Aquascaping Supplies, Tools & Equipment Buyers Guide

by Feb 15, 2017

Most people who have an aquarium put a lot of effort into aquascaping. Without aquascaping, the aquarium is just a fish tank with a sandy bottom, plenty of water and fish. It does not look good and the fish would look lonely. A tank would look better and more lively than an aquarium without any aquascaping effort.

Seriously, it is not hard to design the tank contents to make it look both livable for the fish and captivating to the eye. There are plenty of ways to make it peaceful looking, making the fish stand out and at home in the tank.

Aquascaping is also more of a natural instinct for aquarium owners as they have an idea of how the fish can be made comfortable, all that is required is an artistic flair for design! Mimicry of their natural environment is also vital; same with rocks, water plants, and other aquarium designs and accessories.

What Aquascaping Supplies Do You Need?

Aquascaping just requires some equipment along with some creative sensibilities to the fish’s natural environment. Everything else can be easily learned.

There are only a few things you need to have in order to do aquascaping. It all depends on what you envision your aquarium to look like. To make things even easier, there are basic concepts which you can easily understand and learn.

The first thing you need to do is to plan around your fish and the available space for the aquarium. The size and type of equipment will follow the requirements of your fish and tank.

Aquascape Tanks

For fish tank hobbyists, replicating nature the way they like is pure delight. For them, aquascaping can be treated as an enjoyable aspect of setting up their fish tank. Although the decoration of the fish tank provides pleasure for them, a good aquascape design can enhance the overall beauty of any fish tank.

There are several tanks available in the market; you can buy one with preset colorful backgrounds and sceneries. There is also some picture of landscapes and more, it actually depends on the person and their preferences.

Always bear in mind though that we must not choose any background that can create any annoyance to its inhabitants. As humans, we should be affectionate and consider very well the environment that our fish pets are living. If not, they will live in an environment where they will not be comfortable dwelling in.

Different Kinds of Aquarium Tanks

Aquarium tanks can be made of glass, acrylic or plastic. Glass aquariums are one of the more common types used by owners. There is a choice between a plate and tempered glass. Tempered glass is a strong lightweight glass.

The disadvantage of tempered glass is that it shatters into pieces. In contrast, plate glass is thicker and heavier. It also does not break into pieces; instead, it cracks while still keeping its shape.

Acrylic tanks are lighter than glass aquariums. If you have to move aquariums around the house, it is recommended that you use an acrylic tank. There are also more shapes to choose from. However, acrylic tanks are more expensive than glass.

Plastic tanks usually come in half-gallon to 8-gallon capacities. Usually, plastic tanks are used if you only have one small fish. These are usually inexpensive to buy and great for first-time aquarium owners.

  • Tetra 20 Gallon Aquarium Kit

The Tetra 20 Gallon Aquarium Kit is made of scratch resistant glass and comes with a LED hood and a Whisper filter which provides a powerful and dependable water flow. It also includes a Tetra Mini UL heater, as well as two artificial plant multipacks and a plant mat.

This is a great way to start for a beginner, and can also be used by an experienced hobbyist. The LED provides professional looking lights with natural daytime effects. The heater keeps the water at the right temperature for your fish. The Tetra 20 Gallon also comes with a digital thermometer.

  • Deep Blue Acrylic Professional ADB11005 Standard Aquarium Tank

The Deep Blue Acrylic Professional ADB11005 Standard Aquarium Tank is a standard 5-Gallon made from thick distortion-free material.

It features universally-sized injection molded frames, with an industrial strength black seal, an industrial diamond polish edges with tempered glass technology.

It measures 16-inch x 8-inch x 10 inch. It is ideal for both seawater and marine fishes. It also has black injection-molded frames and seals. Glass canopy is an optional component.

  • Aquarium Tank, Glass, 20 Gallons from Carolina Biological Supply

Carolina Biological Supply, started in 1927, has grown to become an authority and leading supplier of science teaching materials. Working with educators and scientists, you know the products they produce are of the highest quality.

The 20-gal aquarium tank from Carolina Biological Supply has and all-glass construction. It uses triple-strength, clear glass sides, and bottom. These are welded together with silicone rubber.

