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Re: Aquascaping

I'm not claiming my style as "the" American style, but I think it has the
characteristics that many fellow hobbyists appreciate.  I lay out the plants
according to their mature size, cascading down from back to front, and then
try to create a random 'natural' look by using rocks to create open space
and irregular shaped planting groups that penetrate each others' space.  The
end result yields a Dutch style look without all the trimming and replanting
that comes with terracing via cutting the plants shorter than their mature
size.  The trick of course is in getting enough experience to know what the
plants' mature sizes will be in your particular setup.  It took a few tank
teardowns to get it right.  

While the Amano tanks are beautiful, there is nothing natural about them and
the amount of labor involved to keep the contrivance looking good is
definitely un-American. <g>  One of his books even shows a tank that mixes
Discus with Madagascar lace plants. A fish that needs higher temps with a
cool water plant? I don't buy it.  And tying a floating plant down to create
little bushes is just plain dumb.  IMHO, IME, YMMV, etceteras.....