Going Dutch by the book - tank sponsored by Tropica

Discussion in 'Journals' started by Pedro Rosa, 2 Sep 2015.

  1. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    2015 tanks are over (still have a final picture and video for post on Dark Land)!!!
    Holidays are over… just like I read on Facebook today: “September is the Monday of the Year”

    … so let’s start to work on something new.

    For me it’s really something new: a Dutch Tank by the rules… or so i think/wish/… only the future will tell.

    Thanks for Tropica interest in sponsoring the tank with their excepcional plants and Tropica Soil. I hope to make good use of there products. Thanks also for Aquaeden in Portugal, kind of the portuguese "home" of Tropica - it was where i started to get to know the products and learned a lot with Rui.

    Like you’ll see there’s some problems, yet.
    Many of you have done it and I hope to have good advices.

    This is a project for some months. I will probably feel the "need" to go back to NA in March/2016 or something like that... but that depends on the success of this one (if it's like i wish by that time). I like to have a sort of "schedule" so that goals are clear.

    I have this wish since the beginning of the year and although i made Dark Land in the meantime, this was already planned at that time.
    Why? Because i love this kind of tank! Because having to comply to certain rules gives be some challenges that Aquascaping doesn’t have.
    … and because they’re lovely tanks when they’re well done!

    I also want to continue to learn good trimming techniques regarding large bunch of stem plants and many different species at the same tank.
    Plants have different growth rates and having a tank with so much different plants, should be a challenge having it looking nice and balanced most of the time.

    and a Dutch Tank is really about the growth and arrangement of aquatic plants!!!

    On the last months i read some stuff about Dutch Tanks.
    Since the end of August i read some of those sources again.
    At the same time i’ve been having some other precious advices from a experienced aquarist.

    One of the best readings was from UKAPS: http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/crash-course-dutch-style-aquascaping.8713/, a very nice post from Marco Aukes.
    I’m not reapeating that post and other sources, but as most of you should know NBAT (Dutch Society for Aquarists) founded Dutch-style Aquarium (1930s) and wrote the rules. Their contests were great (they’re over?) and NBAT had a large number of members.
    It’s pretty good to know that those contests were jugded live, judges went to people places to see how everything was setup: room placement, electrical connections, aquarium healthy, plant related rules, etc.

    Thank God that i don’t need to comply with some contest rules! For starters I don’t have a “closet” like the ones used on Dutch Aquariums - you might remember seeing aquariums on closed closet with only the front glass visible, even the lighting was hidden away (today we have these sexy led lightings :)
    It was interesting to read that most of the aquarists used bottom fertiliser even on those days. I obviously will use it.

    So, what do I want?
    I want a tank with a good first impression, great plant contrast and a nice perspective and depth of field, knowing that this can only be achieved with… plants!
    I’ll probably won’t achieve some of these goals :rolleyes:

    From my readings and talks with someone used to this type of aquarius, I made a small rule list:
    - Tradicional focal points / rule of thirds. Red plants should be placed accordingly.
    - No two plants of the same color (similar colors shouldn’t also be placed next to each other)
    - No two plants with the same leaf shape should be placed next to each other
    - Plants should be placed in “streets”, wider at the front, narrow at the back, hiding away behind other plant preferably. This way a better depth of flied is achieved.
    - Plants can’t be repeated
    - Aim for good contrast but also simplicity.

    It’s obvious that a great number of plants are needed for making a Dutch on 120cm. The rule of one plant for each 10 cm (with ~50 cm depth) should be respected. Could have more, but not for much. I’ll have a little more then 12 :( -> It's a problem!
    Controlling all those plants is a must or there is a chaos waiting for me!

    One of the things it was more difficult to me was to get down from more then 20 plants i had listed and then to place them on the diagram.
    One of the most important rules are the plant placement and the colour and leaf shape. For this dimension i shouldn’t have more then 2 or 3 red plants and place them on focal points (following the rule of thirds)… and that must be achieved at the same time of other rules (no two identical plant colors and no similar leaf shapes should be next to each other).

    I can tell you that following the leaf shape rule is much more easier then the color rule! (strange but it was what i felt).

