What would somebody think if he were walking along a secluded forest path and stumbled upon a frozen waterfall with pink and blue icicles? Well, you might think you’d discovered some divine miracle, or that you’d accidentally located the handiwork of a magical woodland fairy. Or perhaps you would more likely assume that it was a clever advertising stunt or the work of an enterprising artist.
When embers of the Inwood Community Group centered in uptown Manhattan discovered just such a waterfall, they gathered on Facebook to discuss possibilities for the icy beauty’s mysterious origins. One poster thought that it might be harmless highway salt. Another assumed that it was from the minerals in the rock. Another simply stated, “Whatever the cause, my three-year old daughter will be completely thrilled to see this.”
After a bit of Internet sleuthing, people eventually pieced together that the multicolored waterfalls had a more intentional origin. Sherman Creek campus director Jason Smith confirmed that the display was the handiwork of local photographer Luis Baez-Correa. For the past several months, Baez-Correa has been patiently building the waterfalls with squirt guns filled with colored water.
Baez-Correa’s exhibit has been a hit success. Passers-by may have no idea what could have caused such a colorful display, but that hasn’t stopped them from admiring the frozen waterfall and cheerfully snapping selfies, because the results are so unusually pretty. Jason Smith called it, “the most successful art installation Highbridge Park has seen for a while.”
Baez-Correa’s artwork presents an excellent opportunity to discuss the flexibility of multicolored hues when aquascaping. Baez-Correa’s strategy of using food dye is perfectly acceptable when aquascaping without any fish or plants. As soon as you start adding life forms, however, you’ll need to consider other options.
Lighting is certainly the easiest solution. Most modern aquarium lighting fixtures use LEDs, which are categorically better than conventional lightbulbs. They’re more shatter resistant, they consume less electricity, they don’t put out nearly as much heat, and (best of all) they can shift through every color of the rainbow. You can easily shift the color of your aquascape to suit you mood—a soothing blue for relaxing after work, an exciting green when you’re hosting a party, or a romantic red when you’re cooking dinner for that special someone.
And of course, let’s not forget that colored glass can add another layer of beauty. Imagine viewing an aquarium through an elaborate stained-glass window. Between the brightly colored glass and the tropical fish, you’d have quite the explosion of color! But that’s taking the idea to the extreme—you might be better off tinting the glass a slight hue, or creating patches of color on the glass that color fish as they swim past.
Between food dye, color-changing LEDs, and tinted glass, you have a near infinite number of color possibilities with your custom aquascape—anything from purple waterfalls to hot pink aquariums or orange outdoor ponds… or maybe even a colored ice castle!