The Four Most Popular Styles of “Nature Aquarium”




Ryuboku style is the use of freely combined rocks and aquatic plants with driftwoods that do not exceed the size of the aquarium. In this style, the details are very important. You can include intertwining driftwoods, blended with rocks and other elements covered with moss to create a truly complex, yet beautiful arrangement. Ryuboku style allows the use of any plant, from a small lawn plant to a large plants taking up the whole background, as well as epiphytes growing on roots and stones.

Ryuboku is the most common type of arrangement in aquarium planting.



Mizube style is the complete opposite from Ryuboku style. Driftwoods and rocks are allowed to go outside the perimeter of the aquarium, and plants are allowed to grow above of water level. These kind of arrangement may only be used in an open aquarium with suspended lighting over it. These free growing plants and protruding rocks are meant to form a spacious interior.



Iwagumi style comes from the art of creating Japanese gardens. The rocks, complemented by carpet plants such as glossostima elatinoides, eleocharis parvula, eleocharis acicularis, or echinodorus tenellus are the only decoration. The arrangement of the rocks and their selection isn’t easy. You must choose their size, color, and texture, while being mindful of their eventual placement. In this style, you tilt the ground to create a better prospective. The rocks used is this arrangement should be large and predominant. They are central to the aquarium and must be large enough so that even when the plants grow large, they do not cover up the rocks and make them disappear.



Ragwork style is based on the Iwagumi concept, but instead modelling the aquarium after mountain like views and the surrounding meadows. In this style, you should try to imitate nature as much as possible, using numerous layers and different small decorations like pebbles and twigs. There are no strict rules of what to use, other than not to use any exceptionally large plants.


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