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Because my wife will kill me if I don't keep the tank looking good.
Let me explain.
Moved into a new build 2012 and suggested instead of having a feature fire place installed in the living room, how about a 5ft tank?
She agreed- on condition it looks good or else it goes or both of us go.
10+ years later she is still happy but gee-wizz keeps me on my toes to ensure she keeps liking it.
Interestingly she was most upset when I got rid of the clown loaches which were just wrecking crews for an aquascape.
Aquarium now is a jungle with schooling Odessa Barbs, Rummy Nose Tetras, Ember Tetras, a couple of Bamboo shrimp and a few other surviving fish from 10 years ago e.g. Cherry Barb.
I always think of what the fish needs are before considering does it look good. The fish dont know or care if you placed that plant exactly where you wanted it.

With that i do try to arrange things so that it looks ok, but i want it to function first, and i dont obsess over it. I suppose thats the difference between the tanks i own, and those that look like works of art....its all good.
It brings my gardening into the house while avoiding houseplants which don't really do it for me, and I took over my wife's big tank after her bonsai interest really took off. Key catalysts for me were George Farmer and MD Fish Tanks vids on YouTube, plus a cliche on here, but Diana Walstad's book explained what's really going on. In a nutshell, it's a joy creating something so beautiful in a smalll glass tank.
I love the thought of sneaking a peek at the secret underwater world that's invisible in every day life. I've always had a love of the natural world, particularly invertebrates and the things that most people don't stop to look for. Aquascapes give me a chance to indulge both of these as I create the ideal environment (to the best of my ability) for all inhabitants. I love searching through the undergrowth for a glimpse of a tiny creature and seeing the natural behaviours of the fish when provided with a natural environment.
I also suffer with chronic depression and have some as-yet-undiagnosed condition meaning I'm unable to do the things I used to. Since rebooting the hobby, my mental health has improved dramatically; this time of year is always the worst but this is the best I've felt for years!
Because I like the beauty of a planted tank and it provides an opportunity to teach some biology and chemistry to y daughter
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No other hobby else lets you play god; a cat/dog/hamster pet owner keeps his/her/their pet(s) alive while we create and maintain complex ecosystem(s) to make our wet pets thrive.

Then there's aesthetics to consider.

Hence, Level 999.

'Nothing any good isn't hard.' - F.S. Fitzgerald
I don't just yet ... but my first tank is arriving on wednesday.

I guess for me it is the opportunity to bring nature into my home and connect with it more. I've been growing terrestrial house plants for maybe a year, and researching aquascaping for around 8 months or so. I love the mindfulness aspect too ... and observing the organic change in terms of all the tank inhabitants. Also, I'm hoping it will allow me to decompress after client work (I support bereaved people) and studies (dissertation isnt going to write itself!)

Thanks for the continued inspiration!

Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk
Wow what a diverse range of reasons.. amazing
for me,
its nostalgic, i keep fish when i was a kid (undergravel filters, crap lights and fast dying plants)
Its a route back to my early career which was aquatic ecology. My job has now moved on from that.
Its a slice of natur in my home, ever interesting, ever changing
My youngest does it with me.
i keep fish when i was a kid (undergravel filters, crap lights and fast dying plants)
Yup, I remember those days, and yet in books they had photos of these amazing aquaria, mainly in the Netherlands and Germany. I remember going to a pet store in Germany once and the kit/technology available in the 80's was far ahead of anything one could buy on the UK.
I like learning systems and practicing creativity, and I love nature. The silence and fur-free nature of aquatic pets is convenient for me. Of all the art forms that I've tried, this is the one that most has a "life of its own".
Why do you aquascape?
I don't.
I believe that aquascaping - invariably tied to CO2 injection - is just a fashion. I hope it will pass and people will focus on health & functionality again.
Ultimately it is probably mental health for me.

It keeps my busy mind busy on something I enjoy and that I get pleasure and relaxation from, as opposed to spinning negative thoughts around whether of my own making or those pumped into my brain by the society we live in.

In the end, and as consequence of the above, it helps me have an appreciation for those small things in life, for nature (though that's always been there), and for life in general.
I struggled throughout school, couldn't really read or write very well; I'm massively lesdyxic. That is until one day my much older brother gave me an aquarium full of platies. I was instantly hooked and have been ever since.

And so began an amazing journey of discovery. I had every book on fish keeping and aquatic plants in the library out on permanent loan and basically taught myself to read so I could absorb as much information as possible.

It's a journey I'm still on, one that has expanded to include natural history and natural science, and one that has shaped my entire life and career. We live on a truly unique and fascinating planet, there is still much to learn and discover, and a planted tank continues to be part of that experience.

...That and it helps keep me moderately sane in a world gone mad 🤪
My parents received a 20g from my grandfather 10 years ago,I was 13 years old. They tried with guppy and every fish that they find appealing, they don't even know what "tank cycling" was. Eventually they get tired of killing fish and dropped the "hobby".
At the start of this year, they asked me to build this 10 years old tank. I started studying a lot (when I do something, I like to start with the "right foot"). After a bit of experiment, lots of algae, and hundreds of hours later, I've started 3 month ago a 90g Dutch style inspired tank. It's like having my own aquatic world, I feel like Aquaman
I don't.
I believe that aquascaping - invariably tied to CO2 injection - is just a fashion. I hope it will pass and people will focus on health & functionality again.

You kinda misinterpret the relatively modern term "aquascaping" and we (can) do it without CO², the scapping part is like Landscapping like you could do in the garden but we do it in a smaller glass box. Creating a diorama and the word means "Dia - Over or Through or Across" and "Horama - The View" and is an art form of 3-dimensional modelling. It's about placing hardscape in such a way that it looks natural and pleasing to the eye. This follows a set of rules same as landscape painters and photographers do with taking notice of foreground, background, focal points and colours and not trying to mess this up.

I've been in the hobby of aquarium keeping since 1973 back in the day, it wasn't called aquascaping and I have no idea when the term was invented and who did it. I never read beauty magazines because they only make you feel ugly. The term may have come this way to the aquarium community I don't know. According to the old books you simply had a Dutch-style aquarium or a Natural-style biotope aquarium that could be anything. The first time I read this new term was when I visited aquarium communities on the internet. Anyway, a Dutch-style aquarium also is a typical way of scaping and placing hardscapes but mainly plants in a certain fashion to create a specific look thus also an aquascaping style.

The CO² injection is a different story, that's more about being able to grow bog plants sp. submerged that are not able to grow this way without it. This also can create looks that previously couldn't be achieved. But if you choose easy plants that don't require CO² nothing is holding you back from following the same set of rules and shape | Scape it.

This is a completely different approach than something like just throwing in a bucket of sand and a few rocks in the tank shaking it 3 times and done... That's what most aquariums in the past looked like. Then it's still an aquarium but hardly an aquascape. But in the end, it still can be healthy and it's all about yourself and your liking. We can't argue about taste.

Why do I do it? Similar to @Tim Harrison story it always gave me peace of mind it's therapeutic and a form of meditation and learned a lot from the new animistic approach called aquascapping by considering things I didn't see before to make it more 3 dimensional and naturally looking than it ever did. :) So the beauty magazine still got me there but then by internet...
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