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lranslla~ot': Willl'iam Charll'~Oil1l


Takashi Amano Aqua Design Amann


TAKAS H: II AMANO Aqua Design Amano

Otiginal~y published by bede- Verl<:lg,. Ru hma nnsfdden, Germany. © Capo/right '1997 by bede:Verl.ag

IJilistrllbuted inthi·e UIN !TIE D STATIESIO the Pet Trade by T .. F Ji ... Publl iC.a!tions.,. Iinc., One T. E HI .. 1P'llaza, N€[ptluf1:9 Ciity, NJI 07753; on the Internet at www.tfh..oom; in CANADA Rob' C. Hagen II nc., 32'25 San-!:eloli1l St Laur~nt~Montreal Qiueb€<c H4R '1E8: Pet Trade by 1-1& L Pet Su~plies lne., 2.7 Kin{JiSto:n Cre®cernt, Kitcra,sner,. OntaJio N!2B .2T6; iim ENGLAND by 1r.F. til .. Pub~ic.a!tions, PO Bax ~ 5,. Wa:te~oovi~IIEl POl' 1680.;. in AUSTRALIA .AND THE SOUTH PA:CIF~C by 1".F.H. (Austraiiia), Ply. ltd., Box 149, Brookvale 2100 IN.S .. VII., Australia; in NEW ZEALAND by Brooklarnds Aquarium Ltd. 5 MoGiiven [)rii'l;{l!!!., N·ew Pliymou~h, R[)1 INew Ze,aJland; lin souru AF"RIICA, Rolf C. Hagen SA (PTY .. ) lTD. P.O. Box 2011199, Duman INorth®16, Sou~hi AfriiCa; in Japan by T.FH Publiicatiio:ns, Japan-Jiro Tsuda, 1.olm 12...:3. Ohjidiai., Saikl!.!ra, Gh lba .285, Japan. Published by 'LF .H ... PulbUcati!(l:rls, I rIle.



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I n nod ucdon .,.,., . .,., "",,.'.. ..•.. 7

ThsWerld ofTetras:

Na~me and Aquarium , 8

SquaUs in th e J u n gle " 1 0

"The Garde n of the M U SH3}} , ••• 1 5

"The G~ow of the Creve" 18

"M' ". C' , tr 2· 3-

, ,tlJ'E:stll C i-orest "" , , 'Co •

Furnishing the Aquartum , 28

li Sh adows ii n the Ra ~ nfo res. t" , 34

U60 and get 3-6

Plants That Prod u ce Runners , .. , .. 40

"The Wiind Comes" , , 42

F'eed n gth eFlsh es m , •••••••• , •••• 44

"A Serenade of thsWind" , 45

"Sunspot Meio-oy'i "" 46

"A Sunbeam Symphony", 48

Fu mi shiin gs , .. ' n ••••• 50

If'S'h" ','- a SOh ' .. -- . II' ' .. Ii 52

- ,I Illmmerllilo .oreuU":!e , , ,··

lR:ed Plants Are More Jmportant . 55

The Decorative Objects Wood and

Rock in the Aqua ri u m , 57

The Care of th e p~ an ts ++ •• +< 60

aqua des!ign amana

The nature photographer Takashi Amano comes from the Japanese city of Niigata.. which is also famous as the stronghold of·Koi breeding. Although aquaria furnished attracttvelywtth aquatte p]auts were ortgtnally unknown in the Japanese aquarium hobby, this was changed by [he fantastic phetogrepbs of Takashl Amanc. Through his mvaluable preliminary work, todaym Japan aquatic

plan t gardens are commonplace in th~ aquan uro hobby. . .

In hi-$. marmer of furnishing aq uarta, Amano trod completely new paths, In so doing he ortented hnnself to tradfttonal .Japanese horticulture and the principles of Zen Buddhism .. In Japan this new trend became so well 'esta!bUshed because Amano, with his firm. Aqua DesignAmano Co. Ltd., could not only provide drrecttons far the cperation of beautiful aquaria" but could also provide the a pproprta toe products for the practical application of these tdeas ..

ln the meantime aquarium. furnishing based on Arnano's prmctpleshaa also gained recognttion in the United States and Europe, Many nature lovers in the aquarium hobby have specialized in the desig~. of such aquaria .. Amano's natural aquaria differ clearly from the previously known European planted aquarla, as are favored. for example, In the Netherlands .. The -Japanese aquaria reflect more dose~y the natural model, although even they cannot be complete copies of the nafurallandecape.

Artistic focal paints are achteved through specfficallyselected rocks orattractlve roots. The operator of a natural aquarium may not constantly tnterfere Vi.-ith the automatle sequence of e'Ciolog1ca.1 processes of such an aquarium. The use of carbon dioxide is essenttal for "the operation of natural aquaria accordmg to Amano's principles, This in fact is often visible through the formation of oxygen b ubbles on the aquatic plants. This formation of oxygen bubbles is .i n part used directly as a decoratrve medium.

With his method of furnishing aquaria, 1'akashi Amano has taken completely new paths ...

Taka.sl1i Amann's aquarium phil0~!{~phy is unique. 'The tnereastng enthusiasm for hts Japanese natural aquaria has led to nothmg short of'artewboorn in the aquertum hobby.

Desprte repeated su,ggestlons for rurmshmg aquarta and. numerous creatrve Ups in Ms books. most of the a ttempts to copy his aquaria have failed, The key probably lies precisely in these attempts attrmtanon. Arn.ano<'·s aquaria. are and remain unique. So. what can we do? Mer edt we also want to have beautiful aquaria in our Hving rooms, which should not all be constructed aceordmg to the nearly standardfzed model of Dutchaquatte plant gardens"

Nevertheless, theuntque.Iapaneae natnralaquarta can serveas creative supports for our ewarealisable ~deas"

Thtseertatnly is the mere realtstle tdea, Let us therefore study the magmflcent photograpbs In this 100 ok and let them. serve us as creative models. which we can use for our own ereauve destgns, Eve:r! iff we cm]y leaf through the book and look at the beautiful photographs, however. wewttl certainly derivegreat en] oyment from it

Tetras are popular aquarturn fLS:h.es whtch have been particularly popular beta use of their often splendid colors slnce the beginnings of the aquarium hobby. Preetsely these fishes are parucularly well sutted fQr beautiful plan ted aquarta, To. be sure they also include herbtvores and species that grow too large. These and other tetras will be presented ~n another guide on the subject of tetras. In thts book, however. the plants come to the fore more so than do the fishes, yet the fishes are just as much a part of an attracnvely destgned aquartum as the plants and the other decorative objects.

