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Aquascape | Aquascaping | Aquarium Design

Updated on September 4, 2014

Learn About The Main Aquascape Styles!

Aquascape is used in a variety of ways to describe the aquarium hobby of arranging aquarium plants and other features such as rocks, driftwood, and other natural decorations and ornaments into a beautiful picture. There are endless ways to go about the task of aquascaping, but that's half the fun! Many people start by having a few random aquarium plants, but then get the urge to try to artfully arrange them into a more aesthetically pleasing view. Thus, the hobbyist becomes an aquarium aquascaper! Are you ready to start landscaping your fish tank?

Learn to aquascape your tropical aquarium

Explanation of the styles of aquascaping

The Dutch Aquascape Style

The Dutch style of aquascaping has been around since the early 1900's. Aquascaping in the dutch style requires several basic concepts. First, there is usually a central focal point. Surrounding this focal point, there are several rows or sheets of plants placed quite geometrically. These can form what look like streets between the plants. Another requirement is that many colors and shades of aquarium plants are used to give some variety to the scene. These colors range from various shades of green, red, and even purple species. Finally, the a sense of depth is a must when an aquarium is aquascaped in the Dutch style! This is achieved by placing the shortest species in the foreground and gradually having larger plants towards the back. A well designed Dutch aquascape should have well trimmed plants that are artfully arranged in rows without risking loss of beauty.

Nature Aquascapes

The nature aquascape style was made famous by aquascaper Takashi Amano. The goal of this style is to mimic a scene from nature. Typically, there is heavy use of large pieces of driftwood and aquarium rocks. By fixing various mosses and anubias plants to the rocks or wood the scene gains a degree of balance. Ferns may also be used for this purpose. Many aquarium ferns, mosses, and other plants are able to grow directly onto rocks and driftwood. The aquascape should try to mimic a scene from nature as much as possible. As you can imagine, this style results in bold, natural, and wild scenes in a freshwater aquarium.

Jungle Style of Aquascaping

The jungle style of aquascaping is best described as a blend between the Dutch method and nature aquascapes. This style borrows aspects from the dutch style including the avenues of plants. Like the nature aquascapes, though, rockwork and driftwood are often used, though not as extensively. Finally, the plants in a jungle aquascape are usually allowed to grow wild and untrimmed until the hobbyist's goal is achieved.

As you can imagine, aquascaping requires dedication, time, and patience. Most of all though, the aquascaper should be adventurous and enjoy the fun of learning to aquascape!

Great Aquarium For A Planted Tank!

If you are looking to get started with a planted tank, I think many people try small ones first and find out that they are harder to take care of than larger tanks. A perfect balance of space and ease of maintaining your aquascaped fish tank would be something around 30 gallons.

My personal planted tank is a 28 gallon bowfront fish tank. A better shape for an aquascape aquarium would be a 28 gallon cube fish tank seen below!

Simple Guide to Planted Aquariums

The Simple Guide to Planted Aquariums
The Simple Guide to Planted Aquariums

"This is a terrifice resource for beginners. I have been reading everything and anything I can get my hands to set up my first planted aquarium. When I found this book I'd been reading and searching for a couple of months. This book reflects much of the information I had been able to gather over those months of research.

When starting out on a new path, it is always nice to have a simple guide to show the way. This book has the basics and explanations for the hows and whys. It is easy to read and understand, gives excellend explanations and encourages the complete novice to attempt this hobby.

Armed with this information, I will be setting up my tank shortly. I recommend this book to anyone who is considering setting up a planted tank. "


Not quite ready to aquascape your fish tank yet?

Aquariums are much nicer if they are nicely decorated. Decorating an aquarium can easily be achieved by adding either ornaments or aquarium plants. These can make the difference between people just glancing at your aquarium and visitors becoming mesmerized by the scenes within. Plain aquariums do look clean and fresh, but adding fun items or plants can keep whoever is looking at the aquarium entertained for longer. Don't just add decorations haphazardly - plan the addition of any ornament.

Fortunately, it does not cost an arm and a leg to decorate an aquarium. All that is needed are a few live plants and some fun aquarium ornaments in front of a quality background and your aquarium will be transformed! With the variety of options, there are so many different ways you can have fun decorating your freshwater fish tank.

Favorite decorations can be anything from bright gravel, to aquarium plants or quirky aquarium ornaments. Stones and aquarium rocks are a great way to naturalize the aquarium space. Whatever decorations you choose, do not go overboard. Make sure you keep lots of free space for the fish to swim around safely.

Learn how to setup an aquarium from a pro

Setting up a Tropical Aquarium Week by Week
Setting up a Tropical Aquarium Week by Week

Review: "Wow, I wish they had a book like this when I started fish keeping. I think there would be fewer fish in heaven if I had a book this informative. From tank choice to maintenance, the 12 weeks this book covers is jam packed with practical information. This book includes helpful information on plants, filters, fish choice, fish diseases and much more. The step-by-step photos are great and extremely easy to follow. The information is timeless and very well done.

This is a great gift for anyone who has or wants to get a fish tank."


What kind of Aquascape do you have?

So many people aquascape to at least some degree. Let's figure out what the most common aquascaping style is!

What type of planted tank / aquascape do you have?

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To Properly See Your Planted Aquascape - You Need To...

You need to have pristine and clear glass to be able to properly see the fish and plants in your aquascaped aquarium. Keeping the glass clean can be arduous and frustrating, but it is definitely made easier if you have the right tools to do the job. Here are just a few that can get you started. Microworms are a great fish food to consider if you have small inverts in your aquascape tank. They don't quickly spoil the tank water like so many other fish foods do!

Let's hear about your favorite aquarium plants. Have you reached the stage of fully designed and aquascaped fish tanks? Share your tips today!

Aqua-Tech Magnetic Algae Remover for aquariums Glass or Acrylic
Aqua-Tech Magnetic Algae Remover for aquariums Glass or Acrylic

A magnetic algae remover is a good thing to consider for any aquarium if you want the glass to be squeaky clean so you can see all your nice plants. This one has a great price!


What are your favorite aquarium plants?

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    • CleftyToo profile image

      CleftyToo 5 years ago

      @troykhooim: Do you have a lens here about it? Might be a good idea!

    • profile image

      troykhooim 5 years ago

      @CleftyToo: You should :D....I'll show you some pictures of mine someday

    • CleftyToo profile image

      CleftyToo 5 years ago

      @troykhooim: Yah I like the look of glosso but haven't tried it myself yet!

    • profile image

      troykhooim 5 years ago

      Glossostigma elatinoides, Hemianthus callitricoides, java fern, anubias and moss as well :D

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Good tips! I'm just starting to keep fish so this is very useful. Thanks x

    • PhiladelphiaWri profile image

      PhiladelphiaWri 7 years ago

      very informative. Thumbs up.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I love amazon swords, grasses such as kyoto, bamboo is a great way for anyone to start it just simply grows not really requiring a substrate.

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 8 years ago

      Very nice lens on Aquascape. Well explained and illustrated.