How to build a Forest/Jungle Aquascape

It is a wild and rustic design that is obtained when you let your plants grow to its full potential without any control. It aims to obtain a natural and untamed appearance with densely populated plants. This style is a friend to all beginners of aqua-scaping as little to no maintenance is required. Let us look through the steps to acquire this style

The Tank:

The main objective to achieve jungle style is to give space for your plants to breathe, so a large tank will aid you. Any size above 30 gallons should help you to effectively portray your design. Don’t forget to use hardscapes and plants that fits your tank.

The Light:

WRGB lights are recommended for those tall growers. Some have had success with LED flood lights. Since you won’t use-coloured plants, a high intensity light is not necessary. Use a PAR meter to measure the light; as mentioned multiple times, it is important to monitor light as excess light always leads to algae, specially when you let plants grow to their full capacity.  

The Substrate & Fertilizer:

We would suggest you to use a dark substrate, as it will project a dense textured bed that all plant life would grow.  A regular soil with a topping of thin layer of inter black sand should also help you accommodate plants such as Echinodorus and Cryptocoryne that grows quite tall when given room. It is also important to dose up your fertilizers for all the over achievers. A good portion of fertilizer would help to procure a canopy effect. Click here to view more about substrate and fertilizers.

CO2 Injection:

Unlike the nature and Dutch styles, a minimum to no Co2 is required with jungle, as this styles harbours undemanding plants; however, to reach the desired effect, one must be patient and let the plants do its work.

Filtration:

This is similar to the other styles, invest in a good filter system that will provide good water agitation, nutrient distribution and provides Co2 (if you have one) evenly to the entire tank. Always aim for 5x to 10x water turn over rate. If you have a 50-gallon tank, you should have a filter that provides 250 to 500gph. Browse here for our filtration systems.  

Hardscape:

Driftwoods are your companion for jungle style, you can even use large ones that would overshoot the tank; as the plants will ravage around them. Browse through our collection of driftwood right here.

The Fish:

Due to the large tanks involved, we recommend fishes like discus, rainbow and angel. You could also include neon/cardinal tetras. Invertebrates such as amano shrimps, red cherry shrimps, nerite snails etc would be a good choice. 

The Plants:

  • For carpeting plants: Flame Moss, Christmas Moss, Fissidens, Java Moss etc
  • On Hardscapes: Riccia Fluitans, Anubias, Bucephalanra, Java fern etc
  • Background plants: Amazon Swords, Crypt, Jungle val, Hygropila, Cabomba Green etc
  • Floating Plants: Amazon Frogbit, Duckweed, Dwarf Water Lettuce, Red Root Floaters etc

To Conclude:

As mentioned before this is the friendliest style for all beginners who wish to experiment on designs, since the maintenance is very minimal. Apart for a water change that needs to be done bi-weekly, you may not find yourself trimming or pruning the plants. Who knew that a natural chaos can turn into a beautiful aqua-scaping? Try the jungle scape and see the magic of mayhem.

Remya is a Blogger by Interest, Cook by choice and Trained Dancer by Art.

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