What Do I Need to Know to Start Aquascaping?

What Do I Need to Know to Start Aquascaping?

First of all, Aquascaping is a form of art that involves two skills – gardening and architecture. You don’t need to be an expert in both of these fields but you do have to do some research to come up with a unique design of your own.

An Artwork

Aquascaping is an artwork of its own because it depicts landscapes done underwater. You can visualize a picturesque scene of the Amazon rainforest (only it is inside a giant aquarium). There is a lot of gardening techniques you will need to apply if you would like to achieve this kind of scenery. The architecture also takes a great part in its creation. You need to have the right measurements so that all the other elements like sand, stone, and driftwood will fit together in the tank with the plants without looking too crowded or imposing.

If you are just a beginner, it helps to look at pictures on the internet or watch videos about Aquascaping. It will give you an idea of how popular Aquascapes look like and how they are created. There are really no hard rules in aquascaping. The most beautiful Aquascapes are actually deviations from these so called rules and the masterpieces created are truly awesome. Use your resources to formulate your own design then start planning on its execution.

Now that you have a design in mind, you have to decide on the size and features of your tank. Your aquarium is your canvas. You have the option to include some fish swimming in your seascape or simply leave it as an underwater landscape exhibit. Measure your materials to make sure they fit.

Plants, Rocks, and Driftwood


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Have you figured out what plants to use in your presentation? Some plants really look pretty but would need a lot of trimming as they grow. Some plants grow roots extensively so they require an extra inch of space around them. All things have to be considered before you chose the plants, flowers, shrubs or even underwater grass that will be the foliage in your masterpiece. This is where you will have to do your homework and research before settling in on the plants to complete your artwork.

Rocks do not come in standard sizes and it is in their uniqueness that makes Aquascapes truly special. When arranged strategically, rocks create the solid foundation where you can anchor your plants or lighting fixtures. They can also serve as a fish cave that is strategically placed into the scenery.  Rocks also draw a lot of attention from the viewer. So you have to arrange and choose your rocks carefully to make sure you have them in as a perfect fit in your design.

Usually, when you incorporate driftwood into the Aquascape, it directs the flow of your design. A standard linear design would have the driftwood slightly inclined, pointing in one direction. If you would like to draw the attention upward, then your driftwood should be a standing. It is about positioning the key pieces that will create the total look of the design that you want. Do not be afraid to go beyond your borders. In some aquascapes, the rainforest underwater scene looks extremely real that the bushes are seen above water.