An aquascape depicting a changing season with many colorful stem plants and their color contrast with carpet plants.
Nature Aquarium is a layout style that replicates the beauty of nature, and creating a sense of the season is one of its key features. I created this aquascape with images of early autumn in Japan, where leaves start changing colors in early fall, and you can enjoy the stunning scenery of the colorful autumn leaves. In nature, the beauty of scenery is transient. If you capture and recreate a beautiful, momentary scene of nature in a tank, it can be enjoyed for a long period of time, regardless of the season. In this layout, I used bright color carpet plants in the foreground to represent an image of summer, and a variety of stem plants in the background, that evoke a sense of fall – the seasonal transition from summer to fall.
Shooting date: June 1st, 2018 (ADA)
Creator: Daisuke Inoue
Aquarium: Cube Garden W120 x D50 x H50 (cm)
Lighting: Solar RGB x 2, turned on for 10 hours per day
Filter: Super Jet Filter ES-1200 (Bio Rio M)
Substrate: Aqua Soil – Amazonia, Power Sand Advance M, Bacter 100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC
CO2: Pollen Glass Beetle 40Ø, 3 bubbles per second via CO2 Beetle Counter (using Tower)
Aeration: 14 hours after the light is turned off using Lily Pipe P-6
Additives: Green Brighty K, Green Brighty Mineral, Brighty Nitrogen
Water change: 1/3 once a week
Water quality: Temperature: 25ºC
TH: 20 mg/L
Myriophyllum sp. (Orange)
Rotala sp. ‘Fujian’
Rotala macrandra ‘Green’
Rotala rotundifolia ‘Green’
Rotala sp. ‘Bangladesh’
Rotala sp. ‘Hra’
Rotala sp. ‘Wayanad’
Rotala sp. ‘Nanjenshan’
Microsorum sp. ‘Trident’
Taxiphyllum sp. ‘Peacock Moss’
Fish & Invertebrates:
Trichogaster chuna var.
Techniques to create a concave composition with a framework of driftwood and luxuriant stem plant bushes.
This layout was produced with the idea of forming a well-defined concave composition by growing lush stem plants. Although a concave composition is often produced by planting short aquatic plants in the center area that creates an open space in the center, this layout was produced without fully opening up the center area by planting Pogostemon deccanensis and Ludwigia arcuata below the center open space. This technique increases the overall height of stem plants relatively and makes the background appear more voluminous. Planting green and red stem plants side by side alternately is one of the basic techniques of Nature Aquarium.
Moss was wrapped on the entire length of driftwood to blend the appearance of the driftwood and aquatic plants. Then, Bolbitis and Microsorum sp. ‘Trident’ were attached to the driftwood.
Driftwood branches were placed slightly toward the rear of the aquarium so that the driftwood would be hidden by the densely growing stem plants. The stem plants were trimmed to accentuate the concave composition intentionally.
Since the aquarium is 50 cm deep, it offers plenty of room in the foreground area for fish to swim in comfortably even with the lush stem plant bushes growing in the background.
A key point of this layout is that the sense of depth is created by planting contrasting green and red aquatic plants alternately in the center of the concave composition.
Microsorum sp. ‘Trident’ was planted in the middle ground that tied the foreground with a summer-like impression to the background with a fall-like impression. The color contrast tightened up the impression of the aquascape as well.
Utricularia graminifolia was planted in the foreground to brighten up the image of summer. Placing lava stones wrapped with Riccia there kept the layout from appearing monotonous.