Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
A wild thicket around driftwood formed by various aquatic plants including Aponogeton. Fishes also regained their natural wild appearance.
Created by Hayato Ochi
‘Wild Bush’

An aquascape with a wild atmosphere produced with aquatic plants with distinctive appearance, such as Aponogeton.

Tall aquatic plants with grass-like appearance, such as Aponogeton, Vallisneria, and Crinum were used in the background of this layout rather than stem plants. When using such a plant in an Iwagumi layout, we often use only one type. However, in the case of a layout with a framework produced with driftwood, mixing a few of such plants helps to prevent the layout from appearing monotonous and enhance a natural atmosphere. Cryptocoryne was arranged in-between the left and right clusters of tall grass-like plants considering the long-term maintenance of the layout as well as keeping the space in the center open by preventing the aquatic plants from encroaching into the center area. As the layout was maintained over a long period of time, Hygrophila pinnatifida in the middle ground grew by meandering over the driftwood and imparting a wild atmosphere to the aquascape.


Shooting date: May 10th, 2018 (ADA)
Creator: Hayato Ochi
Aquarium: Cube Garden W120 x D50 x H50 (cm)
Lighting: Solar RGB x 2, turned on for 10 hours per day
Filter: Super Jet Filter ES-1200 (Bio Rio M)
Substrate: Aqua Soil-Amazonia, Colorado Sand, Power Sand Advance M, Bacter100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC
CO2: Pollen Glass Beetle 40Ø, 3 bubbles per second via CO2 Beetle Counter (using Tower)
Aeration: 14 hours after the light is turned off using Lily Pipe P-6
Additives: Brighty K, Green Brighty Mineral
Water change: 1/3 once a week
Water quality: Temperature: 25ºC
pH: 6.8
TH: 20 mg/L

Aquatic Plants:
Aponogeton rigidifolius
Aponogeton longiplumulosus
Crinum calamistratum
Vallisneria neotropicalis
Vallisneria nana
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Tropica’
Cryptocoryne wendtii ‘Real Green’
Wabi-Kusa Hygrophila pinnatifida
Anubias barteri var. nana ‘Petite’

Fish & Invertebrates:
Alestopetersius caudalis
Crossocheilus oblongus
Otocinclus sp.
Caridina multidentata


Aponogeton and Hygrophila pinnatifida in the background are key to creating a wild atmosphere.

A family of Aponogeton with tape-shaped leaves were planted in the background to create a wild appearance. While Tiger Vallisneria and Vallisneria nana are the old standby for tall grass-like plants, adding the plant in the Aponogeton family with a distinctive shape and color of leaves gave a variation to the background and created a wilder appearance. Growing Hygrophila pinnatifida, which also has distinctive leaf shape and color over the driftwood gave a variation to the rather green coloration of the layout and enhanced the natural appearance as well.
The layout right after planting appeared rather green since Aponogeton and Hygrophila pinnatifida had not grown in.

Although not visible in this photograph, Aponogeton was placed in the background. The stones that were placed on the driftwood as weights were removed right after the driftwood was waterlogged and sank.
The view of the layout after the aquatic plants grew shows that the distinct appearance of the Aponogeton was very effective in the middle of the background of grass-like plants in this layout.
The layout was carefully maintained so that the leaves of Vallisneria, which grows by runners, would not fill up the open space in the center.
As Aponogeton and Hygrophila pinnatifida grew in, they added a variation in the colors of the layout.
Sciophytic Anubias was planted in the shade of the driftwood. It enhanced the natural appearance of the layout in contrast to the tall grass-like plants in the background.
Small stones wrapped with Willow Moss were placed near the stone. The white cosmetic sand in the foreground kept the layout from appearing too dark.