This aquarium tank was designed to be strong and leakproof and is expected to last for years. It is also nonreactive with seawater.

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Aquascape Filter

Aquarium filters are meant to clean the water. This should be placed near the water pump or under the sand and gravel. For aquascaping purposes, choose one which can be hidden behind or under the aquascaping plants or rocks.

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions concerning the filter before you set up the tanks. One good tip is to place the heater in a way that it maximizes output. It is recommended to be always near the source of water circulation like filter outlet or the air stone.

Different Kinds of Aquarium Filters

There are three kinds of aquarium filters: mechanical, chemical and biological filters. Mechanical filters force water through a filter media to extract solids and particulates from the water. Chemical filters extract toxic chemicals through a resin type media.

Some chemical filters are designed to extract specific chemicals or excessive nutrients from the water. Biological filters are designed to aid in the breakdown of different bacteria. This helps prevent ammonia from building up in the water.

  • Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter

The Tetra Whisper EX Power Filter is designed for aquariums of up to 70-gallon in capacity. It uses two large Whisper EX carbon filters. It also has the Tetra Timestrip technology. This was designed to simplify cleaning the aquarium.

It keeps the water clean, resulting in healthy plants and fishes. It has an easy access door that allows changing the filter cartridges without directly holding them. It includes a submerged motor which also requires less maintenance compared to other filters. For added convenience, the Timestrips tell you when it is time to change the filters. The white Timestrips turn to red when it is time to replace them.

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  • Marineland Penguin Power Filter

The Marineland Penguin Power Filter is for aquariums of up to 70-gallon capacity. It uses two Rite-Size C” filter cartridges, included in the package.

Designed for three-stage mechanical, chemical and biological filtration. The Marineland Penguin Power Filter comes in four sizes for 20-70 gallon aquariums.

With easily replaceable cartridges, it affords ease of maintenance and simple filter replacement procedure. Fish waste and leftover food are easily cleaned by the filter preventing accumulation of dirt and debris.

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  • Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter

The Aqua-Tech Power Aquarium Filter was designed for 5 to 15-gallon aquariums. With an advanced 3-stage filtration, it traps dirt and impurities, it affords maximum water to carbon contact to filter for particulates, biologicals and toxic chemicals. This is easy to use and maintain, and comes with AQUA Tech EZ-Change Filter Cartridges.

The first stage is mechanical, with the polyfiber pad screening out dirt and debris as the water flows through. The second stage is chemical and uses carbon to remove dissolved waste and clears odors and the third phase is biological, providing ideal environments for good bacteria to grow and eliminate ammonia and nitrites, which are harmful for fish.

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Aquascape Lighting

Lighting is another thing you must consider when creating the aquascape of your tank. The lighting can also contribute to the overall health and well-being of the fishes. Some lighting can be too hot or emits too much light that can harm your fish. Consult with your vet about lighting and effects you can add.

Different Kinds of Aquarium Lighting

There are different kinds of lighting for aquariums. These include standard fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent lights, metal halides, and LEDs. The color temperature can also vary.

  • 50/50 Actinic White bulbs which emit a bluish light recreating marine light conditions.
  • Color enhancing bulbs allow for the light to be warmer which is ideal for fish-only fresh and saltwater aquariums.
  • Full spectrum daylight bulbs can be used for all types of fresh and saltwater aquariums.
  • Actinic bulbs stimulate the plant growth. The peak light comes from the red and blue regions of the spectrum and allows for improved photosynthetic activity.
  • High-intensity bulbs are used in conjunction with actinic bulbs to simulate deep marine light conditions.

The following are the three of the most popular aquarium lights.

Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light with Extendable Brackets, White and Blue LEDs

The Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, Fish Tank Light with Extendable Brackets, White and Blue LEDs is a super-bright aquarium lighting that produce an amazing shimmer.

It has two lighting modes, White & Blue light for daytime and Blue light for nighttime lighting. Brilliant yet energy efficient due to the use of LED. The two settings are done with the use of 30 white and 6 blue LEDs.

This light is very affordable and offers a one year limited warranty.

