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Art reincarnated

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 18, 2016 09:00 AM
A dead bonsai tree is a sad reminder of failure when it remains lifeless in its pot. Yet, when the deadwood is repurposed in an aquascape, it can breath spectacular new life.

The owner calls his aquarium the "Leviathan," but to us, it's really a glorious phoenix.  Two dead bonsai trees (what appears to be a Chinese privet and an elm or hornbeam) find new "life" in this stirring aquascape, framing and crowning the exquisite composition.

In recent years, aquascapers have begun to use dead bonsai trees as platforms to create underwater trees.  Living aquatic plants such as Hemianthus sp. are placed upon the dead branches of the bonsai.  These plants eventually grow into full canopies that resemble living trees.

Bonsai enthusiasts spend years to develop fine branching (AKA ramification) on their miniature trees, so when a tree dies, it often feels like years of work down the drain.  But the reality is the branches remain as a testament to all that work.  The aquascaper here decided to showcase the ramification au naturel rather than dress the branches with aquatic plants  We think it was a great decision.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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