#573: 284.3L Dutch Aquascape Tribute

Gavin Carew Seattle, United States


The additional information says it is 'inspired by Willem and Fred van Wezel's aquariums.' The father and son duo are in my opinion two of the best in the world. Anyone would do well to study their tanks. Willem openly shares details about this tanks on Facebook. I strongly suggest following this tactic if you're considering entering your tank in next year's AGA contest.

So it's not surprising that this tank checks most of the boxes - right number of species restraint with red plants use of large-leaved plants a plant street the disappears behind another bush the use of curtain plants appropriate contrast.

Yet the tank feels somewhat off-target. Why?

The focal point (Echinodorus) is too close to the center. It would have been better if placed a little to the right. Street placement in the center divides the tank. Many of the plants are very recently trimmed giving the tank an immature and unsettled appearance. The back left corner is very dark. While it is fine to see the back wall there is simply too much back wall here.


PRO-TIP: there is a rarely discussed part of Dutch scaping that I call 'Days-to-Peak.' Understanding this and applying this knowledge would have greatly improved the ranking on this entry.

Days-to-Peak (DTP) is the number of days it takes for a species to grow to perfect height and volume after a trim. DTP is different for every species and every tank. Given your light CO2 and fertilizer dosing Ludwigia inclinata Pantanal may take only 5 days after a trim to reach peak appearance of perfect height and volume. Whereas Rotala may require 10 days. Knowing the number of days it takes for each of your species to reach its peak or best appearance after a trim is critical. Knowing this tells you when to trim each plant so they all reach the perfect height and volume when you are ready to photograph the tank for competition. Maintaining the same species for a few months without changing light ferts and CO2 and observing them daily while keeping excellent records will help you determine the DTP for every species. Experimenting with dosing or CO2 while getting ready for a competition means your DTP will keep changing. Without knowing DTPs for each plant entries will look too freshly trimmed or overgrown.

More scaping tips here: https://www.aquatic-gardeners.org/Articles/Vin-Dutch/
— Vin Kutty
The groupings are there but the Echinodorus and lotus are battling each other for the focus. Also the backside and both left side and right side would benefit from better planting.
— Marco Aukes
H. difformis could be higher at the back. In front it shows a little lack of light. The group of Ludwigia sp. red could be bigger and higher. Echinodoris bleheri could be moved more to the right. Technical equipment should be invisible.
— Bart Laurens

Aquascape Details

Dimensions 122 × 46 × 53 cm
Title Tribute
Volume 284.3L
Background Black paint
Lighting 36" Chihiros RGBW (first gen), 8 hours/day
Filtration Custom canister filtration
Plants Myriophyllum roraima, Hygrophila difformis, Vallisneria spiralis "Tiger", Ludiwgia natans, Pogostemon erectus, Eriocaulon Vietnam, Lobelia cardinalis, Echinodoris bleheri, Microsorum pteropus sp. "India", Nymphaea lotus, Vallisneria americana, Myriophyllum mattogrossense "Golden", Blyxa japonica, Aponogeton crispus
Animals 12 x Melanotaenia trifasciata 'Habgood River'
10 x Corydoras venezuelanus
3 x Crossocheilus oblongus
3x Otocinclus affinis,
Materials Mopani wood
Additional Information Inspired by Willem and Fred van Wezel's aquariums

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