquapetz: Your aquariums are top ranked in aquascaping contests. Could you share a few of details about these scapes like a short general description and basic specifications?
Long: This year, I tried to make an aquarium that conveyed my feelings about my life experience, a view of my personal idea of natural beauty.
For this, I use the principle of perspective to create the 3D effect. This increases perceived depth of the layout. Moreover, the layout gives the watcher two conflicting feelings:
a. The watcher is intended to experience movement at high speed through a canyon surrounded by aquatic plants.
b. The watcher can feel the debris of nature that is flying swiftly around him at extremely high speed.
I want to provide relief from the rush and scramble of living to the human being that beholds my aqauascape. From this point, I want to point out how important it is to work to preserve and conserve nature by exhibiting its precious beauty to those who look at my aquascapes.