Just a short while ago, I argued that figurines could be a clever way to spice up your aquarium. If you’re going to have a rock formation with coral, why not have miniature rock climbers scaling the treacherous cliffs? Why not hide a cozy log cabin amid the aquatic plants? Unfortunately, it was hard to argue my point because there just aren’t that many pictures of miniature figurines in aquariums. It’s become popular in the terrarium hobby, but they haven’t quite caught on in the world of aquariums.
Luckily, David Isley has helped to pioneer the aqua-mini movement with these clever, slightly humorous underwater photos. Isley explained that he got a little bit tired of taking photos of the same-old-same-old, so he “really wanted to do something entirely different. Something off-the-wall, and here it is.”
Isley seems to favor a Godzilla-esque approach, with otherwise small sea creatures wreaking havoc on unsuspecting, Lilliputian communities. They range from the comically foreboding to the grisly.
You could easily inject a similar sort of tongue-in-cheek humor to your own aquascape. Does your moray eel favor a particular hidey hole? Transform your eel into a terrifying monster of epic proportions with tiny army men.
Using miniatures like these presents two challenges. The first is an issue of style. Some people prefer a slightly more off-the-wall approach to artwork, but there’s a fine line between clever novelty and kitsch. Miniatures can add tiny little pockets of artistic flare or humor, but it’s probably a good idea to keep the focus of your aquascape on the sea creatures, and not on your miniatures.
The other issue you have to tackle is the stability of your miniatures. Placing miniatures in terrariums is fairly easily because they don’t move around much. Aquariums, on the other hand, have living animals and currents. You would need to take special care to make sure that your miniatures are solidly rooted to their positions. Attaching long poles to the bottom of figurines can root the miniatures in the sand, while reef glue or aquarium epoxy can secure a miniature to a piece of rock.
The possibilities for underwater miniature landscapes are fairly endless. You can create your own underwater world, like a sunken Atlantis or magical forest with aquatic plants acting as the trees. A custom aquarium is a great way to spruce up a room, but nothing will show off your individual personality quite like a custom-made, underwater world.