Aquascaping Ideas for Planted Aquariums


You have endless options when setting up a planted aquarium. You can choose whatever you want according your taste. However, if you wish to create a planted aquarium then take a look at these fish tank ideas. The following styles are the most popular and common today so get familiar with each one of them and pick the one you’d like to pursue.



This is an aquarium style that simulates a natural environment. This includes the fauna and flora, the exact water conditions, the driftwood, and the hardscape. This style is not only beautiful, but it is also helpful to the researches and biologists that conduct studies regarding a fish’s environment. Tanks with biotope style are easy to install and to maintain, which is great for beginners who do not have to make researches to determine the compatibility of the flora and fauna for the tank.

Dutch Style Aquarium


The dutch style aquascape is very exciting style, well known for its layers known as Dutch Streets. Dutch style comes with several plant types with multiple leaves. The floor of the tank is covered with plants, while the taller plants are at the back of the aquarium. Another characteristic of the Dutch style is that there is no hardscape in the tanks, no driftwood and no stones.

Iwagumi Style


The Iwagumi aquascape is one of the most attractive aquascape styles used today. It was popularized by Takashi Amano, who is considered to be the Father of Aquascaping. Iwagumi style is characterized by the specific arrangement of stones by following the Rule of Thirds. Stones are in odd numbers in order to prevent balanced layout, because humans always see splits in layouts that are balanced. In the Iwagumi style you will see three different stones, one of which is larger, while two are secondary and smaller. There may be more than three stones, but the total number must remain odd.

The tanks designed in Iwagumi style are characterized by the open space and the simplicity. The number of stones and plants in different colors is limited, while the number of flora and fauna is also limited in order to create the sense of minimalism. Scale is the most important thing in Iwagumi style. Powdery substrates are used to create bigger scale, and the main stone must be the largest and to dominate in the aquarium. Fish species like the Neon Tetra are common in this style for maintaining the scale.

Jungle Style


This name says it all. The main purpose is to create a jungle-like environment. This style is most commonly used in larger aquariums, where the scale comes into full effect.

Natural style


Also known as a nature aquarium is the most common type which you have probably seen many times on the internet. These award-winning aquariums are recreating all kinds of landscapes, such as mountains, hills and valleys. Nature aquariums are further subdivided into other styles, like the triangular type in which the substrate is sloping down from one to the other corner of the aquarium, or the island type which comes with a stone mountain in the middle.

Taiwanese style


Not used as much as it was in the past, and it had taken the backseat behind the more popular Nature Aquarium and the Iwagumi style. Anyhow, Taiwanese style is characterized with its high terraces that come in different depths, and the unique feature of this style are the smaller objects placed inside the tank which are used to create ‘life’ feeling.

The Walstad Method


Another aquascape style which is not very popular, but still very appealing. This method is used for recreating natural environment, and the main difference between this style and a nature aquarium is the random plant and object placement in the tank. It does not focus on the optimal beauty of the aquarium, but it creates an environment as it is in the nature.

These aquariums are low budget tanks that do not require much maintenance. Top soil and another layer of substrate is commonly used and due to the plant density it does not require water changes often. One thing to keep in mind: always use a top soil without added chemicals, because the chemicals may leech into the water and kill the fish.


These are the most common aquascaping ideas, although there are many others, as well as variations of the ones mentioned. Choose the one you think you will enjoy seeing the most. If you need help or need more ideas of how you want your tank to look like, you know where to look! With that being said, we hope these fish tank ideas gave you some inspiration for your next project!


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