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Is Aquascaping Hard to Do?

A shrimp in a planted aquarium

Are you a beginner at aquascaping? No worries. Everybody starts somewhere.

But you may be wondering how hard it is to get into this aquarium hobby and whether it’s worth it. The truth is that aquascaping, like many hobbies, comes in levels. And if you start at the beginning, it’s not so hard.

Here’s what to know before you get started with aquascaping for your tropical fish aquariums…

Fish have habits

The thing about aquascaping is that the plants are not entirely separate from the fish…that’s kind of the point and may seem obvious, but it has consequences that you may not have considered.

Some fish will eat live plants until they are gone. Others may tear up the plants, uprooting them from the bottom of the aquarium.

A fish swimming through plants

So, before you start aquascaping, it’s a good idea to know the behaviors of your particular fish so that you can plan an aquascape strategy that will cause fewer headaches for you.

Fish have needs

Another thing to consider is the space requirements. The more things you add to a tropical fish tank, the more of the space you use up. And your fish need a certain amount of space for swimming around in.

If you have more active fish that swim a lot, you’ll want to plan for a sparser aquascaping setup so that the fish have the space they need.

Fish in a planted aquarium

On the other hand, if you have fish that like to hide a lot, large or dense plants may be right for your tank.

Making sure that your fish’s needs are considered will make aquascaping go a lot smoother for you. You don’t want to end up with problems after putting in all the work of planting and decorating.

Think about your skill level

When starting an aquascaping project, it’s a good idea to keep your current skill level in mind. If you’re just starting out, start small. Try a single plant at first, and find out all the basics about how a live planted aquarium works.

An aquarium with lots of plants

Remember that you can always add more as you go, and the more time you put into the aquascaping hobby, the more advanced your skill level will get. So if you have an amazing tropical aquarium in your imagination, don’t think you can’t do it. Just take one step at a time to get to the skill level you need to create that vision. You may have to create a few different tanks along the way.

Remember the maintenance

Aquascaping is not just about putting a few plants and pieces of real wood into a tank and then leaving it be. You will have to maintain those plants and their needs, in addition to the needs of your fish.

Closeup on aquarium plants in gravel

Maintenance does not have to be difficult, but the more elaborate your aquascaping vision, the more time you will need to put into maintaining it.

Check out our live plants and other aquascaping materials at The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights!