Decorating: you either love it or you hate it. Since you’re reading a blog about custom aquarium design, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you love it. Designing a custom aquarium is a truly unique experience because you’re only half of the equation. No matter how much planning you do, it’s ultimately up to the individual creatures in your aquascape to flourish in a complete ecosystem. You can place plants and coral in certain areas, but you have practically zero control in how those creatures grow.
That’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Watching an organic scene grow and change is almost like watching a child grow up. Your organized planning interacts with the unbridled chaos of nature to create living art. For those of you out there who delight in the chaotic component of aquarium design, perhaps I can help you add a bit more randomness into the equation. After all, humans aren’t the only creatures who decorate their surroundings. Some fish fancy themselves as interior decorators, too.
Oscars can be a bit finicky at times. If your oscar doesn’t like the layout of its tank, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will do a bit of redecorating. Oscars are well known for their tendency to rearrange gravel and pull up plants. It’s best not to battle with them over this — your oscars will uproot the offending plants every time.
Redecorating is something that oscars seem to do for fun, and you might even find them attempting to reposition a water heater, pump, or thermometer.
2. Red Decorator Crab
Turtles are cute but unimaginative. Why stick with a plain green shell when you can have a miniature ecosystem on your back? Red decorator crabs prove that a shell can be a canvas for a beautiful work of art. These little critters uproot polyps and wear them around like a living cape. The polyps act as natural camouflage for the red decorator crab. It might be enough to confuse potential predators, but you definitely won’t lose sight of this bright red crustacean.These crabs act as miniature mobile gardens that trundle across your aquarium floor. I absolutely adore these crabs because they add such an interesting element of dynamic movement and chaos.
3. Algae Eaters
One of the most important tools in any interior decorator’s arsenal is the vacuum cleaner. Keeping an area nice and tidy is a critical component of design. What the point of going through all the trouble of creating a work of art if you’re going to let it get dirty?
Algae eaters act as janitors, window cleaners, and living vacuum cleaners for your aquascape. They may not alter the overall layout of your aquarium, persay, but they do prevent algae from ruining the scene. Algae eater fish, shrimp, and snails can all get the job done, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble matching the right species to your aquarium.