You're right, you're gonna hear a lot about this. If you read carefully,
you'll notice that many of Amano's tanks that are displayed have been set up
for years. Additionally, though he doesn't disclose the ingredients of his
fertilizer, what he uses isn't "hocus pocus". Amano has spent time
formulating a good fertilizer and doesn't feel compelled to share the
formula...I wouldn't either.
As far as approaching planted tanks from a scientific background...I'm
sure he understands the science involved (or maybe he doesn't)...It really
doesn't matter too much. He's able to keep almost every plant he tries
which is more than I can say of some who have a "scientific" background.
The man is an artist and his canopy is the aquarium. Last point...remember
that the articles in TFH and his book are translations...
Neil Frank has spoken to Amano and I'm sure he'll respond so you can quiz
him on Amano's "scientific" background and skills.