What level (low vs high tech) does a nature aquarium require? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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What level (low vs high tech) does a nature aquarium require?


Long time fish keeper and planted tank failure here. I only have two tanks these days where I used to always have 5+. My main interest is dwarf cichlids and my tanks will always be geared towards their husbandry.

I have a 6 foot 125g tank. The only occupants are 1m2f Apistogramma baenschi. 30 Nanostomus marginatus, and 3 Apistogramma grow out

What would it take to recreate something like the below example?
Nature Aquarium - Aquascaping | Planted Aquariums | Aqua Design |

Current lighting is 4 dome lights with 6500k CFL bulbs. The surface of the water is covered in water sprite, duckweed, and some kind of floater that randomly appeared in one of my ponds a couple years ago. Needless to say the tank is ugly, but fish heaven.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 05:17 PM
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A "Nature Aquarium" is, as far as I can tell, an Amano concept. It is an aquarium aquascaped to look like a non-aquatic scene in nature. Like a forest, with a trail or stream going through it, or a mountain, etc. Amano used CO2, moderate lighting, and lots of work, plus outstanding photographic skills. I don't see any way to create something like that with low light and minimal tank maintenance.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like I am way off with the terminology I used. I would prefer something that looks like it would be found in nature. Thank you Hoppy.

Maybe I can explain what I like. The main hardscape will be an island placed off centered in the tank. Driftwood branching out of the island and covered by some kind of moss (Java? Christmas?) to create a sense of time. There are more mosses in the hobby than ever it seems, I'm not sure what looks nice on driftwood and will work in a low light setup.

I like the look of having the substrate higher in the back, sloping down towards the front to create depth. So I could add some kind of plant substrate in the island and use pool filter sand everywhere else. Finally,I would like to add some kind of stem plants in the island to give it a filled in look. The rest of the tank can be open substrate with a few oak leaves and twigs for added effect.

No need to be biotope specific or anything, if I was imitating the habitat my fish come from I could just fill the tank with leaves.

This guy did something similar to what I envision, but I want more of a "black water" look:

Bump: Apparently the Island scape is pretty popular. Searching the forum brought up loads of hits. Sometimes you just need the correct terminology. You coaxed it out Hoppy lol.
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