art, science and business of aquascaping

Aquascaping Styles – Tank on Fire #6

Aquascaping Styles | Tank on Fire #6

Hello, this is Art Pennom, and you’re listening to the tank on fire podcast. Good morning. Thank you for being here. I’m very thankful that you’re taking some time out and hopefully starting your day or at some point in your day. Taking a few minutes to, to talk today. It’s a wet day and I hope you’re not listening to the rain drops falling, but in case you do my apologies, I’m recording inside of a car this morning.

[00:00:28] So, you know, you make, do with what you got. Anyway, I hope you’ve been enjoying these podcasts, been about a week and I’m enjoying producing them. I’m hoping you’re getting some value out of them as well today. I thought we’d talk about at a high level aquascaping styles. You hear that a lot everywhere.

[00:00:49] And I think it’s important to understand what they are to use them well, but not to be constrained by them. Just like in painting and I guess other visual arts as well. Well, the, there are styles that develop over over time. Those styles may be because a group of artists are all painting in a certain way and that’s, what’s Vogue.

[00:01:13] That’s what the public wants to see. So it’s trends almost. So we have the impression, yeah, the realists gosh. I wish I knew more about art that I can tell you, but you know what I’m talking about. So very similar styles have evolved, I think, in Aqua scaping as well. One of the older forms is the Dutch style of Aqua escaping.

[00:01:36] And that is exemplified by a very. Ordered rows of plants all together in a tight formation, very similar to the row houses in the Netherlands with different colors. It is a very difficult Aqua scaping style to really pull off. Well, there’s a lot of rules and probably is the best defined.

[00:02:03] Aqua scaping style that we have simply because it was used back in the day to judge Aqua scapes. And so the judging that took place in person, people would actually go to different people’s houses, followed a strict guidelines that were established, I guess, over time and agreed to. To be honest with you.

[00:02:23] I wish there was some sort of organizing body that did put some rules to these Aqua scapes. Much like there’s rules for judging dogs. The AKC, I think it’s called establishes those rules. I wish we had something like that. Maybe the AGA or, or somebody would come out with some guidelines for particular styles and help everybody out.

[00:02:48] However we know that the Dutch have that the, another old one is there nature aquarium style, which was obviously popular popularized by Taka Shimano of Aqua design Amano. He passed away not too long ago, but it’s really the godfather of modern Aqua scaping his timing and talent. We’re impeccable and really pushed Aqua escaping to a new level that it continues to grow from an fortunately, we lost them too, too soon, but that is a style that really tries to be an idealic representation of nature.

[00:03:27] Meaning you likely will not find. What you see in his nature aquariums in real life in nature. But you kind of hope you would and that’s, and what it does do, even though it may be an idealic representation, it does create inside of the viewer, the same type of feeling that you get. When you’re staring out in nature into some majestic landscape scene that feeling longing, that you find that you that’s in your pit of your soul inside of you is created by looking at some of these Aqua scapes and, and hence the name, nature aquarium Difficult to pull off.

[00:04:11] Well, he also popularized the iwagumi style, which is another very popular one that if you type that into Google, you will find many, many examples of George Farmer is my friend and great pro Aqua Escaper. And one of the best at the iwagumi. The formal iwagumi. So that is in my opinion, takes some of its foundations from Japanese rock gardens and some of the rules rules as really explained and used by Amano.

[00:04:51]Follow traditional Japanese rock scapes. So it’s not exactly that it’s a sort of take away from that, but its foundations are in that, but it’s a beautiful, very serene style. And that is where I think we all started to look at things and go, Hmm. That Aqua’s scape kind of reminds me of mountain, a big rock scape, a cliff, and that.

[00:05:18] Evolved again, in my opinion, into the very heavy rock scape Aqua scapes that we see nowadays where it’s you’re looking at these mountain scapes very detailed in rocks and and cliffs, et cetera. There are a number of other Aqua scapes that do come to mind that are often seen such as the bio tope aquarium, which is really trying to Recreate what truly would be in nature.

[00:05:52] Biotope those are beautiful in their own. Right. But they do in fact try to build a replica of what you would find in nature, in the Biotote of typically the fish or sometimes the plants. So There’s a lot of examples to this that you can find if you type that in the risk with bio Tufts.

[00:06:13] And I know that the AGA has a biotope category how do I say this in a way that doesn’t put down those that like the biotopes I don’t mean to put you down in any way, shape or form. I think they have their own beauty. Maybe that’s how to say it. But you wouldn’t compare a biotope typically wouldn’t compare a true biotope with a wonderful example of an atrial aquarium or a Dutch aquarium.

