Takashi Amano, the most influential aquascaper in aquarium keeping history has died. He was 61. Amano, an accomplished author and photographer, burst onto the aquarium scene in 1977 when he started keeping planted tanks with the help of injected carbon dioxide. The use of carbon dioxide helped to start new planted tanks and keep the plants thriving during their formative time in a newly planted environment. The use of carbon dioxide in planted tanks today has helped to grow the hobby tremendously.
Amano then, in the early 1980s, started working with freshwater shrimp which later became to be known as Amano shrimp. These shrimp became popular the world over thanks to the man whose love of photographing aquariums helped to propel the aquarium hobby into new directions. The shrimp, along with select species of fish, such as the Celestial pearl danio helped to change the aquascaping landscape in the eyes of many aquarists.
Amano was called a portrait painter who used the aquarium as his canvas. His creations were always spectacular, introducing concepts such as zen rock formations and Wabi-sabi to the hobby. These ways of arranging plants in an aquarium became the standard in which hobbyists plied their craft. Amano called these works “nature aquariums” lush interpretations of river walks, creek beds, lakes, and other green and lush aquascapes.
Amano authored several books on the aquascaping hobby, including Nature Aquarium World, and Aquarium Plant Paradise. He found Aqua Design Amano, a nature aquarium design company that builds out small tanks to tanks ranging from 2,500 to 3,500 gallons. Amano will be missed by all who enjoy the nature aquariums in their homes that he helped to inspire.