Best Live Aquarium Plants

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Beginners Guide to Aquascaping – Planning your Planted Tank

Aquascaping is the term used to describe setting up the inside of your aquarium or fish tank so that it is pleasing to the human eye as well as your inhabitants – namely fish. Although it does include rocks, gravel, soil, wood, live plants will often play the most important role.

First, you absolutely need to plan how your set up will look and how you will use your space. Nothing is more frustrating than finishing an aquascape, only to find that it is unappealing, unrealistic or does not allow a healthy environment for the fish. Sit down and draw out your design. Be realistic with the space that you have and don’t overdo it. This step will also help you save a lot of money. Another great idea is to get a photo of a favorite tank and copy that design.

The next consideration in aquascaping is where the tank is located and how it can be viewed by the average person. If the tank can only be viewed from the front and the sides, for example are attached to the wall, a scene that depicts a never-ending tank might be appropriate. Always plan for what yourself and your guests can and should see. If the tank can be viewed from all angles, be sure to keep that in mind.

After that you will need to decide on your focal point. What will be the center of attention? Or will there be none? Generally this is a large rock or branch in the middle of the tank. However it could also be a series of rocks or a series of plants. Maybe it is a large plant. What is it that viewers will first be drawn to? What impression do you want to make? The rest will follow.

Less is often more in these designs. When aquascaping, avoid the temptation to overfill your tank. Nature rarely provides such a crowded space in just 10 or so gallons. Likewise, try to stick to odd numbers. Nature also rarely provides even numbers, pairs or sets of anything. Grouping like plants and rocks together makes sense, arranging them in order or symmetry will not.

When choosing your rocks, stone and plants go to a trusted source. Digging them right out of a local freshwater body will often have dangerous consequences. Rocks that you just find outside could be rough or sharp, injuring fish. Driftwood from your local beach will often have diseases and microorganisms that are dangerous to your fish. At the least they will need to be boiled. Forget outdoor plants too. Quality pet supply stores will have everything you need. Otherwise, find a great seller on eBay.

Finally, have a theme in mind or a plan. Nothing looks and feels more ridiculous than plants growing with rocks which don’t fit or colored sand with plastic pirates. Try to be as realistic as possible and capture a scene from nature that could be actually available in some fresh body of water. Always maintain a swimming spot (wide open area) and stick to the theme.