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Hugo Kamishi - Zen Garden aquarium plants

Live aquarium plants are a great addition to any aquarium. With the right care and maintenance you can create some stunning underwater gardens. With the technology available to us today, we can have some beautiful plant species which all have there own unique appeal.

Aquascaping is not easy, to get it right takes patience, skill and knowledge, but most of all time. When you live a busy life, finding the time to trim plants and add fertilisers etc can be difficult. When things slip the result is algae growth and plant die off.

Ever since I can remember, the alternative to the live plants was glossy, rigid plastic plants. No matter how hard you tried, it was never anywhere near natural looking. Since then the artificial plants have come a long way. We have a wide range of brands and styles to chose from these days. While the plastic plants are still available, you can also get silk ones now too. Silk plants are softer and have amore realistic texture and look.

I decided to have a go at creating a natural looking aquascape by using artificial plants only. The brand I chose was the Hugo Kamishi Zen Garden range. I found that the choice of plants available was outstanding. Anything from carpeting plants to 50cm high Rotala. With this much on offer, creating the perfect aquarium should be a doddle. Im a fan of big leaf plants like the Amazon swords and Madagascar Lace so my choice was a personal one which consists of the following plants.

  • Syngonium Green Silk - 40cm
  • Cryptocorne Green/Red Silk 40cm
  • Echinoderms Green Silk - 40cm
  • Hugo Long Leaf Silk - 40cm
  • Lotus Leaf Yellow Silk - 13cm
  • Plant matting (carpet) - 25cm x 17cm x 5cm

Fitting the carper matt was a little tricky but with a bit of patience and some clever scissor use, I was able to set it just the way I wanted. I did notice it wanted to float slightly but with the placement of the stone, this was resolved easy enough. It does take some patience to make sure none of the grid base is visible and Im not sure how to make this easier. Maybe it was lack of experience on my part. However, persistence resolved this and I was happy with the outcome.

It didn't take long to position all the remaining plants and this was made easier by the weighted bases on each plant which helped to steady them in the substrate. taking a closer look at the leaves, they all looked very convincing and having a mixture of colour and texture between the plants it gave a really natural feel. The stems of the plants are nice and strong plastic which allows for them to move with the flow of the water. One thing I feel could have improved the movement amongst the plants would have been bendable stem bases with the option to position each stem in your own way to suit your layout. I found these plants great to work with.

Although live plants benefit the ecosystem of an aquarium, there are many positives to using artificial plant, Maintenance, cost and lack of mess to name but a few. Cleaning the leaves of these plants is simple. Whenever they look like they need cleaned, pull them out and wash them in aquarium water during your water changes.

The Hugo Kamishi range is available in all our local fish stores including our sponsors.

  • East Lothian Aquatics
  • Riverside Aquaria 
  • Eden Aquatics & reptiles
  • New Concept Aquatics

Hugo Says...

"experience the beauties of nature, and in doing so learn about yourself"

After this aquascape and it being my first ever artificial scape, I can say I've learned that a nature aquarium is possible for anyone to achieve. If you don't have time to maintain a live planted tank, or your fish tend to devour live plants, then definitely have a go at this range.

Thanks for reading guys and I hope I've inspire some of you to give it a go yourself. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. I will be uploading a video once the water clears.


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