SUIKEI WORDS Keyword 05 ‘Techniques to make small layouts look bigger’

SUIKEI WORDS Keyword 05 ‘Techniques to make small layouts look bigger’

Yusuke HommaYusuke Homma
To design beautiful aquascapes, there are some basic points to bear in mind. In this column, the Suikei creators will explain and illustrate each point as a keyword. Let’s deepen our knowledge of aquascaping!
Having a large size aquarium is not always necessary when you create a magnificent scene of nature inside a tank. You can build a dynamic aquascape even in a small tank, suitable for tight space installation, by keeping some points in mind. In order to create multiple highlight points in a small aquascape, it is important to carefully craft it by making the most of the dynamism of the materials.


Composition techniques

Tank size / W30xD18xH24 (cm)
Creating depth in an aquascape
In this layout, perspective is created to make the space look wider by combining both large and small driftwood pieces. Moreover, the viewer’s attention is drawn to the center in order to add depth by making a vanishing point with the angle of the driftwood arrangement and the way the sand is laid out. You can create a thin substrate layer with cosmetic sand, which makes the space appear larger.


Planting techniques

Tank size / W30xD30xH30 (cm)
Planting a variety of plants
This aquascape is composed of various aquatic plants in order to avoid being monotonous. Thin, small leaves are intentionally used so that the aquascape doesn’t feel too tight. Red colored plants, which give a strong impression, are planted randomly to depict a variety of plants mingled together in nature.


Using textures of layout materials

Tank size / W20xD20xH20 (cm)
Making the most of what the materials have
Choose layout materials with fine details so that the space inside the tank doesn’t look so tight. For example, use rugged rocks, and thin and branchy driftwood pieces. It is also a good idea to have small fish swim around.
Rocks with fine details
Rocks with flat surfaces