Design Science

Dive Into the Art of Aquascaping With a Volcanic Aquarium That Fits on a Desk

November 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

Caring for pets has a lengthy list of physical and mental health benefits, and studies show that folks who aren’t quite ready to commit to a rambunctious pup can find similar solace in a marine pal. The aquatic enthusiast behind Foo the Flowerhorn recently released a video series documenting the DIY building process for a home ecosystem, in addition to capturing the organisms’ intrepid natures. Conveying thoughtful methods for balancing inter-species relationships, the tutorial is also an example of aquascaping, or the art of aquarium design (dive into the world of competitive aquascaping here). Beginning with a 7.6-gallon aquarium, the…




Stunning Highlights from the 2016 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest

November 3, 2016

Christopher Jobson

#1 (Grand Prize) Takayuki Fukada, Japan / All images courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. Since the 1990s, an intrepid group of aquascaping artists have gradually raised the bar of what’s possible with the design of a traditional aquarium. Using only natural elements, the aquariums you see here are years in the making to ensure plants and animals all exist in harmony while trying to achieve merits on an exhaustive list of aesthetic criteria. Over 2,000 participants from 60+ countries submit designs for the annual International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) and here are some of our favorites from this year. The…




Awesome Aquariums: Winners of the 2015 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest

October 8, 2015

Christopher Jobson

#1 (Grand Prize) Takayuki Fukada, Japan / Courtesy IAPLC & Aquabase. © Aqua Design Amano Co., Ltd. While most people are satisfied with giving their pet goldfish some colorful gravel, a plastic plant, and maybe one of those bubbly treasure chests, the entrants to the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) have turned aquarium design into an artform. The massive tanks require years of preparation and are focused almost entirely on the aesthetic presentation of plants using only natural elements. The art of aquascaping is still a fledgling endeavor, first started in the 90s by Japanese wildlife photographer Takashi Amano….




The Incredible Underwater Art of Competitive Aquascaping

January 15, 2014

Christopher Jobson

Forest Scent, Pavel Bautin. Russia. 2010 IAPLC Grand Prize Winner Pale Wind, Takayuki Fukada. Japan. 2013 IAPLC Gold Prize Whisper of the pines, Serkan Çetinkol. Turkey. 2013 IAPLC Top 27 Verve!, Chow Wai Sun. Hong Kong. 2011 IAPLC Bronze Prize Way to heaven, Dmitriy Parshin. Russia. Wild West, Stjepan Erdeljić. Croatia. Georgi Chaushev, Bulgaria. 2012 IAPLC Top 100. Francisco Wu, Spain. 2012 IAPLC Top 100. Long Tran Hoang, Vietnam. 2012 IAPLC Third Place. 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…



A Colossal


Sailing Ship Kite