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Mingdak® LED Aquarium Light Kit for Fish Tank,underwater Submersible Crystal Glass Lights Suitable for Saltwater and Freshwater,18 Leds,7.5-inch,lighting Color Blue

The Mingdak® LED Aquarium Light Kit is a powerful, yet simple accessory for your aquarium.

Perfect for night viewing and creates a nice cool blue glow inside your aquascaping aquarium. Perfect way to create that deep water illusion.

With safe low voltage LED lights, this lighting kit is safe, reliable and designed for both performance and longevity. With over 100 reviews and a high 4.5 star user rating, this light should be definitely considered.

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Amzdeal Aquarium Fish Tank Light 30 LED Waterproof with US Plug

The Amzdeal Aquarium Fish Tank Light 30 LED Waterproof is a fully-submersible underwater aquarium light. It uses high quality LED lights with energy efficient high output.

It can be placed on top of the tank or at the bottom with the use of suction cups. It can be used in a wide variety of aquariums.

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Aquascaping Tools

Aquascaping involves a lot of work around underwater plants in a fish tank full of water. You must have the right tools and equipment in order to efficiently create your work of art. The essential tools you need are packed in kits and sold separately. Each component is just as important as the others. Aquascaping equipment includes siphons or water changers, tongs, scissors, algae scrapers, and gloves.

Different Kinds of Aquarium Tools

There are a variety of tools to choose from. If you’re just starting out then buying a bundle can save you time and money. We have compiled a list below of some of the most popular tools you can find today.

Co-link Long Stainless Steel Aquarium Tank Aquatic Plant Tongs Scissors Tools for Fish Tank Plants

The Co-link Long Stainless Steel Aquarium Tank Aquatic Plant Tongs Scissors Tools is a set of forged stainless steel material which will never rust. It is flexible and durable.

The tools are designed to be curved to enable the user to be able to reach otherwise unreachable nooks and crannies.

The tongs have specially designed clip ends which will not harm your aquarium plants. The set includes curved tweezers, straight tweezer, and tank scissors.

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Signstek Stainless Steel Aquarium Tank Aquatic Plant Tweezers Scissor spatula Tool Set Aquariums & Fish Starter Kits

The Signstek Stainless Steel Aquarium Tank Tool Set for Aquariums is a set of high-quality professional aquarium plant and fish tank tools. Made of stainless steel with excellent flexibility and designed to never rust.

The tools provide an easy and convenient operation. It serves as the best utensil for handling young aquarium plants. The set consists of 1 straight tweezers, 1 curved tweezers, 1 straight scissors, 1 curved scissors, 1 spatula and 1 case.

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KollerCraft TOM Aquatic Gardener Multi-Tool

The KollerCraft TOM Aquatic Gardener Multi-Tool is a single tool with interchangeable attachments for easy aquarium maintenance.

It has an ergonomic grip lever that makes it easy to manipulate the attachments scissors and tongs. The attachment can be used to hold aquarium plants for planting or to pick up small objects.

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Aquascape Aquarium Kits

Aquascaping is becoming one of the popular hobbies of a lot of people nowadays. It a special type of art which involves combining rocks, stones, water plants, sand, and driftwood to create wonderful landscapes inside an aquarium.

Using a little art and creativity, you can create wonderful seascapes that are truly eye-catching and wonderful to behold.

Aquascapes are enchanting displays of art. They are picturesque representations of underwater landscapes. They can liven up the atmosphere of any home. These serves as the highlight of the interiors of a hotel, shopping mall or a public aquarium.

If you are just starting to learn how to Aquascape, you have to do some research on the right materials and plants to create your first masterpiece. You can learn from experts by reading their blogs and articles on the internet.

You can experiment with combining different kinds of materials and plants until you achieve the kind of look you want for your Aquascape. A unique design is a true work of art so don’t be afraid to go thru some trial and error.

Below is a selection of the different aquarium kits to make aquascaping a breeze. We have already sorted out the best among the rest to make it easy for you to begin your craft.

