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Old 01-20-2014, 04:56 AM   #1
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Dutch aquariums


I don't how many others are like myself and became drawn into this hobby many years ago before ADA and the days of the internet but some of the first inspirations for me were pictures that were in older books/magazines that my dad had when I was growing up. Most of these planted tanks were either the natural approach(which didn't keep any of the real demanding plants that most of us want to keep) or strictly Dutch tanks. I'm glad that Amano and ADA have drawn more people into this hobby but it still amazes me that more people don't find inspiration in the Dutch style tanks. These tanks to this day still IMO are the definition of a planted tank. I can't begin to think of the discipline and meticulous maintenance that it would take to create some of these masterpieces. The horticultural skills that these Dutch aquascapers have are on a whole new level. Here is some videos that might give some of you inspiration to try the Dutch style or at least a little relaxation while you watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq5sO2nScLI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q27dH36FAHU
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:32 AM   #2
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The blue fishes look absolutely beautiful in the water. It actually accentuates the green shrubs and the plant life in there.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #3
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Just when I think I am making progress....lol.

These are great.
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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I'm with you on this. I've been trying to learn to grow & trim plants and am slowly replacing ones that do not seem to "fit" this inspired style. Then finding where certain plants grow best in my tank then trying to group them....It's a long learning process that would be greatly sped up if we could find simple video tutorials for How To Trim & Prune the various plant types popular to the Dutch Style. These are the secrets that I would love to be shared and THEN I believe more folks would want to try these type set ups. It is intimidating to look at these wonderful works of art and try to mimic them when it's so easy to jump on Youtube & see a million how to videos for the "Nature" style & seeing Amano time & time again showing his set ups from start to finish. I've seen ZERO VIDEOS on the Dutch Style set ups & trimming techniques, ZERO.

I created this thread (link below) to help inspire and understand this style a little better and have even asked some of the more seasoned gurus to shoot a video for pruning & trimming techniques for this style and no one will offer up their expertise, none...at least not yet.

Thanks for the links & I hope you can enjoy this thread I put together...
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=436617
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:09 AM   #5
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Honestly, I prefer dutch to "nature" style, although in reality I tend to go a bit of a hybrid of the two, as I don't have the patience or time to go full dutch. But I don't think you can beat the colors or in-your-face-ness of the dutch approach.

I like me some colorful stems, even if I'm not that great at making a scape :P
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:01 AM   #6
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I see no good reason NOT to incorporate nice hardscaping into dutch general plant grouping guidelines.

Aquatic Horticulture is growing aquatic plants.

Hardscaping, well.............it can have something to do with plants, but it can also have NOTHING to do with plants. So it's a very wide range.

Both require skill, but they are not the SAME skills.
I've met some amazing hardscapers, but terrible at growing and maintaining plants for long.

I think over the decades, Dutch planted aquarium's have evolved, but there are a few traditionalist. I would really like to see those traditionalist maintained. We are at the point where we might lose the hobbyists who are well suited to do such styles.It takes newbies coming into this hobby to keep it going. Same with Bonsai. Many of the old timers have great institutional and horticultural knowledge.

1.
Some changes were the use of CO2 gas in the 1970's, very heated debates occurred. Today, it's pretty standard.

2. Today we have far more plant options, roughly 20-50 back then if you were real lucky, to today's of nearly 200-500 species/types.

3. Gardening with many new species takes time and sourcing the plants. Using the old standards might be a better option for the newbies wanting to work more with this style/approach.

4. For folks that are really drawn to the plants, have a tinge of collectoritus, this style lends well. Hardscaping can be pursued later if you feel inadequate about that one right now.

5. Main thing for me is seeing a nice decent sized group of plants contrasted well among its neighbors which are also decent nice sized groups. By this, I mean what you would like to see several stems together at their optimal, not just a farm tank with 1-2 etc.

