Understand Basic Aquascaping Concepts
Aquascaping is an art itself which transitions a regular fish-keeper to aquascaper, aquascaping is much more than keeping an aquarium at home. Aquascaping has become increasingly popular in India, the much suited term for aquscaping is “underwater gardening”, techniques like setting up, arranging and decorating set of elements like aquatic plants, stones, driftwood, rocks and much more in such a way it becomes visually appealing to human perception.
Starting out with aquascaping many amatuers tend to be overwhelmed with the extra planted aquarium information they have to go through, so we have listed Top 10 Aquascaping principles for great results.
1. DENSER SUBSTRATE- is base layer of material in a tank where plants can root and grow. It is also a home for bacteria biofilm and microbes which serve as a food source for detritus feeders such as shrimp. Bacteria biofilm also binds small particulate matter together and the substrate serves as a capture point for this. In the substrate, organic debris is broken down further into nutrients that can be uptake by plants.
2. A BETTER SPECTRUM PROFILE
Why red and blue parts of the spectrum are important in planted aquarium lighting, better visual impact on colored plants. Most white lights (bulbs/LEDs) lack red/blue by default. This causes tanks to look washed out. Color plants pop a lot more when there is stronger red/blue lighting. However, there must be enough green/orange/yellow spectrum present as well to give a balanced visual output.
3. PREVENT ALGAE IN AN AQUARIUM
Algae is so prevalent in the aquatic hobby that many aquarists have given up trying to eradicate it and have just accepted it as part of normal tank life. We assure you it is perfectly achievable to have planted aquariums free from visible algae – especially filamentous green algae. In a planted tank, unhealthy plants are prime algae triggers. So the first step to any algae issue is to pay attention to plant growth parameters – Nutrients, CO2, flow and make sure that each plant is getting what it needs to have healthy growth.
4. NUTRIENTS FOR GROWTH
When aquatic plants get all access to all their nutrient needs – they can be grown more densely and exhibit better coloration. You won’t see examples such as these in “no dosing” tanks. Even the humble Bucephalandra; one of the easiest aquatic plants to grow, show their full potential only when their needs are met comprehensively. Whether you are running CO2 or not, dosing makes a significant difference to plant health.
5. FOCUS ON HARDSCAPE
Choose ‘easy’ plants, but implement complexity through hardscape work. This approach delivers much better results than being overly ambitious with demanding plants. The main goal is to achieve a harmonious underwater environment dominated by plants supported by certain types of wood and/or rocks.
6. Water filters
You will need a water filter so as to keep movement in the water, that is very important. Stagnant water is bad in aquaria, it leads to lack of distribution of dissolved substances, such as nutrients and dissolved gasses like oxygen, carbon dioxide and many others. It will lead to dead zones and poor or no distribution of the heating.
7. CO2 CANISTERS
You need CO2 injection and it is done in a closed loop fashion. Essentially a pH probe is used to turn the CO2 on, and off. CO2 makes the water more acidic by forming Carbonic acid. When the concentration of CO2 hits 20–25 ppm that has dropped to say, 6.7 and the CO2 supply is shut off. Unless you have a lot of time to make CO2 using yeast/sugar, get a tank and have it filled with CO2.
8. CHOOSING THE RIGHT MIX
You need to start reading up on fish, their natural habitats and their social structures. Some fish like tetras and loaches have to be kept in a group of 6 or more for them to happily live in a tank. In the wild they live in a group of more than 100 individuals and feel safer that way. Find out about the region and water bodies your fish are from. Do they spend all their life in a shallow stream or do they show migratory habits. Carps often get bored in aquariums because they are migratory fishes and need lots of exercise and open waters to swim. In a nutshell, keeping the schooling fish in groups, leaving the solitary fish alone ;in large tanks with periodically changing the aquascapes are a recipe for happy aquarium fish.
9. Aquascaping Visual Construction
Aquascaping may be a form of art in which imagination and creativity play an essential role, but mastering the backbone of this process is elementary if you want to be successful. Aquascape is all about creating enchanting visuals by suggesting the eye where to look at first and what to glide towards next, a specific mark which anchors the viewer’s gaze first and from which the viewer’s eye can glide towards other points of interest, making the viewer’s experience more interesting, captivating, relaxing and pleasing.
In both art and mathematics as well as in nature, the golden ratio is strictly connected with the creation of a focal point. In aquascaping, this would be the point the eye is directed towards at a first glance
The Dutch Aquarium
The Jungle Style Aquarium
The Iwagumi Style Aquarium
The Jungle Style Aquarium
Hiding the wall, hoses and cables is the major role of creating a background, most commonly used aquascaping background are wood, cork, adhesive foliage or simple paint.
Use stones and driftwood in the midground to create the impression of hills or higher ground, To obtain some in-depth, use low growing plants in the foreground and try some pieces of wood sticking out to the surface in the background.
What plants you intend to grow and how you what them to look,the substrate acts as a base for the entire aquarium and you don’t want it to look artificial, choosing the natural gravel is the best thing to do.
Planting the tank is very challenging and fun at the same time, natural and being aesthetic is the prime goal, focal point of an aquarium and the ascending order of plants from low to higher one’s with the appropraite colors to create contrast and indepth perspective.
Rocks and wood are essential for plants to dominate and achieve harmonious underwater enviornment, placing them in order with the set focal points is the best way to utilize them in the aquarium.
You are better off using Araldite or any other inert glue like silicone in the aquarium for the purpose of perfectly attaching moss to the drifwood, the more effecient way is to tying moss to driftwood or stuffing it into little creases in the wood, no glue is needed and it will naturally attach itself.