    Then we have the height of the plants that should also be different for plants next to each other.
    And finally we have fore/middle and background plants… and having these possible three rows knowing that plants should be placed forming “streets” of plants that will get smaller to the back of the tank... I think you see the difficult in planning a Dutch tank.

    Difficult for me… I suppose that other aquarists can make it easily.

    For fish what i think right now is a school of tetras and a small school of larger fish (i’m thinking of some rainbow fish). But there are other options (larger fish, etc).

    So this is the diagram:

    Tropica plants:
    1 - Murdannia Keijak
    2 - Rotala Macrandra
    3 - Pogostemon Erectus
    4 - Limnophila hippuridoides
    5 - Myriophyllum mattogrossense
    6 - Ludwigia Palustris
    7 - Heteranthera Zosterifolia
    8 - Crinum calamistratum
    9 - Cryptocoryne Petchi
    10 - Lobelia Cardinalis
    11 - Bacopa caroliniana
    12 - Taxiphyllum 'Flame'
    13 - Staurogyne Repens
    14 - Utricularia graminifoli
    15 - Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
    16 - Pogostemon Helferi

    Focal point: Rotala Macrandra and Ludwigia Palustris… red althernathera at the front can lead to Ludwigia at the back but this can also collide with the rule of two color plants next to each other (although they’re separated by Flame Moss) -> Opinions?

    Other Problems:
    - Limnophila hippuridoides will be behind Lobelia and close o Myriophyllum mattogrossense and Pogostemon Erectus... It’s a purple plant, that is a colourful plant, could be a problem for the two focal point made by Rotala Macrandra and Ludwigia Palustris? Or can make some kind of “connection” between both of them?
    - I'm seeing up to 4 strong colors in some well known dutchs, but they're 1,40m or 1,60m... so i could have a problem because i have four also on 1,20m
    - Lobelia behind UG… same kind of green?… and UG next to Bacopa caroliniana… almost same kind of green?
    - Finnaly(?) Staurogyne Repens in front of Crinum calamistratum… same kind of darker green?

    Any suggestions on growing Murdannia Keijak? Never done it!

    For now it's "only" this! Waiting for any good suggestions.
    Would really like to start the next week.

    Last edited: 2 Sep 2015
  2. alto

    alto Member

    Nothing constructive to add buuuuuuuuuut ;)

    Nesaea crassicaulis
    Micranthemum umbrosum
    Penthorum sedoides

    offer some different color shades
    (also does Tropica have anything "new" to test run in this tank?)
    alex08 and Pedro Rosa like this.
  3. tmiravent

    tmiravent Member

    Pedro, i love the conceptual and idea!
    It's really a turn!
    One of the things that spoted to me in the begining of the hobby was the tech and solutions that dutch style uses. Co2 with reactores and controlers igot from there...
    The rules and contest are very objective. I admire the aproche, a lot.
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  4. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    That was very constructive :thumbup:

    Nesaea crassicaulis -> I had to let go several red plants because i already have too much, like Ludwig Glandulosa, etc. However it's a very nice plant for a Duch.
    Micranthemum umbrosum -> Same kind of Bacopa, no? ... Only for that place.
    Penthorum sedoides -> Very good suggestion... if i really, really, need to substitute some colourful plant, this could be a winner... of for Murdannia Keijak ?!?!? Don't know...

    Thanks Tiago, I knew you would love the idea. Let's see what i achieve :nailbiting:
  5. parotet

    parotet Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Hi Pedro

    Subscribed! You may want to have a look to the Dutch tank of this guy, one of my preferred ones... Plenty of nice pictures on his Flickr. Hope it helps


    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  6. The_Iceman

    The_Iceman Member

    You got me with "dutch"!

    Count me in... ! Subscribed!
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  7. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    Jordi, I'm drooling... a lot! Crazy images...

    14573932640_b3615b8d52_k.jpg DSC_0115 by Stephan Mönninghoff, on Flickr

    Loved to see that he is using 3 red plants like i draw on the diagram. One of them is Althernathera on the front also!
    Have you seen the right side / front? (and the left and background also) ...

