Nature Aquarium is the layout style in the aquarium, creating a beautiful underwater world of the tropical fish and aquatic plants. Takashi Amano is an exponent of the Nature Aquarium, and he continues to propound new layout styles.
The Nature Aquarium is the aquatic plant layout taking in the essence learned from the Mother Nature, and sometimes it is called “Amano style”, and its circle is expanding many countries around the world. However, from his aquarium pictures, it is hard to imagine the layout production process, many questions has been sent to ADA about the layout process. So we take 90cm standard size aquarium as an example, and introduce the latest layout technique step by step.
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Setting up a tank
The selection process of the aquarium tank is the first important process for enjoying Nature Aquarium. CUBE GARDEN, which has high transparency and clean joint part, without any frame is an optimal aquarium tank for creation and appreciation of the Nature Aquarium layout. Special Stand or Aquarium Cabinet is very important for enjoying the aquascape for a long period. Please keep in mind that the aquarium setting must be made carefully, regardless the aquarium tank size. If the floor or aquarium stand is not secure enough, or do not have enough strength, it may lead to the water leakage from the aquarium tank, or crack in the aquarium glass. Even if it looks OK initially, distortion may progress as the time passes. Please make sure to choose the right aquarium stand for your selected aquarium tank size. When placing the aquarium tank on the stand, please pay attention not to hit the aquarium tank corner to the aquarium stand.
The substrate of the Nature Aquarium is important for the growth of water plants. Basically, you combine Power Sand and Aqua Soil. Power Sand contains various organic materials and provides rich nutrition for water plants. Aqua Soil promotes absorption of nutrition and growth of plant roots by organic acid that soil naturally has. Recently, dressing sand, which can express natural feeling, is used in the foreground of the layout, in order to increase the art value. In case of using dressing sand in substrate, please make sure to spread the sand neatly and not to mix up with other soil type substrate. Here, we introduce an example with a 90cm aquarium tank how to spread Aqua Soil and Bright Sand separately in a concave composition layout with an open space in the center. Depending upon the composition of layout, the way of spreading soil and sand differ. Work out the general layout plan in advance.
The Placing of the Stone
The choice and placement of the stone are the most important processes for an IWAGUMI layout, therefore it is necessary to consider balance carefully. In this layout, we use Seiryu-stone which has cold color for matching dressing sand with sensation of coolness at foreground. As the substrate has been already spread for making concave composition, we made an arrangement of rocks with two groups in the mind. As the area of planting (background) is seperated 3:2 for left and right part, you need to adjust the balance of two groups of IWAGUMI as 3:2 For this arrangement, you need to place main stone (left), which is the largest one in a tank, at left side first. Then, decide main stone (right), which is one size smaller at right side. Deciding the balance of right and left main stones first is very important to decide the whole layout balance. Then we arrange the sub stone and side stones.
Once the base of the layout was completed, now is the time for aquatic plant planting. In the Nature Aquarium layout, we divide planting ground into three groups, foreground, middle ground, and background, and select proper plants for each section. Generally, plant low water plants at the foreground and high ones at the background. In the middle ground, we place layout material such as driftwood and stones, and middle size plants around them. When selecting the plants, you have to consider not only the color or shape of the leaf, but also how much they grow, or whether sun plants or shade plants, in what water condition plants suit. If you choose water plants not carefully, they grow too much or they don’t grow at all. It is important to expect grown water plants when placing water plants.
Setting of the other tool and maintenance of the Nature Aquarium
The Nature Aquarium after finished planting becomes beautiful scenery with grown water plants. Lighting, CO2 Supply, and filtration System are essential tools for growing aquatic plants. Lighting is essential for plants, as they can grow healthy by photosynthesis. And water plants cannot photosynthesize if CO2 is missing even there is strong light. Moreover, water must be clean for keeping fish in a tank. As mentioned, you need to utilize various tools for making good environment. Changing water and pruning are also necessary to keep beautiful layout. The scenery would be more beautiful with daily proper maintenance.