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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So everybody knows that there are way more men than women in this hobby. I'll wait for some responses before I give my ideas...

1. Why more men than women?
2. Do you think there are differences in how each sees the hobby?
3. Are there differences in their styles?
4. Who are some of the women? I can think of names of some good male aquascapers.
 

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Very interesting questions. I'll have to think about these questions before I answer.

Good going Drinda.
 

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My two cents:

1. My wife believes that women have too many responsibilites to do between work, kids, and the home to have time to work on tanks and so on. I tend to agree; it is much more easy for a guy to make time for a hobby, regardless of other responsibilities. Traditionally, it has always been "kids leave Daddy alone, he needs some quiet time" and then Mom ends up with the children to entertain them while Dad works on the car, repairs, hobbies, or going out with the Guys.

Kind of another example of a Glass Ceiling. I would like to point out that I do plenty around the house, have no children, and have the good fortune to spend a fair share of time at the house doing work when I am not traveling. In other words, it is easier for me to make time to spend with the tank than other people.

I also think that the relative dirtiness may have something to do with it as well. From an early age, we have all been pre-conditioned that boys go outside to play in the mud and girls stay inside to play house with their dolls. Boys get to fingerpaint when girls have crayons because they won't get their dresses messy. Guys play football, girls go to dance class.

I am, by no means, saying that this is the case for everyone "out there," nor do I believe that it is right. I think as we advance as a society, you will see more women get involved in this hobby where the numbers will either balance out or favor women.

2. One of the reasons I think women will end up populating this hobby is because I think that, as a generalization, they are more apt to see the details and design something that is more pleasing to the eye than men. Again, there are always exceptions to this. I think men can make a great overall picture prone to mistakes in the fine details. We need practice and make the time to do so until we have obtained a result that is true to the original "vision" we had. I think women would have a much easier time at this hobby then men. Alas, if only they had the time to make the time for the hobby! :D (joke)

3. Oddly, I don't see many differences in styles between men and women. I think that because women tend to be more detail-oriented, they can achieve the desired effect in less time then a man. I notice that Jess and TexGal shared similarities in "collectoritis" and the tanks shared some of the same look, but were also very unique in their own right. Sunstar seems to plan well in advance and obtains a great end result as well, but I don't think that a man couldn't achieve the same result. I think that Sunstar probably achieved it faster than a man could, all things being equal. And then you have Diane Walsted who detailed out NPT; but I have seen many NPT's done by men that are pefectly similar in style as well. There have been plenty of Dutch style aquariums that have been done by both men and women, and there really is no difference from what I remember in style.

4. Drinda, Jess, Diane Walsted, Sunstar are women that I feel have stood out. Again, I don't look for who's a woman or a man while I am on here unless I am PM'ing and need to know how to address the person.
 

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For the first question...

...I suppose may be two possibilities (in my range of age: married, with kids, etc.):

1 - We (man) are the ones who control the money

2 - The women are spending too much on clothes, special creams, hairdresser, etc.

:D


Second:

Working a lot with women in the environmental area, it seems for me, that women don't seem to see nature in the philosophic way as most man do.

Third:

I don't remember to see any top aquascape only made by a woman. But is strange. I believe that some of the nature aquarium culture, as T.amano said before, came from the Ikebana Japanese flower arrangement that is made mainly by women.

Fourth:

Where are they??

I hope I've explained myself correctly in English, sometimes has this one is not so easy to put the right words.
 

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My wife spends hours on the outside gardens, while I have no interest in them. Over the years she has given me pointers about plant placement and prunning techniques, yet she has never wanted to take the tanks over.

I'm drawn to the aquatic gardens because of the technology, my DIY love of gadgetry and my love of fish and fish breeding.

For sure, Karen Randall, Christel Kasselmann and Dianne Walsted come to mind.

In summary, men like the gadgetry, women like the ecology. How's that for stereotyping?;)
 

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1. Why more men than women?
2. Do you think there are differences in how each sees the hobby?
3. Are there differences in their styles?
4. Who are some of the women? I can think of names of some good male aquascapers.
My reasoning;

1. In a hobby dominated by males it could be that women are intimidated. but I think that it could be that the time restraints due to job, family, and the like. it seems that the household is held together by the leading female of the family. I have rarely ever seen a male being in the center. this could be due to many different factors of which could include not wanting to be the center, but wanting to only be the support. but I can see this changing in generation Z. with the changes in the structure of families since generation X things will start to turn around.