The aq uaria that wereselected are therefore primarl]y tetra aquaria. The tetras are ()ocasiof.!ally kept together with other species, such as dwarf eichhds or

small sucker ea tftshes, In the interest ot'the possfble eopymg of s]milar aquaria,. species ltsts of both the aquatic plants and the frshes are meluded,

The species ltsts g~ve both the sCientific and com ~ [non names, The sClentific name is the more nnpertant, however, because ttcontributes to a better genera] understanding and because manyspeetes are known under the most diverse common names ,. Furthermore. the dimenslcns ofthe pr-esented aquaria are always given tn tbe measurements length x \Vldth x h.e1gl1t ~nce~tlmeters. Addttional Important data of

the aquarturn are also gj.ven., . , ..,

Some ereattve suggestions and Ups for fumishmg aquaria. should make i t easier for you to create you r O\!f!J.1J. JapEmese til a tural aq uanum.

TheWorld of Tetras

Nature and Aquarium

In the, Muromachl period U33g.......][5·73l. the grandiose Chinese aquatiemontane landscapes were recreated even in limned spaces in Japanese horticulture.

The focal point of my work is in creating landscapes based on the natural model. In Zen gardens of the Karesansui style it is attempted to represent the cosmos in the smallest possible space and thus to recreate the great in the small.

It would be presumptuous to want to recreate impressive biotopes en a small seale in the aquarium, Nevertheless, attractive landscape elements should be an msptratton to the creative hobbyist ... "

Asmalt cleartngalongthe stream in the rainforest.

The rocks above the water's surface are covered with moss. Between the giant trees, a few ,of which have eollapsed from age, grow young trees. plants. and ferns.

N oticeable above everything else are the sounds of flowtng wa ter. tntensifted by the rushing: notse produced by small raptds,

Forthe copying of Nature and for the study orthe arrangement of rocks and the overall design of a

l~ndscape g!i]"den in the Karesansui style, the Hoj onan Garden ]n the Da]tokuJl Temple. the Hojohoku Garden in the Ryugenin Temple, the HOJohoku Garden in the Daisenm Temple, the Hojo Garden In the Ryoanji Temple, the Hojohoku Garden in the Entokuin Temple. and the garden in the Tenryui Temple are particularly instructive examples. Moreover, to depict them under water demands a great deal of senetttvtty.

Squallsin the Jungle

Glossostigma eJatoidl!JS in the' fore-glround and Hydrocotyle wflrticillata inlille central part of the aquarium have similar leaf torms but v's ry diUe rent sizes. They 00 ntrast with the wood with the Java moss and Congo te rn gro~iilg on it.

Plan ts and fish are identified O[![ page 13.

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It IS essential that hsrmonlous plaJn~ speoles b~ se'lected clespi!~:e lheir d iHere:noes_

Fu rntshtng and planting plan for the tetra aq uart urn "Sq ualls in the J ungle":

When the woodi s used as is. it produces an tmbalance in the underwater landscape. Therefore, it is recommended to decorate the wood wtth Java moss II Vesiculalia dublllll1.a) and with ferns S'lJ eh as, Congo fern (BoJbiUs Jwu.delo:tL(J.

When attaching the carpet of moss, make sure that it is not too thick. After ab out two men th s, the cotton threads wiU have dissolved and the moss In the meantimewill have grovm. onto the wood.

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! :1 nOP6ca", , av 0''''''. growth po;'"'0' tho Congo W.,o"o m








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Undergrowth with ~!"!J.~I[;l! p-IJilJts. - - -

Nematobrycon pafm(J;ri, the Emperor Tetra.

'rip~ichthys k.em~ the Blue Emperor Tetra.

Megalamphodus roseus, the Yellow PhaJntom ntra.

Hyphessobrycon hemertaxefrodi, th e IBlack Neon,

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Squalls in the Jungle

Emperor Tetra and Congo Waterfem_

Underwater landscapes with the Congo fern make the aquarium look like a summerlandscepe. Ther:1.ch green of the plants really allows the o bserver to sense the power of summer"

Only 'villi proper care wtll the tmttally plain lnpaichthys kem tum into a real Blue Emperor Tetra ..

With soft lighting and a dark substra te, they are shown tobest advantage, These ave acnve and peaceful school fishes. which require an open smmm1ng space. They also need more thickly planted areas, however, into whiCh. they can retreat.

Ex--temru flltratlolQ of the aquart urn through biological filter material, substrate of fine sand, CO~ fertflteatton, about two bubbles per second. and a weekly water change of about 1/2 the volume.

For all dimensions of the following aquaria, length x wtdth x height applies,



PlllDts aDd Animals used 'lin "Sqaulls in the ,Jungle":

50 x 30 X 316 em, ADA Cube Garden, 4- x 20 W, iLO hours/day.

24;OC, pH 7.0, 2O;>dGH, 7<>dKJL

Bolbitls heude,!oW Ves!Cularia. dubycmG Q,Wssostfgma e[atLrwides Hydroooty!e uerti.cU!.ata.

HlIIwocof!J1e m.ru1tlrna Rtccia j1uita:ns

Caridiniajaponica Inpalthfhys kern Nematobryoon lacorte( Nemaiobrycon palmeri Otoctndus sp.

