Thank you for your entries in this year’s contest! It was an honor to be selected to judge the Dutch category, thank you for having me. Rather than give the same comments to every entrant, I’ll give them here, as they apply to every entry.
The entries are all good examples of non-Dutch planted aquariums. However, if one follows the NBAT rules and the guidelines I’ve been given as a judge, none of the entries qualify as a true Dutch aquascape. Common errors are using too many plant species, not having good contrast between species that are next to each other, and in some cases sufficiently different heights.
I can tell the entrants take time and put a lot of care into their aquariums and they should be proud of them. Some of them look to be extremely high maintenance and would require a great deal of work to maintain in the current form, but if the owner is willing to put in the time to keep them that way, I wish them the best! When planning entries for next year, I would encourage anyone considering submitting to the Dutch category to carefully read the contest guidelines before planning the aquascape. Also, there are many good examples of NBAT champion aquarium online that can help finalize an aquascape.
Thank you again for having me, I enjoyed seeing your aquariums.