Dutch Planted Aquarium

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Dutch Planted Aquarium is a type of freshwater aquarium where the plants play a greater role in the aquarium than do the fish. Sometimes, the fish even completely omitted. From the Netherlands, Dutch Planted Aquariums came into global popularity during the Sixties of the last century. Until that time, aquarium keepers had concentrated on keeping fish in aquariums, with plants playing a relatively minor role.

Dutch aquarium planting style is for the more serious planters. The style tries to replicate a verdant garden, in all its green glory. An important element in this style is terracing or layering. You will find that the aquarium is divided into terraces, with different kinds of plants growing on different layers. The back of the aquarium will be higher than the front. The plants are the main focus of this display.

The traditional planted Dutch or Holland aquarium follows an orderly, often symmetrical arrangement, in which multiple types of plants having diverse leaf colors, sizes and textures are displayed much as terrestrial plants are shown in a flower garden. This style was developed in the Netherlands starting in the early 20th century, as freshwater aquarium equipment became commercially available.

It emphasizes plants located on terraces of different heights, and frequently omits rocks and driftwood. Linear rows of plants running left-to-right are referred to as "Dutch streets." Tall growing plants that cover the back glass originally served the purpose of hiding bulky equipment in the tank. Color, contrast, and the beauty of the individual plants is paramount.