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RE: On Bob Olesen's Star Grass Experience

Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 09:30:11 EDT
From: ROlesen104 at aol_com
Subject: Re: Amano's style

Amano-San certainly is a master photographer too.

Most of these shots are a new angle (at least for me) very reminiscent of n
early morning scuba accent -- a halide being substituted for the sun. Figure
7 shows a strong resemblance to the main cave opening at Silver Springs with
that sand at the entrance. Actually, the spring isn't quite this beautiful.

I thought most of this material used was Stargrass but it might be that H.
(or is it E.?) ventriculata(sp.). I should think either would work, although
I have no experience with the latter, as indicated by my pathetic attempts
spelling. I'm almost inspired enough by these images to go another few
with the Stargrass in spite of it's tendency toward black tips. Mr. Amano
somehow managed to achieve a very cohesive layer of whatever this material
hovering just above the substrate. I wonder if he physically pulled the mat
of vegetation up from the bottom to achieve this effect. It's hard to
it occurring naturally in such uniformity and perfection.

It's difficult and perhaps even a bit dangerous to generalize about cultural
differences but the biggest contrast I see between east and west is the
masterful use of empty space exhibited in the East. Few westerners would
the restraint needed to limit their palate to only one or two species. Most
westerners (myself included) want to showcase as many different textures,
colors and species as possible.

Someone also mentioned the difficulty in confining ground cover such as
glosso or lilliaopsis to prevent it from overtaking a tank entirely and I
have found this to be an ongoing battle. If nothing else, it requires a
deal of yard work to keep it in check which turns a labor of love into just
plain labor. For this reason, I think my next tank will use glass partitions
of varying shapes sizes and levels -- all siliconed in and the glass covered
with some type of camouflage such as rock, cork or wood. I have no illusions
that this will eliminate the problem entirely -- but it should help.
Segmenting the bottom like this should also enable one to experiment with
different substrate mixtures in each section to allow for more specie
specific mixes and enable me to more effectively and permanently bury
whatever pots are used.

Would anyone care to comment on their experiences with this above method?

Bob Olesen
West Pam Beach, FL  <--------- now has crypts growing in and around his pond

From the original printed version of picture (2001 June/July Calendar), the
plant that resemble Star Grass is actual Rotala  rotundifolia (green). I
agree with you that keep a stand like that require *a lot* of precision