Different Kinds Beginner of Kits

If you are new to owning an aquarium or aquascaping then the idea of purchasing a kit with everything included is very appealing. This is how a lot of people start out and for good reason. We have listed a few different options when it comes to starter kits.

Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium, 1.1-Gallon

The Tetra LED Half Moon Betta Aquarium, 1.1-Gallon has a small size — perfect in any room or on a desktop. You can also take advantage of this tank which has ample room for a Betta. Its tank has a LED light which you can place below or above.

This is a small tank that is only big enough for one betta. With that in mind some amazing aquascapes have been created in small mini sized tanks so this is not to be under estimated!

Perfect for beginners as the initial cost to get started is very low!

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Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit, 5-Gallon

This portrait kit weighs five gallons and has a curved glass. Aquascapers can enjoy its 3-stage hidden filtration with a Rite-Size Z Cartridge, an adjustable flow filter pump, and its Bio-Foam.

For easy access to the tank, you can take advantage of the hinged blue and bright white energy-efficient LED light too.

What’s more is that you can take a look at the sunlight’s underwater effect, brought about by its white LEDs. For a view of the moonlight’s glow, switch to the blue LEDs.

The Marineland ML90609 Portrait Aquarium Kit is very popular and highly rated.

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API Panaview Aquarium Kit with LED Lighting and Power Filter, 5-Gallon

This aquarium kit can be your perfect aquarium kit, most especially with its design (for easier setting up). Make your aquascaping adventure more fun by taking advantage of its features: from the filtration and lighting already available upon purchase.

Enjoy seven vibrant colors of LED lighting: white, red, purple, green, blue, amber, and aqua. Reasonably priced, you can already have the kit of your dreams.

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Other Aquarium Supplies You May be Interested In

There are several other aquarium supplies I would recommend that you purchase that may not be included in the list. There is the Dettol Soap skin care which is a must buy because it’s a specialty soap that you can use to effectively sanitize and scrub your hands from any infectious materials or bacteria.

You should also invest in water filters which you will have to constantly change to ensure that the water in the fish tank is clean and safe for your underwater fish and flora. Also, buy the necessary water test kits and chemicals to help you keep the right balance of oxygen and nutrients in the water.

It may seem a never ending list of essentials that you need to buy but you do need to invest in the necessary materials and equipment to make sure your underwater scenery is in top shape. You will enjoy the benefits of your hard work and your masterpiece will be viewed and admired for a very long time.

Aquascaping Plants

If you are maintaining a particular temperature for your aquarium, be careful with the plants you choose. If some of the plants are slow growing, algae will rampantly grow on their leaves. The condition of the water is very vital. If you maintain hard water in your tank, you cannot use soft water plants.

The growth pattern of plants can vary; some will grow tall and occupy too much space. If you want to use them, have a big aquarium and provide ample space for your fish to swim.

Aquarium Moss

Depending on the desired style you are replicating, moss can be a wonderful addition to your aquascaping project. We share a few different varieties for you to consider.

  • Underwater Treasures53601 Floating Moss with Roots

This ornamental and artificial underwater plant is easy and convenient to use when making your Aquascape. It is made in china. You don’t have to worry about its maintenance because it just made of durable and high-grade plastic. It is safe to use in saltwater or freshwater tanks.

The design of the ornament makes a wonderful addition to any underwater layout. Its lifelike movement as it goes with the flow of the water makes it look like a real live plant. The moss is made of vivid colors and simulates the texture of real moss.

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  • Luffy Giant Marimos

The giant Marimos adds an interesting dimension to your water tank or aquarium. It is actually a live moss plant that is manufactured to look like a big round green ball. It works by dipping it into the water. It must have enough exposure to sunlight or ample light source in order to maintain its lush green appearance.

Since it is a natural product, it has to be well maintained with the right amount of oxygen and light. These are easy to position anywhere in the tank and comes in different shades of green. Once you receive the product, you have to wash then squeeze them correctly before placing them in the tank.

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  • Moss Wall Mesh Kit

If the layout you designed needs the entire backdrop covered with moss then this is the perfect product for you. Once you buy this kit, all you need is to install it in the tank. The product is 2 whole mesh plates fastened together by cable ties to make it a sturdy looking wall you can attach to the backside of the tank.

