What is an Iwagumi Scape?

What is an Iwagumi Scape?

Being an aquascaping store I’m asked on a weekly basis what is an Iwagumi scape? So I thought I would do a little blog on these every increasing popular scapes.

So when your looking on the net I’m sure you would of come across scapes with rock or stones in them and low level plants. This sort of scape is called an Iwagumi.

Iwagumi is Japanese and translates into “rock garden”. 

These style of aquascape relies on the rock to form the main point of the scape.

When your aquascaping an Iwagumi you will normally only use one type of rock and not different types giving it a simple look.

Choosing the rock is very important and shouldn’t be rushed. Use the lines in the rock to help you design and give you height in the scape your creating. Crouch down and look up at the rock as this gives you a good idea of a natural mountain look and feel, so when your looking from every angle you can see what you wanted to achieve.

Low level plants are used like the following species. Eleocharis acicularis Mini, Glossostigma elatinoides, Hemianthus callitrichoides cuba and Micranthemum Monte Carlo. These are some of the most popular species for Iwagumi scapes.

Iwagumi scapes can be very impactful and looking stunning once fully mature but these scapes can be very challenging and difficult to set up and maintain.

To maintain a good growth from the plants I would recommend using Co2 and some good fertilisers. Low level plants normally require good lighting so I would urge you to purchase the best light you can.

Fish can be added at a later date but keep to one species and only a small number so you don’t lose the Iwagumi effect.