A new age of Aquariums?



Probably, like me, many of you gave up on aquariums years ago, unless your kids are enthusiasts. The last one I had contained two newts. (They were really sweet.) When they finally died—of old age, no flushing!—over ten years ago, we never got a new one. Gardening has more than replaced most of my indoor hobbies, unless it is the hobby of indoor gardening.

But WOW, would I ever love one of these (above) from Aqua Forest Aquariums. (HT Neatorama).

2A set-up by the master of the Nature Aquarium style, Takashi Amano.

Clearly, these aquaria are about the plants, not the fish. I mean, what do they have in there, a few tetras? Just to provide movement? And from what I understand, most of the maintenance for these is plant maintenance: pruning, fertilizing, and, yes, grow lights. But at least in this case, the grow light set-up would be in support of something that could easily be a gorgeous focal point in the living room, not hidden in the basement. The plants eat the fish wastes, and you need to have algae-eating animals of some type, though probably not snails. To be honest, the whole maintenance routine sounds like a pain. I’d probably want it in some imaginary luxe office, where someone could come in and service it. Still, plants, water, and fish are a beautiful thing indoors, especially in February.

Previous articleFarmer John Promotes CSAs…and Creative Expression
Next articleGardenblog Round-Up
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Takashi is the guru; I tried nature style a while ago and moved away from it as it wasn’t quite right for me and I have to say creating those perfect looks is really, really hard – much like japanese gardening its hard to exercise the right level of restraint.

    If you think that’s cool check out some of the reef aquaria; some of the practitioners now are basically using pruning and plant type propagation techniques to shape living coral!

  2. I am happy to have this link. Water features inside the home are fabulous and can be quite stylish. Unfortunately, most home aquariums haven’t advanced since the 1950s. The whole industry needs a good upside down shaking, in my opinion.

    Robin at Bumblebee

  3. I once tried to have an aquarium and insisted on live plants. The first few months they grew like crazy and I was delighted to have to prune them back. Once I did that, it seems the algae took over and I ended up with quite a mess of an aquarium. They aren’t kidding when they say that you should have some kind of algae eating fish in your tank when you have live plants! I’m looking away from the pictures above because I don’t want to be tempted to try again.

Comments are closed.