A Brief and Incomplete History of Aquascaping

zozo

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If anyone else discovers earlier references to the use of CO2 in planted aquaria that'd be appreciated too, especially regarding the use of pressurised CO2.

Some very old articles mention Dr. Rolf Geisler (Germany) also as one of the CO² pioneers. He first mentioned the importance and lak of it of it in planted aqauriums, in a lecture at a Aqaurium Congress in 1965 in Wuppertal Germany.

You might be intersted in one of his publications from 1963. A little booklet titled <Aquarium Water Chemistry> still seems to available today via Amazone.
I did never read, so i do not know if CO² is a topic in this book, 2 year earlier than his lecture at Wuppertal.

In 1964 he published a book titled "Wasserkunde für Aquaristische Praxis." I do not know if it was ever translated into English.. If so it would likely be titled "Hydrology for Aquaristic Practice"
 
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zozo

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What i also could find in an article is that the very first patented pressurized CO² equipment for aqaurium was produced by "Hilena". It was a CO² cartridge with manual valve regulation. Quite simmular to todays CO² cartridge nano setups i guess.. The brand Hilena later changed name to Dupla which still is active today but only as tradename since 2004 it merged into Dohse Aquaristik GmbH & Co. And the winner writes history, searching Dupla History you read Dohse history. A dead end for Dupla.

No dates are given, but it seemed that it all hapened rather short after 1965.
https://www.aquariumholgen.nl/handleidingen/co2

So far i can not find any further resources on Hilena other than a book about aqaurium that was published much later by Hilena gmbh.
https://www.zvab.com/buch-suchen/titel/aquarium-wie/autor/hilena-gmbh/
 
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Aquahorti

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Some very old articles mention Dr. Rolf Geisler (Germany) also as one of the CO² pioneers. He first mentioned the importance and lak of it of it in planted aqauriums, in a lecture at a Aqaurium Congress in 1965 in Wuppertal Germany.

You might be intersted in one of his publications from 1963. A little booklet titled <Aquarium Water Chemistry> still seems to available today via Amazone.
I did never read, so i do not know if CO² is a topic in this book, 2 year earlier than his lecture at Wuppertal.

In 1964 he published a book titled "Wasserkunde für Aquaristische Praxis." I do not know if it was ever translated into English.. If so it would likely be titled "Hydrology for Aquaristic Practice"

Good starting point, can look at his articles, as they might provide references to older articles
 

zozo

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The Dutch articel i posted above is a straight translation from an older German article but the translater left out few details. :)
https://www.aquaristik.de/artikel/suss3.htm

Free translation to English.

Hilena gmbh launged the first patented aquarium CO² fertilizer apparatus in 1971, a manual valve for disposable CO² cartridge with a connection tube and a diffusion pipe equiped with a membrane. That was the predecessor for the later Dupla systems with pressure regulator. Unfortunately it doesn't show a picture of this first Hilena CO² setup.
But it shows a picture of the later Dupla system that also at the time still seems to use a diffusion pipe with membrane.
co4.gif


This booklet i linked to above is from Hilena gmbh published in 1973.
16297545781.jpg


I'll be darned if it doesn't contain a picture and description from their very first pressurized CO² setup. :)
 
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zozo

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Keeping fish in artificial containers is ancient, millennials.. Known from Asia and the Romans had facilities to transport live fish with the legions accross Europe.
i bet since fish keepping is something that common that the first container with a glass panel arrived rather swiftly after the invention of making floated glass panels.
Not long after that the term Aquarium as in Vivarium... :) It's still fun to find the first writen report, but i guess the date the glass panel arrived on the scene, will narrow it down pretty good.
 

tiger15

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However, as also mentioned above the competition is now dominated by the Southeast Asian Diorama style which many European scapers see as a corruption rather than an evolution of Nature Aquarium

It's a judgmental statement. There is no such thing as corruption of nature aquarium. All Nature Aquariums are unnatural representation of nature to various degree. Many freshwater habitats have no plants or dominated by just one to limited species of plants. Monoculture is the rule than exception in natural aquatic habitats. Natural bottom is rarely covered with carpet plants, but more likely littered with fallen leaves and debris. Natural freshwater is rarely crystal clear, but typically tainted by tannin or silt with low visibility. I have watched many underwater scenes of freshwater habitats, and none look like Nature Aquariums which are all man made illusions.
 

