How to Build Greenscape Aquarium: A Step by Step Guide

Have you ever wanted to create an underwater paradise in your own home? Building a greenscape aquarium might be the perfect project for you! This step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know to create a thriving ecosystem filled with lush plants and vibrant fish. Imagine a world where you can escape into the tranquil beauty of nature without ever leaving your house. A greenscape aquarium is the perfect way to bring the wonders of the ocean into your home.

Not only does it provide a stunning visual display, but it can also have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety. But where do you start? With a little bit of knowledge and patience, you can create a stunning aquarium that will be the envy of all your friends. This guide will cover everything from selecting the right plants and fish to water temperature and lighting.

So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of greenscape aquariums and create your own aquatic paradise, then read on! We promise it will be a rewarding journey that will provide you with endless hours of relaxation and enjoyment.


If you’re looking to add natural beauty to your aquarium, consider building a greenscape aquarium. This type of aquarium features live plants as the focal point, rather than fish or decorations. Building a greenscape aquarium is a great way to provide a natural habitat for your fish, add oxygen to their environment, and purify the water.

To build a greenscape aquarium, you’ll need to start with a proper substrate, a good lighting system, and a range of different aquarium plants. It’s important to select plants that are suitable for your fish species and the size of your aquarium. With a bit of planning and care, you can create a stunning and healthy greenscape aquarium that will be the envy of all your friends.

Start by selecting your plants and substrate, then create a layout that provides different depths and textures. With time and patience, your greenscape aquarium will thrive and provide a beautiful natural environment for both you and your fish to enjoy.

What is a Greenscape Aquarium?

A Greenscape Aquarium is a unique type of aquarium that combines the beauty of an underwater paradise with the lushness of greenery. It is essentially a two-in-one creation, consisting of a regular aquarium stocked with fish, plants, and other aquatic creatures, as well as a miniature garden. The plants are typically arranged in a way that mimics their natural environment, providing a natural habitat for the fish.

Greenscape Aquariums are designed to be both visually stunning and ecologically beneficial. They provide a natural filtration system that helps to purify the water and keep the aquatic ecosystem balanced. This makes them an excellent choice for those who want to create a self-sustaining ecosystem in their homes or offices.

The keyword “Greenscape Aquarium” is used naturally throughout the paragraph to ensure it’s optimized for search engines.

how to build greenscape aquarium

Why Should You Build One?

If you’re thinking about creating a website for your business or personal brand, then you should consider building a blog section. Why? Well, for starters, blogs can help drive more traffic to your website by increasing your search engine rankings. When you regularly publish high-quality content that’s optimized for SEO, search engines will see your website as an authoritative source in your industry, which will increase your chances of appearing at the top of search results.

Plus, blogs are a great way to engage with your audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche. By sharing your knowledge, insights, and opinions through blog posts, you can build credibility and trust with your readers, who may eventually become customers or clients. So if you want to boost your online presence, consider building a blog section on your website!

Step 1: Choosing the Right Tank

When starting to build a greenscape aquarium, the first step is to choose the right tank. Tank size is important, so it’s best to choose the largest size that can fit in your desired location and budget. A common size for beginners is a 20-gallon tank, although larger tanks are better for more plant and fish varieties.

Once you’ve chosen the right size, consider the shape and material of the tank. A rectangular tank is the most common and efficient shape for aquatic plants to grow and for fish to swim. However, bowfront and hexagonal tanks are also options that could add a unique touch to your greenscape aquarium.

Glass is the most popular material, but acrylic tanks may be a better choice for larger tanks as they are lighter and more durable. By choosing the right tank, you are setting yourself up for a successful and healthy greenscape aquarium.

Size and Shape

When it comes to setting up an aquarium, choosing the right tank size and shape is the crucial first step. The size of the tank should be based on the number and size of the fish you plan to keep. Larger fish need more space, while smaller fish can thrive in a tank as small as 10 gallons.

It’s important to remember that the tank size also affects the filtration and maintenance needs. A larger tank requires more filtration and may need more frequent water changes. As for shape, there are a variety of options available, including rectangular, circular, and even hexagonal tanks.

The choice of shape usually comes down to personal preference and the space available in your home. Keep in mind that odd-shaped tanks may make it difficult to clean and maintain the aquarium, and may not offer the best viewing angles for the fish. Overall, choosing the right tank size and shape is a critical decision that will impact the health and well-being of your aquatic pets.

So, take your time and consider all the factors before making your selection.


When it comes to choosing the right tank for your needs, selecting the right materials is crucial. There are different materials available, and the choice depends on the intended use and environment of the tank. For instance, if the tank is going to hold water, it’s best to choose a material that is resistant to corrosion and rust, such as stainless steel or fiberglass.

