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2012 International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest

by TFH Magazine on January 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm

The February 2013 issue featured the top 12 winners of the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest. The contest ranks the best aquascapes from around the world. Here we feature an additional 14 high-ranking entries.

World Ranking #13

Su En Zong


Title: Scenic Stone Forest

Dimensions: W120 x D60 x H50 cm (W50 x D25 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: This is an iwagumi layout, which reminds one of scenes of “Guilin” or “Zhangjiajie,” known for their Karst topography in China. It seems even the height and arrangement of stones are meticulously calculated. Although the usage of aquatic plants is unique, and they grow nicely, it would be difficult to maintain this beautiful condition for a long period. This point could be a drawback of this layout.

World Ranking #14

Robertus Hartono


Title: Reaching

Dimensions: W90 x D45 x H45 cm (W35 x D25 x H25 inches)

Evaluation: The layout consists mainly of stones, and some trees made with driftwood and mosses are arranged inside the aquarium. This kind of expression is a very common layout style. But the image of trees reminds us of pine trees, taking roots in a steep rock mountain, and this became a unique way of expressing natural feel in the aquarium layout.

World Ranking #15

Timucin Sagel


Title: Stairway to Heaven

Dimensions: W100 x D60 x H45 cm (W40 x D25 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: This layout looks like a picturesque scenery or a stage setup and leaves a unique impression. The layout does not look like natural scenery, but an artificially created landscape. It is not easy to make a grading for such a layout, but it seems the beauty of the whole layout and the appeal of composition are accepted favorably by juries.

World Ranking #16

Bernice Sim


Title: Elusive Plateau

Dimensions: W100 x D45 x H45 cm (W40 x D20 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: The creator succeeded to make a powerful layout by placing a large stone in the foreground. The simple foreground covered by cosmetic sand also emphasized the existence of stone. The white sand, extending to the background, is also effective in emphasizing perspective in the layout. The position of fish is also good.

World Ranking #17

Hidekazu Tsukiji


Title: A Hill with Sweet-Scented Wind

Dimensions: W120 x D45 x H45 cm (W50 x D20 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: What attracts the eye to this layout is the expression of driftwood integrated with stones. By coordinating the stone arrangement with driftwood shape, the creator tried to express a sense of unity, using mosses and Hygrophila pinnatifida. The composition and aquatic plant condition are also good.

World Ranking #18

Luis Carlos Galarraga


Title: Apnea

Dimensions: W120 x D45 x H45 cm (W50 x D20 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: This is a typical Nature Aquarium layout style without any eccentric rendering. Perspective is created by arrangement of stones and planting design. The position of fish, as well as layout composition and open space, play an important role of making a stage effect of water flow. This is a high-level layout, meticulously designed in details.

World Ranking #19

Leandro Artioli


Title: Unknown Way

Dimensions: W60 x D30 x H30 cm (W25 x D10 x H10 inches)

Evaluation: Despite a relatively small 60-cm-wide aquarium size, perspective is skillfully expressed by the layout composition and plant arrangement. In order to cover the short depth of the aquarium tank, the creator tried to create perspective by making a mound of substrate in the back and emphasizing the height difference between the front and back. This layout is created in a careful manner, even in the details of the four corners of the layout.

World Ranking #20

Piotr Dymowski


Title: The Virgin Stream

Dimensions: W120 x D60 x H50 cm (W50 x D25 x H25 inches)

Evaluation: The creator used the driftwood in a unique way and succeeded to give a soft impression to the layout with the use of selected aquatic plants. Perspective is effectively expressed by the white sand in the center. But the condition of foreground plants was a minus for this layout.

World Ranking #21

Wei Cheong Chung


Title: Titiwangsa

Dimensions: W150 x D60 x H45 cm (W60 x D25 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: Despite its title, a mountain range, the impression depicting the nature in details came as the first impression. The use of white sand extending from the foreground to the back is a standard layout technique, but the forefront line of sand should have been neatly leveled. An uneven front line gives a crude impression to the whole layout.

World Ranking #22

Katsuki Tanaka


Title: After the Rain in Mountain

Dimensions: W120 x D45 x H45 cm (W50 x D20 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: The composition and coloring of the layout create a picturesque impression. Beautiful red platy fish look like falling petals or colored maple leaves, but some people may not like such a stage effect. The composition of layout, emphasizing the perspective, is excellent.

World Ranking #23

Xue Hai


Title: Untitled

Dimensions: W242 x D90 x H100 cm (W95 x D35 x H40 inches)

Evaluation: The natural look of this layout is created with an impressive use of driftwood and ferns. The composition of the whole layout is good, but the left side of the layout looks incomplete. The layout would look much better by covering the back corner of the aquarium tank with more plants.

World Ranking #24

Piotr Beczynski


Title: The Late October

Dimensions: W90 x D45 x H45 cm (W35 x D20 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: In this layout, perspective is expressed by arranging twiggy driftwood in an arch style and having an open space in the center. Although some cosmetic sand is used, most of it is covered by aquatic plants and seems to be left unfinished. Despite the good condition of the aquatic plants, the condition of the white sand is a big drawback of this layout.

World Ranking #25

Cheng Jingqiu


Title: Glade

Dimensions: W120 x D60 x H50 cm (W50 x D25 x H25 inches)

Evaluation: The trees are created by driftwood and mosses. The intention of the creator is clearly conveyed with the image, but all the trees seem identical and they look like an artificially created tree-lined road. It is also regrettable that there is no difference in the sizes of the trees and perspective is not well expressed.

World Ranking #26

Haruji Takee


Title: Ryuoh Valley

Dimensions: W180 x D60 x H60 cm (W70 x D25 x H25 inches)

Evaluation: This iwagumi is one of a few standard Nature-Aquarium-style layouts among top prize winners. The layout may lack originality, but all the layout elements are well organized in its orthodox composition. The biggest drawback is the growth condition of aquatic plants.

World Ranking #27

Quan Nguyen Minh


Title: Green Paradise

Dimensions: W120 x D50 x H45 cm (W50 x D25 x H20 inches)

Evaluation: This layout reminds us of a scene in an unrealistic sci-fi movie. But the idea of floating rock was also seen in last year’s contest, and it is nothing new. Focusing on fundamentals of layout should be the priority rather than putting effort into the creation of an eccentric-style layout.

For a complete list of all the winners, please visit the official International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest website.

Posted in TFH Extras by TFH Magazine on January 24th, 2013 at 2:02 pm.

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