It creates a dramatic and lush green carpet of real moss. This product makes it convenient for you to grow your foliage. Because it is easy to detach and relocate, you can practically make a lot of design layouts with it.

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Aquarium Grasses

Grasses can add a beautiful texture to your design and come in a range of varieties. We explore some of your options below.

  • Uxcell Fish Tank Artificial Plant/Grass, 18.5 inch, Hot Pink/Green

This wonderful ornament adds a splash of color into your seascape. It can serve as your focal point with its contrasting colors of hot pink and green to the background.

It has tiny leaves attached to its long slender stems. Although it is artificial, it was made to be so life like that it gently sways with the water.

Tall, colored grass like this makes your seascape more eye catching. It is made of plastic and ceramic so it is durable and long lasting. The plant is easy to maintain and blends well with other foliage. It is easy to plant and relocate.

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  • Uxcell Aquarium Manmade Underwater Grass/Plant

This artificial aquarium plant is made of ceramic and plastic which makes it durable to use and long-lasting. This man-made version of the sea grass is such a best seller you will find it in most seascapes. The blades of the grass reach various lengths of 3.3 inches to 5.1”. This feature adds the natural looking dimension to your seascape.

The base is sturdy and easy to install so it won’t be hard for you to plant it firmly in the sand. It looks very real it will blend in easily with both natural and artificial foliage. The tiny leaves are clustered together like pieces of lace on long, tall stems making it a very attractive and unique ornament that complements any seascape design.

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  • Giant Hairgrass Eleocharis Vivipara Live Freshwater Plants Java Moss Baby Tears

It is rare that you will find live plants on the internet and this is one those products. The tall blades of grass are real so this will require some gardening maintenance in the future.

The grass strives in freshwater tanks and can grow to lengths way above water. The long ends tend to stoop down creating a cascading waterfall effect inside the aquarium.

This type of grass is great to use when you want to make an Aquascape of the sea bottom or a simulated underwater landscape showing the side of a cliff or mountain or even a riverbank.

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Aquarium Flowers

Are you looking to add some color to your aquascaping project? Flowers can do just that. We explore some of the options you have available to you.

  • Jardin Aquascaping Underwater Silicone Grass Ornament for Fish Tank, Green

This amazing cluster of greens look so real it makes a perfect ornament in your fish tank. The material used in this artificial plant is a combination of ceramic and silicone. Both materials are very durable and reliable to last for a long time underwater.

This ornamental plant looks like a hand full of green long blades with feather looking fingers that look very pretty as they dance under water. This ornament is perfect to use in combination with tall stemmed grass and would make a perfect fish hiding place as well. You don’t have to worry too much about its maintenance because it is artificial.

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  • IROCH Freshwater Multicolor suction cup Artificial Colorful Plastic Underwater Plants

Pretty looking plants like this are very rare and hard to find. It’s a good thing that there are artificial versions made like this that makes it easily accessible and easier to maintain. The ornament is a representation of a cluster of stems and leaves that are a vibrant combination of green and violet.

The leaves are shaped like suction cups which gives it’s a unique form and texture. This ornament is perfect to be placed off-center in the tank where it can serve as the focal point of your design. Though this plant is low in height, it definitely is a delightful complement to your beautiful scenery.

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  • Uxcell Plastic Aquarium Aquascaping Underwater Lotus Plants

Adding water plants to your seascape gives that relaxing vibe to your layout. It makes any greenery look alive and natural. It also adds a splash of color especially if the overall background is in green. If you choose this Lotus plant it is a wonderful contrast that surely stands out.

The Lotus flower is a burst of colors in pink, white and beige set against leafy green stems and slim leaves. The material used in creating this artificial beauty is plastic, ceramic and nylon. Its lifelike appeal makes it blend naturally to the surroundings. It creates a wonderful focal point in your aquarium that is just impossible to miss!

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Aquascaping Rocks (Hardscape)

Just like building a home, aquascaping has to have solid foundations. Without considering such, you might regret not having done so. Even if your designs are already superb, weak foundations can cause the downfall of your aquascape. With this, you need to take note of hardscaping or the ‘bones’of your aquascape. Think about how and where your hardscaping will rise as well as what it will offer supprot to.