The Yamanmuma shrimps and dwarf sucker catfishes are found as algae eaters tn all aquaria, Yematenuma shrtmps are unobtainable inBurope and cam possibly be replaced by other species. There are no results $10, far {In such attempts. Dwarf sucker catfishes stay considerably smaller than the A;'lCisirus species that are eornmonly used to control algae. but. they are also more deltcate,

Fur Ollie GfDjgerulngaben dell' folgenden Aquarien gilt: liinge x Tiefe x Hohe

Congo Waterfem Java Moss Australian Fligwort Amertcan Pennywort Euro'pean Pennywort Crystalwnrt

Yamatonuma Shrimp Blue Emperor Tetra Rambow Tetra Emper-o:r Tetra

Dwarf sucker ci'lltflsh

CrypwC'O(yne's.pe·des are also suita_ol * for pia nti ng the tetra aquarium.

liThe Garden of the Muse"

Nannos!omus esper.


Congo Watel"fern


All-glass aquart urn 40 x 40 x 40 em.

3. 27 W 10' i.. ,- - .··/d. - wtth plant tubes.

x __ _,. uours_ay,

25QC, pH 7.0. 4QdGH, 5QdKH.

Wendt's C1"ypto

Wendt's Cryplto J ava mass

BO.!b!tls heWielo:ttt C;yptoooryne wendtti var, C'!1WtoOO1"yne wei1dtii var, \/esicularla dubyana fIyd1'Ooo:tyl.e verticU!atavur. .Ltlae,opsis brasillens!S l..udwi;gfa arc:uata R.otJata. macrtmdm sp, Sagtttalia subWata form pus'I~la

Carldlnmjaponlca Ncmnosroml1s espei Otoon.dus sp.

American Pennywort BraziUOl.D CaJCpetgrns$ Ludwlgla.

T:ig~~:rlt':af Rotala.

Dwarf Sag

Yamatonuma shrtmp Espe's Pencnflsh D,vart sucker catfish

E,xtemaJ filitratlo:n of the aquarium through btological fflter material (Bia Rio and activated carbon), substrate of fine sand. C02, fertilization, about two bubbles per second. and 'regular water changes of about 1/3 the volume at five-day intervals.

Espe's Penctlftsh. Nannoston1US espet is relatively demandtng In regard to wa ter qualtty, Under unfavorable condntons these ftsnes are very shy and htde under roots or plant leaves. They prefer to stay just under the water's surface or in the rntdlevels of'the aq uartum ill the open water. In thewild these peaceful school fishes wait until dusk before searching for food and ave somewhat more active at this time.

in "the garden of the m UI;:=-£ the observer finds elements of both dense planting; which produces the necessary places in whtch the fishes can hide. and open swimmlng space for the pencilfish above the IOVif-grmlirJing, foreground plants.

T11~S. aquarium is at balanced composition based on three triangles which can beviewed from two sides.

_ In the background the aquatic plan is were plan ted mor-e thickly, in order to create the nnpression ()f a jung~e, su pported by the wood. The foreground is taken up by a "meadow. ~ In this manner the foreground and background were 00n~ neeted harmoniouely with each other.

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Plan!~ng plan

A • bOW-g rowi ng pi ants orth~ forElgro~ .. md, s- ResinOU'$ l;Iog w,oodcovereo with pl~ms,

Views· showl1I i nt,he photos ~ a- page 16,

b - page 1 f (top), C - pSlge 14f1 o.

The left side of this scene is dominated by the Java moss-grown wood and the red plant, the Ludwigia. It 1$ OPPosite the open swimming space on the right side.

The combtnattcn of the plant-covered wood and the red plant produces an int'eresilng tensten,

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External filtraUon of the aquarium through biological fflter matertal, substrate of fine sand. CO2 Ierulization, abou 1L three bub bles per second, and a weekly water change of about 1/2 the volume.

For data. plantaand animals, see pag.e 20.

Data •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• 60 x 30 x 36 em. ADA Cube Garden,

4! x.20 w I[s{.1d~um tubes), l{) hours/da.y. 24°G,pH 7.3. 3QdGH. 6"dKH ..

CryptOCOf])Il€ b€cJ'retW var, p€lchii Crypitlco1l/ne waH,eri v:ar .. I;utea CryptooJ!I1Ine w~ndtu var, Echmodorus teneUus VeSic-ularia dubyan.a H€miant~ micmr1themoide~ var, Mfcranthemwn un.h'~oswn wgaro.sfphon mad£i:ga:scariensis Ludw!Qia. mcuata R:ilcda jluitans

Calidtnia.japonica Mega!amph.odus swegles~ Oitlcincius sp, Par-a.cheiTm:ion. Inne·si Thayeria oMtqua

Beckett's Crypto Walker's Crypto Wrodt's Crypto Dwarf Sward plant Java moss

Darnty Pearlweed Pearlweed Waterpest Ludwig~a Crystalwort

Yamatonuma Shrimp Swegle's Tetra

D\V8:rf sucker catfish Neon Tetra

.Pen.gu,J.jn Tetra

The Glow of the Grove

The B,ackground Determines the Effect of the Aqaarium,

The Penguin Tetra. Thayeria ohfiqua" is a. plain ~ l,ooking scll,ooIfish which ts striking beea use of Its peculiar diagonal manner of swimming, By keeping colorful fishes" such as the Neon Tetra, and the Phantom Tetra, 'With lesseonspteucus species, the coloratlen of the' eolorful fishes is additionally accented.

In the' commumty tank the observer will not grow ttred ofvtewing, and ulttmatelyeven the less colorful fishes wtll receive corresponding attention because of their dtstmetwe features. Uk,e other tetras. the Penguin Tetra also prefers a dark substrate. at dense planting" dear wa fer, and as many conspecttlcs as possible for the care in the school.


Cloudy water and. al ~ gae bloome Eilre often caused by an excess of nutrients, The phenomenon can be remedied through intensive ffltra· tiGH, but Its-causes must be de!tenn]ned to' order to aehreve ].ong • term Improvemen t,

Is toomuch being fed?

Is the fertiUz;a,Uon of the plants Clons]stent with thetr growth? Are the measured water parameters in agreementwtth the desired val ues?

