Create an Iwagumi Aquascape


Planting begins, using prepared plant plugs


Close up of the plugs


Bushier plants are now added


Amano continuously works both sides of the tank, never just one side. This helps him harmonise his planting throughout the process


Half-way there!


Amano finishing off his planting


He also adds tiny plugs with substrate into some of the holes in the stone


Tiny finishing touches, while the plants are being sprayed to keep them moist


Amano now decides to add some taller plants at the back


Adding foreground detail


The foreground detail in close-up – slender, moss-covered branches


Is the aquascape complete?


Yes indeed – task completed. Now we are only waiting for growth


Six days later and the tank has settled nicely


The plants are showing all the signs of settling in and growing


Twenty-two days later the aquascape is already taking on an air of maturity


And at the surface some plants have started to bloom!

So there you have it – an aquascape by Takashi Amano… and assistants. What we can learn from this is that if we are organised, if we planned, prepared and have everything ready to hand, the process does not take all that long. Amano does have something that we do not: In Japan there is an entire industry that pre-prepares planting plugs and moss-covered twigs and wood – tiny wabi-kusa, they are called. I really wish we were so lucky!

Enjoy creating your first Iwagumi aquascape and feel free to let us have a photograph of your creation!

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