Thinking Outside the Glass Box

by Kent Turner

By the simplest definition, most aquariums are simply a glass box containing water with fish, plants, and/or other aquatic life. While this may be the general idea, the hobby has much more to it than this. By thinking of an aquarium as a piece of art, a learning tool, an enclosed environment, or even a way of life, we can go beyond the traditional definition of an aquarium. An aquarium can be a place of refuge, an underwater garden, a scientific experiment, or just a project to occupy time. To expand the hobby beyond "fish in a glass box" allows us to view new and exciting possibilities for our hobby!

Many who fancy themselves as aquarists also enjoy other hobbies as well. Some of these may include such things as birdkeeping, herpetology (keeping lizards, amphibians, etc.), indoor or outdoor gardening, pond keeping, and other interests connected with the beauty of nature. Some of us have experimented with combining some of these hobbies in creative ways such as keeping paludariums (part land, part water). To the resourceful and creative hobbyist, the only limits are imagination and budget. Here are some ways to expand the hobby beyond the average fish tank, from simple to the elaborate:

The Plant Filter
The Paludarium
The Indoor Pond
The Waterfall
The Conservatory
Planted and Dutch Aquariums
Suiseki and Penjing
NEW!- Do-it-yourself Secrets

Return to Tropic Cove