Amano Interview

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 15:18:13 -0500
From: "K & A, P.A." <kapa at netrunner_net>
Reply-To: kapa at netrunner_net
To: Aquatic-Plants at ActWin_com
Subject: Amano Interview

O.K. folks, here it is.  These are the questions I posed to Mr. Takashi
Amano of Aqua Design Amano for an article I was planning to write.  Mr.
Amano's responses where translated by Mr. Mihir Sapru, International
Marketing Director for ADA.  I hope you find it of interest.

Q.:In your opinion, how much interest is there in Japan for the Nature
Aquarium style and why do you think this is the case?

A.:The Nature Aquarium style occupies about 80% of advanced and
intermediate aquarists in Japan.  Japanese people have always been fond
of gardening.  In Japan, the beauty of Nature no matter how small or
large, has always been a part of Japanese culture.  I feel however, that
a deep love for Nature, natural scenery, and the desire to have a piece
of it in ones home, is a concept that exists in all human beings,
irrespective of culture.  The Nature Aquarium began as an aquaristic
response to this desire.  It is an art form, like painting, gardening or
photography, in which it requires a person to create a natural
ecosystem, in all its natural beauty and efficiency, in a glass

Q.:Do you believe that there are different schools of thought on the
subject, e.g. Dutch, German, Japanese?  If so, what do you believe the
differences are?

A.:I don't really know.  I'm not sure if it can be called "Schools of
Thought," but there is something called the Dutch Aquarium, however, I
believe that it is a style followed by a handful of dedicated
aquarists.  When I visited Europe I did not see anything that was
actually called a "Dutch Aquarium".

Q.:What do you believe is the most important thing to consider when
preparing to set-up a nature aquarium, e.g. layout, fish, plants?  Are
there hard-and-fast laws to this or is it based on instinct and luck?

A.:Setting up a Nature Aquarium relies on a delicate balance of all
factors.  This I believe can also be said for any form of art.  What is
the most important thing to consider when painting a picture, the
canvas, the brush, or the paint?

Q.:If there was one advice that you would give a hobbyist who is about
to set-up his or her first nature aquarium, what would it be?

A.:Never give up!  The Nature Aquarium is something that can not be
mastered in a day, for to master it, one would have to understand nature
itself, and this is a long road full of trials and errors.  To the
beginner this is the best advice I can give: observe Nature, endure and
learn from your failures.  In my years as an aquarist, I have probably
made more errors than anyone else in the field, and this is why I now
can have confidence in what I create.

Q.:You are world-renown for the creation of what is known in the U.S. as
the Nature Aquarium concept, if you could sum up that concept into a
paragraph, what would it be?

A.:Observing Nature, Learning from Nature, & Applying what you learned,
in creating Nature within the aquarium.  I have always said:  Without
first loving he smallest creations, one can not claim to stand before
Mother Nature.

What lies at the heart of the Nature Aquarium concept, are the little
things: the minute details, the microorganisms.  The ecosystems of
Nature all start from bacteria, and the breathtaking landscapes of
Nature, all start from a single stone.

In a sense, the Nature Aquarium is a way of thinking about one's
aquarium.  It is looking to Nature for the answers to all one's
questions about the health, efficiency and layout design of one's

Art Giacosa