[00:06:37] I mean, there, I guess they each had their own beauty, like we all do, so let’s leave it at that. There’s a combination Rockwood aquarium. By that, I mean, there’s rock in it. There’s also driftwood in it and there’s heavy plants. So  was one is one style that kind of focuses on that. To me, I thinking about that, I think of Mike  who’s done very, very beautiful work with those three.

[00:07:06]Items look him up. He he’s one of the owners of ADG. Obviously his brother, Jeff Senske is another wonderful aquascaper. So there’s. A lot of styles. If you look into them and I’ve written about them before, or if you go to escape, fool, you’ll find them. And I know every other people have written about Aqua scaping styles that will really pop up.

[00:07:30] If you do a Google search. There are other styles that are not as common as the ones that we’ve mentioned. So for example, an Island scape, which is one of my personal favorites is out there, but not often seen there’s the what I call the fruit stand. Other people are calling the jelly bean.

[00:07:50]It is a, just a wall of plants, mostly with different colors, kind of giving you the impression that it’s a bunch of fruit put together or jelly beans put together. It’s not quite a Dutch because they don’t follow the rigid organizational lines that you expect from a Dutch. But it’s beautiful in its own.

[00:08:13] Right. And quite challenging, to be honest, to have that, those contrast in colors and plants making that up. All the way to the jungle style. You got it. It’s collector riotous. Just throw it in there, let it grow out. And it looks just wild. So anyway there’s these formal styles that you should be aware of and get to know and, and figure out which ones you like, but you don’t need to be constrained by them.

[00:08:40] There’s no rule that says that to make an Aqua scape, you have to follow one of these styles. It may help you in the beginning to give you some guidance and some parameters, some guardrails to, to really follow and make it look good. But. There’s no reason you need to follow. You can make your own style.

[00:08:58]It could be a know style and still look good. I don’t think, and I, in fact, I’ll go more than that. I want to make sure that you don’t feel that the fact that there’s styles out there means that you are limited to one of those styles. You can truly just make your own or do a combination of those styles.

[00:09:21] In fact, please do so. It would be a very boring place if we just followed the regular. Style of what everybody’s doing. One of my biggest peeves with the current Aqua scaping contest scene is how the winning works all seem to be very, very similar, and everybody knows the formula and you follow the formula because, you know, that’s the formula that gets the most points.

[00:09:44] And so you end up with a contest full of these things. So I applaud those that think out of the box. There were some unorthodox. Really impressionist styles in some, in some of the latest I, a P L C contests with I applaud tremendously for pushing the boundaries. Thank goodness for them. So that keeps things moving forward and interesting.

[00:10:10] So. Think about the styles, learn from them, but don’t be constrained from them. That’s the message today. Okay. Now I want to close as, as I always do with reminding you to go to tank on fire.com and subscribing to the podcast, if you haven’t done. So it’s the easiest way to get it on your phone automatically.

[00:10:32] So when you just turn your phone on and we’re there, especially now that we’re putting out a daily. Podcasts. You’re not going to miss out. Also while you’re there, sign up for the fire tribe, you’ll get my free Aqua escaping analysis form in 30 minute audio explanation. I hope you find that valuable.

[00:10:50] Please give me feedback. And I’d love to hear from you to art@tankonfire.com. I’m going to leave you with a thought that As I’m trying to always do. Now, a thought that I think is one that Amano really put to us and we need to try and follow and I kind of modify a little bit. So that thought is the best teacher is nature itself and there’s depth.

[00:11:20] There’s wisdom in that. And if you think about it, we’re not just talking about Aqua scaping and in our aquariums, there’s a lot we can learn from studying nature. I think we, we need to focus on that and focus on the details of nature and the beauty that they contain. They really do teach us a lot and improve.

[00:11:43]Not only how we think, how we feel, but also our Aqua scaping skills. So my friend, I hope you have some value from this podcast and that you’ve enjoyed it. And I look forward to speaking to you tomorrow. MaƱana take care all the best. Bye-bye okay.

About the author

Art Pennom

Art Pennom is the founder of ScapeCrunch.com where he writes about the world of planted aquariums and aquascaping. In the past, Art founded AquaticPlantCentral.com, ScapeFu.com and the ScapeFu Podcast.

Art lives in Miami, Florida

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art, science and business of aquascaping

Art Pennom

Art Pennom is the founder of ScapeCrunch.com where he writes about the world of planted aquariums and aquascaping. In the past, Art founded AquaticPlantCentral.com, ScapeFu.com and the ScapeFu Podcast.

Art lives in Miami, Florida

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