2. I think the females will tend to see the details in the hobby, this could also be one reason that females don't usually join the ranks of aquatic plant lovers, there are too many things to do and it can get over whelming to the perfectionist.

3. I have see differences in each and every aquascape regardless of gender.
 

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1. Why more men than women?
I can see how a woman can get fascinated by the beauty of an aquascape. But I can also see how she will be put off by the technical side of the hobby. Unfortunatelly the technical side is discussed in much more detail than the actual aquascaping. That should not be so, the equipment, fertilization and so on aren't rocket science but most people do not apply common sense to planted tanks and the pointless discussions make them appear complicated, tricky, techie and what not.

2. Do you think there are differences in how each sees the hobby?
Absolutely. My wife sees the hobby without my eye for bad trends, imperfect details and so on. It's refreshing to hear her view. Makes me see the beauty of it all all over again.

--Nikolay
 

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Mizu-chan and that lady named "rose something" who used to post on here are two of the best female aquascapers.

Why more men than women? It's a good question! The short answer is it's not lady like. But I have to disagree!

Are there differences in their styles? Yeah, they're more feminine.
 

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i've never thought about this. i would actually expect more females in this hobby because there are so many more female "tree huggers" than male "tree huggers" you would expect them to like the aquarium hobby more.
 

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The distribution of men and women in the aquascaping scene seems to be about the same as the distribution of nerds in school.

I'm not saying aquascapers are nerds, but you have to have a "nerd gene" to take all the time needed for making an aquascape tick. With "nerd gene" I mean the ability to focus on one single thing almost in absurdum. The kind of focus that takes you to internet forums where you can discuss one single thing with people sharing your fetish.

This almost autistic ability to focus on one thing seems much more common with males.

That said, I think the distribution of male/females in this hobby is much more even compared to the distribution of internet forum members or the distribution of male/females in aquascaping contests. Largely because going from aquascaping to have the urge to discuss every single point of the hobby on forums and going as far as competing with other hobbyists in something that is an artform is a large step into the nerd world.
 

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defdac said:
...you have to have a "nerd gene"...
Hey DefDac is back, haven't seen him in a while here.

I now wonder what aquascape would Napoleon Dynamite create. And moreover - would Deb ever try to aquascape?



--Nikolay
 

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Good question, I've never really thought about it. I like defdac's explanation though. Men do seem to get more obsessed about their projects then women do, sometimes devoting a ridiculous amount of energy and time to one project at the expense of others.

I know that sometimes I lose sleep thinking about an exciting project and will sometimes forget to eat or rest while working on it. I know a lot of guys that develop a similar type of obsession. I know a few women that are like that too but they seem to be in the minority.
 

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I just stumbled on BrightyK's post (post #18 ) in this thread:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/56029-how-start-new-aquarium.html

So according to BrightyK that there's a huge misconception about the effort needed to create and maintain a problem free planted tank. I completely agree, to say the least. I guess thanks to that misconception we have at least 2 big planted tank forums full of idiotic questions about fighting algae and all sorts of other "amusing" issues.

If what Kennkh says is true - that only a small percentage of women get obsessive about projects - then we can say that in the case of planted tanks women are victims of a misconception. I myself get lost in the endless posts discussing the same details all over again, the "fascinating" equipment discussions, and the "mystery" of fertilizing. And it's not only me - a member of this forum that used to visit some time ago just came back. Despite him studying biology (and in particular plant physiology) it took him 3 days of reading APC to figure out that it's very hard to dig up the essential information. So the information is too much, disordered, confusing, contradictory and so on. It doesn't really help the newbie, unless he really persists. And it appears that women don't have patience for that. I don't blame them at all.

Knowing a few women from our club I can say that what's common about them is that they seem to treat their tanks with forgiving tenderness. They seem to not mind if a plant is growing crazy all over as long as it's healthy and happy. I think that men as a group are more controlling and "growing healthy and happy all over the place" means less to us. To me at this point it appears that this thread needs a psychiatrist or a psychoanalyst to step in and help out with information about the difference between the sexes.