Th8' light-'Qlre~n growlih habit ,of Hygrop.hila corymbO$<ii ani mates and ~n1roduoe$ so m~ variety into and brightens I:Jp~h~tetra_ aquarium. The Ru mrrrv-nose Tetra, Hemlgrammus rhrxJos/om(1$, hsrmon izss $pl~ ndi dly with the sereOLed plant co rnposilioll.

Low carpet of pi ants for the~megroILJrld.,

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Dam . •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

;'" -- -....., ... - -- - --- ....

A I arg,e aqu arlum can eonta' n lwo aomiFiallt pilant. glroupil1gs,.

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Planting scheme of the Majestic Forest. Aqmuil.un. See pages 24 &: 25.

1! 2{1 x 45 x45 em, g1ass~li1lIuar:ium. 12 x 20 W (sodium t1(.lOe:S)., 10 hO'U:!'s/day" 2S,QC. pH 6.5, 3'\I:GH. 4PdKrL

Ext.em~ filtralion of the aquarilillm thro~gh b:io~ ]ogical ftlterma tertal, substrate of fLfiJ,e $~d" CO2 {iertHi2aUon, about four bubbles, pier second, and a. 'W"eeckly water change of about 1/3llie volume.

A~dem.ant\hlem t>essiiiiJis var. loo.ciill:a Anllbill$ bwlmli ~r" nlUiLCi.

CrypfQCQryne cnspatula val'. balartsa:e Cryp~ne be.cilcettu var, petch~' Crypl:o.coryne IJ!nduJata Crypl0oo'1llne wa:!k€.ri!. V<U."'" !ut~us'

Cry:pWcory~ XwUitsH var.!uaens .IDcJ'iofrwdoro.:stenet!us E.!eocMri$ ~Wukuts Vesjl;wwia dubyana

G~Clssostig~ elat1ri01Dde.s HyarocotMw mal"ttilma H!MlFopn:ffa.oo:ry~a. H1J91'OpN!a.guianensis HygfOP.lftila po.Iy$~.

LUcreops.1S sp .. Maurttlus Lu.dwigi_a arcuai'Q Mkrnosomm. pteropus .R~Jlu!tan!s SagUtarfa subrukltn forma pu:s:!l!a:.

False ParrotFeather Dw.arl' Anubias Seersucke.r Crypto B~cke'tt'$ Crypbo W;3!vyClypto Watliker's (;rypoo WlUis's Crypto

Dwarf Swo]idp]ant Hairgrass

Jav.il moss AllJ..strallanFlg'l1!l\o.rt. Euro,eanP'~F.lFlY"'!"~d DwarlHygrophtla Guyanam. Waterstax ]:ndiOU1!. Waqte:rstOll"

Mitt urtnus Carpetgrass JL:udivi.figirdi.

Java fem



The aquartum js refJecttveJy dtvtded into two hooves 'by the two plant groupings. P]acing the- red grouping in the middle would make the aquartum easier to take in at a glance but would also make it appearsmaller. By dlvliding the aquarmmtn tWI), the ebserverisindueed constantlyte look from one side 00 the other .

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II M a.j estic Fo rest"

Cwidm!a.japonk'a Cameg:ie!la rrutrtl'tae marthae Gasteropelecus stemlcra Hemigm.mmus rodwaYl var, annstro.ngi Hemtgrnrmnus blehen Hemigramm.us eryt.ltrozcJnlls Hyphessoo'Y1Xln calUstus Hyphe-s-somycon. herberta.:wlrod~ fIlJiplwssobl1ilwrl: sd'Wlze~ Megalamphodus reseus Megalamphodus sweg!e!rl O!.«inClus sp, Paracheltoaqn axelrodl, Parache~odon.$l1n~ Thayelia boehlkeJ.,

Yamatonuma Shrimp Black-winged Hatchetflsh SUver Harchetftsh

Gold Tetra

Red -nose Tetra G1ow-llght Tetr.a -Jewel Tetra,

Black, Neon Tetra B1ack-Hnred Thtra Red Phantom Tetra, SweglilS'S Tetra Dwarf sucker eatftsh Cardinal Tetra

False Neon Tetra Hock~y,fltirCk Tetra

i,etra oornmu nity. 'The' oolorrul communily makes a sernewhat eenfu sing i mpr~$$iofn. li fiIliling~hE! lnumb~r 01 $!pecie$ ,can orten be moree-ffedve,

Optical i mpressle n of the tetracom munity tank.

II MaJestic Forest"

For~he aqjiJ(iiJist who likes a lively oornm unity, a tetra com munity tank is ideal.

Using the example of a 90-oenttmeter-long aq uarium, the fumishhlg of a beautiful p]anted aquarium for Amertcan tetraswill be presented.

The location must be level and the aquartum proeided wtth apressureresistant pad. which levels out any unevenness that may be present and whleh could be overlooked despite the careful inspection of the surface upon which the aquarium rests.

The aquartum must not be too near a. window, because sun]jght promotes the growth ofa1g~e. Furthermore.Lhe light of the aquarium UghUng eompetes with the sunUght. makmg the aquartum appear washed out.

The location of the aquarium must be well planned and must not be chosen on a whim, because thts usually leads to a. badehoice.

Furnishing the Aquarium

The fertU1zer and the substrate material are prepared and placed ready ou tstde theaquartum, of course in the sequence in whtch theywtll be put: in the aquarium.

The grave~ or absorbent day is washed thomughly 1lmderrnnnfDg water to limit the in tr-od ucnon of unknown eloudtng .agents and fo.reign substances"

Some types of absorbent clay float. In water and must be boiled before use 05.0 that: the atr it ho]ds and that clings to it can escape.

The plant fertilizer ]8 spread evenly. Iteam. also be mixed with a lower layer ·of the substrate material, This makes tteasier to dtstrfbute the fertiltzer untformly, wrthout stirnng n. up too quickliy.

The slow-release plant fertilizer' is dtstrtbuted uniformly; Coarse substrate matenal makes tt easier for the water to now through te provide oxygen.

