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Gnatster, I'm not so sure that what we're seeing these days in aquascaping is just more "Amano-ness". Granted, many Amano elements are present, such as the driftwood and space defining stone. But, just as landscape elements are to outside gardens, these are the "bones" of our aquascapes.They would have been inevitable in our tanks, Amano or no.

To Amano's credit, and to our edification, he opened our eyes to "naturalness". We Americans ate it up because we culturally prefer the "natural" (read informal) over the formal such as Dutch tanks or English cottage gardens.

I think that's where the "Amano-ness" ends and a burgeoning new American style begins.

There are no absolutes, but open, unplanted areas and high mounded, ledged scenes are not necessarily Amano. I think they are evolved from the Sentske tanks and Luis Navarro's. They, and others, took Amano's "naturalness" and made the spaces bigger, simplified the plant list and moved the viewer's perspective from seeing the small, such as the mountain stream to seeing the larger, such as the hillside or the island.

I'm over simplifying, perhaps, but I'm sensing the beginnings of an "American" style.

Later.
 

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As an after thought, Gnatster, I do agree that some of the scenarios are getting repetitive. The double mound with the vanishing pathway seems to be a lot of people's favorite. Mine included since I'm about to do a 'scape in that design.

I like the depth that the vanishing pathway gives a tank and I like open, unplanted areas. They draw the viewer in, I think, and offer a visual break from the planting. The observing eye needs, as in outside gardens, a rest, a pause.

And I wholeheartedly agree that we need to be more tolerant of the "envelope pushers".

Later.
 
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