NATURE IN THE GLASS – Garden under the Blue Sky – Part 2

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal
Key points for Iwagumi and planting from an aquascape production at the NA Gallery

In Iwagumi compositions, a balance of space for parts of Iwagumi and substrate and a flow expressed by stone arrangements are important key points. Because of a simple line of stones as composition materials, even if some of the stones are moved just a little, its overall impression would be significantly changed. For that reason, when arranging stones, it is necessary to step back from an aquarium tank and see the entire aquarium tank from a distance. And even if it’s with the same stones, depending on how much they expose from the substrate, the impact will be different. For that reason, it is important to adjust an exposure of stones slightly by how to put in the substrate or banking. And when stones appear to be a little too strong at a composition stage, planting aquatic plants can soften its impression. So types of aquatic plants and a planting range should be set at this stage.
Stone arrangements to look random
Carefully adjust the A line not to make each degree of inclination the same. The B lines expresses that there are some stones existing against the current in nature.
①Be careful with arranging stones in large aquarium tanks
When using a W180cm aquarium tank, size of stones become remarkably large. Especially when putting a main stone over 50kg into an aquarium tank, it is necessary to pay close attention. Protect the aquarium tank with blankets and so on. We kept arranging the stones carefully while communicating between 4 staff.
To elevate the height of the main stone, place some flat stones underneath. But it doesn’t become stable with only those flat stones. So mounting some Aqua Soil helps it stabilized. By elevating its height and tilting, the main stone looks even more powerful having some shadows.
②Stone arrangements are learned though trial and error
In the beginning, some stones were arranged at the back in the center. But the impression of the main stone became weak. So we had to give it up. By finally leaving some space, the extent of space can be felt in the back of the aquascape.
③Fix unstable stones firmly
To avoid stones from tilting over time, by clamping smaller stones underneath the unstable stones, fix them firmly.
④Express a scree
For a scree part where stones are crumbled, place some flat stones which are slightly lager than pebbles in order to avoid being hiddlen when Eleocharis acicularis is fully grown. Expressing in every detail gives a personality to the aquascape.
⑤Planting aquatic plants in an open space
For a spot with some open space in the center, to express the extent of space even more, mount some soil and keep some space by planting short undergrowth. By leaving the mounted soil in the middle of the aquarium tank high and the left and right side low, a natural flow is expressed.