Planted Aquariums
Creature Companions|August 2017

Last month, I wrote on the basics of starting an aquarium.

Rajiv Sharma

This month, we will learn to set up a planted aquarium. Keeping a planted aquarium is a little bit difficult and tricky in comparison to a fish only tank.

A planted aquarium is a miniature garden in a glass box. It brings greenery in our drawing room. Greenery brings joy and happiness in our life. People who believe in Fengshui and Vastu would say, “A planted aquarium is a combination of all the five elements.” A planted aquarium’s substrate and rocks represent the earth element, water is already present in the aquarium, driftwoods and plants represent the wood element, light and fishes in the aquarium represent fire element, metals are present in some aquarium equipment and in the substrate and rocks etc.

In planted aquariums, an aquarist keeps natural aquatic plants. Different materials like rocks, pebbles and woods are used to create a replica of natural scenes. Live aquatic plants bring life in the arrangement of hard scape materials. After using all of these materials together, fish keeping becomes an art. This art of arranging plants, rocks, and woods in an artistic manner is called aquascaping. Nowadays, aquascaping is a very popular form of aquarium keeping around the world.

Before starting a planted aquarium, we have to learn some basic rules of aquascaping. These rules help us in setting up the composition and design of planted aquariums. These rules are used to create perspective in the planted aquarium layout. Most of the aquascapers apply these rules to create a sense of depth in aquascapes. Sometimes, these rules are broken or bent in some great layouts.

A. Golden Ratio: Golden Ratio rule has the most important role in aquascaping. This ancient rule was used by Greeks in their architecture, paintings and other artworks. Aquascapers also use the Golden Ratio in their layouts. This rule splits the layout into two parts in a ratio of 1:1.618.

Calculating the Golden Ratio: Suppose there is an aquarium with a length of 90 cm. Divide the length (90 cm) by 1.618. The result will be 55.62 cm.