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I want to see the "Forest Look" go out of style
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Laskey
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Joined: 27 Nov 2004
Location: Northern Germany

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)4:07    Post subject: I want to see the "Forest Look" go out of style Reply with quote

Man... I know plants are good, but lately, the people winning the aquascape contests are using so many plants and trying so hard to re-create "natural" that their tanks just aren't interesting. They certainly achieve their desired effect, if what you want to stare at is the bottom of some pond or river. I'm not against a lot of plants, and I realize there's an art to getting a certain "V-shape" or "slope" or "foreground" or "color balance", but these tanks just look depressing to me. And they've always got a bunch of uninteresting teensy fish in there for a foreground - they never keep very personable fish, which is what I'm interested in. It looks like they went wading through a pond, slammed a tank down upside-down, and slid a bottom under it. Yes I know it's very careful work, but that's the end result as I see it. What happened to interesting fish? What happened to the FISH being the focus? I love plants and all, but I keep fish so I can look at fish, and interact with fish, and keep fish as real pets.

I hope this fad goes away soon. It's not so much that I hate these jungle tanks, as it is, the fact that I'd like to see some real fish-oriented tanks winning the contests, so that I can gather ideas for my own decorating from them. I want pleasant aquariums that are well-decorated, which focus on the FISH - my PETS.

Just a vent, nothing to see here, carry on... Laskey
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Laskey
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Joined: 27 Nov 2004
Location: Northern Germany

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)4:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's an example to illustrate. Compare this dingy "natural" thing to my tank. And please be forgiving about my tank because I'd just pruned all of my plants when I took the picture.

This tank won the #2 place in some contest. This is NOT my tank. I don't like it at all.

http://www.aquabotanic.com/contest2004/tank_2/resized/front.jpg


My tank. Planted, eye-pleasing, but still lets you enjoy your fish:


Okay, it's freshly-pruned, and there's no "V-shape" or "slope" just yet, but it's interesting enough, and you can actually see my personable fish. Well, my camera sucks, so you can see my gourami and... I guess you'd have to see it in person. If only I had a better camera and had waited a bit after pruning to take the pic.

Lastly, no, I am not interested in competitive aquascaping. I know that taking a picture with my filter and heater visible is a no-no. Competition isn't my thing; I just want a pretty tank and happy, healthy fish, and more contest-winning ideas that I can learn from.
Laskey
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)5:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

so your against amano type setups. I personaly I think they have there charm but I agree I like a tank where the focus is the fish inside it. like this tank they had at the vancouver aquarium. it was a tall tank probably 2.5 feet tall. it had a large tall piece of driftwood in the middle of it and one dim spotlight. the fish were a bunch of ghost knife fish which looked amazing with the siloette of the light and there fins moving. plus there cool and facinating fish! personally I think you are trying to say that you like low or medium planted tanks instead of the plants everywhere type. that is why I think this months tank of the month is the best ever. interesting fish put with plants. its fantastic. also your tank is quite stunning. I would be very happy having a tank like that(mine is a low planted swamp I will probably have to throw out my hygro its so infested) well thats my 2 cents

andrew
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Laskey
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Joined: 27 Nov 2004
Location: Northern Germany

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)7:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fish should not be thrown in as an AFTERTHOUGHT. That's what these jungle tank SHOW enthusiasts seem to try to do.

"I'll just concentrate on getting the plants right, and obsess over that, yes, there's an art to it, and... and..." AND THEN add some teensy schooling tetras and THEN snap the picture.

When's the last time you saw Amano do a Red Devil tank?

Either you want to do a terrarium, or you want to actually have fish as pets. But what's with this crap, with people raising jungles and then sticking in a few tetras for a foreground. That's not how we real people raise our pets. There's nothing we can learn from, there!

Laskey
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LittleMousling
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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Location: WNY, USA

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)12:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

So should gardeners not put up bird feeders to attract pretty wildlife to their backyards?

First of all, lots of people like tetras and other "small schooling fish." And the clean-up crews for planted tanks - true SAEs are the otters of the fish world, absolutely the most fun fish on the planet, and I say that as a cichlid keeper! A big school of Cardinal tetras is about as fascinating to watch as a single Salvini, IMO.

Plus, plenty of people focus on both plants and fish. My most heavily planted tank ([url="http://www.finsout.com/125"]this one[/url]) certainly gets plant attention, but I'm keeping Tanganyikan cichlids in there - is anyone going to argue that I just threw fish in and care only about the plants? Hope not.

The plants provide a wonderful home for the fish: healthier water, tons of places to hide and spawn, easily-defined territories, shade, a natural feel and look, a constant food supply thanks to infusoria, leaf litter, and the like - plants are better for the fish than for the gardener!

Basically: just because you don't love the style (and I agree, that tank you showed (not yours) is horribly ugly - but there are a million incredibly gorgeous ones that deserve to be framed, have you looked through the tanks in the [url="http://showcase.aquatic-gardeners.org"]AGA contest?[/url]), why does that mean everyone else has to give it up? Some people like Red Devils; some people like school or Serpaes. Why is the Red Devil keeper correct, and the aquatic gardener doesn't understand "how we real people raise our pets"?! Ouch!

