How to get your aquascape design right the first time around

How to get your aquascape design right the first time around

How to get your aquascape design right the first time around

Every planted aquarium enthusiast dreams of preparing the perfect design all on their own; there are some useful tips and tricks, which can prove to make the whole procedure and ending results much more enjoyable. By defining your initial and projected tank requirements in advance, you will be able to do the proper research to find what plant and fish species will work best for your vision.

We recommend searching for easy and low maintenance fish and plant species when starting out. Avoid being overwhelmed, as a poor selection could prove to be hard to handle, make sure you are able to meet the requirement of your selected biosphere. Secondly, purchasing beautiful and elegant plants to couple with your fish can definitely make your planted tank seem much more appealing, but if your species clash, then your scape will fail. By following a few tips and methods uncovered here in this article, be sure that also conduct your own homework. Now let’s take a look at how to design and craft the ideal planted tank on your own.

Knowing the Basics

Now that you are ready to start your own aquascape, beginners and those trying scaping for the first time are advised to choose either a tropical aquarium or freshwater planted tank. Starting with the freshwater planted tanks, it is the most commonly used aquarium type; more so because of the low-maintenance versions. Some are very simple to use and maintain.

Featuring a freshwater source along with a reliable heating system, the tank can provide ultimate survival conditions for both plants and fish. As there are hundreds of plant species to select from, we are sure decorating your planted aquarium will not be an issue or hard, once you find your grove.

Coming over to the second most recommended aquarium type, the cold-water tank is ideal for simple fish survival and growth. Cold-water tanks do not feature any sort of heating or temperature maintenance feature as it is regulated by the surrounding environment without any additional support.

Cold-water tanks are best suitable for goldfish, you can greatly enhance the beauty and elegance of cold-water tank, by trying to implement a plant into the tank, but that will not make it a planted tank by any means. While these are simple and require very little maintenance, for the purpose of plants, this will not suffice, but it is an example and a perfect one of what not to follow when building a planted tank right for the first time.

Last but not least, we have marine or saltwater tanks, which have also been appreciated amongst aquarists and fish tank owners. Being a heated aquarium, it uses prepared saltwater in place of tap water. Starting with the water mix, you will have to purchase sea salt and add it to treated water and then into your tank in order to prepare your water for this venture.

Although it is not suitable for beginners, expert aquarists can surely complete the procedure without any hassle. It can be difficult to maintain and care for as there are special types of fish and plant species in marine tanks that require meticulous water parameters and special attention, much like the some of the finicky freshwater planted tanks' plants used in aquascaping.

Can you Build Your Own Scape?

Aquariums and planted tanks are ideal for decoratives and beauty purposes, but can also be treated as a tranquil therapy or simply as a hobby to escape the rush hour of life. For people who wish to enhance the overview of their house by placing an elegant fish tank, following our tips will definitely provide a starting point for you. By determining the amount of time, you can dedicate to this will certainly define the type of planted aquarium is for you.

Some aquascape can be difficult and time-consuming to keep up with, and understanding your scape's demand will save you several headaches down the road, especially if you fail to plan. For preparing tropical and freshwater aquariums, you will need a heater in comparison to the simple and no-extra-item required goldfish tanks. Furthermore, a reliable lighting supply is advised and essential the proper growth and overall well-being for your planted tank and allows plants could gain health and growth quickly.

How to get your aquascape design right the first time around
How to get your aquascape design right the first time around

Placing your fish tank near a window or sunlight source could be an amazing idea. However, this can promote algae, especially since in most cases the light schedule conflicts the natural beams of daily sunlight. We advise beginners to put it over a cabinet or proper frame so that there are fewer risks of damage as well.

Aquascaping for beginners

If you are searching online for beautiful and amazing planted tanks to help spark creative inspiration, then there is a stampede of information that could give beginners better assistance and help when choosing an aquascape. As there are different methods to decorate your planted tank, from choosing the appropriate plants, wood, rocks and fish species down to what kinds pumps and types of sumps will work best in your planted tank, it will require some planning and patience, but in the name of art, it is all worth the ending elegance. Make sure you leave a place in your planted tank for equipment such as heater, CO2 supply, and water filtration system unless you plan on using hidden systems. Visiting some fish shops physically could also be beneficial for understanding aquarium design ideas and construction. As there are hundreds of aquarium manufacturers and designers you can draw inspiration from, and not to mention find products at competitive rates.

Scape Steps to adding plants and fish

After you are done with making your planted tank’s base and essential decoration in terms of hardscape, next comes the step to add some fish species. Wait 24 to 48 hours after the tank is filled so that contaminants are removed by the filtration system. In planted tanks, the nitrogen cycle will take a couple of weeks. To acclimate new fish into your tank, start by placing the bag into the water to get it accustomed to temperatures, then proceed to drip acclimate and try not to throw the fish directly into the aquarium as it can cause shock to the fish and potentially lead to death.

Fish waste and leftover food particles can generate bacteria production in your planted tank, so make sure you clean it regularly by adding filtered water performing routine water changes.

Following a predefined maintenance schedule can prove to bring long-term benefits and support. Paying attention to water chemistry will allow you to catch potential algae outbreaks before they happen, not to mention the parameters can really tell you a lot in terms of tank health.

Planted tanks need more attention and care as compared to traditional aquariums. In order to ensure better health and development of aquatic plants, experts advise selecting and adding the right substrates and nutrients which also help fight bacteria and fungal infections and consists of natural and healthy bacteria. Substrate is something that must be planned as it is not easy to replace substrate once the tank has been set up, decorations in place, and CO2 is dialed in and established. By carefully implementing the tips and methods as briefed in this article, we are sure you can keep your fish tank healthy and beautiful.

Remember Routine Cleaning and maintenance is Key

No aquascape is going to win an award without having loads of love, care, and efforts poured into it, and without the proper care and maintenance, your planted tank aquascape can come out looking atrocious and embarrassing. If you do not focus on routine water changes and regular dosing along with proper trimming using the right tools and parameter checks, then you can really jeopardize the integrity and overall health of your planted tank aquascape. Without proper cleaning, planted tanks can start to accumulate bad bacteria and dirt particles that are not only bad for the health of your biosphere but can also induce algae.


For beginners who are unable to find an easy way to decorate their aquarium, we are sure, poking around and inquiring with fellow hobbyist along with checking out some of our tips and methods will yield great results. A great way to get aquascape design ideas is to look at the Aquatic Gardeners Association's (AGA) International Aquascaping Contest

By analyzing the time and efforts you will need to prepare your aquascape you’re your planted tank, purchasing budget-friendly items can help reduce cost and get you started until you can upgrade your equipment as needed. There are several attractive aquascape decorations and ideas available online and even more, can be found through collaborating and drawing outside inspiration. Keep in mind to make sure you provide a healthy living environment for both your fish and plants.