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Dutch Aquascapes

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by John N., Apr 8, 2008.

  1. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Dutch Styles

    One of the oldest aquascaping styles and in my opinion one of the hardest aquascaping layouts to master. It is based on taking vibrant aquatic plants and planting them in tight uniform groups. The aquascaper achieves depth and height in the layout by following a the "Golden Rule" aka "The Rule of Thirds". In brief, this visual rule is based on dividing an aquascape or picture into thirds, and placing focal points in each section. Dutch layouts illustrate a mastery of trimming techniques, plant placement, and plant selections.

    Here's a few example of Dutch inspired Aquascapes from the Netherland VVVivarium Aquascaping Competition.

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    Please discuss the techniques involved in creating a Dutch Aquascape, and feel free to share your own Dutch Style aquariums.
    (Click here to discover other aquascaping styles).

    -John N.
     
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  2. Brian

    Brian New Member

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    This is one of the stiles that I like more than others stiles. The place, rules and healthy plants are the thing because I like this stile. It seems more easy to make than a Amano setup but who knows what is more difficult. I dont know what stile are my tank, natural or dutch.
     
  3. dg2606

    dg2606 New Member

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    I have a 29 tall and wanted to do this style. Can it be done with this tank or does dutch style need width.
     
  4. wearsbunnyslippers

    wearsbunnyslippers New Member

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    the top and bottom pics are the same tank at different stages...

    this is my favourite tank ever, i specifically found the dutch forum this guy is a moderator and joined so i could learn from these guys. here is his entry from AGA...

    i like the colorful and full look of the dutch styles! this tank and shays tank are my inspiration!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    too much work with all the stems .. but nice to look at o:)
     
  6. brt_p

    brt_p New Member

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    is there any rules on dutch style? like reddish should be behind the greenish..or something like that?

    sorry for my poor english,
    Bryant
     
  7. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    That example above is sort of a hybrid because if I remember rightly hardscape is not used at all in dutch style.

    The only rule on plants really is the grouping. You then have to be clever in the way they work with each other to make the difference between the 'school class photo' and actual 'art'

    AC
     
  8. littlefish

    littlefish New Member

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    I like very much Dutch tanks because everythink it's on his place, soo arranged, not a jungle.
     
  9. brt_p

    brt_p New Member

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    well, one thing i like about stem plants..i can test my fertz without big worries.. :D
     
  10. Mellonman

    Mellonman New Member

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    As for me, I don't really agree John.
    I have made both Dutch and natural style and I think giving a natural look to a layout is much more difficult...
     
  11. BioLogic

    BioLogic New Member

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    I think what makes the Dutch style so hard to master is the fact that it is just so unnatural! The styles places skill of the grower as paramount, followed by composition - and is almost a paint-by-numbers style. I'm not knocking anyone that likes it or prefers it - this is my opinion (and you know what they say about opinions.....). The modern Dutch style is based on the most difficult as possible plants - to prove the horticultural prowess of the aquascaper. The problem is now how to make it all fit together? And this is where it becomes difficult - imagine having a big box of the most vibrant coloured, variously textured items - from dayglo green fake fur to postbox red paintbrushes - and everything in between. Now arrange them so that you show each off against each other and create a "western" garden i.e. one based on order, symmetry, decoration and the ubiquitous accent plant. I do take my hat off to these guys - it is not easy! Well not for me anyway - I have never seen a single symmetrical object in nature (go look nothing is exactly perfectly symmetrical as we depict it - even the classic hexagonal honey comb cell). The style is alien to me but I do admire there growing skills and bold ideas. Not something i would want in my own house though!
     
  12. biguran

    biguran New Member

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    i agree, copying the nature is a chalenge, maybe that is why im not into dutch or anything else artificial

    good thread Jonh. ^:)^
     
  13. MonoBarrientos

    MonoBarrientos New Member

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    Hi,
    for me are different artistical expressions. Like as "realism" vs "impressionism". I preffer layouts with more participation of rocks and woods, like for example "nature" style .... but "dutch tanks" are beatifull too

    Saludos!
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Aspiring Aquascaper

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  15. Crispino Ramos

    Crispino Ramos New Member

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    Dutch aquascaping is an art because it's bigger than life. It doesn't follow the ordinary.
     
  16. Orlando

    Orlando Supporting Member

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    These tanks are by far the most colorful compared to other nature style aquariums. I like all of them:)
     
  17. StanChung

    StanChung Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The original planted tank.
    I think it's difficult to achieve. Very difficult, rules notwithstanding. [great link George to a fascinating thread on Dutch Style Aquascaping by Marco Aukes.]

    The lack of hardscape that provides solid shadows and contrast makes it difficult to create depth. Dutch Scapes Version II[recent times] seems to have more wood with Loma Fern/Mosses angled such to achieve a bit of perspective.
    It's always going to be an 'organised chaos of plants' that resembled a slice of a 'botanical gardens'.
    Certainly a style worth preserving and considering it's roots[pardon the pun]-Hey it's old school at it's best! 8)
     
  18. ghostmonk

    ghostmonk Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Both styles have unique challenges. Not sure how to compare between them. But while nature style aquariums are inspired by nature, concept for a dutch style aquarium pretty much depends upon the creators imagination (except for taking ideas from fall pictures?), IMO. So mastering the right combinations and propertions is the hardest part I guess. The maintenance can be labor intensive with so much stem plants, but from an artistic point of view, the concept needs to be right or else the look can be killed big time.

    To demo, here is a picture of my first planted tank ever....3 years back. Tried dutch style but inexperience shows in every sq inch of it....wrong tank, wrong hardscape, novice level plant selection/placement and maintenance is evident in it. I don't hate it though. First love? :))

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Robert Hudson

    Robert Hudson ASW Sponsor

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    Let me show you the real thing...

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    In 2008 I interviewed actual high ranking NBAT competitors for a feature article I wrote for Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine. The magazine has now folded, but you can read the full article HERE

    These photos are from the article.

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    Traditional Dutch aquascapes use red plants VERY sparingly. Wearbunnyslippers example has way to much red for a traditional NBAT competition tank. Plant groups are also very well defined.

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    These guys work at this for years to perfect a very well tuned and detailed design. I think its worth the effort.

    True Dutch Aquascaping
     
  20. Solcielo lawrencia

    Solcielo lawrencia Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I just want to make a correction about the Ro3rds v. GR. They are different. One is based on simply dividing the vertical and horizontal plane into three equal parts while the other is based on visual aesthetics which go back to antiquity. It's usually not a good idea to use R3 as it is difficult to balance aesthetically.
     

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