Natural aquariums: description, creation, photo

Table of contents:

Natural aquariums: description, creation, photo
Natural aquariums: description, creation, photo

Not so long ago, a new kind of design art appeared - aquarism (natural aquarium). Photos of such masterpieces fascinate and delight.

Talented people create incredible underwater landscapes in aquariums or closed artificial tanks. Today it is arts and crafts, which is developing in different directions.

How it all started

Famous Japanese photo artist and aquarist Takashi Amano has invented a new way to design aquariums. It is based on the beautiful garden traditions of Japan and the principles of Zen Buddhism.

Today this aquascaping style is very popular and gaining momentum. It is based on minimalism. In natural aquariums, everything is transparent and seems to be weightless. This is provided by:

  • almost invisible high performance equipment;
  • elementary but reliable cabinet;
  • carefully selected lighting.

All this allows you to see what is happening under water and enjoy the magical scenery.

beautiful aquarium
beautiful aquarium

The essence of the idea

Translated from English aquascape (aqua - "water", scape - "landscape") - landscape design for closed tanks. Under water, in a limited space, various masterpieces are created, where flora and fauna are perfectly combined. This reflects the creative intent of the author of a small underwater world. To achieve the goal use:

  • filter system;
  • special nutrient soils;
  • light closest to the sun;
  • decorative elements (stones, driftwood, vegetation).

The nature aquarium has no frame, its amazing design does not require ties, so it looks like a painting floating in the air.

Perfectly matched proportions contribute to the unity of a piece of amazing natural beauty with natural elements of decoration.


Today there are many opportunities to make your fantasy come true. Whatever ideas are in the head of creative people, they are faced with the need to develop a design:

  • external - fully compatible with the interior of the room where the aquarium is located;
  • internal - the decorations and paraphernalia inside are set against the backdrop of a blooming biosystem.

It is wrong to think that all decoration is based on the splendor of plants. They are now more of a mere decoration or complement to a designer's whimsical ideas to bring life to an aquarium made from natural, non-living materials.

Currently loomingcertain rules and requirements that have absorbed the basic styles. Three of them are considered key:

  1. Taiwanese - based on an exact copy of the area and its landscape.
  2. Hardscape - supports the refusal to interfere with natural processes and allows them to take their course.
  3. Dutch is the exact opposite of hardscape, as it is a blooming garden under water with an abundance of colors and shades.

Fashion design direction does not leave indifferent artists, photographers, stylists and ordinary people.

Zen garden

The idea is based on the philosophical teachings of Zen Buddhism, it reflects a peaceful atmosphere and complete peace. "Dry mountains and water" - a literal translation of the name from Japanese. The basis is an aquascape with driftwood and stones. Place these items according to the rules of Zen Buddhism. This design of a natural aquarium should fully encourage self-knowledge and meditation.

landscape for meditation
landscape for meditation

Dutch style

Based on geometric and color contrasts, which embodies the visual realization. The main element of the design is the fauna. The totality of plants is strictly and according to certain rules placed. They are approximately the same height, shape, and do not mix in any way.


Designed in the spirit of Japanese gardening traditions. When performing the composition, stone structures are used. The literal translation of "ivagumi" is the arrangement of stones. Basic Requirements:

  • put it rightthis piece of decor, and the rest of the garden will form by itself;
  • place rocks first, then trees, then grass;
  • be sure to follow the placement rules.
stone laying
stone laying

The basis for the design of an aquarium in this style is an odd number of large specimens or rock fragments. They select natural stones for aquariums and place them in a strictly defined order, following clear rules:

  • stones are never arranged in one row;
  • all parts must have a solid position in the aquarium;
  • don't mix decor elements from other styles;
  • it should be noticeable that the stones have different dimensions and shapes;
  • when placing items, it's best to follow your intuition and arrange them the way they would look in nature.

It is necessary to consider everything, as it is not easy to make a choice of decorations for the aquarium. In the natural environment, not every stone will be suitable for decorating a composition.

There are types of materials that are completely unsuitable for decorating such an aquarium. This is:

  • limestone;
  • marble;
  • iron;
  • calcium;
  • magnesium.

For example, iron reduces the growth of plants, although it increases the splendor of algae. Magnesium and calcium harden water. The rock types suitable for aquariums can be found in the ADA catalogue.

aquarium stones
aquarium stones

Wabi-kusa style

Decoration from water-loving herbaceous plants is a style in phytodesign. HisWabi-kusa owes its existence to the Japanese art of ikebana - it is from there that it takes its origins.

Natural aquarium soil when creating a style can be purchased at the store. Its composition:

  • peat;
  • expanded clay;
  • clay.
natural aquarium
natural aquarium

There must be moss (wabi-kusa is a moss tussock). It is he who will decorate the soil floating on the surface of the water or partially drowning in it. A fluffy green island located in the middle of the composition imitates the swampy landscape.


Only from the side it seems that the world of an underwater aquarium is a complete mess, where everything is sketched and overgrown with grass. Such a natural setting is the result of hard work, trial, error and strict adherence to the rules of composition design.

When creating, adhere to one of three styles:

  • rio-boku - the main element is a snag (one or more);
  • willow-gumi - stones become the main detail;
  • mizube - decorative elements protrude above the water.

