How Aquascaped Aquariums are Judged

I thought it would be interesting for Aquascapers to know how the entrants participating in the big Aquascaping World competition are judged. I cannot see why we should not strive to reach these heights. Hopefully we can help to create a group of aquascapers enthusiastic enough to want to enter next year’s competition!

Anyone out there, are you up to it?

Here are the criteria:

 

AQUASCAPING WORLD COMPETITION JUDGING CRITERIA

Planted Aquariums Judging Criteria

1) Layout Design/Composition (25 Points)

  • Overall impression is of balance and harmony
  • Visual balance present from colors, plant arrangement, and hardscape
  • Layout space is used effectively without distracting shadows, gaps, or a feeling of confinement in the layout, plant arrangement and/or hardscape.

2) Artistic Creativity (25 points)

  • Imaginative Layout
  • Impression of depth throughout layout
  • Plants are planted, trimmed and maintained purposefully and effectively
  • Special finishing techniques for final photo, i.e ripples, removed equipment,  lighting effects, etc.
  • Innovative use of plants, hardscape, and/or visual elements
  • Photo captures natural activity and movement of fish and fauna

3) Plant Health/Aquarium Conditions (20 points)

  • Layout contains healthy aquatic plants
  • Plants grown to maximize their colour, leaf density and texture
  • Algae is not present

4) Hardscape Use and Impact (20 points)

  • Proper choice and use of hardscape materials, stones, driftwood etc.
  • Would a hardscape-less aquascape benefit from adding composition materials
  • Hardscape is naturally integrated with plants and layout design
  • Arrangement of hardscape is appropriate and benefits the layout

5) Aquarium Ecology (10 points)

  • Proper selection of fish and inverts to complement aquascape
  • Schooling fish are photographed in schooling formation
  • Solitary/dominate fish are photographed at best angle
  • Fish appear comfortable and natural in the layout

Biotope Aquariums Judging Criteria

1) Layout Design/Composition (40 points)

  • General impression is of balance and harmony
  • Visual balance present from colours, plant arrangement, and hardscape
  • Layout space is used effectively without distracting shadows, gaps, or a feeling of confinement in the layout, plant arrangement and/or hardscape
  • Biotope appears natural

2) Biotope Accuracy (30 points)

  • Fish/invertebrates are native to Biotope’s region
  • Plants (if any) are native to Biotope’s environment
  • Other elements of the Biotope composition (stones, water colour, sand, gravel, driftwood, dead leaves etc.) are accurate to Biotope’s authenticity

3) Aquarium Ecology (20 points)

  • Proper selection of native fish and inverts for the biotope
  • Any Plant and fauna live are visually healthy
  • Schooling fish are photographed in schooling formation
  • Solitary/dominate fish are photographed at best angle
  • Fish appear comfortable and natural in the layout

4) Overall Impression (10 points)

  • Wild and natural feeling contained in the layout
  • Representative of a native waterway
  • Level of difficulty

 

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