#240: 300L Aquatic Garden Looking Glass of the Maples

Steven Chong Tokyo, United States


Absolutely stunning scape. There is very much skill and creativity demonstrated here.
— Hiep Hong

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 120 × 50 × 50 cm
Title Looking Glass of the Maples
Volume 300L
Background Foam Board attached to Wall behind the aquarium.
Lighting Aqua Life Professional x2
Filtration Eheim E3 Pro
Plants Myriophyllum Tuberculatum, Micranthemum Monte Carlo, Hemianthus micranthemoides, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Cryptocoryne Wendtii "brown", Cryptocoryne parva, Ranunculus inundatus, Utricularia graminifolia, Java Moss, Taiwan Moss, Riccardia chamedryfolia
Animals Hyphessobrycon rosaceus (White-Finned Rosy Tetra)
Materials Rocks, Twigs
Additional Information Last fall I had the opportunity to revisit Kyoto in the Autumn-- the first time in over a decade since my trip there in 2009 following my first Nature Aquarium Party. I have relatives there, who agreed to put me up for two weeks as I explored any number of famous temples and gardens, including the Saihoji (Koke-Dera, the Moss Temple) and Ruriko-in Temple, the later having quite an influence on this aquascape. From inside Ruriko-in, one looks out into the lush garden with sweeping maple trees. However, what's very special is that inside the temple building are tables with mirror-like surfaces that match the shape of the windows to perfectly reflect the maples of the garden-- this is a brilliant imitation of natural water-mirrors, like what I've seen at Mishakae-ike (Deer's Looking Glass Pond) in Nagano Prefecture near my wife's house. Though the trees there are Pine, it is Japanese "Wilting Pine", so there just as in Kyoto's Rurikoin, the mirror surface turns red with the autumn foliage.

When I went to Kyoto last year, just as I had 13 years ago, I thought to myself "it is so brilliantly beautiful, but it is a shame that no aquatic plant has the shape and form to properly re-create this scene." The thickness, thinness, sweeping flow of maple leaves between branches, the texture of autumn. However, this time, walking through Kyoto's gardens, I challenged that assumption-- and came to the idea that with Red Myrio it might be possible.

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