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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Keisuke mentioned in a previous thread that there were several aquascaping styles recognized in his country: Taiwan, Japanese, Dutch, and Germany.

My question to keisuke, and all other members, is what do these aquascaping styles mean to you? What "defines" a tank as Nature Aquarium/Japanese style? How about Dutch style?

I also want to hear keisuke explain the Germany style to me. I've never heard of it. :)

Carlos
 

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Well, I know that as aquascaping has developed, certain styles have crystalized. Interestingly, they have formed using geographic terms for the most part. I predict that as the Internet continues to expand the hobby, these geographic references will be replaced by others akin to Nature Aquarium, abstract, formal, etc.

I'm also surprised that as of yet, an American style has yet to be defined. Of course, this has a lot to do with being one of the late comers to planted aquarium.

In any event, the style I know most about is the Nature Aquarium style. I was the first person to set up a Nature Aquarium in the US using ADA products. I followed the ADA Beginner's Manual when it was put out.

As with all styles, the Nature Aquarium style has evolved substantially. Today's Nature Aquarium style is very different than the Nature Aquarium ala 1996 except in its focus on looking to nature for inspiration and guidance.

Perhaps the 1997 interview I did of Takashi Amano may be interesting to get a glimpse of his thoughts on the subject.

"O.K. folks, here it is. These are the questions I posed to Mr. Takashi Amano of Aqua Design Amano for an article I was planning to write. Mr.
Amano's responses where translated by Mr. Mihir Sapru, International Marketing Director for ADA. I hope you find it of interest.

Q.:In your opinion, how much interest is there in Japan for the Nature Aquarium style and why do you think this is the case?

A.:The Nature Aquarium style occupies about 80% of advanced and intermediate aquarists in Japan. Japanese people have always been fond
of gardening. In Japan, the beauty of Nature no matter how small or large, has always been a part of Japanese culture. I feel however, that
a deep love for Nature, natural scenery, and the desire to have a piece of it in ones home, is a concept that exists in all human beings,
irrespective of culture. The Nature Aquarium began as an aquaristic response to this desire. It is an art form, like painting, gardening or
photography, in which it requires a person to create a natural ecosystem, in all its natural beauty and efficiency, in a glass
aquarium.

Q.: Do you believe that there are different schools of thought on the subject, e.g. Dutch, German, Japanese? If so, what do you believe the
differences are?


A.:I don't really know. I'm not sure if it can be called "Schools of Thought," but there is something called the Dutch Aquarium, however, I
believe that it is a style followed by a handful of dedicated aquarists. When I visited Europe I did not see anything that was
actually called a "Dutch Aquarium".

Q.:What do you believe is the most important thing to consider when preparing to set-up a nature aquarium, e.g. layout, fish, plants? Are
there hard-and-fast laws to this or is it based on instinct and luck?


A.:Setting up a Nature Aquarium relies on a delicate balance of all factors. This I believe can also be said for any form of art. What is
the most important thing to consider when painting a picture, the canvas, the brush, or the paint?

Q.:If there was one advice that you would give a hobbyist who is about to set-up his or her first nature aquarium, what would it be?

A.:Never give up! The Nature Aquarium is something that can not be mastered in a day, for to master it, one would have to understand nature
itself, and this is a long road full of trials and errors. To the beginner this is the best advice I can give: observe Nature, endure and
learn from your failures. In my years as an aquarist, I have probably made more errors than anyone else in the field, and this is why I now
can have confidence in what I create.

Q.:You are world-renown for the creation of what is known in the U.S. as the Nature Aquarium concept, if you could sum up that concept into a
paragraph, what would it be?


A.:Observing Nature, Learning from Nature, & Applying what you learned, in creating Nature within the aquarium. I have always said: Without
first loving he smallest creations, one can not claim to stand before Mother Nature.

What lies at the heart of the Nature Aquarium concept, are the little things: the minute details, the microorganisms. The ecosystems of
Nature all start from bacteria, and the breathtaking landscapes of Nature, all start from a single stone.

In a sense, the Nature Aquarium is a way of thinking about one's aquarium. It is looking to Nature for the answers to all one's
questions about the health, efficiency and layout design of one's aquarium.

Art Giacosa"
 

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Thanks. Tsunami.

In our region, aquascaping styles can be classified into Japanese, Germany, Holland and Taiwanese. Generally, it is accepted by Taiwanese ,Chinese and Hong Kong’s aquascopers. And it is great that we can shear our idea with other aquascapers all over the world.

For Japanese style, it is a kind of nature. ADA amino style is well known in Hong Kong. Most aquascapers are using ADA product. As we know, Japanese and HK housings are small in size. It is hard to accommodate a large water tank (say over 3 fit). Also, there may be an earthquake occur irregularly in Japan, placing such a large tank may be impossible. Therefore, most of the ‘’traditional’’ Japanese tank are small in size.

Using less plants provides a simple layout. We observe that they don’t like filling all over the background with congested water plants. For ada style, glare effect is provided.

For Taiwanese style, using high difficult water plants such as Rotala macrandra and Eusteralis sellata. They like plants are red in colour. It is their culture. Also, using Riccia fluitans is a bit common. Taiwanese style may not exist with animal and human figurines. However, something like a arch bridge and/ or small house can also be provided.

Holland style seems like Dutch Aquarium style. They filled the background and middle-ground with congested water plants. It seems to be a garden.

For Germany style, not using tank cover, allow certain plants to grow up and extend out of the tank. Some plants grow with flowers. Using professional equipment to have a healthy plants. They don’t care for aquarscaping just like farming.

And, it seems that American style to be more well-known among aquascapers all over the world. I can't bear to learn more about it. Pleased to shear with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have seen lots of European tanks in older books with open top tanks and Echinodorus growing right out of the water. Never thought of it as an aquascaping style though. :)

Germany style example, by Oliver:



Carlos
 

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That style was popularized by Dupla in their headquarters in Bielefeld, I think. That's where I first remember seeing it. Their video has wonderful images of an extremely healthy and lush, multi-tiered aquarium.
 
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