Putting rocks in a glass box. Putting plants and water in the glass box. Shining light in the glass box. Sucking out toxins and adding in carbon dioxide. Introducing fish.

Takashi Amano, you did this to me. Ever since I saw your stunning natural waterscapes, I have been mesmerized. I don’t know what it touches in me exactly, but I’m so delighted to be able to play with these elements.

Here’s my first attempt at a nature aquarium on a large scale. I set it up over the weekend. It’ll be a couple of weeks before the filter system is cycled to the point where it’s safe for fish. In the meantime, I can’t figure out why staring at plants and rocks in water is more compelling than television.

Here’s the list of gear: 40 gallon ADA rimless aquarium, Eheim classic 250 filter, Aquatic Life 30-inch T5 lights, Archaea Pro co2 regulator that can handle a variety of tanks.

Here are the plants: hemianthus callitrichoides, glossostigma elatinoides, selaginella wildenowii, echinodorus amazonicus, anubia congensis, dracaena sanderiana, and, of course, Java ferns.

Aquarium geek and proud.