Some of the winners of last month’s International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) – the painstaking and eye candiful result of years of preparation and botanic husbandry. The art of aquascaping was started in the 1990s by Japanese wildlife photographer Takashi Amano but has come a long way since. This year’s contest attracted 2,545 entries from 69 countries. The judging criteria are comprehensive and strictly applied, to wit:
The scoring of each aquarium is based on a complex matrix of six criteria: the recreation of natural habitat for fish; the creator’s technical skills; the long-term maintenance of the habitat; the originality and impression of the layout; presentation of natural layout; and the overall composition and planting ‘balance’. Participants face severe penalties for reconfiguring elements from their own past entries, stealing ideas from others, and using plants that may not last long-term in the environment presented.
The winning aquarium was ‘Longing’ (top pic) by Takayuki Fukada from Japan.