Aquascaping Design Ideas to Try in 2018

Aquascaping Design Ideas to Try in 2018

You already know many things about Aquascaping. You know what Aquascaping is, the best books to read, as well as some of the best techniques that can help you build your tank better. You’ve read stories about Takashi Amano, the Father of Aquascaping, and you’ve probably interacted with a number of his styles in the aquarium art.

But here’s a quick reminder:

There are many Aquascaping design ideas that you have not tried yet. And it would best if we looked at them. The following is a list of the top three aquarium design ideas that you should try in 2018.

The Aquarium Store Depot includes the Japanese Style on its list of the top aquarium designs. And I am certain this is a design that you have not tried before. The Japanese style mimics the natural environment using plants and stones.

The Natural Japanese Aquarium Style

This style tends to use colourful plants with small leaves and moss, to create a minimalist look, and it doesn’t completely cover the floor of the tank. This is a style of aquascaping which would traditionally include fish in the tank to add to the aesthetic, but with a limited number of different species.

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If you choose to implement this technique, what you will be doing is creating a small underwater garden using a well-planned Aquascaping strategy.

Have you ever thought about creating a CO2-free aquarium tank? We know this sounds awkward because plants need Carbon Dioxide to survive. But Home Aquaria shows it’s a great design idea that many aquarists haven’t tried before.

Opt for Non CO2 Planted Tanks

Low light plants will grow in an aquarium with no additional CO2 but will grow at an even slower rate. Many plants require high light to flourish in an aquarium and again it is recommended that you read up as these does require higher maintenance than your ordinary tank.

To get very bright lighting you can use metal halide but caution they can very hot. Alternatively, you could use T5 fluorescent bulbs which are smaller than the original fluorescents and can distribute light better and evenly.

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It doesn’t mean the tank won’t have any traces of CO2. Rather, it means creating an aquarium that does not have additional Carbon Dioxide.

If you have never tried the walstad method, you might want to consider it. The Aquarium Guide doesn’t grade it as an award-winning kind of design, but it does take the cake for having an appealing layout.

Try the Walstad Method

You’re not likely to find this style winning any Aquascaping awards, though it is a very visually appealing layout.That’s because the goal isn’t necessarily winning beauty awards, but recreating a completely natural situation.Where this differs from nature aquariums and biotopes is its completely random placement of hardscape and plants. This is to simulate the way things are naturally in nature, instead of placing for optimal beauty.

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The best thing about a walstad tank is that it does not require a lot of resources to set up. In other words, it is a budget-friendly setup. So you can set it up with only a few bucks.

Final Words

I bet we all want to make aquariums that stand out. As such, it is best to combine a couple of these styles to create an amazing aquarium for yourself. And remember, you creativity is only limited to your imagination.

The benefits of Aquascaping Plants

The benefits of Aquascaping Plants

What first comes to your mind when you look at an aquarium? For most people, the size and design of the tank isn’t often the first thing that grabs attention. Instead, it’s the plants and animals in the water. Plants aren’t just decorations that make an aquatic environment exotic. And if you have been treating them that way then there is one more thing that you have forgotten: the benefits.

An article published on Aquarium Info shows that plants aren’t just used to balance the water environment in the sense of putting them together with plants and other objects. They also help in reducing algae.

Plants Can Help Reduce Algae in Aquarium

Growth of algae in the aquarium can be both irritating and relentless. Aquatic plants have the benefit of competing with the algae for key nutrients. These nutrients (Iron, Nitrates, Potassium & Trace Elements) are key to all plant growth in the aquarium. By adding plants that consume these nutrients from the water column it is possible for the plants to starve the algae.

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We know for a fact that algae is an unwanted plant. And that means we have no reason to let them thrive in the aquarium tank. The best way to control the algae is to ensure the tank has plants.

An aquarium with fish but without plant isn’t quite balanced. Home Aquaria states that animals like fish are very territorial, which means they are highly likely to do well in areas that have aquatic plants. 

Aquatic Plants Create Home for Water Animals

Sometimes certain species of fish can be very territorial. Plants allow different species of livestock to coexist by providing cover and protection. Some types of fish even breed and lay eggs on the leaves of the plants. With the presence of plants, the ratio of number of fish per gallon is greatly increased.

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If you are wondering whether to include fish-friendly plants in the tank, this would be the best time to start doing so.

The Aquarium Guide gives another good reason why Aquascaping plants are important. According to the author, the plants make a great source of food for the fish in your aquarium. By including them, your fish can have food to eat in the event that you have forgotten to feed them.

Plants Are Additional Source of Food

Do not worry; your fish will not devour your real plants in a few weeks. You feed them every day and they seem happy with this,but what if you forget to feed them for a few days? This situation occurs occasionally and real plants can be their salvation.

