Hey everybody! My names Dayton Zuurhoud. I am a 30 year old blue collar carpenter from Kitchener Ontario. Some of you may know me as dayton.scapes on Instagram! With all the chaos going on in the world, for myself to find this hobby has been an absolute game changer for my mental health! Growing up as a kid I always had different reptiles and hobbies but nothing like aquascape. Most of my hobbies have been high adrenaline and high impact, so starting aqua scape was something completely out of the typical activity I would choose to spend my time on. I have found great joy in being able to be creative by using hardscape to build new and exciting aqua scapes. This hobby is not only something that I can enjoy, but also my family, my friends and really anyone that finds joy in freshwater aquatic plants and fish!
In just twelve months I have gone from having zero fish tanks to now having six planted aquariums and one planted bowl. 4-high tech 3-low tech. I have also created a clientele to build scaped aquariums for.
Above is a fully custom 9 gallon fluva flex that was built for my most creative client tank so far. Although I am relatively new to this hobby I have managed to network and surround myself with great minded people that have boosted me to reach my goals and have great success.
Above is my 25 gallon 18x18 cube. Now at day 110. This was my first go at doing a high tech tank. It features the chihiros 45cm Wrbg2 with acrylic stand and shades, FZ-pro co2 regulator and chihiros doctor. My substrate of choice is ADA Amazonia version 2. Plant stock consists of a lush arrangement of tropica plants. Livestock I went with are cardinal and rummy nose tetras paired with harlequin rasboras. 50 red rili, 25 amano and 2 rock shrimp. Currently I am running the ehiem 2215 packed with purigan and seachem matrix to make this all happen. Yes it is a little over stocked but the balance is just right. I have learned so much on this build and I am very happy with the way it has turned out.
My future goals are to create a like minded community of passionate aquascapers, and help teach others how to develop and maintain high tech aquariums. And to also show the simplicity and power behind co2. But let’s be real, it has not always been bells and whistles and great looking tanks. My first couple attempts with planted tanks went absolutely terrible. The overall learning experience for me was a bit of a sticky slope! (I am no scientist) The things I found that held me back the most were Google and trying to find every little thing I could about planted tanks.
Here is a sneak peak of my next project, 49 gallon 36x18x18. This will be my largest tank yet. It will feature a very lush carpet and lots of epyphite plants. Stay tuned for full details on the build! For any further questions about my tanks, co2 or just general tank talk, feel free to send me a message on Instagram @dayton.scapes and I will be more then happy to help pave the road to a flourishing planted aquarium!