In regular fish tanks, the plants play a secondary role to the fish; in aqua landscapes, it's the other way around.
For reasons that will become apparent, I'm going to start this column by telling you the end of the tale, which is that I've become enthused by the idea of creating a terrarium. You know what it's like -- you're blissfully meandering your way around the Internet when you see something that makes you gasp "Ooh! Shiny!"
In my case, it was an uber-cool Terrarium that someone had created. My first task, was to find a suitable container. I really wanted something like a large fishbowl -- ideally about 24-inches in diameter -- but these proved to be surprisingly difficult to find. In the end, I opted for this 18-inch diameter handblown glass bowl that I found on Amazon Prime for $62, which turns out to be a really good price compared to some of the alternatives.
As you can see in this video, my glass bowl arrived at my office and it's very tasty indeed.
My next mission is to start looking for the other things I'll need, including small stones, potting charcoal, sand, and soil; low-light, low-maintenance, miniature plants; and anything else I think will add to the overall effect.
Before I ran across the terrarium idea, I first encountered a series of videos on aqua landscaping. I don’t know about you, but I've never heard of this before. I've seen fish tanks, of course, and I really like them (looking at them, not owning one), but the plants have always seemed to play second fiddle to the fish themselves. By comparison, in the case of aqua landscaping, it's the underwater plants that take center stage, with the fish just adding the cream on the top of the cake (I never metaphor I didn’t like).
Take a look at this video.
Aren't these gorgeous? Some of them are like miniature underwater forests. Arrggh. I can’t help myself -- now I'm wondering what it would be like to get a deep tank and create a combination aqua landscape in the bottom half complemented by a terrarium landscape on the top. I'm going to have to noodle so this. Perhaps it will be a good project when I retire in 20 or 30 years' time. What about you -- are you tempted to try your hand at any of these little beauties?
This is an interesting idea -- the fish providing the nutrients for the plants -- of course it also reminds me of this W.C. Fields quote -- but I feel sorry for the fish in the video you point to because their environment is so boring -- if I were a fish I'd like rocks and plants and sunken ships (or a Spongebob Pineapple) to swim around.