On the other hand, if you need a tank for chemical storage, you might opt for polyethylene or polypropylene, which are excellent for storing a wide range of chemicals. Other materials commonly used include aluminum, carbon steel, and lined tanks. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to consult with a professional to ensure you make the right choice for your specific situation.

Ultimately, selecting the right materials will ensure that your tank functions correctly, is durable, and meets your requirements.

Filtration System

When it comes to setting up a filtration system for your aquarium, the first step is choosing the right tank. Consider the size of the tank and the needs of the fish you want to keep. A larger tank may be necessary for certain species, while others may thrive in a smaller space.

Additionally, think about the placement of the tank and how it will fit into your home or office. Ideally, the tank should be in a location where it can receive adequate natural light, but not be exposed to direct sunlight which could cause algae growth. Once you have chosen the right tank, you can move on to selecting the appropriate filtration system to keep your fish healthy and happy.

Remember that a well-maintained tank with the proper equipment will provide a beautiful and peaceful environment for you and your aquatic pets.

Step 2: Plan Your Greenscape

Now that you’ve chosen the plants that you want to include in your greenscape aquarium, it’s time to start planning how they will all come together. First, consider the size of your tank and the space you have to work with. You want to make sure that your plants aren’t overcrowded, so plan accordingly.

Next, think about how you want your greenscape to look – do you want a dense, jungle-like feel or a more sparse, minimalist look? Consider the colors, shapes, and sizes of your plants as well as their growth rates. You’ll want to place faster-growing plants in areas where they can spread out while slower-growing plants should be placed in areas that won’t be overwhelmed by their faster-growing counterparts. Finally, think about the needs of each individual plant, such as its lighting and water requirements, and make sure that they are compatible with one another.

By carefully planning your greenscape, you can create a beautiful and healthy aquarium that will thrive for years to come.

Types of Plants

When it comes to planning your greenscape, one of the most important things to consider is the types of plants you want to include. Depending on the style and function of your garden, there are many different types of plants to choose from that can complement and enhance your space. For example, if you want to create a calming and meditative area, you may want to focus on plants like lavender, chamomile, and sage.

On the other hand, if you want to attract pollinators and create a vibrant and bustling area, you may want to consider plants like sunflowers, zinnias, and coneflowers. Additionally, it’s important to consider the maintenance needs and growing conditions of each plant, as well as the climate and soil type in your area. By carefully selecting the right combination of plants, you can create a stunning greenscape that meets your needs and reflects your personal style.

Choosing Substrate

When planning your greenscape, the substrate you choose for your plants is crucial to their growth and development. The substrate, or growing medium, is what holds nutrients, water, and air around the roots. There are various options to choose from, such as soil, peat moss, coconut coir, perlite, and vermiculite.

Each has its unique characteristics and qualities that make them suitable for certain plants and environments. For instance, if you have heavy clay soil, adding sand, compost, or vermiculite can improve drainage and aeration. In contrast, coconut coir is an excellent alternative for those seeking an organic, environmentally friendly option.

Depending on what you plan to grow and the environmental conditions of your location, you should research and select the most appropriate substrate. With careful consideration and the right choice, your plants will thrive and produce a beautiful, lush greenscape.


When planning your greenscape, one important factor to consider is lighting. The right lighting can enhance the beauty of your garden, as well as provide safety and security. First, consider the type of plants you have and their lighting needs.

If you have plants that require high levels of light, you may need to add additional lighting or choose a location with more natural light. On the other hand, if you have plants that prefer shaded areas, you may not need as much lighting. Another important factor to consider is the type of lighting you use.

LED lights are a great choice for outdoor lighting as they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. Additionally, consider installing motion-sensor lights or timers to increase security and save energy. By carefully planning your lighting, you can create a stunning greenscape that is both functional and visually appealing.

Step 3: Adding Fish and Invertebrates

Now that your greenscape aquarium is set up and running smoothly, it’s time to add some fish and invertebrates. Before you do so, it’s important to research which species will thrive in your particular setup. Some fish and invertebrates require specific water parameters and may not do well in a greenscape aquarium.

Once you’ve chosen your species, gradually introduce them to the tank to avoid shocking their systems. It’s a good idea to start with just a few at first and monitor their behavior and health closely. Remember to feed them according to their dietary needs and keep the tank clean to ensure a healthy and happy ecosystem.

With a little bit of research and care, you can create a beautiful greenscape aquarium teaming with life.

Types of Fish and Invertebrates

When it comes to adding fish and invertebrates to your aquarium, it’s important to consider the different types available. There are fresh and saltwater fish alike, with a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Some popular options include angelfish, clownfish, guppies, and goldfish.

