re: What are your aquascaping techniques?
>From: gtong at sirius_com (G.Tong)
>Date: Wed, 28 Feb 1996 11:33:28 -0800
>Subject: What are your aquascaping techniques?
>The aquascapes in Takashi Amano's book, "Nature Aquarium World," lead
>me to ask for your techniques and tips for pruning and otherwise
>shaping your aquatic plants.
Amano's book really got me to thinking, too.
I found some used surgical scissors (from a friend), the ones that have
handles about 25 cm (10 in)long. Amano shows a picture of this kind of
scissors. These things cost about 100 bucks new (U.S.), and I paid 20
bucks. Definitely worth 20 bucks. This is a great tool. It allows me
to go in and snipsnip in just the right places. Unfortunately I was
unable to find any source for cheaper long scissors. Sorry, no
suggestions. But such a useful tool that I urge folks to get the
longest good quality scissors they can find I also got a couple pairs
of long forceps with serrated tips. They are called "specimin
forceps", are available in 11 inch length and cost 8 or ten bucks from
a scientific or medical supply company. These are extremely useful
By trying different things with my plants arrive at the only
conclusion: having results like Amano's means going in and trimming,
snipping, replanting almost every day. Sword plants, for example keep
their slowly dying leaves for a long time. You can be ruthless, and
remove these leaves as soon as they show even a bit of brown. The
plants don't mind. By doing this diligently, the whole tank looks very
green and lush. This is the only way to get pretty looking Java Ferns,
I think. In my tanks they take a long time to attach, and don't
produce leaves very quickly for several months. Then they start to put
out leaves more quickly; at this point you can start geting ruthless
with them, and trim leaves as soon as they start to develop the black
spots indicating spore production. They DO get nice and bushy and
lush. Don't know what to do about the ugly brown roots, though.
(Except to trim every day...this is becoming a litany..)
I don't have time like this to devote, and a doubt whether many of you
do either. Personally, I'm still trying to find the right balance
between doing a little bit every day, and doing a hell of a lot once
every 6 weeks. But I think to achieve Amano's level of success
requires "sculpting" very reqularly.
Amano's tanks really convey a feeling of tranquility, like (other)
Japanese-style gardens. It seems to me that this is because the plants
don't look like they are competing with one another. Of course, they
are, slowly but furiously. I think he consciously trims and shapes his
plants to look like they are not in competition for light. I also
think it takes a while to learn how to position plants in the first
place. Different tank conditions favor or disfavor different plants, so
all these things are inter-related. I just think Amano has turned his
processes into a Way of Life.
Bob_Hoesch at fws_gov
In Ashland, OR