All you need to know about Nature Aquariums

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Nature Aquariums

There are many types of Aquariums you can keep, especially the planted aquariums get classified based on planting styles and specifics.

The Nature aquarium(Nature Aquascaping) was introduced by Japanese Aquarist and Aquascaping great, Takashi Amano.

Amano introduced Nature Aquarium as a style where one tries to create a ‘terrestrial’ like a landscape in a closed system of an aquarium while keeping in mind all the requirements of an aquarium.
It includes the use of stones, wood and plants in an attempt to create a landscape that’s asymmetrical and visually pleasing.
Japanese gardening techniques are incorporated and they include a minimalist layout with a focal point and flows out naturally throughout the aquascape. A relatively lesser variety of plants are used in such a scape unlike the ‘Dutch Style’ of planted aquariums.

Nature Aquarium Composition:

As mentioned earlier the Nature Aquarium style is inspired by Japanese Gardening techniques and the Golden Ratio is always followed so that one ends up with an Aesthetically pleasing aquascape.

Convex scape:

The Convex Scape is more of a ‘Mountain-like’ scape where the sub-middle part of the scape is the tallest part and it gently moves downwards on either side. This can also be viewed as an island scape where the plants are taller centrally and then keep reducing in height as you move away from in on either side.

Picture Credit:

Concave scape:

A Concave scape can be imagined as to a valley and open space in between which then gradually rises in height on both sides. The open space mostly kept devoid of any plants and hardware so as give an added feeling of depth.

Picture Credit: Robertus Hartono

Triangle scape:

One of the most used compositions, the triangle scape involves the highest point on any side of the aquarium aquascape and then a gradual descent.

Picture Credit:

Choice of plants for Nature aquarium

Similar looking plants are used in this style and large quantities to bring out the best while working on a Nature Aquarium.
Unlike the Dutch Style where color and variation is key, here the plants of similar texture and colors are used. Tall stem plants which grow fast are used in the background that compliments the tall focal point of the aquascape and the short foreground plants are used for lush, thick carpets which are used on the slopes.

For Background: Tall background plants like C. Helferi, Vallisneria, Ludwigia, etc. can be used.

For Foreground: Glossostigma, Dwarf Hairgrass, etc. can be used.

Slow growing mosses and ferns like Java moss, Cryptocoryne sp. can be wedged between rocks and wood.

Choice of fish for Nature Aquarium

Choice of fish is one of the important things to consider while planning a Nature Aquarium set up. Small schooling species are always welcome rather than the larger, more aggressive, solitary fish. The fish’s adult size and requirements should be considered beforehand. Shy species should be avoided as the types of fish should be restricted to one or two.

Other specifics.

Good filtration is the heart of any aquarium. The maintenance involved in a Nature aquarium can be rated to moderate to high. The initial days of any aquarium with a planted scape requires attention for preventing algae and growth of the plants. Adequate lighting and CO2 injection should be considered for a good quality scape with high demanding plants.
Fertilization will almost always be beneficial to the scape when dosed properly coupled with good lighting, CO2 and appropriate water changes.

Cleanup Crew

Takashi Amano always stressed on the addition of ‘Amano Shrimp‘ to all planted aquariums. They’re excellent at algae removal and make the process really easy
However you must always remember that algae are a sign of imbalance in the nutrients, light, CO2 we’d that should be fixed first. Cleanup Crews only add the cherry on top.

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