Aquascaping Ideas 2022: 25 Best Ideas With Instructions

Simple Aquascape

Simple Aquascape

Updated on 10/1/2023
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
Learn More about Emma Downey

Aquascaping is more than just putting grass and stones in a tank. You must have a solid aesthetic sense and a good comprehension of the physics behind it. Sounds like a challenging task to undertake? Don't be concerned. We're here to demonstrate how simple and gratifying aquascaping can be.

After all, once you start, there's no stopping. You may try out various aquascapes, such as bonsai tanks, betta aquariums, low-tech versions, rock and wood aquascapes, etc. Maintain your tank's water and light demands, trim your plants, remove algae, and feed your fish regularly. Then relax and enjoy a beautiful bit of nature right in your living room.

This post has some clever aquascaping ideas with artificial plants for you. Plus, a step-by-step tutorial to ensure you understand the entire procedure. But first, a basic definition of aquascaping.

Aquascaping: What Is It?

Aquascaping is simply landscaping plants with water. You may use plants, sand, wood, stones, pebbles, fish, and other materials to create scenes within a tank. The designs of aquascaping vary widely, But they are inspired by nature. As far as possible, aquascaping mimics nature in some ways. 

Aquascapes are easy to operate. In general, they are self-sufficient ecosystems. Imagine it as a cycle: plants and fish care for each other as they do in nature. You will still need to monitor and maintain your aquascape periodically to ensure its overall health. You may also require a sound filtration system for your tank to function correctly.

Aquascaping's Advantages 

Do you think that's too much work? In the end, you'll get a reward. The benefits of aquascaping may not be apparent yet, but they are numerous.

  • This hobby keeps you mentally and physically fit through this hobby.
  • Maintaining a planted tank has been linked to reduced anxiety and pain.
  • Like gardening, watching plants grow in a tank can also reduce stress.
  • Children can also enjoy aquascaping a new tank. You will also become more productive.
  • Create an aquascape from scratch to boost creativity.

Ideas For aquascaping That Will Inspire You

Aquascaping has become a popular hobby, and Aquascaping has taken the gram by storm as a form of underwater art. If you want to keep up with the trend, here are a few aquascaping ideas that will inspire you. Check them out.

Mini Aquascape Tanks

It is best to start small and manageable when you are just getting started with aquascaping. Start small and manageable. An ideal tank size would be 10 gallons. Cover the substrate with gravel and sand. Cover rocks with moss. Adding a single faux tree to your arrangement will complete the look.

Keep in mind that keeping fish in a mini tank can be difficult. Try introducing snails and shrimp instead.

Aquascaping Bonsai

Bonsais are a great way to decorate your aquarium! They will add great visual impact to your aquascape and make it look like an ancient scene. Soak the bonsai roots. Keep the bark and leaves above the surface to allow your tree to breathe.

Bonsai driftwood, however, is perfect for creating an utterly undersea scene. The image above shows that Moss should be applied to bare branches.

Aquascaping Iwagumi

Rocks are the only hardscape material used in Iwagumi aquascaping style. The monotony is broken with a bit of greenery, and the class is simple and looks very soothing. Make your arrangement traditional by placing odd numbers of rocks, and make your performance appear natural by emphasizing asymmetry. 

Make your underwater rock garden stand out by placing LED lamps on top.

Aquascaping Moss

Mosses deserve our respect! You can create an attractive carpet of green for your aquarium with these undemanding plants. Mosses are also helpful for improving water quality and adding decorative items like rocks and driftwood to enhance the water quality. Now you have a moss garden underwater!

There are several aquatic mosses to choose from, such as java moss, peacock moss, and stringy moss.

Aquascaping Waterfall

Is there a waterfall underwater? Yes, there is! Flowing underwater waterfalls are clever optical illusions, and it doesn't take a magician to perform this trick. Use air pumps to circulate white sand and create an underwater waterfall. Use faux bonsais, driftwood, and aquatic plants to create a magical scene. Fill the empty spaces with sand and rocks.

If you want to get the sunset effect, you may also place a tiny yellow LED on top.

Rock Aquascape

With rocks, you can rock your aquascape! But don't just put any craft stones you come across in your tank, which may be disastrous. The pH of your tank can be altered by rocks, making it difficult for your plants and fish to thrive. Use appropriate aquascaping stones, such as senryu, dragon stone, elephant skin, and pagoda stones.

Create an aquascape themed after a mountain range. But don't mix your rocks; otherwise, it'll look unnatural.

CO2 Aquascape

These days, carbon dioxide has a bad reputation. And quite deservedly so. However, it is critical for your aquatic plants. As a result, make sure your plants have a consistent source of CO2. You may introduce CO2 into your setup in a pressurized CO2 system or a yeast-based DIY.

Dragon Stone Aquascaping

A famous aquascaping rock is dragon stone. The term comes from its scale-like texture. The stone seems weathered, and even adding a couple to your tank may make your aquascape appear ancient and wise in its own right. Dragon stones come in various hues, ranging from red to yellow to brown. So you may be as creative as you want with them.

