Aquascaping Tips for a Realistic Aquarium

Aquascaping Tips for a Realistic Aquarium

If you want to build an aquarium that really stands out, you should be ready to learn from the experts. Of course, beginners always struggle to get things done right. And that’s okay. The best thing to remember is there are many tips that can help you become better in Aquascaping.

The first advise many beginners receive from experts liken Wet Web Media is to pay more attention to simplicity, while thinking outside the box.

Designing an Aquarium that Stands Out

Natural habitats tend to be much less diverse, per square foot, than fish tanks. In nature, only a single type of rock will be seen, surrounded perhaps by a bit of mud or sand. It is very improbable that slate, limestone, lava rock, and granite will all be found in the same place. As far as plants go, it is entirely normal for a single species to dominate the entire area. In other words, the most realistic aquarium will use only one type of rock and one type of plant. This works in the aquarists favor: buying plants and rocks in bulk is usually cheaper.

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Many people are always afraid to sue fake plants in their aquarium. But doing so can make your project stand out from the crowd.

Studies by Current USA show that fakes aren’t easy to distinguish from real plants. In fact, some of them look even healthier than usual plants.

Using Fake Plants in Aquarium

Don’t be afraid to use fake plants purchased from a craft store. Silk plants work great! They are nearly indistinguishable from live plants, and sometimes look even better. Use realistic looking plants. Sticking to nature’s green hues will add a more polished and overall healthy look to your tank. Don’t use anything that may break down in water. The items sold in pet stores and aquarium accessory stores are designed be submerged for long periods of time and will not deteriorate or break down, which can cause harmful toxins or chemicals to be released. (How about…”Don’t use anything that may break down in water like preserved or artificial moss type plants which will break down and may cause harmful toxins or chemicals to be released.”)

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At first, using fake plants may seem not to be realistic. Sometimes it won’t sound like a great idea. But using fake plants can make your aquarium look great. Of course, making an aquarium to stand out is the whole point of the project. And using fake plants is a great way to do that.

If your project must stand out, you will need to have a sturdy foundation. Fish Lore teaches that without a proper foundation, your project can be a big mess.

Aquarium Must Have a Strong Foundation

All your Hardscape (Rocks, driftwood) needs a sturdy foundation, or else… Imagine coming home one day to find your 5G a mess of broken glass and Little Jimmy, the Siamese Fighter you invested the last 2 months to now dead and gone, half-dried up in a pool of soggy carpet. The culprit? Not balancing hardscape. We do this by pouring a layer of substrate on the glass bottom of the tank, or using egg crate supports, foam, other rocks, then by setting the stone or wood and moving more substrate around it.

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Many beginners don’t take the foundation of the material they use seriously. But it is important to keep in mind how serious the foundation of an aquarium is. Just like you can’t build a house without a foundation, you can’t design an aquarium that stands out if it does not have a strong foundation.

Final Thoughts

These are just a couple of aquascaping tips for a planted aquarium. And they play an important role in bringing out the real beauty of your project. If you are really into something that stands out, you should take the points we’ve noted in this article seriously.

The Top Aquascaping Styles and Design Ideas to Try in 2017

The Top Aquascaping Styles and Design Ideas to Try in 2017

If you are just getting started with Aquascaping, it’s best if you familiarize yourself with some of the best aquarium designs on the planet. While there are plenty of design and style ideas for aquariums out there, only few of them are worth looking at. In this article, we are going to look at three of the most popular aquascaping designs and style ideas that you can emulate right now.

The first design worth looking at is the Iwagumi style. It may be as old as the Neanderthal man, but it does really stand out. As The Green Machine Online puts it, the design is a commonplace in the Aquascaping world.

The Iwagumi Style: A Design worth Trying

The term Iwagumi was originally used to refer to a Japanese gardening style in which stones were used as the ‘bones’ of the garden, to provide its structure: if the stones are well placed in the garden then the rest of the garden lays itself out. Japanese gardens used stones, shrubs and sand to represent landscapes in miniature, so they could show a mountain scape by using carefully placed stones or represent the ocean or a lake with a pool of raked or unraked sand.

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The Iwagumi style is easy to set up. The guide provided by The Green Machine Online should give you a clear picture on the style as well as why you would want to set the system up.