6. Scaping and making nice groups is very different from just farming.

7. Say you do not have the time to fiddle? Well, you can chose easier or slower growing species.

8. This does not take away any from the Nature style, I would suggest trying your hand at both. If you are weak in one area you like a lot....then practice.
You do not suddenly or by pure natural luck become great at Bass guitar or drums or math.

Same deal here.

This is a bit more of the traditional style I speak of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXXAz5n9x5U
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceF View Post
Just when I think I am making progress....lol.

These are great.
I know what you mean. There is times that I'm really happy with the way my tank looks and then I get a dose of reality and see a tank like this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfynyson View Post
I'm with you on this. I've been trying to learn to grow & trim plants and am slowly replacing ones that do not seem to "fit" this inspired style. Then finding where certain plants grow best in my tank then trying to group them....It's a long learning process that would be greatly sped up if we could find simple video tutorials for How To Trim & Prune the various plant types popular to the Dutch Style. These are the secrets that I would love to be shared and THEN I believe more folks would want to try these type set ups. It is intimidating to look at these wonderful works of art and try to mimic them when it's so easy to jump on Youtube & see a million how to videos for the "Nature" style & seeing Amano time & time again showing his set ups from start to finish. I've seen ZERO VIDEOS on the Dutch Style set ups & trimming techniques, ZERO.

I created this thread (link below) to help inspire and understand this style a little better and have even asked some of the more seasoned gurus to shoot a video for pruning & trimming techniques for this style and no one will offer up their expertise, none...at least not yet.

Thanks for the links & I hope you can enjoy this thread I put together...
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=436617
I did read through your thread when you posted it and I have to agree that there is not a whole lot of info on the Dutch style aquascapes. I don't think I would ever try a Dutch tank by the books and follow all the rules that the Dutch style has as I like to have some hardscape in my tank but I do think that there can be a hybrid style that utilizes the basis of the Dutch style. Large groupings of plants that contrast with each other using different textures and color. Tom's tanks are what I would consider this hybrid style. What stands out most to me in the Dutch style tanks are their horticultural skills. I mean it's one thing to be able to grow anubias, ferns, and mosses but being able to grow a huge selection of demanding stem plants and have them all look happy and healthy is not for the timid. I have searched the web for tips on pruning plants properly and have yet to find anything of value that is informative. The only thing that has helped me is through experience of growing a lot of different plants. The first few years after I got into the planted side of this hobby I spent just strictly growing different plants with the purpose of learning certain plants growth habits with no care in regards to aquascaping. I'm still learning to this day on what some plants like and don't like.



Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
Honestly, I prefer dutch to "nature" style, although in reality I tend to go a bit of a hybrid of the two, as I don't have the patience or time to go full dutch. But I don't think you can beat the colors or in-your-face-ness of the dutch approach.

I like me some colorful stems, even if I'm not that great at making a scape :P
Who doesn't like a tank full of different colors and textures? Your not alone with regards to making a great scape using the concepts of the Dutch style. I think if it were easy you would see a whole lot more of them but the fact that you don't says something. I have nothing against the "nature" style but in the last few years the tanks that have been all the rage are not my cup of tea. The little miniature dioramas that resemble a forest or desert scene are nice for a photo op but not something that I would want to look at on a daily basis.
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Old 01-21-2014, 04:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
I see no good reason NOT to incorporate nice hardscaping into dutch general plant grouping guidelines.

Aquatic Horticulture is growing aquatic plants.

Hardscaping, well.............it can have something to do with plants, but it can also have NOTHING to do with plants. So it's a very wide range.

Both require skill, but they are not the SAME skills.
I've met some amazing hardscapers, but terrible at growing and maintaining plants for long.

I think over the decades, Dutch planted aquarium's have evolved, but there are a few traditionalist. I would really like to see those traditionalist maintained. We are at the point where we might lose the hobbyists who are well suited to do such styles.It takes newbies coming into this hobby to keep it going. Same with Bonsai. Many of the old timers have great institutional and horticultural knowledge.

