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Re: Ameristyle tanks

On Fri, 13 Aug 1999, David Boukmn wrote:

> Reply to Roger Miller; I realize now why American landscaping style may
> seem a problematic source of inspiration from your perspective. I haven't
> been to the American SW but I love watching HGTV and SW styles seem much
> more like a Zen stone garden than my back yard. You guys don't get much
> rain, so please forgive my presumption that American list readers would all
> have similar landscaping reference points.

I don't mean to imply that the southwestern xeriscape can't provide great
ideas for aquascaping.  You're right that they share some elements with
Zen gardens, and just as those gardens contribute to Amano's style, the
American xeriscape could contribute to American aquascaping style.

The use of horizontal, stacked flat stones is fairly common in xeriscapes
and contrasts rather sharply with Amano's stonework style.  The absence of
a continuous cover of plants is another distinctly different feature of
southwest gardens that might be borrowed for aquascaping.  In xeriscape
gardens the color and texture of the soil is part of the design.  A
similar approach can be used to ornament open areas in an aquascape by
combining different textures and colors of substrate materials in
different parts of the tank.  Similarly, the contours of a xeriscaped
garden (which ideally have a water-conserving role) can be used in a
larger aquascape to provide visual variety.

The problem comes up in trying to draw analogies between vegetation in the
xeriscaped garden and vegetation in the aquascape.  Some people use tall
bunch grasses in xeriscaped gardens to produce a contrast between vertical
and horizontal elements and to link different levels vertically.  That is
transferrable to aquascaping using hair grass (or instance) in the place
of the bunch grass.  Low (but normally not continuous) growth in a
xeriscaped garden might be provided by thyme growing in low areas. A
similar effect could be accomplished in an aquascape by keeping a
river-like carpet of glossostigma in the valleys between rounded knolls of
bare substrate.

Of course, anytime you talk about maintaining healthy, fast-growing
aquatic plants in constrained and precise patterns you're talking about a
lot of work.  We don't have that same problem in xeriscapes because most
everything grows really, really slowly.

Roger Miller