Iwagumi isn’t the only rocking Aquascaping style to try. The Jungle style could be one of your favorite. Aquascaping Love puts it under the basics category. That means it is so simple that even beginners can try it out. 

The Easiest Aquascaping Design: The Jungle Style

Possibly the easiest aquascaping type to replicate, the Jungle style aquarium represents a real challenge to the inexperienced aquarist. A fun challenge, nonetheless. Usually separated from the Dutch and Nature style, the Jungle aquascape incorporates some of the characteristics of them both, however it displays a very different appearance from all other styles.

The Jungle style aquarium has little or no visible hardscape materials as well as limited open space. Most of the times it is populated by tall, large-leaved plants and a great variety of fish. No, the Jungle style does not follow the comfortable, clean lines and fine texture of nature aquariums.

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To a beginner’s eye, the layout of Jungle design may seem a little bit chaotic. But that’s only at first. Sooner or later, you should come up with ideas to achieve a pleasing layout in your aquariums.

Probably the oldest Aquascaping style worth trying is the Dutch style. While it doesn’t come even close to being as popular as Iwagumi, it is still a beautiful design that’s worth trying. An article by The Aquarium Guide explains that this style lets you create an environment that maintains a high density of plant life.

The Beauty of the Infamous Dutch Style

An aquascaper hoping to design a Dutch style aquascape must be able to see and nurture the growth of plants so the end result is in line with his or her intentions, which requires a solid understanding of how to cultivate aquatic plants.

Apart from the cultivation of the plants, there are numerous other key aspects to consider such as the health of your aquascape, the selection of the plants, and the overall layout.

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Before you try this style, it is important to know and understand its primary focus. Unlike other styles that we’ve talked about, Dutch style focuses on an exceptional arrangement and growth of aquatic plants.

Final Thoughts

We haven’t looked at all styles. But you can always look up at The Aquarium Guide to find additional interesting styles to try out.

What is a Dutch Style Tank?

What is a Dutch Style Tank?

The Dutch style tank is one of two of the most popular Aquascape styles being used around the world. It is one of the oldest techniques in underwater landscaping wherein the focus of the design is on the arrangement and growth of aquatic flora. What makes it different from Nature Style Aquascape is that the design does not imitate a particular environment or a natural scenery.

dutch style tank

Image Credit: Pinterest

The main attraction in a Dutch landscape are the underwater plants. The aquascaper must be able to select the right plants, combine them and organize these so that the end result is pleasing to the eyes.  There is an extensive amount of learning and research required in order to have at least the basic knowledge in gardening. This is essential for the maintenance and growth of the underwater plants.

Distinct Style of Dutch Style Tanks

What is distinct about a Dutch Style tank is the abundant amount of plant life in its design. A variety of plant species is put together which comprises around 70% of the entire scheme.  There is very minimal use for large rocks or driftwood in this style. The contrasts in their texture and color of the aqua flora are the highlight of each masterpiece. The plant species should be chosen carefully so their different characteristics will produce a tasteful combination that is exceptional.

Since this aquascape style doesn’t follow a particular form, it does have a distinct appearance. The technique called terracing is applied to this style. In this technique, the plants are positioned in such a way that it creates levels. The shorter plants are lined up in front. In center and back section of the tank, the plants are arranged gradually to create visual layers. Plants of contrasting colors are typically placed in a group to create a focal point in the design. The entire layout of the plants should look organized whether it is being viewed from the top or from a frontal view.

Ideal Plants to Use in Dutch Style Tanks

dutch style tank

Image Credit: YouTube

The Dutch Style technique requires specific plants to create the tiered look. Therefore, the plant species must be carefully selected to create this kind of visual.

The Saurus Cernuus and Lobelia Cardinalis are species that are short and grow very close to the bottom of the tank. These are ideal to use if you want to make a pathway or an illusion of depth in your design.

Limnophila Aquatica and Hygrophilia Corymbosa are plants that are perfect for borders by placing them on the sides or in the corners of the tank. These are outstanding because of their large stems that grow very quickly. They contribute to the creating the size and shape of your overall layout. These will need extra pruning, though.

The Cryptocoryne are the tiny, basic plants typically used to fill in the background of the seascape.

Tiger Lotus, Rotala, Ammania, and Alternanthera are big and colourful plants that provide the contrasting hues in an underwater scenery. They create the interesting focal point that really catches the eye.