Here's the thing: putting fish in the tank? Anyone can do that. A photo of the tank doesn't, after all, prove the fish are in great health, just that they're in the tank. Anyone can put fish in a tank. Creating a work of art with plants is a real skill, and deserves to be rewarded. What is there to learn from "fish-only" tanks?



Why do you think the fish are an afterthought just because aquatic gardeners aren't keeping the same fish as you? I doubt anyone says that people with tanks like yours aren't real hobbyists because the plants appear to be thrown in as an afterthought.[/url]
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Francheska
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Location: New York City

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)13:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
I agree with LittleMousling and really admire people who take aquascaping to the next level, to the point where you can call it art.
I guess it
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@-McP
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Joined: 24 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)13:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess one could argue this either way in that plants are living organisms too and why should they be an afterthought just because they aren't an animal? some people enjoy the plant part of the hobby, others don't and love the fish. some people like watching one personable fish and others like watching the social interractions of a school shoal or whatever you want to call it. you have a valid opinion of course but may people will have other opinions Wink personally my ideal tank would be apistos, rams, discus, angels, and huge schools of neons and cories Very Happy heavy planting of course Laughing
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nonamethefish
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)16:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally like the natural tank type setups though I do find the continual use of certain species of fish a bit monotonous...but the reason they are always used it because they work best to compliment the art in the planted tanks.

I don't see anything wrong with being an "aquatic gardener". Its true that the plants are the main thing, but then the fish don't seem to mind do they? They are well fed, healthy, and colorful and may even succeed in raising fry in the dense planting.

My taste is a bit different in that I'm not too much of a fan of tetras. I personally like fish that are small, and most importantly do something interesting. Color is a plus of course, but more important to me is that the fish make some effort to show the colors they possess. Such as watching a montezumae swordtail spread his silvery white patterned dorsal fin in a challenge to another male or watching a killifish follow his mate in search of a suitable spawning site, or watching a bluefin killifish go over first the top and then the underside of a plant leaf looking for possible tidbits.

I wouldn't mind setting up a tank of that caliber(but don't seem to have the ability now...LOL). I would be very pleased if someone told me that my tank looked just like I had dug up a section of a river and plopped it into a tank. However, many of the planted setups don't resemble natural things at all(esp. Dutch theme tanks). "Amano style" actually takes things one see's in natural scenes(usually a forest or something similar) and then turn it into an underwater world...which is why it appears "natural". So you description forest style is quite apt...hehe

No one is there in a natural body of water to make little foreground plants grow in color coordinated rows of plants neatly marching up the side. Also, not very many aquascaped tanks have clumps of a single species and then piles of dead leaves twigs and a thick layer of mulm and detritus on the bottom. So "Natural tanks" are not very natural. If I had suitable trees(err...anyone grow any oaks? LOL) I wouldn't mind trying to create the impression of fallen leaves in my tank-instead of trying to organize some plants to form a lawn. At least it would be interesting Smile

Just my 0.02
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Taratron
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: AZ

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)19:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah. it's like describing what art is, and what art is not! Smile Must love the views and opinions, and here is mine.

I totally lack ANY talent to aquascape. For me, getting the plants to live is enough thus far, though I have tried on all of my tanks, as well as the zoo's (for those of you who do not know, I work at the Wildlife World Zoo in Phoenix, AZ), and no luck. My hornwort won't stay planted, the java moss unfurls everywhere like runaway sentient flags, and don't get me started on duckweed! I've tried stripping my tanks completely of fish to replant everything, only to have the plants pop back up as they want. My 29 gallon tank has no lid (indeed, none of my tanks at home do), and the reason I have no jumpers can be creditted to the twice weekly 50% water changes, and the fact that the there is a two inch thick hornwort and java moss blanket over the surface. Yes, one of my killifish could well try to jump out, but he'd need some good force to break this "natural lid." Wink

And then the zoo's tanks. When I came to the aquarium, we had hair algae everywhere, and no live plants to speak of save a few dying swordplants and a few crypts in the discus tank. Now the discus tank is getting very thickly planted thanks to the runners from some vals, more crypts, and hornwort. The rainbowfish tank, the elephantnose tank, the arrowana tank, and the freshwater stingray tank are all nearly overrun with floating hornwort. Now anyone who looked at ANY planted tank picture online would laugh at these tanks. They are not scaped in any way at all. My mind and hands either can't grasp how to scape, or I've subconsciously given up on ever doing so! What matters to me is that the fish are happy. If they enjoy bobbing through lakes of duckweed, so be it.

I keep my fishtanks and my plants for one reason, and that is to insure the lives I have I take care of. If my fish and plants are both growing, reproducing, and the like, I can think of them as happy, even if that is a wild assumption on my part.

Hence those who can aquascape, and those who can't, just let them float. Very Happy
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nonamethefish
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2004.12.31(Fri)21:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL...I need to post a photo of one of my utility tanks...

BTw Taratron, did the water lettuce work for you?

Here's how my tank looks now....


This would be what I consider its "best"


Far cry from an amano style tank but the fish certainly don't care...as long as I trim out the Najas regularly.

When the Najas overruns it looks something like this Embarassed
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