05 Aug 2019
What Is A Natural Aquarium?
Posted By : Guest Filed Under : Aquatics | Aquael | Tropical Aquariums | Fish | Aquascaping
So-called natural aquariums, also known as Japanese aquariums or Amano style aquariums, are all the rage in modern aquaristics. The father of this concept, late Takashi Amano (1954-2015), was a Japanese nature photographer and aquaristics enthusiast.

When taking pictures of natural landscapes, such as the Amazon forest or the steppes, he wanted to try to transfer these behind the glass walls of the aquarium. Using natural decorations such as rocks, wood and roots as well as living plants, he began to create underwater forests, meadows and other landscapes. This trend was quickly adopted by many followers and enthusiasts all over the world.

Takashi Amano developed several basic styles of natural aquaristics. These include:

- ryuboku – an underwater forest. Using roots, wood and plants (mainly the so-called „epiphytes”), an image reminiscent of the primeval pristine forest flooded with water is reconstructed in the aquarium;

- mizube – a kind of free style in natural aquaristics, which provides the creator with various tools and extensive artistic potential. Ornaments very often protrude from water, and underwater plants are   accompanied by plants attached thereto that go over the surface. In this style, wood and roots can be freely combined with rocks and stones;

- iwagumi – a kind of underwater meadow decorated with meticulously arranged rock fragments. It derives from the traditional Japanese art of creating gardens. Here, the number and arrangement of rocks are strictly defined. The meadow itself is usually made of low-growing plants such as Glossostigma, Hemianthus or spikesedge;

- ragwork – underwater mountains. Using rocks and stones, a landscape reminiscent of mountain peaks overgrown with precisely arranged and carefully selected plants is created in the aquarium.

Nowadays, natural aquaristics is highly popular all over the world. Many tank arrangement competitions are organised to recognise the best and most talented aquascaping masters.

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