Goin Dutch - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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Goin Dutch

I lost a 125 tall (48w x 24d x 30h) salt tank that was running for 5 years to hurricane Irma. I have emptied, cleaned and left dry for several weeks. I have also been running a 350 gallon Amazon tank for 3years that I love. I now want to go Dutch w my 125.

It is hard to find those with experience in layout and Dutch is quite the commitment! For those with prior experience, I would truly appreciate your time in looking at my sketched layout and providing critique before I go for it.




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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 10:56 PM
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If you end up really getting into Dutch style, you will probably end up wanting to reduce the number of plant species, but I'd say you're off to a good start! The layout will evolve naturally over time as you figure out what you like and what contrasts well.

If you haven't seen these threads below yet - you probably have - but if you haven't, you're in for a treat. Gold mines of information about dutch scapin. Good luck!
https://barrreport.com/threads/going...quasoil.13105/
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...n-journey.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...ore-dutch.html
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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The tanks you attached each have 16+ species. This is why I wanted advice. Scale of plantings and planning to maturity are very difficult especially if you havenít worked w a certain plant before.


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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 03:01 AM
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The 75 always had too many species, it was never really a true Dutch. I did pare the 48x24 120 gal down to 14 for the contest.

Looks like you have some nice streets planned, maybe too many in the right half. Its hard for me to visualize from a drawing. Wish I could plan layouts like that but I always wind up just throwing stuff in there and tweaking things as it grows out.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 03:02 AM
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The rule-of-thumb is three species per foot and try to keep at least a finger's width of space between plant groupings.

I believe the 120 I linked to is around 14 species or so not including the moss, and that's a 4-foot tank. The 180 is a 6-foot tank, so rule of thumb would be 18 species.

Having a few extra species is no big deal, but push it too far and it starts to become difficult to maintain Dutch style aesthetics like distinct groups, contrast, views to the back of the tank and an overall sense of cohesiveness and simplicity.

For now though I wouldn't get too bogged down worrying about number of species. I really only meant that over time you may find yourself desiring to reduce the number of species, because that tends to be the way that it goes when people get into Dutch style aquascaping. Meant no criticism or anything. And like I said, I think 18 is a fine number to start with. Start with a few extra, see what works and pare down eventually as you see fit.

I can almost guarantee that whatever you put down on that piece of paper right now will eventually morph into something different ultimately, as you swap out plants, re-position, change group sizes and shapes, etc. as the scape progresses.

Always good to have a plan though as a starting point. I wish I could offer a detailed critique of your layout as you're seeking, but I really don't have the experience and haven't kept many of those plants. Lots of detailed lessons on contrast, composition, technique, etc. in those journals I linked though, if you're looking for those sorts of tips and are inclined to do some reading. Maybe someone else will chime in.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 03:13 AM
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I can almost guarantee that whatever you put down on that piece of paper right now will eventually morph into something different ultimately, as you swap out plants, re-position, change group sizes and shapes, etc. as the scape progresses.
+1 on that. If you read most journals, and really pay attention, you will notice things are very rarely in the same place from post to post. Tanks constantly evolve.

I wouldn't give it too much thought and just get started. You'll be moving things around more than you ever expected. And good luck and looking forward to seeing what you do.


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 03:38 AM
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+1 on that. If you read most journals, and really pay attention, you will notice things are very rarely in the same place from post to post. Tanks constantly evolve.



I wouldn't give it too much thought and just get started. You'll be moving things around more than you ever expected. And good luck and looking forward to seeing what you do.

+1 again. Even in my little 20g things have changed several times. Canít wait to see some pictures!


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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The rule-of-thumb is three species per foot and try to keep at least a finger's width of space between plant groupings.



Having a few extra species is no big deal, but push it too far and it starts to become difficult to maintain Dutch style aesthetics like distinct groups, contrast, views to the back of the tank and an overall sense of cohesiveness and simplicity.



For now though I wouldn't get too bogged down worrying about number of species. I really only meant that over time you may find yourself desiring to reduce the number of species, because that tends to be the way that it goes when people get into Dutch style aquascaping.

Meant no criticism or anything.....



All great advice. I encourage constructive criticism, itís the best way to learn! Getting #s down makes practical sense, but it is hard to suppress the addiction of wanting one of everything.

I am having trouble with mentally seeing how to mix color and textures. Any practical advice. I am now trying to avoid putting plants that are too similar next to one another and have used the general idea of 2red focal points in the ďzones of thirdsĒ.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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I am obsessed with this UG picture. Anyone tried a UG street or foreground in a Dutch tank. Iím worried it will invade everything over time.




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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 05:43 PM
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Tom Barr used to have a patch of UG in the foreground of his 120 Dutch. I've never seen anyone do a UG street though.

Could use terracing to have it ascend into the background like in the picture. Piece of hollowed driftwood or a pvc 'half pipe' filled with substrate and set an angle might be another way to do it.
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