The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin. Russia. 2010 IAPLC Grand Prize Winner

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Pale Wind, Takayuki Fukada. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Gold Prize

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Whisper of the pines, Serkan Çetinkol. Turkey. 2013 IAPLC Top 27

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Verve!, Chow Wai Sun. Hong Kong. 2011 IAPLC Bronze Prize

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Way to heaven, Dmitriy Parshin. Russia.

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić. Croatia.

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Georgi Chaushev, Bulgaria. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Francisco Wu, Spain. 2012 IAPLC Top 100.

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Long Tran Hoang, Vietnam. 2012 IAPLC Third Place.

The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping plants fish aquariums
Pilgrimage, Shintaro Matsui. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Fifth Place.

No, these aren’t exactly your childhood goldfish bowls. The world of competitive aquarium design, or aquascaping, is just as difficult, expensive, and cutthroat as any other sport but requires expertise in many different fields to guarantee success. Aquarium designers possess large amounts of expertise in biology, design, photography, and excel in the art of patience, as individual aquascapes can take months if not years to fully mature into a completed landscape.

The world’s largest nature aquarium and aquatic plants layout competition is the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) which annually ranks hundreds of competitors from around the world with Asian and Eastern European countries generally dominating the top slots. While it’s somewhat difficult to track down galleries of winners from every year, above are some amazing entries from the last few years. To see more, oh so much more, check out: IAPLC Grand Prize Works, IAPLC 2011 Top 27, IAPLC 2013 Top 6, IAPLC 2012 Top 200 (or here), and the first Eastern European Planted Aquarium Design Contest.