Inspirational aquariums: Fun iwagumi


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This set-up is sure to create a talking-point!

Combining modern planted tank practices with a bit of tongue in cheek design, you can mix this classic Japanese iwagumi, rock garden style with some plastic farm animals to replicate German aquascaper Oliver Knott and his infamous animal creations.

Choose from cows, tigers, pandas or whatever takes your fancy!

Check first to ensure that anything you add won’t harm the fish.


For your artificial pasture, complete with herd of farm animals, grow the plants in well first, then add the cow ornaments at the end.

That way you will get an even carpet of plants and no algae growth on the backs of the animals.

What you will need

60 x 35 x 30cm/24 x 14 x 12” tank and cabinet £100

60cm luminaire £100-200

Internal filter £30

Heater £20

Yeast based CO2 system £20

Substrate fertiliser £10

12 kilos of inert substrate £10

Rocks £20

Carpeting plants £20

Test kits £20

Plastic animals £15

Total: Expect to pay £350

Optional extras

External filter £60

In-line heater £35

Pressurised CO2 system £100

OptiWhite, rimless aquarium £125

This item was first published in the Christmas 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.