Land, sea, and sky — here at Okeanos Group, we tend to focus a lot on sea. But just because the sea is our favorite, that doesn’t mean that we completely ignore land and sky. These two biomes may not be as beautiful as tropical reefs and peaceful lakes, but they can truly take a gorgeous aquascape to the next level.

This paludarium, for example, combines a stunning aquascape with land-based plants. The cherry on top is the nest for the oh-so-lucky birds that get to call this amazing aquascape its home. And to complete the land, sea, and sky trifecta, this tiny mouse snuck into the miniature paradise.

Unfortunately for the little rodent, it didn’t last long. The paludarium owner evicted the unexpected guest under the fear that the mouse would get into the birds’ nest and destroy their eggs.

Of course, you could always be creative with the types of animals that you incorporate into a paludarium like this. If you wanted, you could cut birds out of the equation and design the land portion specifically for mice, lizards, turtles, tarantulas, or whatever else strikes your fancy. Alternatively, you could remove the tiny shore by adding twisted branches that jut out of the water. Birds could happily flit from branch to branch in a stunning sky and sea art piece.

Obviously, a setup like this poses some unique challenges. You’d have to be careful and make sure that the bird droppings and food residuals don’t adversely affect the aquatic ecosystem. Any chemicals that the birds ingest might eventually find their way to the bottom of your aquascape. Your birds’ diet would almost necessarily be your fish’ diet, too. On the bright side, this natural layout might help to complete the circle of life. Some aquatic creatures might even thrive on the birds’ offal, thereby reducing the amount of fish food that you would need.

I absolutely adore these kinds of landscape-aquascape hybrids because there’s practically no limit to what you could display. Flowers, moss, aquatic plants, birds, fish, rodents, reptiles — they can all happily coexist in your miniature Garden of Eden. Just make sure that all of the neighbors get along — you wouldn’t want birds that feed on fish or land-based creatures that feed on birds.

Personally, I’ve never been big on birds. Don’t get me wrong — this aquascaper did an absolutely amazing job — it’s just that I would prefer to focus on amphibians rather than birds. I would love to watch frogs or salamanders as they swim through the pool, rummage through the plant life, and bask in the warm sunlight from atop a high branch. Land, sea, and sky all in one convenient (albeit slightly slimy) critter.

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