Tuesday, November 25, 2008

AGA 2008 Aquascaping Contest Results

This is the season of aquascaping contest results, and shortly after the ADA contest ended, so did the Aquatic Gardner's Association (AGA) Contest for 2008. This contest is divided up by tank size with separate categories for biotope aquascapes and paludariums. Each category has a top aquascape, and these are shown below:

Small (<70l)

Medium (70L-200L)
Large (200L-400L)
Extra Large (>=400L) & also Best In Show



It's been a great year for Peter Kirwan from Ireland, who placed in both the ADA contest and won 1st prize in two categories (Small and Large) of the AGA contest with his amazing aquascapes. For more of the aquascaping entries, check out the AGA 2008 results. There are some other great tanks that didn't take the top prize but are just as nice to look at!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Aquascape of the Week: Luis Carlos Galarraga's Colorful Island

It took a lot of self control not to pick one of the fantastic entries from the 2008 ADA contest, but I figured since I just featured them and all of you probably drooled over them enough already, it was time for something new. This aquascape comes from the 2008 AGA (not to be confused with ADA) Aquascaping contest and is the work of Luis Carlos Galarraga from Brazil. This layout is a classic "mound" layout and the colors are beautiful. The different shades of green and red and gold come together to form what looks almost like a bouquet of flowers. The Harlequin Rasboras placed perfectly over the middle of the mound add depth and interest. The whole aquascape leans more towards the Dutch style, with its use of vivid colors and textures, but maintains a Nature style base. For more specific info on the aquascape, including tank size, lighting, and plants, check out the entry page on AGA.

Friday, November 21, 2008

ADA International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2008: Entries 11-20

These just keep getting better and better. This year, I really feel like entries 2-20 are just as amazing if not more amazing than the grand prize winner. Here are entries 11-20 in the 2008 ADA Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. There are some really unique aquascapes in these, the most amazing (to me) is the 12th place entry. It looks and feels exactly like a tundra landscape in the summer, complete with fir trees, a flock of birds, and scrubby grasses. Click on the image for a larger version. Here's the post with entries 1-10 of the aquascaping contest.





Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Glossostigma Themed Aquascaping Contest

Over at ADA Thailand, they've posted some pictures of the results of their themed aquascaping competition called Beautiful Glosso. All of the aquascapes contain Glossostigma elatinoides, which is an old favorite of Takashi Amano for a carpet-like ground cover. The tanks are also all smaller sized tanks. There are some very interesting nano aquascapes here, worth a look! You can also check out the winning aquascapes for 2007's nano aquascape competition.

I've personally found that Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC) is a slightly better ground cover for smaller tanks, since the leaves are smaller and it requires slightly less maintenance. One thing to note about both ground cover plants is that eventually, they will begin to grow on top of themselves, killing the older growth and uprooting the remaining plants. This causes "bubbles" in the carpet to form. I haven't yet found a way around this other than to rip up the carpet and start over. Luckily, this usually doesn't happen for at least 8-12 months, depending on the growth rate.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Aquascape of the Week: Justin Law's Walking Aoyama

This week's aquascape is called Walking Aoyama by Justin Law. It's quite a contrast from last week's aquascape, and is more of an iwagumi style. The most striking thing about this aquascape, for me at least, is the elevation. To get the substrate to stay in hills like that is extremely hard but very very rewarding if managed. It emulates a grassy hillside and is very relaxing to look at. Hemianthus callitrichoides (HC) makes up the majority of the plants in the aquascape, with some moss hiding here and there. This aquascape actually inspired me to make my own iwagumi style layout using HC and rocks, and let me tell you, it isn't easy! For more pictures, visit Justin's Walking Aoyama photo album.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Aquascape of the Week: Luis Navarro's 75 Gallon

Starting a bit of a new feature with a weekly aquascape chosen by me for it's beauty and inspirational qualities. This week's is a 75 gallon tank designed and created by Luis Navarro. The main design element of the tank is the open sand foreground and the low maintenance plants. There are no stem plants in this tank, but lots of crypts, moss, and anubias. The overall effect is a mesmerizing and truly beautiful aquascape that blends aspects of the Dutch and Nature aquarium styles. For more information on the tank, check out the journal here. Enjoy!

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