We love playing with our stock of rocks. And what better way to show them off than creating different landscapes? Lately, we’ve been crushing on Takashi Amano aquariums. This 61-year old Japanese landscape photographer / aquarist has revolutionized the aquarium world by designing aquascapes that equal and even outdo nature.
The use of large free-standing rocks inside Amano aquariums is a signature design element. Peering into his aquascapes, you feel as if you’ve stepped inside Lord of the Rings country. We’ve aspired to create an amano-esque aquarium for a while and are gathering inspiration and landscape materials from our walks around the neighborhood – we’ve been picking up fallen tree branches and rocks and bringing them home for use when we’re finally ready to set up the tank.
We bought a Juwel bow front 50-gallon tank from Craigslist (of all places!) from a lady whose husband already had three fish tanks . . . But it came in dark brown so we painted it a glossy white which goes with our apartment so much better (sorry, I forgot to take ‘before’ pictures so the manufacturer’s photo will have to do.) You can see the results in the picture on the right with my handmade 8-foot giant squid trying to escape from it. Haha.
Before taking on any major project, we like to ‘practice’ by making miniature versions of what we have in mind. That’s when we decided to create a small betta terrarium using some of the rough gems we have lying around the house. Ha! I guess that’s what happens when your trade is in gemstones. We thought the nephrite jade rough we had would be perfect for this project with its jagged shapes and forest green color. It looks really great against the red body color of our new friend.
We laid some fish tank gravel on the bottom and played around with the nephrite pieces until we were happy with the look. Then we filled the jar with some water and added a few drops of dechlorinator and in went our new betta. Isn’t he cute? We are thinking of naming him Thomson because we purchased him last night at a local aquarium shop along Upper Thomson Road after getting some dinner at the famous The Roti Prata House.
We plan on making a few more of these betta terrariums with our gemstones. They are so apartment friendly. Bettas are really the perfect fish for small living spaces. They don’t require all the equipment and set-up other fishes do and they are hardy so you won’t have to worry about them. You can keep them in any glass container like empty liquor bottles or even unused coffee pots! They can truly become a curated and colorful element in your home decor.
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