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Re: Aquascaping

Roger Miller posted some thought provoking comments about aquascaping...

> We've long had "dutch-style" aquariums which seem to feature prominantly
> dense plantings teired very formally from low in front to high at the back
> and sides.  Is there much more to the style than that?  Who best describes
> the techniques?

Talk to the Dutch... they started it... sort of like a jungle crossed with
an English garden...

> More recently we have the Japanese style best illustrated by Amano's
> tanks, but also shown in Yoshino and Kobayashi's "The Natural Aquarium".
> The principle elements I see in the Japanese style are the assymetry,
> "3-dimensionality" and vertical relief in the substrate -- all with the
> overriding intent to present something that appears "natural".  Are there
> important elements there that I've entirely missed out on?

Amano, at least in my opinion, produces some of the most beautiful
aquascapes I have ever seen. The ones in Yoshino and Kobayashi's book
(beautifully reproduced by TFH by the way) are also very nice, but are much
more realistic, at least to my eye, than Amano's. Y&K take natural
aquascapes as their source, and work from there. Amano is an artist who
works from an idea or an ideal, and there is a lot of philosophy contained
within his work. Nature is dealt with by Amano in idealistic terms. An Amano
aquascape, while beautiful, is obviously a labour intensive endeavour to set
up and maintain - much more than any other style. Not everyone cares to
devote that much time and energy to one single tank.

> Is there a uniquely American style - some body of work that represents
> something unique in American (or any new world, for that matter)
> aquascaping?  If so, what are its major elements and who provides the best
> examples?

Mmmmmm,.......I doubt that there is anything remotely American about what is
being done in the hobby right now, at least stylistically. Not only is the
country probably too big physically (hard for hobbyists in New Mexico and
Maine to compare results and share notes), but the planted end of the hobby
is still pitifully small when compared with the market as a whole.

James Purchase