The dark substrate is layered. over the fertilizer, The back left comer remains somewhat lower so that the mulm collects here and can be siphoned off easily.

The wood, preferably bog oak, ts placed in the in tended 10C8 ttons,

The Java. and Congo fern and the Java moss are tied to the rocks and also placed in their intended positions.

Some water is added to a depthof5 to ]0 em. T:o prevent the substrate from being stirred up. a pad Is placed under the entering stream of water,

Tying on the plan ts, T1').~ cotton threads decompose after awhile. By then. however, the plants are already firmly rooted. This method of growing Anubias and water ferns makes 1 t easier to redecorate la ter, since theent'h"~ deccrationcan be removed,

.Mer planting, the loea two. of the indMd ual groups j,S mspeeted.

The foreground is characterized by various Cryp:tooory.nespec]es.

5 -Sagittnna sp, a - Pearlweed, 7 - Ludwigia .. 8-Rotala.

9 - Roundleaf Pearlweed,

l n d tv f du a I plant stalks can be mserted later with long forceps. In this way the appearance of the plant groupings can still be corrected later without any problem.

Subsequently, the small Anubias batten var. nuna Which are tied. to rocks are placed behmd the wood. They form ana. ttraetlv@central backgr-ound. which later wfll be bordered by red plants.

The aquarium ]S inspected again and the furntshlngs and plantmg are brought into line wtth the plantmg plan (see below, left frontal view, rtgh t top view). 1 -Wood With Congo

fern ..

2 _·Cryptocorynes. 3 - Hatrgrass

4 - Rock. with Anubias.

The grau ping of the plants is essentially complete, Addittons andcorreettons are made after the plants have taken root.

The oompkte1y fumtshedand !I1l1ed aquarium is stilI not partleularly attractive. Th.e 'Water is cloudy at first and numerous air bub bles ding to the decorative (I bj eels and the .aq uarmm glass. These mernfestettcns, however, dtsapperu" after only a. few hours. An b'J:ten~tV"e, mtraUon naturally increases the speed at which the water clears. Now the aquarium should be leftaione f!or abou t two weeks, so that theplants can take mot and! the cultures of microQrganisms can develop. Alga.e~eattng anjmelscen already be mtrodueed alter twotothree days.

The Hatrgrass and. Pearlweed are well sui ted for covering extensive areas"

After the aquarium is furnished oomp]etely. it can HnaUy be ftlledwnh water.

\iVb.en adding the water. the streamcf water is directed at the deeoratwe objects to break. it up .. to avoid sttrrtng up the substrate.

'Shadows in the Rainforest'

Above: 111is is 110,;,/ the aquarium prese ntsd in tile fu rnl shi ng example looks atter two months,

A new, as yet undescriGed tetra hom Amazonia.

Data see page 33.

Hyphessobryoon sp,


By using only one tetra species, the tank population produces an especially harmomons effect and the composition -.of plants and woods is displayed to good effect.

11,60 and 90"

The f1!,l!rnishi~_g of aso-cemtmeter glass aquarnim and the teehmeal accessortes.

Also, a comparisen with a. small aquart urn with a frontal ~ength of 160 centnneters,


60 em: <60 x30 x 35 em, 90 em; '90 x 45 x 45 em.


Beca use tastes and se;nslbU1t1es vary from person to person. H. is scarcely possible to sa,y which planting or wlncheombmanon of plants and decoranve objects irS good or bad. Yet an aquarium, no matter how artfully and tastefully decorated. can make an inartistte Impressaon when the htgher plants do not grow but algae do instead. If the aquatte plan tsare lJ_ot arranged optimaJ1y. but grow well, then an nnpresstve underwater landscape develops aU on Its 0\\'11,

If there should be only one rule for the hobbytst, then it should be tha t the plants and animals must be healthy.

Basically, Japanese aquaria can be furnished in two different ways.

CalCullO;l~ingthe su bstrats:

50 x 30 '" 1800$(1. em, 80 I<g, 90 x 45 = 4050 ~q. cm. 2:5D kg ..

./'" r-,

/ \ ..- ~
V \ -
~ -.-"
V \ The lowe rm OSi laye r co n sists of coarse Styrofoam, A fine!' mat~ria I, such as po Iyu re,thane foam, is placed on tPp of it to provide a uniform surfac~ to support th~a~ uarl u rn. N~xt comes a heati ng pad, H one is used, . Fi na.ll~l ,\\1. ti Ie is plaC$(i ontop to protect the heatl ng pad, Now til e .a~ uarium can be positioned"

Once tlos:stb~,U ty is oriented toward .a des]'gtl· that is charaeterlstte of arUfida]1y arranged flower beds" The other way is to learn. from Nature and to create underwater landsea pes a.ootJroi'ng to her model

Underlaiyme-nts for the aq uarium (Ileft) ;;tine! $ut),.S!1f',aJe tmiMElllials (below}.

Under the tnfluence of light, the green plants take in carbon dioxtde and water and release oxygen" In the process, wIth the aid of light energy, carbon dioxide [OO~) and water are transformed Into energy-

CO2 b ulb'ble counter

CO2 supply

Bubbl,e counters also make selise for smaller aquaria to ensure he proper supply of GO:!, Spec-ial hand-made glass bubble' counters ars available from ADA..

z stlpplly reducing valve

Turning oUlihe system at I'lighl prevents un nacessarv losses of CO~ and undesirabl e drops in the pH val ue.

alkalme, which is not tolerated by the plants and most animals" In thjs sltua tic» 1 t ]s necessary to mstall an 8"pparatus for the arnflctal produeuon (If carbon dioxide. Numerous devices for this purpose are available from various manufacturers, For the magnffteently jrlan ted aq uartum a. device for producing a controlled supply of CO2 1$ almost a necessity. Otherwise the aq uartum water would have a permanent CO2 deficiency.

When aquarium plants do non: flourtsh despite the addttion o[C02, this means either that the lighting is too 'Weak or that the amoun t Qf carbon dioxlide added is insufficient.

