Great Aquascaping #26, from Wenlin Ruan, China “Returning”
Contrary to the more neo-classic Nature Aquarium style of Great Aquascape #27 , Mr. Wenlin Ruan opted for a “Landscape” inspired layout. These landscape layouts typically take their direct inspiration from a real life scene – a forest, mountain, beach or trail that you, yourself might see in the real world, rather than trying to replicate actual underwater aquatic nature.
Mr. Ruan uses a careful balance of midground plants, from Anubias and aquatic mosses dominate, with a touch of what appears to be a cryptocoryne near the focal point to create texture in the middle of the aquarium, where your eye is immediately drawn. This is intended to replicate the kind of foliage you might otherwise encounter in a forest – such as ferns, terrestrial mosses and other low-lying ground cover that grows underneath the shading of the trees.
The use of cosmetic sand in the foreground, and a twisting “path” at the focal point both brighten the layout (which would otherwise appear darker because the layout only uses shades of green) and create a sense of depth that make the scene look like it would go on if you would just walk down the path a bit.
However, the challenge with a landscape inspired layout is that often, the fish are almost afterthoughts, and here, while there is some good choice in the front, the overall impression is that they are lost in the scope of the layout. This is where Landscape aquascapes differ in a major way from classic nature aquarium, which seeks to balance impression of fish and plants within the scene.
Post any of your personal thoughts below! We’d love to hear what you think of this layout from Wenlin Ruan of China.