What Is An Aquascape?

In Aquascapes, Freshwater Aquariums by

In this article, we will discuss what is an aquascape, the best ways to start aquascaping, what you should know about aquascaping, how easy is it to aquascape, if beginners can aquascape, and some aquascape plants.

An aquascape is a personalized landscape in an aquarium. Many aquascapes involve an assortment of rocks, drift wood, fake and real plants, and decorations.

Aquascaping is a very fun and rewarding hobby. The act of aquascaping is similar to drawing, sculpting, or painting. It’s a way to express yourself in a creative way.

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What Is A Terrarium? Find Out Here

Can You Have Fish With An Aquascape

Yes, you can have fish with an aquascape.

The fish you can have is determined by the tank size to accommodate for them and your aquascape, however, the types of fish, or tank mates you can add are usually very small similar to that of neon tetras, or shrimp.

When considering adding fish you have a few things to keep in mind. You do not want to have your aquascape take up 3/4 of the tank or your fish will become stressed. Stress can lead to disease and death.

The type of fish you add also depends on many other factors.

Does your fish have a long tail?

If so then you will want to avoid an aquascape with sharp rocks or wood. You will also want to make sure to avoid sharp substrate that can damage your fish.

Is Your Fish A Digger?

You will want to have your rocks glued down or secured with more than just the substrate otherwise you face your fish being crushed, hurt, or even killed.

Lighting For Your Fish Aquascape?

This is absolutely huge for your plants and your fish. Some fish prefer a well-lit environment, some do not care at all since it’s the sun to them, and others love a brackish environment with little light penetrating the surface.

Plants need light for photosynthesis and to remove nitrates, and create oxygen for your fish. Not enough light can kill your plants, too much light can burn your plants, a good amount of light can make your plants grow perfectly.

What Kind Of Fish Are Good For Aquascapes?

There are quite a few different types of aquarium fish that are perfect for aquascapes. Below we will list a couple of fish that are perfect for aquascapes.

Neon Tetras

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The Neon Tetra is a freshwater fish, beginner-friendly fish, and a community fish. The Neon Tetra is native to the Amazon. They can be found in the wild in South America.

The Neon Tetra is a schooling fish which makes them alone a beautiful display to watch school.

Neon Tetras are peaceful fish so you will not have to worry about them tearing up your aquascape plants. Neon Tetras are very good tank additions which is why they go well with most tank mates.


Discus is a very popular aquarium fish due to its beautiful appearance and peaceful community attitude.

Discus fish are great parents unlike most fish parents and will take precautions from eating their fry.

The Discus does not get too large which makes them suitable for aquascapes that aren’t too big.


Guppies are the type of fish that are raised in captivity. They are a peaceful type of fish which makes them great aquarium fish and also good aquascape fish.

They do not have any set water parameters, so a smaller environment for them will not stress them out in aquascapes.

The guppy is a live breeder but will enjoy having the extra foliage of the aquascape to hide.

Dwarf Gourami

There are many things that make the Dwarf Gourami a perfect aquascape fish. The Dwarf Gourami can be in many different tank sizes, they are a perfect community fish, they are very peaceful, and they can be raised in a 10-gallon tank only getting to about 3 inches across.

The Dwarf Gourami can make a beautiful display bubble nest as well which is just a unique trait to these beautiful fish.

Angel Fish

The Angelfish goes by many names and many fish are often called angelfish but this particular one that is well known in the aquarium is none other than the Pterophyllum Scalare.

These tropical fish are originated in the Amazon Basin and many rivers in South America. Their intriguing shape is due to how they hide in nature under plants, and roots in nature.

The Angelfish is an ambush predator that preys on small fish and macroinvertebrates.

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Can Beginners Aquascape?

Yes, aquascaping is a hobby that everyone can do. But, just like anything else the more you practice you will get better at it.

Many plants in the aquarium hobby are easy to grow with enough light, water conditions, and nutrients you can have your plants growing fast and beautiful.

Is Aquascaping An Art

Yes, aquascaping is a form of art similar to sculpting, drawing, painting, or whitling.

Aquascaping is also not just a hobby but can be made into a business. Aquascaping is a fun, time-consuming hobby.

Who Started Aquascaping

Aquascaping was first practiced and introduced by Takashi Amano.

The aquascaping hobby is designed to help capture Japanese design practices that are traditionally derived from Japanese Gardening.