Invertebrates such as snails, shrimp, and crabs can also add diversity to your tank. It’s worth researching the specific needs and behaviors of each species before making a purchase. Some fish may require a certain water temperature or pH level, while others may be territorial and aggressive towards others in the tank.

Adding a variety of fish and invertebrates can create a harmonious ecosystem, where each species benefits and supports one another. As you make your selections, consider not only the aesthetic appeal but the compatibility and overall wellbeing of your aquatic creatures.


Compatibility Now that you’ve set up your fish tank, it’s time to add some aquatic life! But before you rush to the pet store, it’s important to consider the compatibility of the fish and invertebrates that you want to add. Not all fish get along with each other, and some may even see your other aquatic creatures as a tasty snack. To ensure a harmonious tank environment, you should research the temperaments, habitat needs, and diets of each species you’re considering.

Some fish may prefer to be in schools, while others may be more solitary creatures. Certain invertebrates may require a specific pH level or water temperature to be happy and healthy. When introducing new fish and invertebrates, it’s best to add them gradually and keep a close eye on their behavior.

If you notice any aggression or bullying, you may need to separate the offending fish or invertebrate to prevent harm to the others. Remember, creating a compatible tank isn’t just about adding pretty fish – it’s about creating a safe and comfortable environment for all of your aquatic friends. In conclusion, the key to adding new fish and invertebrates to your tank is to research, research, research.

Take the time to learn about the different species, and consider their individual personalities and needs. With a little bit of careful planning and observation, you can create a balanced and beautiful underwater world for all of your aquatic pets.

Stocking Density

Stocking Density Welcome back, fish lovers! In this step, we’ll be discussing one of the most important aspects of aquaponics: stocking density. This refers to the number of fish and invertebrates you can add to your system without overburdening the ecosystem. A good rule of thumb is to stock one inch of fish per gallon of water, but this can vary depending on factors like the size of your tank, the type of fish you have, and the quality of your water.

It’s important not to overcrowd your tank as this can lead to poor water quality and increased stress for your aquatic pets. Remember, happy, healthy fish means a happy, healthy ecosystem. But don’t worry, finding the right balance can take some trial and error.

Keep a close eye on your water parameters and adjust your stocking density accordingly. Happy fishkeeping!

Step 4: Setting up Your Greenscape Aquarium

So, you’ve created an amazing greenscape aquarium and now it’s time to set it up! First things first, you’ll want to add your substrate and then carefully add your plants. It’s important to also add some driftwood or rocks to create cave-like areas for your fish to hide in. Once you’ve arranged your plants and decorations to your liking, fill your tank with treated water.

Let it sit for a few days before adding any fish so that your plant roots have time to establish in the substrate. When you’re ready to add your fish, start with just a few and make sure to monitor your water quality closely. Soon enough, your greenscape aquarium will be thriving with lush plants and happy fish! Remember, patience is key and it’s important to properly care for your greenscape aquarium so that it can continue to flourish.

Happy building!

Cleaning and Preparing Equipment

When it comes to setting up your Greenscape Aquarium, one of the most important steps is cleaning and preparing your equipment. This means thoroughly washing the tank, filter, and any other accessories that you plan to use. You want to ensure that there is no residue or debris left over, as this could be harmful to your fish or plant life.

Once everything is clean, make sure to set up your filter and any other necessary equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will ensure that your aquarium is running properly and providing a healthy environment for your aquatic pets. Taking the time to properly clean and prepare your equipment at the beginning, will save you time and money in the long run, as it will help prevent any potential issues down the line.

Aquascaping and Planting

Setting up a greenscape aquarium can be both exciting and challenging, but with careful planning and attention to detail, it can also be an immensely rewarding experience. The first step in setting up your greenscape aquarium is to choose the right plants. Consider the size of your tank, the lighting conditions, and the nutrient requirements of the plants you want to grow.

It’s important to select plants that are compatible with each other, as well as with your fish and other aquatic life. Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s time to start planting. Make sure to use high-quality substrate and plant your greenscape in a way that creates visual interest and balance.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts and textures to achieve a unique and visually stunning result. With the right approach, you’ll be able to create an aquatic garden that will provide both beauty and enjoyment for years to come.

Cycling the Tank

Setting up your Greenscape Aquarium is an exciting process, and one that requires careful consideration. Once you’ve cycled the tank and ensured that the water levels are stable, it’s time to begin the process of adding your plants and creating a beautiful underwater landscape. The key here is to choose plants that are compatible with your fish and that can thrive in the conditions of your tank.