, 0: -"tIl I:.to".' nil' 11 J I ,

l! , '\ rtch sugar eompounds, This process is called photosynthesis. In b],o]ogy class we learned that the photosyn the-Sis of plan ts is the basts for all ]jfe on earth.

In their natural environment, plants as a rule are constantly supfined with sufftcsent carbon dioxide. In the aquarium. on the other hand, the amount of carbon dtoxlde respired by the fishes is too small to ensure a lastmg CO2 supply for the plants. The: available carbon dtoxide is used up in the process, of photosyn thesis. As a consequence the pH rises and thewater becomes

Filtration and heating,

f"'v I'r
"<:!..i ~
II \ Paraclreirodon, Hemigrammus, .Hyphe.&'sool}''OQf1, MegarampfwGus, ThaYfHla, .,all iM h orne iln~h€! briNilmul gmeneiry.

Paracheirodon simultms, FaJlse NHOn Tetras.

Plants that Produce Runners

Glossostigma elatinoides

This is a. dainty. carpet-forming plant that grows well. It requires at great deal of light and prefers soft;. slightly actdtc water.

Echinodorus tenell us

This the smallest Amason sword plant. is among the most popular and decorative foreground plants. Under suitable condlUons,especiaUy intensilve lighting. wtthm a short time it forms a dense, ]0\1/ carpet through runners. which is ideally suited for the foreground planting. Adequate light~ ing absolutely must be provided ..

Lilaeopsis sp, Mauritius

This Carpetgraes unfortunately ia rarely offered on the market. It is comparable in tts -eultjvatron to Ulaeopsis arasUien:sls and .LUaeopSls caroUnensis. The three species are not easily disttngutshedfrom one another .. Flowers are required for reliable ideotlflcati.ou. Flowers and [lutts develop, however, on1y under bog cultivation. This plant also requiresa great deal of Ugh t for the foreground planting.

Sagittaria subula:ta

This dwarf Sagittarla is available somewhat more frequently. Under sufficient ltghttng it is fast growlng and productive .. With an adequate CO2 supply and fertllizatron, wtthtn a fe-w weeks U forms a dense. solid carpet about seven centimeters high. This plant prefers medtum-hard to hard wa ter and pH values in the neutral range.

Plants that produce runners are ideal for the foreground. They prop a.,gate through.runn~li:l, without the keeper's having to Intervene for the purposes of syste].naUc pm'PagatJilJ]].

Thts tapegrass d.evl:$lop'$h~g~dy vanable grO\vth-ty])es, wb~ch alse diffel: In sfze: The plantjs S1!litable 1©lrU:u:: foreground. only m verylarge aquaria,

Hydrocotyle maritima

'This Pennywort tsextremely demanding with respect to both the fertiltzatien and thelight and Co.::.! su p. ply, It em oruy be recommended to 1J1J€: advanced hobbyist, Under very mtense muminatiQIJI the plant remams cornpaet and dj,$plays :a. low growth habU, whtch appears to make the plant sui.tab]e ferthe front and middle parts of theaquart urn,

Cryptocoryn:e wend#i var,

OfWendfs Crypto there Me several growth and color forms. all of which at present are ·classified in this $pec~.es. ]u the Iargerfornls theplan 1t. reaches Oil height otu P to 25 em ana is thus less suited for the fDregmundand more for the middlereg[on of the aquarhrm, Thtsspeeies is not as dema;nd~ng and. gets bywUh lle$S ]igh t. Then, however, the brown -red colors do not dJevelop as well,

Cryprocoryne crisptltuJa

This Crypw is better known under the synonym CryptooorgNe bala":n::sae. H: is comparable in !;l·ize to the pre-vious speeres; Th.e plarn ]S stlikiru,g because of the bumpy leavesand Is wen suited for the 'middle portions of the aquarium. For eryptocorynes Ute water should be soft and sUgh Uy acidic" These two specles, however, a~so flourish in medt urn-hard water"

#TheWind Comes"

- -

Example of another 00- em aquartum for tetras, planted exclusively with M{cra:llthemum umbrosum. As for the fishes, Hemign:::unfl1us ulreyi. the Flag Tetra, was used in an exemplary fashion.

The furnishing followed according to the principle of the prevtously shown aqruaI1um, except that here the creative elernen t rock was used in place of the dement wood. It is trn.portant here that only one type of rock be used and that the Individual rocks harmonize with both one anoeher and the plan ts, Naturally, the fishes must also be chosen carefully. This aquarium shows once more that species aquaria produce a special effect.

Hemigrammus ulreyi.

• ••• •• • •••••••••••


•• •• • ••• • •••••• 90 x 45 x 45 em. glass aquarium.

5 x SO W (sodium tubes), 10 hQurn/day. 24.5QC. pH 6.8. 2PdGH, 0 mg/] NH.j,~'

<0,.0'2 mg/I N02-. <l mg!I N03-, 0,.2 mgt] P04-·

External. .filtration of'theaquartam through biological moor material. substrate of fine sruId. 002 fertilization. about two bubbles p~ll second. and a weekly water-change of about 1/3 the volume,

The fe~ding of the fishes is a very special problem, The water is fouled by the food and the products excreted by the fishes. These metabette products of the fishes and the other organism.s are the reason for the necessary

regular water changes, which have the

goal of dilu tmg these substances.

There are no, hard and fast rules for the times, and frequencies of feeding.

Feeding must always be based tndividuaUy on the fish populatton. The kinds of foods chosen also depend 'On the animals bejng cared for. The only nnportaat thing Is never to feed too much" stnce excess orgame lbuUng of i:he'W"a,t'er leads [0 an increase m the metabolte end products and these in tum promote the growth of baeterta and algae,

An aquarium. infested with algae is an extremely unanracnve sight,and such an aquarium wtll In no way do justice to the requtrements of a bea uti-

'F edin fhe F'" h "ee," rng I 'e -tsnes

ful exhibition aquartum. Since the majority 'of hobbyists tend to overfeed their ftshes, the advice to feed sparhlgly is particularly trnportant. For many fishes one fasting day a week can make sense. For a well developed aquarium a vacation for the hobbyist is no problem either.