    At least 18 plants - including moss (I think!)

    Great inspiration! Thank you.

    OllieNZ and parotet like this.
  8. Andy D

    Andy D Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Looking forward to this!

    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  9. stu_

    stu_ Member

    Watching with interest.
    Good luck.
    I may be completely wrong,but I think red plants as a background are a no-no.
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  10. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    Stu, I've been watching some real Dutch Tanks with red plants at the back, as long as they're at one of the thirds. Maybe most of the time with moss walls at the back...
    Well... I'm still learning :)

    lorinczipisti and stu_ like this.
  11. Robert H. Tavera

    Robert H. Tavera Member

    León, Guanajuato, México
    Hy pedro, an interesting thead,, just some ideas:
    1.-In many dutch tanks there are like "classic" plants that You may add like hygrophila corymbosa and diformis.
    2.- In a dutch tank is ll about color and texture maybe you're missing plants with very interesting colors or textures like rotala wallichi or a grass like plant and a big bold leaved echinodorus.
    3.- all your plants are in the red, purple, green range... there are other colors like orange and brown.
    4.- I think in your design you're missing a dominant path
    5.- Look at Willem van Wezel's tank, how hygrophila goes from the front to the back of the entire tank.
    Last edited: 3 Sep 2015
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  12. Dantrasy

    Dantrasy Member

    My favourite dutch (and the tank that got me into the hobby) is '50 Shades of Red'. It did very well at AGA a few years back. The creator of this dutch helped me a lot as I was learning the hobby.
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  13. parotet

    parotet Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Love it too (http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org/2013/show513.html), as it goes beyond the standard Dutch tanks. It is a pity that the pictures look so artificial (too much Photoshop or tubes much too pink), there was probably no need to do so in such a brilliant layout

    Pedro Rosa and Greenfinger2 like this.
  14. Alexander Belchenko

    Alexander Belchenko Member

    I bet it's pink tubes, like Sylvania Aquagrow.
    Pedro Rosa likes this.
  15. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    Robert, thanks for those great tips.
    I'll wait for some more time to decide what to do/change, however the number of coloured plants I have is already greater then it should be for the size (this is 120cm!).
    Plants like Hygrophila was one of the candidates at the start...

    It's a great tank and i remember seeing the tank and the observations about the photos being to colourful.
    However this is not a dutch tank, it's "kind of a dutch tank". At the front I can count 5 red plants in a very small place. That being said, if i could make a tank with half the initial impact this one have, i'll be very happy :)
    I agree with Karen Randall comments.

  16. plutonow

    plutonow Member

    Hi Pedro,
    Nice planning and looks good, In my opinion You should start with this sketch, why because it is Your idea and You learn more.
    Always it is possible to replace some species, changing location, different trimming etc.
    Probably I will change few think: UG (14)as a first plan to end of left, less Pogostemon E.(3) for sure not so straight because You loss tank dept. maybe behind Lobella?
    Dutch tank (or some close of this style) It is what I like the most, for me No1:
    http://www.aquagora.fr/Bac-No-20 2

    All are creative and most important nice health plants.

    It looks You know rules of Dutch tanks, I read title but why do not break rules if You like it!?
  17. Martin in China

    Martin in China Forum Moderator Staff Member

    If you are not interested in entering any competition, break the rules.
  18. flygja

    flygja Member

    Penang, Malaysia
    Very excited for this. I have 3 personal dreams in aquascaping - 1. A large discus tank, 2. A large marine tank and 3. A large dutch tank. So happy achieving my 3rd dream!
  19. Pedro Rosa

    Pedro Rosa Member

    Linda-a-Velha, Lisbon, Portugal
    Thanks you very much.
    Regarding your suggestions: UG wast at the left just before making this last diagram bu i changed it because of Staur. being next to other similar-leaf plants; yes, less straight path would have a greater impact, thanks! don't know if when/after planting i would see that.
    Great inspirations!

    Probably i'll send it to AGA (Dutch category) but the challenge is also doing something classical!

    Easy... start buying more aquariums :)
  20. Edvet

    Edvet Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Lelystad, Netherlands
    Pedro Rosa likes this.

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice