While most people are happy with giving their pet goldfish some multicolored gravel, a plastic plant, and maybe one of those treasure chests, the participants to the International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest (IAPLC) have turned aquarium design into an art form. The large tanks require years of preparation and are concentrated almost completely on the beautiful presentation of plants using only natural elements.
The history of aquascaping is still a fledgling effort, first started in the 90s by Japanese wildlife photographer Takashi Amano. The yearly IAPLC competition has grown dramatically since, with the 2015 contest seeing 2,545 entries from 69 countries. Japan, China, Brazil, and France dominate the top finalist spots. Finalists were announced in September.
This year’s grand prize winner was Takayuki Fukada from Japan with his aquarium named Longing.