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Going Dutch

15384 Views 96 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  MamaJu
I was inspired by another member, ua hua, to do a dutch aquascape challenge. I decided to make a journal of it and share my progress. I am open to any constructive feedback and guidance.

Current Image of Tank 6/12/2014

Tank size (75 gallons)
Lights ([STRIKE]zoomed T5HO[/STRIKE]; current satellite plus led; BML Dutch plus)
Eheim Canister [STRIKE]2215[/STRIKE] replaced with 2217 on 6/7/2014
Pressurized CO2
Foam Wall (Sakrete EZ Base Patio stone and paver base)
hydro inline heater
UV Sterilizer (added 5/4/2014)
Ista Max Mix CO2 Reactor

Flourite Black (5 bags)
Flourite Black Sand (2 bags)

Walls {
Left wall (Taiwan moss; [STRIKE]anubias nana[/STRIKE])
Back wall (java moss. [STRIKE]Microsorum pteropus 'Windeløv[/STRIKE]')
Right wall (Taiwan moss; [STRIKE]Microsorum pteropus 'needle'[/STRIKE] removed because it seemed to block the inflow)

1. Lace Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
2. Rotala rotundifolia (fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
3. Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana var. americana fast grower pH 7)
4. Ludwigia repens (fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)
[STRIKE]5. Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[/STRIKE]6. Bacopa caroliniana (fast grower pH 6 - 8)
7. Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea lotus fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[STRIKE]8. Cabomba purple (fast grower pH 6 - 8)
[/STRIKE]9. Lobelia cardinalis (slow grower pH 6 - 8)
10. Downoi (Pogostemon helferi slow grower pH 6 - 8) -- trying it again
[STRIKE]11. Rotala macrandra (Butterfly fast grower pH 5 -7)
[/STRIKE]12. Echinodorus angustifolia 'Vesuvius' (slow/ medium grower pH 6 - 8)
13. Hygrophila corymbosa (slow grower pH 5.5 - 8)
Moss ball (Cladophora aegagropila slow grower pH 6 - 8)
14. Limnophila hippuridoides (slow/medium grower pH 6 - 8)
15. Brazilian Pennywort (Hydrocotyle leucocephala fast grower pH 5.5 - 8)

Top Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]3 Marble Hatchet (Carnegiella strigata 2" temp 75-81° F, KH 10-18, pH 5.5-7.5)[/STRIKE] (3 died from ick 4/29, 4/30)

Top - Mid Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]7[/STRIKE] 5 Boesemani Rainbow (Melanotaenia boesemani 3" temp 72 - 77, KH 9 - 19, pH 7 - 8) {4/24: 1 Boesemani disappeared; 5/3 : 1 Boesemani died from internal parasites or white lesions and missing scales}
[STRIKE]3[/STRIKE] [STRIKE]2[/STRIKE] 6 Threadfin Rainbow (Iriatherina werneri 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 7 - 10, pH 5.8 - 6.5) {4/28 : 1 Threadfin disappeared}
3 Praecox Rainbow (Melanotaenia praecox 3" temp 64 - 72, KH 8 - 12, pH 5.8 - 6.5)
1 Turquoise Rainbow (Melanotaenia lacustris 4" temp 70-77, KH 10-12, pH 7.0-7.5)

Mid Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE][STRIKE]7[/STRIKE] 3 Von rio flame tetra (Hyphessobrycon flammeus 2" temp 72 - 77, KH 4 - 8, pH 5.5 - 7.5) {5/2 : 1 died may be due to ick; 5/4 : 1 died from possible internal parasites; 5/5 : 1 missing, assumed dead}[/STRIKE] removed remaining 3 to other tank

Bottom Level Swimmers:
[STRIKE]2 German Blue Ram [/STRIKE](Papiliochromis ramirezi 3" temp 72-79° F, KH 5-12, pH 5.0-7.0) Male died 5/3 with no outward signs of problems; female died 5/6 with popeye
[STRIKE]1 Apistogramma borellii [/STRIKE](4" temp 68 - 79, KH 8 - 18, pH 6 - 8) { died 5/4 with no outward physical symptoms, possible due to internal parasite}
7 dwarf cory cats

Clean-up Crew:
5 Otocinclus Catfish (Otocinclus sp. 2" temp 74-79° F, KH 6-10, pH 6.8-7.5)
[STRIKE]2[/STRIKE] 1 Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis 6" temp 75-79° F, KH 5-10, pH 6.5-7.0) [STRIKE]{moved 1 to 20 gallon bc he was being too aggressive 5/9}[/STRIKE] added 1 back when the plants grew in more
[STRIKE]1 Zebra Netrite snail (Neritina natalensis sp. "Zebra" 1" temp 72 - 78, dH 8 - 12, pH 7 - 8.5)[/STRIKE] {pronounced dead 5/5 since it hasn't moved and it's body isn't retracting back into the shell when touched}
1 Black Mystery snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)
[STRIKE]1 Apple snail (2" temp 68 - 85, KH 12 - 18, pH 6.5 - 8)[/STRIKE]

