Aquascaping is the craft of arranging aquatic plants, rocks, stones, driftwood, and even cave work underwater in either an aquarium or a pond. Aquascaping is to underwater what landscaping is to our backyard.
Of course, if you are gardening in an aquarium or pond you will also have fish to contend with but some aquascaping enthusiasts enjoy just making a fish tank look pretty with rocks or wood and plants, but don’t ever introduce fish. Some people will use just plants, others just natural things to create lovely landscape effects but within the water.
There are two main styles of aquascaping which are the Dutch Style and the Japanese Style with some offshoots of both that are equally as charming.
In the Dutch style, you see multiple layers of plants, sort of like how plants laid out on stone steps may look, you would use diverse leaf colors, shapes and sizes, and add a lot of plants to make a decent texture. There aren’t a lot of other things in the design; no rocks or driftwood or cave work, instead it is all about the plants and how well they all go together to create the desired effect.
Then there is the Japanese style which seeks to mimic a traditional garden, that is, one that is on the ground. Here you would use focal points like a beautifully shaped rock or a piece of driftwood and then use lots of plants of the same species to create your masterpiece. The colors are limited in this style, as is the diversity of the plants, instead of simple is best, less is more and the landscape is never totally covered, there is always the bottom of the tank or pond showing.
Putting these two styles together results in something called Jungle Style. This takes elements from both designs and makes a jungle canopy effect, all-natural and untrimmed. If you do put fish into the design, let’s just say they’ll have a lot of places to hide.
Aquascaping is gaining in popularity as more and more people are using their outside spaces as additional rooms. Outdoor rooms will feature landscaping of course, and now aquascaping has joined the ranks as something that people like to try their hand at and design something all their own. Whether you try it in the pond or keep an aquarium at the ready to make your conversation piece, once you start aquascaping, you may get hooked.