slowing things down to enjoy aquascape


Lifetime Members
Jan 23, 2005
What would you recommend to slow the momentum down in the tank to enjoy the current aquascape longer? Is it better to lower the light intensity, reduce the photoperiod, or both? When I get the aquascape dialed in my current setup, it gets over grown after a week. I would like to squeeze a little more out of it.


Prolific Poster
May 7, 2006
Re: slowing things down to enjoy aquascape

The best way to reduce growth would probably be a reduction in lighting. This won't induce algae like limiting other nutrients might.


Jan 24, 2005
Cologne, Germany
Re: slowing things down to enjoy aquascape

I would not recommend slowing things down. Since plants are adapted you may run into growth problems afterwards if you change tank parameters. If you do everything right (maintanance) you'll reach sweet spots every 3 to 4 weeks in a high light tank. Growth and alterations make up for aquascape and life generally. If you want slower changes go non CO2 methods.

I tried slowing things down (less light intensity, less fertilizers of all kinds but keeping CO2 high) several times when I went for holidays and tanks were on their own. Did not have too much success though.



Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
Re: slowing things down to enjoy aquascape

The best way to save the sweet spots in a tank's evolution is to take photos of them. Another way is to use plastic plants.

We can't have it both ways - fast growth driven by high light intensity, but "time outs" at our pleasure. I think our goal should be to find the happy medium where we get enough growth to make it interesting, but not so much that we feel like it is a job. If we use slower growing plants and less light we can easily achieve that.

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
Re: slowing things down to enjoy aquascape

Well, we have quite a few methods to slow things down.

1. Reduce the lighting, say 2w/gal, T5's etc. Nice lighting, very efficient and good even spread over the tank. NO FL's also are nice, I like Triton bulbs etc.

2. Reduced intensity rather than time is a better method.
Lower light is fine, but some folks have done things like the noon time blast for 2-3 hours, 4-6 might be too long to get your result that you are after.

3. I prefer to change the plant species to slower growers and more manageable plants that are not weedy.

Most of the plants we have are pretty weedy truthfully.
Crypts, ferns, dwarf hair grass etc

4. Change the hardscape. The hardscape will anchor the design and instead of trimming the groups weekly, you have a sense of balance with the wood/rocks etc. Each rock, piece of wood you add, that means there's less weeds to trim in that area. If you did nothing but Dutch scaping for awhile, you'll really see why adding hardscape materials really helps out.

5. Live with the work, then change things later. The planted tank is not a static thing. To have a nice Amano scape, or the guys from CAU, these folks work and trim and stay on top of things to have them look good and also are good photographers, it takes a lot of hard work to make good art.
There is no easy way around that.

There are a few more I could add....

Jeff Senske, Amano, myself etc that work on larger tanks, we use the hard scape and the plant species to make such monsters manageable and easy to care for over time.

If you look at the larger ADA tanks etc, they tend to have lots of wood, lower growing foreground plants that are easy to deal with(or white sand etc), lots of ferns, Crypts, moss, hair grass.

Tom Barr