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Of course, the fish won’t consume all the plants. And most of the time they won’t even be interested. But since they are omnivores, they will need to eat plants once in a while, a good reason to have plants in your aquarium.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, natural plants have many health advantages. They are not like plastic plants. Plastic plants aren’t a good source of food for fish, they don’t create a good animal environment either. With real aquatic plants, you create a real natural environment.

The Dos and Don’ts of Aquascaping

The Dos and Don’ts of Aquascaping

Aquascaping is an art that’s limited only to your thoughts and imagination. Besides using existing styles to create an aquarium for home, you can also improve the design patterns that are already out there. As you continue to embrace the art of Aquascaping, it is important to learn important dos and don’ts to help you create an aquarium that stands out. Whether you plan to design an aquarium for home, office, or for sale, here are the most important dos and don’ts of Aquascaping to keep in mind.

Light is one of the most important elements for a perfect aquarium. According to Tetra Fish, it is important to have the right kind of light in your tank. Also, you need to make sure that the temperature in the tank is in the right range.

Do Proper Heating and Lighting

Maintain the right aquarium temperature with the easy-to-set Whisper® Submersible Heater. To make temperature reading easy, consider purchasing an adhesive temperature strip that can be applied to the outside of your aquarium glass. They are inexpensive and available at your local fish retailer. Fluorescent lighting has been the traditional light source and is readily available; however, consider LED lighting, which is more cost-effective to operate and lasts longer than traditional light sources.

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Florescent light is the most common form of light in most tanks. But you aren’t limited to the type of light you can use to light up the aquarium. Experts even suggest that it would be great if you consider LED light.

Did you know that many aquarists don’t really change water in their tanks for a very long time? And that’s not really a sound approach to building and maintaining an aquarium. As stated by Aquatic Eden, you need to be changing the water regularly. 

Change 30% to 50% of the Water Every Week

Do change 30-50% of the aquarium’s water every 1-2 weeks. This is variable based on fish load and filtration, but not on the aquarium’s size. From 1 gallon to 100 gallons, 30-50% is a good rule of thumb. This removes all the toxins and excess nutrients that build up in the water.

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If you have not been changing the water in your tank, it might take awhile before you get used to changing such a larger percentage of water. But you can be sure it is for the good of your tank.

One of the most common mistakes that many beginners make is overstocking their tanks. Unless you don’t your aquarium to support life the right way, Reef Tank suggests that you should be as meticulous as possible when stocking the tank.

Never Overstock Your Tank

Don’t overstock you tank. This is also one of the most common mistakes for beginners. Tanks can only successfully support a certain amount of life in them and this is based upon a number of factors. Some of these are volume, surface area, aeration, circulation, filtration (mechanical and biological), maturity, quantity and frequency of water changes, flow, number of fish and inverts etc etc. It is better to start slow and small and build your way up. Talk to your local marine aquarium retailer for advice on stocking levels.

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Even from your own point of view, it does appear that overstocking your tank won’t even make sense. One of the golden rules that stand as far as Aquascaping goes is less is always more.

Final Thoughts

There are other dos and don’ts that we haven’t covered, but you can find them in the references that we have provided in each section. These rules will help you create an aquarium that not only has the right balance of resources, but also one that lasts for a very long time.

The Most Common Aquascaping Mistakes Aquarists Make

The Most Common Aquascaping Mistakes Aquarists Make

Aquascaping is fun, right? It’s even more interesting if you can create something a lot more similar to Takashi Amano’s projects; or, perhaps, something even better. Yet, in the process of aquarium design, mistakes are bound to happen. And this can only mean one thing: your project is highly likely to break down. So, what are some of the most common Aquascaping mistakes that many people make? Let’s have a look:

One of the things aquarists are always enthusiastic about is the overpopulation of aquariums. It feels great to see your tank full of green plants (natural or otherwise), and fish moving thereabout. But Richard YK Goh advises against this.

Mistake #1: Overcrowding the Aquarium

When you set up a new aquarium, introduce only a few fish between several weeks or even between months if possible. Select the smallest fish possible and build a community around small school of fish and perhaps one or two showcase fish of your choice and modest group of bottom cleaners such as algae eating fish.

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You do not want to overpopulate your tank, to be honest. At the end of the day, you want to maintain the quality of water in the aquarium. And, you want to make your tank look its best; not overcrowded.

Many beginners to Aquascaping fail to put the wrong plants in their tanks. As Aquascaper puts it, they buy the wrong plants. That means buying plants without really evaluating them and expecting them to do well in the tank.

Mistake #2: Going After Any Plant

As a beginner, Aquascaper sometimes we only buy plants that look nice without regard for plants like what we buy, the leaves are red or pink and others. Even we forget to pay attention to the needs of just about any plant, whether requiring low light, medium light or even high light. We also must not pay attention to whether the plants need CO2 injection or not.

