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Build Thread Long-winded ramblings about Dutch-style aquascaping

Nov 11, 2022
99
233
Renton, WA
Hey, I'm Gavin, thought I should start a thread here after some prodding from Mike. I currently have a high-tech 75 gallon that I'm trying to get into shape as a Dutch tank.

I entered the GSAC but my tank was just not in good shape when the deadline came around. It's currently in a bit of an awkward middle state with too many species, but also some traditional Dutch hallmarks.

My tank is overgrown after a week away. I'm pulling some plants to sell today so I snapped a quick pic pre-haircut:
PXL_20230508_183615696.jpg
 
Gavin, thanks for posting it! Looks like you have a great start to a Dutch, very impressive.

Please consider setting up a Build Thread badge so that people can find your build thread easily. Can't wait to see how it comes along.

I'm always curious with Dutch aquascapes, what is your trimming routine? Weekly with water changes to get the plants into their right shapes?
 
Gavin, thanks for posting it! Looks like you have a great start to a Dutch, very impressive.

Please consider setting up a Build Thread badge so that people can find your build thread easily. Can't wait to see how it comes along.

I'm always curious with Dutch aquascapes, what is your trimming routine? Weekly with water changes to get the plants into their right shapes?
I generally do a weekly trim and 70% water change. If I'm entering a competition, I try to switch that up to 15-30 minutes of trimming per day. You never know when a rotala stem will suddenly decide to grow sideways, and you have to get that early or it can hurt the growth of the entire bush.
 
Looking good man! Are you gearing up for AGA this year? Yours last year just needed bigger, fuller groups (like mine always do, lol) and one less focal plant. Just a small tweak or two from being really good. Should definitely enter again
Thanks! I think I'm going to have a go this year. Last year was a bit of a disaster. I couldn't find the plants I wanted, and the plants I was growing were not particularly healthy. Plus, it just wasn't a great layout. I am still figuring out how to create depth in a very tall tank like a 75. It took me two years of concerted effort at the Dutch style before I got a decent scape back when all I had was a 22 gallon long. There's a natural learning curve to learning how to use the tank's dimensions well.
 
Th
This is the light I'm considering for my new tank. Keep hearing the light is great but the app is terrible. Weighing it against the Chihiros.
The Version 3 Bluetooth has improved the app performance a good bit and they have put additional updates out recently. It appears they are making a good effort to become competitive.
 
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Made a few changes that are gonna look awkward until they grow in. The hygrophila serpyllum is not high enough in the back, but it grows like crazy so hopefully it will look fuller soon.

The Ludwigia repens 'Rubin' and eleocharis montevidensis still need to be moved a bit to the right, I think. The crypt Jacobsenii 'Pink' is also maybe a little too red, so I might switch it out for crypt wendtii 'bronze'.

Any thoughts on the piece of wood with subwassertang? Is it too much like the eleocharis in it's verticality?
 
I can see where youre headed, looks good! Yeah you'll want the rubin more directly behind the eleocharis to make it really stand out.

Color aside, the problem with jacobsenii is it doesnt really ever get thick. You can scoot a bunch of them together but its not a great plant to use in a Dutch ime. Wendtii brown is probably gonna lay flat as a pancake under strong light. Id go with something a little more poofy
Any thoughts on the piece of wood with subwassertang? Is it too much like the eleocharis in it's verticality?
Yeah it doesnt really work being vertical like that next to the grass. You could turn it sideways a little and use it as a quasi-street somewhere
 
Color aside, the problem with jacobsenii is it doesnt really ever get thick. You can scoot a bunch of them together but its not a great plant to use in a Dutch ime. Wendtii brown is probably gonna lay flat as a pancake under strong light. Id go with something a little more poofy
PXL_20230408_021201005.MP.jpg
This is from a few months ago, the crypt Jacobsenii was growing in pretty thick. But I removed about half to sell and got a new light since then. It went through a big melt and so far has not bounced back like I was hoping.

Good point on the log though, I'll see how it looks more horizontally.
 
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Welp, I have too many plants. I'm at 21 species (many are singletons or hidden) and I need to get down to 12ish. This is always the hardest part for me. The good news is I have ample plant matter so my tank won't seem as empty as it did last year barring any major mistakes.

I guess I'll start by getting rid of the ones that aren't growing well, then rearrange with what I have left.
 
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