Understanding Taiwanese Aquascaping Style
Taiwanese style used to be very attractive and popular aquascaping style in the past, but recently not so much. What defines this style is the usage of high terraces, very rich plant life, creation of depth illusion, and the small items and objects placed in the aquarium in order to create sense of ‘life’ in the aquascaping design.
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Elements of the Taiwanese Aquascaping Style
As mentioned, Taiwanese style is inspired from the Iwagumi and Dutch styles. The main thing that Taiwanese style has taken from the Dutch is the usage of high terraces and open space in order to make good organization between different objects in the tank. Because of that, Taiwanese aquascapes usually come with several types of plant species, but they are not as dense as in the Dutch aquascaping style. In the Taiwanese style there are also many hardscape forms used, like rocks and other objects.
In the Taiwanese style the stone architecture is not the same as in the Iwagumi style, but one thing they have in common is the simplicity and minimalism as the main theme in the design. In order to customize the aquascape, the Taiwanese style is characterized by using small figurines in the foreground or background of the aquascaping design. By using figurines and other personified objects the aquascapers can express their vision and imagination, which gives nice charm to this aquascaping style.
Main Layout and Design of Taiwanese Style
The Taiwanese aquascaping style creates interesting aquascapes in different levels, depths, and terraces. Using large stones is also typical for this style, often used for making realistic natural scenes. In this style you will also see representations of wrecked and sunken ships, swimmers, divers and other figurines. These interesting effects and added objects create a realistic setting of the aquascaper’s vivid imagination.
Combining different styles is another typical characteristic of the Taiwanese style. By adding several layers of terraces and hardscape you can create a very realistic setting of the aquatic natural scene. You have the liberty to design according your imagination and combine different elements. By experimenting with stones, adding depth, plant life and figurines, you have the opportunity to take your imagination to the next level.
Types of Plants and Fish to Use in the Taiwanese Style
One of the many beauties of this aquascaping style is that it gives you freedom to create a unique, realistic, and natural aquatic scene. You have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to using plants and fish for your aquarium. When choosing your plants and fish, always remember to keep an eye on the realistic and natural aquatic scene.
You can use many different plants, but the following are some of the most commonly used:
- Cryptocoryne species – these are small plants used for creating natural scene;
- Hygrofilia corymbosa and Limnophila aquatic – these plants are used for creating nice visual appearance in the design; and
- Saurus cernuus and Lobelia cardinalis – these low-hanging species are used for creating depth.
By combining the mentioned plants together with nice choice of figurines and hardscape you can create a realistic setting of the beautiful aquatic landscape.
Regarding the fish species that can be used in the Taiwanese aquascaping style, you should go for those fish species that will complement the overall layout of the design. Using both individual and schooling fish is not advisable because that can disturb the harmony and will create imbalance in the design. It is recommendable to go for fish that will be in harmony with their natural environment and overall aquascape.
Final Thoughts on Taiwanese Aquascaping
One of the best things regarding this style is the liberty you have in choosing different options. The final goal is to make a realistic version of the natural environment. The influences from the Iwagumi and Dutch styles give you freedom to be creative, but many aquascapers still fail when trying to create very realistic or unique scene. Also adding artificial objects, figurines, sunken ships and other things creates an interesting environment in your aquascape.
As a conclusion we can say that the Taiwanese aquascaping style is not as popular as it used to be, but it is still very beautiful style to follow. One of the reasons for the decline in popularity is because it lacks a specific characteristic that will separate it from the Iwagumi and Dutch aquascaping styles.
Taiwanese style still provides you with great space for personal interpretation and showing your imagination, but the added artificial life characteristics and elements are not enough to make it unique and more popular as other aquascaping styles.