Takashi “Aqua” Amano - The Aqua Guy!
Takashi Amano was a professional track cyclist, photographer, designer, and aquarist. His passion for aquaria led him to create the Japanese company Aqua Design Amano.
Amano was the composer of the book Nature Aquarium World, a three-book series on aquascaping and fresh water aquarium plants and fish. He has also written the book Aquarium Plant Paradise which was published in 1997.
A species of freshwater shrimp is named after him. After learning the species ability to eat massive amounts of algae, Amano asked a local wholesaler to particular order several thousands of them. Since then these species have become necessary for the fresh water planted aquarium hobby.
He also developed a line of aquarium elements that are known as ADA, and his “Nature Aquarium” article series appeared in both practical fishkeeping magazines in the UK and Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazines in the US.
Takashi Amano wrote about freshwater aquascaping. He entrenched an extraordinary style of plant layout. He employed Japanese gardening ideas such as Wabi-sabi and Zen rock arrangement. His tank structures sought to mimic nature in their appearance.
Amano also made considerable use of Glossostigma elatinoides and Riccia Fluitans as plant material and used shrimp as a means of regulating the growth of algae.
When you first think of Takashi Amano, you first think of him as a teacher, judging by the extensive documentation of his work in the form of books, videos and magazine articles.
His living legacy is the Nature aquarium style of aquascaping design that has transformed and rejuvenated the aquarium hobby over the last three decades and continues in the aquariums of the aquascapers around the globe.
Part of his living legacy is indeed alive and on display for public viewing. Amano has abundant aquascape installations throughout Japan, at his own nature Aquarium Gallery in Niigata and he installed the worlds largest Nature Aquarium, a 160-foot masterpiece at the Lisbon Oceanarium in Portugal.
All great artists lead the world towards idealistic possibilities, and we experience that flawless beauty, if only for the period of a song, the view of an incredible painting, or the peaceful experience of sitting near an aquarium flowing with clean water, glowing fish, and blooming groves of swaying plants. Great art can encourage us to do great things and to see the world in a new light.
Mr. Amano has taken his place in that huge pantheon of artistic spirits that have gifted us a view of our world as one with the potential of becoming a paradise of our own design and making.