Lava Rock Aquascaping

Aquascaping can also be done with lava rock, and Mosses grow well on it because of its rough texture. Adding some greenery to lava rocks isn't just pretty. As well as improving water quality, they also remove nitrates.

Create caves for fish and shrimp by stacking lava rocks, one on top of the other. The fish and shrimps love to hide in the caves.

Dutch Aquascape

Dutch aquascapes are cheerful and colorful. It is an ancient and well-known style. You have nothing to lose by giving it a shot. Put a wide variety of plants in your tank. Different shapes, colors, sizes, and heights of plants can be used to create contrasts and textures. You don't have to follow the rules to achieve a unique look. You can do whatever you like with Dutch aquascape. Hence, you can express yourself freely.

Aquascaping Forest



Create a tank that captures the essence of the wild. This isn't as difficult as it sounds. Creating the illusion of trees will require plenty of wood. Manzanita driftwood and spider wood can both be used. Your forest is ready when you cover the wood with mosses and ferns.

Add some sand and rocks to your aquarium to complete the wild look.

Nature Aquascaping

Nature Aquascaping

Nature Aquascaping

An aquascape in the nature aquarium style recreates an underwater world. Several types of plants, marine life, rocks, sand, and wood will be present. Attempt to mimic the natural scenery. The creative possibilities of this design are endless, from undersea mountain to rocky ridges. Make your procedure as straightforward as possible. Avoid adding artificial elements or decorations.

Reef Aquascaping

Some of the most beautiful underwater ecosystems are coral reefs. Coral reefs consist of living rocks with vibrant colors and ultraviolet light. How about creating your reef aquascape in your aquarium? Keep your aquarium visuals simple. Don't fill your aquarium with corals, but add a few. You can add fish, crabs, shrimp, and other invertebrates to your mini ecosystem.

Low Tech Aquascaping

Low-tech aquascaping consists of tanks that do not require much maintenance. The CO2 would not have to enter, the water would not need to be changed frequently, or even the tank would not need to burn very much. If you are unsure about aquascaping, they are perfect for you. Additionally, it is an inexpensive option. Letting nature balance out flora and fauna needs is simply a matter of doing so.

Aquascaping Fish Tank

Are you just as bored as the fish in your regular aquarium? Change it up! Create a style that you like. Build an amazing underwater world by introducing aquatic plants, sand, rocks, and other materials to your tank. 

Alga Aquascape

Algae is the enemy of aquascapers, or so we think. Unfortunately, some aquascapes encourage the growth of algae as well. Let me explain. Several reasons exist for this. In addition, some fish, such as guppy and livebearer, consume algae for nutrients. Naturally, algae can be grown and cared for in your aquarium, and all you have to do is let it be.

Aquascaping Lights

To perform photosynthesis and thrive, most aquatic plants require light. When you set up your aquarium, keep that in mind. Various bulbs are available, including incandescent bulbs, LED lamps, and fluorescent tubes. There is usually an option for adjusting the lighting. Thus, you can choose the intensity of the light to suit the specific needs of the plants you are growing. 

Japanese Aquascaping

Japanese-style aquascapes

Japanese-style aquascapes

Aquascapes is the Japanese style can be seen as underwater rock gardens. Using them can create calm around you due to their minimalistic and simple design. Certainly, stones and rocks will serve as the basic building blocks for your aquascape. However, it is possible to create a green meditative zone just by adding a few plants. 

Aquascaping Tree

The leaves of trees cannot survive entirely submerged in water, and that limitation shouldn't hinder you from creating an aquascape centered on trees. Aquascapes can revolve around a faux tree planted in a tank. Put a few stones for a meadow feel and plant carpeting plants. 

Aquascaping Driftwood

If placed in a tank, driftwood can become the center of attention. A driftwood aquascape is primarily low-maintenance, and all that's required is a single piece of wood. When choosing the right amount for your tank, look for driftwood that looks almost like an octopus. The result will be visually stunning.

The driftwood in your tank shouldn't float. Cover the base with sand to secure it.

Small Aquascape

Imagine a small aquascape on your coffee table or work desk, which can fit almost anywhere? In addition to being portable, it will serve as a reminder that nature can grow even in the smallest of spaces. Plant slow-growing aquatic plants in your tank with a layer of substrate. You can also add some stones to add interest to your tank. The size of your aquascape may fool you, but don't let it fool you. Water needs to be changed regularly, as well as pruned and cleaned.

Betta Tank Aquascaping

You can keep Bettas in a planted tank close to you, and they are one of the most delightful fish. You will be delighted by these fish's green, pink, and gold fins. They deserve to live in charming homes. To feel comfortable, make sure the tank is large, super clean, and has good lighting. Make sure your tank has plenty of caves, driftwood, aquatic plants, and hollow logs to keep bettas busy.

Betta fish live in warm water. If you live in a warm area, you should install a heater in their tank.