1.
Some changes were the use of CO2 gas in the 1970's, very heated debates occurred. Today, it's pretty standard.

2. Today we have far more plant options, roughly 20-50 back then if you were real lucky, to today's of nearly 200-500 species/types.

3. Gardening with many new species takes time and sourcing the plants. Using the old standards might be a better option for the newbies wanting to work more with this style/approach.

4. For folks that are really drawn to the plants, have a tinge of collectoritus, this style lends well. Hardscaping can be pursued later if you feel inadequate about that one right now.

5. Main thing for me is seeing a nice decent sized group of plants contrasted well among its neighbors which are also decent nice sized groups. By this, I mean what you would like to see several stems together at their optimal, not just a farm tank with 1-2 etc.

6. Scaping and making nice groups is very different from just farming.

7. Say you do not have the time to fiddle? Well, you can chose easier or slower growing species.

8. This does not take away any from the Nature style, I would suggest trying your hand at both. If you are weak in one area you like a lot....then practice.
You do not suddenly or by pure natural luck become great at Bass guitar or drums or math.

Same deal here.

This is a bit more of the traditional style I speak of:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXXAz5n9x5U
Thanks for chiming in Tom. I wish there was more of these old timer traditionalist around giving some of the new generation of hobbyists advice and encouragement to keep this style alive. I have read some threads on UKAPS that Marco did and beyond that there's just not a whole lot of talk going around the hobby about the Dutch style. I know that times change but there is something sacred about keeping traditions alive and relevant. These style of tanks inspired me but like I said this was many years before ADA and the internet so maybe it is a generation gap issue.

And imagine my disappointment when I first started playing guitar and found out I didn't sound like Jimmy Paige.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ua hua View Post
Thanks for chiming in Tom. I wish there was more of these old timer traditionalist around giving some of the new generation of hobbyists advice and encouragement to keep this style alive. I have read some threads on UKAPS that Marco did and beyond that there's just not a whole lot of talk going around the hobby about the Dutch style. I know that times change but there is something sacred about keeping traditions alive and relevant. These style of tanks inspired me but like I said this was many years before ADA and the internet so maybe it is a generation gap issue.

And imagine my disappointment when I first started playing guitar and found out I didn't sound like Jimmy Paige.
Yeah but at least these days we have tablature making guitar (or most any stringed instrument for that matter) easy to learn. We need aquatic gardening tablature (so to speak) so we can at least know the correct ways to prune & trim various plant types from the start. This will save a lot of time, money, and help those starting with their confidence in the hobby whether its nature or dutch style. These days we are all about instant gratification and at the same time there is something to be said about learning through trial & error. However, as I stated trial & error costs and we do not seem to have enough time these days.

So, it sounds like there is a need for almost all in this hobby and when there is a need there is money to be made. Anyone up for a European trip to interview some of the Dutch style masters and Amano for pruning & trimming tips ? Tom, we can start with you (you said to come over and you'd show us)...Let's make a video / documentary / tutorial for this (pruning & trimming / training the plants) aspect of planted aquariums I guarantee you it would sell off the shelf especially if Amano & others (such as this forum) market it !!! This way the old master's tips & tricks will not die with them and the hobby lives on ...
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:50 PM   #10
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Man, I'd be sad if Dutch died. I think my two favorite tanks are tom's 120 and crazydaze's 220.

Besides, I think when someone new is shown Dutch and nature style, they might gravitate more towards Dutch. It's more reasonably insane (as compared to those tricked out hard scapes you sometimes see that defy gravity and logic) and it's very dense and packed. If most people start this hobby through fish keeping, I find the ideas newer fish keepers have in fish display more in Dutch than they do in nature style.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:53 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by HybridHerp View Post
Man, I'd be sad if Dutch died. I think my two favorite tanks are tom's 120 and crazydaze's 220.

