Takahito Mizuno
Ten years have passed since the creation of the “Natural Aquascape” in the Sumida Aquarium, which was considered as the world’s largest Nature Aquarium at the time. We will share a series of behind-the-scenes stories about its creation and maintenance, which has not been talked about much until now.

Maintenance of stem plants

In the background of the 7m aquarium, 11 different species of colorful stem plants are planted in 15 sections. The colorful planting brings out the beauty of the aquatic plant clusters, and it is one of the highlights of this layout. In the aquarium with super panoramic ratio at Horizontal 7: Vertical 1, it is important to keep a balance especially between the background and space. And it is necessary to keep good control of stem plants with different growth rates. The aquariums at the Sumida Aquarium are also maintained based on the same trimming methods as Nature Aquarium layouts in commercial size aquariums. We perform trimming  while the aquarium is open every day. Therefore, we never lower the trimming line or cut stem plants at a low position so that visitors can see the aquariums comfortably even after the trimming operation. And after new buds come out, we precisely pick them to increase the density so that the best time to see the aquariums can last as long as possible. We perform trimming not only from the front but also from the back while looking into the water with an aqua scope, and we even check the trimming line from the side as well.
Trimming has to be done carefully because the central part is the most difficult.
When we work with an aquarium with width and depth, it is important to give adjustments while checking from various angles so that stem plants create a beautiful curve even when viewed from the edge of the aquarium. It is not so easy to work with an aqua scope when trimming until you get used to it, but there is an advantage that it is easier to check if there are any uncut parts on the back side of the composition materials and the inclination to the front. Even when trimming in a commercial size aquarium, checking a trimming line from various angles is the key to create more beautiful aquascapes.
Trimming in anticipation of underwater video shooing in 2 weeks.
The finished look right before shooting.