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Re: American Style

I wrote:

> Perhaps in future events we can have separate categories for "Dutch", >
"Amano", "American" style planted tanks.

Then Pat (welcome back, Pat) Bowerman wrote:

> With that said, One of the things I like about our "American Style"
> tanks is that they are more free form with no hard and fast rules to
> follow.

Roger Miller commented::

>>> Wow! We have a style now?

I'm sure that there are many "syles" being followed in America, and the AGA
event only showed a very small cross section of them. I doubt that there is
any one "American" style - the continent (US + Canada) is just too large,
physically, and interaction among hobbyists is still limited. The Internet
can certainly help, not only to bring North Americans together, but also to
bring both Europe and Asia into the loop as well.

Most hobbyists here are unilingual and have only a passing acquaintance with
what is going on in Germany or Asia since much of what is traditionally
produced in those countries (books and magazines) is done for their own,
domestic market. Dupla/Aqua Documenta long ago gave up on the English market
and more recently Amano has even discontinued the English language version
of his web site. Instead of hobbyists from different areas being brought
together, these sorts of things just tend to keep us apart. How many years
have we waited for Christel Kasselmann's book to appear in English???
Hopefully, the Showcase/Contest is one small attempt to overcome this
isolation. Before this event, I didn't even know that there _were_ aquarium
hobbyists in countries like Turkey and Greece.

I think that everyone can learn something by sharing their efforts - they
can learn more about others and more about themselves - that can begin with
aquascapes but could be extended to include many other things. We see that
constantly here on this list, which has participants from around the world.

But in order to determine is there really is something like an "American"
style, we would probably need much more participation from more people -
i.e. more people would have to actually submit their aquascapes. It will
also require some folks to accept the fact that an event such as this cannot
be limited to "plant only" aquascapes. The plant segment of the hobby is
still painfully small and (at least in my opinion) can only grow
successfully by going out and actively inviting other hobbyists to
participate in our events and allow them to see how nice a planted tank can
be. Isolation is not the path to growth. We "gardeners" can also learn
things from how the other guys do things with regards to tank decoration.
Personal bias aside, there is no one "right way" to set up an aquascape, nor
should there be one way to evaluate them.

James Purchase