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Aquarium decoration in natural style – Aquascape Style



Aquarium decoration in a natural style or Aquascape / Aquascape Style.

Aquascaping is an art that is built around the placement of aquatic plants and decorative elements of the landscape in a kind of aesthetically attractive manner within the same aquarium. As in many other forms of art, there are many unique styles, from the thick underwater vegetation in the Dutch aquarium and jungle aquarium to the carefully selected and well-groomed natural Iwagumi style.

Making an aquarium in a natural / natural style or Aquascape may first seem like a daunting task, but with an understanding of the design principles for your chosen design and some practice, you will be ready for a great start!

The Dutch-style aquarium was developed in Holland in the 1930s, when aquarium equipment was first made available. Style embodies variety; with an emphasis on the changing size of the leaves, the colors and the texture of the plants.

It is a style that uses living plants as the main focus of attention, with the rejection largely of the use of wood or stone decorations. Depth is created using the terraced method of planting, with wavy curves in which one group of plants smoothly into another.

Higher plants in the back of the aquarium initially served as a screen to hide the bulky aquarium equipment at the back wall, but some modern aquarium design fans in the Dutch manner began to move away from the solid back line of plants, giving the opportunity to see the aquarium through. This Dutch-style decoration includes linear rows of plants in an aquarium planted by the so-called “Dutch street”.

Like most plants used in Aquascape, it requires a rich nutrient substrate, as a rule, more than 80% of the total volume of the aquarium soil.

Common plants used in the design of the aquarium in the Dutch style with thin foliage resembling feathers.

• Ambulia / Limnophila aquatica
• Hygrophil / Hygrophila Var
• Alternanthera Reinek / Alternanthera reineckii
• Ammania graceful / Ammania gracilis
• Rotala / Rotala Var

Nature style, an innovator from Japan Takashi Amano in the 1990s. thanks to a series of books called “Nature Aquarium World”, revived the stagnating world of plant aquariums, setting a new standard in aquarium design. In natural aquariums, Amano recreates the well-established Japanese horticultural techniques that mimic natural landscapes with asymmetrical patterns of carefully selected decorative elements and a small variety of plants, usually with a single focal point.

Style Nature demonstrates a terrestrial landscape in miniature, not lush vegetation in the Dutch style.

Takashi Amano relied on the aesthetic concept of wabi-sabi (“modest simplicity”), a concept representing Japanese aesthetics and worldview, oriented to the recognition of frailty / transience and imperfection. Wabi-sabi is an expression composed of two different, but related elements: wabi and sabi.

Wabi is an expression of beauty, which is a manifestation of creative energy that pervades all living and inanimate. This is beauty, which is like nature itself, both dark and light; and sad and joyful, and harsh and tender.

The beauty of this natural power is imperfect – always changeable and inaccessible.

Saby is translated as “beauty, which keeps within itself the flow of time” and “the sensation of transience caused by it.” This is the patina that age imposes; this is the natural cycle of birth and death.

This is a special property of things that reveal their beauty in self-denial, in unsophisticated simplicity, in rural uncouthness, in common rude, in imperfection, unpretentiousness and invisibility.

Wabi-sabi occurs through the realization of three simple facts: nothing lasts forever, nothing is finished and nothing is perfect.

Features of wabi-sabi: irregularities, asymmetry, simplicity, restraint, close connection, asceticism and understanding of the nature of objects and processes.

When choosing plants for decoration of the aquarium in “Nature Style” it is extremely important to consider and maintain the scale for the overall design. Small deciduous plants, narrow-leaved and ferns are the most commonly used.

• Glossostigma elatinoides
• Needle needle / Eleocharis acicularis
• Sitnyag dwarf / Eleocharis parvula
• Echinodorus tender / Echinodorus tenellus
• Hemianthus / Hemianthus callitrichoides
• Riccia floating / Riccia fluitans
• Staurogin / Staurogyne repens
• Java moss / Java moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri)

When choosing fish or freshwater shrimp, it is important not to overload the landscape and not to destroy the sense of scale using too many or too large fish and shrimps.

Fish
• Minor rasbora
• Small haratsinovye

Shrimp
• Amano Shrimp
• Neocaridin Shrimp

Iwagumi style in the design of the aquarium is a specific variation of the style of nature. The term Iwagumi sounds like this “natural combination of rocks”, describes the layout where the stone in the artificial landscape is in the center of the composition.