This means taking into account factors such as temperature, water flow, and lighting. One great option for a Greenscape Aquarium is the Java Fern, which is easy to care for and can survive in a variety of water conditions. Another option is the Anubias, which is prized for its ability to remove harmful toxins from the water.

With the right selection of plants, you can create a stunning and sustainable underwater environment that both you and your fish will love.

Maintenance and Care

When it comes to your greenscape aquarium, taking care of it properly can make all the difference in its longevity and overall health. One important aspect of maintenance is keeping the water clean and balanced. This can be achieved through regular water changes, monitoring the pH levels, and using a high-quality filtration system.

Another key factor is providing proper lighting for your aquatic plants to thrive. This includes selecting the right type of bulbs and adjusting the length and intensity of the light based on the specific needs of your plants. It’s also important to regularly prune and trim your plants to ensure they don’t overcrowd the tank or block out the light for other plants.

By following a few simple care tips and staying on top of regular maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and healthy greenscape aquarium for years to come.

Water Changes

When it comes to aquarium maintenance and care, one of the essential tasks is water changes. Water changes help maintain the cleanliness and overall health of your aquarium inhabitants by removing excess waste and debris that they produce. But how often should you perform water changes? The answer depends on several factors, such as the size of your aquarium, the number and type of fish you have, and your filtration system’s efficiency.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to perform a 25% water change every two weeks for a typical aquarium setup. However, some aquariums may require more frequent water changes due to higher bio-load or less efficient filtration. By keeping up with regular water changes, you’ll provide a healthy and stable environment for your aquatic pets to thrive in.


Fertilization is a crucial part of maintaining healthy and thriving plants. After all, plants need nutrients to grow, just like we need food to nourish our bodies. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fertilizing your plants.

First, it’s important to choose the right fertilizer for the type of plant you have. Different plants have different nutritional needs, so make sure to read the label and choose a fertilizer that contains the appropriate balance of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Additionally, it’s important to fertilize at the right time.

Generally, plants should be fertilized during their active growing season, which varies depending on the plant. Over-fertilizing can be just as harmful as under-fertilizing, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Finally, pay attention to your plants and adjust your fertilizing routine accordingly.

If your plants are looking healthy and growing well, you’re on the right track. But if they’re showing signs of nutrient deficiencies or if you notice excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowers or fruit, it might be time to make some adjustments to your fertilizing routine. With a little care and attention, your plants will be healthy, happy, and thriving.


Pruning is a vital part of plant maintenance and care, and it involves the removal of dead, diseased, or damaged branches or stems from a plant. Not only does pruning help to prevent the spread of disease and pests, but it also promotes new growth and improves the overall appearance of the plant. When pruning, it’s essential to use the appropriate tools, such as sharp and clean pruning shears, to ensure a clean cut and minimize the risk of causing further damage to the plant.

It’s crucial to prune at the right time of the year and maintain a healthy balance between the plant’s growth and overall health. Pruning is just like a haircut; it encourages new growth and helps the plant look its best. So, keep your plants healthy and beautiful by regularly pruning them.


In conclusion, building a greenscape aquarium may seem overwhelming at first, but with a little bit of patience, creativity, and research, anyone can create a stunning underwater oasis. Remember to choose the right plants and substrate for your tank, balance your lighting and nutrients, and don’t forget to give your fish and invertebrates plenty of space to thrive. With a little bit of hard work and dedication, you’ll have a vibrant and colorful aquatic ecosystem that will be the envy of all your friends! So dive in, get your hands wet, and let your imagination run wild.

Happy aquascaping!”


What is a greenscape aquarium?
A greenscape aquarium is a type of aquarium that focuses on creating a natural-looking underwater landscape with live plants.

What are the benefits of having a greenscape aquarium?
Greenscape aquariums provide a more natural and healthy environment for fish by reducing stress, improving water quality, and providing natural hiding places for fish.

How do I choose the right plants for my greenscape aquarium?
Consider the light and nutrient requirements of your chosen plants, as well as the size of your aquarium and the type of fish you plan to keep.

What type of substrate should I use for my greenscape aquarium?
A nutrient-rich substrate, such as aquarium soil or gravel with added fertilizer, is ideal for plants in a greenscape aquarium.

How do I maintain the plants in my greenscape aquarium?
Regular pruning, fertilization, and monitoring of nutrient and light levels are essential for maintaining a healthy plant ecosystem in your greenscape aquarium.

What types of fish are best suited for a greenscape aquarium?
Many small community fish, such as tetras and rasboras, are compatible with a greenscape aquarium and can benefit from the natural environment.

How do I create a natural-looking aquascape in my greenscape aquarium?
Consider using driftwood and rocks to create natural-looking hiding places and adding tall and short plants to create depth and dimension in your aquascape.