1. You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter or Google account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
    Dismiss Notice
  2. This site uses some unobtrusive cookies to store information on your computer. For more information click the following link: Cookie Usage

    Dismiss Notice

Crash course Dutch style Aquascaping

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Marco Aukes, 15 Nov 2009.

  1. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Thanks Tom! It was a pleasure doing so.

    Well, I arranged yearly aquarium trips the last few years with Christel Kasselmann and Oliver Lucanus to visit some of the best tanks in The Netherlands and Belgium in a day.

    It is always a pleasure doing it, and the people love to show off their tanks. I can always arrange that kind of trips for small groups if there is an interest.

    I will give some comments on the earlier posted tank according to the typical Dutch Style rules later. I will first start uploading some more pics for you lot.
  2. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Ok, first some more pics from the Bart Laurens tank (also to prove that there are actually fish in there ;))





  3. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Next up; John Frenken (now since a year a NBAT judge) with how he entered the contest from the Vivarium event:


  4. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Now we get to the crème de la crème; Willem van Wezel. 2008 National Champion and runner up in 2005 and 2006.

    The first batch of pictures is how his tank looked early 2009; last on is from how it looked a few weeks ago:






    Tim Harrison likes this.
  5. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Like they say; like father like son.......

    Imagine; first drewl on Willem's tank in the living room, just te be invited upstairs to find this in his son's Fred van Wezel's room:





  6. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    And finally in this mass picture posts; last October, Raymond Duindam was granted to be crowned as the new National Champion. He even won the Grnad Champion title, meaning he received he highest score amongst all categories.

    As we can see, his Dutch Style has a bit of a more modern touch to it:






  7. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Fred's tank ranks highly I'd say for me, with Dad a tad behind, but still........ have not seen it in person.

    I think the touches of more modern styling will eventually pull apart the old rules. I'm not so sure that is a good thing, you should retain the part that is the culture that defines you. Both should be kept alive and supported.

    Japan has the same issues with Iron Chef and traditional vs new cuisine.
    Same sort of thing here.

    Many of the old time aquarist are getting too old, dying off, and the younger crowd might not have the same passion for the same rules. I think a concerted effort should be made to document and promote the method of the old ways. Diana Walstad did this for non CO2 aquarium plant tanks in the USA. I try for non CO2 as well as CO2 methods.

    I like Dutch scapes more in most cases as they offer more to me as an aesthetic. Still, I like to blend and use elements of both.

    I'd be game if I come to NE to see various folk's tanks.
    Not sure when I'll get back to the EU or the UK, was there last year in Portugal.

    If some folks could collect light with a PAR meter, that would be of good use and comparisons. CO2/dosing varying day to day, week to week but the light is a fairly good variable to compare.

    Tom Barr
  8. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Thanks again for sharing, Marco. I'm loving the father and son team!

    Typically what fertilisers do these guys use? Off-the-shelf products, or DIY? Is NPK added to most?
  9. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Totally agree Tom. The total level of typical Dutch Style Aquariums in the National Championship is gradually declining. With the older people been taken from the hobby, and the high adoration for Nature Style amongst the young people; the spiral is going downwards.

    This is also due to the fact that the whole NBAT organisation is strugling with modern times. Like I described; the total amount of organized hobbyists has drastically declined. They simply did not find a way to keep the young people interested. The fact that an event like Vivarium had to be organized by people outside of the NBAT organisation says it all.

    In my opnion they should also find a way to embrase Nature Style, but in the mean time clearly seperate it from Dutch Style in their competition. But that will need a lot of changing. So far the A1 category was always called "for community planted tanks". They should consider making seperate categories for Dytch Style, Nature Style and maybe Other style.

    But than again; that would mean they would have have eleven categories.....

    Or even 12 categories when you keep the newly introdcued category for hybrids into consideration, which a lot of peopple still find appouling.
  10. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Me to, and I have the pleasure to visit this tank several times a year.

    Ah, another thing I forgot to mention.

    Like everything, this developped over time. Whilst a lot of home brewing was done in the earlier days, now we see more branded products. The biggest branded fertiliser in The Netherlands is currently Easylife with their full spectrum Profito and their additive Easycarbo.

    For the people with a bit more knowledge the cheaper powders are easily available in KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4. Of this I am not a huge fan, since to much people have no clue what they are doing.

