Are You New to Aquascaping? These Ideas Should Get You Started

Are You New to Aquascaping? These Ideas Should Get You Started

If there is one thing that is for sure, it is that Aquascaping is all about being as creative as you can possibly get. It is an artificial marine life of a kind, and what you make it look is only limited to your skills, imagination, and inspiration. For beginners, this art can feel like an uphill task. But as long as you can build a fish tank design and fill it up with water, building the tank into an aquarium, while not a walk in the park, shouldn’t be difficult.

Perhaps the most important technique beginners need to master is the art of keeping the fish tank as simple as possible. Current USA is not the only blog that supports the idea of less is more. And it is best to keep it that way.

Use the KISS Rule, Because Less is More

Less is more – keep it simple! Not overcrowding the tank is essential for your fish’s health. Though many species of fish enjoy, or even require, some plant growth in their habitats, too much of it is never a good thing. (The natural habitats most aquarium fish are found in tend to have only a couple types of plants or rocks. Using too many different types or colors of artificial plants will make the aquascape fake looking and not very realistic.)

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Overcrowding a fish tank doesn’t make it look good. That’s because it destroys fish health and the aquarium as a whole. To make a fish tank stand out, it is best if you keep it simple. 

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes new aquarists make is failing to do plant and fish research. If you would like to step the right food forward, Fish Lore recommends doing your research first.

Don’t Forget to Research Fish and Animals

Ideally, you should research and decide on the fish and any other animals you want to keep before you even buy a tank. Many freshwater hobbyists think the common pleco is a cool fish to have and indeed it is. But, the common pleco really has no place in a tank smaller than 55 gallons as adults.

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If you fail to do research, you won’t even have a clue on what you are doing. Conducting a research is important because it enables you to have the right plants and fish in the fish tank.

One thing that aquarists rarely do is to balance life and death in a fish tank. But Wet Web Media suggests that’s a good idea to use this approach to create an outstanding aquarium.

Try to Balance Life and Death in the Fish Tank

As aquarists, we’re drawn to healthy-looking fish and plants, but death and decay are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems. While I’m not advocating dumping a bunch of dead fish in your tank, you can still try to evoke a sense that the natural cycle of life and death is going on in the background. Empty snail shells, for example, can work very well for this, as will a judiciously placed bogwood root.

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It is not really a must to use this approach. But there is really nothing wrong with evoking the natural cycle of life in a fish tank.


Now that you have learned some cool aquarium techniques, it is best to put them into practice to see what you get. As with everything in life, building a perfect aquarium requires patience, hard work, and consistent practice.

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.

Aquascaping Like a Pro: Handy Tips for Beginners

Aquascaping Like a Pro: Handy Tips for Beginners

Up until now, you have been taught that Aquascaping is an art that, if perfected, can replicate the natural world exactly as it is. Moreover, an aquarium with a correct set up always makes a surrounding look great. But Aquascaping like a pro isn’t always a walk in the park. It requires a lot of thinking, a lot of time, and a strong sense of creativity. When you have a grasp on what really matters in aquarium design, you can create a project that your audience will love.

If you want to aquascape like a pro, think outside the box. Wet Web Media has a perfect idea on what thinking outside the box actually looks like. And they have brought the concept out quite well.

Think Outside the Box: Beyond the Obvious

If you aquarium is a slice of reality, then in your mind’s eye you need to imagine the riverbank or lake shore that it’s part of. Trees, sedges, reeds and many other plants may have their roots in the water, but mostly grow above it. Using large pieces of bogwood or bamboo canes it is possible to create the illusion of an ‘outside world’ by letting the tops of these things poke out above the water. Plastic plants attached to the hood or the rim of the tank can be allowed to trail into the water, suggesting a verdant bank of vegetation partially submerged by the water.

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Here is a quick reminder: brainstorming outside the box takes time. And probably you won’t get things right the first time. A little more practice and further brainstorming can help a great deal.

