For onlookers, aquariums are glass boxes with plants, rocks, stones, driftwood, and colourful fishes, but every stone, plant or driftwood has its own importance and place.
This craft to arrange them in an aesthetic manner within an aquarium, is called aquascaping, a craft, which is gaining popularity in India. Adip Sajjan Raj, an aquascaper from Bengaluru, will be conducting a special masterclass this weekend to provide hands-on training in this unique art, which is popular across homes in India.
“Aquariums have taken a new trend these days. They have evolved from being about colourful plants and stones and fish in a box, to beautiful underwater landscape, called aquascape, which resembles nature as closely as possible,” says Raj.
The workshop will provide training on how to design an aquarium, learn to use natural materials like wood and stone, while introducing them to methods like Japanese iwagumi (the art of arranging stones in an aquarium) and the Golden Ratio, the golden rule of aquascaping.
“The Golden Ratio helps in maintaining the natural ratio of stones, sub-stones, plants etc, in an aquarium,” say Raj, who also runs the company Still Water Aquatics in Bengaluru.
The aesthetics of aquascape is also considered to prolong the life of fish, and is therapeutic for the onlookers, adds Raj. “The sight of colourful plants, leaf structures, arrangement of stones, lighting -- everything creates a dream-like environment, and acts as a stress-releasing agent for the onlooker,” he says.