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 is an Aquascaper?

What is an Aquascaper?

Some people would call an aquascaper a hobbyist whose forte is creating attractive landscapes inside an aquarium. An aquascaper would call himself an artist with a unique kind of medium. His medium? The water tank.

An aquascape is more than just your typical design for an aquarium. The usual elements are there: fish, water, rocks, sand, stone, driftwood and aquatic plants. What sets it apart from the others is how all of these elements are put together to create an awesome scenery or a seascape. If you stretch your imagination enough, it is like seeing the Amazon Rainforest inside the confines of an Aquarium. The design might even look like a scene from a movie like the Hobbit, the lush hillside of Middle Earth. Some seascapes have the underwater plants laid out in a fancy mix of colors and textures. Only a skilled aquascaper can create unique designs.

What Does an Aquascaper Do?


Image Credit: Flickr

There are notable craftsmen and die-hard hobbyists that call themselves aquascapers. These are highly skilled artists with knowledge on horticulture and basic architecture. This famous artwork requires the skill in both worlds. Aside from knowing how to plant the right water flora, they should also be capable of providing for its upkeep and maintenance. A lot of analysis and measurements are made during the actual planning of the layout. There is also a Rule of Thirds that aquascapers need to follow. What could have started as a hobby became so intense for some that these hobbyists decided to professionalize aquascaping. Today there is a growing number of Aquascapers who design elegant aquascapes for interiors of hotels, shopping malls, and elite homes.

Simply put, an aquascaper is the artist that uses nature as their inspiration, using a vast variety of materials in creating a work of underwater art.

Aquascaping is the term they use to make a seascape or an underwater landscaping. The concept of their designs come from natural scenery or an ecosystem that they see on land. The design is executed by utilizing the materials used to decorate an aquarium.

Art and the Aquascaper

The aquascaper uses the aquarium as his medium for his art. Their artwork comes in a variety of sizes. The artist has to plan and plot his design to fit into the aquarium of his choice. It could be a Nano tank measuring 45” x 45” x 14” or the smallest which is a miniature 2.2 cm by 2.2 cm or any dimension in between.

The execution of the underwater landscape doesn’t stop with just knowing the right kind of plants to use and combine. He will need to use unique gardening skills to plant these correctly and follow up with the proper maintenance. The aquascaper must know the proper lighting to use to provide the illumination needed to sustain the beauty of the plants and enhance the layout. He also must be well-informed about the kind of diffusers, CO2 machines, water fertilizers, and other equipment appropriate to use for the layout. The natural materials he uses are strategically positioned to create an artistic impression of their concept. It may take weeks or months to complete depending on the complexity of the design.