Flake fooosand gral'U.lie.s.




There are man,y species of algae, Most appear when too much nitrate is dissolved in the water , the aquarium js overcrowded with fishes, the finer is dirty or overloaded, an imbalance between carbon dioxide and light exists, 01" the water ]8 ]Jot changed regularly in su:n1c]ent quanttty;

External fiUration of the aquarium through biological filter material, substrate of fine sand. C02lertilization. about four bubbles per second. and a, weekly water change of about 2/3 the volume.

See page 58 for data on another beautiful aqum=pe in the "Serenade" style.


The back comers are particu]a:rly eenspteuous to the observer-and thus represent "strong points'; for the pranntng of the decoration hi relation to the view dII"eCUy from the front. For a beautiful aquarium. however. exactly those points should not be emphasized. For the planning of attractive planted aquaria the senstble dtv:ls1on of space in th aquarium is of special sjgnificance. At the same time the actual mtdpotnt of the aquartum, which Is the existing central focal pcmt anyway, is not additionaHy emphasized through eonsptcuDUS decorative elements.

The simplest creative element thus takes the "strong pain ts" into account.Ifboth pomts are stressed here, then two preferential focal potn ts result in the aquarium and the ,eye is drawn back and forth and never comes to rest. In many cases it is therefore better to, create on]y one strong point in the aquarium. As long as the aquarium Is not loca ted! exactly In the middle ofa wall or in the middle of the room, the best area for the strong point as a. rule is on the $~de oppost te the observer. lithe matn visual point is not created with a plant grau ping. but from wood Dr rocks, then those dements are arranged to ascend from. front to back along the ltne of slight. This kind of division of'tbe aquarium exaggerates the impression of depth and makes it a.ppear larger than it actually ~8. Through such furntsbtng tricks the aquartum gets Its special touch.

If the aquarium is standing in a comer and is viewed from the right stde, the [eft side is the stmnger potntand accordmgly \vtn receive the dominant decoration. Groups of plants can also be used in different ways as creative elements. On the one hand. the group can be allowed to grow as itwould in the wild, and on the etherthe group can be planted as withthe decorative objects ascending from. frDnt in back PartlcularIywith the fast-growing stemmed plants, however. the care of a group planted in this way js veryttme-consumtng, since the tips have to be pruned and replanted repeatedly, As beautiful as such a. creation ]s, it naturally does not work.

In order to. prod uee the impression nf a larger aquartum, the dominant decorative elements are not pushed directly b1, the corner, butrather-are displaced somewhat to the side.



The main visual poi nts when viewed from tlh~fro:nt_ It can make sense ttl deco rate only one oHhese s1Jong poi rtts, The decoration of both points, however, also has its. appeal..

The decoration corresponding to 'the two, ffiaJi n visual points .. Tblsarranqemerrt, hOll.rever, draws the obssrver's eye back. aod forth.

t I ,..,~«:~


i i ! I ~ I I ~

In the view from the ten, th,$) strong point is on tl'la rig I'll. If l:he, len side is then decorated, the optical impr,ession Of!1l! lon.g,er aquarium is achieved, Here too, however, the obsewer"s ~ye is dlrawn back and forlh_

11'-_ ....

i II

In orderto draw away lihEl malin visuaJ~ point from tM corner 01 the 2I!Q]uari u rn the focal point is eli spl aced somerwhla:t to the $nd$. This else makes theaquarium aJpp$~r to be more "am ply" decorated,

When vi~w~d fromllhe~ro,nt, as well, slhiftingl th e decora~ive rOGaI poi nt to the ~eft produces the lm pression of a 10 nge:r a:qiJar~u m.



• I

I U ~

~ U II

u-~ ._.

The mesttsvorable sol utien wu!ih thiElrir(l ntal :vi~w aJS w.eU, hO\lVe:v$r, is pmb@!bl~v!he di$pl~.o$liIlent of the maln d oooraliv€ele meni~$ to the side. lit is always beUer when the corners of th.e aquarium dim not sdditionaJlly' empiha.sized.

F'urtherm.olte. it can. make sense to place the sl:rong potnt on the other side [opposite the mainviewing direction) .. Then the eye as in. the aquarturn with ~ str,ong deeorauve pomts is drawn frem the main viewing direction to the decorative element. In this marmerthe favorable tmpresslon of oil grea.ter length of the aquarium can be produced. with the dtsadvan tage that the eye is again dm.wn. to and! fro ..

A very good depth effect is achieved by producing contrasting light and dark areas using theplant groupings, ]u this case vtews with ]Qwer-gro'Wfng plants rematn open at the strong pomte, wbieh ad astle-Mings or openings and accordmgly grab the eye" [11. such open -wa ter zones near cover, most of the expressions of life of the fishes are also played out,

P;?,~'dlMror:J.on slmulan-s '!!!IOU Id wonk very VIJIelll ill the aquarium pllanned here.

Baoopa caroUn:W.nn El.oocharis crefcukrris Eusterrilis stell.ata, Laga.ITISiphon madagascariensis LimnophUa oquatica R~flui:tan.s

Carolina Baeopa Hatrgrass Starplant

Madagascar Waterpest Llmnophila Crystalwort

J/Sh i m rnering shoreline"




• • • ••••

External fiItraJtl!on of theaquarium througp biological filter material. substrate of fine sand. CO 2 ferttlization, abou t four bubbles per second. and a weeklywater change of about 1/3 the volume.


'90 X 45 X 45 em, glass aquarium,

10 x :20 W (sodium tubes), 10 hours/day.

CaridiniajapDnita CaUsa lalta var.

Hemigmmrru.is eryt.hrozoru.ts l-Ien1:(g'f'CU11:rnus hyanuary Hyphessobryoon erythmstigma Otocindus sp ..

