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>>I've seen much less of the Dutch style but there too it appears that big,
showy plants are little used. Instead, small to medium size plants, and
small-leaved plants are more common.
Could this be our well-known "bigger is better" tendency showing up in
I think it goes back more to artistic reasons. It is certainly much easier to take a limited
space and create a visually stimulating picture with contrasts in color and shape with a
larger number of small plants, than just a few large ones. Europe as a whole has had an
emphasise on artistic flair for years. Holland has been awarding winners of planted aquarium
contests for a long time. I dont think this mode of thinking has been as common in north
america. But at the same time, there has also been a fad in europe to have open tanks with
plants growing far out of the aquarium, and even mixing common houseplants in the arrangement,
around the tank itself. In this case you often see the use of large swords and other big
plants. Speaking of big plants, I am throwing away a five foot long Crinum water onion. The
"onion" part is the size of a tennis ball! I can put about five bunch plants where the water
Robert Paul H.