Besides, I think when someone new is shown Dutch and nature style, they might gravitate more towards Dutch. It's more reasonably insane (as compared to those tricked out hard scapes you sometimes see that defy gravity and logic) and it's very dense and packed. If most people start this hobby through fish keeping, I find the ideas newer fish keepers have in fish display more in Dutch than they do in nature style.
While both Tom and Don's tanks are really nice looking tanks they are still not the traditional Dutch tank. I'm not saying that's a bad thing because I actuallly really like the hybrid style of a Dutch approach with strong hardscape elements. The fact of the matter is you just don't see the traditional Dutch tanks that much anymore. I happen to think that it's a sign of the times and with the introduction of ADA and the "nature style" this style of aquascaping has been almost forgotten about. ADA is a company after all and they have marketed their style heavily with the purpose of selling product. The same thing Dupla did years ago, they were marketing a product(heating cables). The traditional Dutch scape would be next to impossible to follow for myself because I have the need for some kind of hardscape in my tanks. Maybe I need a little of the "nature style" but I can't help but be drawn to tanks that have nice healthy looking groupings of plants that complement each other by differing shapes, textures, and colors. I guess if the new movement of style can at least pay tribute to the Dutch style but with a little of the nature style intermixed then this could be the best of both worlds. That's not to say that I wouldn't still love to see some people do the traditional Dutch tank but I don't know if I could ever pull it off.
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:29 PM   #12
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So I write again....I think this is the solution for all. I feel we should push this.

So, it sounds like there is a need for almost all in this hobby and when there is a need there is money to be made. Anyone up for a European trip to interview some of the Dutch style masters and Amano for pruning & trimming tips ? Tom, we can start with you (you said to come over and you'd show us)...Let's make a video / documentary / tutorial for this (pruning & trimming / training the plants) aspect of planted aquariums I guarantee you it would sell off the shelf especially if Amano & others (such as this forum) market it !!! This way the old master's tips & tricks will not die with them and the hobby lives on ...

What do you think ?
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:26 PM   #13
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I'd support it
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:53 PM   #14
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I could do a video, but it needs done well.
If someone had videoed what I did yesterday to the 120, that would have done well for helping most folks.

The tank and the style are not that tough, I think a well done hardscape is harder because once in place, it is much much more difficult to replace, you are FULLY COMMITTED, or you have to tear the entire tank down and start over.

Not so with the Dutch style, you might need to do a water change or two, make a little mess, but you can redo things much easier.

I think given the process I've gone through, the style or the on going stuff is not that "hard" really, certainly no more than ANY Nature style. I think that would be a myth to suggest the Dutch style requires more work, effort, on going care.

I also think the built in look and all contained that is a key part of the NBAT contest is an nice approach, but it's certainly NOT my aesthetic. I greatly prefer open tops and always have. It makes caring for the tank much easier.
Hiding things, faux backgrounds etc, these are often things that the Dutch style aesthetic went towards. I like those elements, cork backgrounds, I've done a number of such tanks. Water quality, this part of the NBAT rules is frankly a joke and anyone can get around it.

I think hobbyists place way too much importance on ferts, not enough on day to day stuff, cleaning leaves off the surface/filter intakes, not doing frequent water changes, CO2 CO2 and CO2 and good lighting. Some tanks need very little input, some need a lot.

Newbies sure do not know the differences between those type of tanks. Most of my own tanks show a range of input, they are not all high input. Reef, Buce, non CO2, Starougyne, then the 120. Too much work as a hobby otherwise.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:57 PM   #15
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Thanks Tom for the notes & your input here and on your other thread (the v3.0). I believe that would be a perfect example of what would be invaluable to have videos of. The forum has the Planted Tank Guide book but if a picture tells a 1000 stories then a video tells 1x10^9 IMO.

I just found this that's a huge help as well.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/p...intenance.236/
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