NATURE IN THE GLASS ‘Waterside Drenched with Sunlight’

Editors of Aqua JournalEditors of Aqua Journal

Sun-drenched, brilliant tropical waterfront
where jungle plants flourish and water lilies bloom

The master of Nature Aquarium, Takashi Amano proposed a new layout style for waterfront scenery in his later years. He incorporated an element of Nature Biotope, which recreates waterfront scenery outdoors, into a layout and expanded the layout from underwater to above water. This layout was produced in that style. Tropical waterfront scenery is portrayed by planting emergent plants, such as Cyperus alternifolius, primarily with various jungle plants in the above water section. In addition, the tropical water lily with floating leaves on the water surface enhance the waterfront ambiance and adds the fun of enjoying flowers as well.


Shooting date: October 31st, 2018(ADA)
Creator: Yusuke Homma
Aquarium: Cube Garden W180 x D120 x H60 (cm)
Lighting: Solar RGB x 6, turned on for 10 hours per day
Filter: Original overflow filtration system
Substrate: Aqua Soil – Amazonia, La Plata Sand, Power Sand Advance L, Bacter100, Clear Super, Tourmaline BC
CO26 bubbles per second via CO2 Beetle Counter (using Tower) / Direct injection in the inflow pipe coming from the pump head inside filter sump
Additives: Brighty K, Green Brighty Mineral, Green Brighty Nitrogen
Water change: 1/3 once a week
Water quality: Temperature: 25ºC; pH: 7.0; TH: 20 mg/l

Aquatic Plants:
Hygrophila sp.
Hygrophila lacustrus
Hygrophila corymbosa “Compact”
Scrophulariaceae sp.
Cryptocoryne spiralis
Microsorum sp. (Trident)
Taxiphyllum barbieri
Nymphaea lotus (Red)
Saururus cernuus
Cyperus alternifolius
Lagenandra toxicaria “Green”
Lagenandra toxicaria “Silver”
Aglaonema simplex
Aglaonema commutatum “Silver Queen”
Homalomena sp. Sekadau South
Piptospatha ridleyi
Blechnum brasiliense

Fish & Invertebrates:
Melanotaenia boesemani
Melanotaenia praecox
Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi
Telmatherina ladigesi
Pseudomugil furcatus
Crossocheilus oblongus
Otocinclus sp.
Caridina multidentata

Colorful tropical underwater scenery produced using large driftwood, Manten Stones, stem plants and ferns.

The W180 x D120 x H60 cm aquarium with overflow boxes, in which this layout was produced, is an unusual one. The left and right overflow boxes limit the composition to a concave type. Somewhat larger driftwood and Manten Stones were used as composition materials, and a powerful composition was created in the underwater section. Since the composition materials produced such a strong impression, colorful stem plants were used primarily for the planting to soften the impression. Ferns were used in the deeper section to signify the ecotone that transitions continuously from above water to shallows and from shallows to a deeper area.
1. Stem plants in the Rotala family were planted in the shallow area. This planting was intended for softening the overly strong impression of the composition materials and brightening up the overall impression of the aquascape.

2. Reddish stem plants in the Ludwigia family that love strong light were planted close to the water surface. It adds color to the aquascape, and the way it spreads along the water surface renders a waterfront atmosphere at the same time.

3. Sciophytic ferns were planted in the deeper area. The ecotone (transition zone) that stretches from the area above the water to underwater is portrayed by changing the vegetation depending on the water depth.

4. The atmosphere of a river bottom was created by placing cosmetic sand in the foreground. Using cosmetic sand in this manner also prevents the impression of an aquascape from becoming too dark.

5. The protruding driftwood branches in the center open space give a powerful impression and perspective to the aquascape. Mosses are grown on the surface of the driftwood to enhance the natural appearance.

6. Tiger Lotus that develops both underwater leaves and floating leaves is quite suitable for this type of layout that depicts a waterfront. Tiger Lotus will bloom if maintained in an aquarium for a long period of time.
This type of aquarium with overflow boxes limits the composition to a concave type. The slope of a river bank was portrayed here by combining the driftwood and Manten Stones and then placing the substrate materials.
Photographed on February 9, 2017.

A new and refreshing ecotone layout of waterfront vegetation produced with aquatic plants and jungle plants

The above water section of a conventional open top aquarium is often produced with emersed-grown leaves of aquatic plants. The above water section of this layout is produced using aquatic plants and jungle plants. The previous version of this layout was produced using only emersed grown leaves. However, the above water section did not have height, and the plants in the above water section were lacking a strong presence. Reusing emergent plants and plants with floating leaves that were used previously in Nature Biotope, and the jungle plants that were used in Mizukusa Wall strengthened the impression of the above water section of this layout.
Progress 1
The appearance of the aquascape that reached first peak condition approximately three months after planting. Aquatic plants above the water section developed emersed grown leaves, and the appearance of the planting transitions smoothly from emersed plants to submersed plants. However, ferns and mosses have not grown very much yet.
Photographed on May 23, 2017

Progress 2
Approximately seven months have passed since the planting; the volume of plants both above water and under water increased, and the entire layout appears impressive. However, the aquatic plants above water tend to expand sideways and the height remains relatively short.
Photographed on September 6, 2017.

The current condition
After one year and eight months from planting, the above water section of this layout has increased its presence with emergent plants, plants with floating leaves, and jungle plants added boldly into the above water section. The ambiance of a tropical waterfront has increased. A tropical water lily is blooming as well.
Photographed on October 31, 2018.


A lavender blue flower of a day-blooming tropical water lily. Night-blooming Tiger Lotus also bloomed in a few days after this photoshoot.