If you're like most hobbyists, you've done your share of collection over they ears, right? Now, I don't mean, you went down to Peru and grabbed those rare cichlids yourself (although that may be true for some of you!); I'm referring to our love of collecting and accumulating "stuff."
Most of us fish geeks have boundless enthusiasm for the hobby. We collect lots of fishes, plants, and aquarium stuff. We create all sorts of interesting aquariums and aquascapes with many components.
It's what we do.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
Have you ever noticed, however, that many of the nicest aquarium and setups you've seen seem to revolve around one thing?
Like, in the design, amount of materials, etc.?
Yeah, really- the art of not going too crazy- embracing the balance between "too much and to little." A beautiful aquascape has just the right amount of plants, wood, rock, botanicals- whatever.
Too much, and it becomes an annoyingly busy hodgepodge of "stuff." Too little, and it is somewhat harsh, cold...incomplete.
Good aquascapers seem to have this innate ability to find the balance. To achieve beautiful results with what seems to be a breathless simplicity.
And interestingly, even our 'prototype'- nature- seems to beckon us with the call of simplicity and balance.
Ever look carefully at a natural underwater scene- be it a river, lake bottom, coral reef? Yes, you may see an explosion of life- a diversity of forms...Yet, underneath it all is a beautiful, elegant simplicity.
Nature provides exactly what life needs. Seldom more. Nature corrects its rare "mistakes" with decisive, well-perfected necessary moves- storms, tidal action, rock falls, etc.
Attempting to replicate some of nature's "practices" in our aquascaping is never a bad thing, in my humble opinion...precisely because nature seems to "know" exactly what is needed.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
Sometimes it IS a bit more complex...yet in a, well... "simple" way.
Attempting to replicate nature is not the only way to create a beautiful aquascape.
However, it is a wonderful way.
Stay focused on the world. Stay open to nature's influence.
Stay observant. Stay curious. Stay creative. Stay enthused...
And Stay Wet.