Live Aquascaping Plants

Live aquatic plants are far superior to faux plants, which are easy to maintain. A variety of live plants are available. Some items make the tank more decorative, while others make it a happy place for the fish to live. Aquatic plants that you must introduce to your tank include Java moss, Lilaeopsis, dwarf baby tears, water wisteria, and fern.

Aquascaping Pond Style

Another option is to create a pond inside your aquarium. In aquascaping, your plants will be above the water surface; however, you will have to follow the same steps as in aquascaping. Focus more on grassy plants rather than leafy plants. If you want your tank to look more natural, add a small "dry land" area.

It is best to build an aquascape around shallow tanks.

Aquascaping 10 Gallon Tank

Aquascaping can do in a 10-gallon tank. It's big enough to be creative with, yet small enough to be easy to maintain. Start by layering the substrate with a nutrient-rich material. Plant a variety of plants in ascending order on it. Add driftwood, rocks, and freshwater invertebrates to make the water look attractive. 

Getting Started With Aquascaping: A DIY Guide

It may be challenging to create a new aquascape if you don't know the exact steps to follow. Don't worry. Here is a quick walk-through of the plants, fish, substrate, hardscaping elements, and the steps involved in setting up a fresh aquascape

Step 1 – Begin With Soil Aquascapes

Soil rich in nutrients is necessary for every aquascape, and it would be best if you began by layering your tank with soil. In addition to providing food for your plants, this will also help keep their roots in place.

Step 2 – Install Aquascaping Substrate

Substrates for aquascaping consist of sand, gravel, and plant food. Healthy substrates make for healthy aquascapes, and active substrates are available along with inert substrates. Active substrates provide nutrients, while inert ones only provide aesthetic benefits.

Substrates can cause your tank to become cloudy. Be sure to rinse it before filling thoroughly.

Step 3 – Install Aquascaping Plants

Leaves on aquarium plants range from deep green to brilliant red. Furthermore, they come in various sizes and shapes, so you have a lot of choices. Aquascaping your aquarium should include low-growing plants at the front; on the other hand, you should place tall plants at the back. With this method, your aquarium will appear more natural and have a detailed view. 

Flaming moss, Java fern, sword plants, bacopa, and moneywort is easy-to-grow aquatic plants.

Step 4 – Add Stones And Rocks To The Aquascape

Rocks and stones are essential to any aquascape; having them in your tank will make it feel more natural. What do you choose? Try to avoid limestone and marble, which are highly calcareous rocks. Choose granite, quartz, lava rock, or sandstone to build a foundation.

Step 5 – Landscape With Wood And Driftwood (Optional)

A natural wood tank is also a possibility. Make your underwater world more detailed by adding a single piece of driftwood. No matter how chunky or root-like your log is, it's entirely up to you.

Step 6 – Add Water To The Tank

It's time to "water" your tank now that the plants are in place and the hardscaping parts are correctly connected. Fill the tank slowly and gently not to upset the tank. Don't worry about uprooting a few plants; you can fix them afterward.

Step 7 – If Necessary, Install An Aquascaping Filter

Aquascapes are often balanced mini-ecosystems, but some need filtration. Filters allow air to flow into your tank and ensure that it has enough oxygen. Various types of filters are available. You can use hanging filters, canister filters, internal or box filters, or under gravel filters.

Step 8 – Install Fish To The Aquascape (Optional)

The decision to fish in your aquascape is completely up to you. Are you ready to become an aquaparent? As a result, some popular fish choices are tetras, gouramis, and swordtails.

You can use LEDs to illuminate your tank, and it will not only boost photosynthesis but also make your plants and fish happy.

Get Serene With Aquascape

Aquascaping is one of the most charming and rewarding activities on the planet. Growing up fish and plants in a tank is magical, even more so when you know you contributed to it. Aquascaping is also a hobby that's great for quarantines. If you're bored, you don't have to sit at home with anything exciting to do. Those hours you might be wasting unproductive will turn into a beautiful work of art. Make coral or betta aquariums with colorful corals. Or you can create simple Japanese-style aquariums. Do you prefer low-tech gadgets? These are simple but can cheer you up nonetheless.

We hope you have abandoned the article and are preparing the tank for deployment if you are reading this. Let us know what type of aquascape you plan to build next before leaving. Feel free to share your plans in the comments section below. Feel free to ask us if you get stuck at any point while creating your aquascape. For now, have fun creating your aquascape!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Requirements For Aquascaping?

The first thing you need is a tank to hold your creation. Then, you'll need aquatic plants, a substrate, hardscaping materials such as rocks, stones, driftwood, etc. You can add fish, shrimp, and snails if you wish. You can find step-by-step instructions in our aquascaping guide.

Aquascapes Last For How Long?

Aquascapes should last at least six months, and it depends on the kind of aquascape you have created or the type of aquatic plants you use. A rock-only aquascape, for example, will last as long as you change the water, clean the rocks, and maintain your tank.

Is It Necessary To Install A Co2 System In A Planted Aquarium?

It's both true and false. For an aquascape with a lot of plants, yes. Photosynthesis is dependent on carbon dioxide, and in your tank, the plants and animals balance each other out.