To create a mesmerizing landscape, you need to make the right choice of scenery from the natural environment. All kinds of snags, plants, certain stones, different types of soil will be reproduced in the aquarium. You also need to follow the laws of composition. There are three main types used in the design:

  1. Convex or island. Several stones or driftwood, arranged vertically, make up the center of the landscape (at the same time, according to the golden section rule, it is shiftedto the edge). The edges themselves remain deserted, except that low algae will be seen here. This type is suitable for tall tanks. The uprooted root of a fallen tree can complement the picture.
  2. Triangle. The relief of a natural aquarium is created by soil, stones, snags and plants of various sizes. It is built on a top-down basis. From the upper corner, the composition stretches to the opposite lower corner of the aquarium. The right and left parts are not symmetrical, but they necessarily complement each other. The arrangement of soil, snags and stones is also in the form of a triangular figure. Plants are planted from high to low. A view is formed from the top to the bottom with a smooth transition.
  3. Concave. The simplest composition to perform. The level of relief increases from the center to the edges. It's the exact opposite of an island. You can simulate a river bed or a path in the forest.
decoration triangle
decoration triangle

After choosing a composition, you should think about where to place the place for the focal point, that is, the detail that you want to highlight.

Live picture

Building a truly mesmerizing underwater landscape is a job that requires artistic ability as well as experience and creativity. The advice of those experienced in revitalizing and decorating is very useful if a natural reservoir is conceived. Aquariums should be equipped with only the essentials so that the style is not overloaded:

  • better to use an odd amount of decorative material (stones, driftwood);
  • fragments of the same kind with different shapes and sizes are welcome;
  • observance of symmetry is a sign of a novice artist, since symmetry is rare in nature;
  • snags should look rhizome up - so the viewer's attention will be scattered on the image as a whole;
  • planted vegetation will advantageously emphasize the relief of the landscape;
  • contrasting colors of the flora will decorate the overall background.

For a beginner inexperienced person, aquascaping seems to be an elementary activity, which leads to the same type of misses.

driftwood for aquarium
driftwood for aquarium

Main registration mistakes

It is better to learn from the mistakes of others than from your own - the essence of wisdom. Therefore, it is recommended to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the basic rules for creating landscape design, get everything you need and then try it. When creating a natural aquarium with your own hands, you need to consider some important points:

  1. Don't get to work without having at least a rough sketch of the future picture in your head. The creators of beauty carefully think over and prepare everything: they look for soil, plant plants and lay out decor.
  2. Copying the work of professionals is not forbidden, but the result will only be experience. Creatively, it would be plagiarism. Grow to the level of a connoisseur will be possible with the help of work, perseverance and intuition.
  3. Increases instead of developing your idea to mix the best elements from the works of professional craftsmen will lead to the fact that mistakes will grow like a snowball, now in technology, then inimaging technologies.
  4. Incompetence in some technical matters and poor knowledge of the theory will entail many miscalculations. For example, you need to install, fix the hardscape before filling the underwater aquarium with water.
  5. If there is no specific pattern, the content of the underwater world, especially plants, is often incorrectly selected. And if there is no order for their sequential planting, over time you will have to adjust a lot, changing one plant, then another.
  6. Chaotic selection of decor on the principle of "this can also come in handy" or lack of material lead to endless planning and shortcomings. It is better to immediately maintain natural colors, observe the consistency, adhere to the texture, take into account the forms of the decor. The highlight of any composition is hardscape: all its details must fit well and proportionately into the dimensions of the tank.
  7. Beginners use a multi-colored ground of a non-uniform structure or that stands out strongly from the color of the hardscape. It is recommended to stick to natural shades. A conspicuous spot will stick out from the entire composition.

It is advisable to take into account all these nuances in order to still create your own work and please others.

Perspective in a natural aquarium

A water tank is a three-dimensional structure, and properly arranged objects will only enhance the effect and make a significant impression on the viewer.

There are three types of perspective:

  1. Linear. All decor items and lines are moving into the distance, they are getting smaller and smaller.and converge at one point. An elementary way to realize this effect in an aquarium is to place the soil at an angle to the front wall.
  2. Aerial. The farther away an object is, the less clearly its silhouette appears. Everything is blurry and hazy.
  3. Tonal. A distant object appears lighter and more cloudy.

It should be noted that the last two perspectives are very similar to each other. In practice, this happens very simply, but all the little things must be taken into account:

  • more colorful scenery set up in the back than in the foreground;
  • be sure to have a light background below - it enhances the effect;
  • backlight is used.

Thanks to these tricks, more shadows are obtained in the foreground, which makes the design more voluminous and mysterious.

U shape aquarium
U shape aquarium

Background and light

Looking at the photo of a natural aquarium, you can see that the backlight plays a very important role in the implementation of the intended composition. Choosing the right background will hide flaws and some mistakes due to lack of experience and knowledge.

Don't make the background too bright. He will pull all the attention of the viewer to himself.

To make the conceived underwater world look beautiful, you need to take into account the location and theme of its implementation. Important to keep in mind:

  • the tank is near the wall - so the most objective option would be a black or blue background of the back wall;
  • when creating a seascape or demonstrating the world of plants and outlandish fish, the best background will berocks or stones;
  • freshwater and tropical underwater worlds set off by vegetation or foliage on the back wall of the tank.

The background in the aquarium is enlivened with the right light. In addition to the beautiful view, it is necessary for the growth of vegetation and photosynthesis. And also for the existence of fauna.

The best solution for aquarium lighting will be fluorescent lamps. They do not change the temperature of the water, unlike conventional incandescent lamps. To make it easier to control the necessary lighting, it would be nice to get a special timer. This will facilitate the care and maintenance of the flora and fauna in the underwater world.

The natural aquarium is a beautiful work of art. It's a never-ending creative process, perfecting different styles and experiences. And most importantly - a lot of positive emotions. A small piece of nature, a world created by one's own hands pushes away boredom and routine. By creating, a person learns from God creative skills and care for living organisms, becoming kinder and better.