AQUASCAPING, THE PROCESS of selecting and placing décor in an aquarium, is one of the most enjoyable steps of setting up an aquarium. Determining which type of décor to use in your aquarium can be mind-boggling; with a wide array of styles and options to choose from - in both natural and artificial forms - how do you know which is best for you? Luckily, both natural and artificial décor have benefits; deciding which benefits are best for you will make the selection process easier.
Live rock lets you create a versatile, natural landscape for your saltwater inhabitants. It provides a foundation for the growth of beneficial coralline algae and
live corals and offers shelter to many animals. Tiny microorganisms found on and in live rock offer a natural food source for some fish, and live rock also aids in the breakdown of waste produced by aquarium inhabitants.
live plants in your freshwater aquarium will create a lush green landscape and benefit the health of your inhabitants. Plants produce oxygen, which in turn reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and ammonia in the aquarium water. Plants also will compete with algae for nutrients, thereby limiting the opportunity of algae to grow and thrive.
Driftwood can be used to anchor plants or to create "tea-stained" soft-water conditions in order to replicate the conditions found naturally in Amazonian Black Water biotopes populated by
Neon Tetras and Rummynoses.
When it comes to choosing a safe, reliable, and convenient choice of décor,
artificial décor is always a popular option. Artificial décor is the ultimate low-maintenance accessory and an excellent choice for beginner hobbyists.
Since no special considerations need to be taken for its use, artificial décor can be placed in your aquarium immediately, unlike some natural décor that requires a period of acclimation or curing. The real-life detail of artificial décor also lets you create a natural-looking setup or gives you the flexibility to mix and match décor to suit any style.
In addition, artificial décor won't ever affect your water chemistry. For example, unlike live plants,
artificial plants do not release oxygen, nor do they need lighting, substrate, or food. Likewise,
artificial driftwood won't release tannins like real driftwood, allowing it to be used in any type of aquarium, even saltwater.