Thinking about the best rock style that goes with your aquascaping plan? Consider your taste as you select one. You might want to take a look at the Stonehenge, Easter Island, and Japanese styles. Some look into natural scenes and forms, while others want those that resemble water forms. Below are some suggested hardscapes for your choosing.

Ohko Stone

This Aquascape kit is perfect for a beginner who wants to make their first Iwagumi. It comes in a set of 3 stones in different sizes but of the same texture and material. The kit contains 2 small stones measuring 1” and 3” and a medium stone in 3” to 4”.

The texture of the rocks look like dragon scales and has a distinct brownish green colouring. It is actually very light in weight, unlike other aquarium stones. Each kit comes with 3 stones that are never the same.

This hardscape creates a striking accent even with the simplicity of an Iwagumi layout.

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Aquarium Red Lava Rock Moss Plant Reef Rock Cichlid Cave All water type safe, 10 stones

This Aquascape kit is a package of 10 pieces of exotic red lava rocks that comes in a variety of sizes. It is perfect to use if you had a rocky terrain in mind for a seascape layout. The sizes of the rocks range from 2 inches up to 7 inches.

You can use the rocks to anchor your exotic plants or make little hideaway caves for your fish livestock. The rocks are all natural and safe to use in all types of water. Natural lava rock is popular for its reddish color, porous texture and one of a kind characteristics.

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Seiryu Stone

The Seiryu Stone is one of the most commonly used hardscapes that you will see in a lot of underwater landscaping designs. It adds a natural, rough looking flair to your fish tank bottom. With this kit, you will receive a mixture of 10 pounds of natural stones in different sizes. The stones are handpicked so you don’t get the same size and measure of stones in every kit. The stones are safe to use in any water tank.

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Aquascaping Books

Aquascaping books are very helpful especially if it is your first time to create an underwater landscape. It gives you the right education on how to start and sustain your craft. You will learn various designs and techniques from experts in the art of Aquascaping. From learning, you can use that as a springboard to create your own techniques and underwater layouts.

It is fun to experiment and go thru the trial and error process when making your first Aquascape. But reading a lot of information on how to do things right and buy the proper equipment will definitely save you time and money.

You can get all the information by reading Aquascaping books. Sure you can search all you need to know over the internet. But nothing beats a book when you need more comprehensive information and references that you can go back to and read at any time.

Books on Designs and Styles

  • Nature Aquarium: Complete works 1985-2009 by Takashi Amano

If you would want to know about the most breath-taking and innovative seascape designs then learn from the best, read this book! The author Takashi Amano is a popular Japanese aquascaper combined his greatest artworks in this book.

The pictures are very vivid and inspiring. He will also teach you the various techniques in detail thru his step by step instructions. He teaches you the art of choosing the right fish and plants plus valuable advice on water chemistry and aquarium maintenance. Once you learn from this master, you will be able to create techniques and designs of your own.

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Books on Underwater Plants

  • Aquarium Plants Hardcover by Christel Kasselman

If you want to know the right kind of plants and the perfect combination that goes with it, then this is the book that you should read.

Not all plants are the same and can strive in the same water. So by reading this book, you will be making better decisions in terms of plant choices and aquarium maintenance.

The author teaches you the basic principles of taking care of plants. From choosing the right plants, planting and gardening, to providing the right lighting by using the right lamps, maintaining water temperature.

Everything and anything you want to know about underwater gardening is in this book.

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Book on How to Create and Maintain Aquascapes

  • Planted Aquariums: Creation and Maintenance by Christel Kasselmann

If you want hands-on instructions from a guru of Aquascaping, then you should absolutely buy this book.

From creating an Aquascape to its sustaining maintenance, the author Christel Kasselman will give you all the detailed instructions as if she is personally walking you thru each and every step of the way.

There is a special chapter in the book where she focused on Dutch style and Japanese fish tanks that can truly inspire and stir your creative juices within.

The book is so complete with information that any beginner will be able to maintain a basic tank or a complicated one.

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