As summer has begun, it really set in that I was officially halfway done with my degree. Of course with that revelation, came the irrational panic that I hadn’t done enough for my portfolio, and that I needed something to display what I like to do, as well as the scope of what I could do with a longer time frame than a few weeks. While the panic was irrational, the idea wasn’t.
And the idea to do something like that was what brought me to a new idea for a product and system I could actually design.
Aquascaping is basically gardening underwater. This simple idea has become ever more popular over the years, and really gathered my interest, and turned into something I love the idea of doing myself once in a place where it would be more financially feasible. But, it isn’t necessarily for the faint of heart, as there is a lot of research required, and often times it’s a bit hard to get reliable information unless you’re willing to spend hours looking into it.
Another problem I found for people looking to begin in this, was that there wasn’t really one place to get all the items needed. Proprietary aquarium kits were often meant for non planted aquariums, and it became expense after expense too gather all the items needed to set something up, and that was before even considering the plants and fish that would go in the aquarium.
With these two separate ideas in mind, it really created a bridge for something I could do, that would really show more of my style with design, as well as my interest.
I’d create a prototype planted aquarium kit with accompanying information, packaging, and website. It’d be something that would be challenging, but fun to do, have different aspects of a system, and have to be cohesive across all fronts.
To me, it became the perfect portfolio project.
Starting with that in mind, I began to ring up the cost for the items to create a prototype kit excluding plants. I decided to go for a nano size, as it’d be more accessible to newcomers to the hobby, as well as easier on the wallet, as with this kit I wanted to make sure it had low iron ( extremely high clarity ) glass, as well as lighting that wouldn’t have to be replaced with something later down the line. The kit is also going to include several options for hardscape, with the initial one being dragonstone as it is inert, as well as an active substrate to help with fertilization, and fertilizers.
Something else that I was forced to consdider with this supply list was the idea of working with CO2. Initially, it was something I was dead set on, but after looking into the pricing, it simply wasn’t feasible for a setup of this size. Not to mention, the cost would drive away anyone just looking into it, as a CO2 setup can run upwards of 150 USD.
However, the actual price of everything together gave me a starting point. The price range could influence how to design for the product, as well as what other products it would conceivably be competing against, as well as a way to gauge interest for the price point.
Now I just need a name.