Top Tips for Perfect CO2 Aqua-Scapes

Modern day aqua-scaping is no longer just a hobby, if done correctly it can classed as a work of art. The inspiration for such pieces comes not only from common underwater scenes but from mountains, waterfalls and deserts. Using such dramatic scenery to inspire them: aqua-scapists can create dramatic underwater world in relatively small areas. To to achieve and maintain such perfection can only come with practice using trial and error to find the perfect balance for their Eco-system.

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You may have your CO2 regulator hooked up and you feel  ready to start scaping, but just give these points a quick thought before you commit to a design too soon. Here are some things you should avoid doing.

Avoid using just one type of plant

You see many pictures of simple aquascape designs online and in magazines, that seem to use only one type of plant. There are a few good reasons for not trying to replicate them, especially if you are new to aquascaping. It is very hard to pull off the simple effect correctly and even when done right it can look boring quickly. The easiest way to get an effective aquacape is to use a variety of heights and sizes to suit your tank.

Size matters

Be careful with the size of plants you buy, as the larger the leaves, the smaller it will make your tank look. By choosing a variety of different plants with small stubby leaves, you will create a tank that seems large and full of detail.

Don’t over-complicate it

Try not to over-complicate things. Although we have said to use a variety of plants, keep similar styles for a continuous look. Pick a handful of plants that complement each other in size and colour. You can always start off with a few and add more if you feel it needs it.

The importance of empty or negative space

A lot of people think aquascaping is filling a tank full of life, and some take this a bit too literally. Tanks need to have at least 50% empty space to be effective in their design.


When it comes to aquascaping, in most cases, symmetry is not your friend. This is because it in not often you find symmetry in the natural landscape. Thus you should avoid trying to achieve it in your tank. Keep the focus points off-center to achieve this style.

The garden hedge effect

One of the most boring aquascapes mistakes you can make is to line the back of your tank with one type of plant. This will leave your aquarium plants being all the same height, making the back of your tank look like a neatly cut garden bush.

Mix up your foreground, mid-ground and background

New York City (along with other cities of a similar magnitude) look fantastic with their array of buildings with staggered heights. But this is often not a look you can replicate using natural plant life. For this reason you should try to maintain a strong separation between your foreground mid-ground and Background. Using the big features for you background and smallest for your foreground to give a graduated and artistic effect.