Aqua Design Amano

aqua design amano

Ada Aquarium

The nature photographer Takashi Amano comes from the Japanese city of Niigata, which is also famous as the stronghold of Koi breeding. Although aquaria furnished attractively with aquatic plants were originally unknown in the Japanese aquarium hobby, this was changed by the fantastic photographs of Takashi Amano. Through his invaluable preliminary work, today in Japan aquatic plant gardens are commonplace in the aquarium hobby.

In his manner of furnishing aquaria, Amano trod completely new paths. In so doing he oriented himself to traditional Japanese horticulture and the principles of Zen Buddhism. In Japan this new trend became so well established because Amano. with his firm Aqua Design Amano Co. Ltd., could not only provide directions for the operation of beautiful aquaria, but could also provide the appropriate products for the practical application of these ideas.

In the meantime aquarium furnishing based on Amano's principles has also gained recognition in the United States and Europe. Many nature lovers in the aquarium hobby have specialized in the design of such aquaria. Amano's natural aquaria differ clearly from the previously known European planted aquaria, as are favored, for example, in the Netherlands. The Japanese aquaria reflect more closely the natural model, although even they cannot be complete copies of the natural landscape.

Artistic focal points are achieved through specifically selected rocks or attractive roots. The operator of a natural aquarium may not constantly interfere with the automatic sequence of ecological processes of such an aquarium. The use of carbon dioxide is essential for the operation of natural aquaria according to Amano's principles. This in fact is often visible through the formation of oxygen bubbles on the aquatic plants. This formation of oxygen bubbles is in part used directly as a decorative medium.

With his method of furnishing aquaria. Takashi Amano has taken completely new paths...


Takashi Amano's aquarium philosophy is unique. The increasing enthusiasm for his Japanese natural aquaria has led to nothing short of a new boom in the aquarium hobby.

Despite repeated suggestions for furnishing aquaria and numerous creative tips in his books, most of the attempts to copy his aquaria have failed. The key probably lies precisely in these attempts at imitation. Amano's aquaria are and remain unique. So, what can we do? Alter all, we also want to have beautiful aquaria in our living rooms, which should not all be constructed according to the nearly standardized model of Dutch aquatic plant gardens.

Nevertheless, the unique Japanese natural aquaria can serve as creative supports for our own realizable ideas.

This certainly is the more realistic idea. Let us therefore study the magnificent photographs in this book and let them serve us as creative models, which we can use for our own creative designs. Even if we only leaf through the book and look at the beautiful photographs, however, we will certainly derive great enjoyment from it.

Tetras are popular aquarium fishes which have been particularly popular because of their often splendid colors since the beginnings of the aquarium hobby. Precisely these fishes are particularly well suited for beautiful planted aquaria. To be sure they also include herbivores and species that grow too large. These and other tetras will be presented in another guide on the subject of tetras. In this book, however, the plants come to the fore more so than do the fishes, yet the fishes are just as much a part of an attractively designed aquarium as the plants and the other decorative objects.

The aquaria that were selected are therefore primarily tetra aquaria. The tetras are occasionally kept together with other species, such as dwarf cichlids or small sucker catfishes. In the interest of the possible copying of similar aquaria, species lists of both the aquatic plants and the fishes are included.

The species lists give both the scientific and common names. The scientific name is the more important. however, because it contributes to a better general understanding and because many species are known under the most diverse common names. Furthermore, the dimensions of the presented aquaria are always given in the measurements length x width x height in centimeters. Additional important data of the aquarium are also given.

Some creative suggestions and tips for furnishing aquaria should make it easier for you to create your own Japanese natural aquarium.

Aquarium Design Amano

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