zozo

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It's a judgmental statement. There is no such thing as corruption of nature aquarium. All Nature Aquariums are unnatural representation of nature to various degree. Many freshwater habitats have no plants or dominated by just one to limited species of plants. Monoculture is the rule than exception in natural aquatic habitats. Natural bottom is rarely covered with carpet plants, but more likely littered with fallen leaves and debris. Natural freshwater is rarely crystal clear, but typically tainted by tannin or silt with low visibility. I have watched many underwater scenes of freshwater habitats, and none look like Nature Aquariums which are all man made illusions.

Don't forget the true aqautic plants. :) And yes natural rather stagnant ponds absolutely can be cristal clear with enough of these plants growing in it. I live in a somewhat pond invested area ranging from 1 acre up to several acres in size. I stopped counting at at least 10 withing less than a 5 miles radius. And i have seen it many times, as long as a pond is left to it's own devices without mens intervention it will grow aqautic plants and be cristal clear the entire year around. Its men, mainly hobby fishermen /angler, that hate plants and make all natural ponds in urban areas unnatural with taking out all aqautic plants. This to not get their fishing lines tangled in it.

In ditches, streams and channels deep enough to cary a boat, its the boatsmen that labeled aqautic plants as a pest hindering them to pass through with their boats and take them out. But also these if left to their own devices, nature will take over aqautic plants will grow making the water crystal clear. Obviously not every water body turns into a blackwater invironment stained with tannins also this is invironmental circumstance with several factors in play. I've seen clear ponds smack dab in the middle of a forest littered with dead leaves and still clear with aqautic plants growing in it.

Regarding plant population one could easily make a natural representation in an aquarium with the use of true aquatic plants only. Making it an open top than also with the use of bog plants. Than where the natural representation stops is putting 25 fish in it per 100 litre or 22 gallon. I don't beieve a natural water with such high stocking excists.
And yes ofcourse a tank with water, plants and lifestock can never ever be 100% compaired to nature, but i terms of visual representation it absolutely can be 100% realistic. If realistic choices are made. :thumbup:
 
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PARAGUAY

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There are surprises A article about the Dennerle plant searches a couple of years found them in a clear white water part of the Amazon allthe plants lushly growing Dutch style. Species growing separately in unison
 

Tim Harrison

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It's a judgmental statement. There is no such thing as corruption of nature aquarium. All Nature Aquariums are unnatural representation of nature to various degree. Many freshwater habitats have no plants or dominated by just one to limited species of plants. Monoculture is the rule than exception in natural aquatic habitats. Natural bottom is rarely covered with carpet plants, but more likely littered with fallen leaves and debris. Natural freshwater is rarely crystal clear, but typically tainted by tannin or silt with low visibility. I have watched many underwater scenes of freshwater habitats, and none look like Nature Aquariums which are all man made illusions.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article, and also for sharing your opinion.

I was referring to the differences between Takashi Amano's original Nature Aquarium concept and the diorama style which evolved from it. And in particular how diorama style has come to be viewed by many European aquascapers. I wasn't comparing either directly with a natural ecosystem. I thought that was reasonably explicit taken in context.

Nevertheless, like Marcel and PARAGUAY have both pointed out biodiverse aquatic habitats with crystal clear water do exist in nature; exceptions or not. And, to bring it full circle, some of these gave Takashi Amano inspiration for the original Nature Aquarium concept.

Not only but also, there are very few natural or pristine ecosystems left in the world. Nearly all have been modified by human activity to one degree or another (which Marcel also mentions), and therefore ecologists consider them to be semi-natural habitats. The aquatic habitats that you describe above are probably just as likely to be the product of human activity as they are to occur naturally. And it's often human activity that reduces aquatic biodiversity.

Activity such as indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture, industrialisation, urbanisation, mismanagement of natural aquatic resource - dam, road and bridge construction, irrigation, draining and filling of wetlands - petroleum exploration, land clearance and deforestation and sediment pollution, organic pollution, eutrophication, acidification, heavy metals and organochlorines, thermal pollution, nuclear pollution, and human introductions of alien species (deliberate and accidental) etc etc...

