The Nature Style Planted Tank

The Nature layout is a very well known and loved aquascaping style. It was Takashi Amano who laid out the foundation and guidelines for creating a nature style aquarium.

In this style the aquascaper tries to capture a piece of nature in his aquarium, which explains the name of the style. We see this style in a lot of aquascaping contests which makes it one of the most popular styles out there, and for good reason! By replicating breathtaking landscapes, mountains, rivers, forests, … the Nature aquarium is very relaxing and pleasing for the eye.

We already did an article on  the Iwagumi style aquarium, which is considered a sub style. The Iwagumi style focusses more on recreating minimalistic stone landscapes using rocks and low growing plants. The Nature aquarium tries to focus more on the hardscape and the plants giving it a natural and wild feeling.

Nature style: the different layouts

  • The concave shape
    The concave shaped layout has a higher positioning of plants on the sides, sloping down to the center. The center creates an open space by using low plants and mosses. This is perfect for a path or even a beach to create an interesting depth in your aquascape.
  • The convex shape
    This layout is actually the opposite of the concave layout. Rocks and high plants are used in the center to replicate a mountain or island. Smaller and low growing plants are used on the sides.
  • The triangle shape
    Another very popular layout is the triangle Nature aquarium. The height of the general layout slopes down from one side of the aquarium to the other. Driftwood and rocks covered with moss and plants are used as a foundation for this aquascaping style. This style is very pleasing for the eye and a real eye catcher.

What are the difficulties of a Nature aquascape layout?

Nature aquariums are heavily planted and therefore need a lot of maintenance and care. Also, most Nature planted tanks are high-tech with sometimes difficult plants that require a good substrate, a lot of nutrients, CO2 addition, good filtration and ideal water flow. As you can guess this means all of those parts have to be perfectly balanced to avoid an algae bloom in your aquarium.

In any of the 3 layout shapes trimming techniques are very important. Therefore the aquascaper must have a good knowledge in how to trim aquarium plants.

Choosing smaller, finer plants like stem plants and mosses is recommended when creating a Nature aquarium. A few plant examples: Riccia, Glossostigma elatinoides, Echinodorus tenellus, Staurogyne repens and hair grass (Eleocharis parvula). Mosses and Cryotocoryne species are often planted in the shade of driftwood and rocks.

Popular fish types in the Nature aquarium are: Red neon tetra, Rummy nose tetra, Harlequin tetra, Black neon tetra.

Some examples of Nature layouts

View more Nature aquascapes

  • aquascaping
  • beginners
  • nature aquarium
  • planted tank
  • takashi amano

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