Last Friday, I showed you how to transform an aquarium into an exciting Easter-themed aquascape complete with a miniature egg scavenger hunt. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that today many of you have refrigerators practically bursting with bowl after bowl of egg salad. But now that Easter’s over and you’re enjoying the delicious end result of all those boiled eggs, I thought I’d spend a moment to talk about that other Easter: Easter Island.

Dotted with legendary moai statues, this international landmark has captured the dreams and imagination of people the world over. Those expressionless stone watchers eternally gaze out across the ocean as if waiting for some promise that will never be fulfilled. Or perhaps they’re not waiting at all — maybe they’re just admiring the lovely natural aquascape. Who’s to say that the builders of the moai weren’t some of the world’s first aquascaping fans? So, in honor of these ancient ocean-loving sculptors, we’re going to take a look at Easter Island-themed aquascapes.

Building a moai-filled aquarium is a combination of several different techniques. First of all, you’re going to have to incorporate miniature figurines into your aquarium. It’s important to make sure that the size of your miniature moai fit with the size of your aquarium. Proportionately large statues will make your aquarium feel smaller, while tiny moai statues will give your aquascape a grandiose scale. You could also include t0-scale figurines of people, trees, and other objects to create a more cohesive sense of scale. The moai in this amateur aquascape below, for example, look fairly small because they’re dwarfed by nearby plants. If the aquascaper had stuck with carpet moss and proportionately appropriate aquatic plants, these moai would feel massive by comparison.

The other thing to keep in mind is that Easter Island is a unique ecosystem filled with local wildlife. If you truly want to create an Easter Island-inspired aquarium, then it’s crucial that you include native species. Don’t let the palm trees and the white beaches fool you — the water surrounding Easter Island is comparatively chilly. The reefs surrounding the island sustain species like the Easter Island pygmy angelfish and the gorgeous femininus wrasse. With fish like these, it’s hard to say what the true star of your aquascape will be: the breathtaking blue-yellow saltwater fish or the miniature models of the iconic moai statues.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking. Wouldn’t an aquascape filled with tiny moai statues be a little bit tacky, kind of like an aquarium with a plastic sunken ship? Well, not exactly. It’s certainly possible that your aquarium could be tacky if you don’t have professional design guidance, but you can still include props and figurines as part of an elegant aquascape. Craft your moai statues out of genuine stone rather than some cheap plastic knock-off, and you’ll be well on your way to creating an authentically beautiful scene. And if your moai statues came from actual Easter Island rock, then that’s even better!

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