Amazing aquascapes from the IAPLC 2014

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The International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest saw a record number of entries this year. Here are some of the aquascapes that made it into the top 20 along with the judges' comments. Check out the February 2015 issue of PFK for this year's Top 7.

8th

Truong Thinh Ngo, Vietnam

Title: Nature’s Melody (pictured above)

Aquarium: 120 × 45 × 40cm/48 x 18 x 16in.

Comments: This layout features the bold use of large, thick driftwood. A dynamic aquascape is successfully achieved by bringing out the best of the driftwood. Its arrangement of aquatic

plants mainly using epiphytic and tape-like species produces a natural feel. Large angelfish make this aquascape more powerful and impressive.

9th

Nichole Wong, Hong Kong

Title: Journey.

Aquarium: 120 × 45 × 45cm/48 x 18 x 18in.

Comments: Unique stones are used as a layout material. A good balance in the size and arrangement of stones leads to a great presence of the composition. The cosmetic sand from the foreground towards the inner side of the centre adds a bright touch and

depth to the layout and further emphasises the stone composition. Aquatic plants used match the texture of the stones.

10th

Chao Wang, China

Title: Kingdom of Spirits.

Aquarium: 150 × 55 × 45cm/60 x 22 x 18in.

Comments: Thin trees stretching the length and breadth of this layout are reminiscent of ivy and aerial roots hanging in jungle. The trees are entwined so that not even a hand can get through, giving an impression sight of untouched nature in a lush jungle. Two lines of cosmetic sands followed by an open space add a bright touch.

11th

Masashi Ono, Japan

Title: Beautiful autumn.

Aquarium: 114 × 52 × 52cm/46 x 21 x 21in.

Comments: The use of different colours of aquatic plants is impressive. The contrast of bright red stem plants and dark green mosses is very beautiful. The composition surrounded by stones produces a unique visual effect and the shade of stone firms up the impression of the aquascape. Sawbwa resplendens add grace to the aquascape.

12th

Serkan Cetinkol, Turkey

Title: Meet up the winds.

Aquarium: 120 x 45 × 45cm/48 x 18 x 18in

Comments: This layout depicts a realistic landscape of a lake surrounded by forest and sheer rock mountains. Perspective is emphasised by the contrast of the large tree in the left front and the forest at the back, creating the illusion of a natural landscape. It feels undeniably odd to see fish present in such a terrestrial landscape.

13th

Katsuki Tanaka, Japan

Title: Great waves of wilderness.

Aquarium: 120 × 45 × 45cm/48 x 18 x 18in.

Comments: The repeated use of driftwood in the same pattern is impressive. Perspective is emphasised by the contrast of large driftwood in the front at both ends and very small pieces at the back in the centre. Mosses attached to the driftwood create a unique atmosphere reminiscent of dense wood.

14th

Hironori Handa, Japan

Title: The world behind peacefulness.

Aquarium: 120 × 45 × 45cm/48 x 18 x 18in.

Comments: An aquascape is expressed using driftwood and stem plants. This layout uses a classic concave composition, but a depth is naturally created towards the open space by the driftwood arch in the centre. Aquatic plants are n a good balance and the fish match the aquascape well.

15th

Julien Voultoury, France

Title: Hades’ breath.

Aquarium: 120 × 40 x 50cm/48 x 16 x 20in.

Comments: The combination of stones and driftwood gives a wild impression. The layout is broadly divided into three parts, and perspective is expressed by making the centre a near view while the both right and left sides create a distant view. The use of mainly epiphytic plants such as mosses and ferns emphasises the wild feel of this layout.

16th

Robertus Hartono, Singapore

Title: Hope.

Aquarium: 90 × 45 × 40cm/36 x 18 x 16in.

Comments: Perspective is skillfully expressed by a bold arrangement of driftwood and winding flow of cosmetic sand. The planting and the combination of stones and driftwood are very natural. The fish also match the atmosphere well. However, the aquascape would have looked more natural without the waterfall.

17th

Olivier Thebaud, France

Title: Regeneration.

Aquarium: 120 × 60 × 60cm/48 x 24 x 24in.

Comments: The composition, made of a bold arrangement of large driftwood, is powerful and effectively expresses the perspective. Splendid balance of colour is achieved with reddish wood, white cosmetic sand and green aquatic plants. The use of roundish stones skillfully expresses a river bottom.

18th

Jiraporn Sripraserth, Thailand

Title: Medicine cabinet.

Aquarium: 180 x 60 × 50cm/72 x 24 x 20in.

Comments: This layout is reminiscent of scenery of Guilin, China. A landscape of many odd-shaped rocks is depicted by standing stones in a panoramic aquarium. Expressions of landscape and aquascape are perfectly blended.

19th

Jian Feng Zhang, Macau

Title: Great momentum.

Aquarium: 120 × 50 × 50cm/48 x 20 x 20cm.

Comments: This layout uses stones featuring characteristic red and white stripes. A terrestrial landscape is skillfully expressed by the arrangement of different sizes of stones to emphasise perspective. With the effectively planted mosses, the exposed stone surface looks exactly like a real cliff.

20th

Atsushi Suzuki, Japan

Title: Delightful green.

Aquarium: 124 × 48 × 56cm/50 x 19 x 22in.

Comments: Skillfully depicts a natural feel using stones and driftwood. The shadow below the stones and the driftwood entwined around the stone add a natural depth. Well-balanced composition, effectively-made open space and cosmetic sand create perspective and flow of water.