Without human activity many more wetlands would exist and perhaps crystal clear water and high biodiversity would prove the rule rather than the exception.

Tim a well wrote article, one to show anyone in my Lfs with questions about plants and aquariums
Thanks PARAGUAY, that's really kind of you :)
 

tiger15

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I have to compliment that it is a well written summary of the development of planted aquarium hobby. The breakthrough is the discovery on use of CO2 and EI. I am wondering why the Walstad method is not mentioned.

IMO a reef aquarium is an authentic representation of natural reef, a Nature Aquarium is not, but an imitation of terrestrial landscape. So whether it is the original nature aquarium style, or the Diorama style, makes no difference as both are unauthentic.

This video from Mikolji showed several natural habitats in Venezuela Amazon


According to him, clear water represented only 0.5% of the habitats, and the remaining 99.5% are silky, murky or tannin loaded too opaque to film. There are no dutch gardens with dozens species of colored plants, nor nature aquariums with green lawn and mountains.

Most aquarium plants are semi submerged bog plants. Fully aquatic plants like Vals and Horthorn are typically monoculture beds. There are clear mountain streams, but most have limited to no vegetation except on the banks. The crystal clear rift lakes in Africa have algae covered rock outcrops, sand beds, and vals beds, but no diverse aquatic gardens as seen in aquariums.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Fully aquatic plants like Vals and Horthorn are typically monoculture beds. There are clear mountain streams, but most have limited to no vegetation except on the banks. The crystal clear rift lakes in Africa have algae covered rock outcrops, sand beds, and vals beds, but no diverse aquatic gardens as seen in aquariums.
I'd agree that a lot of water is naturally opaque, but there are plenty of different aquatic habitat types with clear water and vegetation mosaics.

Even now that is true and if you went <"back 200 years"> that number would increase exponentially.

Where I live, in the UK, we still have some <"chalk rivers"> with good visibility.

RiverChalk.jpg


Also have a look at @zanguli-ya-zamba's <"Lake Fwa thread">.


cheers Darrel
 
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Tim Harrison

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IMO a reef aquarium is an authentic representation of natural reef, a Nature Aquarium is not, but an imitation of terrestrial landscape. So whether it is the original nature aquarium style, or the Diorama style, makes no difference as both are unauthentic.
I think the contention amongst many aquascapers is that diorama in particular is an imitation of a terrestrial landscape, and often a man made one at that. Whereas, the original Nature Aquarium concept aims to mimic nature more closely. The original concept is explained in more detail in the article.
According to him, clear water represented only 0.5% of the habitats, and the remaining 99.5% are silky, murky or tannin loaded too opaque to film.
I'm not sure about the actual statistics, and maybe those numbers aren't too far off the mark. However, it doesn't really detract from what's been written in response to your original post and neither does it qualify your original criticism of the article.
but no diverse aquatic gardens as seen in aquariums.


Bonito in Brazil

9macrophyllus.jpg


In addition, check out the Malili Lakes Sulawesi Indonesia. And the RIo Sucuri Brazil, the latter in the video below. And as I mentioned above without human activity there would probably be many other highly diverse wetlands with crystal clear water.


And Darrel beat me to this, DR Congo Expedition to underwater garden lake Fwa the water is crystal clear and although there are monospecific stands of aquatic plants the flora is very diverse.

20180623_124940-jpg.jpg


I am wondering why the Walstad method is not mentioned.
As influential as the Walstad method is, it's not really a technique associated with aquascaping.
 

tiger15

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Eutrophic condition is man made. Silty or tannin waters are natural. There are many clear water creeks and lakes worldwide, but you won't find sunken gardens but monoculture weed beds, algae covered rock or no plants at all.
 

Tim Harrison

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Eutrophic condition is man made.
Not always, believe it or not natural eutrophication is a thing as well, particularly in lakes.
There are many clear water creeks and lakes worldwide, but you won't find sunken gardens but monoculture weed beds, algae covered rock or no plants at all.
A picture is worth a thousand words...;) Here's two more of the Bonito Brazil, and many more can be viewed on Google...

UWS178-30%20%28freshwater%20plants%29-L.jpg


BRDUW0106%28freshwater%20plants%29-L.jpg
 
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