The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2006

livionakano

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Well, since many of the pics of the winners of this year have already been available to see in internet, I am interested to know what was the general opinion, regarding aquascaping, strong points and drawbacks of the tanks, and the contest as well.

Regards,

Livio
 

Tom Barr

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ADA Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2006 Top 10 Winners

I think 6 and 9 are the best examples personally.
Too much red for the 1# winner, although it's a well done tank, I like the rock work in the tank.

I look for more for innovation rather than other areas.

I find most of the tanks seem contrived with respect to the fish, providing what Amano has done prior rather than anything remotely innovative => copy cat syndrome.

I understand mimicry a great deal, it's very useful in learning, but one should try to develop their own style, the judging appears to follow their own desires and aesthetics. It's their money also:)

This is how Amano became famous, not by copying what other aquarist did, rather, he copied what the Japanese gardeners did, just like the Dutch copied European garden methods/designs.

Applying these to aquariums is new, but the designs themselves should be judged based on all gardening types, not just what has been seen in aquariums.

If you have any doubts that Amano is not a copy cat with respect to Japanese garden designs, heck just look at them o line and if you cannot see the obvious adaptation, you might need your eyes checked.

So if you like designing etc, focus on the gardens etc, then try to move beyond the traditional, the expected.

1# is nice mind you, but it's not a "new design" for gardening really.
Rummy noses are nothing exciting, nice fish etc.
Plant species are nice a tad gaudy with too much red for my taste, but many like lots of reds. I mostly like the okho rock and angles in the display.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

reiverix

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I'm also disappointed with the results to be honest, for the same reasons as Tom . . .

but, I'd have to disagree about Amano being a copy cat. ADA is certainly a copycat, and there's only so much time I can spend looking through aquajournals before feeling annoyed. The Amano who made the Nature Aquarium World series though, was a true artist with real struggles and passion.
 

VaughnH

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No's 3,8,9,10 all feature a "stream" of white sand flowing from right rear to the front of the tank. They aren't the same, by any stretch of imagination, but they are certainly all derivatives of a common aquascape. This does't bother me. The contest was an ADA contest, for all practical purposes, so of course the judging would lean strongly towards Amano's latest ideas. And, all of those look absolutely spectacular to me. I know I will never try to duplicate any of them, especially the white sand part, but I really enjoyed them.
 

Frolicsome_Flora

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I thought they were amazing to.. but I have to wonder how good theyd look with all the inlets/outlets, I still think that some of our memebers tanks would give them a run for their money.. especially on effort spent, and lessons learned, and origionality.. especially the latter.
 

PaulB

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Can anyone help with a technical / scientific name or description for the following types of rock that are commonly used in Amano style aquascapes.

Manten-Stone
Seiryu-Stone
Shou-Stone
Ohko-Stone
Fuji-Rock

It would make it easier to locate a similar type of rock in your part of the world if we at least knew which of the three groups of rock (igneuos, sedimentry, metamorphic) these rocks were from.
 

Tom Barr

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Many of these names are from Japanese gardening.


If you doubt my comments as to Amano and the designs, you need to look much more into Japanese gardening and aesthetics. They are highly derived directly from this gardening terrestrial style.

Dutch aquascapes/ terrestrial gardening are no different there.
What is original is the application to the aquarium and use of the water plants.

Japanese gardens are designed not some much to be nature, rather the provide the sense of nature. They are also very well tended and manicured, the goal is often to make it look like no one has been tending it, but a well trained eye will see and note that it has.

I think many do not realize the amount of work that goes into a Japanese garden, terrestrial or the ADA tanks.

It's no secret, you need to trim, plan do lots of water changes and add nutrients and stay on top of things till you get that nice picture shot.

Many do things 1x week for their tank, if you want to get a nice pic, try 2-3x a week for several weeks

Dutch tanks are similar, in order to maintain those idealylic groups and rows, one must trim those plants often and carefully.

I think many folks believe these artist are somehow God like and that the common folks cannot ever achieve that level.

That's hogwash.
I've seen folks with 1 year or less of aquatic experience do extremely well with some hard work.

