The Dutch style tank is one of two of the most popular Aquascape styles being used around the world. It is one of the oldest techniques in underwater landscaping wherein the focus of the design is on the arrangement and growth of aquatic flora. What makes it different from Nature Style Aquascape is that the design does not imitate a particular environment or a natural scenery.
The main attraction in a Dutch landscape are the underwater plants. The aquascaper must be able to select the right plants, combine them and organize these so that the end result is pleasing to the eyes. There is an extensive amount of learning and research required in order to have at least the basic knowledge in gardening. This is essential for the maintenance and growth of the underwater plants.
Distinct Style of Dutch Style Tanks
What is distinct about a Dutch Style tank is the abundant amount of plant life in its design. A variety of plant species is put together which comprises around 70% of the entire scheme. There is very minimal use for large rocks or driftwood in this style. The contrasts in their texture and color of the aqua flora are the highlight of each masterpiece. The plant species should be chosen carefully so their different characteristics will produce a tasteful combination that is exceptional.
Since this aquascape style doesn’t follow a particular form, it does have a distinct appearance. The technique called terracing is applied to this style. In this technique, the plants are positioned in such a way that it creates levels. The shorter plants are lined up in front. In center and back section of the tank, the plants are arranged gradually to create visual layers. Plants of contrasting colors are typically placed in a group to create a focal point in the design. The entire layout of the plants should look organized whether it is being viewed from the top or from a frontal view.
Ideal Plants to Use in Dutch Style Tanks
The Dutch Style technique requires specific plants to create the tiered look. Therefore, the plant species must be carefully selected to create this kind of visual.
The Saurus Cernuus and Lobelia Cardinalis are species that are short and grow very close to the bottom of the tank. These are ideal to use if you want to make a pathway or an illusion of depth in your design.
Limnophila Aquatica and Hygrophilia Corymbosa are plants that are perfect for borders by placing them on the sides or in the corners of the tank. These are outstanding because of their large stems that grow very quickly. They contribute to the creating the size and shape of your overall layout. These will need extra pruning, though.
The Cryptocoryne are the tiny, basic plants typically used to fill in the background of the seascape.
Tiger Lotus, Rotala, Ammania, and Alternanthera are big and colourful plants that provide the contrasting hues in an underwater scenery. They create the interesting focal point that really catches the eye.