NATURE IN THE GLASS ‘Riverbed of unexplored region – Layout – ’

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal

An Africa-themed aquascape,
mainly using shade plants and
having triangular shape as a motif

There are two different ways to create an aquascape. One way is to create an aquascape based on a concept that you already have, and the other is to create a layout organically, developing a layout image from shapes and characteristics of the composition materials that you use, such as driftwood and rocks. This aquascape was produced by the latter method, and an image of an African rainforest came to mind when I saw the shape of driftwood combined with shade plants. I wanted to use a triangular motif as a design concept; some of the Manten Stones were arranged in triangular form in order to match the triangular shapes shown by the driftwood branches. Arrowhead shaped leaves of Anubias hastifolia also brought visual coherence to the layout.
Shooting date: November 8th, 2018(ADA)
Creator: Yusuke Homma
Aquarium: Cube Garden W150×D60×H60(cm)
Lighting: Solar RGB x 2, turned on for 8.5 hours per day
Filter: Super Jet Filter ES-2400(Bio Rio L)
Material: Jati Wood, Manten Stone
Substrate: Aqua Soil – Amazonia Ver.2, Power Sand Advance L, Bacter 100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC
CO2: Pollen Glass Beetle 50Ø, 5 bubbles per second via CO2 Beetle Counter (using Tower)
Aeration: 15.5 hours after the light is turned off using Lily Pipe P-6
Additives: Brighty K, Green Brighty Mineral, Green Brighty Iron, Green Brighty Nitrogen
Water change: 1/3 once a week
Water quality: Temperature: 25ºC; pH: 6.4; TH: 20 mg/l

Bio Mizukusa No Mori Anubias barteri var. nana
Bio Mizukusa No Mori Anubias coffeefolia
Bolbitis heudelotii
Hygrophila pinnatifida
Microsorum sp. ‘Trident’
Anubias hastifolia
Anubias barteri var. “barteri ‘Butterfly'”
Eriocaulon sp.
Blyxa auberti
Echinodorus angstiforia
Vesicularia sp.
Callicostella prabaktiana
Taxiphyllum barbieri (Moss Bag)

Phenacogrammus caudomaculatus
Hemigrammopetersius caudalis
Ladigesia roloffi
Crossocheilus oblongus
Otocinclus sp.
Caridina multidentata

Create depth and a sense of nature
with composition and planting,
suitable for long-term maintenance

One of the characteristics of Nature Aquarium is long-term maintenance of aquascapes. Aquascapes featured in Aqua Journal are showcased at Nature Aquarium Gallery, but these aquariums are regularly redesigned because the number of displayed aquariums is limited there. However, some of the aquascapes have been kept over the years in order to demonstrate the theory of Nature Aquarium brought by Takashi Amano and to train our maintenance staff. In fact, some types of aquascapes are easier to maintain for a long time than others, and the aquascapes mainly using ferns and other shade plants, like this aquascape, are considered suitable for long-term maintenance.
Composition suitable for long-term maintenance
3 driftwood pieces were used as main composition materials. A sense of depth was created by placing light-colored driftwood (B) in the front and dark-colored driftwood (C) in the back, and there are 2 separate planting areas (A).
Photo from August 8, 2018
Cosmetic sand and Vesicularia sp. attached to rocks were used for the foreground. I used ferns as main plants and had only small soil areas to make long-term maintenance easier.
Photo before long-term maintenance
3 months after planting, this aquascape was completed, and it would be placed under long-term maintenance in the NA Gallery.
①Planting 2 types of ferns
Microsorum sp. ‘Trident’ was planted as an accent so as to prevent a dense impression created by Bolbitis huedelotii from becoming too strong. I added variation to the leaf color and shape.
②Expressions created by driftwood
The arrangement and combination of Manten Stones are made with a triangular motif to match with triangle shapes formed by the driftwood branches. I didn’t cover the entire driftwood with moss but left them partially exposed to add depth and dimension to the aquascape.
③Planting plan considering color combination
I planted soft red-colored Blyxa auberti and nice green Anubias coffeefolia to go well with the colors of the driftwood, cosmetic sand, moss and ferns.
Vesicularia sp. in the foreground
Vesicularia sp. can be easy to take care of when attached to rocks, instead of to branch tips because the moss is less epiphytic and easier to sink than other mosses.
Wabi-Sabi expressed with moss and driftwood
I wrapped moss around small driftwood branches with the texture similar to the main driftwood pieces and randomly placed them between Manten Stones. Although they will be mostly covered with moss eventually, the expression of Wabi-Sabi can be created by slightly showing the branch ends.
Displayed at Tohoku Orchid Show
The aquascape was exhibited at “Tohoku Orchid Show” held in January this year. It had been maintained and remained almost the same as 3 months ago.