In natural settings, you can make the aquascape look as if you are gazing at a riverbank.

Using driftwood, rocks, and plants you can create many different style designs for nature scenes.

When Did Takashi Amano Die?

Tatashi Amano died Aug 04, 2015 from pneumonia at the age of 61.

Takashi Amano was a very brilliant man with many interesting hobbies. He was a cyclist, aquarium enthusiast, and photographer.

Takashi Amano developed a company called Aqua Design Amano. .

Takashi Amano published many different books but his most famous are his photo books that we know as the “Nature Aquarium.”

What Plants Are Good For Aquascapes

There are many aquarium plants that are very good for aquascaping but we are going to focus on our favorite ones and cover a much broader list in another post.

 Java Moss

Java Moss clings to rocks, driftwood, and plant roots. Java Moss doesn’t have any care requirements other than normal maintenance and that they prefer hot tropical temperatures around 75 Degrees.

Java Moss is an invasive species plant so it’s very easy to grow. The main problem with moss is hair algae.

Java Moss is a perfect addition to your aquascape, terrarium, and home aquarium.

For aquariums, the Java Moss is perfect for fish particularly fish breeding. Java Moss will have many fry spawn in them, supply a perfect hiding spot for fry, and also provide another food source.

Java Moss is a cutaway and grows back kind of plant. Java Moss is a very stringy plant that can be a bit of a problem to get rid of but it’s well worth the risk. The intake filter can clog your filter so you will need to keep an eye on that.

If You Would Like To Learn More About Java Moss Read Our Article Here

Java Fern

Java Fern is a very hardy plant. The good thing about Java Fern is that there are so many different types that you can purchase to get that perfect look you are looking for.

Java Fern is a plant that attaches to wood, rocks, and plant roots. If you see the leaves get a really dark color that means that they are making sprouts.

Java Fern is an easy set it and forget it kind of plant. It’s still an invasive species so do not flush the plant down the toilet or release it in your local waterways.

Anubias Barteri

The Anubias Barteri is a slow-growing plant that needs a lot of light. The Anubias Barteri can have a problem in aquariums with algae.

Anubias Barteri does enjoy having a good shading plant such as duckweed to help with the spread of algae.

Anubias Barteri feeds from its leaves until it can grow good roots.

Anubias Barteri needs some good low temperature and low light conditions. If you make sure to maintain this then you will have a good time growing this plant.

Weeping Moss 

Weeping Moss is an easy to raise plant. Weeping Moss is an attached plant that attaches to rocks, roots, and driftwood. Weeping Moss is a tropical temperate moss so temperatures around 75 degrees are ideal for them.

Weeping Moss is different from Java Moss due to how it droops instead of growing in all directions.

“Monte Carlo” 

The Monte Carlo is very meticulous so I linked a very helpful video below.

The Monte Carlo is a carpet plant. They are perfect for cherry shrimp and fry. The Monte Carlo reminds me of some microgreens you would see at the supermarket or a small close patch of clovers.

Monte Carlo is a plant that you cannot use a water vacuum to clean or they will become not attractive looking. Monte Carlo is unfortunately not good for cleaning the tank and traps fish waste, and microbes.

The Monte Carlo will need more than a water change. It will require a very good filter.

How Much Does Aquascaping Cost

Aquascaping is a very expensive hobby but it’s rewarding as well. It really just depends on the plants, equipment you need, and the gravel you decide to purchase.

We will create an article in the future over everything you need for aquascaping but if you would like a more in-depth article on costs check out this article that says it will cost $971.

Do Planted Tanks Need Water Changes

Yes, you need to do a water change with a planted tank. However, there are some ways where you can get away with no water changes.

The main thing to aim for to make this happen is to add microelements and the removal of macro elements such as nitrate and phosphorus.

Depending on how many plants you have will determine how nitrate and phosphorus are taking out.

Maximum growth in your aquarium will make it where you do not have to do water changes. You will want to add more water nutrient removal plants instead of rooted plants.

How Do You Keep An Aquascape Clean

It depends on what you would like as far as clean. Plants will take nutrients out of the water and soil. Shrimp will help clean up the tank as well but will not help with algae growth on the aquarium walls.

You can keep the aquarium clean with regular maintenance as well such as cleaning the bottom of your aquarium with a water vacuum and cleaning the tank walls with a scrubber.

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