An Iwagumi layout with Radially Arranged Stones (Full Article)Author: Takashi Amano, translated by Tomoko Schum
Stones in the Nature Aquarium
The characteristic textures, white striations, and shapes of ryuoh-seki are the results of the way they were formed. Ryuoh-seki is originally a bluish sedimentary rock. Magma penetrated through the rock deep in the ground and formed the white-colored layer. When the ground thrust upward and exposed the rock to water, the characteristic texture and grooves seemed to have formed and the rock fractured into various shapes. The tectonic movement of the earth over an extremely long period produced the unique form of ryuoh-seki.
Although it was influenced by water, ryuoh-seki has a ragged shape unlike a roundish river stone. This is the result of gradual erosion by rainwater. The stone was named ryuoh-seki (originally named seiryu-seki when it was introduced) after a legendary dragon in Eastern mythology. Since its cool, bluish color goes together well with green aquatic plants and the shape is good for conjuring up the image of a natural landscape, the stone became an old standby as a layout material for an iwagumi layout. When I produce an iwagumi aquascape with ryuoh-seki, I try to create a layout that makes the most of the characteristic appearance of the stones.
Using Ryuoh-seki in a Layout
This layout was produced by keeping in mind an image of radial lines spreading from the center. This type of stone arrangement produces an impression of water flowing from the back of the aquarium toward the front. Soil was mounded higher in the rear-center of the aquarium to enhance the impression of water current. Then, short aquatic plants were planted according to the basic rule of an iwagumi aquascape.
The back of the stone arrangement was planted with Echinodorus tenellus, which is relatively taller than the other short aquatic plants. The front of the stones was planted with Glossostigma, cobra grass, and Riccia. Planting a few different types of short aquatic plants together gives a variation in the appearance of the foreground area. Since these plants, except for Riccia, spread by runners, they gradually intermingle with each other by sending runners as they grow. These few aquatic plants were planted together since the appearance of mixed plants feels very natural.
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