"Planted WHAT?"

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think it's very interesting that outside gardening is usually dominated by women. It's usually their flower beds, etc. I look at planted tanks as inside gardening. I think that's one of the reasons that my tanks look like wild beds. I see the aquascapes that men have done and won awards for and they are more manicured boxes hence the golden ration thing. This phenomenon tells me that it's not that women aren't as interested in plants/ aquatics etc. but that something keeps them from it.

This has been interesting! I especially liked Niko's last offering. I agree with him. I really think Niko hit the nail on the head with the "difficulty" technical aspect of the hobby. If I knew nothing about planted tanks and signed onto this web site (or any of the others for that matter) I would say to myself - I don't have time to learn all this. It seems way to complicated. I'd like the finished product but it's something that won't fit into my life.

For years, in my tanks, I have grown plants. I used easy plants and plant tabs. It's because of my love for the exotic that I ended up high tech. Because I am not a DIY person I have had to have help. My husband has helped me with the many of the build things. Niko has built my light. If I had not had help I would have had to buy these things, which increases the cost factor.

One thing that comes up all the time on this forum is the female role in controlling the cost factor of this hobby. I think women are more concerned about costs that do not "benefit" the entire family directly. This hobby is definitely a discretionary income hobby. I think men have less trouble spending discretionary income on things they want. Women tend to think about the "family" approach.

So I think it may come down to 2 main factors that limit female participation.
1. Discretionary spending.
2. Discretionary use of time. Women tend to use their extra time, more for the entire family than themselves.
 

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I might be an odd ball in response to Tex-gal's post.

being that I am a female, married...no kids. I dare say my husband and I do have a partial role reversal. Where I am currently unemployed my duty is to do the house work, I am the...what the hell am I? A tom boy, for lack of a better term.

For one, when it comes to anything that needs to be built and repaired, that is what I do. If I had room, I would have a wood shop.

My husband gets the tools for christmas, I am the one who uses them.

I can become heavily focused, leaning toward obsessive when it comes to my hobbies that I will quite merrily not do my house work.

Spending...my hobbies tend to be expensive. I will spend much on them, so I really need to get a job so I can spend more on them.

My time: I divide it up as I see fit. if I feel like I want to share it, I will. If not, I won't.

As for my husband's thoughts. He is facinated with the tanks, but he has little interest in being an active part. He does not know a thing about them.

He has his hobbies too. Riding bicycles, fixing them up, researching stuff, reading. Oh yes his computers. His hobbies are costly too, but differently.

I think in a nutshell, I am more like a male aquascaper.
 

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Hmmmm. Discussing gender differences always seems to land me in hot water with someone. ;)

It is indeed curious that there is such disparity in the hobby. It's very clear that both sexes are capable of world-class aquascaping.

Maybe it's a money thing, but I doubt that's the primary issue. I'm inclined to side with defdac on this. A certain amount of nerd-dom and fanatical devotion is almost a prerequisite.

While ******** seem to be happy enough keeping an oscar or two in an old mayonaisse jar, upper-eschelon nerds seem to be most at home with a 9,000 gallon reef system or a bells-n-whistles planted tank. Such distinctions are more easily imagined as male traits than female.

Planted aquariums do require an endless amount of tinkering, sort of like getting that old chevy in the garage running again. The tinkering gene is located somewhere on the Y-chromasome, I'd wager.

Now I have to go off and think about this for a while........
 

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I might be an odd ball in response to Tex-gal's post.

being that I am a female, married...no kids. I dare say my husband and I do have a partial role reversal.
With your StarScream link I would have bet money you were a 'dude'. You never know these days ;)

I gotta agree with the nerd/tinkering factor. I can remember the glazed-over look I've gotten when significant others hear discussions on fertilizing methods or the arguments to use PAR to measure lighting for the planted aquarium.

Interesting enough, the women in our local plant club had interests in gardening as well as aquariums, which got them into planted aquariums. On the other hand, most guys in the club got into 'gardening' (i.e. emersed setups) from planted aquariums.
 
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