So you may well ask, why a Landscaped Aquarium. The answers are several, and may even vary to some extent based on gender. Women who are often more artistically creative will adore the chal- lenge of “painting” a gorgeous Landscape, while men will often ?nd the technical challenges of the science involved is what makes it an exciting aspect of their hobby. This of course is not meant to imply that women will not also be attracted to the scientific aspect of their favorite pursuit, nor that many men, will not be able to create fabulous scenes, as is in fact exemplify the creations of the master Landscaper Amano in Japan.There are many other good reasons for establishing a Landscaped Aquarium.Among them preeminently is the fact that an Aquarium, ?lled with living plants, rapidly becomes a dynamic Eco-System. Not only is it natural looking to the beholder, but ?sh bene?t in several ways, as their habitat becomes far healthier, and there is less stress than they may otherwise may be subjected to. It has also been observed, by many commentators over the years, that ?sh in these Landscaped Aquariums, are far less prone to disease, and live longer healthier lives. There are many reasons for the fact that ?sh are healthier, more colorful and less stressed. The refuge that ?sh obtain by swimming and hiding among the plants, gives them a feeling of security, and this reduces the potential breakout of la- tent pathogenic organisms. However the advantages of the having plants goes far further than this. Water however plentiful is potentially the most complex chemical liquid on earth. It is capable of having myriads of dissolved chemicals, and in many cases harbors toxic factors that are inimical to ?sh life. Among these factors are heavy metals. Many of these heavy metals are highly toxic to ?sh, but plants have the capability to bind these metals and reduce their toxicity enormously. In addition the decaying leaves of plants will bind these metals especially, rendering them inert. Humic acid will also bind with most of the heavy metals, and reduce or eliminate the toxicity. It is for this and other good reasons, that we always counsel people to ?rst introduce their plants, usually on day one. Then wait a couple of weeks before adding their ?rst ?sh. A great deal of toxicity will be by then be diminished to the extent that it is no longer a danger. Because a Landscaped Aquarium, is a living, and continuously growing entity, it will of course be necessary to periodically “manicure” the aquarium so that it does not lose it beauty by becoming overgrown. This gives the Aquarist the opportunity to take cuttings from many plants, and sell them to his/her local aquarium store, thus defraying if they wish it, some of costs of their hobby. This cannot be done with plastic plants, which are endemic in America today, and which contribute very little to making an attractive environment. I often wonder why people that use these abominations, do not also add plastic ?sh to their tanks, it is just as logical. |
Many homes today have house plants as part of the décor, and the addition of a Landscaped Aquar- ium, can enhance the overall feeling of a home in harmony with nature, which too often is missing in this ever increasing world of cities and technology.
Furthermore, a high percentage of persons throughout the world live today, divorced from the any connection with the land, and do not have the old fashioned pleasures of a garden. With a Land- scaped Aquarium they can commune with nature, as it gives them a real opportunity to have the satisfaction of making something grow, which has been part of mankind’s experience, for several millennia. In fact it is only in this just departed century, that humanity has left his roots in the earth and created an arti?cial existence. Landscaped Aquariums can at least in a small but important way recreate that natural urge to plant and grow as was done by the vast majority of our antecedents. Finally there is the challenge, to learn and master the technical challenges which have so inspired tens of thousands of aquarists who today maintain Reef aquariums. The Landscaped Aquarium also has it’s own set of rules which must be mastered in order to succeed. When this is done, the reward is at least as beautiful as a Reef aquarium, and the satisfaction and pleasure not a jot less. Success will be no accident, and will come to those who have mastered the criteria.
FACTORS TO BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT TO CREATE A LANDSCAPED AQUARIUM
The following are the principal parameters that are essential if the hobbyist is to succeed in their endeavor.Water quality. Lighting, The Substrate. A functioning CO2 system, with all its accessories. Fertiliza- tion. Algae control. Filtration. Heating. The selection of plants according the desired Biotope to be created. The selection of suitable ?sh.Each of these topics, will be dealt with in detail in subsequent chapters, but it should be stressed at this point , that all the topics must harmonize, and be paid close attention to. Just as a chain will break at its weakest link, so will a planted aquarium break down, if any aspect of the environmental requirements of the Landscape are seriously neglected.
It is the purpose of this book, not only to show the technical inputs needed and the how-to and why, with each technical input, but we will constantly strive to elucidate the relationship of each input to the other techniques that are required.
Because your Aquarium will be heavy, it should be placed on whatever stand you use, with a half inch layer of polystyrene board to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed and avoid any risk of breaking the glass. It is best whenever possible to site the aquarium away from direct sunlight, so as to reduce the risk of algal buildup, and enable one to totally control your lighting
It should be pointed out at this stage, that a good Landscaped Aquarium will cost a fair amount of money. However the pleasure of the ?nished product, by common acclaim more than repays the outlay and the cost thereafter in maintenance is relatively small, and can if the hobbyist wishes, as we have said, be substantially defrayed, by selling the excess plants to their local store.
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