Thursday, February 7, 2008


Aquascaping is an art form enjoyed by aquarium enthusiasts around the world. It entails arranging aquatic plants in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium.

Quite possibly the most influential aquarist is Takashi Amano, who introduced the Japanese style of aquarium design to the world and sparked a wave of interest in aquarium gardening with his three-volume series Nature Aquarium World. Takashi Amano's compositions draw on Japanese gardening techniques that attempt to mimic nature by way of the asymmetrical arrangement of constituent elements. Another popular style is the "Dutch tank", which consists of a more orderly, and hence, more unnatural style.

Aquascaping also commonly refers to the arrangement of rocks and cavework within the tank. This often occurs specifically in regard to marine fish and cichlids.

Although an aquascaping artist's primary aim is to artfully create an underwater landscape, he or she is also necessarily concerned with the technical aspects of aquatic plant maintenance. Filtration, carbon dioxide supply, fertilisation, lighting and alga control are among the many factors that must be balanced in the closed system of an aquarium tank to ensure the success of an aquascape.

There are many organizations and groups in existence that support the aquascaping community. One such group, based in the U.S., is the Aquatic Gardener's Association, which holds an annual aquascaping competition that draws entries from all over the world.

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