Aquascaping Inspiration: Tips and Tricks


Have you ever wondered where to look for aquascaping inspiration? It’s a true fact that aquascaping is a little more complicated than just throwing some aquarium plants and hardscape materials into water. Having healthy plants and good-looking rocks and pieces of wood is just not enough. It takes a good eye to really master a great aquascaping arrangement. We take a look at some tips and tricks to help inspire your next aquascape.

Aquascaping inspiration is something that can be hard to come by when all you have is an empty tank, even when you have lots of experience the prospect of creating something from nothing can be a very daunting task.

There are decisions to be made from the outset about whether you are going to hardscape and where on earth you can get aquascaping inspiration from so here are some tips and tricks in order to help you create something beautiful in any planted aquarium.

Aquascaping Inspiration: The Natural World

One of the best places to look for aquascaping inspiration is in the natural world itself, try mountains, hills, beaches and other natural open spaces. Whether this is in the form of going out into your local countryside to see what you can find to take inspiration from or browsing photographs that other people have taken of breath-taking views that you might want to recreate.

Aquascaping inspiration doesn’t have to come from looking at underwater worlds either, some of the most beautiful aquascapes are models of picturesque views like a single tree on a hillside, or a cloud floating over a valley that’s recreated using floating moss. Even recreating cliffs that surround a beach with smaller rocks mixed in with the sand are simple and striking.

You can even take aquascaping inspiration from the natural world beneath your feet and look at recreating some stunning cavern aquascapes using light through gaps in stone, in order to highlight the features that you want the eye to be drawn to and the colour and texture of the plants you use mixed in with smaller rocks to perfectly recreate a lost world to be discovered.

Published Forms of Aquascaping Inspiration: Books and Magazines

If having the idea of different popular styles of aquascaping hasn’t provided you with any inspiration then there are always the options of turning to books in order to look at the different styles that other people have created.

There are lots of different books that have been published and can help you not only provide with some aquascaping inspiration but also help you to discover new plants to add to your existing planted aquarium.

One of the most popular authors and a pioneers in this field is Takashi Amano. Takashi has been publishing books since 1992 in the field and has come up with some of the most innovative and inspirational designs that have led to many other aquascapers pushing boundaries they had never imagined they could.

Building large scale aquascapes, Takashi Amano brings passion and artistic flair with a photographer’s eye to the creation of aquascapes. Though many of his books are lacking in technical step-by-step instructions and detailed botany information, they are a superb form of aquascaping inspiration filled with his personal insight and a genuine love for nature.

He also hosted a series of short documentary films based around creating his giant Nature Aquarium that can be viewed on YouTube.

Aquascaping Inspiration from Aquascaping Trend-Setters

Like many other hobby fields there are different forms of aquascaping that become very popular at different times and among different groups of people due to the influence of prominent members of the community or trendsetters.

Takashi Amano was one of the key trendsetters in aquascaping, but he is not the only one. There are many trendsetters in different countries that put their own passions for life and nature into the creation of some of the most stunning aquascapes you will ever see.

In the UK there is George Farmer who took aquascaping as a full-time job, Diego Marinelli from Italy, from Germany we have Jurijs Jutjajevs and Oliver Knott, Viktor Lantos from Hungary, Ionut Godea from Romania and many others.

In China Dave Chow has brought together hardscape and plants to create some of the most striking natural displays that include Lofty Spirit and Road of Samsara.

Aquascaping Inspiration: Contest Entries and Social Media

Since the year 2000, the Aquatic Gardeners Association has held an international aquascaping contest in which participants submit photos of their aquascaping creations online to be judged in one of 9 different categories.

These categories are:

  • Aquatic Garden smaller than 28l
  • Aquatic Garden 28l to 60l
  • Aquatic Garden 60l to 120l
  • Aquatic Garden 120l to 200l
  • Aquatic Garden 200l to 320l
  • Aquatic Garden larger than 320l
  • Biotope Aquascape
  • Paludarium
  • The Dutch Aquarium.

Each of the photographic entries are displayed online for each year allowing you to see what other people have done and provide you with aquascaping inspiration for your next project.

The last step would be to turn to social media for aquascaping inspiration. Just head to Facebook or Instagram and search for aquascaping and will get in an instant lots of pages and groups created with the purpose to showcase the newest and coolest aquascapes out here.

As you can see, getting aquascaping inspiration is not that hard, it’s just a matter of taking action.

So go out there, explore new natural environments, get a book or two, learn who are the current aquascaping trendsetters, search online and in the end you’ll have an enormous amount of information which you can put to use for your next aquascape.

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