    But than again, Easylife also provides N and P in bottles, same like iron additives.
  11. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Document everything, get as good pictures as you possibly can.
    I agree by keeping the style groupings distinct in the competitions, they can preserve and embrace both forms.
    It also gives the younger kids something to work on later afterwards.
    Good method for the collector also (Which most where in the past also).
    Hard to judge different styles on the same criteria, the various types, 12(?) is too many.
    ADA uses 1 category. I wanted to submit a marine planted tank, no aquascaping competition would allow it I am aware of. All plants/macro algae, just some salt in there.

    I think the more you display, document and detail the methods, the better and more chance it has at sustaining even if the trend is down today, that may change. Keeping plants/gardening/good observation skills are still the core values for planted aquariums, no matter what style, etc

    Most freshwater people have no idea about the marine plants, they do not know even how to judge such tanks, can the same also be said between the Dutch and NA style?

    I think promoting it and somehow making it more available, spreading it more aggressively beyond NE, is a good idea.
    Export that like ADA did for the NA.

    Pictures always sell well, so focus on getting good pictures. Then add the text.
    If you really wanted, make a small book and take the nicer pics and add them.
    Self publish etc.

    See if some of the older members have some older photo images you can copy from the 1940-1960's range, get some talk/feedback/yes, listen to old people talk about how it was back in "the day" 8)
    You'll be old someday too.

    Tom Barr
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  12. FishBeast

    FishBeast Member

    I had no idea that that the dutch style of aquascaping was so indepth. When I would look at a "dutch" scape I thought to myself "dutch mean a jungle type layout with no real focus on style". I was wrong!

    Because the dutch style scoring is so broad I beleive that aquarists can learn alot from the dutch style and perhaps should even before moving on into the nature style of aquascaping. By this I mean putting a strong focus on the parts of the aquarium which may not be visable in an online contest.

    I personally don't go much on so many rules though. I want to be able to express my own creativity regardless of what other people think. For example I never thought much of Karens AGA judging harshly of multiple moss species in aquascapes. (2009 she didnt judge so harshly which I was impressed about) as an example. This is because in nature I see multiple species of moss growing together all of the time.

    I love what you have said here George. I think you hit the nail on the head here.
  13. Brian Murphy

    Brian Murphy Member

    WoW! I really love them last pics from father & son, infact I love the Dutch style much more than Igwami. Love the layout, vibrant colours etc ...... any idea how the distributed Co2 in such large tanks and what filtration they had?
    AndrewH likes this.
  14. Marco Aukes

    Marco Aukes Member

    Sorry for the late reply, but better late than never....

    Myself I love every style, as long as it is done well. I mean, I can love to watch at a biotope tank just as much.

    The Co2 distribution is mostly linked to the filter flow back into the aquarium. Filtration differs from tank to tank, some have large sumps others have standard Eheim filters on them. Compared to Nature style standards and what is promoted on this forum as well, the water movement can be considered quite slow.
  15. bridgey_c

    bridgey_c Member

    this a great read Marco, thanks.

    Do you have any more info or good links on the technical side of keeping these fantastic tanks, co2 levels, flow rates and distribution, maintenance regimes etc?
  16. jfynyson

    jfynyson Newly Registered

    I started a thread on another forum (TPT) to try and learn the same exact thing.

    I basically said, "I would love to see a youtube (for example) build video or time lapse w/ maintenance and pruning techniques for Dutch styles like Amano does for his all the time....I believe things like that would regenerate the interest in the "aquatic gardening" style... ". HELP !:eek:
  17. paludarium

    paludarium Newly Registered

    Thanks to Marco, I visited the van Wezel family in April.

    This was Willem's tank:

    This was Fred's tank:

    The CO2 reactor was connected to one of the canister filters:

    The pH showed 8.61 because Willem forgot to refill the CO2 tank for a few days. 5023044_orig.jpg

    LondonDragon, Jose, tim and 1 other person like this.
  18. Ian Holdich

    Ian Holdich Global Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you for sharing Erich, and welcome to the forum, please stick around.
  19. haim

    haim Newly Registered

    Thanks again for sharing
  20. paludarium

    paludarium Newly Registered

    Very interesting, Willem told me that only about 10% of the aquarists in The Netherlands liked Amano style aquascapes, and the members in NBAT were declining because young people nowadays spent more time on digital devices say playing games on iPads or iPhones than learning aquascaping skills.


Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page