What do European beaches and custom aquariums have in common? Both can go topless. These aquascapes think outside of the box (literally) by exploring the empty space above the aquarium.
These aquariums may be beautiful and topless, but don’t worry — this article is entirely work safe.
Takashi Amano’s Freshwater Nature Aquascape
Let’s start off with a classic. This healthy freshwater aquarium practically explodes with verdant plant life. Amano’s philosophy is to highlight the natural chaos of the real world. This aquascape does just that by ignoring the artificial, man-made boundaries as the plants spiral upward towards the light.
You may remember this aquascape from the Aqueous Art Movement article a while back. The branch in this aquascape is reminiscent of the Kool-Aid man as it unabashedly bursts through walls. I love the concept, but I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the metal support beam on the right. It kind of ruins the overall feeling of freedom by reminding the viewer of wood’s heavy weight and the complicated logistics of building such an unorthodox aquarium. This aquarium would be much better suited in a home or office setting (rather than an art gallery) where the support beam could be incorporated into the living space. The branch could be attached to a wall or it could rest on another woody art piece to give it a more natural look.
My Garden Overfloweth
Quiz time! This habitat isn’t completely filled with water. What does that make it?
- An aquarium
- A paludarium
- A vivarium
- A terrarium
- A riparium
OK, this isn’t really fair of me. This is a trick question. The correct answer is that this habitat is both a paludarium and a vivarium. Vivariums are what you call the category of man-made habitats, and paludariums are habitats that simulate dry and wet environments.
What I love most about this paludarium is that it’s so beautifully layered. The bottom part represents a shallow lake or stream, the middle part contains twisted branches, and plants cheerfully poke out of the top of the palduarium. Three different layers, three different aesthetic impacts.
A Simple Vertical Aquascape
Those previous three aquascapes were all fairly complex. They’re either too large or too eccentric to fit into most home settings, so let’s get back to the basics with a fairly simple aquascape design. The wood in this aquascape branches upward and outward, similar to how a bouquet of flowers blossom out of a narrow vase. The layout is rather eye-catching, but the only possible downside of the branches is that they pull the eye to the upper-right and to the upper-left. I would recommend flanking this aquascape with two beautiful paintings that complement the aquascape in color or shape. This would create a visually complex cycle: the viewer would look at the aquascape, and then follow the branches up to the paintings, which would in turn push attention back to the aquascape.
Overall, these topless aquariums would fit in just about anywhere. I think they’re especially well-suited for office settings. The aquarium will attract potential clients, but the unique layout will show customers that you’re an unconventional thinker and the upward-reaching branches imply unlimited potential and boundless growth. Just don’t expect to write off your aquarium as a work expense this tax season; unfortunately, art pieces don’t make the cut.