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Re: NFC: Re: amano

Now for my two cents worth:

The Amano method achieves tanks with incorporate a variety of artistic 
design features using natural plants, perhaps in innovative ways.  
Essentially, they are artistic designs which use natural plants to 
achieve an artistic effect as compared with using artificial plants.   
Becoming familiar with the features of artistic design would allow one 
to create a more aesthetically pleasing tank without the expense of 
special muds, substrate heating, substrate amendments, CO2 injection, 
high tech lighting, etc. Also note that the preferred species are often 
quite difficult to come by: one of the designs specifies the use of 
False Neon Tetras (aka Green Neon Tetras), without regard to the simple 
fact that the fish are quite difficult to obtain and not readily 
available.  Not a problem, however, to the dedicated aquatic artist who 
will spare no expense to achieve the desired artistic effect.  Also keep 
in mind that the devotees of the Amano school are designing art by using 
nature, with the plants and fish a means to an overall artistic design.   
Sort of like a living sculpture, in a way.

The high-tech aquatic gardeners construct a tank for the benefit of the 
_plants_, with the fish being a less important part of the overall 
design or an afterthought, just to add a bit of activity, swimming in 
amongst the magnificent plants, which are the real focus.  If you have a 
need to spend hundreds of dollars on showpiece plant tanks containing 
hard to raise aquatic plants, then high-tech aquatic gardening is for 
you.  Of course, you will need to remove bushels of excess plant growth 
on a regular basis, but it is a small price to pay for that plant show 
tank you sunk a month or two's paychecks into for special lighting, 
gravel additives, substrate heating, CO2 injection, etc.  Besides, you 
will need to invite all your friends (and anyone else you can find) who 
will get lots of free cuttings, plants, bulbs (and anything else you can 
pawn off on them) and will be told that they can have a tank just like 
yours which will allow them to share bushels of plants with _their_ 
friends, if they are only willing to invest $1,000 or so in the same 
high-tech setup. 

Aquarists focus on the fish, adding plants, bogwood, etc. to achieve a 
more or less natural, but otherwise eminently suitable environment for 
the fish.  The plants, substrate, bogwood, rocks, etc., are present due 
to the needs of the fish and secondarily for aesthetic effects or for 
growing plants.  Water parameters are adjusted to enhance the well being 
and preferences of the fish, i.e., using soft, acid water for some 
species (tetras, killies, etc.), alkaline water for livebearers and Rift 
Lake cichlids and brackish water for brackish species.  The needs of the 
fish control the selection of plants and use of decorations such as 
bogwood, rocks, etc. 

There are, however, those hobbyists that use pink Day-Glo gravel, action 
ornaments and Fluorescent Colors or Glow-In-The-Dark plastic plants, 
which are intended to create a design for entertainment purposes.  Fish 
in these situations are often selected on the basis of color ( i.e. they 
go with the drapes, or, "I would like some of those red swordtails, some 
neat Blueberry Tetras, Ballon Belly Mollies, and Fluorescent Glassfish, 
along with those nice blue and yelllow Malawi Cichlids and an Oscar or 
two and maybe a couple of Jewel Cichlids, a couple of Pacu and one or 
two Red-Tailed Catfish - they will all fit in that ten gallon tank I 
just set up this morning, won't they?") with little regard to the needs 
of the fish.  If they die, well, the store owner will sell them some 
more.  If the cost of replacing dead fish gets too expensive as nobody 
told them about the needs of the fish and the need to do water changes, 
clean the gravel and other icky stuff like that, the aquarium can be 
sold at next year's yard sale to buy the latest. trendy pet craze: 
Fluorescent Green, Glow-in- the-Dark Hamsters !!!.

'Nuff said.

>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Wed Jan 27 14:57:03 1999
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>From: "Brian T. Perkins" <btpmsi at email_msn.com>
>To: <nfc at actwin_com>
>Subject: NFC: Re: amano
>Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 14:54:21 -0800
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>-----Original Message-----
>From: Moontanman at aol_com <Moontanman at aol_com>
>To: nfc at actwin_com <nfc at actwin_com>; nanfa at aquaria_net 
<nanfa at aquaria_net>
>Date: Wednesday, January 27, 1999 4:30 AM
>Subject: NFC: amano
>>Is any of our people on the, I think it's the nature aquarium list?
>>They are
>>promoting a guy called Amano and the planted tanks he designs. 
>>costly mud, floating plants held down by netting, High tech (read that 
>>priced) support that puts my marine tanks to shame. I think his tanks 
>>about as natural looking as Florescent pink gravel with Day-Glo purple
>I don't think "natural" is what he's striving for, do you? From your
>description of your bog tank I'd say that this idea comes closer to
>"natural" (still very interested in seeing the pix of that tank, btw)  
>>I've been following this and it is really disturbing to see this being
>>as the most beautiful planted tanks in the world.
>Some people may consider them beautiful, in their own way, just as the 
>you describe sounds beautiful. (to me) :)
>> I guess I just had to get
>>this off my chest, but why in the world do people follow this man like 
>is a
>I can't say that people do or don't.  I can say that his design ideas 
>very compelling especially to the person who displays their aquaria in 
>"Living Room" setting, or perhaps a commercial setting, because they 
>eye-catching visual drama. Natural? No.
>To say one design or "look" is the "Be all and end all" is a little
>disingenuous. I think what you decide looks good for you is a personal 
>and not something worth flying off the handle about. Thank you for your
>opinion and thanks for the opportunity to express mine!!
> {:>}D
>P.S. Apologies too all  if "flying off the handle" offends.
> I'll go back in my hole now..............

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