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There is no such thing as any plant can do. If you include the wrong plants, the whole damn thing will crumble. So, do your research first, and then make sure you pick the right plants depending on your findings.

Many beginners have been fooled to believe that the light sold with an aquarium is all that’s required.  This is what Aquatic Eden assumes to be a fat lie. And it’s something you want to avoid, to say the least.

Mistake #3: Light Sold with Aquarium is Sufficient

The most critical element needed to grow live plants is light. Plants need light to photosynthesize, and without it, they may last a few days or a few weeks on their energy reserves, but eventually they will die. Many people are also mislead by bad advice into believing that the light that is sold with aquariums is adequate. The standard lighting that comes with an aquarium will typically only grow Java Moss and maybe Java Ferns and very poorly at that. If you like ugly, lanky, unhealthy plants go ahead and try it.

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The problem is if you depend on the light sold with an aquarium, your plants will last a few days, most likely a couple of weeks, and then die.

Final Thoughts

Beginners aren’t the only ones susceptible to making these mistakes. Even experience Aquarists break the rules of the game sometimes and play by their own until they realize it is too late. Trust me; you do not want to make the mistakes we’ve mentioned here. They aren’t just silly; they are a total waste of time, too.

The Uniqueness of an Aquarium with Artificial Plants

The Uniqueness of an Aquarium with Artificial Plants

Aquascaping is all about creativity. Sometimes it is a mix of imaginations and ideas. Sometimes it is a combination of the three. The ultimate goal is to create an aquarium that truly stands out. Have you ever looked at the sample projects of the Father of Aquascaping, Takashi Amano, and wondered how he did it? It was a combination of hard work, ideas, imagination, and creativity.

One of the most popular aquarium projects that you may want to set up is an aquarium with artificial plants. This might take quite some time to set up. And, it can be either simple or complex depending on your skills.

Practical Fish Keeping describes an aquarium with artificial plants as a project that really stands out. If you think of it, it is something you do not just want to check out. It is a whole new concept that you might want to try.

Plastic Plants in Aquascaping: Do They Really Have any Benefit?

Plastic plants may be rubbished by some purists and, if I’m going down the biotope route, I will of course try to use natural products wherever possible. However, artificial plants definitely have their place, not just with beginners but more seasoned aquarists too.They aren’t fussy about water either, so can be used to great effect with no detriment to water conditions. They’re easy to clean too, meaning a simple wipe with an algae pad, brush or spray with the shower head will remove any algae and detritus, and make them look as good as new again.

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Let’s summarize the point this way:  an artificial aquarium is something every onlooker will fall in love with right on the first sight. It attracts a kind of an obsession that’s not so quite common for ordinary aquariums.

Besides attracting attention, artificial plant aquariums are both flexible and easy to maintain. Foster Smith agrees natural aquariums are detailed and real. But they are quite complex to maintain. Artificial plant aquariums are the exact opposite.

The Flexibility of Aquariums with Artificial Plants

Artificial plants are now available in fresh and saltwater species, plastic or “silk-like” construction, and a range of colors and sizes for foreground, mid-ground, and background planting. The use of artificial plants is now limited only by your preferences and your imagination.Artificial plants arrive essentially ready to use. You need only place them in your desired location. Simply rinse them prior to installing them in your aquarium. If you wish, you can also soak plants in warm water (to relax the fabric and give them an even more realistic look) for 15-30 minutes prior to placement.

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A flexible aquarium is, of course, easy to manage. The fact that your creation is limited only to your imagination, creativity, and preferences means that you can use artificial plants in so many different ways.

Let’s be honest. Setting up an aquarium with real plants is downright hectic. That’s because it is both expensive and time-consuming. Maybe you are not interested in an aquarium with artificial plant because you think they don’t look life-like, but Home Aquaria states that they really look great.

Planted Aquarium Cost Less and Looks Life-Like

Silk versions of live plants are almost indistinguishable from the live plants themselves- sometimes they look better- and cost less because additional equipment is required to run a tank with live plants. Most planted aquariums require fertilizers, carbon dioxide and strong flourescent lighting, (which additionally is unpleasant for residential or office lighting and can even trigger migraines in guests or clients.)

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The one thing about natural plants is they require strong lighting, artificial fertilizers, as well as carbon dioxide. These aren’t just toxic to plants; they are also not as friendly to the environment as natural fertilizers are.

Final Thoughts

The most important takeaway is this: there is no right or wrong way to set up your aquarium. In fact, the kind of an aquarium that you can design is only limited to your thoughts and imagination. Right now, try and experiment with the concept of aquarium with artificial plants.

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