If you want to aquascape like a pro, you need to choose the right design for your project. This is usually a challenging part for beginners. But The Aquarium Guide has some of the best design ideas that you can emulate.

Choosing the Right Design + Cool Examples

When you’re creating an aquarium, the possibilities are limitless. Everything from bare-bottom tanks to densely planted Dutch tanks are perfectly valid styles. However, you’ll probably create a much more appealing result if you’re following a particular aquascaping style. Here are the most common styles you’ll see in aquariums, and some examples of each:

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While it is okay to emulate these designs, you should use them as inspiration. That means that sometimes it is best to use current designs as a guide to brainstorm your own approach.

If you are new to Aquascaping, it is best to start with artificial plants. In fact, Home Aquarium recommends them for beginners because they are quite easy to manage.

Go for Artificial Plants

Some may say that using artificial plants isn’t really considered aquascaping, but I think it’s great for beginners. They can concentrate on keeping the water parameters healthy for their fish with less variables to disturb the ecosystem. Once, they’ve got their basics right they can start experimenting with live plants.

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There are at least two advantages of artificial plants. First, they do not necessarily require certain type of lighting or water parameters. Second, they are very easy to clean.


Thinking outside the box, perfecting your choice of design, and handling artificial plants will definitely take time. What you need as far as Aquascaping goes is the time, patience, and dedication to work on your project until you see results.

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.

What Are the Benefits of Having an Aquarium at Home?

What Are the Benefits of Having an Aquarium at Home?

Aquariums have often been assumed to be items for recreational parks and five-star hotels. Yet, that’s far from the truth. Of course, you won’t likely see an aquarium anywhere in your neighborhood. That’s because people aren’t really used to them. But if you are wondering whether you can have an aquarium at home, the straightforward answer is yes, you can. And, there are many benefits of having a home aquarium.

While it is hard to believe that an aquarium at home can help with anxiety, sturdies by Aquarium Adviser shows that keeping an aquarium at home can reduce stress significantly over time. In fact, this is one of the most important reasons why you should have an aquarium at home.

How Aquariums Help Relieve Stress

This is one of the most important benefits of having an aquarium. Quite a few studies have shown that just by spending a few minutes each day watching those fish in the tank swimming peacefully can significantly reduce one’s stress level.

The fish movement is almost hypnotic. That means after a few minutes of watching, it can put you in a mode similar to mediation. So gazing at the fish swimming is supposed to relax the mind and reduce stress, making your problems seem a little less aggravating.

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Pets are known to somewhat console people. So, they can help you get over a situation when you are having a bad time. In our case, a fish friend is the most suitable companion for you.

Aquariums are good for kids, too. According to Family Share, there are many reasons why you should consider having an aquarium at home. But the most important of all is that it encourages learning on a daily basis.

Home Aquariums Helps a Child to Learn

Guided by their curiosity, children learn not only about different fish species but also about the invisible and micro components of life underwater (like bacteria, microfuana and trace elements).

Children can also learn how to maintain the aquarium. And they can start getting familiar with scientific fields: biology, chemistry and physics. There are even trade skills children could learn in more advanced aquarium-keeping such as plumbing and carpentry.

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An aquarium at home can raise a lot of helpful questions. In fact, questions based on whether fish hear, cry, breathe, or drink water can put a child to a point of looking for answers. Therefore, they learn a lot as they explore all the possibilities to these questions.

Did you also know that keeping an aquarium at home can help to boost your productivity? By reducing your stress levels, says Cure Joy, an aquarium can help you forget your problems, calm you down, and make you feel better at work.

Aquarium Boost Productivity

Keeping an aquarium in your office reduces your blood pressure. It lowers your stress levels, helps you focus better, and can even motivate you to be more creative and productive. It also adds aesthetic value to your work space.

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Because an aquarium can make you feel better at home and at work, it is important to have one. It might be expensive to set up one. But the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Final Thoughts

People always treat fish tanks only as beautiful décor. But they are more than that. Besides brightening any room, they also have therapeutic effect. As such, having an aquarium can help you solve a lot of problems.

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