Aquascaping is probably the most beautiful and most interesting style in the modern aquarium hobby. Its fast-growing popularity comes from the fact that it brings a piece of nature into our homes. The method has been founded by the Japanese Takashi Amano. The English expression, "Nature Aquarium" perfectly describes its essence: planted tanks are not only about plants but they are about a natural harmony of plants, fish, stones and wood.
People kept fish for centuries. Over these years, a number of brilliant ideas and concepts have emerged within the framework of the aquarium hobby. Dutch-style aquaria are worth mentioning as an example – they are characterized by an ordered variety of plants shown side-by-side, and an underwater mixture of colors, to present the plants within strict narrative rules. The breakthrough came in the eighties, when the previously mentioned Master Amano revolutionized the hobby... He realized that technology has eventually allowed us to return to our roots. We can use our knowledge to reproduce natural underwater processes in our own aquarium. This is how the notion of Nature Aquarium was born.
The essence of the concept is that in contradiction to the vague and shady image of conventional aquaria we should create a vibrant, strongly lit underwater world - as seen in Nature. A world where the natural photosynthesis of plants produces tiny bubbles on the surface of leaves in the oxygen-saturated water.
The four basic elements of a Nature Aquarium
Other important factors to consider
Plants - in addition to CO2 injection - require fertilizers too. Plant nutrition provides them with macro and micro nutrients, essential for growth. Fertilizing is an easy task, it should be no problem to the beginners - if one uses good quality fertilizers.
You can place plants based on their height to the foreground, mid-ground or background. Not all plants will be planted in the substrate, mosses and some other plants can be tied on stone or branches. Plants should always be selected in line with our CO2 system and tank size.
Water quality is equally important from the perspective of the fish, the plants, and the bacteria in charge of biological filtration. Chlorine, found in tap water, is dangerous for all living beings, therefore tap water should always be treated with water conditioners. Ideally, softened (purified) water is recommended.
The idea of stones and wood arrangement (the layout of the aquascape) is only limited by our imagination. This is the most creative part of modern aquarium design, as seen in aquascaping competition entries. Check our image gallery for inspiration before you start to design your layout!
You need to think to the future maintenance of your aquarium at the setup stage already. The Water Change System and the aquarium itself should be designed to ensure that you do not have to spend more than 1 hour a week with maintenance. It should be fast and easy.
Takashi Amano: "Creating nature is the ultimate luxury". The expenses of building an aquarium depend on a number of factors. In this guide, we strive to summarize everything you need to know about prices. In general, if expenses matter to you, always choose smaller but quality aquariums over bigger tanks.
After considering the previously written factors, let us recommend you some guides that will help you navigate through the wonderful world of the planted tanks. These materials are useful not only for beginners but advanced aquarists as well. Our Aquascaping Magazine includes additional information, among others on the connection of RO devices, the analysis of various filter materials, the identification of root causes of the algae bloom and several other topics that you might be interested in - over the long run.
The informative articles published in the Aqua Design Amano Aqua Journal have been written primarily for beginners, but they often provide new information for experienced enthusiasts as well. Therefore we also recommend you to attend the ADA Plant-School.
Let us advise you on the gift selection! We will help you to find the perfect gift with products listed by price and target group. Based on our customers' feedback, the products listed on this page can all be a lovely present for your loved ones.
Filtration is the single most important element in modern aquariums. In the process of creating the biological balance and an algae-free environment, this is probably the most important (and costly) decision as well. We can help you make the right choice.
The appearance of algae, triggered by the combined presence of ammonia and light, is the sign of an inadequately adjusted ecosystem. It usually has nothing to do with excessive phosphate and nitrate. We should always strive to eliminate the root cause and never use chemicals (biocides).