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I thought I would bring to your attention Duplas article on terracing. It describes
methods of building retainer walls, as well as using styrofoam sheets attached to side
and back glass panels and covered with Anubias! It is quite a picture! It actually
gives fine examples and instructions for dutch and german aquascaping. In the picture
you will see the effect of terracing which I dont think can be made equally by varied
plant height on a flat plain.
Here is a short quote,
"When designing the aquarium foreground one should consider a plant row or
street which should run diagonally from the front to the rear in a terraced
arrangement. Such a grouping of plants not only increases the depth effect of
aquarium, but also has quite a visual impact." This is a key theme I have seen
in many dutch or german pictures.
It also describes how to draw a floor plan.
Robert Paul H