Notes from
Note: Marbled Hatchet may jump - lids are recommended.
Warning: At least 5 x Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish are recommended in a group.
Warning: At least 5 x Turquoise Rainbowfish are recommended in a group.
Warning: At least 5 x Marbled Hatchet are recommended in a group.
[STRIKE]Warning: At least 5 x Threadfin RainbowFish are recommended in a group.
[/STRIKE]Recommended temperature range: 78.8 - 80.6 F.
Recommended pH range: 7 - 7.
Recommended hardness range: 10 - 12 dH.

If I remove the snails
Recommended pH range: 6.4 - 7.
Recommended hardness range: 5 - 12 dH.

Judging criteria for the planted aquarium

1. Hardware
- All equipment should be out of view (need to move CO2 diffuser)
[STRIKE]- Flourite is very low against the front glass[/STRIKE]

2. Plants
- 80 percent of aquarium floor needs to be covered
- No more than one plant specie for every four inches of tank length.
- Use of color and contrast

3. Animals
- Appropriate number of fish to the size of the aquarium
- schooling fish should be at least ten [STRIKE](need 2+ Marble Hatchets; 2+ Threadfin Rainbow; 2+ Neon Dwarf Rainbow; 4 Turqoise Rainbow)[/STRIKE]
- Compatibility of fish species and other animals

4. Water Conditions
- Optimal temperature 78
- nitrate level
- phosphate level
- hardness level 7

Beginning of the journey

Week 1:
I am still in the process of planting but here is my attempt at the traditional dutch style with modifications...
1) it's a 75 gallon, not a 90
[STRIKE]2) I can't afford the cabinet so it is what it is
[/STRIKE][STRIKE]3) I am in the process of figuring out how to make a java fern or moss wall. Where do you get the foam board backing for the back wall??[/STRIKE]
4) If there is supposed to be 1 plant per 10 cm width and my tank is 48 inches or approximately 121.92 cm wide, I think I'm supposed to only have 12 to 14 stem varieties of plants, right? Does that include the plants I use as "streets"?
5) I need help with lighting. I have the zoomed aqua sun ho led but I don't really feel that it's sufficient. I tried to read the many threads on the forum but feel overwhelmed. Any suggestions?
6) so I tried to follow the focal point guideline... Hopefully it's noticeable:) I drew lines all over the front of the aquarium trying to get the 1/3 measurements just right so if it's not apparent as they grow in then I will need to make some adjustments.
[STRIKE]7) some of the plants are from existing tanks I have, others are from my lfs and some from the big chain pet stores. Unfortunately I don't know all the names of the plants so I don't know the growth rates. Only time will tell. I suspect that the plant with the purple flowering buds isn't even aquatic, even though it was sold that way at the chain pet store. I'll need help identifying it. Are there aquatic plants that flower underwater other than Anubias? I'll be ecstatic if there are :icon_eek:[/STRIKE]

So who else is up for the dutch challenge?


1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
2,519 Posts
I just saw this thread and I'm glad to see others attempting to try the Dutch scapes. It needs to stay relevant and not become a thing of the past. I don't think there is anything wrong with making a twist on the traditional Dutch style by using hard scape but to see someone attempting to keep it traditional is encouraging to say the least. I agree with Phil about letting it fill in and grow for awhile before deciding on final plant positions. I spent my first years in this hobby strictly growing different plants with no concern with regards to actually scaping anything. I helped me just to learn certain plants growth rates and habits. Keep at it and don't be afraid to move things around once they grow in and place them in better suited places.

· Registered
2,519 Posts
I think it's looking really good. I wouldn't worry about trying to get the red to come out. Just focus on growing the plants well and if they are meant to be red it will happen. I have 3 different red colored bulbs in my fixture and that helps bring out the reds but it really depends on the plants. Some people try limiting certain ferts to bring reds out but I don't want other plants to suffer just for the sake of getting a plant to be more red.

How's the moss wall going?

· Registered
2,519 Posts
In a Dutch tank I don't think there is such a thing as trimming too often. I would actually trim your plants that are at the surface. It's hard to tell in the picture but the ones that look to be Rotala rotundifoila. I would trim them about halfway down and replant the tops next to them and with a couple more trimmings they will become bushier rather than just a tall stand of plants. I know what your saying about the moss getting intermixed within all your other plants. I have fissidens in my tank which is a little easier to maintain but I also have peacock moss which is a pain in my butt as it ends up floating around and getting in places I don't want it. Here's a decent video on trimming and maintenance on a Dutch style tank.

1 - 3 of 3 Posts
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