Tropical Fish Hobbyist www.tfhmagazine.com 43
Sansui stones placed upright and sideways can create an iwagumi layout reminiscent of an evocative and ethereal Chinese Shan Shui
landscape painting. (Layout: W180 x D60 x H60 cm [W72 x D24 x H24 inches]. Aquatic plants: Glossostigma and new large pearl grass.
Photographed January, 2014.)
The stones should be arranged in a
manner that makes the most of their
The flat-shaped sansui stones were placed sideways to
take advantage of those stones’ unique characteristics.
The layout right after planting.
Sansui and Koke (Lava-Rock) Stones
Although sansui stones and koke stones have
different shapes, they are both lava stones.
Sansui stones have a unique stratified shape of
layered lava, and they are so named because of
their shape reminiscent of the rocky mountains
depicted in Chinese Shan Shui (or Sansui in
Japanese) landscape paintings. Koke stone is
relatively small, and it is well suited for growing
willow moss attached to it, hence its name (koke
means “moss” in Japanese).
Both sansui and koke stones are suitable for
layouts in which the stones are stacked high,
as because of their moderately rough, porous
surfaces, they do not slide easily when stacked.
As with koke stone, the rough surface of a sansui
stone is also suitable for growing willow moss.