Takahito Mizuno
Nine 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.

Visiting the Natural Aquascape: When and What to See

In an aquascape with the utmost naturalness, you may capture a glimpse of fish in their true wild state. For example, certain types of fish that prefer deeper waters swim at lower levels of the 4-meter tank with a depth of 1.5 metres, and schooling fish swim in groups while keeping a certain distance from one another even in a vast space of  7 metres in width. It’s all too easy to focus on the beauty of the aquascape, but the pleasure of watching the natural behavior of fish is also one of the highlights of the Natural Aquascape. Moreover, the fact that fish show their true nature is a good sign of a stress-free environment. And that’s a reason why the fish in the Natural Aquascape grow so well. Their bodies, with well-developed vertical height, fins, and colors are always beautiful to watch.
Melanotaenia herbertaxelrodi, which has grown to the size of my palm.
Aquatic plants, on the other hand, are maintained for a long period of time by periodic thinning, so the degree of perfection of the aquascape is not the same all the time. Normally, the Sumida Aquarium is open almost all year round, and even the day after major maintenance work such as trimming and cutting-and-replanting is done, the aquascape will be still open to the public for visitors. It is interesting to see the changes after major maintenance, but we would like to encourage visitors, especially those who are visiting this place for the first time, to come when the aquascape is at its peak state. ADA’s maintenance team has been working carefully on these five aquascapes to bring them to their best condition at the Obon holiday, the year-end and New Year holidays, and other long holidays. I hope you will find this helpful when you plan to visit the aquarium.

※Please check the official website of the Sumida Aquarium for its operating hours.
You have a chance to spend more time with the aquascape in the early morning, when fish are more active.