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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #734
James Purchase wrote:
> There is not (nor should there be) any requirement that every square
> inch of substrate in a planted tank be covered by plants. Open areas
> of bare gravel can be very effective compositional aids. Insisting on
> every tank having a "lawn" of some sort in the foreground is just as
> bad as the Dutch habit of insisting that plants be placed in "rows" -
> you end up with tanks which look like perennial borders.
I think it was Amano who said that it's a sign of an unhealthy tank when
plants don't cover the entire substrate. That can become dogma just as
easily as the Dutch tank arrangement has become dogmatized.
I'm not sure I see any design sense in the big bare spot at the front of
some of the Dutch tanks. I *could* explain it as an overreaction to the
rule (part of the dogma) that the plantings should not reach all the way
to the front glass. Otherwise, I just don't get it. I don't think the
bare spots are attractive features. It's in the eye of the beholder, I
What I see in the Dutch tanks is rules, rules, rules. I don't see much
variety or originality and precious little effective composition.