Aquascaping from Italy – Interview with Diego Marinelli

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Aquascaping interview with Diego Marinelli, a talented aquascaper from Italy.

Hi Diego and thank you for accepting our invitation to undergo this interview. For starters, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thank you for this interview. I live and work in Avellino, a small country town in southern Italy. For a short time I’m a professional aquascaper, the only one in Italy for now.

How did you get into the fishkeeping hobby and what was your first contact with aquascaping?

I want to premise that I have always had a strong attraction to the “nature” themes and “green”, in fact my other great passions are photography and naturalist excursions…
About 9 years ago I saw on the internet the first images of a Nature Aquarium and I’m loving it since then.


© Diego Marinelli

There are different styles of aquascaping out there (Dutch, Nature Aquarium, Iwagumi etc.), what’s your favorite one and why?

My favorite style is the Nature Aquarium, is fantastic the idea to be able to replay in a confined space a true portrait of nature.


© Diego Marinelli

Please describe the most challenging setup that you made so far.

My work “One too many morning” of 2012 that I’ve had a lot of satisfaction to the most important contest was a complex layout. To get the depth I had to work for a long time on the arrangement of rocks and inclination of the woods. To get a natural effect was due spend a lot of time to grow, mix and contain several species of aquatic plants difficult.


© Diego Marinelli

What’s your main source of inspiration for your aquascapes?

Forests, rivers and mountains from the area in which I live.

Do you have a favorite species of aquatic plant or fish which you like to work with more often?

I have no favorite species. But I choose plants that better adapt to the layout of my project.

Many people starting with aquascaping complain about algae bloom and they usually give up when that happens. How do you keep your aquariums algae free and what advice would you give regarding this matter?

To not see the algae you’d need to focus all attention on the plants. Making sure that the plants grow is the best way to combat algae, so you need to have a large number of fast-growing species.


© Diego Marinelli

What was the longest that you kept an aquascaping setup? How many tanks do you keep right now and how many hours per week do you spend doing aquarium maintenance?

Right now I manage 3 aquariums in my house, and other tanks of my clients. I managed a layout for more than three years.

Tell us a bit about the technical aspect of your aquariums, like filtration, light units, CO2, fertilization systems.

I created and managed in different types of aquariums using products from various companies, and getting consistent good results. As I prefer the neon lighting t5, I believe that LED technology needs to be improved.

How much of an artist do you have to be in order to create aquascape like the ones you see in the major aquascaping contests? What skills do you think differentiate a good aquascaper from the best?

The best aquascapers are those who manage to put in their work creativity and genius. But the basis is always a strong sensitivity to nature and ability to convey emotions.


© Diego Marinelli

Is aquascaping a big thing in Italy?

Aquascaping is not a big thing in Italy, unfortunately… But it is now in widespread use.

Can you tell us more about

Aquaproject has precisely the aim of disseminating information and aquascaping techniques among internet users. For a short time with an online store so you can also buy products for aquascaping.


© Diego Marinelli

What are your plans about your future as an aquascaper, would you like to share that with us?

I have many initiatives to be pursued in the coming months. My intention is to bring out the tanks from the shops of FISHES, with the aim to show the Nature Aquarium to people who do not know… I have already made preparations and courses to elementary school children, stand aquarium in shopping centers, during cultural events, etc.

Thank you again Diego and we wish you best of luck in all your future endeavors.

My pleasure.

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