Dutch aquascape

The Dutch were the first to fall in love with the vivid diversity of underwater plants in the mid-1970s and got interested in a new style of aquascaping — the Dutch aquascape. The rich foliage in such an aquarium is pleasing to the eye, while the fish are either nonexistent or few. Plant gardens can contain uncommon and sensitive species, necessitating the installation of additional equipment. I’m going to tell you about it next…

Design of Dutch aquascape

Plants are usually placed in groups, and the diversity and health of the plants serve as the major ornament. However, you’ll need skill and understanding to keep your underwater garden looking nice for a long time. Preliminary preparation yields good results: sketch the future aquarium and put the necessary plants and decorations within it. Furthermore, the design will assist you in saving money by preventing you from being enticed to buy everything and even more. Additional embellishment will be provided by driftwood and stones.

A “path” of plants of the same species is frequently made in Dutch (especially big) aquariums, and it “runs” diagonally through the entire aquarium. Such a “way” is an adornment in and of itself, and it also adds to the sense of depth. Slowly developing plants are utilized to build the “way” so that it does not lose its shape after a few weeks. Lobelia cardinalis, for example, and Saururus cernuus. Experienced “gardeners,” on the other hand, are only limited by their imagination. There could be two or more of these “paths,” each with a different hue and structure and running parallel to one another.

Often, the spotlight is on a beautiful plant or a collection of them, which set the tone of a garden symphony with their luscious appearance. Ottelia ulvifolia, Eichhornia azurea, Echinodorus bleheri, Crinum calamistratum, and many others are examples. It’s important to note that they shouldn’t be put directly in the center of the aquarium; this will divide it into two symmetrical halves and impair visual perception. You should also keep in mind that “solo” plants can grow very large, and only plants that do not require a lot of light will survive beneath their leaves.


Plants for Dutch aquascape

They are the Dutch Aquarium’s main attraction, the exhibition’s focal point, and the object of appreciation. Experienced aquascapers, of course, have ample experience and knowledge, and their plant selection is limited only by their sympathies. What should newcomers do? Because the scope of the article prevents me from going into great depth on each plant, you should acquire clear answers to the following questions before purchasing it:

What are the requirements for growing this plant successfully (water temperature and composition, soil filling, lighting)? The answer to this question will assist you in determining whether a new acquisition will thrive in an existing aquarium and whether you can provide the necessary conditions?

How quickly does this species grow, and how tall can it reach? How much tank space will it require?
Do you want to buy this plant to put in the aquarium’s foreground or perhaps on the side walls? It is vital to determine whether or not this plant is appropriate for the area to be decorated.

Will this plant be blended (even aesthetically) with other members of the flora? What about the fish?
These queries can be answered by the seller or a plant reference book.


Because underwater plants take nutrients mostly through their roots, the soil in the plant garden, as well as the fertilizers, are required, with liquid fertilizers serving simply as supplemental feed. Special substrates can be employed if the soil is permeable, has adequate oxygen circulation, and provides easy access to nutrients. Fishkeepers frequently create many layers with a total thickness of up to 7 cm.


Some plants thrive in the shadow, while others thrive in strong lighting. This is owing to the varying photosynthetic intensity and oxygen requirements. The majority of light-loving plants will perish in the shadow.

How should the lights in the Dutch aquascape aquarium be organized? To begin, you must understand that the intensity of light is not as significant as the spectrum. Special fluorescent or metal halide lamps for plants that like the red (up to 700 nm) and blue (up to 450 nm) portions of the spectrum are available for purchase. To achieve illumination that is pleasing to the human eye, such lamps are frequently mixed with “daylight tubes”. It’s worth noting that aquarium producers save money first and foremost, and the wattage of the built-in bulbs is insufficient for a plant enthusiast. Usually, the height of a Dutch aquarium is no more than 60 cm; otherwise, the light will have a difficult time passing through the water column. The plants will start growing quickly in height, and the lower leaves become rotten and may fall off, detracting from the Dutch aquascape appearance.

Almost all of the plants used in Dutch aquariums originated from locations with 12-14 hours of daylight. In the aquarium, the same circumstances should be created. Light interruptions during the day are also unsatisfactory since they disrupt the photosynthesis process, causing the plants to suffer.


In addition to the conventional aquarium heaters and filters, the Dutch aquascape may have the following items:

  • Sterilizer using UV light, It’s used to prevent algae and harmful bacteria from growing. The UV lamp’s power is chosen based on the volume of the fish tank.
  • Control system for pH and CO2. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in the water with their assistance, and the degree of acidity is adjusted at different times of the day and during plant photosynthesis.
Planted Aquarium Tutorial - Easy Dutch Aquascape


Fish do not instantly stand out in the Dutch aquarium, which is a kingdom of plants. They simply add dynamism to a world of plants that is far too peaceful. Small tranquil fish usually live in the underwater garden and do not damage the plants. Guppy, Neons tetras, and others, for example. It is entirely dependent on your personal preferences. Many articles about aquarium fish can be found on tetrauni.