It's attainable, but you need to have enough passion and time to focus in on it.
You do not learn how to play then guitar without work and practice.

The best players are those that play often and passionately, they put in the time and do the work. If you do not want to, that is fine, but you know it's possible if you applied yourself. Same with photography, Amano excels there and took aquarium photography much further than anyone else had before him.

Amano put in the time there, I put in the time with uncovering science, the why and how, and of course some of the scaping as well as I'm sure Amano has done some on the science to some degree also.

I'm no god, nor is Amano, we both put in the work in our paths in this hobby, anyone that wants to, can also do the same and both of us would be supportive and helpful to that end. People get to where they are by hard work, luck and persistence.

You can too.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

reiverix

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The guy who does layouts based on African planes, African river sides, Chinese mountains, the ocean floor, a south east asian forest/streams, a meadow in the early spring, puddles, etc. is not a simple copy-cat of Japanese gardening.

As you said Tom, anyone can get good if they put in the time and effort-- but I think you sometimes underestimate how much time people have put in. I have definitely put in the time and effort to see Japanese gardening, and seeing it done in a number of places accross Japan face-to-face.

Yes I can see where Amano took the foundation of his intuition. But then, we all come from somewhere.

No, I cannot call the author of the Nature Aquarium World series a simple copy-cat of Japanese gardening. He's tried a lot harder than that. Yes, some are purely Japanese gardening, but some are not. Maybe you haven't flipped through his older work recently to refresh your memory that he's not always put out just the same type of scapes as in the newer ADA publications.
 

wiste

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They are all impressive.
I prefer 1 & 3 due to there visual complexity.
8 & 10 are clones.
2,6,7 & 9 are a bit too simple for my taste. They produce a good initial impression but lack the visual complexity to hold my attention.
6 is dominated by the rocks and the ferns do not seem completely developed.
 

Tom Barr

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GMF;14318 said:
The guy who does layouts based on African planes, African river sides, Chinese mountains, the ocean floor, a south east asian forest/streams, a meadow in the early spring, puddles, etc. is not a simple copy-cat of Japanese gardening.

Virtually every single scape I've seen has strong Japanese garden elements throughout. The gardens are not just based forested areas, they are based on savannas, grassy fields, plains. All of which are present in the Gardens and in Japan, as they are here in California or many places of the world.

The sky is the same no matter where you are after all.
Specific areas have different plants, some subtle things, but the Garden aesthetic does not require precise emulation of the model.
Far from it really.

As you said Tom, anyone can get good if they put in the time and effort-- but I think you sometimes underestimate how much time people have put in. I have definitely put in the time and effort to see Japanese gardening, and seeing it done in a number of places across Japan face-to-face.
Not hardly, it takes many many years. You might not know that I work for a client's who's entire estate is a about a 20 acre Japanese garden, the tank and lakes etc, I address. We have tops folks doing the work, I know and see it. Floral designers(4-6 at any one time also work there), architectsm, I work with many folks in design and art, not just aquascapes.

Yes I can see where Amano took the foundation of his intuition. But then, we all come from somewhere.

No, I cannot call the author of the Nature Aquarium World series a simple copy-cat of Japanese gardening. He's tried a lot harder than that. Yes, some are purely Japanese gardening, but some are not. Maybe you haven't flipped through his older work recently to refresh your memory that he's not always put out just the same type of scapes as in the newer ADA publications.

Perhaps you misinterpted what I meant, the design is not new, I did not say the execution is not effective. I made no comments to the past work the person has done, I'm looking for originality. Red, yes. The groupings? The rock work? Nothing the other folks in the contest had not done really.

You focused my comments too narrowly on this one scape, compare them the other scapes and think about the originality, the work the other folks have done as well.

I know how much work goes into it, copying ADA is not an easy thing in and of itself. But I think originality and different types of layouts really should be weighted very heavily. Dutch scapes also require many weeks of preparation and similar skill sets.

Another thing, is actually thinking about these tanks in person, not a mere photo(which can be enhanced to create an effect or it can ruin a look as well, the photography art is a skill set as well).

Regards,
Tom Barr