Thora.oocharax securts

Yamatonuma shrimp N eon dwarf gouramt Olowltght tetra Costello's tetra Bleedingheart Tetra Dwarf sucker ,catfish Hatchetftsh



.. ~ ,

r r 1 \

_ .... ----------_ --_


Red plants, but red-brown and allier non-green plentsae well. are popular decorative elements as focal polnts for the strong points in the aquartum. H. 15 important here that the red color does not dominate unnaturally, but rather Is accented. by at green bonier" TIle leaf forms should also differ clearly from those of the neighboring plants. There are sufficient red plants toehoose from for this purpose. though all of them witheut exeeptton require a great deal of Hght.


Red plants are an im,portant:

The facttl1at especially the tips of the plants d.ev1elop the jnest intenslve red celcrs aJreadly shows that the devleiopme:ltlt of the colors is dependent on light. ontheone hand! the redcolors are produced as a protective pigment against intense ltght; on the other :some plantsprcdece the redeolore as. comptementaryeelcrs to blue I1gl1t, S.(I as to make better use of this part ,of the spectrum, Unfbrtu~· natery ,under blue light the red colors do not look particularlyattractive .. Moreover, frequently chartg]ng the colors of light tnjures the plants and can even kin them,


The reason for thtsts that bestdes chlcrephyll. the green leaf ptgment, additional plant pigments ccrrespcndmg to the spectrum ofHgh t provided are produ eed, which can occur U nproblemattcally only myoung leaves. Therefore, when the I1ghtis changed the old leaves are dropped and new leaves are formed.

The aquarium presented here shows that interesting effects can be achieved wtth only a Jew plants on the basis of their different growth forms. Above all with the aid .of the mosses, which gradually overgrow the decorative dements. interesting acrid attractive effects arise, to transform the aquarl urn. in to a mysterious landscape_

The decorative objects wood and rock in the aquarl urn

Rocks are important com ponen ts of the aquarium furntshtng. They influence the character of the underwater landscape that is created. It is up to the hobbyist to decide whether the rocks win be used according to models from Nature or based on the rules of Japanese gardens. The type and composition of the rocks that are used thus have a considerable influence onwhether an aquarium ultimately will be attractive or not. Since shipping by sea is not too expensive, rocks as creatfve materials are available today from virtually anywhere in the world, The petrified wood from America or Malaysia has proved to be particularly bea utiful, but expenstve .. Its ltght color resembles that offresh wood and has a very slim ulating effect among the green and red plants. Therefore, petrified wood Is particularly well suited for aquarium landscapes that are arranged according to the model of Japanese gardens.

For the overall nnpression of the aquarium, n is not the form of the indtvid ualrock that is signtfii.Cc'l.nt . rather, the effect achieved through thecombtnation of several rocks in a groOupis what matters. Therefore, mdtvtdual less attractive rocks absolutely can still be used as an. element of a groupSome rocks depending on their form are most channing when upright or standing somewhat diagona]~y. while of hers are more attractive when reclining. Particularly strfktng rocks should then stand upright to catch the eye, or stand diagonally toward the preferred line of sigh t achieved through the planting.

As wtth the plants, with the rocks as well what matters Is the destred definition of'the visual focal potnt, Jf'the main ro<;:.k is placed in the mtddle of the aquarmm .. the aquarium is divided into two areas, which if necessary can even represent two different landscapes. This arrangement, however, usually is effective only with large aquaria.

It is also im portant not to place rocks of approxtmately the same size or form next to each other. Since they would compete for the observer's focal potnt. Furthermore, rocks of different colors and origin may not be used together, because they 'will make the aquartum decoration appear too busy,

In principle, each rock should be evaluated Individually and mcorporated based on its character into the overall concept of the aquarium composition. This requires some experience and the beginner should-net be too dtsappomted when the flrat attempts do not fully achieve the desired effect. Rocks. wood, substrate, animals" and plan ts are part of an overall concept, which should be transformed into a beaunIul scene. This requires as wtth other eraftwork a good portion of skill and an additional portion of experience,

As with the rocks, each plece of wood also has its unique character .. One piece is never exactly the same as another, and it is therefore difficult to gjve universally valid rules for the use of wood as a decorative object. .. "

Wel1-nouri.sh~d stemmed plants, which receive the required nutrients md ug~twhich we regard as a given with our aquarium modeled on Nature. develep an enormous lQngitu~ dina] g-rOWith- Accordingly. regular care Is neeessary, Ideally. this should be done weekl~. but no less frequently than btweekly.

Stemmed plan ts take in: the rna.j ority of'the fertiltzer drrectly from the water through the leaf

surfaces, For [his reason even short sections of stem with healthy leaves are usually still Vi a ble and can be used as cutttngs, Tht S is even possible with many spedes when the actual tip o~: the shoot is removed Or]8 brekenoff,

Naturally, the lower parts of the stalk can remain in the aiJ!1L'IartLlm,~en ifUl.ey have rela tively few leaves or the leaves that we still present have already been badly damaged because they were too heavily shaded fromabove. Depe:nd~l)g on the plant spe-

cies, new

shoot tips

develop in two to eight dlayi5. and 00- ter about an addHional week the aquarium is even mote b e Oil. 1!J t tf u l than it 'WaS before the rigor-ous pruning. In the aquarium shown here '!,vith dimensions oHiO x. 36 x: 3!6,only wood was used fbr the furnishing. Rocks were not used, because such a smallaq uarturn must not be over-

loaded. The devtcesused carne from "Aq u art um Design Amano, "<abbrevia ted lillA. On the left is the long-term pH tester for controllingthe CO2 supply. On the ngh t is the filter intake opening,. the water return, and the CO~ supply mstaflatlon. The special kmg p]illlt shears also come from .ADA. With these shea:rs it is possible to

erLst.H·$ a dean cut on the plant stem wtthQiU t nicking the stem unnecessarily .

.... --------------------------~~------------------------~----------------

Lagarosipnon madagascariensls_

Micrantoomum umbrosum.

'T.,F~H., Publ,icalions, lne. One TF~ P~aza

Th i Ifd alma Ulm len .Aven ues NeptlLllne~ NJ onS3 M;anufach.llrec:il illll the, US.A