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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Iwagumi Style Tank

First off, some background info on the Iwagumi style of aquascaping.  Introduced in the 1990's by renowned aquarist Takashi Amano, this approach to aquarium design draws heavily from Japanese gardening techniques to mimic natural looking landscapes.  Unlike heavily planted tanks that feature dense "jungles" of plants, the Iwagumi style focuses on rock placement and carpeting plants.

Usually there are 3 or 5 stones with each given a specific name.  The first and largest is the Oyaishi or the main stone and is placed slightly off center.  The Soeishi are the accompanying stones that are smaller and less dynamic in character.  They are placed near the Oyaishi in order to highlight the larger rock.  Finally, the Fukuseki are secondary stones that may be absent from some tanks.  They are placed to the far left and far right and are the smallest of the three types.

After the rocks are placed as desired, aquarists like to grow a low carpeting plant that provides a natural hillside look and some slightly taller, thinner plants around the rocks for a slight contrast.  Fish may or may not be present, but if they are, it is usually a large group of schooling fish to provide order rather than many different species that can appear all over the tank and taking the focus away from the scape itself.

While these tanks may seem simplistic and very natural, they are among the hardest tanks to successfully maintain and should not be attempted by the beginning aquarist.

Here are some examples of the Iwagumi style of aquascaping.






47 comments:

  1. I have a fish tank too, but it's more traditional than these, although they look really good

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  2. I can only imagine how much maintenance those things require

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  3. These things look amazing. I'm moving into my own place in the next couple of months and am planning on getting a fish tank.

    I wonder if you could use something like this as a coffee table? Might suffer from a lack of oxygen or nitrogen...

    I want to know what rcsc2 asked as well, any idea how much these things cost?

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  4. Lovely pictures. The work of a professional!

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  5. Those tanks in the pictures must have a lot of hard work put into them

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  6. @Admin It would be very difficult to set up something like this as a table as it requires high lighting and frequent trimmings to achieve this naturalistic look. The actual cost of the setup can range anywhere from a under 50 dollars to hundreds depending on the size of the tank, species of plants and where you're getting the equipment.

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  7. yes very nice picture :)

    I will follow your blog :)

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  8. Beautiful tank.
    Wish I had the patience to actually maintain a tank like this.

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  9. The tanks really are beautiful. But the amount of effort to keep them pristine must be immense!

    My father used to love fishkeeping, so I had some experience learning about it when I was younger but nothing as grand as this

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  10. wow those are some really beautiful tanks, it is very much a form of art

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  11. wow it looks like a beautiful landscape ... with flying fish in the air^^

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  12. Very cool, i love Japanese style gardens. Most Jap gardens use moss rather than grass as the ground covering, i'm very intruiged by what that carpeting plant is and that it can grow underwater.

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  13. Lovely tanks. One of my first pets was a fish, but we never used tanks like these.

    Followed. Interested to see more.

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  14. this definitely beats your standing looking aquariums. this actually makes me one to get into this as a hobby.

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  15. Those tanks are just... Beautiful.
    What an amazing job the owners have done.

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  16. Very nice read, even nice images.

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  17. Thats so cool, my brother has a 50 gallon, ill have to show this to him.

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  18. i could never do anything like that. its nice though

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  19. the tank.. its so amazing! wonderful tank.

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  20. @Jeff C - thanks! Affordable by the sounds of things, it's a shame that they are so limited in where abouts they can go!

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  21. I always wanted to have a waterscape in my room. Too expensive though.

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  22. I love it. It looks like a flooded world.

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  23. man, that type of look would rock in my 120 gallon.

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  24. wow, i really liked it. nice!

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  25. I always wanted a dank fish tank. maybe one day. would totally have a pet octopus tho.

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  26. Looks good, where could I get one of these?

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  27. Looks like a huge tank. Get a shark

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  28. Yeah that take look awesome, I thought it was an actual landscape.

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  29. this world always have interested me ;D

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  30. oh wow, i want one of those, insanely cool!

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  31. I now have an urger to get a fish tank. Time to gobble up some wiki info.

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  32. Those are sickly beautiful tanks. when I get my own place I want one of those

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  33. i want to get a huge ass fish tank for my new house.

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  34. Those things are incredible. I can't wait until I'm able to have some tanks like this set up in my house!

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