According to Wikipedia, “Aquascaping is the craft of arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood, in an aesthetically pleasing manner within an aquarium—
It is actually quite a bit more than that. Hardcore Aquascapers and professionals will insist that Aquascaping is a distinct art form that should adhere to certain strict disciplines and styles. Rightfully so… A peek at the entrants to any one of the Aquascape competitions held globally, will without doubt reveal the skill and artistry that is involved in creating these wonderful underwater “gardens”.
Does that mean that Aquascaping is beyond the reach of us mere mortals? Not at all, but, like most other things in life, some of us will have to start at the bottom and work our way up.
So where do we start? Like most every other art form, you need to have a thorough knowledge of the characteristics of the materials your working with. And since we are working mostly with live materials (plants and fish), we also need to know how to sustain those elements in what is essentially a closed environment. This requires that you are familiar with the basics of aquarium keeping to start with. Most aquascapers evolve from experienced aquarists and the skills you acquired will definitely form the backbone of your journey as an aquascaper.
One of the most important qualities that you can acquire, is patience. Working with living plants and using their growth characteristics, means that it will usually take time before your scape reaches maturity. Depending on the type of scape that you aim to create and the plants you use, this can take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Usually six months or more. During this time you will have to carefully and religiously maintain this creation, feeding, nurturing and trimming it into the final product. Patience and dedication are definitely needed.
Future posts will discuss Aquascaping Styles, Tools and Equipment and Aquascaping Techniques. It will definitely be worth your effort to brush up on Aquarium Plant Basics if you are a newbie to planted tanks.