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Aquascaping in L.A.: Resources for underwater gardeners

September 24, 2009 |  7:00 am

Aqua forest

Last week I wrote an article about nature aquariums, where underwater plants rather than fish take center stage. The main characters in the story are a pair of brothers--Steven and George Lo--who own Aqua Forest Aquarium in San Francisco, where they have amazing display tanks (see above.) The Lo brothers, and their hero Takashi Amano, who invented the idea of nature aquariums in the 1970s, have elevated aquarium keeping to a kind of masterful miniature underwater gardening.

After the story ran I received an e-mail from L.A. resident Crista Worthy, who wanted readers to know about a similar aquarium store right in our backyard. It is called Nature Aquarium and is in Santa Monica. Here's what she had to say:

"The owner, Toru, is also Japanese. I have had aquariums for over 40 years and wandered into his store one day. I had never seen aquariums planted like this before. He sells a wide variety of these special live plants and the systems to maintain them. His tanks and fish are so healthy, each is a living natural wonder, and he is not only very knowledgeable, but also happy to take the time to talk with customers."

Another great resource for L.A. aquascapists is the Southern California Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts (SCAPE), a local nonprofit group for planted aquarium hobbyists.

You can also dive into our photo gallery of amazing aquascapes.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo credit: Aqua Forest Aquarium