Forget the castles and pirates' chests, these underwater landscapes are not your average fish tanks.
When we first heard of aquascapes coming to the Conservatory of Flowers we pictured fish tanks sans algae blooms and dying goldfish. But it turns out there's much more to aquascapes than just adding stones and moss to freshwater tanks; there's distinct styles: Dutch style (lots of leafy greens), nature style (picture a teeny tiny Lord of the Rings
landscape), jungle style (bigger, leafier greens), biotopes (rocks), paludariums (part in water, part above), and then there's a whole other grouping of saltwater reef aquascapes. And
we haven't even mentioned gardening techniques, filtration systems and fish yet. Except that we just did.
The hobby of aquascaping began in the Netherlands in the 1930s according to Aquascaping Aquarium
, and has picked up fans in Belgium, Germany, Japan and the U.S. And many aquascapers are very serious about their craft; the U.S. national competitions have been happening for 14 years, and in the 2013 contest there were 506 entires
If you're interested in seeing some in person, the show at the Conservatory of Flowers
(100 JFK Drive) starts tomorrow and runs through April 12, 2015.