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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1213

You have the wrong Tom here. I did not write this post.
Tom Barr 
>Date: Sat, 14 Aug 1999 08:53:05 -0600 (MDT)
>From: Roger Miller <rgrmill at rt66_com>
>Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1212
>On Sat, 14 Aug 1999, Tom Barr wrote:
>> Roger Miller wrote:
>> "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."
>> Okay, I'll bite.  I think it is insane to use landscapes as inspiration for
>> aquascapes.  Unless they are done to the level of the Amano style tanks
>> (which are ridiculously labor intensive and contrived), they usually look
>> pretttty hokey.  Little paths and bushes?  Give me a break. And I can't
>> think of a single fish that would feel comfortable swimming (flapping?)
>> around in a xeriscape environment.
>The idea isn't to make aquascapes that look like gardens, but to use
>elements of landscaping in your aquascape.  Keep in mind that the
>landscapers and gardeners have been solving many of the same aesthetic
>problems we have for hundreds of years.  If you ignore what they have done
>then you're reinventing the wheel.
>> Rather than draw on landscapes for a
>> tank design, I would propose that the natural habitat(s) of the tank
>> inhabitants provides a far more valid basis for design.  A riverbank, a
>> running stream, a calm pool, etceteras.  From that perspective the Dutch
>> style tanks are far more natural, even though they tend to be forced through
>> frequent trimming. IMHO of course...
>Have you seen very many natural aquatic settings that look like something
>you want in your planted tank?  There are a few, but freshwater bodies are
>typically murky from suspended sediments and colored by dissolved
>organics.  At this time of year in particular plankton of various sorts
>adds to the problem.  The bottom is usually mud liberally stirred by fish
>and other animals hunting for the many worms and other things living
>there.  The plants grow in large, dense stands consisting of a single
>species of plant, or maybe two, sometimes with large open areas.  Of
>course, the plants aren't arrayed to please the human eye.  Perhaps they
>please the hordes of insects that usually live there.
>What most of us want in our aquariums is a lot more similar to the garden
>than it is to nature.  That is especially true of the tanks we think of as
>Dutch aquariums, which aren't at all similar to any natural environment
>I've ever seen.
>Yes, there are analogies from natural settings that can inspire
>aquascapes.  I use them myself.  But that natural inspiration is highly
>idealized and then it serves only as a starting point for an aquascape
>that is brought to reality using methods like the gardeners' landscaping
>Roger Miller