The Iwagumi style was developed in the 1980s by Takashi Amano, he wanted to show in this mockup a reflection of Japanese culture, spirituality, beauty and minimalism.

In the Iwagumi style, each stone has a specific name and role. The typical Iwagumi formation uses three stones, the largest stone is called Oyaishi, the smaller minor stones are called Fukuseki, and the accompanying stones are grouped around and called Soeishi.

The large Oyaishi stone is usually offset from the center of the aquarium and represents the center point of the composition. The secondary Fukuseki stones are located around the Oyaishi stone to form a balance, and the small Soeishi stones are not too carefully created to create a sense of natural randomness.

Ground cover aquarium plants are best suited for this type of aquarium.

• Sitnyag dwarf / Eleocharis parvula
• Hemianthus / Hemianthus callitrichoides
• Glossostigma elatinoides
• Pogostemon helferi Pogostemon
• Marsilya harsh-haired / Marsilea hirsuta
• Starougin / Staurogyne Spec.
• Riccia floating / Riccia fluitans
• Utricularia graminifolia • Utricularia of Graminifolia
• Echinodorus tender / Echinodorus tenellus
• Lileopsis brazilian / Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
• Lileopsis Mauritius / Lilaeopsis mauritiana
• Asian liver moss / Monosolenium tenerum
• Cryptocoryne dwarf / Cryptocoryne parva

Choose a fish for an aquarium in the style of Iwagumi similar to the style of nature. A small, homogenous group of schooling fish is better suited because they provide a minimalist accent and retain a sense of scale.

• Small haratsinovye
• Minor rasbora

The style of the jungle in the design of the aquarium is a detached from the Dutch and Natural style, which includes features of both. When creating a composition in Jungle Style, the plants are left in a more natural, carelessly neglected form.

As in the Dutch, the Jungle style practically does not include elements of decor, but in the absence of plant trimming, the open space will be limited. The jungle style uses broader and more varied leaf shapes to provide a rougher texture in an aquarium, unlike Nature Style, which uses a thinner and more uniform texture to create a sense of scale.

When choosing jungle-style aquascape plants, you will look at the general appearance you want to see in an aquarium. If you want to imitate a canopy / dome of dense thickets, then plants that reach the surface of the water and smoothly flow over it will be ideal. Floating plants are also a great way to limit the intensity of light at the bottom of an aquarium, providing a point light effect on all the plants below them.

Choosing a darker substrate will also be useful for general decoration. It is important to note that with a large number of plants in the aquarium, a substrate rich in nutrients is recommended.

Proposed jungle style aquascape plants.

• Thai fern / Microsorum pteropus
• Bolbitis heudelotii
• Wallisneria / Vallisneria americana
• Crinum / Crinum sp.
• Atonogeton / Aponogeton sp.
• Echinodorus / Echinodorus sp.
• Sagittrium subulate / Sagittaria subulata
• Hygrophila pinnatifida
• Anubias sp.
• Limnobium laevigatum

In order to describe the style of Biotope, you need to describe a walk through the museum of natural history – a habitat diorama. The biotope is definitely determined by geographic location.

Each element in the aquarium comes from the same place in order to exactly repeat a particular aquatic environment. If the goal is to recreate a mountain stream with fish and plants, if any, they will be obtained from the same medium of the mountain stream.

Water temperature, unidirectional flow, flow force, and the chemical composition of water must also be taken into account in order to properly recreate the habitat.

In some biotope and this is not uncommon, plants or fish can be an exception. If done correctly, the Biotope may be a valid ecological niche model, which in any other circumstances could go unnoticed.

Paludarium is such aquariums, in which the transition from water to land occurs within the same tank. Paludarium is best suited to recreate the sensation of a rainforest, river or creek, swamp, mangrove or lake; however, part of the composition in the aquarium is under water, and the other part is above water. The substrate, stones or wood can be used to create a “ground” zone above the water level.

In part of the tank above the water level, plants can be grown on the surface when their roots are under water and their upper part is in air. Paludarium is also ideal for demonstrating plants floating on water and one of the most suitable methods for keeping amphibians in aquariums.

Plants as a starting point for paludarium.

• Cyperus / Cyperus alternifolius
• Spathiphyllum / Spathiphyllum wallisii
• Anubias var.
• Bromeliads / Some Bromeliads family
• Eichhornia crassipes
• Pistia / Pistia stratiotes

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