One of the many pleasures of aquarium keeping is the feeling of accomplishment when the design comes together just right. As with the Japanese gardener, the aquarist strives not to imitate nature precisely, but actually to enhance it. We achieve this by incorporating pleasing elements (calmness, brightness) and avoiding unpleasant ones (predation, decay). Aquarists often admit to me the value they place on feeling a sense of control over the microcosm they have built. Like calmness, a sense of control is highly desired amid the stress and hurry of our daily lives.

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